Is there a way to build a sustainable online business without spending money, without learning a bunch of new tricks and tactics, and without throwing a bunch of crap against the wall and *hoping* that it sticks?
In fact, there are many ways to do so with just an idea, a little bit of elbow grease, and a niche market that buys (that last one is the real kicker).
Travis Sago and I cover this pretty extensively inside of Blue Collar Marketing, but I’ll outline how to do this in this quick post.
Most people overcomplicate this process – in fact, I’ve considered building a product all around this concept, but it’s almost too simple to dedicate a full product to. The overall process only requires a few things:
1) A niche market that buys.
With all the hubbub about Panda and Penguin and whatever the heck Google is doing this week, one way to solve this is to have ONE or TWO websites that dive DEEP, rather than having a bunch of different ideas that you “throw at the wall.” For most people who want a business that pays for their lives, going DEEP makes sense for your pocket book and also for your sanity.
For those of you who have a bunch of ideas and are yet to build a real sustainable business, go home and pick ONE and begin. Focus on websites that target health (weight loss, muscle building, raw food, etc), wealth (investing, business education, financial advice, school grants, etc) and expensive hobbies (golf, pets, model trains, etc).
For most people, making “content” is kind of a pain in the backside when you first get going because of the lack of an audience. But as soon as the audience exists, making content becomes like a drug (why do you think I write these blog posts?).
That’s why you need to…
2) Make Connections
The “make money online” niche is notorious for people making connections, mostly because people have a financial incentive to promote each others’ products.
The “dirty little secret” that no one talks about is that making connections is WAY easier in niche markets. That’s because, instead of needing a big list to get in front of the big boys, people in “other” markets need content, they need stuff to promote, and they need distribution.
You’d be amazed at the connections that you can make when you simply talk to folks. For example, when I once needed a bump in the search engines for one of my websites, I simply emailed someone (I had never talked to) in the financial advice niche. He had a list in the many thousands, a big following, and a Google PR of 5. He was friggin’ tired of making content, so I wrote a blog post for him. Link problem? Solved.
At the same time, folks that have audiences need distribution, so they will often let you use their content on their site – and sometimes they will even Tweet it or mail it to their list. Audience problem? Solved.
Rather than “getting traffic,” focus on “getting connections.” They have all the traffic you need… and sometimes the content, too. Kim Roach has some awesome free training on syndicating your content all over the web so that you get free traffic from the content that you get (and remember, if you’re making connections, it doesn’t have to be YOUR content).
And when the visitors start to roll in, then you get to…
3) Monetize your audience.
This is the fun stuff… and for some reason, people’s biggest challenge. The best way to monetize your audience in a cool and ethical way is to get them on a list. Give them something for free (an interview with someone who has a product is always good) and then send them through an affiliate link.
An old friend of mine ran a little raw food site and gave away one recipe, followed by a link that said, “Click To Continue.” That link was an affiliate link to a raw food recipe site. Easy as that.
Some put Adsense on their site and sell affiliate products in their blog posts, and all of that is great. But the real action is from the audience and the follow up sequence that comes with that. Travis and I explain the process inside of Blue Collar Marketing.
So let’s recap a bit…
1) Focus only in markets that have large audiences that BUY.
2) Make connections with people who can provide content, or need content, and have audiences that you can leverage.
3) Monetize the visitors that come to your site by building your audience.
The common cry against this is a need for specific directions, step by step help, and the “secret” or the “missing piece.” None of that is really necessary. There is something magical about just deciding that it’s going to happen and then putting it out there… and working on it consistently.
Of course, the other healthy alternative is to buy a website like this that is already making money. That works like a charm, too.
If you’re just starting out and have never done this before, Adam Short is the friggin’ king on this stuff… he takes it one step further and also discusses creating your own products in this niche markets (which supercharges the results from your sites TENFOLD, but takes extra effort that I don’t teach).
Adam heard about my mission this year to help 500 folks earn their first sale, and he wanted to contribute…
So he’s decided to put on a short class that explains his formula for building niche sites that do exactly what we’ve talked about in this post. Register for this free class here.
Just one of these little sites can create an income that will pay for your life. Just one solid audience that buys the products you recommend and wants to hear from you will equip you with the influence to completely change your life.
For those who say that they want to be free, this is one of many ways to disconnect your life from the slavery of a paycheck.