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“Complete with handy guides on how you too can get in on the gold”

11 months ago I launched this site as a place to share my predictions on the best new online business opportunities.

While I haven’t written here as often as I originally planned, I have been quite lucky with some of my forecasting.

My 28 day live case study saw me build a spoken version of Medium, only for them to launch the same thing three months later.

I analysed hundreds of earners on Patreon and said that the NSFW category was actually the biggest gap in their marketshare. They recently changed their terms to be very unfavourable towards those producing adult content, so that claim has more weight than ever.

And a few days ago someone told me they made over $5,000 last month from their Amazon affiliate site thanks to this guide.

I don’t say these things to impress you – there are people way smarter than me who I wish were sharing their predictions instead – but because I feel incredibly strongly about a gap in the market I’m going to share today.

I hope I can convey in words how big of an opportunity I think it is and how badly I hope someone reading this takes action with it.

If you’re going to feel as excited by this as I am, you need to know a little backstory, and that starts with buying the domain name of the website you’re on right now.

The Long, Tedious Process of Purchasing gaps.com for $20,000

If you’re anything like me, you’ve purchased a few spur-of-the-moment domains that you’re probably never going to do anything with.

Sadly these purchases only seem to increase in frequency as you spend more time online. Just a fortnight ago I purchased YoureGonnaDie.com (no, really) and I’m sure I’ll receive the renewal reminder before I even change its nameservers.

Most of these random domain acquisitions of mine are made at Namecheap.

When I’ve wanted to purchase more expensive domains that are already owned by someone I use BuyDomains.com.

I’ve used them to buy dictionary domains like Womanhood.com, and more personal business names like MarketingInc.com.

Last year when I had the idea to build Gaps (which initially had nothing to do with online business ideas), I decided I wanted a premium domain to go with it.

I let my rep at Buy Domains know about my budget and he sent the following email.

Tim didn’t add an extra zero by mistake.

There really were 4,000 domains on the list he sent me, and I really did look at every single one of them.

The only one that stood out to me on their list was solely.com – I liked the idea of “Going it alone and doing something big!” – but none of my friends felt the same so I left it alone.

After striking out at my usual place, I decided to check out some other platforms to see if they had what I wanted.

My goal was simple: I wanted a brandable name that was preferably just one word (be it an actual word or at least something memorable).

For the next few weeks I found myself hunting through Sedo, Flippa, DNPros and GoDaddy auctions, hoping for an amazing domain to appear.

In my impatience I bought Almost.net and Lzie.com just to feel like I wasn’t totally wasting my time. There’s nothing on those sites (I’ve warned you it becomes more common), I just thought they sounded cool.

I also made a bid for Megapixels.com but the seller wanted more than just money which put me off a name I was already unsure about.

Getting desperate and not wanting to keep annoying people at BuyDomains, I also figured out a way to view their entire inventory without having to keep asking for an updated spreadsheet.

Sadly it didn’t matter how long I spent there, I couldn’t find the name for me.

Then I Discovered My New Favourite Marketplace

If you’ve ever found yourself on Theme Forest, Graphic River or Code Canyon, you’ll have likely learned the name of their parent company, Envato.

I’ve always found it to be quite a strange name if I’m honest with you, but I can’t deny it’s memorable.

That name was the brainchild of a domain marketplace called BrandBucket. I don’t know how I ever found them, but I’m so glad I did.

While their prices aren’t cheap, their marketplace features so many brandable and keyword-focused listings that I was lost for choice.

In the first few minutes of finding their site I saw gaps.com and knew it was the domain for me.

It was a little over the twenty thousand dollar budget I had set for myself, so I reached out to see if they could offer a discount for me. They “couldn’t”.

Since it was so close to my budget – literally just $395 more – I decided to go for it anyway.

While I understand the domain probably sounds incredibly expensive to many of you reading – “You could have bought a car” – I love the name and unlike a car, .com domains should only appreciate in value if you didn’t purchase them for an unreasonable price.

While I’m sure I never will, I could likely sell the name in the next week for what I paid — if not for quite a bit more now that it has some history.

How They Sold $3.1m in Domain Names Last Year

BrandBucket have to be one of the most successful domain sellers you likely haven’t heard of.

Before I get into why I think they’re doing so well, I must preface it by saying that my reasons wouldn’t matter as much if they didn’t have great names to sell.

I mean, right now they have Bunny.com for sale…with an actual price tag (!).

To put that price tag comment into perspective, if Bunny.com was listed on Flippa, the seller wouldn’t reveal their reserve and nobody would bid high enough for you to figure it out.

If it was on Sedo the price would be double and nobody would reply to your bids anyway.

If it was on DNPros you would wait up to a week or two for each reply from the seller.

On BrandBucket, you could buy that name in the next 24 hours without any messing around.

In comparison to Namecheap who likely sold millions of domains in 2016, Brandbucket “only” sold 1,017.

Here are their specific numbers for 2017:

  • Domains sold: 1,017
  • Average sale price: $3,070
  • Median sale price: $2,295
  • Repeat buyers: 14.5%
  • Successful sellers: 238
  • Sellers who sold four or more domains: 51
  • Total revenue: $3.1 million

That’s a huge number of sales for a domain name marketplace that hadn’t caught my attention in the five years it was around before.

To put their growth into perspective, they sold $2.4m in domains in 2015 on the back of 801 sales.

That’s a revenue increase of 29%, on domain sales increase of 27%.

Since writing this article, BrandBucket purchased another business name marketplace, Brandroot, for an undisclosed amount.

Brandroot was previously a competitor charging their customers just $10 to list a domain name for sale, although their commission fees were not publicly available.

