29 Biggest Obstacles to Starting a Successful Blog or Website

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29 Biggest Obstacles to Starting a Successful Blog or Website

I recently revamped my email series.  You know, the autoresponder series that people get when they sign up to my email list.

This new email series is an 11 part “mini-course” on how to build a profitable site from beginning to end.  Perrin was very instrumental in helping me get this series off the ground.  It’s not easy to write 20,000 words and divide it into bit-sized emails that people will find interesting.

As part of this “revamping” process, I tried something new.  I asked for people to respond to me directly.  That’s right, in the very first email I asked people about their biggest obstacles.

As a result, I got some VERY interesting responses.  Some were expected such as, “I’m having trouble ranking in Google”; while others were less expected such as, “I can’t convince my wife that this online business is viable thing”.

I also have to admit that I was TOTALLY overwhelmed by the sheer number of responses that I got…very quickly.  Within less than a week I had over 300 responses to that first email.  With everything else that I have going on in my business, I was not able to respond to all those emails (so I apologize if I didn’t respond to you!).

As a result, I’ve removed this “poll” from my email series because it quite frankly would take a ton of time to respond to everyone on an ongoing basis.  I guess it’s a good problem to have…too many email subscribers.

However, I think the findings I gathered from these 300+ email responses is not only highly valuable to me, but can also be highly valuable to you as you seek to get started building a niche site, blog, or other online business.

Because of this, I meticulously went through each email and documented what everyone’s biggest roadblocks were.  You can see all the data below in a nice chart (I know how you love pretty charts), along with some of my own insights on how people can either overcome some of the obstacles or at least my own opinion.

So, with that, let’s jump into the responses!

How the Poll Was Taken

Before I dive directly into the answers that people gave, I think its important to know the exact question so we can keep all of this in perspective.

Here is the exact text from one of my emails asking for people’s biggest obstacles:

Before we get started, could you help me with a poll I’m taking? I’m trying to figure out what people’s main stumbling blocks are in this business. So just shoot me a reply and tell me your biggest obstacle so far.

So, I asked them specifically about stumbling blocks “in this business.”  I think it’s important to point out how I framed this question, because the responses certainly would have been different based on how I ask the question and how I led up to the question.

Here’s some of the earlier text in my email to further clarify how the question was framed:

As a thank you, I want to give you a free gift: an 11-part mini-course that teaches you how to set up a profitable blog from scratch.

I also mention a couple of times in the email how I’m focusing on helping them build a successful site or blog.

I wanted to clarify some of this so that you can understand the responses better.  I was not just asking what people’s biggest obstacles are for any online business or how to start a home-based business or something like that.

The audience I’ve attracted has a very specific focus of how to build successful websites from scratch.  For that reason, the responses below are very much tailored towards people that are hoping to build a profitable website.

I should point out that I suspect that if other people had asked the EXACT same question, the responses would be slightly different because of their audience.  For example if Brian Dean from BackLinko.com had asked the question, his audience would have responded that Link Building or Outreach was their biggest problem.

If Cliff Ravenscraft from PodcastAnswerMan.com had asked the same question, his audience would have had more podcasting problems (my audience had none).

In other words, I’m simply saying that the responses of MY blog readers leaned one way simply because of the type of content I produce and how it has attracted them.

Hope that all made sense.

Biggest Obstacles

So, with that, here’s the biggest obstacles that people have when trying to start a profitable blog or website:

obstacles-poll

You can see that by far the most common problem that people have is finding the right niche and doing keyword research for their sites.  Close behind is content production problems and time/productivity obstacles.

Just in case anyone is curious to see the raw data, here it is:

data-obstaclespoll

Now that you have seen all the data, I want to provide my own thoughts on some of these obstacles that many of you are having.

Finding a Niche / Keyword Research

I’ve talked a lot about keyword research in the past, but apparently not enough!  The most common problem that people have when trying to start up a new website is finding the right keywords to target.

Because everyone answered in their own words, some framed the problem as finding a topic for a website, while others specifically have issues finding low competition keywords that they can rank easily for in Google.  In reality, these are all basically the same problem.

The issue is complex, I don’t have a quick fix because everyone might have a slightly different variation to this problem.

All I can say is that for me it’s been practice, practice, practice.  The more you do keyword research and put yourself out there, the more results you see and the more comfortable you get with the entire process.

