November 19, 2005
Diversification Maximizes Flowage:
It’s expensive and time consuming to keep learning, reading, going to conferences, creating software, updating my ebook, and blogging a bunch. Many of my friends make far more income than I do by diversifying their revenue streams and running a number of lower profit channels in parallel.
The Top Channels Will Win…Maybe
I tend to think that inevitably the audience mind share / link popularity / rankings will all converge to where the interesting channels win big. As people become more starved for time the best channels will reap huge rewards. But there is a huge problem with that line of thinking though. We are not there yet.
Between now and then many people who are not focused on trying to be #1 are making shit tons of money setting up tons of competing channels. Some are more or less automated than others.
Competing With Automation and Semi Automated Content:
It takes a ton of time, effort, and / or money to run a useful dominant channel in a competitive field. It takes minimal effort to quick quote and write me too type posts that search bots are not smart enough to detect or care about (as there are bigger fish to fry).
If a category has great interest and few blogs then it is fairly easy to run the best blog on that topic. One of my friends told me that they had the least spammy blog in a category. He told me that multiple times about different sites. It is possible to do that, even with outsourced writers, because most people are so focused on the short term.
Within many competitive SEO channels most sites are garbage lead generation or non content sites, so although the category appears competitive most of them are a bit top heavy (focused on generic queries) and automated. There is little original legit information in many competitive categories.
Having some original content and unique text makes it easy to pop on many 3 4 and 5 word queries.
Sure you can try to launch the best site on a high profile category, but content that is not linked is not quality content (or at least it will not be getting much free traffic love from the search engines). As important as it is to build linkage data, few people trust new websites unless you are absolutely excellent at viral or hype marketing. Perhaps it is best to start content channels that are decent and then build more quality into the site as time passes and linkage data and the post archive size grow.
Competition Scales Faster Than Profits:
I also have made the error of being interested in some of the most high profile fields. A good buddy at the WMW conference told me “we all have our own niches, yours just tends to be a bit more high profile than most of ours”. Higher profile does not mean more profit, just a ton more competitive. As you move into more competitive fields the subject specific competition tends to increase logarithmically far quicker than profit does.
Remarkability vs Profitability:
If you look at many of the people who are considered remarkable on the web you will notice that what makes them remarkable and what makes them profit are often not the exact same thing. Many high profile channels don’t make shit (other than link popularity to feed into the profitable network), and many of the high profit channels are not that exciting. Some of those boring channels just happen to be in categories that have nill competition outside of useless spam.
If I were starting from scratch today there would be about a zero percent chance I would create an SEO Book as a business model. And yet strangely at the same time I feel like I am stuck on it, when I am certain I could make 10 times as much working half as hard.
Cheers to those smart enough to make fat wads of cash by running the least spammy channels on topics that are full of spam and have few competing channels.