If you’re stuck doing a job you don’t like but are having trouble coming up with a business idea for a website, the answer is probably more obvious than you think. In fact, it’s probably been right under your nose for years.
Let me ask you a question. Which is it you don’t like? Your job or your work?
When most people say they want to start working for themselves, it’s the job they want to ditch and not the work.
That’s because the job means:
* Having a boss
* Having to be at work at set times
* Having to deal with office politics and all that crap
But the work – the thing you actually do – is usually something you like. So why not create a business around that?
You may not have realized it before, but if you’ve been doing your job for any length of time you’ve picked up all kinds of skills and inside knowledge that could be turned into a website, blog or information product like an ebook or course.
It’ll be all of the work you love, with none of the job-related stuff – like a boss – you don’t.
There are two basic ways you can cash in on your knowledge.
1. Help people who want to acquire the skill you have.
Most jobs have an exam that needs passing or a skill that needs learning somewhere along the line. You help people get to that point.
2. Create a product or service to make life easier for people doing the job.
Think about the kind of boring, repetitive tasks that need to be done but nobody actually likes doing (“pain points”, in marketing speak). Or the kind of skills needed for the job that are the most difficult to master.
Why not create a website, ebook or online course that shows people how to learn that skill or makes the boring task easier?
It’s not as difficult as it seems – you’re really just explaining what you know.
Think about the money
Once you’ve thought about the type of information or service you’re going to supply, the next step is to consider how you’ll make money from your project.
Tip: Don’t gloss over this part or think that you’ll launch a blog and then worry about finding a way to generate an income later. Financial success will come quicker if you make monetization a key part of your plan right from the start.
The 4 main ways to make money online
Probably the most common revenue method. Typically, you build a website or write a blog on your chosen subject and use an ad agency like Google AdSense to sell ad placements on your site. In the case of AdSense, you’ll get paid every time a visitor clicks an ad on your site.
Pros: Easy to set up.
Cons: Profitable for many site niches but not all.
2. Affiliate links
With affiliate marketing, you recommend products related to your niche and pick up a sales commission when someone follows your link and buys the product.
Pros: With the right products, you can usually make more money as an affiliate marketer than with advertising.
Cons: There’s a skill to writing about products without sounding like a sales bore and it takes a while for affiliate sales to take off.
3. Courses, ebooks and membership sites
With these methods you’re doing similar things – collecting everything you know about a subject and putting it in a convenient package for users to buy.
Pros: You get to keep the most amount of money.
Cons: This method is the most amount of work because you have to create the product before you can sell it.
4. Provide a service or work as a consultant
Many people moving straight from a regular job will find this the easiest because it’s the most similar to a normal job – except it’s freelance and has all the freedom that comes with that.
The trick is to create incredibly useful content on your chosen subject that positions you as an expert in your field. Do that, and you’ll find clients will seek you out.
Pros: Easy and quick to get started.
Cons: You’re hiring out your time, so you can’t earn while you sleep – but you can certainly generate leads while you sleep.
How do I choose which will work best?
The truth is, many site owners use more than one method on their site, often experimenting until it’s clear one method makes more sense than the others.
Whichever you choose, you’re going to need a website.
Launching a website
If you’ve never set one up before it might sound like a big deal, but there are only three steps, with an optional fourth.
1. Buy a domain name and web hosting and set up WordPress to publish your site. The absolute easiest way to do all three in one go is to use a service like GoDaddy where you can buy a domain name and hosting and have WordPress automatically installed by them. It’s basically a ten minute process and costs a few dollars a month.
2. Get a classy WordPress theme. No one will take you seriously if you don’t have a professional web design. Inexpensive places you can pick up a professional WordPress theme include Elegant Themes.
3. Create amazing free content. This will be your honeypot, drawing the eager bees to your site for more as they find your site via search engines and social networks.
If you don’t fancy yourself as a blogger, you can make videos, slides, podcasts or any other type of content that fits your personal style and the content you’re creating.
4. Put a mailing list in place (optional but highly recommended). A mailing list is one of the best ways to build a database of potential customers.
Don’t make the mistake of waiting until your site is getting hundreds of visits a day to start building a mailing list.
Even if you’ve just launched and your traffic is low, start building a list straight away. The extra visits you’ll generate will help you get to hundreds of visits a day much quicker.
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