For those having issues with this obstacle, here’s a few articles that I’ve written in the past:

I’ve written much more on keyword research, and you can find lots of it in this category here.

Writing Content

I was actually surprised to hear how many people were having issues creating content.  These people have found a niche or keyword, but either are unable to produce content themselves or just don’t know where to get content.

I do believe that content is king, and so this is a very valid concern to be thinking about with your new website.  It’s critical that you have valuable content for your readers.

I think people with this content production issue fall into 4 main categories:

  • They KNOW what topics to write about, but they are unsure of how to structure their articles or unsure of how to make it interesting.
  • They CAN write good content, but they don’t have time or are perhaps afraid to put their work out there.
  • They CAN’T write good content and don’t know where to hire people to get good content.
  • The know WHERE to hire content writers, but they don’t have the money to do so.

Again, I wish I had simple solutions to these problems.  At the end of the day, business involves risk.  Oftentimes this includes putting your own content out there for the world to see and investing your own time and money into your website.

Time / Productivity

This is a big one for a lot of people.  I also completely understand.  Like many of you out there, I also had a full-time job and often found myself completely exhausted after work or simply out of time at the end of the day.

For some of you it’s going to be a matter of really prioritizing your tasks and making sure you don’t have any wasted time in your day.

For others, you only think you don’t have any time in your day.  But when you look at how much you play video games or watch TV, you’ll realize that it’s your own fault that you never have time to work on your business.

Yep, that was kinda harsh…but it’s also kinda true for some of you. (You know who you are!).

For me personally, I found while I was working full-time and raising 3 children that the only time I had available to work on my business was from about 9pm to midnight.  I worked at my day job, came home and ate dinner with my family, and then got the kids to bed.

Then from 9pm to midnight was GO TIME!  I also eventually had to start utilizing outsourced workers to help build out sites and other tasks.  But all the hard work paid off big time for me.  After struggling with all of this for a few years, I was able to quit my job on March 11th, 2011 (4 years ago).

I’ve now been full-time in this business ever since and have plenty of time for some of the other things I sacrificed early on.

Again, I don’t have a simple answer for this obstacle other than to say: prioritize as much as possible, and get help/outsource if you can.

Learning How to Get Started / Information Overload

Some people also call this “analysis paralysis”.  Basically, with all the blogs out there, emails to read, and social media to follow; you can sit and “learn” about building a successful websites for YEARS!

I DO have a solution for this one.  Stop.  Just stop the analysis.

Take action and get started.

It really is as simple as that.

You will learn so much more from actually building your first website than you will have learned from reading all the blogs out there.  Pat Flynn actually wrote an article recently on information overload and how he deals with it.

My solution is always to just start taking action.  I did this recently because I’ve been interested in the Amazon FBA business after hearing about Chris Guthrie’s success.

I honestly didn’t have time to read a bunch of blog posts or listen to podcasts or buy products about how to start an Amazon FBA business.  So, instead I just contacted some manufactures in China (via Alibaba.com) about a product I wanted manufactured and got started.

I now expect to have a product up and selling on Amazon possibly by the end of this month (it’s currently under production).

I simply got started.  I’ve honestly read very little about how others run their Amazon FBA business; I’ll learn SO much more from listing and selling my first product than I could have learned in months of die-hard research.

Learning through experience is better than learning from reading blog posts. Click To Tweet

Staying on Track / Focus / Shiny Object Syndrome

How do you overcome shiny object syndrome?  This is a problem that lots of “new” people face because there are so many different options available for starting a business online.

This obstacle is also closely related to the “information overload” problem.  So, part of the solution is to just get started on something.

The other part of the solution is to actually set some goals and stick to those goals. If you find a business model that you want to pursue, WRITE IT DOWN!

Write down your goals and your plans and stick to it.  The best way to accomplish your goals is to tell others about your plans and possibly even form a group that can help you stay accountable to your plans.

Again, this one topic deserves it’s own blog post…or book; but the bottom line is that you need to realize that life is short and that if you keep trying things just a little bit and moving on, you will never accomplish anything great.

