Episode 4 of the “Online Business FM” podcast is the first of a five-part series of episodes where the focus is on the top online business models that pave the way for passive income opportunities.
In this series, I’ll tell you how these online business models work, how they can benefit you and who’s the best type of person for each one the discussed passive income types.
Session #4 of the OBFM show starts the series by addressing the two different approaches you can put into use to structure and prepare for any of your chosen types of passive-income online business models.
I believe this series of episodes will be very important for every reader, listener or follower of the “Online Business FM” podcast and together these episodes will become the most listened ones.
Because they are of high quality and share so much insight and knowledge.
What You’ll Learn
- The two main approaches to starting a passive income online business.
- The best approach for your at your specific stage of your entrepreneurial career.
- The best, easiest and fastest way to start earning passive income.
- How to make use of your audience to make money online
- How to you make money online without an already existent audience (of your own).
- The benefits of having your own website.
- How to build a website for your business. And,
- Much more!
Download the MP3 File
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Links and Resources Mentioned
Affiliate Disclaimer: Some of the following links below may be affiliate ones, which means I earn a commission — at no extra cost to you — if you end up purchasing anything after clicking through those links.
- OBFM Podcast Episode 2: 15 Reasons Why Starting an Online Business is the Best Decision You Will Ever Make
- OBFM Podcast Episode 3: Passive Income Myths & Truths: Can You Really Make Money While You Sleep?
- Public Niche Site Project
- WordPress.com & WordPress.org
- Namecheap [Affiliate Disclaimer: This is an affiliate link, which means I earn a commission — at no extra cost to you — if you end up purchasing this product through this link]
- Bluehost [Affiliate Disclaimer: This is an affiliate link, which means I earn a commission — at no extra cost to you — if you end up purchasing this product through this link]
- Ask by Ryan Levesque [Affiliate Disclaimer: This is an affiliate link, which means I earn a commission — at no extra cost to you — if you end up purchasing this product through this link]
Thanks for Listening!
Thank you a ton for listening to this episode!
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Ratings, reviews (and more subscribers) really help the show grow and climb the charts and ranks, plus they motivate me to keep going too as I read all of them.
Thank you again and I see you in the next episode of the Online Business FM podcast!
Hi there, Internetpreneur!
Welcome to the fourth episode of the Online Business FM podcast. This is Louie here behind the mic and I want to thank you for listening to another session of the show.
This is going to be a very good session indeed with great content that will become a valuable resource for you right now and in the future as well for new listeners of the OBFM podcast, as I’ll be referencing them to this series of episodes.
So much so that I was forced to divide this great piece content in five episodes.
This is the first, then, of a five-part series of episodes focusing on the top online business models that allow for passive income opportunities, how they work and how they can benefit you.
In our last session — Episode 3 — we’ve talked about passive income, its myths and truths.
Today we are going to be adding to that episode by discussing the top passive-income opportunities you can find on the web, online business models that can generate passive income for you, even when you’re not actively working on your business.
Again, there’s no such thing as a 100% passive income business but, with the right approaches and strategies, you can leverage your time and make your online business work for you instead of the other way around.
Okay, let’s get rolling people!
The Two Main Approaches to Starting a Passive Income Online Business
Before we get into the actual types of businesses that can earn you a passive income on the Internet (which will talk about in the next episodes), I first need to address the two different approaches when it comes to generating passive income online, that’s the bulk of the content for today’s episode.
Approach #1: Using a Platform / Leveraging Your Audience
The first of the approaches is using a platform to build and leverage your own audience.
Your digital platform is very important because it will become the place where you:
- Develop a reputation for you and your brand.
- Create trust and authority in the niche you serve.
- Build a community and gather a following, a tribe of loyal fans around you.
- Target a specific audience that you want to help by answering their questions, solving their problems and fulfilling their wants and needs.Remember of what I mentioned when talked about your online business foundation in Episode 2: your primary goal should be to serve your audience, as opposed to making money first.
