Profiting from Hot Trends with Your Own Information Website
Facebook did it. So did YouTube. Amazon too.
I’m talking about capitalizing on trends to make money online.
Facebook took advantage of the explosion of social media. YouTube harnessed a worldwide desire for online video. And Amazon, of course, rode the ecommerce tsunami.
As an individual entrepreneur you can use this same concept – profiting from hot trends – to make your own fortune with an online business.
Don’t be daunted by the big names I just mentioned – you won’t be competing against these web-behemoths. Your business will be on a much smaller scale, with minimal start up costs and no previous business, marketing, or Internet experience needed. All you need is that desire to be an entrepreneur.
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Ecommerce is a $223 billion business these days in the United States alone. And much of that money is being made not by big companies (which are actually not as profitable as you might think) but by “mom and pop” online businesses in specific niches that have very low overhead and provide their owners with a very tidy passive income.
There are thousands of little websites that cater to very specific audiences of people interested in very specific topics.
I know people who right now run their own websites as a part-time job (an hour or two a day, max) that bring in up to $4,000 each month. Sure, it took some effort to get to this point. But after a few months of – gasp – 8 hour days they were able to progressively dial back work time to the bare minimum.
Entrepreneur Peter Genot has a fitness and nutrition website, The Healthy Minute. He’s been into this niche on a personal level for years, along with millions of people across the country. He was able to capitalize on that interest to create a profitable business. Success mentor PJ McClure transformed his lifelong passion for self-growth and self-help (which is always popular) into his online venture, The Mindset Maven.
My family is even getting in on the act.
Since we moved to Costa Rica, my wife has started putting together a travel website to take advantage of the tremendous interest in the country, which is a top travel spot and home to an estimated 50,000 expats. Since we have a 5-year-old, she’s focusing on kid-friendly destinations and activities.
This type of business is perfect for her because it’s part-time and she can work from home.
And I’ve urged my recently laid off brother to start his own web business, too. Since there’s not much of an upfront investment needed – about $50, I thought it would be a perfect way for him to get back into the “workforce” without having to brave this horrible job market.
To start your own online business from the ground up, to nurture it into an actual money-making endeavor, is not as hard as it may seem. The type of online business you’re going to learn about today basically runs itself, with little maintenance needed once you’ve completed the initial set up.
There’s no one place you can go to find the hottest trends, the ones that will make for a perfect online business.
You identify trends by keeping up with current events, monitoring what types of online businesses start up, making note of the types of online ads you see on your favorite websites… you can even look offline at what’s in the news and magazines you read. When the same products and themes start showing up regularly… you have a trend.
Google News and Yahoo News are great places to spot trending topics as they are a round up of all the news going around the Web. You can also try websites, publications, and blogs that cover specific niches. For example, Wired Magazine’s website is a great resource for identifying technology-oriented trends.
Buzzfeed.com monitors trending topics and “memes” (webspeak for hot trends).
Of course, not every “hot” topic can be turned into a profitable business.
Once you’ve identified what you think is a hot trend, you’ll want to do some research to confirm your hunch that it can be a profitable business. You’ll do this using some quick and easy-to-use (and free) online tools. Check out my article “Turning Your Business Ideas into Online Profits” for step by step instructions.
So what are some current trends that are hot right now?
Interested in organic gardening? There are many profitable websites run by online entrepreneurs who are making money thanks to the current worldwide interest in organic foods. How about yoga, stock investing, or self-help (to name just three of thousands)? Again those trends are strong enough to sustain not just big-name businesses, but many, many small online businesses as well.
Your Information Website – the Heart of Your Business
Once you’ve chosen the niche for your business, you’re ready to set up your online business. The heart of that business is your website.
You can easily set up a website in a few easy steps:
First you need a website address, or domain name. It should be short, clear, and tell web surfers (your prospects) exactly what your site is about. It should also be easy to remember so people can come back later and tell friends and family. Avoid being too clever.
If you have an organic gardening site, for example, you wouldn’t want to use www.organikgardunz.com or www.tomandkatesawesomeorganicgardensite.com. Try www.organicveggies.com.
I recommend using GoDaddy.com to research available domain names. Once you find one, grab it. It’ll only cost about $10 and that way you can be sure nobody else gets it first.
Working with GoDaddy makes the next step easy, which is securing hosting for your website. Once you’ve bought your domain just click on the “Hosting” tab on the page and follow the instructions. Hosting accounts start at about $3 a month.
Once you have a domain and hosting, you need to be able to publish your website for the world to see. I recommend WordPress, which is free and has thousands of free templates you can use to customize your site. Again, you can secure your copy of WordPress through GoDaddy.com.
