How To Pick A Niche And Dominate: The DFHU Way Pt1

It was a toss up for what i should post first. Either post “how to structure your networks” or “how you can pick your niches and products to sell.” The two ideas are so intertwined in the DFHU way of thinking that its hard to separate. I mean the network is built the way it is because you pick the products you do and you pick the products you do because they work well in building your SEO Empire.

Let me just say that there are many ways to pick niches. This method is congruent with CAAR and DFHU mindsets and why i will push you to use this method if you are going to get the most out of dfhu.ORG.

Each level of your Network has its own requirements for Monetization and Links

When i talk about levels of your network it can roughly be broken up into 5 vertically integrated levels.

Level 4 (Pollinators) – Sites you make, but don’t have complete control over (squidoo, free hosting, blogspot, etc…). These pages are mostly for link volume, getting other pages indexed and getting links from domains with authority/aged domains.

Level 3 (Farmers) – Sites you have control over, but are just database sites, directory sites, article sites, auto [^b]logs or some other kind of set-it-and-forget site. Sites which are mostly there to have pages indexed so that they can irrigate potential link juice.

Level 2 (Distillers) – These are sites where you gather up your off topic link juice (mostly from Farmers) and distill it into something that is on topic or on demographic. You give these sites some social love and occasionally put some link bait up. Humans generally write a decent proportion of these mini sites. The objective is to keep the GYB engines in the know on what is on topic, so they get the volume of links to rank but are built on topic. Now you have on topic sites with rank to send link/traffic juice up your network.

Level 1 (Merrymakers) – Now you have Pollinators throwing there capricious energy to best advantage, the Farmers are irrigating link juice to the Distillers’ refineries. The Distillers are sending off the distilled link juice to the Merrymakers.

The Merrymakers are the first sites you invest the kind of time needed to build a relationship. This is where you capture contact info (emails, names, mailing addresses, interests, demographics, etc…) This is the place to use WhereYouBeen. This is where you take the time to make contact with on a regular basis (once a week, once every few days, maybe even once a day). This is where you get user created content, with your onsite SEO being Mauve Hat.

Level 0 (Disc0) – These are the sites that you are emotionally invested in. These are the sites that when people ask you “what you do” you say I run BrandedBySound.faux, JennetsJewelery.faux, or iLikeTurtles.faux. This is what all the other sites in your network are there to support. This is discØ baby.

Rules of Thumb:

• Each level of the network needs a form of monetization complement to the effort required to get the quality and quantity of traffic it needs.

• Each level of the network must pay its creation and upkeep fee. Generally speaking this most be done directly but sometimes link juice is fair. As an example: if its $2/month for server resources, $1/month for the domain name and $80 to create the site, then the site has to be on average making ($3*12+$80)/12.0=$9.66/month to break-even. A reasonable target for Pollinators, Farmers and Distillers is three times the monthly upkeep. So in this example if you were making $28.98 per site you would be doing OK. You can do similar math for buying links instead of using your own content for Pollinators.

• Don’t let Merrymakers turn into time sinks. If you can’t get them to write content on their own, outsource people to create forum posts, blog comments and so on to stir up hype for these pages. Its too easy to start spending so much time refreshing the page to see if you have something to reply just trying to keep the threads alive. ITS A TRAP. There are plenty of people in the third world who really need work from cool people like you.

• If you can’t get excited at the disco then you are probably in the wrong gig. These are the sites you actually WANT to write and ENJOY getting email from prospects. This is the kind of site that gets your blood flowing. The Disc0 should be full of cool clients that either share a lot in common with you or you have a great deal of respect for them.

• The one rule thats never really worth breaking of disc0 is that you must price yourself high enough such that profit margins are good enough so that you can pay the absolute MOST for customer acquisition of any of your competitors. If you were an adultIM you would be yawning at how obvious this is, but your not an adultIM so it probably comes from a bit left of field and sounds scary. Its pretty much self evident if you give yourself a second to think about it (an elusive obvious).

Disc0 is where you want to be able to give the absolute best customer experience. These people are cool, you are cool, make this a business you can be proud of.

• The farther away from Disc0 you are in the network the broader the market should be for product or service you are pitching. For example if Disc0 is “Silvered Spun Glass Earrings” then Farmers might put up links and content in the form of “Women’s Apparel, ” “Romance Novels,” “Women’s Perfume.”