In a press release from 2019 regarding the takeover, it was stated that the combined business’ now had an itinerary of over 70,000 domains and 1,000 sellers, which is absolutely huge.

Allow me to whip out my green highlighter for a sentence which underlines why I think BrandBucket are doing so well (besides the upfront price tags and them actually replying to your offers).

BrandBucket is revolutionary to me because unlike Namecheap, Flippa, DNPros, Sedo and BuyDomains, you can actually “see” the business you’re about to buy.

The logos accompanying each business help you picture what the brand and company could look like in your head, even if you don’t like the logo. (I didn’t use the logo that came with Gaps and I didn’t use the logo when I later purchased Detailed.com through them either).

On the surface it seems like such a simple thing that you might not agree with me.

You’re probably thinking “So what, they just added a logo to their listings.”

Well, they’re not any old crappy Clipart logos, and it helps if you’ve spent weeks looking at nothing but thousands of rows of text on other platforms.

I should add at this point that I have no affiliation with Brandbucket and they don’t know I’m writing this article. The last domain name I purchased from them was banned on Facebook (I had no idea before purchasing) and even after buying two premium domains in the past they weren’t willing to take any responsibility.

I simply admire their business acumen.

Just trust that when you’ve spent weeks looking through every marketplace that you can possibly find, discovering BrandBucket truly was – to use a terrible cliché – like a breath of fresh air.

There’s something else they do which is a little more subtle, but my experience with Gaps shows me it may be crucially important.

With Gaps, I know my ideas aren’t revolutionary. After all, I only have these ideas because I obsessively monitor startup news and funding rounds like nothing else matters.

I’ve been making predictions and ‘finding gaps’ since my 2010 launch of Cloud Niche. Having people read these predictions is a dream for me.

The reason I think people enjoy reading Gaps updates is not because I say anything groundbreaking, but because I’ll sometimes validate an idea they already had.

When you’re building something new online it’s easy to get really excited about an idea, but just as easily that excitement can shift to thinking about all of the ways your idea can fail and how there’s a reason nobody has built it before and so on and so on.

If I write about the same idea you’ve had or even just something similar, then at least that’s two of us, and it gives the whole concept a little more legs.

I like that BrandBucket do the same thing, even if it’s not as prominent.

If you click on any domain for sale on their site you can see what kind of project their team think it would be a good match for.

For instance, one of the featured domains on their homepage as I write this is RivalMark.com. If you click on the listing to investigate further, you can learn more about which industries they think it fits.

There are enough options there to appeal to a lot of people, but not too many that you think they just added any random word.

Other listings, like for Uprival.com, are a little more descriptive, “A consultant or consulting firm. Collaboration. Video game community. Viral marketing.

If you had the name in mind for any of those things, they’ve just helped you validate that idea, and I think Gaps is proof of how powerful that can be.

I’ll cover this ‘tactic’ more in my second gap in market if you wonder where I’m going with this but for now, let’s start with the idea that made this article something I had to write.

this is what we’re known for

Gaps in the Marketplace Niche

Below this box is the text we’re famous for, but out of respect for you, we do have a disclaimer in place.

We spend dozens of hours preparing these reports and coming up with opportunities you can capitalise on, but we also don’t want to put your life-savings into an idea just because we wrote about it.

For that reason, we have an $8.88 request: Please don’t spend more than that testing out an idea (it’s the cost of a .com on Namecheap) to see if it has legs and makes sense for your business.

We’ve made many successful predictions and even ran our own case study, but we’ve also invested time and money into ideas that didn’t pay off. We’re not directly making money from this report, but still want to be respectful of your own finances.

The $10bn US Market That Needs Its Own BrandBucket

A fortnight ago I hired five writers on Upwork for a new project of mine. The end result was a little frustrating.

Two produced a great article.

Two produced an article that needed a lot of editing.

And weeks later I’m still waiting for the fifth.

Not to mention that four of the five needed to be ‘bumped’ in some form by saying “When are you going to send me this?” which as a writer myself I hated asking of other people.

Just to be clear, what I’m about to share with you was not spawned from this interaction.

I’ve had the business idea I’m about to share with you for a very long time, but this recent experience helped cement the idea for me even further.

There needs to be a better way to purchase content.

We need people (lots of them) to build a content platform that is to Upwork what BrandBucket is to Namecheap.

There are hundreds of places to buy domains and hundreds of places to buy content, but BrandBucket stands out for a reason, so it’s time to see the content-focused equivalent of that.

I’m not just talking about my own needs here, because I know of a lot of people who experience similar frustrations when ordering content for their sites.

According to Forrester, US marketers spent more than $10bn on content in 2016.

Not content marketing. But just the content they have to market.

And that’s just the US. We must be looking at many tens of billions more when we factor in other English-speaking countries of the world.

The industry that I feel is ripe for dominating is that of pre-written content.

Bear with me here.

I know there are a lot of companies that sell pre-written content, but I feel most do it so poorly that there is an incredibly lucrative opportunity to dominate the market.

Constant Content is one of the most successful examples and here’s how they present their pre-written articles:

They don’t provide any pictures so you can ‘feel’ what you’re getting.

The prioritise selling an article multiple times which makes no sense for buyers.

$100 for a 463-word article is an absolutely crazy mark-up for what that article would cost to reproduce, and even their article previews have some pretty bad grammatical mistakes.

Hold on to your midnight domain purchases — Owler estimates they made $5m in revenue last year with just 34 employees.

Something I would purchase time and time again – and what I think is an incredible gap in the market right now – is pre-written content good enough to put on a site and promote with ads or outreach, even if it had BrandBucket-equivalent pricing to match.

