Stop Chasing the BIG MONEY Niches and Focus on the Ones You Know Something About

19 replies
Sooner or later, probably everyone has a health-related issue they want to learn more about. Either their doctor gave them a worrisome diagnosis or they have a friend or relative with a condition that they want to learn more about.

And, we probably all have relatives who will take at face value the wild-haired crackpot medical advice that some of their friends or co-workers might give them, and we want to find out real information to counter that and actually find them information that may help them.

Last year, in fact, my mother was diagnosed with a condition that requires a special diet. Her doctor didn't give her a list of recommended foods or anything but instead said she should look it up online. (Egads!!!)

But, you know what I frequently find when researching medical stuff is that a lot of the search results are bunk. That's right, pure and utter bunk. Some schmuck posts an article on an article directory, builds a bunch of backlinks to it through comment spam or whatnot and it'll show up on page one. Is it helpful information? No. It's basically a sales pitch to buy an eBook with magical cures and potions and whatever snake oil solution he's pushing.

Or, you'll get content written in such mangled English you can't even understand what they're trying to say, never mind whether the content is actually truthful.

Or, you'll get badly researched articles, or variations of some PLR pack that's floating out there or whatnot. Or just recycled information that's decades-old and doesn't give any more recent information or findings, that may be more helpful and, in some cases, critical.

Of course, people do this because they're chasing the big bucks. They're not actually trying to help people. They just want people to buy their junk. They don't know anything about medicine or disease or anything and they probably haven't done any actual research aside from spinning a PLR article and slapping their name on it as an "expert."

This is most disturbing in the health niche, where, in many cases, bad information can actually be harmful to people's health. And, never mind the added frustration for people searching for information that have to go through all this junk in order to find real, useful information they can use.

But, this goes on in many niches, where people know little to nothing about what they are selling. It's one thing to promote something created by an expert or created by someone with access to experts and so on. But, it's quite another to pose as an authority on something when all you're really doing is spinning PLR content, especially if it's PLR that you don't know the original author of, nor their credentials.

If you don't know how to do proper research, if you don't outsource to people who know how to do proper research or who are credibly knowledgeable about your topic, stick to topics you know something about.

And, please, please, please stop filling the Internet with junk just so you can peddle your 50-page health eBook you spent a mere three hours to compile, because this is exactly the kind of thing that gives "Internet marketing" a bad name.
#big #chasing #focus #money #niches #stop
  • Profile picture of the author AnitaCross
    Nice rant, Dan. Short and concise. And that's not sarcasm. If I got started on this subject, I'd have to write a book, because it would be too long for a forum thread.

    I will add this, however:
    Imagine the internet as a series of highways, each topic having it's own route, and think of product offers as billboards concerning what you'll find when you reach your destination.

    A route cluttered with billboards, all essentially about the same thing, will produce "billboard blindness" and your "billboard" probably won't get read or acted on.

    Along another route, where there is only the occasion billboard, the traveler is more likely to notice your "billboard", have time to read your "billboard" and therefore be more likely to find you when they arrive at their destination.
    The point is, if you target a less lucrative niche--and you provide real value--you will be more likely to make more conversions than if you are in an overcrowded "Big Money" niche. In fact, it is possible to make more money in the long run with consistent smaller value sales than the occasional big ticket sale.

    For best results, target a market you know and understand.

    Respectfully,
    -Anita
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    • Profile picture of the author Karen Blundell
      as long as people make "making money" their number one goal, you're always going to have this problem. While I agree with you, Dan, I seriously doubt it will change any time soon. So sometimes when doing a Google search it may be a good idea to check out the websites on page 2 or 3 instead of the top 10, because sometimes the top 10 results are people/businesses knowledgable in SEO but not necessarily authorities on the subject.
      "Do your due diligence" is my only advice.
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      • Profile picture of the author FranciscoDancon
        I am so glad you posted this. I'm a 3rd year medical student. I see the crazy stuff people write about various diseases and it really worries me. I've also had patients who argue with me because they read something online.

        There is another side to this: even WebMD misleads patients while giving them good advice. Maybe that sentence doesn't quite convey what I'm thinking. Medical advice, by its very nature, has to be personal in order to be useful. I've had several patients read something on WebMD and come to the conclusion that they either have condition X or need treatment Y. I even had one patient say, "you're just a medical student, how can YOU contradict WebMD!?"

        So when you're in the health niche, even if you know what you're talking about, you have to be really careful of what you say because medicine is very complex and people can take things the wrong way.

