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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.
There might be nothing wrong with the projects you have had. You might have probably given up when you are about to make it.
'You've got to find what you love' [news-service.stanford.edu], and stick with it till you really see it be successful or you hit something which you can't really move.
Very good read, but yet... it seems hopeless to just continue and get ignored.
If one type of business fails, try something else. There's LOTS of money still to be made and almost ANYBODY can do it. I've sent you a sticky, as I'm not sure the link would be allowed here.
|There's LOTS of money still to be made and almost ANYBODY can do it. |
Sadly, that may not be true. At least not for advertising-supported sites, which seems to be a central orientation for WebmasterWorld.
I read some shocking statistics the other day. I'm quoting this from memory, so I may not have it *quite* right...
|- The top 50 sites account for 90% of all web advertising dollars. |
- The top 10 sites account for 80% of all web advertising dollars.
I've made this suggestion here before, and these statistics drive the point home: look for income opportunities outside of advertising.
Asking for donations and "subscription" fees (with little or no added functionality other than supporting the community) qualifies as "alternative income streams", right?
The web's only been around a little over 10 years. We've barely scratched the surface of what will exist. The possibilities online are as close to infinite as you can get.
To suggest that everything's been done or that there's too much competition suggests that you need to get off the rutted path and discover something new that needs building.
Since you've been at this for so long, perhaps it's about time to sit down and really examine WHY things didn't work out so far. Bring in some other people to give you different perspectives. Take a good, hard look and see if you could have done things differently or if your overall business plan is just wrong.
Without knowing more information about your situation, it's hard to give detailed comments, but here are some basic possibilities:
1) The business plan is sound, but is just being implemented incorrectly (the usual good idea/bad implementation scenario).
2) The business plan is somewhat weak.
3) There is no business plan.
For #1, get some help and figure out how to do things better.
For #2, go back to the drawing board and strengthen the business plan.
For #3, don't bother trying to do anything else until you get a business plan in place!
I am a firm believer in business plans because they force you to examine all aspects of the business and make you look at everything with a magnifying glass:
1) What you are doing
2) Where you are doing it
3) How you are doing it
4) Why you think doing it will succeed
5) How you're going to grow the business
6) When you're going to grow the business
7) Who you'll need to help you run/grow the business.
9) Why you are doing the business
And many, many more.
Look at each aspect and determine if what you have been doing is appropriate. Set goals and determine roadmaps to get to each one.
And do a reality check. A goal of making $1 million in revenue within 2 years is grand, but you have to make sure you have the resources to make that possible. Run the numbers and determine how many widgets you have to sell to gross $1 million, how much do you have to pay to buy/make $1 million in widget sales, how many sales people you need to sell/handle the orders for $1 million is widgets, how much you need to pay those salespeople (in terms of salaries, benefits, office space, etc.). In the end, are you going to make a profit, or will you spend $1.5 million to gross $1.0 million?
Then go back at least once a year and compare your actual results to your projected results, refine your goals/roadmaps, set new goals, etc.
One more comment- saying you've tried "everything" and asking people to tell you what you should be doing is a red flag that you may not have the entreprenurial spirit needed to make your own business succeed.
[edited by: LifeinAsia at 6:02 pm (utc) on Oct. 16, 2007]
Just thought I'd point out some of the incorrect assumptions you are making (pretty much everything you said with a *). I'll try to flesh out more of response if you want, but I'm sure others out there agree with me and could add to this as well.
|* Simply too much competition. |
Not in every category!
|Everything has been done, |
Wrong, but everything will been done for you if you don't change your perspective.
|and people don't care about quality but quantity |
|If you're first, you're set. |
Wrong. Lack of confidence maybe, but that can be built and is more important than a bankroll when your are starting a new venture. Personally speaking, I started my own business jobless, while in debt and with only 2k of credit from 1 credit card.
|I have no contacts/friends or money to shell out on advertising. |
Not all advertising costs money and no friends/contacts just means you have more time to devote to building your business.
|* All good domain names are registered...damn near impossible. |
Wrong. I find income producing domains everyday. Every single day. I've got lists of money making domains (type-in traffic) that are just sitting out there unregistered that I have not decided on yet. Am I going to tell anyone what they are. No freaking way :) I have spent years researching and working hard and the info is just one of the rewards for hard work. Bottom line is that you have to be driven, you have to love what you do or at least love the freedom that it gives you.
