Competitive Niche? Bring It On!

This post was guest blogged by Alan Johnson, who has just started to accept private ads over at The Rating Blog.

I’m sure you’ve heard your share of opinions from people who say that a competitive niche shouldn’t be approached, since your chances at being successful are slim to none. I’ll spare you the boring introduction and will get right to the point: if you are passionate about something and capable of providing value, go for it!

Just Work Your Magic

Whenever you hear someone saying that you should stay away from a certain niche, as it is way out of your league, you have to ask yourself: why such an attitude? In most cases, people end up believing something like that as a result of some sort of disappointment they have experienced at a certain point.

They may have tried their luck, only to fail miserably and, as such, have ended up believing that competitive niches are a no-go. Or, on the other hand, they may simply be afraid to approach such a niche and are using their attitude as an excuse. While taking what others have to say into consideration never hurts, the final decision is yours and only yours to make.

If you know that you have it in you, never let yourself get discouraged by what others have to say. If I were to have listened to people with such an attitude, then I would have never launched TheRatingBlog.com, thinking that the niche I plan on approaching is way too competitive and that I shouldn’t even try.

Guess What: I Didn’t Listen

I had confidence in the potential of my project and was not about to let myself get discouraged. Let’s just say that I am congratulating myself each day for my decision. I knew I was able to provide value, I knew that I was passionate about what I was about to do and, as such, giving up was not an option.

On the other hand, I knew that my niche is an extremely competitive one and, as such, I was well aware of the fact that I had to give it 110% if I was serious about making it in the long run. In other words, I knew that hard work was the only way to go.

Do It In Style And Stand Out

Just three months later, I have over 50k unique monthly visits, over 200k monthly impressions and over 1.5k RSS subscribers, and the most important phrase I would like to share with you has to be: “when doing something, do it in style and stand out”.

When it comes to being an online entrepreneur, simply doing exactly what everyone else is and doing it in the same way will not get you anywhere. As far as my blog is concerned, I always did everything in a way which made me stand out.

For example: initially, I didn’t just comment on a few blogs, I commented on over 40. Not only that, but I was the most active member of those communities as well and yes, as hard to believe as it may sound, I was the “top commentator” on over 40 blogs.

Had I just commented here and there, I would have simply gone by unnoticed, but, since I provided value to each and every one of those over 40 communities through both quantity and quality, I did it in style, and I did it in a way which made me stand out.

I then gradually moved on to being a guest blogger and, you’ve guessed it: I’m doing it in style and I’m doing it in a way which makes me stand out as well. Am I just being a guest blogger here and there? Sorry, not my style!

I am contributing with guest posts on over 10 great blogs, I’m doing it on a regular basis, and this is only the beginning. Obviously, there is a lot of work involved, but I am enjoying every minute of it, and results speak for themselves.

What Are Results Telling Us?

I always prefer to let results speak for themselves and, in as little as three months, I have managed to:

  • cross the 50k unique monthly visits mark
  • cross the 200k monthly impressions mark
  • cross the 1.5k RSS subscriptions mark
  • cross the 1.5k newsletter subscriptions mark
  • cross the 1.5k comments mark with my blog
  • cross the 300 comments mark for a single post (my contest)

All in all, I am the living proof that, no matter how competitive your niche may be, if you are passionate, do everything in a way which makes you stand out and add hard work to the equation, success is just around the corner.


69 thoughts on “Competitive Niche? Bring It On!”

  1. Poker Sharks says:

    You’re definatley famous for spamming blog comments.

      1. That’s great Alan, you’re even a top commentator on your own blog. What’s up with that?

        1. DeboHobo says:

          It is good to see you are successful in your blogging. Self confidence and perseverance are key factors and thank you for reiterating that.

          I just opened up my blog to start publishing guest bloggers so if you have a post I can publish for me I would be more than happy to. My site may not be as prestigiuos as JC’s but one day soon it will be.

          40 quality comments a day, that is very impressive. Keep Up the great work 🙂

        2. DeboHobo says:

          It is good to see you are successful in your blogging. Self confidence and perseverance are key factors and thank you for reiterating that.

          I just opened up my blog to start publishing guest bloggers so if you have a post I can publish for you I would be more than happy to. My site may not be as prestigiuos as JC’s but one day soon it will be.

          40 quality comments a day, that is very impressive. Keep Up the great work 🙂

    1. Mashstix.com says:

      Just my 2 cents. If your on other forums/blogs and commenting only to get your name out there, people can see right through that. I’m sure your making some decent $ with your traffic but honestly nobody gives a rats **s about most bloggers. It’s way too easy nowadays to cheat the numbers (ex. make fake comments on your own blog posts, say how many RSS subs. you have… who really cares about that stuff anyways).