With a platform in place and an audience to leverage, it will be much easier to find passive-income opportunities.
Doing all of this takes more time, that’s true. However, I believe that this is how you come up with something great, something that makes the web a better place and adds value to the world.
This is how you build long-term businesses that will bring you greater rewards in the long run, too.
Build a Website
The place where you share your message and reveal your values and personality may be a blog, a podcast or a YouTube channel, for example.
These are just platforms that you can use to target your specific audience, build your community and tribe.
Regardless of your preference, you should always have your own website.
If you have a podcast or a YouTube channel, you should definitely build a website, too.
If you have a blog, then you have a website already, as long as it is owned by you and not living on some other company’s blogging platform that you cannot entirely control (like WordPress.com, Medium.com or Tumblr).
Just to clarify: I’m using the concepts “blog” and “website” interchangeably here. Although, I should say, for the sake of accuracy, that they aren’t exactly the same thing to me; but that’s not very important right now.
I always advocate that people should have their own website, sort of their online home. For several reasons:
It’s something that is really yours.
You decide what to do, what to add, modify or eliminate.
The control is in your hands, as opposed to social media places — like Facebook pages and Facebook groups, YouTube channels, Twitter profiles, etc. — which aren’t yours per se (it’s more or less like they’ve been lent to you) because they are, in fact, owned by someone else’s company and you have no say in the matter concerning what happens and doesn’t happen.
So, do not depend solely on your social media profiles, accounts, groups or pages as your home base. You never know when their rules might change and leave you high and dry, in a difficult and unexpected situation that’s out of your control.
You can collect people’s email addresses on your website.
Building an email list is of paramount importance. It’s no wonder that experts say: “the money is in the list”. Email subscribers are worth incomparably more than social followers because email messages convert much higher than any kind of content on social media.
We’ll talk about Email Marketing in greater detail in future episodes of this show, but the point here is: you need a website, something that shows people who you are, what you have to offer, how you intend to serve them and what your brand is all about to collect email addresses.
It’s easier to redirect readers, listeners and viewers to a centralized point on the web.
«Hey, guys, this is where I live online. You have my contacts there, my About Me page there, my articles there, all my content and all the information you need on my website. Check it out at blah, blah example URL dot com.»
See how easy that is?
You can also redirect people to your affiliate offers or to your own products on your website. If you have a podcast, a YouTube channel or you’re being interviewed on someone else’s, having a website will make it easier for you to redirect their audience to your affiliate offers or to your own products.
(Certainly, not all of your interviewers will allow you to promote stuff — especially affiliate products –, but you get the point.)
With the right kind of plugins, you can create easy-to-spell and remember links that people can use to quickly find your offers and make sales and commissions in the process. I’ll explain what plugins are in just a minute.
That being said, my advice is for you to build a website: it’s your home base, an online property that is truly yours, that you control and where you can collect email addresses, share your values, points of view and message to the world, gather a tribe of loyal fans and build your brand more efficiently.
Before you build your website, launch your podcast or start your YouTube channel, though… how do you find your target-audience?
The answer lies in a very popular saying in the digital marketing space:
«The riches are in the niches.»
“Wait a minute, Louie… you’ve just told us to focus on serving people first and now you’re talking about riches?!”
Yep, you’re right!
But the thing is that “riches” here doesn’t necessarily mean money. In this context, “riches” should be read more like “opportunities”, doors that will open for you to enter and secure your space in a smaller segment of a bigger market.
Once you’ve established yourself in your niche and are serving that particular audience then, yes, you can leverage it to promote your offers and earn an income.
In case you’re not aware, “niche” is originally a French word and, in the marketing and business worlds, it means a small subset (a group of people) in a larger market that share the same common and specific interest.
The more specific their common interest is, the better, because you’ll be able to offer that niche, that group of people exactly what they are looking for.
(In fact, if they are in need of answers or solutions, it’s your job not only to offer them quality content but also paid products that can help them achieve their objectives.)
