Free Content Niche Marketing Targeted
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               FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS!!! 
               by Mike Valentine 

               The key to online success is specialization and niche 
               marketing. There, I've said it and I won't take it back! 
               You've heard endless advice whispered from every corner 
               of the web and shouted from the rooftops by every major 
               web marketing guru. Now I'm offering it myself in the hope 
               that *I* finally get it! I'm as guilty as any webmaster of 
               jumping at the latest affiliate program that offers "200 
               PERCENT PAYOUT" or leaping on the "Submit your site to SIX 
               MILLION SEARCH ENGINES" banner I see on every site. 

               Let's get real. Successful web sites are tightly focused 
               and highly specialized. I've seen some small business web 
               sites offering jewelry, toys and free web hosting service 
               on one page and links to their mom's home page beside an 
               advertisement from worldwide composting service. 
               When a visitor lands on pages like this they can only be 
               slightly amused and move on to a site that reflects THEIR 
               interests, not yours. 

               The way to catch the attention and business you are after 
               is to offer a clearly focused, highly specialized source of 
               ONE (1), that is a SINGLE, and I mean UNIQUE, not widespread 
               but UNRIVALED and EXCEPTIONAL subject with product to MATCH. 
               You can sell car parts for European cars but not 4-Wheelers. 
               Become the single source for whatever tightly focused idea 
               you want but don't mix apples and oranges in marketing or 
               you'll lose the customer that was interested before you 
               confused them with too many options. 

               That means that if you are selling golf equipment from 
               your website that you have a great opportunity to talk about 
               golf by providing a forum or "Chat with the Golf Pro." Post 
               a course map of Pebble Beach but don't discuss a Super Bowl! 
               Even cater to golfers with disabilities but don't sell food. 
               You'll sell golf cleats, golf balls, golf clubs, golf carts, 
               golf clothing, golf books, golf videos, golf magazines and 
               even golf novelty and joke items but not baseball cards! 

               Your goal is to be seen as with 
               advice, links (no pun intended), products, discussion, a 
               golf related e-zine, golf tours, golf tips and techniques, 
               golf lessons and golf course directories. If you have even 
               the slightest inclination to start offering phone service 
               because you saw a text link telling you you'll become rich 
               overnight then it's time to turn off the computer and get 
               some sleep. 

               Which I better do myself so I can dream of the Golf site 
               I'm designing this week for my friend who golfs from his 
               wheel chair! 
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July 16, 2001