How to Get Traffic

I went to the Traffic and Conversion Summit last month and topic of traffic come up oddly enough!  Ryan Deiss of DigitalMarketer.com often stated that people do not have a traffic problem.  I did a quick search and he’s written an article about the fact that you don’t have a traffic problem.

Here’s what he said:

This might shock you but you DO NOT have a traffic problem.

You might have a business model problem, an offer problem or a measurement problem.

But you DO NOT have a traffic problem.

From his perspective, you should be able to BUY traffic (from Facebook, Google, or other places) and as long as you make more money from that traffic than you spent, there is no traffic problem.

I KNOW that we all want free traffic from Google and so it may not have crossed your mind that you can get thousands of visitors to your site tomorrow if you wanted by paying for the traffic.  However, you may not have a way to make enough money on the traffic.

I’m with you though, I’ve always been too stingy to just start spending money on traffic, so I’ve worked like crazy to figure out the “free” traffic solution.

The issue is that this “free” traffic takes time (often many months before you see much traction in Google).  The Google traffic problem usually comes down to targeting the right keywords (that are low competition enough) and producing quality content.

Link Building / Outreach

Getting links is not easy.  I agree that this can be a big stumbling block.  Unfortunately buying “link packages” and using link networks just doesn’t work like they did in the good old days.

So, if you are striving to achieve that wonderful free organic traffic, attracting links is usually a necessary evil.

I’ve covered this topic a few times in the past, including these interviews:

Other Issues

I could try and go through each of these one-by-one to give my opinion on the validity of these road blocks, but that would probably require a short novel.  I’ve covered the top 7 most common obstacles and you can see what the rest are for people trying to create a profitable blog.

I will just say that my favorite issue that someone had is, “convincing spouse”.  My advice is to buy her flowers, let her talk to you (and listen) for as long as she wants, and then snuggle while you let her watch her favorite romantic comedy.  Perhaps then you can bring up your online business ventures :).

Now What?

So, now that you’ve seen me list and discuss some of the biggest obstacles that people face when starting a successful website…where do we go from here?

The problems mentioned are much too in-depth and diverse for me to solve or even respond to effectively in one blog post.  I’ve simply provided some of my own commentary and pointed you to a few resources that might be able to help.

However, just so you know, I’m going to be using the responses to this poll as somewhat of a roadmap for my future blog posts.  Now that I know that people are having the most problems around keyword research and writing content, and a few others, I’ll be focusing my time and effort trying to help people overcome those obstacles.

Overall, this exercise has been extremely valuable to me in understanding the roadblocks of my audience.  I’ve heard from at least 300 of you directly, and knowing how statistics work, I’m certain that MANY more of you are having the exact same issues.

So, I’ll be sharing more of what I’ve learned from creating my own successful websites and blogs and hopefully we can all learn going forward.

I would love to hear any additional comments or questions that you might have.  Do you have any other major stumbling blocks that have not been mentioned already?  Let me know in the comments below.

Yes! I Love to Learn

Want to learn step-by-step how I built my Niche Site Empire up to a full-time income?

74 Comments for this Post

  1. Chris

    Chris

    Great resource Spencer! I would definitely agree with most of the top items in the list, but it surprises me to see keyword research at the top. With Long Tail Pro Platinum, I find that part one of the easiest and quickest steps in the whole process. Thanks for compiling that info, that gives me some food for thought for content on my own site.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Thanks Chris! I agree, that tools can make keyword research easier. I think part of the issue is that people can’t decide what niche to go into – they may find multiple options and just can’t decide which one is best.

      • Chris

        Chris

        I can definitely understand the difficulty of trying to pick which phrases to target, from a list of many that look great on paper.

    • Andrew

      Andrew

      Yeah! Surely everyone here knows how to find a keyword?

      Anyway, very interesting data. I suppose my worry is ‘shiny object’ syndrome. Got to be consistent if I’m going to get these results!

  2. Ash

    Ash

    I do find these response interesting and can’t believe the amount of people struggling with content that’s not really a ‘sexy’ topic so to speak as people like talking about getting traffic more.

    I do wonder how you’d go about building up a Facebook fanpage other than simply linking to your page in your sidebar, would you guys use paid ads if you were just starting out or wait for them to come naturally?

    • Tim

      Tim

      I’ve used paid ads to get about 18000 fans…i only spend about 5 bucks a day….it is a good tool

      • Ash

        Ash

        Is there anything specific you do?