      Now, if you can get loyal users to keep coming back to your site just simply through word of mouth (no tricks) than I respect you greatly. Isn’t the ultimate goal to create content that you love and maybe make some money through it (with enough loyal visitors). Anyways, good luck but I wonder how your visitors would feel if they read this guest post.

    2. Alan Johnson says:

      Leaving your attempt at irony aside, here is a question for you:

      If my comments were actually worthless, why did the bloggers in question accept them and why are they even publishing my guest posts (I was a “top commentator” on 5 of the 11 resources where I am currently a guest blogger)?

      Btw, here are the blogs, ordered by RSS count, in case you were wondering:

      DumbLittleMan (59,744 RSS readers)

      John Chow (16,231 RSS readers)

      Quick Online Tips (14,555 RSS readers)

      DailyBlogTips (9,409 RSS readers)

      MarketingPilgrim (9,319 RSS readers)

      Performancing (8,240 RSS readers)

      FreelanceFolder (2,856 RSS readers)

      NetBusinessBlog (2,240 RSS readers)

      VandelayDesign (1851 RSS readers)

      CourtneyTuttle (1,830 RSS readers)

      AdesBlog (761 RSS readers)

      Also, you are a little behind, my friend. Blog commenting was phase one of my marketing campaign, and has helped me get to know more than a few interesting people as well as the bloggers in questions so that, as a result, I was able to move on to phase two: guest posting.

      Poker Sharks, you have every right to share your 2 cents. There are always people who think that such comments somehow make them seem interesting, and you are one of them. Congratulations and the best of luck to you 🙂

      Personally, unlike yourself, I prefer to have providing value (through my posts, guest posts and comments) as a business model, and results tend to speak for themselves.

      Best wishes,

      Alan Johnson

      1. Geoff says:

        Nice personal attacks there towards the end, really shows maturity. Here’s a quick tip: Learn how to handle criticism, or nobody will take you seriously.

        1. Alan Johnson says:

          He believes that my comments did not provide value to the community, I believe that comments such as his don’t, it’s as simple as that.

          Everyone has the right to an opinion and, btw, I have no problem with constructive criticism, but a one-liner comment doesn’t exactly qualify 🙂

          Alan Johnson

      2. Bill says:

        Phase 1, Phase 2…it really doesn’t matter.

        Pretty soon everyone will figure out that all of these “guest” posts you are doing are the same stupid never quit post that you just rewrite over and over.

        Phase 3……”Operation What the Hell do I do Now?”

        1. Bill, I, guess, I, would, have, to, agree, with, you, as such.

  2. Jim says:

    Wow. Those are some amazing numbers, congratulations!
    I don’t know about the spamming comments, heheh, but regardless those numbers speak for themselves. Keep up the great work 🙂

  3. Geoff says:

    Don’t take this personally, but there are so many repetitive ads on your site that I can hardly bear to look at it.

    1. tyna says:

      Geoff the guy must be good,for you to keep going back to his site,if not how come you noticed that there were so many repetitive ads on his site.

  4. Robert says:

    This post was very inspirational. I agree that, if you have passion for something, jump right into it. There is no other way to do it. If you’re passionate, you’re creating the opportunity yourself. It might involve a lot of work, but the excitement of doing it makes the work seem like nothing.

  5. The thing to success is continually working at it and pushing forward. I just passed the 70,000 unique visitors a month mark after 6 months and am still growing. and have 300+ comments on multiple posts and am gaining about 30-50 new comments daily. RSS subscriptions are pretty low, but id say a majority of my auidience dont use RSS. My niche probably isn’t as competitive as yours, but it wasnt easy.

    it all depends on the niche though. Many are hard to compete with becuase people have budgets to buy advertising and links and such. but if you work at it, eventually you should start gaining some visitors.

  6. Tom says:

    A lot of people love to tell others that a niche is “competitive” and it’s too saturated. If I would have listened to people telling me this, I wouldn’t be here today.

    This post hits it on the head. It’s not that hard people! Have some patience, dedication, and work ethics and anything is possible. 🙂

  7. Congrats. I wish I had the time you have to dedicate with all the work you’re putting in your blog.

  8. It’s not easy to hit those marks!

  9. watercarving says:

    My grandfather was outstanding in his field. It was easy since he was a farmer….

    BTW, is it possible to get clicks from ‘no-sense’ that are worth $0.00? I’ve had 5 clicks today on image ads that have paid squat. How is that possible?

  10. I’m not going to say congratulations anymore Alan because I’ve said it enough, let me just say I’ve enjoyed watching your blog grow and I will enjoy watching it in the future. 🙂

    Carl – Thatblogsite.com

  11. watercarving says:

    Went to your site. I’m glad you’re doing well but…dude…that site has way too many repetitive ads. I guess I would leave it that way if I was making some $ but I can’t go there again.

  12. Alan Johnson says:

    Hi there and thank you for your input. Being a “top commentator” and, afterwards, a guest poster here as well on more than a few other blogs has indeed proven to be more than worth it.

