Hey there, My name is Qyntius, I recently started a website with no intent to make money, but while doing research on SEO and all that I got quite interested in the IM business itself. Two weeks and a lot of hours reading, and trying things later. I am still overwhelmed by all the information and I want to ask a few things to help me make sense of it all. First thing that confuses me is 'Keyword research'. Is this not just finding a popular keyword or phrase that people search for on the internet? Its treated and spoken of like some magical rare entity. I do understand the importance of finding a niche that is popular, profitable, yet not competitive, but why do we need all these tools and websites to find one? Can't we just brainstorm and look at trends ourselves? Secondly I liked building my website and doing the seo stuff, and I enjoy writing about things that I like; however, nothing that I like is profitable to advertise (VideoGames, Working out, Football). Should I focus on getting better with IM itself while doing things that I enjoy that are not profitable, then when I have more experience make some more greyhat, spinned, linkbuilded sites about things I do not care about, but are profitable. My last concern is the all the offers to take work of my hands (like those people who do keyword research for you), everyone wants me to pay for their services. And while they might do a better job than me, I wonder if its smart for me to miss out on the learning experience itself. Do you guys do all the work yourself (writing, graphic design, coding, keyword research, SEO optimilization, linkbuilding, Social Media refferers), or do you outsource everything and basically just 'own' the website. Ow I almost forgot! How important are backlinks? I am here trying to get legit backlinks from authority sites related to my niche, but how can that ever compete with those people who buy and create 1000s of backlinks. Am I forced to do all that linkbuilding too? If you guys have any tips for a newbie who is at loss of the opportunites presented, feel welcome to share them!