        Once I'm done with medical school, I'm going to own the health niche. I envision a whole "brand" of clickbank products each about a different disease....delivering real value in the right way to people who really need the information. Oh and I have some other stuff up my sleeve too :-). For now I'm focusing on learning IM and building up substantial enough capital to create and launch my empire!

        OK enough of my digression, back to the point. I want to also say that there is a lot of good information out there that the mainstream medical establishment isn't providing. There are treatments that are not FDA approved but that are available overseas, and all the overseas docs use the internet to market their services. Medical marijuana is something docs are clueless about, but I've seen it save lives and where do you think they learned about that? Also, if you are an athelete, where are you going to go to learn how to use steroids safely (setting aside whether you should be doing that......most doctors won't talk to you about it and probably aren't even familiar with the drugs because they never rx them).

        But all the things I have just mentioned have bad information online too. Usually forums have better information than articles, because when people say wrong things they get called out.

        Here's an idea on how to curb this, at least to some extent: someone could create a service that verifies medical and scientific facts in sales letters/presentations. The way it would work is that an MD reviews the site, and should the claims all be truthful the site then gets the right to display the "Medical Facts Verified By A Licensed Physician" logo. There would have to be some backend software that constantly checks the sites for updates so they could be re-verified etc. The service could charge something like $10/month per site or something, and it would increased credibility and conversion of the sites that do comply....and if it became popular in the niche, it would probably cut down on the nonsense....
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      • Profile picture of the author Ken Durham
        Originally Posted by Karen Blundell View Post

        as long as people make "making money" their number one goal, you're always going to have this problem. While I agree with you, Dan, I seriously doubt it will change any time soon. So sometimes when doing a Google search it may be a good idea to check out the websites on page 2 or 3 instead of the top 10, because sometimes the top 10 results are people/businesses knowledgable in SEO but not necessarily authorities on the subject.
        "Do your due diligence" is my only advice.
        You know it. If people will stand by and see the entire world destroyed before giving up profits (oil companies, etc), all via our leaders and supposed role models support, why would the commoner not follow suit? It is what we are taught from the time we see first light. The name of the game is "success", not human compassion nor care for others. People are deemed by monetary value and not by giving a sh*t. :confused:
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  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    I have refused many ghost writing jobs over the last decade in the health industry.

    Sure, I could have taken the money, but instinctively I knew that if I told something incorrectly, my written words have the power to kill !!!

    I would not want someone online filling me with bull**** pseudo-medical advice, and I certainly don't want to be the person doing it to others.

    Faking credentials online is easy...

    But being so jaded that you are willing to risk the health of another person so you can make a few bucks? OMG!!! How can those people sleep at night?!?

    It is one thing when I wrote an article about how to golf a better game -- even if I have never before picked up a golf club, but it is quite another to write information about someone's health, when I have never taken a single class on human anatomy.

    Yes, there is a ton of junk information floating around online, and so it should always be, Buyer Beware!!!

    But in the case of health information, those people whose junk information causes another person physical harm should be prosecuted in the same way that corporate managers who knowingly distribute unhealthy food products are prosecuted.
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  • Profile picture of the author paulie888
    It's highly unethical for these marketers to exploit the health niche like that, especially when in many cases the writing is completely outsourced to some foreign writer who couldn't care less about the ramifications of writing some misguided advice that could impact someone's health.

    Not everyone is as web savvy as we are, and I'm sure that there are people out there who pretty much take anything they read on the internet as fact, and this gullibility, coupled with deceptive/misleading articles, can result in disastrous consequences.

    Other niches/topics where I think it'd be foolhardy to write articles include legal issues, as well as stock investing and real estate, especially if the writer has no experience and formal knowledge about them.

    There are plenty of other niches that you can profit from and sleep soundly at night afterward, knowing that you haven't misled people into making potentially catastrophic decisions. It's just not worth the trouble of writing about such topics when you have absolutely no clue about them.

    Paul
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    • Profile picture of the author theemperor
      Dan, I agree with what you say wholeheartedly.

      The other comments have been excellent in the thread too.

      It's amazing how you can't sell pharmaceutical drugs without a license. And you need to train and qualify to be a doctor. However you can write an ebook about how to cure X Y or Z and band it about.

      Hopefully Google or the Anti-virus companies will do something about these pages and treat them as "harmful". But it's a big challenge to separate the good information.

      Perhaps Google could start by displaying a warning if you search for a specific health related term and/or only allowed approved sites to come up in the results.

