I have a Squidoo page which does okay. I make some affiliate sales (maybe $80 on a good month). It seems to me that the merchandise is a 'crowded market' with lots of SEO competition which makes me hesitate to pay money (which is very, very, very tight for me) to have a website around the same thing. It would be very painful, financially, for me to put money into a website which resulted in a net loss.
However, most of the traffic to my Squidoo page is SE traffic, meaning I've got a toe in the door, even if the market is crowded.
So my question is this: With a decent design, a fair hand at SEO, and some time, what are the chances that my proposed site would fail completely? Are there risks I may not have considered? Are there benefits I haven't examined?
I know that it's better to have your own property. I know that there are no guarantees, and that a lot depends on the work I put into the site. I know that no one can guarantee my success or lack of failure (or even failure). What I'm looking for is some guidance, something that will give me a bit of confidence that paying for a website out of pocket will be a good investment in the medium-long run.
I also know that the small amount of money a website costs seems like a good 'gamble' to many people, but I don't have the money to gamble. I need to make good, wise investments.