I’m going to talk about this vision of mine in a lot more detail (I think there are at least 100 opportunities here for people to build something), but before I do that, let me cover the market a little more so you can possibly see the potential I see.

dotWriter: $2m in Annual Revenue

It’s hard to trust Owler revenue predictions as they don’t reveal their sources, but I’ve actually found them to be pretty accurate when I later discovered a company’s actual revenue.

Keeping in mind that these numbers could be off by a bit, Owler estimates that content platform DotWriter is currently pulling in $2m per year with the help of around 64 employees.

Founded just recently in 2015, the Italy-based startup reached 10,000 registered writers before it was acquired by Mediastinct, who describe their main business offering as a “programmatic marketplace for advertisers.”

Mediastinct’s first call of action was to set-up a booth for dotWriter at ad:tech’s New York conference at the end of 2016, showing they believe the business has a lot of room to grow.

As with other pre-written content platforms, dotWriter simply shows you a headline, a word count and the price for an article. If your ad blocker doesn’t work, you’ll also get an animated robot in the bottom right of your screen introducing you to the platform.

While their pages show you what you need to see, I really don’t think they do much to help you envision yourself as the owner of a piece of content that’s worth buying.

They also offer the ability to order custom content, but that’s seemingly an afterthought if their current design is anything to go by.

CrowdContent Had 70% Growth in 2019

Founded in British Columba, Crowd Content owner Clayton Lainsbury wanted to build a content platform that was “simple but powerful.”

It was hard to initially find any specific revenue numbers for Crowdcontent, but a blog post in 2016 boasts the company having grown by 44% from the previous year. Their more recent post shows that this success has continue with a 70% revenue growth in 2019 when compared to their 2018 figures. So it’s certainly a business in demand.

Their About page, which seems to have been updated in October of 2016, states that they have sold more than 25 million words of content for their customers.

Though I can’t guarantee any numbers, all signs point to this being a multi-million dollar business.

Like many similar marketplaces, they state their aim is to help those looking for content connect with the best writers who can help make that happen.

In another About page update, they added that a number of clients rely on them to create more than 1,000 pieces of content each week, further showing the absolutely huge demand there is for reliable writers.

Even before this article, I’m sure it was no surprise to you that on-demand content is a huge business, but let’s just throw in a few more platforms with their estimated Owler revenues.

  • WriterAccess: $5.6m in revenue with 17 employees
  • TextBroker: $5m in revenue with 100 employees
  • Scripted: $14.4m in funding with $6.4m in annual revenue
  • Text Workers: $1m in revenue with 32 employees
  • TextMaster: $5.9m in revenue with 101 employees

Again, I can’t promise that Owler estimates are totally accurate, but when I’ve later found out a company’s actual revenue, they’ve been scarily close.

As much as we know how big the on-demand content market is, I think there’s an equally huge market available for really incredible, pre-written content that saves you from the pain of choosing the best writer for a job or the wait for your order.

Let’s look at one more example of how big this market is before I get into the ‘What I Would Do’ section.

An Estimated $120m in Writing Jobs Take Place on UpWork Each Year

Since some of my pain in this area stems from a recent hiring-spree on Upwork, I decided to look at their biggest categories and see how many currently active job listings there are for each.

In all honesty I thought writing would have been second or third on the list (CSS and design jobs absolutely dominate Upwork) but still, there is nothing lacklustre about these numbers:

  • Web, Mobile & Software Dev Jobs: 27,312 active listings
  • Design & Creative Jobs: 16,248 active listings
  • Sales & Marketing Jobs: 13,278 active listings
  • Writing Jobs: 11,248 active listings
  • Admin Support Jobs: 6,874 active listings
  • IT & Networking Jobs: 3,031 active listings
  • Engineering & Architecture Jobs: 2,936 active listings
  • Translation Jobs: 2,884 active listings
  • Data Science & Analytics Jobs: 2,278 active listings
  • Accounting & Consulting Jobs: 1,907 active listings
  • Customer Service Jobs: 1,203 active listings
  • Legal Jobs: 883 active listings

Over $1bn in jobs are transacted through Upwork annually – that’s over $2.7m each day. With writing jobs making up 12.4% of the listings on the site, we can estimate that content is worth at least $120m per year for the site. While Upwork only see a percentage of that, it does show how much money is being spent on this asset.

Of course, writing jobs are among the cheapest so it’s hard to give exact numbers, but my $1bn per year number was from 2015, so that has likely increased as well.

Interested? Here’s the Approach I Would Take

As the idea came to me because of BrandBucket, we can’t take what they do so well out of the equation.

BrandBucket help you ‘picture’ what you’re buying, and I think the same should be done with content.

Show me some charts or Unsplash-esque images that are associated with (and come with) what I’m buying. Don’t just give me a table of headlines showing what you have available.

If I was going to take action on this idea – and it is tempting – I wouldn’t sell any article for less than $100.

I would want to showcase the absolute best of the best articles where prices can reach up to $5,000 for unique content that has been researched with its own exclusive data that gives me quotable insights for other websites to link to.

That’s the real angle here for what I’m suggesting: Content good enough to pick up links.

That’s content worth paying a premium for.

Don’t just come up with some quick headline and then hire a writer for $20 to fill in the blanks.

Really research the type of content that has worked for others – Detailed is a great place for that – and then figure out how you can make the absolute best content for any niche.

If you’re going to sell an article for $200, make sure it costs you at least $100 (either via staff or time) to put together.

When you’re just starting out, I would probably make your expenses even closer to the price you’re selling the content for. Build up a great reputation of your content being worth every penny. Go the extra mile.

There is no online business more certain for the next five years than people needing content to either put on their websites, or content to help promote them.

While not everyone will be able to justify or even afford a three or four figure price tag for a single piece of content, there are millions of webmasters who could, and thousands of marketing agencies who would love to take a break from coming up with the next viral hit.

