If you could give one piece of advice to your fellow im'ers, what would it be? Mine would definately be to look beyond Google keyword tool when judging the quality of a potential website. Too many times have I thought I have found a killer keyword or site only to spend weeks building and promoting a site and then get a trickle of traffic and 0 sales. I'm hoping this thread would be an opportunity for people to share some of their ideas - not really for finding niches (as im sure most people dont want to give these away) but more so for judging whether or not you've found a good one. If you are looking at a potential keyword make sure you do the following: * Go to Google Keyword tool and make sure it's on exact match. Then halve the result. https://adwords.google.co.uk/select/KeywordToolExternal * Take a look at seobook keyword tool and see what the estimation is there (i find this to be very accurate) http://tools.seobook.com/keyword-tools/seobook/ * Go to Google trends and Google insights and make sure the trend isn't a declining one. Also check where the traffic is coming from (someone on bhw pointed this out but I cant remember who), ideally you want traffic from US, Canada, UK and Australia (in that order generally) http://www.google.co.uk/trends http://www.google.com/insights/search/# * Use MSN Add-in and check the monthly traffic estimation. MSN tend to offer genuine results from their tools, but bear in mind they only account for a percentage of the search market. http://advertising.microsoft.com/search-advertising/advertising-intelligence * Go to the adwords traffic estimator (choose just relevant countries to target e.g. US, Canada) and multiply the number of clicks by around 15 as this will give an estimate of the number of daily searches. For many people this is a lot of research, but in reality it only takes a few minutes. Spending the extra few minutes to properly research something will save you hours and hours and hours of wasted time in the future. Personally I don't stop there. While I have quite good information about the number of searches etc, this isn't enough information to justify building a website. Next step for me would be to write an article and include a little call to action in the bio and link this to an affiliate program related to this keyphrase or niche. (you can usually find something in cb) With a little bit of linkbuilding (bh or wh) it doesn't take too long to get an article to rank, esp if you use a site like ezinearticles or goarticles. I find that a little blog commenting (for pr and occassionally relevance) works well, as do angelas backlinks. Since you may not want to purchase a domain yet, you should use goarticles as they allow affiliate links within the body. [Ezinearticles allow affiliate links if you forward the domain and mask the url] Linkbuilding included this research probably takes me about an hour and a half, maybe less if im in a good mood. Also it's completely cost free. The majority of the time though I end up stopping after the intial stage of using the keyword research which is fantastic, because if i hadn't stopped to fully research something I would probably have wasted a lot more time. If I've found something that's getting hits (lots of article sites display page views) and more importantly making a little bit of money.. I might then cough up 99c for a .info, set up a landing page and run an adwords campaign to test how many and what searches this niche is really getting traffic for. You can take the money you made from sales though your article to fuel a decent adwords research project. By now, I've got a pretty good idea of how well something is going to work for me. I hope this has helped a few people, and if you have any other techniques you use for judging how good a keyword or niche is going to be, feel free to share it here!