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|What's the "next big thing"?|
Please share your ideas if you cannot make it yourself anyway.
I think I can honestly say that I have tried... everything. For many years now, even before year 2,000, I have tried to make it on the WWW. I have been very honest and also explored the blackhat world. I failed doing both.
I don't quite know why, since I really understand the technology and I consider myself as a person having "good taste" in general. I suspect some things:
* Simply too much competition. Everything has been done, and people don't care about quality but quantity. If you're first, you're set.
* Lack of funds. I have no contacts/friends or money to shell out on advertising.
* All good domain names are registered. Finding a good .com domain is like trying to find and buy a green hill in cental Manhattan, NY for $1... damn near impossible.
This day, I killed my last project. I am now very cynical and sad. I don't feel like trying all over again, as I know my site will go ignored. It seems like I have tried every kind of site out there... but they already existed. I just "perfected" the concept (and they went ignored).
Maybe, just maybe I could come up with something unique. But what would that be? And why would you tell me if you knew?
In either case, I'm gonna try now. Please tell me anything. Any ideas that haven't been done. Preferarly primarily non-content, service-based ideas. Preferarly global in nature, or at least not too niched.
What do you miss from the WWW which could actually stand a chance when the author is broke? I only have my skills to work with.
I don't expect anyone to hand me the solution to my problems, but I suspect there are some good pointers out there I haven't considered.
Please help a desperate soul.
"People don't care about new stuff if there is already a bad (but active) site out there in the same field."
Or, people dont really gravitate to superior everything. The masses are well known for seeking safety in mediocrity. If the herd goes off a cliff, they all go. Why do you think McDonalds and Safeway are so successful. Well its not their food or pricing.
Maybe you need to dumb things down a bit to appeal to the segment who just follows the herd. I think this is why a lot of ecommerce sites look cookie cutter the same.
Why not post a site for us to review...
Maybe we can pick up on something you missed?
Site Review [webmasterworld.com]
Make sure you have you extra thick skin on and are ready to hear what people have to say, because we can be blunt and to the point, but maybe you will get something good out of it.
Serpsmaster, The clue is maybe in your name?
Go with one subject, research it, write about it, TAKE PICTURES ABOUT IT (that costs, and that's why it pays off in the end). Stay with that subject, RESEARCH THE KEYWORDS, and stay with it. Become the expert in your field and remember that pictures speak a thousand words. Pictures cost you at the beginning, but that's the reason they pay off in the end. Others dont expend the time or the cost to take them. Travel? Go there, take the pics. DIY? do it and take the pics. Underwater diving? Do it and take the pics. Gardening? Do it and take the pics. ETC and ETC. Do it, do the research, stick with it for two years and success is yours, guaranteed.
>Why not post a site for us to review...
>Maybe we can pick up on something you missed?
"status: 10:You have reached a private forum or discussion. Please login to view threads in this forum.(serpmaster)"
I am logged in... this forum seems broken.
Oops! Forgot, you have to be a supporter...
> Oops! Forgot, you have to be a supporter...
Uh... okay. But it says I must log in. I see lots of typos and stuff around here on this forum. Sloppy writing!
Serpmaster you've got some great advice here but I would ehco what Habtom said about finding something you love. And then not give up.
I heard a CEO of a startup fertilizer company that has received a lot of press speak once and he described how people thought he was crazy - but he wouldn't give up. His advice was not to give up, because there comes a point when things start to hit the skids - you have to at that point keep pushing to get through to the other side. Because you never know when that success will come. You will have to believe in what you are doing.
I would advise that instead of building another site right away, find something that you can do that you really are passionate about and spend sometime with the concepts and ideas first. Determine what you really enjoy and what you want to spend the time on - that passion will carry you and you will have the energy and drive to make it work.
Think of something that's coming in the future - where can you innovate, and get the lead. Read think and grow rich by Napolean Hill. Good Luck.
Read as much as you can. If you find good information subscribe to the feed or go to the library and get books by the author.
There are always new ideas out there... Think back over time... when has innovation ever stopped?
To think that there are no more good ideas means that maybe you are just not in the right field... Which is not a bad thing. Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur, otherwise no one would work for big companies.
I just launched a new site in the spring, new concept (mine own) completely original. It has already been copied, but I don't care... My site is already bringing in a few hundred bucks a month and a few hundred visitors a day... Not bad for its first 6 months.
No one is going to hand you the answer. You have to want it. Most of us live, breath and sleep this stuff... We have ideas constantly... We carry notepads with us to jot things down... We keep logs of ideas and new domain names... We live for the excitement of doing something new and rewarding...