There Has to Be 100 Opportunities Here

To take this even further, and because there is such a huge market for content, I would attempt to dominate a single sector at a time.

Create the brand for the best automotive content that gets people talking and picks up the links.

The brand for the best consumer research that gets people talking and picks up links.

The brand for the best personal finance advice that gets people talking and picks up links.

With this single-industry focus you can:

  • Hire the best writers for your niche and keep them busy on topics they care about
  • Target all on-site messaging to potential clients in that industry
  • Monitor just your space, day in and day out, to see what people are sharing
  • Build up a portfolio of success stories in that particular field

I would even take a leaf out of the Toptal playbook with an angle as good as “The top 3% of articles in the jobs space are right here.

Of course, replacing ‘jobs space’ with the field you really wish to dominate.

It would be awesome if a few Gaps readers could team up and work together to help each other promote their finished niche-focused offerings.

Just don’t forget this: The content you’re selling has to more than worth the time it saves someone to come up with their own ideas and pay their own writers.

People will be able to do what you’re offering for less, so make sure they save a lot of time (both in creativity and creation) by going to you first.

To get my message across properly, let me give an example.

Let’s say I’m looking for content for a client who has a website about personal finance and we’re looking to promote something that has the chance to go viral and pick up links.

I want to go to your site and see at a minimum:

  • The headline for the article. No ‘5 steps to financial freedom’ but something creative and original.
  • How long the article is and how many images are included
  • The audience demographic that would most be interested in the piece
  • Success stories of similar pieces of content (again, Detailed is great for this)
  • Who wrote the article and what their connections are to the space
  • Insights on what makes the article “special” (exclusive interviews, curated quotes, survey results, etc.)
  • Sample images you’ve included in the piece from the likes of Unsplash
  • How much it’s going to cost me

There’s so much more I want to know than just the headline and the price that every other marketplace fails to share.

I really hope there are a few people who see as much potential in this idea as I do.

I’m happy to facilitate connections for you with other Gaps readers if you want to collaborate on marketing ideas, but only after you’ve actually built something.

Build it. Finish it. Send me an email, and I’ll let you know who else did the same.

I have a lot of incredible business opportunities to share here on Gaps over the next few months, but I’m the most excited about the earnings potential with this one.

If you’re new here, you might not know that I try to cover a few opportunities each time I post, so let’s look at one more.

Another Gap in the Market That Could Replicate BrandBucket’s Success

This next gap in the market came to me after constantly seeing people build side projects for platforms like ProductHunt, only to abandon them after the thrill of their 500-upvotes wares off.

Today’s Product Hunt homepage highlights projects we’re excited by right now, yet if you go back just two months on the Wayback machine, that exciting list of smart ideas transforms into a graveyard of abandoned web space.

With 170,000 new websites coming online every single day, surely there’s an opportunity to connect those with the creativity and consistency in ‘shipping’, with those who are able to focus on one thing at a time to see a project through.

BrandBucket don’t own the majority (if any) of the domains on their platform. They primarily help faciliate transactions between people who are looking to sell a domain and those who are looking to buy one.

Build the platform that helps creative side-projects get a new lease of life and I’ll be your first customer.

To give you an example of the size of the opportunity here, let’s look at Product Hunt’s ‘Maker of the Year’ for 2016, Mubashar Iqbal.

While I’m about to highlight some of his ‘dead’ projects, please don’t get me wrong: Mubashar is an incredible maker and fully deserves his title. His skills are inspiring.

That said, I think even he would admit that building projects is often a lot more exciting than seeing them through for years into the future.

As he stated in an interview with Indie Hackers,

Although I have a drive to make projects and make software and to kind of launch things, I’ve never really had the strong desire to be a CEO and a leader of a company. Mubashar Iqbal

Mubashar is so prolific with building side-projects that the following list is only a sample of his creations from 2017 and how they’re currently doing according to SimilarWeb:

  • Walletlist.me: 0 monthly visitors
  • Hackathonmatch.com: 0 monthly visitors
  • Botlist.co: 24,579 monthly visitors
  • 500coins.co: 2,000 monthly visitors
  • WillRobotsTakeMyJob.com: 0 monthly visitors
  • TopShots.co: 0 monthly visitors
  • WhenActive.com: 0 monthly visitors

WhenActive is such a great idea with a great name, but it really deserves some love from someone who is only focused on the site.

Sure, there are similar services out there, but there are similar offerings for just about everything. If Buffer and HelloEdgar are still getting new sign-ups (hint: they are), then you can close new customers for WhenActive.

Update: Mubashar replied to me on Twitter just after this article went live.

Continuing on from that, he supports the idea of a marketplace.


There should be some kind of marketplace for these type of websites to be submitted and sold. Just listing them on Flippa is only half of what I think these sites deserve.

I hinted earlier that part of BrandBucket’s success is helping you validate the idea behind their domains and what they could be used for (your next project).

Based on that, I think a maker marketplace could do something similar to stand out: Help people ‘see’ the future of the business by showing them what kind of audiences to target, which marketing angles to try and even what kind of webmaster would be perfect to take the project on.

Hire someone who actually knows about online marketing to give the best step-by-step advice for anyone considering owning these side-projects and what they should do next with them.

For example, let’s say Mubashar decides to list Will Robots Take My Job on the maker marketplace, some of the advice could include:

  • Finding prominent journalists who didn’t already cover the site and let them know who did
  • Adding more content to try a d benefit from its almost 20,000 backlinks (from incredibly powerful sites)
  • Sell ad space to niche job boards based on the job being entered

The site has 20,000 backlinks and two pages of content. That feels like a waste to me, and hopefully helps you see why I think some of these side-projects need a marketplace to help give them a new lease of life.