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Definitely, paid traffic can help build up a facebook page. I’ve done some of that before (not a ton, but some).

  3. Brendan Mace

    Brendan Mace

    Oh man… Jealous about the Traffic and Conversion Summit. Would have loved to have been there. I agree with Chris about keyword research. With the right tool (LongTailPro) and the right information, it can be fairly easy to find good keywords to target.

    The hardest part for me is creating content that is “interesting” or “controversial” enough to get passed around. Most of the time, I just focus on trying to be helpful, but there’s a huge benefit to being “edgy.”

    I created a tutorial video on how to use LongTailPro to easily find longtails in any niche or market. It may be useful to some of your readers that are still struggling with the keyword research portion of creating a successful blog. It’s here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yosTBE714Q

    Great post – as always!! 🙂

    Brendan

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Thanks Brendan…T&C summit was a lot of fun…learned alot too.

  4. Tim

    Tim

    Such a great post and I really can identify with the top 3 issues.

    • Jeremy Brown

      Jeremy Brown

      Yeah I was surprised. I guess I really grasped KW research pretty quickly early on.

  5. Jeremy Brown

    Jeremy Brown

    Great post! This brought up some good questions and points.
    I haven’t heard a lot of SEO guys talk about paid traffic much (or at least the blogs and podcasts I listen to). I know that SEOs are all about getting “free” traffic from Google, but if your ROI is good on paid traffic I think it could be a viable option.
    Does anyone here use paid traffic ? What are your experiences with it?
    I’ve been wanting to try it out, or at least learn more about why or why not I should give it a shot.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      I’ve used a little bit of paid traffic, and I’m currently working on getting a couple of new campaigns up and running. If you have a good business model, paid traffic makes a lot of sense.

  6. Silver

    Silver

    “Content is King.” known by every successful blogger. As a newbie, it was great to listen to a podcast recently hearing JD Roth recommending that especially if you’re just starting out, don’t worry about the key words/phrases, seo, ranking, etc. Just focus on doing one thing really well; writing high-quality contents. JD is the founder of Get Rich Slowly dot org. It’s an excellent advise that rings true.

    • Silver

      Silver

      …an excellent advice [not advise] 🙂

  7. Colin

    Colin

    I think the point about paid traffic is very valid. If you can pay for the traffic then its all about conversion which gets you to the point of positive cash flow. I’ve found the only issue is a real alternative to Google Adwords – not found a good one yet and I got banned from Adwords a long time ago!

  8. RJ

    RJ

    Im actually shocked about the #1 issue from your readers- I guess it depends how long they have been subscribed. I was wondering, since you’ve started building a much larger site, have you used paid traffic too? I know you talk about the ebooks, reddit and 3000k post, but what about paid traffic? if you havent used any, would you? what would it be? (I just realized how many questions that was, sorry lol)

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Yes, we have dabbled just a little in paid traffic. We are preparing to hopefully ramp up the paid traffic again…but we are finalize offers, etc.

  9. Bo

    Bo

    The problem with keyword research is that there’s no validation process. I know tools can show you backlinks and stuff but anyone who has experience knows unless you’ve ranked or failed at ranking.. You don’t really know. Unless you know what converting keywords are based off data.. You won’t really know if the word you chose is right.

    Reflecting on all the wasted projects and time spent on failed niche sites, I can totally relate to why that tops the list.

    Nowadays, I prefer to find a market in which I feel comfortable producing content in then I dig in and target all the commercial keywords within that market. If you’re in a big market like weight loss, there’s always new products coming out which means easy to target keywords.

    Hope that helps anyone. Great post spencer.

  10. Quinton Hamp

    Quinton Hamp

    This is some powerful data! Very fascinating that so many people still feel as though niche selection is the hardest.

    In some ways, I agree. Thanks to LTP and GAKP (and several years experience), I can pretty much predict the viability and potential income of a keyword. But what about a window washing business? Or starting an auto repair business? Or what about an online coaching service? How do I determine which business model is the best/most viable.

    I’m increasingly amazed at how few of us know how to evaluate a market and test an Idea. I’m spending a lot of time this year studying Minimally Viable Products and how to better incorporate them. But I agree that there is a little bit of a hole in this area amongst MMO bloggers.