I don't do it for the money... I was doing this long before internet advertising was around... that just added a layer of excitement... but if the money is all this is driving you... maybe a day job is what works best for you. Yearly raises, promotions, bonuses... all that can be very rewarding with the right company.
In any event, keep your head up. You have not wasted your time. I'd wager you learned quite a bit over the last few years... ;-)
Ps - one more bit of advice... just because someone else did it, does not mean you can't do it better... one of my biggest sites was not the first kid on the block... but I saw a chance to do things better than the folks already in the game.
Sitting as owner, board-member, or partner with dozens of companies from Web Development, Social Networking, and Mobile Phone Technologies to Venture Capital and Investment Banking I can confidently say the following:
Opportunity is all around us and always will be. Where there is freedom, there is opportunity. Where there is difficulty, there is opportunity.
The more I learn, the more I see, the more I do, the more I see can be done.
Jason, Right on brother! A great post!...KF
Everyone has been where you are serp, or very close to it. Yet, the sun rises and everything shifts--again.
Very few successful business professionals hit a home run at their first at bat. What have you learned from your shut down projects? Tell us here.
As far as all of the good domains being taken--sorry, I got exactly what I needed last week. $12 each.
But, with the experience you've had, someone should be interested in hiring you to advise. You would be AMAZED at how many sharp minds don't understand the basics of the Internet. Find a partner if not a client. The lone wolf has a tough go, despite all of the problems of dealing with other people.
If you thrust your hands into a barrel of water and clench your fists closed as quickly and tightly as you can, the water will run from your grasp, yet, if you place both hands, face up, slightly cupped into a gentle stream soon they will fill and overflow.
Try getting some business mentors - and listening to them. I've got two mentors/friends that I've dumped on in the past year or two who've helped me immensely. Many entrepreneurials around here can't tell what's a good business idea and what isn't - myself included half the time. I got slapped silly after spending $50K+ developing a site that hasn't earned a dime. One of my mentors described it as 'a good hobby site for you'. That was a wakeup call. I'd still be doing projects I love or that I fancy instead of ones grounded in reality if it werent' for my mentors.
Realize that all entrepreneurs fail. Repeatedly. I mean, I've never had a failed project myself...except when I mentioned that to my spouse she proceeded to ryhme off a long list of things that hadn't quite worked out as planned. No big deal. Dust off and get back on the horse.
Don't get distracted by the superstars making millions. What others make is no concern of yours. Try targetting much smaller goals. If you can actually rank (and that's not clear from your post) then try something smaller. Look to build a site that makes a few hundred a month. That's only $10 a day. Keep at that type of thing.
Only do things that are almost certain to make money. Look at your skill set and inventory and evaluate realistically what is guaranteed to work. Not what you think has a good chance of working - what you know for certain will work. Even if you don't like it, it's a start.
Final thought - do whatever it takes to bring in some cashflow if you have to. If that means drumming up some SEO clients, then do that. If it means some web design on the side, then do that. Whatever it takes, work it if it brings in cash today. That'll give you breathing room to continue on.
|Uh... okay. But it says I must log in. I see lots of typos and stuff around here on this forum. Sloppy writing! |
serpsmaster - I think I may be able to give you advice based on that comment - and please, don't take this as being harsh..
This forum DOES have some warts and wrinkles - especially on some of the backend stuff. But that's OK. One note about being a pro - a professional is someone who has come to grips with a certain level of mediocrity - because you'll never do ANYTHING if you try to do it perfectly. That is to say, yes, WW could be improved, but at what cost? WW folks spend a LOT of time doing conferences, I'm sure attending conferences, networking, etc - perhaps when you mentioned that your sites were superior to your competition you overlooked this piece of the puzzle - you must do MUCH more than build a great site.
My point is - remember that for every hour you spend working directly on your site, there should be 4 hours spent promoting it.
Good luck - I feel your pain - been there too :)
|- The top 50 sites account for 90% of all web advertising dollars. |
- The top 10 sites account for 80% of all web advertising dollars.
Sure but we're talking about what amount of total web advertising dollars? 17 billion dollars or something like that (in 2006) and Google + Adsense might be considered "one site". Advertising.com, Commission Junction, LinkShare and other networks might each be counted as one site.
So if the top 50 of sites take 90% of web advertising dollars, that still leaves 10% for everyone else and more if networks like AdSense are counted as one site. That's around 1.7 billion dollars + that is up for anyone to grab.
