Follow the money or follow your passion?
This is a popular question when it comes to making money online, or offline for that matter.
Some believe you should focus solely on the opportunities that exist within the marketplace, and that ‘doing what you love’ is secondary. Others believe they can blindly follow their passion and everything else will simply fall into place.
Personally, I don’t agree with either of these extremes. When it comes to online business, I believe in seizing opportunities that exist within niches you’re passionate about.
Why Doing Something You Love Makes Sense
There are many reasons why doing something you love can lead to greater profits. But perhaps one of the most important of all has to do with the concept of VALUE.
When you love what you do, you naturally give people more value. When you give people more value, you build stronger relationships based on trust. Which in turn, leads to a much more profitable business. When you dislike what you do, the opposite is true.
Imagine you own a traditional ‘brick and mortar’ business for a moment…
A new customer walks into your shop. You don’t enjoy what you do, so you’re counting down the minutes and you simply want to make the sale as quickly as possible. This comes across to the customer, who perceives you as unfriendly and unhelpful, someone who cares only about a quick sale. Naturally, the customer wasn’t happy and never comes back.
Repeated enough times, and this can become a huge detriment to your business.
Why? Because people know you don’t really care about them or their needs. So they’d simply rather shop somewhere else. And fair enough. As a result, sales drop and repeat business is much lower. You have to pay much more to acquire customers and you achieve a lower overall profit.
Now, let’s consider what happens when you LOVE what you do…
The same customer walks into your store. You enjoy what you do, so you greet them in a friendly, helpful manner. You are happy to answer their questions. And since you love the products, you’re more knowledgable about their benefits. Which means you help the customer make the best decision possible based on their needs.
The customer loved the whole experience, because they received genuine value from you. So they’ll go back next time and tell their friends all about it. This has been a true ‘win win’ for both you and the business. Over a consistent period of time, this results on you spending a LOT less to acquire customers and you make a lot more money.
See the difference?
This may have been a simple example of an offline business, but the importance of this cannot be overstated. And it’s absolutely applicable within the online business world.
That is, when you love what you do, you naturally give people more value, which leads to a more profitable online business.
And there’s also another key benefit of enjoying what you do. It means you are much more likely to stick at it for longer, through the ups and downs common in any business. You will stay the course longer than someone who’s just in it for the money.
When it comes to making money online, persistence is key.
When Passion Meets Opportunity Online
We’ve touched on the importance of enjoying what you do and the benefits associated with doing so. But when it comes to making money (online or offline) you need to do more than just blindly follow your passion.
You need to know where the opportunities are and how to capitalise on them.
The good news is, when it comes to online business, the opportunities are EVERYWHERE. You just need to know how to find them. As of writing this, there’s over 3 billion people spending money online across the globe within millions of different niches. Many niches that have very little competition.
Instead of competing in a ‘pond’ as many traditional businesses are accustomed to doing, the online world presents you with an ‘ocean’ of opportunity. There is practically endless amounts of opportunity to take advantage of. I cannot overstate this enough.
Which is precisely why you can profitably ‘hone in’ on ANY niche you love.
How To Make Money Doing What You Love Online
It’s one thing to say ‘there’s massive opportunity’ but it’s another to show you how to take advantage of it. So in this section, I’m going to get more specific into HOW you can actually make money doing something you love.
I’m going to show you an overview of what I do, which is making money with a website.
There are other ways to make money online, for sure. But I believe this is the best way for beginners to get started online. It’s simple, profitable, and doesn’t cost you much to get into.
Ok. So here’s the process in a nutshell…
1) Choose a Niche You Love
The first thing you want to do is start with a broad interest or passion. This can be anything from health and fitness, to golfing, hiking, or fashion for example.
I’m being serious when I say, pretty much ANY niche can be profitable. There are millions of ideas you can run with. So the idea is to start with your passion, and find a good niche from there.
Cool. But what the heck is a niche? A niche is just a group of people searching for stuff online. That’s it!
Once you choose a broad niche, you need to research that topic to come up with all of the different ‘segments’ within that niche, and potentially ‘niche down’ into something more targeted. Especially if you’ve chosen something broad like ‘hiking’ for example.
An example of this might be ‘hiking tips for beginners’ or ‘survival hiking in the desert’. This is much more targeted than ‘hiking’ but it’s still based around your interest or passion.
You don’t have to go too specific, but you do want to be clear about who your audience is so you have the best chance of helping them. And since making money is just a bi-product of helping people within your niche it’s worth getting clear on who your audience is.
You can see how to choose a niche here.
2) Build a Simple Website
Despite what many think, this is actually the easy part. You’re not looking to create a super fancy site with all the ‘bells and whistles’. You just need a simple website/ blog that people in your niche will find useful. This is going to be a useful resource filled with relevant information, info that helps your audience solve a problem.
There are many ways you can build a website, but I personally choose to use WordPress because it’s powerful, yet super simple.
The cost of building a website is low too. WordPress is free, so all you need is a domain name ($15 per year) and some hosting ($10 per month). The cost of hosting varies greatly but that’s enough to budget for in the beginning.
It can be difficult to know where to start and how to put all of this together, so I created this article to show you how to start a website for free. This article also shows you how to get the tools, training and support you need to build your business from scratch, so it’s not just about building a site.
3) Give The People Within Your Niche Value
This is the most important step of all. And it’s also why it’s SO important to choose a niche you love.
Your goal with this step is to publish content that your audience finds useful. The content you write is targeted at certain keywords people are typing into search engines like Google and Bing.
For example: You learn that people in your niche are typing in “how to survive in the desert for 14 nights with bare essentials”. This is called a ‘keyword’ and it’s something you can write an article about. You also found that this is a ‘low competition keyword’ which means it’s going to be easier to rank for.
Anyways, since you know the topic well, because this is something you love, so the content you’re going to create will be helpful. By following the right process, your content also stands a good chance of ranking in search engines like Google. When your content ranks, you generate high quality, targeted, and free traffic (visitors) to your site.
Rinse and repeat. When you have traffic on your site, you can make money.
How do you make money? Read on…
4) Reap The Rewards
The making money part is fun and easy, when you follow the previous three steps. Of course, I’ve only given you a basic overview of the previous three steps but I mean when you really get those dialed in.
So, how can you make money from all of this?
You can either promote products as an affiliate or you can promote your own products.
In any case, your goal is to promote relevant products you know your audience is going to find valuable. So if you’re in the ‘hiking’ niche for example, you could promote hiking boots, clothing, equipment, guides and any number of products.
You don’t need to own the products, ship anything, or deal with customers directly. You simply promote other people’s stuff. This is what I do myself, and it’s how I make a full-time income online.
There are other ways to earn money online. But affiliate marketing is a simple business model, it’s highly profitable, and it’s something anyone can do. Using a website just plain makes sense, because it’s the best way to get traffic in front of whatever you’re promoting.
Understanding where the opportunities exist online, and how to capitalise on them, is very important if you want to make money. But your FOCUS should be giving people value, because this is what leads to real success online.
And it’s much easier to give people value when you enjoy what you do. Not to mention, it makes it a whole lot easier to stay the course!
So yes, you can make money doing what you love. It does take time and effort, and it’s not always easy. But it’s well worth it for those who are in it for the longterm.
Not only can you own a business in a niche you love, but the perks of associated with an online business are pretty cool in and of themselves. Such as earning passive income.