When it comes to marketing, give ‘make money online’ bloggers a commission for any sales they send your way.

Keep your own commission incredibly small when starting out to encourage more people to list their sites.

Send very personal, non-automated emails to some top ProductHunt makers to see if they’re interested in finding a new home for any of their projects.

Come up with the name and build the entire platform. Don’t build half the platform and then send it to me to see what I think (this happens a lot).

Please, finish the entire thing. People will not give you the time of day to support your project if you don’t believe in it enough to actually finish the thing and make it usable.

If you don’t know how to design a website, hire a designer who does or take 1-2 hours per day for the next few months and learn. Download free templates and learn how to tweak every single aspect of them.

If that sounds like too much work then you’re not alone in thinking that, but this is also probably not the project for you.

It’s the project for someone, and I really look forward to being a customer.

To wrap up this post, here’s my final order:

  • Budget: $1,000. An absolutely incredible piece of content in the cooking niche that I can buy and ‘pick up’ right now that people will likely share.
  • Budget: $5,000. A project that made the homepage of ProductHunt then faded into darkness that still has potential.
  • Budget: $2,000. An incredibly detailed article with a clever headline and unique data I can share with the readers of a popular personal finance blog. As soon as I hit purchase, I want it.

I guarantee I’m not the only one with these requests.

It’s Good to Be Back

I know I have been quiet here over recent months but you can still find me posting regularly on Detailed if you’re ever looking for marketing inspiration.

I have a large number of articles in the wings for this site which you’ll see going live over the next few months.

I really hope you enjoyed this one.

I have nothing to sell here on Gaps and no ads or affiliate links, so if you could share this article with anyone you know looking for a new online business venture I would really appreciate it.

We’re a bootstrapped team of three, trying to create some of the best “niche opportunities” content on the internet. Clicking the heart tells us what you enjoy reading. Sharing is so appreciated (and always noticed) that we often discuss tweets and FB mentions internally. – Glen Allsopp

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    75 comments
    1. Hey Glen, great article. Will keep this for further reference again.

      Is it an idea to organize these gaps a bit better in a kind of list thing. e.g. gapslist.com where I would just make a kind of list with these business opportunities.

      Colomns e.g. current monopoly, the pain, current arbitrage solution, budget available if this would be fixed by someone, estimated monthly revenue size, etc etc

      Just brainstorming a bit 🙂

      Kind regards,
      Robert

      1. Hey Robert,

        Appreciate the thoughts. Honestly, the basic stats are all over the place. Crunchbase.com. Index.co. TechinAsia.com

        I like to think my ideas couldn’t be distilled into a simple table, but I could be wrong 😉

    2. I love what you do here. I love the thoughts behind these articles as well. There are a lot of us out here who try to see the market gaps – 1) to validate there is $ there , and 2) to have an ‘angle’ something that sets us apart from the ‘yet another…’ field.

      I was sweating when reading this hoping you wouldn’t identify my gap that I’m building now. But I’m also selling a few of my sites in another space because A) I need to have my head on straight to pursue this market, B) I was just playing in that space and didn’t have the deep interest I have in this new area. I’m courting buyers now – negotiating, but maybe there’s space in your fold for my old project 🙂

      AS for domains – I thought BrandBucket was MY secret 🙂 I have written my own domain tools because I have had so many, but with this new project it’s been brutal – I haven’t found the domain that gives this new project life – and yet I have some lame options that allow me to build it, but I’ll have to do something very soon if I’m going to launch this by December….

      Thanks for making a couple of my favorite sites on the web (Gaps and Detailed).

      1. Thanks so much for the kind words, Kevin.

        It sounds like I didn’t reveal what you’re working on so that’s good to hear 😉

        Wishing you the best of luck with the new project!

    3. Hey Glen, great article as usual! Every time I read your stuff I’m like, “I’m gonna do that!” Obviously I haven’t. But content (or lack thereof) is the bane of my existence and probably is for a lot of folks. And there’s only going to be the need for more.
      Another thought, maybe ready made videos as well.

    4. Glen, your analysis confirmed an idea I already had!

      The world desperately needs great pre-written content.

      I am an established freelance blogger in the digital marketing space (Shopify, WIRED, Fortune 500 companies) and I’d love to partner with a developer / technical person to make this happen.

      Feel free to reach me via the link attached to my name.

    5. Love the idea, and as a longform content writer, I’ve considered expanding my business into something like this.

      The biggest deterrent for me is how difficult it is to train people to create high quality, longfrom content. I’m currently working on that and training a group of writers, but it’s a long process to take someone from “I can barely get 3k words on a page” to “I just wrote an insightful 3k post with supporting data and examples.”

      The buying market is a bit limited too. It’s pretty easy to sell these to agencies and SaaS businesses for $1k-2k a pop, but once you get outside of those niches, the demand for premium content drops considerably. I feel like acquisition for this type of business would rely on finding marketing agencies that need lots of pillar content for new clients, and at that point, you’d probably make more just building a content marketing agency.

      Definitely re-evaluating though after reading this. You mentioned that other people have expressed this frustration. What do these people look like?

      1. “The buying market is a bit limited too.”

        Perhaps once you start getting into the many thousands of dollars but there are what, 1 billion webmasters out there?

        Anyone who cares about marketing wants great content on their sites.

        I know plenty of small business owners who have spent / are willing to spend that much on a great piece of content that could get people talking.

        Check out the top 100 sites on any topic and you’ll find a lot of big businesses behind them, but also a lot of very successful individual-owners as well.

        If marketing agencies are getting the content for clients, then your goal should be to get in front of their clients first.

