Thinking Tangentially: How To Succeed Online In a Competitive Environment

Richard CummingsMaking Money Online, Web Consulting4 Comments

When individuals or companies are trying to succeed online in the face of heavy competition, they often do one of two things:  They either give up or they employ the same strategies as their competitors.

In this article, we take a look at a concept called tangential thinking, which will enable you to succeed in competitive markets that offer great returns.

I recently wrote an article called Making Money Online with Commission Junction.  In the article, I mentioned one of the great affiliate programs with Commission Junction, the HostGator Affiliate program.  When someone signs up through one of your HostGator affiliate links, you receive in excess of $100 for that customer from Commission Junction.

The entrepreneur in you thinks, “Great, I can get 80 customers a month, just 2 or 3 a day, and I’ll be able to rake in about $8,000 a month.”

If this is you, you have the proper mindset of someone who wants to make money online.  The problem is…almost everyone has that mindset.  It’s easy to think of making all that money.  The hard part is figuring out how to do it.

The people who realize opportunities early on certainly have a first mover advantage.  If you type “hostgator review” into Google, look at who comes up as the first entry:  a website named  As you can see in the domain record for this domain, it was registered a little over 3 years ago and now sits atop the Google rankings getting all the traffic for someone typing in “Hostgator Review”.  Suffice to say, the owner of this domain is a very solid money maker with the prescience and know-how to conquer “hostgator review” traffic.

Seeing this great success, people either give up their HostGator affiliate dreams thinking “he already did…it’s too late” or they do the exact same thing and create a type of site.

Both responses are wrong.

If you give up, you will not realize any HostGator affiliate income because…you gave up.  However, if you do the exact same thing as, your competition will be too steep.

To succeed in the face of this stiff competition, you need to learn to Think Tangentially.

We often here the word tangent used when someone digresses on a subject:  “Ah, he went off on a tangent and talked forever”.  The word tangent is also used in geometry meaning “making contact at a single point or along a line; touching but not intersecting.”

Using tangential thinking for success encompasses both of these definitions.  When you want to succeed in a stiff market, you have to look for ideas that are tangential to the main idea.  That is, ideas that “touch the topic but do not directly intersect”.

In the case of HostGator, the main idea would be to write HostGator Reviews (or cheap web hosting, best web hosting, reliable web hosting, etc), but, as we’ve seen, you’re too late for that.  You need to look for tangential ideas.   Ask yourself questions like:  “Who else needs information about where to host a website?”  “Are there people who need the information but don’t even know it until I tell them?”

When you ask yourself these questions, you may be lead to new territories, new ideas, and, most importantly, new opportunities.

For example, in the HostGator ideas that are already taken category, we see that people searching for all these terms–web hosting reviews, HostGator reviews, etc– are people who already know they need web hosting and are now looking for the best deal.

However, if we begin thinking tangentially, we can think of different types of searches like, “How Do I Create a Website?”, “Where Can I Register a Domain Name?”, “How Do I Get My Own Email Address?”, “Do I Need A Website?”, “My Website Went Down”, etc.

All of these are tangential searches.  They do not directly address web hosting, but HostGator has a solution for them.  You can be the one who brings these searchers the Hostgator solution and, in the process, earn very good money in an extremely crowded market.

To achieve tangential success, you need to think freely.  Write down all ideas that come to you…even ones that seem stupid.  If you reach a mental block, do some surfing on the Internet for terms you think might be related.  This will stimulate you and make your tangential list even longer.

Once you have a solid list in place, you are now on your way and you can begin having online success in a crowded market.  Remember, in the case of an affiliate like HostGator, you do not necessarily need massive traffic for solid income.  Let’s say  your “tangential lists” bring you a total of 1000 visitors a month and you receive a 1% sign-up ratio, or 10 people per month.     At over $100 per sign-up, that’s an extra $12,000 per year for a few tangential pages.  Not bad, huh?

Remember, you will always face stiff competition online where the rewards are plentiful.  You should not give-up nor should you try to do the same thing that everyone else is doing.

Thinking tangentially, you can create traffic and generate great income by identifying unexplored territories of very competitive markets!

4 Comments on “Thinking Tangentially: How To Succeed Online In a Competitive Environment”

  1. Pingback: Blogging for Profit Carnival for May 31, 2010 |

  2. So your saying you need to be Psychotic to get ahead in todays hyperspeed market?

    Indeed, I’ve been thinking lately that my thinking is more suited to the future as “the singualarity” gets NEARER, not at.

    I recently found out minutes ago, I’m a tangential thinker along with having other thought disorders, but apparently all this is classed under Psychosis, but anywho after recently finding out about tangential thinking etc, I came to this page in my search for answers, and indeed questions about tangential thinking.

    I’m somewhat suprised at what you say, but part of me is not suprised, mainly because what you say is obvious to me, BUT fears/self-esteem/emotions whatever push me back from that idea is of any value.

    But now reading this,and beginning to understand more than previously thinking “I’m just a left handed INTJ”, this will be another step forward heading towards Advertising, Marketing etc

    So all the above is basically a long winded psychotic thank you!


  3. Actually I’ve also been into affiliate marketing, and for a time it didn’t work so I gave up. You have encouraged me to get back to it in a tangential way. Thanks very much!

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