    Personally, I’ve worked hard for everything throughout my life and that’s the same way I see things as an online entrepreneur. As such, I’ve managed to achieve the results you have read about with TheRatingBlog.com in as little as 3 months, and this is only the beginning.

    A word of advice: if you are serious about long-term success, you need to always give it 110%, no matter how out of reach your goals may seem at a certain point.

    If you are passionate about what you are doing and are willing to always work hard, you will definitely be congratulating yourself down the road.

    Best wishes,

    Alan Johnson

    1. How can you possibly give 110%? I’m fed up with all this 110,150,200% percent rubbish. If you’re trying your hardest then you are giving 100% i.e. everything you’ve got. If you’re trying less then you’re not giving 100% 110% effort is utter bollacks.

      1. Alan Johnson says:

        Giving it 110% refers to pushing your limits, to always trying your best in order to become better at what you’re doing.

        Alan Johnson

        1. Trying your best is giving 100%, if your best becomes better then your previous efforts become 99% or less and your new best is now 100%.

          I’m just not a big one for all this motivational 100+% nonsense 🙂

  13. Alan,

    You work does speak for itself. You are a guest blogger for John Chow dot Com. I think adding value in comments are far more beneficial than putting a smiley in one, but it does depend on the article. Cheers!

  14. Joseph says:

    Congratulations on your success!

  15. Sportsrmylife says:

    Alan,

    I’m glad that you addressed the poker sharks man. I too thought that you were just a commenter but after reading through many of your comments on the different sites you add some very good insight to topics and work very very hard as I see you as the top commenter on many different sites.

    Keep plugging away man!

  16. Barbara Ling says:

    Insightful people always lead the thundering herd. The rest follow. Making a superb plan that requires concentration and followup and then actually implementing it requires a lot of patience and fortitude. Good job.

    Best wishes,

    Barbara

  17. Dave says:

    Well Alan must have been saying something worth listening to if all those people came to his site and subscribed. But it is a mental hurdle you have to get over to put yourself out there on that level.

    And no question the principle is sound, even if you decide to do it on a smaller scale; pick a topic/theme/niche you really have some interests/knowledge/passion about and speak to those blogs like it’s your full time job. By the way I’m essentially recapping this for myself as I search for SOME kind strategy to get my numbers up.
    Dave

  18. Dear Alan
    Congrats to you and the success with your Blog posts.

    I’m in it for a while and can confirm that it is absolutely not easy to achieve ANY kind of success in IM. Just over hard work you will be able to reach something, Internet Marketing is there no exception.

    The fact that you have accomplished above figures is already enought reasons to respect you, regardless if someone likes what he sees (too many Ads, etc.) or not, that’s a other issue.

    Many Freaks out there tend very easy to call all what they see SPAM, just to have their link at some silly response, but in fact without providing any real value to a discussion. Before you call someone a spammer, stop to do it by yourself Poker Sharks, because that’s the only reason behind your comment as far as I can see.

    Don’t mind Alan. Online sccess belongs to those who are willing to work hard. Finding the way to your final, best situation is just a normal process you will go through, with trial and errors, and tweaking till it’s perfect.

    Guido Mueller
    One out of 7800 proud Members of the Wealthy Affiliate University

  19. Brendan says:

    Im curious about your background? Is that the first site youve had?

  20. Buy Website says:

    I like the thought of “Overdeliver without coming off as too good to be true”. Not an easy task to complete, but it does help lower the competition.

    Michael

    1. Yeah, agreed. As long as you don’t come off as too good to be true, you aren’t in danger of being discovered for what you really are. 😯

  21. Alan–40 blogs to comment on, that’s impressive…I have been averaging 10-12 a day and it’s quite difficult. Good Luck

  22. I think it’s real simple to make it, just comment like crazy on other blogs, write a good post everyday, and get at least one paid review a month and in like 3 month’s you made it

  23. Dang Alan, you have a serious amount of ads on your blog. Frankly, it’s an eyesore.

    1. Terry Tay says:

      I think the ads on the right are ok, but I agree that the ads repeating all the way down the blog posts are somewhat unfriendly to the visitor. I saw them at the top and I probably don’t need to be reminded of them all the way down. It’s great that Alan can get some advertisers and I like the overall look of the blog.
      ~Terry

  24. Mike Huang says:

    Great guest post! 🙂

    -Mike

  25. Rick Uyesugi says:

    Honestly John, I like your blog because you write it. You have far too many guest posts now imo. Saw your page in the province today, congrats!

  26. Terry Tay says:

    Corgrats on the success and great stats on your site Alan. Keep up the great work!

