Reading a couple of posts in the forums recently about people not researching keywords really got me thinking. There are many ways to make money on the internet. Some people create websites about their hobby or whatever they are most passionate about. Other people use keyword research to try and find niches that get a large search volume, but there are few competing websites and then they monetize that search traffic with affiliate programs or info products.
Both methods can work, and one way is not necessarily better than the other. The two methods do not necessarily have to be mutually exclusive. Say for example you are interesting in making a site about “surfing in bali”. Your keyword research shows lots of people interested in this topic and you find the niche has lots of competition. You go through the long tail search phrases and you find “bali surfing tours” has a significant number of searches, but has very few websites that compete for this phrase.
If you can find a suitable affiliate program that sells surfing tours in Bali, you could have found a great niche to make a website on. Of course there are other ways you could monetize your site.
My point is, just because you are making a site about something you interested in, it doesn’t mean you should ignore doing keyword research.