In three quick steps your website is live. If you need help there are online tutorials on the GoDaddy site and they have attentive customer support.
(A completely free solution for a domain name and hosting can be found at WordPress’s website (www.wordpress.com) or Blogger, www.blogger.com. The blog format can also be used to create an information website following trends. The only drawback using these services is that you can’t completely customize your domain name.)
Creating a “Passive” Website for Passive Income
Once you have your site ready to go, it’s time to start making it a viable business. Today, we’ll focus on having a “passive” site that makes money by attracting visitors through search engine optimization.
Doing it this way also saves you from the hassle of having to do much more work to find JV partners, create products, build a subscriber list, create marketing and ads to send that list… that’s a topic for a future Weekend Business Blueprint.
Don’t worry – you don’t need to be an SEO expert or even hire one. You’ll attract web traffic simply by adding quality content on the trend you’ve picked for your business.
You could include how to articles or videos. Comment on news or current events in that niche. Write product reviews. Put together “top 10” lists. Those are just some idea starters for your website content. Check out some of your competitors’ websites for more ideas. Don’t plagiarize, of course. But you can find inspiration there.
Because you’ve chosen a “hot” trend (more on how to do that in a moment) you’ll rank high in the search engine rankings. Simply put, when people search the Web for information on something related to your topic on Google or Bing, they’ll find your site and then click on over.
That prequalifies them when they come to your site. These folks already have an interest in the topic and types of products you’re selling. They’re already “sold” in some ways.
And because you’re regularly adding high quality free articles, blog posts, videos, and more full of solid information and advice, they’ll come to trust you and make you a go-to resource. So when you do offer something for sale, they’re more likely to buy.
Which brings us to…
Profiting from Hot Trends
There are a few avenues for you to capitalize on an interest in a hot trend.
Your website will be made up mostly of free articles, videos, and other content.
But there is plenty of room to include ads from Google AdSense or Amazon sprinkled throughout your site. You could also include affiliate links for relevant products in blog posts, product reviews, or website articles, or even have a Recommended Products page on your site.
You can search affiliate networks like Clickbank.com (which offers information products), Amazon, or Commission Junction for products in your niche.
As I mentioned, because you are providing great free content, people are more likely to click on those ad and affiliate links and buy products you’ve endorsed by including on your site. And they are more likely to buy once they get to the affiliate website.
In affiliate marketing you get paid a commission every time one of your website visitors purchases a product. And the best part is you don’t have to worry about customer service, actually fulfilling the product, handling refunds, creating advertising… they take care of everything.
As I mentioned, it’s quite easy to make $4,000+ per month with an established information website.
Eventually, your website will contain dozens and dozens of pages – then it’ll be hundreds. But don’t fret, there’s no deadline.
Start out with a homepage and maybe add two or three articles. Make it a point to add content at least a few times a week.
Slowly build your website. Don’t burn out by trying to build an Amazon overnight! Slowly but surely your website – the basis of your business – will grow. More and more people will find it through web searches and more customers will arrive on your virtual doorstep.
Soon you’ll have a profit machine that is running on autopilot. Remember as an affiliate you don’t have to keep up with any customer service or deliver orders. Your job is to simply add content.
Doing just that, it’s entirely possible to earn a full-time salary by only working part-time. And you’ll be making that money from the comfort of your own, without the pressures of boss, time clock, or commute.
Fat Burning Dessert
You probably know that sugar is one of the worst enemies of our health. Not only does it promote weight gain… it can increase your risk of cancer, heart disease, and of course, diabetes.
But what if you could enjoy the most delicious all-natural desserts, without a single care as to how they would affect your health or your blood sugar?
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Best of luck!
P.S. I’ve just given you the steps to take to build your own profitable information website. But here are a few extra resources to help you along your way to financial success.
Yahoo News – news.yahoo.com
Google News – news.google.com
Facebook – www.facebook.com
Buzzfeed – Trending “Memes” – www.buzzfeed.com
Wired Magazine – Technology news – www.wired.com
Building Your Site
GoDaddy – The best place to buy your domain and get web hosting – www.godaddy.com
WordPress – A very intuitive website building software – www.wordpress.com
Blogger – A free solution (free domain and hosting) to set up a blog in minutes – www.blogger.com
Affiliate and Ad Networks
AdSense – Premier PPC ad network – www.google.com/adsense
Clickbank – Specializes in information products – www.clickbank.com
Amazon – Everything Amazon sells, you can promote as an affiliate – affiliate-program.amazon.com
Commission Junction – Runs affiliate programs for many major retailers and brands – www.cj.com