    Finally, I am so anxious to start buying traffic, but I’m worried about losing a ton of money testing ideas. Not really sure where to start. Could be a great case study for you guys!

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Good thoughts here Quinton. I think its pretty critical to be able to understand the viability of the marketing and an idea in the market. Good luck with your MVP testing.

  11. Matthew Allen

    Matthew Allen

    My problem probably falls under the lack of focus category. I’m operating on the wrong end of the Pareto 80/20 principle. I end up spending 80 or 90% of my time on things that bring me 10 or 20% of my results. It’s so frustrating because I know I’m wasting time. But it’s so hard to focus on the right things when a million other things need to get done as well.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Yep, it’s definitely not easy.

  12. stephen

    stephen

    Good relevant links are key!!! 1of my sites got hit in the summer and it was so depressing, I put so much work into it but I only have myself to blame as I bought links. Now I launched a new site on the 1st of january with 20 posts. As of today i have over 50. I got very little traffic but as soon as I started doing ‘white hat’ link building I started to see my traffic increase. Now I know that no matter how good your content is, 2,000+ posts wont bring in traffic, links do. Thanks for the post, its interesting to see what other people are struggling with!!

  13. Leon

    Leon

    G’day Spencer, thanks for another insightful post.

    I can relate to just about all the stumbling blocks on your list.

    The guy who listed “convincing spouse” as one of his problems, need not feel alone. I had the same problem.

    I solved the spouse dilemma by waving the cheques from Amazon under her nose, while on my way to the bank, lol.

    Having cynical friends does not help either and just need to be ignored.

    One stumbling block of mine, not on your list, is failing to let go of failed sites. This creates a big time suck as I needlessly fiddle around with them.

    I’m not very tech-savvy, so letting them go after laboriously putting them together, is tough.

    Thanks again for the great article. I really appreciate the links back to previous relevant posts too.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Good point Leon. There’s even a business term for the very problem you described of “letting go”. It’s called opportunity cost.

    • Jason Cooke

      Jason Cooke

      Leon, as soon as you pull the plug on your lemons, you’ll immediately feel a new sense of clarity of mind, you’ll see new opportunity and your self-esteem will rise. Trust me. Bin a weak project tonight!

  14. Martin & Yng

    Martin & Yng

    Agree with key words being number one apart from finding them you have to ensure that you can beat the top ten on page one (your competitors) if you know you can do this by producing more trust flow then you’re onto a winner. Great Resource by the way excellent stuff thanks Spencer

  15. AT

    AT

    I got worried, reall worried about my progress. This article shows that others have similar struggles. Thanks Spencer for sharing!!!!

    Traffic is a problem and I don’t think paying for traffic is the solution. Even if the business model can support it, paying for traffic becomes another expense that diminishes the ROI.
    Reinvesting profits from a niche site is the only way I can justify paid traffic. Just my $.02

    Thanks again!

  16. Chirag Nayyar

    Chirag Nayyar

    Yes, this is good stuff .even Really keyword research is the big pain for me …i am trying to solve this 🙂

    BTW thank you for this awesome post.

  17. Carl Hardy

    Carl Hardy

    wow lot if this are there i u r post i is good for me to know new thins like this

    thanks
    spencer haws,,,

  18. Nitin

    Nitin

    Thanks for the post Spencer running out of time so writing little but i appreciate your efforts over the concern topic!

  19. Tim

    Tim

    Being lazy/procrastination is definitely my # 1 reason on my personal list of obstacles. I know for a fact this stuff works as long as you put in the time to do it, yet I still don’t just do it everyday like I should. Thanks for this article and the wake up call.

  20. Tom

    Tom

    I too am very surprised that “Getting Traffic” isn’t the #1 concern by a mile…

    But perhaps if people are having a hard time picking a niche or writing content then getting traffic isn’t on the front burner yet.

    My initial concern was waiting several months or longer to start getting some income. When the bills aren’t getting paid you can’t wait for your site to come to the rescue…

    Does it make sense to buy traffic to get emails?

    Tom

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Yes. That is if you have a business model to monetize those emails. Typically this works best if you have your own product to sell.

