Monetizing Your Business Idea
Since I started writing to you in July, I’ve gotten a flood of messages from up-and-coming Carefree Entrepreneurs eager to get started with their businesses.
Reader Eva Selek-Teleki said: “You’ve helped me more than you know, and I’m grateful for this help. Everything I’ve received from your organization has been precise, straight to the point, and above all, easy to follow.”
Praise like this has reaffirmed my goal to help my readers find ultimate job security, a secure retirement plan, and the ability to work less and earn more right now. We’ll do it together by starting and growing Carefree online businesses based on proven strategies and techniques – that are easy to do … don’t require a lot of upfront investment … and can be implemented on your schedule.
Along with the praise have come plenty of questions. And I’m happy to answer them.
For example …
Mike Ball, from Milwaukee, is not just a self-described car nut – he loves his garage too. Like many guys, he’s transforming it into a cool place to store and work on his “baby” … and hang out with his buddies. Turns out there’s quite an online community dedicated to creating these sanctuaries.
Mike has a website up, outrageousgarages.com, but isn’t sure how to monetize it. His plan is to find other garage nuts out there and interview them about their garages on video. He would charge a monthly membership fee to watch. Based on his experience in forums dedicated to this hobby – “EVERYONE loves to see pictures of other guys’ garages,” he says – Mike thinks there is huge profit potential here.
Here’s my advice to Mike – and to you.
The first thing you can learn from Mike is … take action! Mike has a website up, he’s posting regularly with great content, he’s offering visitors a ton of free resources (great for bringing in web traffic), and is even offering a free report for sign-ups to his subscriber list. That’s textbook Ready Fire Aim.
Resolve to take action today.
If you have an idea for a business, I want you to stop putting it off. Read my article on choosing your niche. Pick the one that matches your passion with profit potential.
Mike is a perfect example with the niche he’s chosen for his business. I'm not much of car guy – although I do love watching those classic car auctions on TV. But I do know classic and custom cars are a huge trend right now. And I totally get the garage thing. I'm in the process of converting a garage space into a "man room" for myself.
And Mike and I aren’t alone – there are a lot of man rooms out there. And by specializing in garages, Mike has found a great little specific niche in which he can position himself as the authority.
So when you’re trying to gauge which of your interests has profit potential, look first at the existing marketplace – what trends and products are hot right now? And then think about which corner of the market you can specialize in.
By specializing, you’ll attract customers primed to buy, you’ll become the go-to source for products and information in that niche, and you won’t have to compete with larger, more established companies.
Then throw up a blog (blogspot.com has free software that is very easy to use) and start writing. Mike has done a great job at providing great free advice and information to keep visitors coming back.
A blog will allow you to develop your ideas, hone your writing skills, and build readership. Once you start promoting products, you’ll have a “captive” audience primed to buy. And the best part is you’ll have gotten started.
And your blog content is not restricted to writing.
Video is a great way to interact with your prospects and customers. It’s easy to do. All you need is a simple “flip” camera. But I don’t think most people will pay for these types of videos, as Mike hopes. There are just too many free offerings out there.
Instead, I encourage Mike – and you – to make these videos available for free. Post them on your site, as well as YouTube, Vimeo, and as many video hosting sites as possible, with links back to your own website. Your flip camera will allow you to post videos directly. This will drive traffic to the homepage. And keep visitors coming back for more.
Increased traffic to the site will give you the opportunity to make some money. The next step is to start selling niche-specific products as an affiliate. In Mike’s case, that would be garage-makeover and car care products.
As an affiliate, you get a special link to add to your site. You use it in ads, advertorials in blog posts, product reviews, and more. Mike could have a blog post about the perfect one-car hangout garage, for example, listing all the different elements and having an affiliate link for each.
The trick is to not be too salesy. Present these “plugs” as what they are: recommendations for tools and materials useful for your audience.
Every time a visitor clicks on the link and buys the product, you get a commission. The best part is you don't have to handle orders, fulfillment, or customer service. It’s a great way to get started making money online as you don’t have to take the time and effort to create your own products and deliver them.
Mike could promote products from online retailers like Amazon – which has a huge range of relevant things to sell. Home Depot and Advance Auto Parts have affiliate programs too, as do many other name brand retailers and manufacturers. Many are run through affiliate networks like Commission Junction and FlexOffers.com.
These affiliate programs cover just about any niche you can think of. I’m sure you can find products to promote in your dream Carefree Business.
Be like Mike. Take action. Get started.
And remember, when you have a question about your Carefree Business or one of the strategies I write about, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Professional Writers’ Alliance
At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »