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General Search Engine Marketing Issues Forum

    
Open Discussion: Optimization & Entrepreneurialism
What's worked for you? What hasn't? Any questions?
chipdouglas




msg:4089556
 11:01 pm on Mar 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

After 8 months in development, I am finally launching my niche site at the end of the month. When I go live, I will have enough content and features to propel me into the top 5 or 6 in a niche that has about 20 players. I thought high traffic would be a slam dunk.

But I recently found another player who has about as much content/capabilities--if not more--than the top 3 sites, and yet after a full year, it grabs less than 30k uniques/mo--about 1% of the top sites' traffic. Point is, content and capabilities alone can not make a site (in my niche) succeed.

So I am looking to other things. I have been at this for just 8 months, but I have some advice for new web entrepreneurs and would like to get some back. One advice is:

  • Find out who your competitors are
  • Find out how much traffic they're getting
  • Rank them in terms of traffic
  • Find out where they're getting referrals from (e.g., via Compete.com)
  • If they're getting a lot of traffic from Facebook, for example, find out what their presence is like on Facebook and experiment with your own similar model to see what works and what doesn't.

    "Opposition research" is a MUST for any site that wants to remain competitive, and this is one of MANY ways to market and drive traffic (albeit not an innovative one).

    I would like to invite anybody who likes to add their own advice, ask their own questions, and answer/volunteer:

    (1) For the traffic/revenue-minded, how long before your site achieved the traffic/revenue that you wanted it to?

    (2) We all know "content" and "experimentation" are good things generally, but what specific things have you had the most success with in driving traffic to your site?

    (3) What techniques are less effective, or a waste of time altogether, in your opinion?

    (4) What do you do to ensure that your site is relevant and competitive within your niche?

    (5) Are there any relatively cheap ways to "jump-start" traffic for new starts besides the (useful but) generic advice like "be patient," "experiment," or "add content"?


    Again, comments, questions, advice and warnings are all welcome. I mean for this to be an open discussion.

  •  

    tangor




    msg:4089670
     2:32 am on Mar 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

    (1) For the traffic/revenue-minded, how long before your site achieved the traffic/revenue that you wanted it to?

    Hasn't got there yet. Still waiting to achieve condo in Miami and cabin in Colorado. Meanwhile bucks do flow.

    (2) We all know "content" and "experimentation" are good things generally, but what specific things have you had the most success with in driving traffic to your site?.

    Hard work.

    (3) What techniques are less effective, or a waste of time altogether, in your opinion?

    Anything unnecessary. Javascript in particular. :) K.I.S.S. works best.

    (4) What do you do to ensure that your site is relevant and competitive within your niche?

    Content and... hard work.

    (5) Are there any relatively cheap ways to "jump-start" traffic for new starts besides the (useful but) generic advice like "be patient," "experiment," or "add content"?

    Sure! Most are dangerous webicide. Link farms, paid links, spamming blogs... will get you traffic for about 2.5 minutes.

    Since statements like "no magic bullet" are not allowed I'll leave it as "hard work". I don't know any other way to do it, and have been doing it that way since 1996 on the "web" and during the previous 10 years as a fairly popular nationally known bbs funded out of my own pocket.

    chipdouglas




    msg:4089684
     3:09 am on Mar 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

    Tangor, I am grateful to you for your substantive response. That is precisely what I was looking for. Thank you for again making WW worth my while.

    [edited by: tedster at 5:10 am (utc) on Mar 2, 2010]

    willybfriendly




    msg:4089725
     5:02 am on Mar 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

    Other than content and hard work ..or pure luck or originality


    No such thing as luck. Perhaps you meant serendipity, i.e. "the luck some people have in finding or creating interesting or valuable things by chance."

    It still takes originality and hard work to make anything happen - and usually content (but not always, depending on the niche and project - I offer the original "Million Dollar Homepage" as an example - or Google itself).

    [edited by: tedster at 5:11 am (utc) on Mar 2, 2010]

    fishyfish




    msg:4091064
     9:26 pm on Mar 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

    Thanks chipdouglas for a great thread,

    I'm about to launch a new site that content wise is richer than any of my to-be-competition and interface wise, blows them away. So i'm really interested to hear from other people that have been in the same situation and maybe been a bit over-optomistic like me?!

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