Over the years I’ve spoken with hundreds of people who want to live life with more personal freedom. Many want to make substantial changes in their lifestyle, including moving somewhere more attractive to their priorities and sensibilities. In most cases, the #1 thing preventing them is the inability to make enough money without the job they currently have.

A brilliant and increasingly common solution is to operate an online business. Speaking for myself, I have lived entirely from online income for over 15 years. During those years my wife and I raised a large family of eight and have now spent more than half that time traveling the world while generating all the income we need.

Moreover, online businesses are ideally suited to individuals who value their freedom and would engineer their own life circumstances if they could. Well, they can.

In this brief series of articles we’ll look at examples of online businesses that a person can easily start. These are models of businesses that can be applied to most niches and sub-niches of online businesses.

‘Niche’ is a familiar word in online business because it’s where small operations can flourish. The giant sectors like retail electronics, office supplies, music, etc. are all dominated by giants. Directly competing with any of them would require nine-figures of funding.

The gaps and cracks inside those sectors contain markets that can be very lucrative. Even a tiny enterprise operated by one person can generate hundreds of thousands of dollars annually if it’s engineered correctly.

And the truth is there are so many of these sub-niches that we recommend spending time early in the process of engineering your online business discovering what will deliver the greatest personal satisfaction to you. Yes, selling auto insurance leads to big insurance companies can be very lucrative, but will it be wonderfully exciting after a few years? For most people, I suspect the answer is, no.

The key to living life on your own terms is to be very clear about what those terms really are. That’s a creative process and it can be a lot of fun. The point is to make sure once you’ve begun climbing your online ladder of success, it’s against the right wall!

So here are some more or less random examples intended to show you the process of thinking about small niches. These are not niches we would steer a person towards just because they can be profitable. Again, finding profitable niches is not at all difficult. Finding YOUR best niche that is also profitable is what requires some creative thought.

Evergreen Niches

There are certain sectors that are referred to as ‘evergreen’ because there is a strong market all year long and year after year. These would be in distinction to businesses like Christmas decorations or Halloween costumes which are obviously not strong sellers all year. Gardening would fall outside of ‘evergreen’ because so many people live in climates that are seasonal.

 

Health & Fitness
– weight loss
– muscle gain
– special diets
– hair loss
– ailment remedies
Pets
– pet care
– pet toys and products
– pet training
Hobbies
-golf
-hunting
-fishing
-sailing
-photography
Relationships
-dating
-divorce
-meeting new people
-getting your ex back
Consumer Electronics
-phones
-tablets
-gadgets
-apps

 

All of the above are massive, multi-billion dollar marketplaces. They all have dominant players that scoop up the lion’s share of the revenue. But that still leaves many, many millions of dollars left for the niche operators. Note also, that some niches are more lucrative than others. Knitting is also a hobby but knitters don’t spend nearly as much money every year as golfers and photographers.

An Expert in a Niche of a Niche

The way the Expert model works is for a person to carve out an area that is specific enough that he can truthfully represent himself as an expert on that sub-niche and offer products and services that are only available through his website.

For example, in the massive pet niche there is a sub-niche of ‘dog training.’ And a sub-sub-niche would be Training Your New Golden Retriever Puppy. Golden retrievers are amongst the most popular breeds in North America. Thousands of families every month get a new retriever puppy they are eager to train. Are they more apt to buy any generic information on dog training, or specific information aimed at the exact characteristics and temperament of golden retrievers just like theirs?

Obviously, this sub-sub-niche is best suited to a lifelong lover of retrievers. But the truth is, anyone could study the already available information on puppy training and on the characteristics of retrievers and create very helpful e-books and videos targeted like a laser to eager new retriever puppy owners.

From this point it is simply a numbers game. Selling a $50 information package to 200 new puppy owners every month represents $10,000 per month in revenue. Twice the sales means twice the personal income. Targeted information for ten breeds means roughly ten times the money.

Another example: Health & fitness is a massive niche that contains uncounted sub-niches. Building muscle by weightlifting is a sub-niche. That niche is mostly populated with consumers who are the serious bodybuilders and powerlifters whose familiar faces you see every time you visit they gym.

But how about a sub-sub-niche of people who want to build muscle but want to do it efficiently with short workouts and as few workouts as possible? I’ve been an online expert in that niche since 2001 and it has earned me income literally every day since I introduced my first e-product.

I want to mention that you don’t need to confine yourself to only evergreen niches. There are always trending markets that offer very solid opportunities. The newer these are the more they lend themselves to the expert model because experts may not have had time to emerge.

For example, alternative power is a lucrative niche now. People are hungry for information about solar and wind power and they are willing to spend substantial money. A related niche is emergency preparation or ‘prepper.’ It’s a very manageable task to become an expert inside these niches. And it’s a lot easier if it’s a subject that you find personally fascinating and rewarding.

Finally, on the subject of the expert model, there are many people who already are experts in specific niches. A person who’s been working as a graphic designer for years, or as a Forex broker, already has expertise people will pay for. So from there it’s only a matter of engineering the right product and presentation.

And it’s not just professional vocations that constitute expert status. Deep knowledge and experience of almost anything can be marketable online. Knowing how to save money buying a used sailboat, or how to raise chickens in an urban environment, or how to buy real estate as a foreigner in Mexico could all be parlayed into regular income.

In some ways, everyone is an expert on some subject and sometimes several subjects. The challenge is to find the one that is most personally and financially rewarding and then to find the path to monetize it into a regular income. Then build that income until it reaches the point where you can safely leave the rat race.

In Part 2 we’ll take a look at the Market Builder model of online business.

 

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