Find a Niche By Word of Mouth

Internet ventures are easy to start but tough to make successful.

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Internet ventures are easy to start but tough to make successful. Tom Bevan and John McIntyre offer some tips.

Consistency, consistency. It requires total vigilance and plenty of sweat equity to make a website good day in and day out. Bevan and McIntyre take few, if any, holidays during the year.

Do one thing well. Few Internet ideas are truly meant for the masses. Says Bevan: "Try to focus on serving a niche of people and serving them as best you can."

Function trumps form. While website designers frown on RealClearPolitics' crowded look, Bevan and McIntyre aren't swayed. "The site," McIntyre says, "is really meant to be a distributor of the best analysis...in a very quick and easy way."

Be old-school. The best way to build website traffic is through referrals and word of mouth, not advertising. Creative viral-marketing ideas can boost traffic cheaply and quickly, Bevan says, "but you still have to have a clever idea."