Can I REALLY compete with the Heavy-Hitters??

by marxwarfor 14 replies
Hi Guys,

Thanks very much in advance for considering my inquiry, as I reeeeally need some expert advice....

I have some reasonable knowledge in a certain area of the health industry and my chosen keywords have good search volume and under 50,000 competing web pages.

However, since it's the 'health industry' and when I look up my competition, the top ten sites are true 'authority' sites with tens of thousands of back-links to their domains - yikes!

However, I noticed that 9 out 10 of these sites albeit, are absolutely LOADED with information (webmd.com and the like), they are very sterile, have little to no personality, no real personal touch and often, its like reading a medical journal.

With such heavy hitters in this field, no matter how informative, yet often boring their sites are, do i have any chance of competing with such well established sites with thousands and thousands of back-links, and seem to have been around since the beginning of time?

Would even adding a personal touch to my site still be enough to compete with these big-leaguers?

Any suggestions? Your insights and input would be extremely and gratefully welcomed.

Thanks for listening
Mark
#main internet marketing discussion forum #compete #heavyhitters
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  • Profile picture of the author Nizzura
    Hi Mark..

    There's a saying.. If you can't fight them, join them!
    Learn how to piggy backing with the authority sites.
    And you'll be alright!

    My 2 cents

    Nizzura
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    • Profile picture of the author marxwarfor
      Thanks Nizurra for your reply,

      That's encouraging - I think?
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    • Profile picture of the author Simon_Sezs
      You could also try to leech traffic off the heavy hitters by doing a little keyword squatting. It is a mild blackhat trick but works.
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      "Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing." Ben Franklin
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      • Profile picture of the author Tsnyder
        Encouragement is wonderful but the honest truth is that sites
        like WebMD not only have all the advantages of time and profile
        they also spend a great deal of money promoting offline.

        They also didn't start on a wing and a prayer like most IMers... lol

        That said... yes, you can certainly earn a nice living in that niche
        by siphoning off a good deal of traffic with marketing targeted toward
        specific sub-categories within the niche.

        Why try to compete with a site like WebMD when there are plenty of
        people looking for solutions to specific problems. Target them.

        Tsnyder
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        If you knew what I know you'd be doing what I do...
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        • Profile picture of the author marxwarfor
          Thanks 'T' for your response and input.

          Please know however, it was definitely not my intention to go after these guys and I certainly wouldn't be willing, nor able to take on these giants 'as a whole', thus my intent to go after the sub-categories like you mentioned.

          Yet, when i see my keywords with such reasonably low competing pages and good volumes of search traffic, yet huge amount of back links to these sites, i guess I still remain in a quandary of how to implement them against these big-wigs - unfortunately, I'm not quite a veteran at this yet.

          Mark
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          • Profile picture of the author marxwarfor
            To Angela and Zuberr,

            All wise and informative words of which i'm very grateful indeed..and also thank you for the link Angela I will check it out and see look at their strategy

            However, you caught my attention when you said that the 50,000 competing search results are irrelevant, as isn't that one of the standard factors that have to be considered when researching your terms?

            i have this burning gut feeling that what i have to offer which is unique (at least in my humble opinion), is something that the others don't have. I can add so much more colour, personality and vibrance, but just didn't want to go through too much trouble to find out, that even though my ideas are good and unique, but still fighting a futile battle.

            i do take comfort in knowing that i do have a chance if done right, but was just seeking perspectives from other people who have been in this longer than I have, before i dive in.

            Thank you very much for spending the time to reply.

            Mark
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            • Tsnyder gave some good advice.

              Encouragement is one thing, but the reality is you just won't be able to compete directly with something like WebMD.

              Best bet, look for secondary and longtail keywords that they aren't specifically optimizing for. No matter how good and unique your expertise is, unless you want to engage in blackhat techniques, you're going to have to go for sub-niches and keywords.

              Mark
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              • Profile picture of the author marxwarfor
                Dear Bill, Anup and Mark

                Words and advice that I'm continually heeding - thanks a bunch!

                Yes, thank you....i was truly aware of secondary and longtail words, hence my search results coming back with low competition, as i certainly knew not to go after the main phrases.

                Now, I just have to strategically utilize them in such a way, where even though the big-wigs are using them (they are actually using ALL of my words obviously - high and low competition phrases), but if I can just implement them in a format that is more appealing to my audience which i believe I can do.....fingers crossed

                Mark
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            • Profile picture of the author angela99
              Originally Posted by marxwarfor View Post

              To Angela and Zuberr,

              However, you caught my attention when you said that the 50,000 competing search results are irrelevant, as isn't that one of the standard factors that have to be considered when researching your terms?