Since the web continues to change all the time, there will always be a few billion up for grabs. Provide something unique, do it well, keep going and going and going, link out with nice things to say, good honest reviews & things like that and you can still succeed.
One other thing. Even those of us with 'successful sites' have a pretty good idea that what we're doing now is absolute child's play compared to what the landscape is going to look like and demand of us in five or ten years down the road.
Right now it is easy to get in and easy to succeed, IF you naturally are stubborn, self directed and work like a dog.
The hard part is going to be riding the waves as the web matures, and it hasn't even really started.
But the experience you get from running an online business now is invaluable, IMHO. Ten years from now, how hard is it going to be for brand new competitors to try to unseat you while they try to sink their teeth into analytics, programming, one to one relationships and become a market expert all at once? When you've been navigating all these channels, collected private data AND talked to real customers in a real niche for ten years?
|Sure but we're talking about what amount of total web advertising dollars? 17 billion dollars or something like that (in 2006) and Google + Adsense might be considered "one site". Advertising.com, Commission Junction, LinkShare and other networks might each be counted as one site. |
Here's the article that I saw:
These are figures for the first half of 2007.
And here's an article from the source of the report, which summarizes it:
There's a slightly optimistic trend for small webmasters: a very small decrease (1-3%) in the concentration of advertising dollars at the top sites from 2006-2007.
Finally, here is the full report:
I have to admit, the report is ambiguous. The figures are for the "ten (25, 50) leading ad-selling companies". Unfortunately, there is no list of which companies these are.
|and more if networks like AdSense are counted as one site |
Which would seem to be the case, otherwise I don't see how the numbers could be that high.
With that in mind, take Google as an example... They reportedly generate 40% of online advertising revenue. They reportedly share over 70% of revenue with affiliates.
I have no idea what percentage of Google's ad revenue is generated from their own SERPs with no affiliate getting a piece but I'd guess it's the smaller part. Say 25%.
So, by those numbers, Google's affiliates actually generate 21% of all online advertising revenue.
Do the same thing with the other large Internet advertising companies and I suspect in the end you'd have non top 50 sites generating something close to half of all online ad revenue.
Lots of pie left :-)
I'd like to make a suggestion from the contrary side.
Forget everything you've heard about picking a topic you love. Forget about having a passion for your subject.
I'm not saying the concept of liking your subject is always wrong, but its not the only way. In fact, it might be your best choice if you turn 180 degrees from what you like and see what comes to mind.
What you ABSOLUTLY need is knowledge of a subject. Even better if you can add some real experience to that knowledge. Think about it: who loves divorce? or death? or crime? Yet these are subjects that have almost universal interest to everyone.
In my own case, I truly hated the subject that became my most successful site, and that has led to successful off-shoots. I hated it, but I knew it, thoroughly, because i had to live through it. And I knew it was bothering millions of other people.
So I understood the fears and questions that everyone like me was facing. And I either knew the answers or knew where to get them. If you are a writer, that's enough to start.
So consider taking some nasty and unpleasant passage of your life --even sad-- and using what you've learned to make it better for other people.
Thanks for letting me run on...
You've been given a great gift in the encouragement and advice from everyone above my post, and I hope you find a spark that rekindles your enthusiasm. Don't give up.
Wow, I pwnd serpmaster so bad he quit, booyah!
Someone somewhere is saying that right now.
To learn to float you need to know what it means to sink and be ok with it.
I can totally relate to what you are saying Serp. About 7 years ago I was making $1000 per month, barely getting by, fresh out of school with lots of book knowledge but no life knowledge, and certainly no Internet knowledge.
The best advice I can give you:
Believe in yourself.
Know that you can achieve anything that you put your mind to, and that you will.
Know yourself, and by doing that you will find the topic that interests you most and one that you can work with easily without care for the money game.
Owning websites that create income is difficult, but far from impossible. Visit Webmasterworld.com and read many of the posts daily and you will learn a lot about how to be successful online. As someone else said, go over your projects one by one, and document what worked and didn't to a 't' - things you would do the same, things you would do differently and why.
And then come back at this thing renewed, with your new knowledge, game plan, and most of all, sense of the power do accomplish anything.
My first advice to people who are interested in getting involved with the net is find something you love/have passion for and forget about a business model for a while, just create content.
|Think about it: who loves divorce? or death? or crime? |
This is a great point.
Finding something you want to do is a must for long term success of a site.
