Screw The Numbers Game, Start With The Audience

Don't play the keyword lotteryToday I am calling shenanigans on keyword research that is based purely on numbers, which is what most people tell you to do. This is the wrong approach and is leading many new to Internet Marketing, and others not so new, to fail.

How do you know what keywords people are actually using? Hit up Twitter for a bit and see who is using your keywords. Are they all marketers?

If you want to stop wasting your time, make more money, and build a truly sustainable business, watch the video below and discover how to really approach a market. Here's a hint: don't start with a product.

What do you think?

How has your experience been playing the keyword numbers game? Any luck?

Let's talk about it in the comments below.


  1. You had me listening with interest till you called it a ‘nitch’ !!! American English everywhere :p Though I agree the ‘audience’ are the ones out to buy. The ‘buying keywords’ are the ones you should be targeting, the audience you should be targeting as the ROI on them,(or conversion rate) will be higher compared to a ‘information hunter.’.

    • Robert Dempsey says:

      I considered pronouncing it correctly but then I was hoping to annoy someone with it 🙂

      And I agree on the buying keywords especially when using PPC traffic. Many buying keywords run across niches, and some I think are more specific. If you know the language of the audience you’ll know what “other” buying keywords they can use. However the common ones are the best place to start.

      Thanks for adding that Don!

  2. Hey Rob great points in the video….I just think that the numbers game IS the audience LOL

  3. Great insight Rob!

    I actually discovered a niche and related keywords by accident through blogging. I’ve noticed people search for certain words and I started creating content and products around that. Works out beautifully. 🙂

    Thanks for the post!

    • Robert Dempsey says:

      Now that’s a very cool way to turn observation into a business. Rock on Constantin, and thanks for the comment. I’d love to know more about how you went from point A to B with it. Perhaps we can catch up on Skype.

  4. It’s really interesting that you bring up the notion of looking for the problem before developing a product. I don’t know if you read him (new to your blog), but Ramit Sethi spent the past few weeks spreading the message of developing the right business idea (and not just any idea) and focusing on finding your first three paying customers. I think you’re right when you say you should look at what the audience needs, not just what the skills you have to offer them. Ramit suggests looking on Craigslist and seeing if people are looking for an answer to a problem and then target them.

    I am sure there is a way to adjust this system so it works for niche sites. Ramit’s focus is on freelancers (consultants).

    • Robert Dempsey says:

      Hi James, I don’t read Ramit however perhaps I should start. Frankly I wouldn’t start my searches on Craiglist – I’m not convinced that those folks are willing to spend the type of money we require to make an actual living in our businesses. I like to start my searches on Amazon, blogs, and forums. I am doing this for all of my niche sites which currently total 8 with more coming online over the next few weeks.

      There are two ways to go with this whole things. I’m finding better results starting with problems than solutions.

  5. Cool, just filled out the survey.

    I <3 Market Samurai. It's freaking awesome. But I felt the same way about their video training. I thought the numbers thing just didn't jive 100% with what I've experienced. There's a lot more to it than just big numbers, like you said.

    The MSN Online Commercial Intention tool ( ) is kind of a fun little tool that helps you assess whether people searching for the term intend to buy something associated with that term. Of course it's not foolproof, but it can give you a general idea of the profitability of keywords.

    • Robert Dempsey says:

      The MSN tool you mention is great, amongst others they have there. Frankly the more information you can get the better off you’ll be. Most of the tools will give you a great lay of the land, however there is nothing better than going straight to the source.

  6. OK, I left my e-mail and if I am not in the first 20 you better send me something.

    Like invitation to Stabucks with you and that nutcase Dino :)))))

    Oh, by the way, I actually liked the survey and your video. I had the luck to learn from Site Build It so I am OK with niche and Amazon stuff but there are some things you mentioned that sound very interesting and promising 🙂

    • Robert Dempsey says:

      Thanks Brankica and I will be sure to hook you up with something – I don’t want you angry at me 🙂

      Thanks for your help!

  7. Hi Robert,
    I understand that you have got to do your due diligence, formulate a business plan etc. However some of us aren’t wired to find the audience first and then secondarily develop and market a product. It seems to me that other factors must receive equal consideration. You just have to enjoy what you are doing (but also balance that with good business practices).

    • Robert Dempsey says:

      I can understand that Riley and practically no one out there is teaching this method, they typically start with the numbers. I just want to caution the excellent folks here that the numbers don’t tell the entire story. It’s like statistics on the news – trust but verify (I think that was Reagan who said that).

      Right now I’m gathering the audience intelligence for a number of sites while waiting for competitive intelligence to come in while I have article writing going on (already did a few days of keyword research), etc. But for me, depending on the niche style I am going for, the product is the last thing.

      As for a business plan I don’t really see a need for one of those – things are too fluid.

  8. Amen, Robert! I’ve been on that soapbox for a long time.

    By getting to know the needs of an audience a whole world of product promotion opportunities opens up to you.


    • Robert Dempsey says:

      Yeah mon Moe! I knew you would dig it. Only way to go in my opinion. It’s one of those, “but it takes time” things you hear about building larger businesses. But I digress…

      More of us need to promote it. Spread the good word!

  9. Hey Robert,

    Really do love your video intro music!

    Ahhhh the age old question, what comes first the chicken or the egg, ha ha.

    8 niches! Wow I am in just one right now, but I guess it does cover a lot of related sub niches, just not focused on one right now.

    I am going to to do as you suggested and just plain “ASK” and see what feedback I get.

    The tip for learning your audiences/customer “lingo” is a great one, shall be implementing that too.


    • Robert Dempsey says:

      Thanks Alex I whipped up that little ditty in Garage Band. My dreams of being a club DJ never realized… Pity.

      Now to your comment, yes man just ask! How many people guess at this? What a freaking waste of time.

      Let me know how it works out for you.

      And look for a video soon with much more on those niches and my world domination strategy.

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