              Mark
              Mark, if you worry about keywords too much you'll end up with a "nothing" site that's indistinguishable from 5000 other sites that people have made who are focusing on keywords.

              OTOH, Marketing 101 tells you that you need to find out what people want and give it to them. It has nothing to do with keywords. Keywords come LAST in your thinking. So focus on what YOU have to offer.

              OK, here's an example. I have no idea what your health-area expertise is, but let's say that you know a lot about health insurance. You know what plans people should buy, how much they should pay, etc.

              So, you decide to create a site/ blog about health insurance which is based on your own personal expertise.

              No matter what people tell you, you CAN make money in saturated niches, you just gotta be a little bit YOU. Actually, you can't avoid being you... so go with it, it means you're original. :-)

              Just get started.

              I've entered saturated niches myself and made money within a couple of months with NO promotion aside from a few articles and a couple of nice links, so people who tell you you need to find keywords no one else is using in unsaturated niches neglect to tell you how hard it is, and that you might as well go for competitive niches and just get on with it...

              If you want to be in a niche, dive in! You'll get traffic, and you'll make money.

              BTW, I just checked SpyFu and "health insurance" gets 664 - 841 clicks a day, and people are paying $0.98 - $12.67 per click. Nice niche, right?

              Hope this helps.

              Cheers

              Angela
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              • Profile picture of the author marxwarfor
                I can't thank you enough Angela for your replies and examples...yes, it has been a great help, encouraging and supportive indeed!

                i'm very grateful to you and all the other posters who have spent their time answering and giving me their opinions.

                Mark
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      • Profile picture of the author zuberr
        Maybe you could conatct the site owners with samples
        of your articles and become a guest author with them
        and you can put your affiliate links in the articles posted
        on their website and build a list a too.

        Secondly, if there is so much competition, the demand is
        also high, and if you just get a tiny little bit of the "pie",
        that can make you some good money.

        Look for profitable keywords, the authority sites can be
        showing up on all possible keywords...

        That's 3 cents from me :-P
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  • Profile picture of the author angela99
    Hi Mark

    You're not competing with anyone, other than yourself. :-)

    You said "I have some reasonable knowledge in a certain area of the health industry". This is excellent.

    Now focus on what you know, and how you can help people.

    At this stage (I assume you're just starting out) forget keywords. Think in terms of how your knowledge can help - then get busy.

    Other sites, keywords, etc are unimportant. You will never be able to compete with sites spending millions of dollars as some large health sites do, and you don't have to.

    When you say "...and my chosen keywords have good search volume and under 50,000 competing web pages" you're shooting yourself in the foot, because who cares? It's totally and completely irrelevant.

    You CAN compete, as long as you can offer something unique that's informative or entertaining. Here's an example of a weight loss site that has something different to offer - HungryGirl.com (I have no connection to this site BTW.) I'm sure that Hungry Girl isn't concerned about all the big spenders in the weight loss niche - Hungry Girl is unique.

    If you can do something similar in the health niche, you're golden. It doesn't matter whether others are bigger than you are. :-)

    I guess what I'm trying to say is BE YOURSELF and do your own thing.

    You need to:

    1. Decide on a business model

    2. Then decide on your USP - Unique Sales Proposition

    3. Create a business plan

    Most of all, you need to take action, right now, today.

    Good luck.

    Cheers

    Angela
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    • Profile picture of the author Bill Brickman
      Great advice from Angela. You've gotta be YOU. You're focusing on "how can I compete?" instead of "what can I offer that has real value?" Identify who WANTS the knowledge you have. Remember, you don't have to get the ENTIRE market. All you need is YOUR SHARE of the market. There is plenty to go around, plenty of people who will be interested in what you offer (assuming you are selling to wants vs. needs).
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      • Profile picture of the author Anup Mahajan
        When you say that other sites have no personality and browsing through them is like reading medical journal, you have got a window of opportunity.

        While I agree that authority sites like webmd have more resources and money to build and promote their sites, I do believe that you can compete with such heavyhitters.

        Before you build your website, browse through the forums and blogs related to your niche and try to find out what information people are looking for. Then visit the heavy hitter sites and see whether their content is aligned with what people are looking. If not, you have hit bull's eye. Then build a site that contains as much information about your niche as possible. And like you said build a site has a personality.. Try to include as much helpful and actionable information as possible.

        This way your site may become one the best for your niche and people would come to your site....

        Hope that helps,
        Anup
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