I have a basic understanding of the fundamentals like keyword research, niche research, ppc, article marketing, etc., but I'm searching through the forum to grab as much information I can find to find stuff that clicks. However, there's only so much sifting I'm humanly able to do, so I'd like some pointers/links to posts/threads you've seen that have the information I'm looking for. The 30 seconds it takes you to read this, 5 seconds to remember a post about the topic I'm asking about, and 15 seconds to reply could save me hours of digging or months of frustration.
First, a little history. I started doing Internet Marketing last December, when my friend convinced me to start with display advertising on a cpv basis. It wasn't particularly appealing, but for the $5k+ I sunk into it (I was breaking even and tweaking, I was certain I could profit), I only lost ~$400. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't particularly interesting.
Next, I tried some PPC. Set up a review lander, bid on some keywords, dropped about $110 (read: an Adwords Coupon plus the mandatory investment) and saw 0 clickthroughs (also, 0 sales. Coincidence?). And I hadn't made a technical error in the links, just a convince-the-viewer-he-wants-this error in the copy.
Now I've picked up a copy of One Week Marketing, read it and the bundled materials a few times, found Bum Marketing by Travis Sago, and I'm liking the skillset it takes. I can write (and I'm improving, or those books on my nightstand are going to have their money back guarantees tested (sidenote: they're borrowed)), I like doing the research, and the small capital investment fits nicely into my limited budget.
So! Questions for the Warriors:
(1) First, niche research. There's the usual - Google Trends, Yahoo Buzz, Amazon Marketplace, Shopping.com's Top Searches, and my new favorite, the Google Wonder Wheel. These don't really turn up long tail keywords that are easier (nothing's easy) to get organically ranked for, not that I expected them to be handed over on a silver platter, but I'm wondering how the longer keywords come about. Limited contact time with branching in markets makes brainstorming tough - what other ways do you use to drill down into niches and subniches and sub subniches?
(2) While we're on the topic of niche research, what are some effective ways to determine the entry barrier on these niches? Travis recommends doing an exact search in Google and checking out the optimized results, some other folks recommend basing your opinion off intitle: and inanchor: searches, and I'm a little lost on how Travis expects one article with minimal (read: he doesn't talk about any) backlinks to get ranked up to the first page of Google when the broad search turns up hundreds of thousands and the exact search turns up thousands. Are the articles just that optimized?
(3) Third, blog creation. It's like the step in cookbooks where it says 'Roast for 5 hours' - it takes half a second to read it and 5 hours to do it, except in this case it takes half a second to read it and I have no idea what people mean when they say this. Yes, yes, go to blogger.com or buy a domain and toss up wordpress... and backdate your posts? How much content are you putting up there? What content are you putting up there? This question is definitely not meant to be answered in this thread except by a 'Hey, this thread I'm linking you to explains what you're looking for, go read that'.
(4) Fourth, product creation. Like blog creation, it's said so flippantly and casually that I feel like I should have known this before I had ever heard of internet marketing, and yet I wouldn't even know how to start on something like that. Thoughts? Other threads that capture the essence of product creation?
That's all I've got for now. I'm sure more will occur to me sometime soon. I'm not necessarily looking for lengthy responses to my questions (though it would definitely be appreciated) but rather links to other threads on WF that cover these topics in greater depth.
Thanks in advance!
PS. I numbered the paragraphs ex post facto to make it easier to respond, in case it struck you as strange that I numbered them and wrote them verbally sequenced.
PPS. This turned out to be a really long post. Apologies for stealing that 2-4 minutes of your life, I don't think you'll get them back.