Need Help Choosing a Website Topic?
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Topic choice is a big decision when it comes to creating websites. It's quite tempting to go for the big idea, right?
After all, wouldn't you love to be the one who invented FaceBook, Twitter or YouTube?
It often seems so simple. Just come up with a cool idea, build a site, sell it for millions to Yahoo or Google and you'll be rich!
That's not exactly the case for most people.
While this idea has worked for a handful of people, the average story doesn't go quite like that. Which is why I wanted to create this all-important page on topic choice.
Looking to Make Money?
If your goal is to make money with your site then I always recommend the simple approach.
I know many of you would love to create something like the next Facebook, but this is just not realistic for the average person. Mark Zuckerberg is a programmer. He also came up with an idea that was original and had the technical expertise and support to launch and maintain it.
Trying to compete with a site like that today is a very tall task... not to mention the server space and technical know-how you would need to manage it.
Yes, these sites look cool on the surface, but there are a lot of hidden headaches the average person does not see.
So what do I mean when I say "the simple approach?" I'm encouraging you to do what I've done since 1998.
I don't own any fancy Facebook-like websites. I don't have a lot of Web programming skills yet I make a comfortable living from the earnings of this website.
I simply create sites on topics that interest me, draw in traffic and make money from affiliate programs (Clickbank for example) and ad programs like Google AdSense. I also sell ad space and my own products like my WordPress tutorial.
Here's an Example
Say you love to prepare desserts. You could create top-notch-cake-recipes.com where you offer all your favorite cake recipes. You'd create your site and then spend time learning about SEO (search engine optimization) so your pages get found in Google, Yahoo, etc.
Demonstrate your cooking techniques on YouTube and develop a following. You can even make money as a YouTube Partner. Also, build a Facebook page and interact with your audience to help build your brand further.
On your website, you could make money from Google ads and refer other products that your audience may find interesting (affiliate marketing). For instance, you could join Target.com's free affiliate program and refer some of their cookware.
Target (or any affiliate program) would provides you with the links to put on your site and you would earn a commission on every sale your site refers.
An affiliate site like this is much easier to create and maintain than some large, programming-intense Facebook-like website. You could manage the site yourself with a program like WordPress, Dreamweaver or my CSS website templates and you'd simply follow these website creation instructions to get started.
Or you can use a program like Site Build It!, which was created to help people make money from content websites. Their entire focus is to help you earn an income no matter topic you choose.
Another option is to use WordPress. This is typically known as a blogging platform, but you can use it to create static pages too. Most people use it for both.
If you want another example of how a content site can make money, sign up for my free monetization guide.
Determine if Your Idea is Profitable
Before you settle in on a topic for your website, you should always check the search engine keyword competition and demand.
Search engine traffic can be one of the best forms of free traffic out here because it's so targeted and converts well. So you want to analyze the market and pick good keyword phrases to target.
In other words, should you target the phrase "cake recipes" vs. "chocolate recipes" vs "low fat recipes", etc? That's what keyword research will help you decide.
The idea is to choose topics that have a good demand (number of searches per month) and minimal competition.
If you want to do some serious research then you may want to invest in a tool like Market Samurai which will provide a more thorough analysis of search keyword competition. I have a quick tutorial of Market Samurai here.
Avoid The "How to Make Money" Topic
This is a big trap many newcomers fall into. If they can't decide on a topic they choose the make money online idea since they want to make money themselves.
It's always a bad idea to choose a topic that you have no experience with. Unless you have the proof you are making some cash online and plan on showing people how you've done it, then you run the risk of creating a site like the millions of other "how to make money online" sites out here.
Not to mention this niche is overly saturated and you'd have a hard time generating traffic. Have you ever searched for make money online in Google?
There are millions of sites on this topic so competing in this niche could be a complete nightmare for you -- especially if you don't have anything new and fresh to bring to the topic.
Watch my video below for more reasons why this is such a bad idea...
Why is Topic Choice So Important?
You must understand. Sites that do well online are sites that have their own unique spin on a certain topic. The content is well written, updated frequently, the Webmasters understand the basics of Net marketing and they know their audience.
These are all things you must execute well if you want to become successful, and it will not happen overnight. So this is one reason topic choice is crucial.
You have to be patient while waiting on that traffic to come, so you might as well choose something that will keep your interest or you'll get bored and abandon your site.
And don't worry about what others are doing. Just because you see someone making millions with one topic, don't think you have to do the same thing or even something similar.
The reason that person is so successful is because of the points I mentioned above. Their passion for the topic is driving their creativity thus generating success. If you chose that same topic you might not be as motivated because it's not your "thing."
I know it's tempting to copy someone else's successful idea but it's really a bad idea for most people.
Now it's time to choose what peeks your interest and develop your own personal spin on it. That's the first step to being successful out here, so I hope you take this message seriously.
Not to Discourage You, But...
The goal of this article is not to discourage you from creating a complex, interactive site. If that's something you have your heart set on then go for it.
I just want you to understand what's involved. You can't just buy a software program, download some template and create an interactive site like FaceBook or YouTube.
Extensive, hardcore programming is required. So you'll either have to learn yourself or pay someone else BIG to do it for you.
It's much better to start small and simple with a site like I described above and once the traffic and money starts coming in, then you can expand to something more robust and complex.
It will save you a lot of money and headaches if you do it that way.
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