You sound like a person who might be chronically depressed.
If you are, seek some medical help!
If not snap out of it!
Almost all successful people had a long list of failures before they hit it big.
The best advice above is to have some one look at your past efforts to see if they have any merit or not.
Not every one is suited to make a living on line. The Internet is not the universe.
If you don't have the knack of making this work explore the offline world for
It's like Moby Dick. You have got to live for the good fight, and even enjoy being crushed in the end, if thats what it takes.
Well said ispy. Was thinking about it and you could boil it down to 3 steps. They key of course is experience, and we gain that by making mistakes. If you have no cash, then work in a cafe during the day for minimum wage and create your business at night, every night.
1. Find somthing you love.
2. Take massive action
3. Never give up (but be flexible).
One thing I'd be curious to hear is how long each one of your endeavors lasted before you gave up. I think that's a very important issue. It's easy to look at statistics and assume you see an pattern that will inevitably fail. That can often not be the case... Business is very unpredictable. I have a sales biz on the net that I was about ready to give up on. It made about the same amount for 4 years. Then all of the sudden, the sales doubled this year compared to last year. Why? I really don't know. But it just shows that you can't assume something is done until you make the last effort possible. For a legit quality niche, I think you have to think in terms of multiple years before you should consider giving up. And you also really have to pound the virtual pavement to make it happen.
One thing I've always tried to keep in mind when taking on business endeavors... Even when something fails, there's one thing you will always walk away with no matter what... Experience.
Food for thought: In the very late 1800s, clerk (IIRC) in US patent office said that everything that could be invented has already been invented...
In order to create something new you have to get to know the stuff that have been done in the past. This could be an inspiration for a lot of people. Just start reading more and it will come the time when you'll know almost everything that is within the field you're working in. Who knows, maybe this will inspire your imagination.
If you've already given up, why ask?
There's a lot to pick apart in this post.
If you're cynical and sad, wait a week and post the question in different terms.
Jtara's post actually makes me more sad also. I'm starting a site. My site, is starting with only 1 revenue stream, Advertising. The thing I love about numbers, is you can make them say whatever you want. It puts the decision on you. You must decide to proceed or not.
Hunter appears to be a very succinct person. Most of his views I cannot argue with...let me change that to none of his views do I find wrong.
I have some time, so I'm going to start picking it apart:
>>If you're first, you're set
Pop quiz, who was first Myspace or Friendster?
>>Lack of funds.
An excuse. Money and contacts can be made in many ways. Hell I'm in debt launching my site. Holding a 9-5 while it's finishing up development and getting launched. And will still hold a job and continue deeper into the slide until I decide it's unreasonable.
And there's many financing avenues. From your post I'm not sure where you're located, but if in US or UK there's at least some online options. If not, get creative. Find solutions, not problems.
>>Maybe, just maybe I could come up with something unique.
Just my 2 cents. Overrated. Who cares if it's unique? I don't. Look at Ray Kroc. McDonalds wasn't the first of burger joints, just revolutionized them. Give me innovation over invention.
>>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.
As noted above. LOL
We would be doing it already then.
>>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.
You define yourself as author. Have you tried looking for content work on others websites? Once again others have pointed out site development isn't for everyone. And that's not a negative, focus on your strengths.
Also don't limit it to just yourself. There are plenty of avenues out there to expand your skills. Either learn more programming. Or find a programmer and learn more of the business side, etc. Per above, efficiency is created when one focuses on their strengths.
|Simply too much competition. Everything has been done, and people don't care about quality but quantity. If you're first, you're set. |
It sounds like you might be picking terms that are too competitive. Picking the right niche is key. Sometimes the weirdest topics can make a lot of money.
1) is there a critical mass of people searching for your term?
(it's okay to be niche, but not too niche)
2) are there others building successful sites in your areas?
(if so, then the first place to start is figure out what they're doing right)
3) with any of your projects, have you ever followed Brett's "successful site in 12 months" guide?
(if not, then why not?)
4) do you, personally, think your sites are good? do your friends/colleagues/family? would you be proud to give out your URL at a party or a meeting?
