Let's Talk About Verticals / Niches

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I'm quite curious to hear some of the heavy hitter's thoughts on verticals and niches. Now, there's money everywhere when thinking about billion-dollar industries as a whole. Sure, but are there any verticals/niches that even the biggest breadwinners here would be hesitant to jump into? If so, what would deter you from jumping in or even dipping your toes in the water?

Are their niches that people think are worth getting into with ripe opportunity and if you had to start over, what and where would it be?

Lastly, I'm quite curious about people's take here and whether they're widely (and successfully) diversified across multiple verticals. I've made the majority of my money in a few verticals, but I've failed in many.

Note: I'm not trying to call out anyone in any space here or blow up people's spots/angles. Sure, billion-dollar industry's have plenty of room for all but that being said, probably best to refrain from pointing out specific sites if examples are provided.
 

Ryuzaki

お前はもう死んでいる
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You have a few options:

Big verticals with a ton of users and money flowing through it.
This is the stuff we always think about: fitness, home and garden, finance, dating and love, self-help... all the big categories of life. The reason these are attractive is because people don't act like lunatics for the most part, there's always the slim pickings you can go after that the big players don't find worthwhile, and there's always room to grow, and it's attractive to buyers.

Small niches with less users and a metric ton of money flowing through it.
This is where you may be tempted to compete, but it's not going to go the way you think. This is payday loans, casino, sports betting, pharma, adult, etc. If you go into this thinking it's like the "categories of life" stuff, you're in for a surprise. You may treat it that way and start sliding up even the 2nd page before you start getting spammed to death, DDOS'd, doxx'd, threats appearing in your mailbox, your phone ringing, your server hacked and destroyed, etc.

Small sub-niches within verticals with less competition.
"I'm only going to target golf gloves instead of golf clubs, carts, bags, techniques, etc." This may seem like a decent choice because there's less competition and you can "finish" the site eventually and all that's left is marketing and links. Doing this is fine but you should never have a domain limited like "GolfGlovesHQ.com" when you could have "GolfEverythingHQ.com" instead. Starting small is good but you should never artificially limit yourself.

As far as niches that I'd be hesitant to get into, you wouldn't catch me dead in anything "YMYL" any more (your money, your life). Those have become purposefully over-competitive in the algorithm because Google can't afford to let a spammer climb up the ranks and cause someone to get hurt, etc. This is health, rehab, addiction, and even finance for me.

I also wouldn't get into anything that's possibly on the radar to be rolled up in the YMYL stuff. This is fitness, dieting, exercise, even pet health. Things like real estate, retirement, early retirement and financial freedom... I'm trying to think up more. There's a lot of stuff where people are going to get an apocalypse. It happened December 3rd through the 20th or so with fitness as far as I can tell and I'm sure other niches.

Tread carefully. You can compete in any big YMYL niches but you better be ready to work and spend some serious money breaking through the barrier.
 
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@Ryuzaki Thank you for the feedback here. I'm happy to share a small experience here hitting your YMYL comment. I'd consider CBD to be in the YMYL stuff. A while back I decided to dip my toes in the water there as a side project that I didn't really put too much effort into. I invested perhaps $5-8k, created a couple of hundred pieces of content, built links, got up to a DR 40+ and, the big boys ate my lunch of course. Also, it feels like Google tripped and pantsed me on the way down during one of the updates. So that's my tiny experience within the YMYL niches. I'll stick to living a healthy lifestyle instead of building sites on it. Bad luck? Perhaps. Give up too soon on low priced rev share products with pricing being driven down by saturation? Perhaps. Some people have done well and still do I'm sure, but not my cup of tea.