Niches vs. Markets
Now you might be asking yourself, “why focus on niches when you can go after an entire market?”
Well… let’s think about it together. Shall we?
Say that you’re interested in outdoor recreation.
There are dozens — if not hundreds — of activities which you can engage outdoors. From mountain biking to skiing, snowboarding and running, from picnicking to camping and birdwatching… the list is huge and goes on and on.
For the sake of this example, let’s imagine that you want to start practicing disc golf (I must say I used to practice disc golf a lot and even became champion on… my PlayStation, but this is outdoors disc golf we’re talking about).
So… what physical or online resource would you rather go to learn and buy disc golf equipment? One that focused on all the sports you can think of… or a more specialized one that solely focused on disc golf?
Let’s go even deeper. You’re looking for very specific kinds of flying discs to use on a professional disc golf tournament.
Would you rather go to a store that sells all disc golf equipment or a store that only sells flying discs for professional disc golf athletes?
Are you getting my point here? It’s much easier and far more efficient to target a specific niche over an entire market.
Doing so the right way will establish you as the go-to resource in your niche, the specialist in your field, the person who knows all the secrets of that very specific topic.
This means that you should always niche down as deep as you can to discover your target-audience, to find your niche.
You ought to start small but, at the same time, think big. Focus on a particular niche first, but make it so that you can expand to closely-related niches in the future once you’ve dominated your niche.
Instead of buying a domain name like prodiscsforgolfdisc.com you should get something more brandable and expandable like discgolfheaven.com or something like that.
How Do You Build a Website?
That being said, how you do build a website?
First, like we’ve just seen, you need to consider a topic or niche idea for your website.
Going back to Episode 2 (you can listen to it by heading to www.onlinebusiness.fm/2)… you should pick something that you really enjoy talking about, doing or reading, a passion of yours. Or something that you’re good at, like a profession or a skill you have.
Second, you go and buy a domain name.
(I recommend getting your domain names on Namecheap.com. It’s the cheapest and most reliable domain name registrar that I know and use for all my domains. Plus, you don’t get the tons of upsells and cross-promotions you see on other domain name registrars.
If you want, you can use my link www.onlinebusiness.fm/namecheap.
Just bear in mind that this is an affiliate link, meaning I earn a commission — at no extra cost to you — in case you go through that link and purchase something. I’ll explain how Affiliate Marketing works in Part 2 of this episode series.)
Third, after getting a domain name, you need a hosting service. This is where your website’s files will be stored and made publicly available to your visitors.
The niche website I built for my Public Niche Site Project is being hosted on Bluehost.com which has been working great so far for me, so I can favorably recommend it, especially if you’re just starting out and need a shared-hosting solution.
Shared hosting means that your website will be on the same server alongside other customers’ websites sharing the same server resources. Shared hosting is more than enough at this stage.
To be as transparent as I can be, IncomeProdigy.com — my main website and home of the Online Business FM podcast — is being hosted elsewhere at the moment, on the servers of a Portuguese company which is not ideal in terms of speed if you’re serving a target-audience from a different and more distant country like I am.
I’m considering moving to another solution later on. Bigger companies, like Bluehost, on the other hand, have servers and mirror servers located in different parts of the world.
So, if you want to give Bluehost a try and you want to help me make a commission, here’s my affiliate link: www.onlinebusiness.fm/bluehost. Bluehost also comes with a great feature for non tech-savvy people: one-click WordPress installation.
Earlier I had mentioned WordPress.
Don’t confuse the two: there is WordPress.com, a free blogging platform and WordPress.org, the official website for their blogging software than you can download and install for free on your hosting server to run your blog.
Bluehost makes this installation process really straightforward with just a few clicks. (Don’t worry about these technical details yet, they’re simpler to figure out than it seems.)
Finally, after you’ve bought your domain name and hosting, you install your WordPress blog, add a few plugins (simple add-ons that expand the core functionalities of WordPress) and customize your theme (which is your blog’s layout) and start publishing content.
This is as basic as I can get.