5) do you engage in active and aggressive linkbuilding on a week-by-week basis?
6) do you continually add new content?
7) are your landing pages low in memory, eye-catching and nice to look at?
serpmaster, you're one lucky webmaster. There's a wealth of knowledge and information in this thread and people have gone all out to help you (both on the making money front and on the psychology front giving you encouragement). You don't need to bother replying to my sticky help but dropping a brief thank you to the many people here who have spent time to assist in the thread, unlike other threads [webmasterworld.com], would be nice.
oddsod, it seems you found serpmaster wondering in an empty thread. :)
But seriously, I like to post for two reasons:
1. Making a little contribution, I, like many others on WW have asked many of my small and medium sized questions here and people has helped me since then. Doing the same gives pleasure, I think.
2. I also want to see the other people's views on my personal views, hence I post.
If one of those conditions is met, I am satisfied.
|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. |
Nothing niche? Only global? Non-content? Service-based only? Hmmm... no wonder you are having trouble. Some of the best money there is to be made serves very defined niches...
Social Networks for shy people. soshi million dollar idea.
I don't know what to say. It feels really bizarre to know the "secrets" and yet be unable to find success.
My sites were far superior to anything out there but went ignored. People don't care about new stuff if there is already a bad (but active) site out there in the same field.
|It feels really bizarre to know the "secrets" and yet be unable to find success. |
clearly, you don't know the "secrets". Sorry if that sounds harsh, but it is simply an irrefutable fact, and the obvious response, given your original post.
|My sites were far superior to anything out there but went ignored |
My guess is that you've neglected link building.
[edited by: callivert at 12:08 pm (utc) on Oct. 18, 2007]
|I think I can honestly say that I have tried... everything. |
I think this could be your problem, trying too many things. Take time to analyse which of your projects had the most success, even if that success seems very minimal to you. Then solicit feedback on it from everyone you can. Ask users, ask your friends and family, and get site reviews from other webmasters.
Sometimes the difference between success and failure amounts to just a few small things.
I just think you're not working seriously but waiting "the sting" to be rich jus discovering the next big thing.
There is a lot of things you can do and have a few dollars, then some hundred dollars and a few years later, some thousands a month. Unfortunately, it requires a hard, really hard work.
...and let's add patience to that!
The sentiments expressed in this thread are among the best I've ever seen since starting at Webmaster World -- kudos to all the excellent input.
The only thing I would add is about having perspective -- in other words, what constitutes "success"? Part of the problem is reading news stories about young programmers becoming fabulously rich overnight (re: YouTube), after only a few short years on the WWW. Never mind that they are one website out of a few hundred million(about the same odds as winning the lottery!).
So be realistic. And while making $$ is something we all need to do, don't put it too far in front of personal satisfaction. That is to say, don't sell your soul to gain the world. Do a good job, feel positive about your efforts, work at it steadily, be patient, and see what happens -- good things can come to those who wait.
|Part of the problem is reading news stories about young programmers becoming fabulously rich overnight (re: YouTube), after only a few short years on the WWW. Never mind that they are one website out of a few hundred million(about the same odds as winning the lottery!). |
So be realistic.
One of the best pieces of advice I read when starting out was about niche marketing. Someone in another forum mentioned that everyone was going after financial and gambling terms and ignoring lice treatment options for a certain kind of pet. But the reality is that for many people, especially those just starting out or those working by themselves, are going to make more money being #1 for "<insert some kind of uncommon pet here> lice treatment" instead of being ranked #459 for pay day loans.
[edited by: Jane_Doe at 4:14 pm (utc) on Oct. 18, 2007]
|My sites were far superior to anything out there but went ignored. |
I see 2 possibilities here:
1) Your opinion of yourself and your sites are out of sunc with reality, or
2) You completely ignored the marketing aspect of your business plan.
If 1, get a reality check.
If 2, remember that the best products can go unnoticed if no one knows about them. You may have a much better product, but it only matters IF PEOPLE THINK THAT. (Think Betamax vs. VHS- most people agreed that Beta was a far superior product to VHS, but VHS won because of marketing.)
Again, go back and take a hard look at why you haven't acheived the level of success you feel you should have. Analyze your errors, correct them, and try again. Or decide it won't work out no matter how you try to fix things, and move on to something else that will work for you.
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