      For example allowing wikipedia and webmd would give most people enough "instant" info and they probably need to see a doctor anyway.

      My last remark: At least the original snake oil salesmen had the guts to meet people face to face
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  • Profile picture of the author infomum
    Excellent points everyone. I am a nurse with 33 years experience and I have an old website on death and dying which is written from a nurse's perspective. As for writing about health issues .. I don't feel qualified to write that as I am not a doctor.

    For the other internet junk .. well I did a Google search the other day and every link on page 1 was to squeeze pages pushing junk. Whatever happened to content being king? I was taught that a good web site had pages going 3 levels deep with excellent content on all of them. How does a squeeze page fit that criteria?

    I have to admit I did shake my head to see that some of the squeeze pages had an about us page and a privacy page attached ... plainly these people have read that Google likes to see those pages even if the English is really bad.
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  • Profile picture of the author JackPowers
    Thanks for this post Dan.

    I wouldn't touch the health niche with a ten foot pole. It's just one of those things were no amount of money would be worth it. I know, I wouldn't be able to sleep at night knowing there were people out there who might have fallen ill or worse because of something I wrote.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steadyon
      Originally Posted by JackPowers View Post

      Thanks for this post Dan.

      I wouldn't touch the health niche with a ten foot pole. It's just one of those things were no amount of money would be worth it. I know, I wouldn't be able to sleep at night knowing there were people out there who might have fallen ill or worse because of something I wrote.

      It isn't hard to find and write about stuff that is useful.
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  • Profile picture of the author smwordsmith
    Well said, Dan. We are losing the internet, a potentially valuable resource of information and communication, to spammers, porn addicts and greedy marketers.

    Kudos to all of you who refuse to write and publish lies and false information! Stand firm and stand tall!

    And, yes, it is tragic that so many choose to exploit others in the area of health. For many reaching out to the internet for help, it is a matter of life and death.

    And, unfortunately, internet marketing is another area where greedy and crooked scammers are hurting others.

    We are here to help, not harm, our fellow man.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steadyon
    Dan,

    I understand your frustration. Yes there is a lot of crap out there.

    BUT I think you are being too generalistic about this particular niche.

    It seems that you are assuming because something may be "unconventional", that it is garbage.

    This seems to me to be a rant against alternative health in general.

    Just because something may not have been written by a doctor, does it mean it wasn't helpful?

    Don't forget, probably 99% of doctors and "qualified" medical people want you to take a drug for your complaint or ailment. That is how the deck of cards is stacked.

    So if something doesn't involve popping a few drugs 3 times a day, does it mean it is nonsense?

    I have seen a few examples of things that may be dangerous to a degree, but the vast majority of stuff I have found in this sector is probably useful.

    The people who jump on the band wagon and bash the alternative health sector need to be honest and take a good hard look at it before leaping to conclusions.

    Doctors, operations, and many other medical professions are necessary. But so is alternative health and a more natural route.

    If the "medical" profession had all the answers, people wouldn't be so sick and ill and "uncurable".

    I think your rant has some validity, but it is definitely too sweeping.
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  • Profile picture of the author FranciscoDancon
    I would not advocate google displaying a warning or anything like that because there is a lot that is controversial in medicine, and the free exchange of ideas is very important.

    There is a big difference between, for example, a website telling you not to get chemotherapy and a website discussing the use of saunas and fever induction as a means of treating cancer. The one is just irresponsible, and the latter I would argue is on the cutting edge and providing good information. The difference here is that one is making specific recommendations and the other is providing general information.

    One can say with certainty that in the first case, the guy is behaving unethically. It doesn't matter if the facts he presents as facts are true, because he's giving specific advice to a broad group of people and what he's saying won't apply to all of them. Are there cases in which one should forego chemotherapy? Yes, there are cases when that is advisable. But that is so complex that there needs to be a doctor-patient interaction in order for the doctor to tailor his advice specifically to the patient.

    But back to alternative health: this stuff is controversial and for good reason....a substantial amount of it is snake oil. But, a substantial amount of it is also quite useful. People will disagree in good faith on which is which. I know doctors who offer "alternative therapies" that I don't consider valuable, but I don't condemn them for it because I know they are acting in good faith and there aren't a lot of clear answers. All I'm saying is know what you're talking about or hire someone who does if you are getting into that niche.
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    • Profile picture of the author DogScout
      Originally Posted by FranciscoDancon View Post

      I would not advocate google displaying a warning or anything like that because there is a lot that is controversial in medicine, and the free exchange of ideas is very important.