    Thanks for the great advice as well. There will always be people that try to tell us we can’t or shouldn’t do something but as you say we just need to give it 110%, give it our all, and stand out.
    ~Terry

  27. John Simpson says:

    Am I missing something? I keep reading and reading, but I am not able to find a definitive list of steps to take to make money online. I’ve done a few things on my blog and I somehow got myself banned from Adsense. I need some help.

  28. car345.com says:

    Alan, Results of your blog are really stunning.., were you working like 18 hours a day?, Any way keep the good work.

  29. Simon Lau says:

    very impressive feat you’ve done. Not many people would be able to pull 50K uniques in 3 months

  30. Good read…. keep it up Alan.

  31. Hi Alan,

    That is amazing! 40 blogs – I have trouble keeping up with the 10 blogs that are on my blog roll.

    Did you do all this manually or did you use some tools to keep track of the blogs and posts?

    How many hours/day did you spend commenting? I guess if you are visiting blogs that are like minded it could be easy to visit so many and leave comments.

    Congratulations in any case!

    Regards,

    Mohamed

  32. Dave says:

    John Simpson-you should download John Chow’s free book in order to help you unravel this making money online mystery. The nuts and bolts are in there and once you read it you’ll hear echoes of it all over this site and everywhere else because you’ll develop an “ear” for the techniques. This blog post by Alan is telling you exactly what he did-and I week ago I would have read right past it too.

    And regarding the 100+% issue that was mentioned. I prefer just 100 myself, but I can see how over a hundred has merit too. For example, most people are willing to work 9-5 but the person who gets there early or stays late is going above and beyond. And with blogs; Alan IS going that extra mile. Even Chris said he’s commenting on 10-12 blogs a day, and I would consider THAT way above average.

  33. ForexTrader says:

    I myself targetting some really competitive niche and believe success with be there with hard work. Thanks for proving that this is possible, it confirm my thoughts and motivate me to work even harder.

  34. Downloader says:

    Good tips John. I will take them on board….I just dont know how to keep up with so many blogs and to make my comments relevant!

  35. I agree with your points Alan in order to become a succesful blogger. As long as you do better as your competition whatever it takes, you will beat most of your competition! Simple things like posting every day, the drive to make your blog succesful, willing to put every day efforts in your blog, etc. already differentiate yourself from most other bloggers.

  36. Jcyreus says:

    Alan’s numbers are simply amazing, but like the dramatic weightloss ads we see everyday, I suspect that results may vary. I read John Chow’s Ebook a couple weeks ago and implemented most of the techniques that he suggests…my traffic doubled (not surprisingly). Thanks John and Alan for this valuable advice.

  37. natespost says:

    We need Rodney King to comment here and make everyone “get along” I won’t criticize anyone that is more succesful than me. At the moment, I’m only able to pick on that smelly guy across the street.

    1. team ray says:

      i agree. it comes off like envy in my book.

      congrats to everyone in blog world 😛

  38. Cherie says:

    I am a firm believer in going for your dreams, and also a firm believer in tolerance in the human race! Let’s be positive, people!

    I have a good friend who did something really gutsy, too—she started an online classifieds website. Of course, lots of people were already doing it, but she didn’t let that stop her! She got creative and offered something everyone else wasn’t…not just FREE classifieds, but paid-to-list classifieds, andvideo classifieds.
    Check out her “dream made real” at http://www.listasaurus.com.

  39. I absolutely, 100% agree with Alan’s take on whether or not to get into a niche OR any other life venture. Statistically speaking if you put forth the effort, be the best in your area, strive to keep customers happy, then you can’t help but beat out the competition. Competition is not something to be feared, it’s simply a benchmark. Look at what they are doing and do it better!!
    Thanks Alan!!

  40. Syed Balkhi says:

    well written post Alan … I agree with you about the niche … if you get into it then do your best.

  41. Pugsley says:

    Great article, it shows two things that I believe are the keys to success. 1st you need to do something that you are passionate about , no matter what others feel about, if you believe in it, go for it. 2nd that you have to put the work and effort into what you do, you can not be a part time participant and expect to succeed.

  42. watercarving says:

    I personally have found that 108% is the optimal percentage one can give.

  43. Mike says:

    I can’t imagine how whould anyone subscribbe to a blog with 48 125 x 125 banner on its homapage. If that’s not intrusive, what is?

  44. Alan, it would be nice to see some stats on how much traffic you got from being top commentator on those 40 blogs. It would also be cool to see a list of those 40.

  45. Chip says:

    Speaking about the first comments here, about the top commentators, I’m doing a little exeperiment. You’ll notice how I commented on many posts here in John Chow. I like experiments, and I want to be a top commentator. I hope John doesn’t mind about that. I’ll even write a full in-depth article about this experiment. Stay tuned.

  46. David Chew says:

    That is really good and for blogger like you can get more.

  47. Luke says:

    That’s what it takes: realistic outlook + unstoppable attitude. Passion plus brains. Excellent post, Alan.

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