Thank you, both, for welcoming me. I really appreciate you responding to my thread, and, of course, I appreciate the honesty.
Yes, the website(s) have a head start...but most of them do. Nearly everything that you can think of these days is already being done. It can be discouraging, to say the least. But where do you start? Surely, thinking of something new and innovative doesn't have to be a precursor for making money online...?
Copycat sites only serve to dilute the productivity of the web, IMO.
-Normally, I would completely agree with you. However, this particular niche is art-based, and completely fueled by original content. Sure, it's a service that is already being provided, but the product that comes with the service is always unique. Am I just being naive?
Sorry, guys. I realize that some (if not all of my questions) have already been answered somewhere else. I approach this all with a business mindset, so any time I can expedite things, I will (including hiring consultation and development professionals etc.).
However, I know my place. I realize that I am a newbie...so, I will avoid being stubborn and set in my ways, and listen to experienced people (like yourselves) with an attentive and open ear/mindset. In other words, any idea(s) or strategies that I have right now hold little water, and I realize that. So, please, correct me when I am wrong.
Here's the deal; eventually, I'd like to have several online businesses that can generate a nice security cushion of residual income - while running my primary business which is engineering related (which is hard to establish any sort of leverage without expanding - meaning, more work, more headaches etc., and the risks involved are much, much greater). I realize that 'risk' is a key ingredient for success, however, anytime I can minimize the associated risks while generating, maintaining and maximizing profits, I will.
I have decided to start one site with a partner (my sister). She is an artist and this particular niche is her hobby - she loves doing it. I just want to help her monetize it. While she handles accumulating content and micromanaging the website, I will focus on pulling in traffic, marketing and monetizing the website etc.
I figured, if I can hire someone to build the core of the website and incorporate all of the important, required stuff that we really do not possess the know-how for, my sister could, then, take over the site once it's complete - to manage the site and graphically make it her own.
I have money that comes in from my primary business, so I have money to invest on getting things started - the RIGHT way! I feel, that, if we can get the ball rolling with professional help, we have a better chance of succeeding. Not only would our website be properly setup (which would eliminate a LOT of start-up time, trial and error and mistakes etc.), but we would feel confident in knowing that our site is going live and starting up correctly - while maximizing our chances for success. It seems that the lack of know-how can hurt your site if you are a beginner/starting out; that certain steps should be taken a certain way, at a certain time, for best results. Also, if we had professionals that could guide us through the process, not only would we save time by scouring forums for bread crumbs of information that we desperately need, but we could expedite everything tenfold - for the most part. Besides, we can (and will) learn things as we go...there's no since in learning EVERYTHING at first if you don't have to. Not only would that take much, much longer, but you increase your chance(s) for error, misunderstanding and overall failure due to impatience and a lack of confidence etc.
Thank you for your comments. Any additional comments are welcome.