I spent 3.5 years of endless hours on a site, just getting by, before it hit a pretty good level. There were down times when I thought about giving up. But I never did. I knew that if you build something good and kept at it, it will come through. I suspect you haven't spent that much time keeping anything going full blast.
I'm saving money the best I can to prepare for the future and for when the bottom falls out on it. And it will as the internet changes. Nothing we see now will be the same in another 5-10 years.
Simple: if you do not use the web and if you are not enthusiastic about anything out there: drop the hammer and move offline, find a passion for something not related to the web.
If you are a regular web user just watch yourself for a week. Why do you go to some of the sites you repeatidly visit? Analyze what you like and how things are offered, done. Just try to copy into your business plan template whatever you discover in your own behavior as disirable goals for your project.
Come back here and ask around how to get the details right. If asking the right questions you will be flushed with great responses, use the WebmasterWorld search engine. Read, read, read! And take the f...k serious when someone tells you: DON'T, then, well: don't!
You will cover a user group quite similar to yourself. Once successfully implemented target other user groups (survey).
Three things you'll need:
- topic area your are truly passionate about
- ask tons of questions, read, read, read (here!)
Ah, and did I mention you need to read a lot...?
Truly one of the best threads I have read since I have been frequenting this
It has even motivated tired, old me to re-examine my own work ethics.
Serp, if you can't find your answers here you are not really looking!
Remember the quote from Proverbs, " Good Advice Is Beyond All Price"
After you tell them the "next big thing"
please tell me next week's winning lotto numbers? K Thx.
Seriously though, it's called trendspotting.
Takes research. Many times luck.
I think FOCUS is what many people need to focus on:) Working on too many projects will often achieve mediocre results for all of them. Also, I do not believe in the phrase "too much competition". After all, if there's competition there's also a good reason for it.
By the looks of your (original) comment, you've accumulated quite a wealth of knowledge on web technology, but seem frustrated at its lack of effectiveness - or perhaps you lack ideas on how to put all that knowledge to effective use. I can completely understand this, and have been there.
While you're learning, you get lost in the "how" of the latest thing out there, or in other words, you become focused on the tool itself; after a certain amount of time, you have to take a step back from your examination of the tool itself, and consider how to best put it to use - and in what doses.
In fact, I would say that you should think about the tools in your bag in a completely separate - and secondary - level. Think first about what the client wants or needs, and then, only after, concoct your web-tech cocktail to serve that purpose. Think of yourself as a web user browsing what your client has to offer - you'd be surprised what ideas a bit of objectivity can bring you.
One of the web's biggest problems is its ergonomic lackings - there is much to be done and improved there, and all webmasters I know (including myself) who serve both clients and their users a browsing/shopping experience true to human nature (clean, comprehensive, no hidden or hard to find 'target' subject matter, no unneeded waiting or buzzers and whistles) has benefitted in both name and success. A website that works (function, web visibility, usability) brings satisfaction above all to both clients and their clients, and if it's nice to look at in the bargian, so much the better. Serps are not the only thing out there - if your website is useful and informative, people will visit, and people will link to it, even though patience comes hard to the busier of us looking for immidiate 'results'.
Just take a step back from what you've done, have a look at the web as a whole, think about what you as a user would like improved in what you see, and you will have a whole new set of motivating ideas.
[edited by: Josefu at 8:53 am (utc) on Oct. 22, 2007]
|After all, if there's competition there's also a good reason for it. |
Not always vegas...
I know of examples from the B2B market that (unfortunately) uses similar terms for their products and services as a cut-throat B2C affiliate sector. Nobody in the industry was able to introduce differing terminology so pretty much all major global players in the field have resorted to different means of promoting their stuff as any search term floods SERPs with those B2C results.
Or the other way around (my case) where you cover a professional area that is massively dominated by huge sites of the types of Forbes and some such and (unfortunately) the most meaningful keywords are the same the large sites use to attract millions of hits a day.
If you want to serve professionals from the widgets industry to offer them a platform to exchange professional advice on managing their widgets department and tasks you will have to beat everyone in the SERPs who sells widgets first.
So, in this light, competition can be really tough and the reasons might not apply to your project at all. Tough luck, what do you do when passionate about the topic? Take on Goliath or take down your passion?
|Preferably primarily non-content, service-based ideas. |
The easiest way to encourage targeted traffic to come to your site is to write lots of well-optimised content. Even if your website is primarily providing a service, you will do yourself a massive favour by writing masses of related content to go with it.
At the end of the day you need qualified traffic to get the ball rolling. Otherwise you won't get off the ground, no matter how good your idea is.
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