Vertical Portals: The Hottest New Trend On The Net?

The Internet continues it's explosive growth in all directions, so you would think that
identifying a hot opportunity would be a simple matter. The reality, however, is that
most netrepreneurs still struggle to make a living on the Net, while a relative few hit
the big time.

In an environment where technology and markets swirl around each other like a
cyclone, getting caught up in a virtuous spiral is a matter of following natural forces.
Some ideas, no matter how obvious, simply won't fly until their time has come.

Take vertical portals, for example. Lately, they are being touted as one of the hottest
new trends for commerce on the Web. Vertical portals aren't really a new
concept-just an idea that's time has come.

For those who aren't familiar with the term, "vertical portals" are web sites that serve
as guides or directories for specific topics on the Web. Sites like Yahoo! are called
"portals" because they provide an entry point to the wide open world of the Web.
The major portals provide much needed structure to the Web. However, a web
surfer who is interested in a specific subject -pro tennis, for example- would soon
find that there are extensive resources and communities just around that subject. (See
Absolute Authority on Pro
Tennis
. The "horizontal" or general portals like Yahoo! can't possibly keep up
with every possible topic.

That's where vertical portals come in. Vertical portals are typically run by people
with an interest in a particular subject. These people proactively seek out the content
and community around that subject, and organize it with a level of care and skill that
general portals simply can't match. They are a natural element of the Web. And
guess what- they aren't new.

Vertical portals have been around from the start. So why are they suddenly so hot?
Two words-Economic Viability. Whereas vertical portals used to be nothing but a
time- sink for those who operated them, they are now being turned into income
generating machines. Their time has come.
Here are some of the dynamics combining to make vertical portals a great
opportunity now.

1. Increased traffic - It was just a matter of time before enough people came on to
the Web to reach a critical mass. We're there.

2. Consumer Confidence - Not only are multitudes now surfing, but they are
increasingly feeling confident about purchasing online. Concerns about credit card
scams and security are fading, and digital commerce is starting to flow freely.

3. Easy Ecommerce - Setting up a system to make sales on the Internet used to be a
major technological hurdle. But with standardized and very affordable ecommerce
programs now available, virtually anyone can set up a shop within their vertical
portal.

4. Affiliate Programs - Even if the site owner doesn't have products of their own to
sell, they can get set up with affiliate programs and sell a wide range of products
specifically targeted to their audience.

One program, href="http://www.absoluteauthority.com/frame.cfm?sponsor=rbenvin">Absolute
Authority actually provides a system for people to easily create their own
vertical portals and plug in affiliate programs through a user-friendly interface. By
building a vast network of vertical portals under a common umbrella, Absolute
Authority plans to capture mind share in this key area of the Web. They are currently
accepting applications for specific topics.

In the dynamic world of the Web, timing is everything. Fortunes will be made in the
years to come, but only by those who keep pace and move when the time is right.

About the Author

Richard Benvin is the developer of (http://www.gorillamarketing.com/) Gorilla Marketing, a
web site providing free Internet Marketing tips and tools, and the publisher of
Absolute Marketing Solutions, which is a weekly ezine focused on the latest Internet Marketing news, articles and
affiliate programs.

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