I’m a big fan of keyword research.

It’s a great way to identify existing demand in search engine traffic. You don’t have to specifically market a product to create demand, you tie into the demand that already exists. Doing well with keyword research means finding those keywords that have enough traffic to be profitable, and low enough competition to rank well easily.

But keyword research does have its limitations. For example, keyword research didn’t tell the original owner of IPhone.com that was a good keyword to target. Keyword research won’t tell you what the big craze will be during the next Christmas period.

In short, keyword research can only tell you what people are already looking for. And it doesn’t even tell you if the demand is building or drying up. You should always use a trend analysis tool along with keyword research to make sure that the promising keyword you just found isn’t on its way out.

So how do you find the opportunities before the online demand becomes big? How do you find the next big thing?

You network. Be active in your niche…not the make money online niche, but whatever niche you want to target. If you want to target kids toys, go to your local toy store and get to know the people who do the ordering. Find out what they’re planning on stocking up on for the season.

Read news in your niche. Look for hints about what might be coming next. To get in at the best time, you have to be willing to take risks based on what might be a false alarm. Register domains and actively develop them based on a few news articles, that sort of thing.

Keyword research is a wonderful tool, but it isn’t the be all and end all of identifying profitable markets.

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