        1. I just bought expert content for $80 dollars because that was the most expensive option for a 1000 word generic article in the material handling space. It sucked. The sentences were grammatically correct, but not very readable. I can get good cheap content and I have writers, but the amount of time organizing is entirely too much. I value my time at 300/hr and so far shitty articles are costing me about 1k in sweat equity just managing it.

    6. This is so timely to me. I just bought a new domain last week to start my Content Creation Services website. I am so glad to know that my “crazy ideas” are actually not that crazy at all. I haven’t set up anything yet (it still has its default “Just another WordPress blog” LOL), so reading this article really gave me the push! Thanks, Glen! 🙂

    7. Amazing post as always, Glen! And as crazy as it might sound, I’ve been working on the “graveyard” site marketplace idea. I always had too many projects in the oven at any one time which made it difficult to complete one. And in talking with others online I know this is a prevalent issue.

      So I’m creating a marketplace that will list all my half-baked websites for sale and unused domains ala “brandbucket” style listings with logos and ideas. Ironically one of these sites I will be listing is webcontent.com – a content marketplace I never got off the ground.

      Anyway, I just found your detailed post extremely timely. I did not think about using ProductHunt to find abandoned established sites so that was a huge tip!

      Thanks and I hope I can update you once we launch in a couple of months.

    8. Glen, you’re a genius. I’ve had the idea for some time to sell content videos, which are high quality videos that are created from “numbered” articles in an evergreen niche like health. I actually have two kenyan boys I helped put through high school and now college that I’m training on creating these types of videos. I’m helping them start their own video creation business.

      Articles are easily ripped off but videos aren’t. So the buyer gets the written article AND the high quality video. Videos like this one. https://youtu.be/R_YrRr0DCHc

      I’ll let you know how it goes. I have them working on my stuff first to train them before they start providing services to the public.

      1. Thanks for doing what you do, David.

        The videos seem tailored towards the Facebook generation, which isn’t a bad thing, but not really the kind of thing that would earn links or create a buzz that results in leads and sales in my opinion.

        Wishing you the best of luck with the project

    9. Thanks, Glen! Great article! I already began to worry that you abandoned the Gaps 🙂
      Really like your idea about Product Hunt side projects. But most of them just landing page and idea. Nothing more. So it’s easier to copy proven idea (since it was listed on top Product Hunt) than buy whole project. Only if due to backlinks.
      All your gaps are very inspiring. I buy domains for them, but it does not go further. This time I’ll try to implement the idea with content and hopefully will soon share the result.
      Once again, thanks for not forgetting Gaps and for the bright insights from Detailed.

      1. The links help, but also the name and the ‘history’ of a site. I’m sure Product Hunt sends residual traffic over time as well.

        Best of luck Andrew. Thanks for the comment!

    10. I love the idea of a niche focused marketplace for pre-written content. Considering my background in Finance/Investments, it would make sense for me to focus in this area.

      Before hiring/partnering with a technical guy to develop a full marketplace site and inmersing fully into the project, which can take many months, which way you recommend to have the minimal viable product to start as soon as possible ? I mean, to have the simplest website in order just to start and test the concept. If that works, then thinking into a bigger development.

        1. Thanks for your reply. Which would be your best approach to target that one-page to potential clients ? Not sure if running ads on FB,Google for that may work.

    11. Hi Glen, great piece of content, and I think it’s a truly lucrative gap especially with the extra data and marketing guidance with a wink towards potential external links growth,I gonna try it in certain financial niches, one thing comes to mind, would u disclose how many bought the content? I assume it’s a question that will come to mind if someone spends 2000$ for primuom content.

    12. I was thinking along these lines when I began to develop iWritebox.com – you said you used ‘upwork’ writers – and frankly so many of the content producing options out there are highly generic, mediocre and appalling (think crappy articles circa 2009) as a writer myself I was thinking of presenting something a bit different – but as always it is a question of being able to communicate precise things to precise people.

    13. Thanks for another inspiring article, Glen. Yours are the only ones I get an email about and immediately come to your site and read from start to finish, and over again. The longer the better, is my preference! I’ve had this idea for a specific (lucrative niche) and now you’ve inspired me to give it some deeper consideration. My hangup is I always over-complicate ideas like this and get hung up before making any serious progress. Thanks for always sharing your great ideas, and walking your talk. Much appreciated!

      1. Thanks for the kind words Mr. B.

        “My hangup is I always over-complicate ideas like this and get hung up before making any serious progress”

        You’re not alone there, Rich. In another comment I mentioned how I would build a MVP, so I would start there with just a single article and see how you get on.

    14. Thanks for doing what you do, David.

      The videos seem tailored towards the Facebook generation, which isn’t a bad thing, but not really the kind of thing that would earn links or create a buzz that results in leads and sales in my opinion.

      Wishing you the best of luck with the project 🙂

      1. Word is fine, though I would personally prefer a text file so I can paste it into my editor of choice (with proper markup).

        Some platforms also have their own backend where they display an article and they just expect you to copy and paste it from there.

    15. Very interesting! I have a lot of ideas but 2 of them are very promising.
      1. I run multiple viral websites but focused on 1 niche. I have to find content on other websites to copy it to my websites. I’m not a native english speaker, also I don’t have time to spend on rewriting articles because I love focusing on traffic and numbers. Fiverr and upwork couldn’t help me. I need a place where to find people who can rewrite a number of articles every day at an affordable price. This kind of websites require a lot of content to be published every day. No topic research or SEO. Just to make a better job than a content spinner software.

      2. I recently started inst.co after I seeing a huge success with Instagram. The social platform is pure gold for CPA and ecommerce I curently grow my Instagram accounts using a private software and I plan to find clients to manage their accounts based on a monthly plan.

      What do you think?

      1. If it did well, then absolutely.

        That said, I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so I would want all of the pictures to be the same width and keep the heading styles and sizes consistent etc.

