How many times have you heard the Gurus say find a niche or look for a topic with less competition? I’m calling BS! Well yes, it’s true, you should carve out a niche away from competition, if you want mediocre to low success. So, if you like the idea of never having much traffic to your website and making a few pennies here and there, then by all means follow that advice.
Think about it. What causes competition? The answer is demand. Where there is demand there is opportunity. Where there is opportunity, is where you want to be. So, when you are ready to start looking for a topic to start your blog, or niche site, aim your targets at competition.
Competition in The Real World
The best way to explain how I learned this lesson is to tell you a quick story.
About 14 years ago I started a temporary-airbrush-tattoo business in Las Vegas. We had a few locations in some of the casinos, and at the time we were one of only two companies doing it in the country. There was essentially zero competition.
Our first year in business we grossed somewhere around $130,000. It was a fun business. We would get crowds of people gathering around to watch because at the time it was a new thing that people had never seen before. After about a month in business I noticed something. Every couple of days some sharp person would notice how simple our business was and start asking all kinds of question.
- What kind of paint do you use?
- Where do you get the paint?
- What kind of airbrushes are those?
- Where do you get your stencils?
- How many airbrush tattoos do you do in a day?
- Is it hard to do?
Sometimes people would stand and watch me for 2 hours drilling me with questions. I quickly realized they were seeing dollar signs and musing the idea of copying our business, but back in the town or city they lived in.
At first I developed a fortress attitude. I would take all the labels off my paint, grind the brand name off my airbrushes, and hide the compressor in a concealed box. All this in an attempt to prevent people from seeing how our business worked. I thought I could prevent competition.
By the middle of our second year in business there were 2 other companies doing airbrush-tattoos in Las Vegas, 5-6 other companies selling the paint, stencils, and airbrush body-art systems online and many other physical airbrush-tattoo venues popping up across the country in theme-parks, carnivals and busy malls.
I realized I could not fight competition, so I decided to embrace it. We started our own website selling all the products. We offered training to teach people how to do it. When people came around our stands snooping for info, we gave them all the info and our website address where they could purchase and learn how to do everything exactly the way we did it.
By the end of our third year in business we grossed almost $800,000. By the end of our fourth year in business airbrush tattoos were a familiar product world-wide with dozens of people selling products online, competition was everywhere, yet we grossed over a million dollars that year.
So what happened? How did we make 10 times more money with 20 times the competition?
The answer is, the demand outgrew the competition. When we started, our slice of the pie was almost 100%. By the 5th year our slice was maybe only about 10-15% of the pie, however the size of the new pie was now 50 times bigger. All thanks to growing competition and product awareness.
High Competition vs Low Competition
Lets take a look at 2 online key words according to the free Google-key-word-tool. One in a extremely competitive category and one in a very niche low competition category.
- High competition category – Internet marketing – 1,000,000 searches per month
- Low competition category – Bad mitten – 3,600 searches per month
So, lets say we build a website about bad-mitten. Even if we managed to get 100% of that traffic, which is impossible, we are capped at 3,600 searches per month.
Now, if we build a website related to “internet marketing” and we only get 1/2 of 1 percent of the traffic for the key word “internet marketing” we almost double the traffic. And, because it is a super competitive topic means there will be dozens of related key words as well as hundreds even thousands of long tail keywords that we could randomly rank for.
The reality is, when a key word has low competition that means it’s probably not very profitable. This is fine if it is just a hobby site, however if your looking to make real money and grow, then high competition and search volume are actually your friends.
There are a lot of training systems on the internet promoted by the gurus that suggest you search for a subject or a passion that has low competition then build a website around it. In other words run and hide from competition.
Competition, Your True Friend
I think this is where a lot of newbies make a big mistake investing time and money on the wrong niche then quit when they never see any results.
What I am suggesting, is to look at competition as an opportunity not a deterrent. When looking for a niche, first look where competition is the highest, then within that category look for a passion or an interest. Finally, look for a way to be unique and creative within that niche.
Have a niche idea that you want an opinion on? Drop by our forum and run it by us.