      There is a big difference between, for example, a website telling you not to get chemotherapy and a website discussing the use of saunas and fever induction as a means of treating cancer. The one is just irresponsible, and the latter I would argue is on the cutting edge and providing good information. The difference here is that one is making specific recommendations and the other is providing general information.

      One can say with certainty that in the first case, the guy is behaving unethically. It doesn't matter if the facts he presents as facts are true, because he's giving specific advice to a broad group of people and what he's saying won't apply to all of them. Are there cases in which one should forego chemotherapy? Yes, there are cases when that is advisable. But that is so complex that there needs to be a doctor-patient interaction in order for the doctor to tailor his advice specifically to the patient.

      But back to alternative health: this stuff is controversial and for good reason....a substantial amount of it is snake oil. But, a substantial amount of it is also quite useful. People will disagree in good faith on which is which. I know doctors who offer "alternative therapies" that I don't consider valuable, but I don't condemn them for it because I know they are acting in good faith and there aren't a lot of clear answers. All I'm saying is know what you're talking about or hire someone who does if you are getting into that niche.
      Bottom line, every person is responsible for their own decisions when it comes to health-care. Alternatives and complementary therapies should be discussed, even debated, but until a person has sat down with their local health team, family and/or friends, no one should do anything they 'hear about'. On or off line. Too many information sites and sources have agendas of some sort. Making money is probably the least of them!
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  • Profile picture of the author Tess D
    HERE, HERE!!

    Thank you so much. This is a HUGE peeve of mine, especially being the person all my family comes to to say "how do I find out more about this" all the time. I see SO much crap. (They know that all the sites they are finding are crap but don't know how to get really research past it )

    Thank you for standing up and shouting this.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sylvia Meier
    While I agree for the most part, I wouldn't say all of us in the health niche are after the money.

    I have two sites in that niche.

    And I write almost daily on both of them.

    One of them is a disorder two of my children have, another is for one that I have. And I make it well known on both sites that they are my personal experiences and opinions and before you ever make a decision as a result of something on those sites you should speak to your health care professional FIRST.

    Now I understand very few people in the industry act like that, but I hate to see all of us painted with that brush.

    I write to my sites to help others. Neither of them makes much of an income at all, but I do both of them as a labour of love. One helps me reach out and connect with other parents, the other has become somewhat of a therapy for me in coping with my own issues.

    But again, I do agree with your post for the most part.

    Best wishes,
    Sylvia
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    • Profile picture of the author sylviad
      The missing word in all of this is 'responsible'.

      It is crucial that writers in the health niche, who have minimal exposure to the subject, write responsibly if they must write.

      There are many aspects to health that can be covered without coming right out with risky advice. Plus, there are ways of writing on the topic in a suggestive manner rather than stating opinions as outright facts. No writer can know whether or not a certain alternative treatment is right for the patient. Only the person's doctor knows.

      When it comes to health topics, I never give advice on medical treatments, however I will suggest several other options. Then, the person can refer those to the doctor for a professional opinion.

      It's irresponsible to interfere in treatment when you are not a medical professional. Certainly, patients have free will to choose a treatment, but because they are often desperately searching for a solution, they are more easily led.

      As far as Google somehow blocking non-professional sites from appearing for certain health-related keywords, in my opinion this would backfire. There are sites out there where individuals who have experienced those health issues write about their findings. Such sites can provide valuable insight for someone who is new to the disease. Even advice on coping would be blocked, and that would not be good.

      The internet is full of both good and bad advice. It's unavoidable. People just have to be aware of the fact and choose wisely.

      Sylvia
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  • Profile picture of the author jacksonlin
    So in your opinion only people with a certified degree from some institution should write about whatever topic they desire?

    ****, so that means I shouldn't even be writing on this forum. I'm an internet marketer. I didn't learn from an institution nor do I have any sort of certification.

    All I have is my profits backing what I have to say about making money online.

    Also, because you think it's BS, doesn't mean it's not true.

    I once injured myself really bad. It was so bad I couldn't walk for two weeks because my muscle in my calf area was so bruised that it hardened. I went to see "western" doctors. They told me the treatment would take like something around 2 months (at least) with long term side effects. That didn't appeal to me. I went to see my friend's mom (I'm serious). She came and after one session of weird ass and PAINFUL therapy. My injury recovered IMMEDIATELY. I was walking after the session, not like 30 minutes, but like instantly.

    My brother is a doctor, he still doesn't know why that procedure worked.

    But hey, it did.

    My leg has been fine for years now.
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