Before getting a domain and hosting you could introduce an extra step, as well.
Doing some market and keyword research and competition analysis to understand how much traffic you could potentially get if you could get your content to rank high on the search engines. But that’s a whole other episode.
Approach #2: Leveraging Someone Else’s Audience / Without a Platform
Time to talk about the second of our two approaches to opening the doors to passive-income opportunities on the web: doing it without a platform and/or leveraging someone else’s audience.
There are countless success stories of those who have managed to start passive-income businesses without a platform or an audience of their own.
Leveraging Someone Else’s Audience
They’ve done so by connecting with influencers in the niches they were targeting and leveraging those influencer’s audiences.
Not an easy chore, I’m sure, especially for those of you just starting out and without any experience in online business or digital marketing. Regardless, I must say that difficult is not impossible.
You can use an influencer’s audience to run surveys and simply ask people what their struggles, pains and problems are in order to understand what type of solutions you may create to address those struggles, pains and problems.
In return for that influencer’s help, you may offer to share with him or her some of statistics and insight that sprouted from your survey.
Concerning this particular tactic:
Surveying and asking, check out Ryan Levesque’s book titled Ask where the author reveals the power behind simply asking a target-audience to get the insight you need to take your business to the next level.
You can follow my affiliate link www.onlinebusiness.fm/ask to find the book’s listing on Amazon, if you want.
There are other strategies that do not require the use of your own platform.
Like running ads on Facebook (or Google AdWords) and studying what works and what doesn’t, which ads, which kind of promotions and offers get the most clicks and engagement, for example.
In this strategy, you’re not necessarily asking anything to your target-audience (although you could, as well) but you’re still getting a sense of what matters most to them.
By the way, here’s a quick tip for you:
Using ads is also a smart move to fine tune your offer’s copywriting. It gives you the perfect testing environment to understand how to tweak your title, headline and description for the best results.
Cold-calling Your Prospective Customers
Another way to find ideas for new businesses or coming up with new products without having an audience first is “cold-calling” prospective customers.
“Cold-calling” generally means to make or send an unsolicited visit, phone call or email message in an attempt to sell goods or services but, in this case, you’re not trying to sell anything as you don’t even have a product yet.
There’s a twist to this type of cold-calling.
Instead of trying to convince people to buy something from you, you’re contacting small businesses in your target-market and actually “asking” (here is that special word again) and trying to understand from their answers what kind of products or services could genuinely make their lives easier and help their businesses.
The goal here is to come up with new product ideas from your questions and their answers. Such questions include:
- “What are the most time-consuming tasks or activities in your business that you wish there was a faster, more efficient way to tackle them?”
- “What are the things you dislike or hate doing in your business that you would like to avoid or remove entirely?”
- “What would make you work a lot easier?”
Following this “cold-calling for idea extraction” step, you then validate those ideas by getting customers to pay you for products that don’t exist yet. Yes, there’s money on the table even before the product is built.
Just getting a positive response to “if I launched product XYZ, would you buy it?” is not enough.
I mean, it doesn’t cost anything to say “yes, I would, I’d be interested” because potential customers are not putting their money in stake here.
The best validation, the best assurance for you and your business is having customers actually pay you to build your product; that’s the real proof and confirmation of their honest interest.
Then, after the product is built, you just have to focus on scaling your business.
This backwards-business-building process is just another viable strategy for creating a passive-income online business.
That’s it for today’s session of the Online Business FM show! I hope you’ve learned a lot from it!
Don’t forget to check out the second half of this two-part series of episodes about the top passive-income online business models.
To get the show’s notes, all the resources and links mentioned along with the episode’s transcription, head on over to onlinebusiness.fm/4 (online business dot fm slash 4).
That’s how you reach the show notes pages for every episode of the OBFM podcast, you type our domain name “onlinebusiness.fm” into your browser’s address bar, add a forward-slash and the episode’s number after it.
Again, thanks so much for listening!
I’m host, my name is Louie Luc and I’ll see on the next episode!