  21. Mike J

    Mike J

    I have a list of possible Keywords to try to build something around, and they sorta hit the spot as per Spencer’s lessons on this site. But, despite all the really excellent advice contained in those lessons, there’s still that thing called experience, which is probably hard to put into words and logic, which can give you the hunch that – yes these ones would work for a profitable SEO site, and No – these one’s wouldn’t. And so the survey’s revealed number one concern makes sense to me.
    If you could somehow distill that extra 10% of fuzzy logic called ‘experienced based intuition’ into a SEO blueprint for success – then there would clearly be a market for that knowledge, Spencer.

    • Mike j

      Mike j

      Considering that so many people probably do find themselves stuck at this point: the point where they have a list of possible keyword themes to turn into websites (perhaps using long tail pro), but aren’t sure of which one or two to try (and which ones might be the turkeys)…. perhaps Spence, you could offer a service similar to what you offered Perrin in this lesson:
      http://www.nichepursuits.com/good-and-bad-examples-of-low-competition-keywords-niche-site-project-2-update/
      Say someone sends you 5 (or 8 or 10 – whatever is appropriate to the service offered) keyword niche themes that have taken their interest and a few notes (perhaps answers to generic questions you pose) for each keyword theme – all amounting to no more than one page of A4. In return you send them your thoughts on the possibility of each theme. With your experience these ‘thoughts’ wouldn’t take too long to compile. Yet they could save a potential website builder many many hours wasted on a theme that just wouldn’t work.
      Such a service could be fixed fee? 100 dollars… 200 dollar… more?

      • Spencer Haws

        Spencer Haws

        That’s an idea that I’ve considered; however, I’m not interested in pursuing at this time.

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Thanks Mike, I’ll see what I can do…

  22. Rishit Shah

    Rishit Shah

    Thanks for the sharing the data guys!

    It is really valuable.

  23. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin

    Surprised by the results. My biggest obstacle has always been keeping the momentum going with one site. I’ll often start, then go back to it weeks, if not months later when the initial enthusiasm has then worn off.

    Interesting post Spencer.

  24. Dan Norris

    Dan Norris

    Hmmm. Interesting Data

    Great Post Spencer!

  25. Janel

    Janel

    Hello, I am just at the point where I’m ready to take action and create a website, eventually websites! I know this will be a learning curve for me but my desire for freedom financially and personally really fuels my journey. My struggle has been with building an actual following with a social profile on sites like Pinterest, and Reddit. My question is do I create one profile as myself (or an alias) with different categories, or do I create multiple accounts that are Niche specific with the Keyword in the profile name. Thank you Spencer for sharing such informative posts and topics. As a beginner it means a lot to have someone who actually provides valuable, straight forward information as well as feedback. Maximum respect!!

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      I would only set up social profiles for sites that you expect to maintain, long term. These are going to be the sites you are more passionate about. I wouldn’t worry about keyword focused profile names.

      • Janel

        Janel

        Thanks for the feedback Spencer!

  26. Nico

    Nico

    I find it interesting how time/ productivity is one of the top 3 hurdles people are talking about and procrastination/ being lazy is almost at the bottom. I’ve always seen these two things as flip sides of the same coin.

  27. Dani Fuller

    Dani Fuller

    I think I really have a bit of it all and full with a mixture of them. When I can achieve, lost in another.

    I met this site now and I realize I will get many important tips for my growth in the digital world. Especially in my focus on some niche that is the most important

  28. Jon Haver

    Jon Haver

    Thanks for sharing the real data. That is great for everyone to see that they aren’t alone with some of their struggles. Also I am sure great for yourself to see the number of people struggling with niche selection.

    Interesting that the top ones are process/motivation related and not results oriented (ie more money/traffic/links etc). I thought those would have been higher…but that is why you ask so you don’t guess. Smart.

  29. Ilya

    Ilya

    Hi Spencer!
    I agree that keyword research is one of the hardest parts to get started on because as a beginner you don’t have the necessary tools, and you might not even know what the necessary tools are. However, as you said practicing keyword research is what gets you really good at it.
    I’d like to add that every beginner should try doing their own keyword research and they shouldn’t be afraid of failing as it’s part of the learning process. So many beginners are afraid of failing when starting out, but in reality failing is one of the best things that can happen to you as long as you learn from it.
    Also on an unrelated note, when do you think is the proper time to start link-building for an Amazon Affiliate site? The site went up a month ago, but the domain is around 1.5-2 years old. Thanks!

