This with a site which i had stagnant for 6+ months and did not do anything with it whatsoever. I posted about this a few weeks ago. This was when i discovered i ranked on page #5 for a keyword i would have never even dreamed of ranking, unexpectedly!
What i am saying:
People (including me) are using MS and other software and spend hours and hours looking for keywords like "less than X competing sites"..to find that "perfect" keyword to determine whether they might be able to rank.
I say, IGNORE those numbers because they don't mean ANYTHING, ignore your competitor's "strength" and simply go for it.
Quality content (unique, well researched, hand written of course).
Good site structure. (Get related keywords with wonderwheel!)
A handful of links from sites in the same niche.
There is really not more to it.
Since i discovered i was on page #5 for that keyword...in the last 3 weeks or so i did some more links, more articles etc...and i am now at top of page #2. And you bet i wont stop there
I also already got someone emailing me interested to buy the site...but of course i wouldn't sell at this point...and once i got PR and i am on page #1 i would probably charge a fortune (if i ever would sell, that is)...