        I don’t think the angle was clear enough until you really dig into the article.

        I’m more thinking of headlines / side projects you wouldn’t find 10,000 results for in Google. Even if yours is a different angle, I think the headline should make that clear first 🙂

        Nice job!

    16. loved this article. I don’t know how I got on your subscriber list but I am a fan now! I wanna tackle the articles you need. Where do I send the details of the articles once done?

      1. Thanks Opal.

        I’m not sure what you mean about sending me the articles I need?

        If you meant building the site and connecting with other Gaps readers, you can either share it here in the comments or click on the ‘contact’ link in the header or footer 🙂

    17. Hi Glen,

      First-time reader here. Great article and comments, wow, I am blown away. I just had to share my 2 cents.

      From a buyers perspective, I think the second idea with a “marketplace to help give them a new lease of life” would be full with radioactive sites that old owners would like to ditch, so due dillegence for those would be even more dificult than the ones you check on … well, I don’t want to advertise anyone, the marketplaces where you check website you want to purchase today.

      As for the first idea, I would bet my money on that one! I would also add a couple feautures if I may. It would be great if the article that’s being sold (besides the title and a screenshot) also has listed keywords that the post is optimized around. So for example instead of just saying “this article is for the web hosting industry” or for the “Food & Drink” category (as you have shown with a screenshot) it would list 1 or 2 keywords that the article should rank for. Showing me the usual stats that regular WordPress plugin is showing me (how many transition words, Flesch Reading Ease test, percentage of long sentencases, how much passive voice, etc) before I make the purchase would also be really helpful. I understand this is SEO teritory, but in my opinion content needs to be optimized sooner or later. What do you think about that spin?

        1. Dan, the Yoast plugin gives all those stats Goran mentioned.

          Goran, I agree that would be an excellent idea. Often, even when you have what seems like a pretty decent article, once you put it into WordPress you find that there’s still plenty of editing needed to get good readability and SEO scores in Yoast. Buying an article that’s already been properly optimised (with the Yoast numbers as proof) could be very attractive from a time-saving perspective — a saving of up to an hour per 1000 words in my experience.

    18. I really like the idea of producing quality content. I imagine it would require a significantly investment to set up the initial inventory of articles.

    19. Thanks for another great article Glen~

      Interestingly, I connected with a company called Gingerbread Marketing (though it looks like they’ve just changed their name to ContentPro’s.

      They use a subscription model for premium content – what they refer to as “Epic content” – which eliminates that potential problem Jacob McMillen alluded to above.

      I actually signed up as a writer there and have to say, their vetting was as deep and careful as any I’ve had for top 6-figure positions.

      Their business model was eye-opening – not just the subscription premium content model, but their content-producer support: clear elucidation of what they consider – and what constitutes – acceptable ‘Epic’ content, numerous links to excellent examples, and plenty of linked top resources for the ‘how’ of it.

      As someone who has been a content buyer for years – my Freelancer.com account has about 120 content/writing jobs posted over the past 8 years – I am painfully aware of all those problems you reference.

    20. Great angle here Glen. I’ve seen a number of exciting new startups in the content-marketing space, so I feel what you have in mind here is very necessary for the industry. The risk with most of these players is they are mostly targeting the low-end of the market, and hence limiting the amount of value they can give to really big brands. What kind of impact are they going to have if they shy away from solving the biggest problems? But the problem is there, it’s just bigger than most of these players realize!

    21. Hey Glen,

      This article is so timely for us, as we just acquired and redesigned (two weeks ago!) a side project marketplace called Transferslot — https://transferslot.com.

      I’m a big fan of trying to always add value to things, and we took some similar steps as what you describe in the article:

      We review every side projects applications, ensuring their quality. We discuss with the founder(s) about the pricing, the description and we design them custom marketing materials to help them sell their projects.

      We also have a « trusted buyer program », where our members receive new projects 7 days before they go public.

      What would you do « more »? I’m wondering how we could add even more value to projects listed. Any thoughts?

    22. Hey, guys. Question for everyone. What is the advantage of premium domain from the one that came up myself? Glen buys premium domains and I want to understand their benefits.
      Thanks in advance.

    23. Great read as always Glen, thanks. I think this is a great idea. A variation of it that had occurred to me in the past is basically a curated marketplace of quality content writers starting at something like $500/article. Getting that quality is difficult enough – getting it in bulk in advance even more so, so why not start with connecting the talent and the purchasers first, then go pre-written? Just a thought.

      PS Is it just me or have you nicked your favicon from The Guardian? 😉

      1. Hah, I’ve had too many of these Guardian questions so I’m going to have to change it.

        It’s just that the font for my logo (Syrup Sans) is quite similar to theirs even though with the full word they look completely different.

        “why not start with connecting the talent and the purchasers first”

        That’s what hundreds of platforms already do. This cuts out the waiting period 🙂

    24. Hi Glen,

      Great content! I want to start this idea in the Netherlands (connect purchasers that are looking for some great content and writers to new clients). Do you know if there is a template (WordPress or other platform) that will fit in this idea?

      I always love to read your blog!

      Jelle

    25. Hey there Glen and gaps.com readers.

      This article inspired me to start a site.

      I’m a designer by trade and I’m sitting on a bunch of great domain names that I’ve purchased over the years.

      So I decided to combine my love of new business, logo design skills and my catalogue of domain names… the result is:

      https://braand.co.

      I’ve spent the last 3 weeks building the site at night and on the weekends. I launched it yesterday and am now in the process of letting everybody know.

      Thanks for the inspiration Glen!

