My next self-funded business hit $160,000 in revenue in its first year alone. After that first taste of self-made success, I’ve gone on to sign consulting contracts worth tens of thousands of dollars with startups like LinkedIn and Google, launch profitable online courses, and build a following of hundreds of thousands for this blog and my podcast series.

Authenticity and relevance. Consumer trust for brands and major corporations is near an all-time low. People don’t trust advertising messages or PR from brands because they know there’s an ulterior motive in play; brands want to make money. But targeting a specific niche and speaking directly to them allows you to create content that comes across as more relevant, and therefore more sincere and authentic.


Businesses always need graphic designers to help them convey information visually, through logos, advertisements, posters, websites, and the like. While it is possible to be an entirely self-taught graphic designer, most have either a certification or a degree. Other than the cost of design software, this business has very little overhead and can be done anywhere with a dedicated computer. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, graphic designers have a median salary of $45,000.*
Ask for a raise. If you’re unhappy with your compensation at your 9-5 job, asking for a raise is one way to beef up your bank account. Most employers offer an annual review of your work – which could be the perfect time to negotiate a higher salary or ask for better perks. If your employer doesn’t offer such an opportunity, it might be time to initiate a review yourself.
“Many people talk about ‘finding’ a niche as if it were something under a rock or at the end of the rainbow, ready-made. That's nonsense,” says Lynda Falkenstein, author of Nichecraft: Using Your Specialness to Focus Your Business, Corner Your Market and Make Customers Seek You Out. Good niches don't just fall into your lap; they must be carefully crafted.
What a huge, great list of ideas – bookmarked this as I know I’ll be coming back to go over it again and again. Here’s another item that could have made the list. I found a financial directory that’s useful for info on making money online. It’s http://money.madbeetech.com. What I like about it is that each directory listing includes ebooks and videos that can be instantly downloaded. All sorts of stuff for people who have their own website, and people who don’t (but still want to make money online).
If you've developed valuable skill sets or picked up certifications within your industry over the years, offering your consulting services to local business owners can be a lucrative way to make money online. Whether you're an expert marketer, business strategist, or manufacturing aficionado, there's likely a local business owner who's willing to pay you to help them solve an issue with their company. Start with this 18-step checklist to becoming a local business consultant from Karyn Greenstreet and then use my guide to crafting an effective cold email to convince them to hire you.
Double check yourself, before you double wreck yourself. Make sure everything you send to a company, whether a résumé, an email or a portfolio, is good to go. Double check your grammar and wording, and for God’s sake use spell check! This is especially important when it comes to the company’s name. Don’t spell their name wrong and be sure to type it how they type it (e.g. Problogger, not Pro Blogger).
“The massage therapy business has been growing by leaps and bounds in the last decade, tripling in volume. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, it should grow by an additional 20% through 2016, meaning this home business has strong potential for growth. And, because all in-home massage services are necessarily local in nature, it’s work that can’t be outsourced to another country.”
Pabst’s marketing director decided that he was going straight to the source when researching their potential niche market. In Portland, very informally and unannounced, he learned what the bike messengers liked about the PBR brand: old school, not flashy or mass marketed, hip and off the beaten path (See also Influencer Marketing). He learned about how their customers spent their free time, their fashion sensibilities, and their aversion to all things “corporate.”
By definition, then, a business that focuses on a niche is addressing a need for a product or service that is not being addressed by mainstream providers. Establishing a niche market give you the opportunity to provide products and services to a group that other businesses have overlooked. You can think of a niche market as a narrowly defined group of potential customers that have specific needs, a subset of a larger group.
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