When I started the “IT Skeptic” I little realized I had blundered into an empty niche. The Web craves novelty, and Google rewards the incumbent. First up best dressed on the internet. I’ve built a dozen other sites but none of them do well because none of them are original. I’m passionate about most of them, I have some knowledge, and I even have one or two original ideas. But I wasn’t there first.
The only other difference I can think of is the vigour with which I did the early SEO. I may have pushed the Skeptic site harder than the others (though I tried pretty hard with some of them). It may be true that if you are not first you can overcome that by shouting louder. If so, one has an advantage by living in New York or London, and/or by having worked in industries that give you networks into media. I’m not sure that living in NZ helps here: to get attention one needs more than internet channels: one also needs traditional access to others to get initial exposure. Is LinkedIn a substitute? Maybe.