      Craig

    26. Love your writings Glen. This quote from the post is hilarious 🙂 “The only one that stood out to me on their list was solely.com – I liked the idea of “Going it alone and doing something big!” – but none of my friends felt the same so I left it alone.” Funny, and idea of going alone – left alone – because noone thought it was any good. Me thinks there is an opportunity for a lone wolf community of some sort. Kind of a paradoxical proposition tho 😉

    27. Hi Glen,
      This is a fascinating GAP idea but do you agree this business model means that the content producer has to take on all of the risk for each article? Specifically, each time I would have to risk a few hundred dollars to produce an article. Then, I would need to cold email different website owners to see if they want to buy the article. (Building traffic to the site means cold emailing potential website owners.)

      Since cold email outreach would be needed in any case, a better way could be to get a few website owner as clients and produce content for them on demand – at least for a while. This way I wouldn’t have to take the risk of creating content no one would buy. Later on it could make more sense to productize via your method (after the client network is created and after they have a track record with my service.)

      By the way, a twist on your idea is to split up the content store into two sections – one free section and one gated premium section that costs a monthly membership and which contains content that only paying members have access to. Thoughts?

      1. I agree, but the risk is so small.

        You’re not expected to put together 100 articles before you try to sell any. One or two should do the job.

        And, if you pick a niche you care about, you could always use the articles yourself if they don’t sell.

        I probably wouldn’t use cold emailing myself, but it is is one option, yeah.

        Producing content on demand is what every other offering on the planet (literally hundreds or thousands of businesses) do, so you’re not really setting yourself apart with this approach.

        If you want to produce content on demand that’s fine; it’s a proven business model. But not really the ‘gap in the market’ that I’m trying to cover here.

        Splitting things up could work but again, it’s not really separating you from the pack.

        1. Hey Glen,

          You said cold email wouldn’t be how you’d do it — how else would you sell the first couple of articles? I can’t think of any other way than to basically email a bunch of potential webmasters / blog owners and ask if they’d be interested in buying, so I wondering what other ways I’m missing?

    28. Hi Glen (and any readers of this comment),

      I genuinely feel as though selling posts to content marketing agencies is the way to go with this business model. After setting up a site, writing an article based on a similar case study on Detailed.com, and doing personalized email outreach to some bloggers in the personal development niche, I’ve come to a conclusion: most bloggers don’t really care about buying paid content due to a dignity/honour standard.

      Reaching out to content marketing agencies or startups is the way to go. With regards to bloggers, losing out on the writer’s voice has been a frequent objection. This could just be the majority of bloggers in my niche space as opposed to all of them, though. Perhaps there are some small fraction of bloggers that wouldn’t mind purchasing pre-written content.

      I think there are a few signs that indicate a person could be a potential client:

      1) They don’t write in an overly personal way. A lot of writers have an identity that fuses with the blog, so an impersonal post (or one that has a different writer’s voice) probably won’t work with them.

      2) They have pop-ups and lead magnets on the site. This indicates that the webmaster really cares about getting more customers. Having no pop-ups, lead magnets, free eBooks, or anything of that sort is a red flag.

      3) They’re a startup. Startups, from what I’ve seen, respond significantly better to my pitches. Blogs with just one owner, not so much.

      These have been very insightful realizations that I’ve made and I definitely feel like I’m getting closer to landing my first sale.

      Hope this advice helps out anyone else who has decided to pursue this business model!

      Cheers.

    29. This business idea will never work because…. who on this fing planet is going to fund $100 – $2000 articles before any proof of concept. You would need to find a personal finance writer that is willing to foot the bill in terms of sweat equity and time just to see if people will bit the bullet.

      I’d be much more inclined to sell before I build, as in pitch high quality articles in the personal finance (or any other niche) to companies/blogs to see if they would buy them prior to creating articles that you don’t know will even sell.

      Perhaps you could get people to write these articles and post them on your website (ie like a marketplace), but again, building this without proof of concept is a disaster in my opinion.

      Also, encouraging people to toil away at this idea for months before validating the concept is absurd in of itself. Sure you have built successful client based businesses, but you have never built a business of this scale, so no offense, but your advice is invalid.

      1. I’ve received a few success stories in my inbox now of people doing this exact thing.

        I have bought many articles for this amount without “and proof of concept” – I’m not even sure what that means in this regard.

        No offense taken, but your comment is wrong, and I don’t mean any offense by that either.

    30. Great to read this. My team and I are six months into developing the domain Content.Marketing. It will launch late October/early November, as a platform to buy and sell quality content. I am interested in hearing from talented writers to join us. Any writers looking for work, please email me at [email protected]

      James

    31. Hi Glen,

      Is BitContent.com your next domain purchase? Content paid in Bitcoin, disrupting not one but two industries, the content and financial ones.

    32. Having read this I believed it was extremely informative. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this article together. I once again find myself spending a significant amount of time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

    33. Well, I’m doing this. I’ve thought about this very thing for 6 years. I started as a content specialist in college and am now a full-stack web developer. I saw the copychief.com website and thought about how we need something like that for content producers. I’d love to work with other folks on this if anyone’s interested.

      I’ve primarily worked on large, CMS websites with hundreds of employees and lots of complexity. I also have a few groups I can tap into for writing content.

      1. Love this site. I heard you on the Smart Passive Income podcast. I’ve been sharing that episode around to friends and family. Thanks for the incredible insight into these ideas.

    34. It looks like choosing right domain is directly proportional to growth of the business you want to create. I liked your choice gaps.com which is short, memorable and symbolic which is cool. After reading your article, to me it sounds like building top notch websites require preparation and planning.

    35. I’ve known your blog for a long time, but this content is really interesting.
      We know the domain value business well.
      But not applied to the core business.
      Excellent in everything.
      Well done, good.
      Federico Gavazzi

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