The Distillers would be more along the line of “Glass Jewelery,” “Spun Glass Jewelery” or even “Silvered Spun Glass Jewelry.” The Merrymakers could have ads pages/sections for each of the keywords. “Silver jewelry,” “Silvered jewelry” “Spun glass” “Glass Jewelery”, “Spunglass,” “Silver Earrings,” etc… with you siphoning off any of the ad space which are for products you sell at Disc0.

Thats all well and Good, but how do i pick a Niche?

This post is already pretty darn long so i am going to postpone writing the part that you actually wanted to read until another post …

…. Ok but just a little one now.

A pragmatic rule i adhere to strictly when picking disc0 is that the product i am selling has to have been sold off line before and preferably since before the Internet was even around (prior to 1994).

A few quick reasons for this:

- On reason is that purely online products are generally only sold to net savvy (addicted) people. Net savvy people tend to zoom around the Internet in such a non-linear fashion at such a high speed that they are hard to capture (compare google traffic vs Yahoo traffic). Also they tend to think they know everything because they can google anything.

- A better reason to sell things which have been sold offline, is research, history, and the back story. The majority of “premium” in premium priced products and services is the _story_ that it affords the purchaser. Products with history have story. I mean if you are selling “Online Day planner” software you can’t really tell the same kind of story you could for “handcrafted leather bound journals.”

Ethan Allen defiantly maneuvered before the imperial navy. He followed the route they knew he would take, when he said he would take it. It was, at last, the Cannon fire the embiggened his resolve to live …. so he wrote in his ZakyWaky DOT COM Online AJAX Enhanced Day E-Planner, “Today was cromulent, very-very cromulent indeed.” Fin.

I think the Leather Bound Day Planner is going to give you more story.

- Everything old is new again. You can create value out of thin air by attaching the lipstick of technology to your products bacony lips. For example if you are selling Koi ponds you can have “no purchases necessary” contests for the best themed Koi pond, each month/season you can have a different theme. People can upload their Koi pond pics to the site, comments, ratings and so on. Add functionality so people can easily make pimped out slideshows of there fish, send them the DVDs of the videos, and so…

- If your business has nothing offline you can get stuck in-front of the computer forever. At least if you sell real products you can get some sunshine sometimes while you are making some money.

- Most people don’t want to deal with real crap because they think its bulky and a pain to move around. This means the competition is much thicker for online products. Really there are so many things to sell which require little or no shipping (i.e. services) that it is really not an issue.

Don’t pick online products just because you worried about having to do manual labor, anyways other people can do the manual labor for you. They are called employees, they are the worse part about business (well other than taxes), but they can get the job done.

Enough for now, this post is too long as it is, so i will have to come back with a part 2. Subscribe to the RSS feed right this very second.

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4 Comments

  1. Posted August 5, 2009 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Well hot damn, I just learned a lot.

    Realized I need to go do some redirection of links.

    One thing that I noticed is that polinators & distillers seem to have a lot in common (e.g. Ning – passes authority, but can also be highly relevant human generated content). Maybe its just that polinators transcend the heirarchy?

    Also, in the case of a straight forum, don’t you have a polinator and a distiller in 1?

    Nonetheless, this clarification definitely helps

  2. Victory
    Posted August 5, 2009 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    > pollinators transcend the hierarchy

    Yes, when i was using the term “pollinator” i was thinking of Bees, which can work all along the network in ways and fly in and out of it with ease.

    The grouping is more strict in terms of how to monetize and how much time to spend on each level than it is on linking. The linking goes in the direction of Pollinators to Disc0 and “never” the other way.

    > Also, in the case of a straight forum, don’t you have a pollinator and a distiller in 1?

    I don’t think i understand your question? The short answer is if its your forum then its almost certainly a MerryMaker and if its some elses forum than its a Pollinator.

  3. Posted August 13, 2009 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    It is very informative. Thanks for sharing it.
    I’m new to the blogging business and looking forwards to learning how to pick the right niches.
    What you’ve offered in your post is very helpful. I’d love to learn more about this topic. I’ve bookmarked your blog. Looking forwards for your new posts.
    Keep working.

  4. Posted August 13, 2009 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    These days, increasing amount of businesses pay more and more attention to picking the right niches when they are making the SEO strategies.
    What you’ve offered are very imformative. Thanks for sharing.

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