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What type of website should I build?

Here’s a question I get all the time in emails and discussion groups. It all depends on what question you actually mean:

1. What site can I build to make a lot of money? Many people look for the top keywords (mesothelioma has been the #1 word for a long time), and try to put together sites for that word. The competition is unbelievable for that particular keyword (and many of the other top words), so unless you can think of a good, unique hook or major viral marketing idea that no one else has, you’re pushing a pretty big rock up a pretty steep hill.

Instead you’re looking for a niche, a more focused theme that doesn’t have as much competition and has people interested in finding out more about it. The series I wrote called People Getting Rich Online is a good place to start. Here’s how I do it (from the post):

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As I have said countless times, most people just need a little push to get started, then everything starts flowing. You should always be in niche-hunting mode. I keep a small, spiral bound notebook next to my laptop and I write down ideas as they come to me. When you are looking for something on the Internet and can’t find it, that something needs to go in the book once it passes this simple test:

Will someone pay a reasonable amount for that product, service, or idea?

If the answer is even probably, it needs to go on the page. I always start with broad, general categories and drill down later.

Why not start with yourself? Take a moment right now and list your interests. What do you search for on the web? Put that on the list. Think about all of the things that fill your day at work or at home. While you are living your life run stuff through the niche filter in your mind — there’s always something that you can add to the list. If you don’t have something to write it down on, call yourself and leave a voice mail. I’ve done it many times. Everyone says I wish there was a [insert something here] on the Internet. Some of us say that a lot. Put it on the list.

Work with someone — I find that my wife is a great person to bounce things off. When we are going somewhere in the car we often brainstorm my latest ideas and she usually has a lot to add. In no time you should have a good-sized list.

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SiteSell has several brainstorming tools that can help you put together a site, and lots of free info.

2. Should I build a blog or regular website? This is another question I get asked a lot. Blogging is difficult. To be popular you need to produce at least two posts a day or more. On the other hand, Google loves blogs (I get visited by the GoogleBot at least once a day and sometimes more). If you have the time and patience, blogging can be rewarding.

I have been thinking lately that a well-themed site with a blog is the best way to go.

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