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      I agree…just practice and fail if necessary! You can start building links right away, as long as it’s “white hat” type links.

  30. Steve Owen

    Steve Owen

    Thanks for the great poll and the resulting data. As a beginner my wife and I have dived in and are working away at our brand new niche blog site, making mistakes and learning as we go. Although the learning curve has been steep (website/hosting config, plug-ins, site design and content, niche ideas, SEO) and we found information via post-getting started research that could have saved us some money and time, we are glad that we learned some lessons the hard way. We are not sure that we would have continued if we had overloaded on info before we started and we have a better understanding of what we are doing because of the mistakes we made. That being said, we have fallen in the info overload trap occasionally and found we needed to refocus our efforts on the things that matter to us like content and direction of our blog. Great article and my wife and I will follow you to see what else we can learn (when we aren’t learning on our own). Cheers, Steve

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Thanks Steve…best of luck to you and your wife!

  31. Ugur

    Ugur

    Hello Spencer,
    Great article as always. I also read your how to stay focused article and both are amazing.
    I just decided to expand my B2B business online, so I will only focus on that.
    This is why I am selling all my assets that I meticulously built over the years.
    I have 30 network sites with great metrics and I am selling them all. %90 of the domains are
    well established, hand-picked and setup on expired domains with lots of articles on them.
    Let me explain, this is a rockstar network.
    As a bonus, I am giving away one money site with $15 PPC on average on a highly competitive and lucrative edu niche. This site has several keywords ranking on 2nd and 3rd page now.
    I am making a bulk sale so the buyer must get all the sites.
    if anyone is interested, you can contact me on aktemur[at]live.com.

    thanks again Spencer

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      Sounds like a great plan Ugur. best of luck selling your sites.

      • Ugur

        Ugur

        Thanks Spencer,
        For those who want to make a future online, I strongly recommend B2B opportunities since it requires less SEO efforts, more communication and socializing. There are lots of great opportunities in B2B trade as well.

  32. Patrick Mahinge

    Patrick Mahinge

    Apart from all the stumbling blocks listed above, I have one that has constantly kept me at the lower end of the game.
    I am doubtful of myself.
    I am not sure whether I can manage to build a niche site targeting the US while sitting in my little home in Kenya. How do I do it?

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      The only way to overcome self doubt is to prove yourself wrong. Stick with it and complete the project.

  33. Kent Chow

    Kent Chow

    Love the interesting result. I think LTP has solved #1 issue keyword and niche selection big time. 🙂

    I’m still “struggling” with bringing in traffic (social media) and link building/outsource and figuring out my own process with VAs.

    Eventually, it will become “passive” and just part of my business operation. I’m learning all these SEO and trending tricks. It’s kind of tiring though.

    Hope you could share more insights especially how you approach authority site projects in this angle. Thanks!

  34. Aaron

    Aaron

    Hi Spencer, would you recommend someone who’s starting out to use Blogspot as a testing ground for building niche sites? Will it rank?

    • Spencer Haws

      Spencer Haws

      I would go straight to a self-hosted site; not blogspot.

  35. Thiago

    Thiago

    Post very informative, and I must say I was a little surprised at the result. My biggest obstacle is to feed my blog weekly. I get it but then stop again and thus lose enough traffic. I like your post, I will follow more closely, thanks for sharing your ideas.

  36. Happy Easter Clip Art

    Happy Easter Clip Art

    Thanku its really important post for me 🙂

  37. Mike @ Free Templates

    Mike @ Free Templates

    I agree, keyword research is one of the most difficult task followed by the worthwhile content writing followed by getting traffic to promote your blog.

  38. Shay Blaney

    Shay Blaney

    Every point you mentioned makes a lot of sense as i am struggling the same issue.Sometimes i feel like leaving blogging but then you never leave things that you are passionate about even if it is not giving you anything in return.

  39. Mr Alexander

    Mr Alexander

    Finding is a niche is truly is tough as it sets the stepping stones for the long road ahead. I find that once you find the niche and actually start you are 60% along the way. Thanks for the exposure this is a nice article and a pretty chart.

  40. Kim

    Kim

    Interesting stuff. The most mentioned is the area where folks second guess themselves out of success most often as well.

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