Vera and I are having an open (public) discussion on choosing an affiliate niche for a profitable online business. In my first reply, I said:
“If you were given 10 hours a week and a bottomless bank account to start a new hobby, with the condition that a television crew would follow you for those 10 hours every week, which hobby would you pick?”
You can see Vera's reply here. There are two BIG problems in Vera's brainstorming process, so it's time to reign her in and clear up one very common misconception...
"Easy Money With A Hands-Off Business"
Did Vera drink the koolaid? There are so many people selling the idea that you can earn easy money with an online business, and that you can "fund the life of your dreams" through hands-off passive income via the internet, that it's become an expectation. Followed by big disappointment, unfortunately.
Now Vera's a smart woman, and she has years of business experience both online and off, so I have no doubt that she knows the investment it takes to start and run a business of any kind...
But I'm going to be blunt and get serious in my reply here, for the sake of helping her make a solid decision - as well as anyone else reading along.
YES, it is possible to make great money online. YES, it's relatively easy. YES, it requires less time and money invested to reach success - quicker - than other business models. And YES, you can have an amazing lifestyle and unlimited income potential with an online business. All of those things are true.
That said, if you ask ANY successful online business owner if "it came easy" for them, they would tell you NO. In fact they might get downright pissed at the assumption, considering how much they invested in getting where they are today.
Best case scenario, they'd tell you they didn't really consider it "work" because it was so much fun and exactly what they wanted to be doing.
You could walk behind the scenes of one of those flashy sales letters with the pretty sailboats and the "big read headline" - that promise you big dreams - and just take a look at what's really there.
Worst case you'd find an unshowered unshaven man sitting in his underwear in front of a computer 12 hours a day in his mother's basement.
Best case you'd find a hard-working team that is busy creating products, writing copy, putting together marketing strategies and basically working passionately to bring their message to market every way that they can.
The same goes for a successful affiliate niche blogger. All you have to do is watch them online to see how active and engaged they are with their business - at their blog, in the comments, on Twitter and Facebook, and around the web.
Does that mean it's all a scam? No. Not at all! But it does bring us back around to choosing the RIGHT affiliate niche, which I discussed in my last post...
Vera said: "This will provide me with the ability to work on these different missions, make a difference in the world while this affiliate biz supports my family and the lifestyle that I want to live. ...The only way I can see it all working is if my biz here online is VERY streamlined and Hands Off."
Remember my example in the post about Affiliate Niche Selection?
Here's the point of that example:
"So you create an affiliate blog all about holiday ornaments so you can earn enough money to live your "RC Helicopter" dream. Right? Wrong."
Vera has some serious passions and missions in life. She wants to make a difference. She wants to have a positive impact. She's a very spiritual person. Yet she's considering "cooking" as her affiliate niche, even though she doesn't enjoy cooking at all - not even a little - as a means of funding her bigger dreams in life.
What you really want to do is tie your passions and interests INTO your business. Meaning, choose a niche or a topic that is aligned with your life goals, and ultimately takes you toward the lifestyle you most want. Not only will it "fund" your lifestyle, your work will become integrated or nicely aligned with your lifestyle.
That's the ideal choice! Consider how many hours you spend on your career. As an entrepreneur you eat, breathe, sleep, and think your business, around the clock. You're passionate about what you do. You ENJOY your work. Who you are and what you do become one and the same. It just doesn't make sense to separate the two...
Other people know you better than you know yourself.
Vera is going through the brainstorming cycle, and she's processing ideas the same way most people do. Just freely putting it out there, then sorting through it all. Only she's doing it publicly. (Kudos, Vera, for having the guts to lay it all out there!)
One of the toughest things about brainstorming though, is that we're stuck in our own head. We often don't even tap into our true strengths or passions, because we're trying so hard to come up with "ideas" - and usually new ideas, instead.
My advice: Figure out who you are to the people who know you best. How are your known? How would they describe you? What do they come to you for most? And... is this the same as how you WANT to be known, or what you want to be known FOR?
^ This is your homework, Vera!
Now, tie that in with a creative angle, and you have your affiliate niche!
See Vera's post here, and let's help her out in the comments below. How do YOU see her? What kind of business would you recommend that would allow Vera to make a positive impact, or make a difference in the lives of others?
Vera is obviously a very spiritual person, and very involved with her church and missions. I would assume she inspires and impacts others in her life spiritually. She has an inspiring life story to share, full of interesting experiences that could serve to help others. She also needs something fun, exciting, adventurous - and outside her comfort zone. She loves beaches, and the BC area where she lives.
Do you agree that Vera should do something that ties in with her offline life, her biggest missions, and her true passions? Not only would it "fund her ideal life" but it would also allow her to stay fully engaged in the things that matter to her most, and give her a platform to get the word out about her missions.
I can see Vera as a "spiritual adventurist" type blogger that tours some of the earth's most beautiful spots, and shares hope and inspiration that helps people get way outside their mental comfort zone and embrace life more fully. All by sharing her story, her faith, her experiences & adventures, words of wisdom and practical application. Along with beautiful inspiring photos that she takes on her own "spiritual adventures".
What say you? Assuming you've read her post, do you agree, disagree, or have other niche / affiliate / blogging ideas for Vera to consider?
I look forward to hearing your thoughts, and Vera's reply!