Some people think the days of the ordinary home entrepreneur making really big money on the Internet have passed.
After all, the big innovations have happened haven’t they?
Think back to the days when eBay came along… when Amazon started… when the blogging craze erupted… when email marketing exploded onto the scene… when videos became the big trend… when YouTube emerged…. when podcasts appeared… when social media became adopted by pretty much everyone.
Those were crazy times. Each successive trend… eBay, Amazon, blogging, email marketing, YouTube, Facebook…. brought with it a mini gold rush.
For those who got in early with a blog, email newsletter, video channel or social media feed, there were huge profits to be made. You could quite quickly dominate your niche and get noticed far more easily than you do now.
You could also make good money from creating ‘how to’ courses, newsletters and articles that helped people master these new innovations.
I’ll give you an example…
In 2003, when blogging was the hot trend and search engines were getting more sophisticated, Martin Lewis set up personal finance site called MoneySavingExpert.com, offering tips. It also allowed people to get the best of out of the many new internet businesses offering finance and deals, comparing prices and avoiding scams.
In 2012, he sold it to moneysupermarket.com for £87 million.
Eighty – seven – MILLION – pounds.
My hot take on this (sorry Martin) is that he didn’t really have a special talent or qualifications that made this such a stunning success. It was more that he got in when the time was ripe, dominating that niche and growing so fast that it was difficult for others to compete.
Hard to think of that kind of astronomical rise happening now, with so many blogs, magazine sites and newsletters about finance.
And this is might be why some people think all the good times have gone for making money on the internet from home.
Because while small-time entrepreneurs were the first true “Digital upstarts” the perception for many is that now the “big boys” have got it sewn up, swallowing up those tiny businesses and spending millions on slick websites and super-smart algorithms.
Facebook, Google, Amazon and other giants rule the roost. The internet has gone corporate and the times where the little guy could set up a little business with a few basic tools and make a fortune are no more.
Worst still, nobody really pays for anything any more, do they? The new generation of online users are growing up to expect that all the info online comes for free.
Music, films, even books – they can all be streamed, ripped, shared….
And there’s just so much STUFF out there now. So many websites, social media accounts, newsletters, vlogs and podcasts that are all killing it, and hogging all the limelight.
There’s nothing you could create that’s new, or that people can’t get better anywhere else, right?
Well, the above is partly true.
But it’s also wrong.
Where one opportunity fades, another is created.
You just need to spot the trend early
Yes, the internet has grown and changed a lot. Yet there is a lot more content out there, and much of it for free….
This information overload has created a new opportunity – and a boom market to go with it, one that few people realise or recognise.
You see, there’s something dramatic happening online that’s largely invisible to Joe Public and the average internet user. An explosion of super-fast growth in one sector of the internet, the likes of which we’ve not seen since the days of the dot.coms, or when online selling platforms like eBay and Amazon first emerged.
Around four years ago, this industry was estimated to be worth $165billion. So it was pretty huge even back then, but that’s nothing compared to where this is going.
It’s forecast to pass the £275 billion mark by 2022, only three years from now.
That’s three years of insane growth ahead.
And the good news is that the kinds of people making money from this industry aren’t established businesses or corporations, but home entrepreneurs, small businesses and start ups.
That’s because all you need in order to take part in this sector are the following:
• A piece of knowledge, or a skill, or an experience you’ve had that you can pass on
• A basic website, based on the many user-friendly publishing platforms available now
• Access to social media (and the information you’ve been shown in Digital Upstart over the past few years)
It can be simple, lo-fi and set up within a few months – and it can still pull in the customers and turn over sales at surprising speeds.
Which means this is something you could get into now, while it’s still relatively secret AND while it’s growing at the fastest rate that it will EVER grow.
In other words, you have a window of opportunity to profit from the next internet gold rush before it hits its peak.
This is this is the sort of thing that only comes along rarely, and (sorry to sound bleak) which might never happen again in your lifetime. So you’re going to need to be fairly quick off the mark here.
Why eLearning is booming
As you’re no doubt aware, more and more people are online, old and young, The public increasingly use the internet to seek out information in order to solve problems of improve their lives – whether that’s related to health, finance, business, career, arts or sports.
The internet is now teeming with people seeking practical information that will help them develop new skills, increase their knowledge, save time, get a promotion, boost their performance or change careers.
They seek out information on things like I.T, bookkeeping, internet marketing, web-building, design, you name it.
Same goes for people trying to start or run a business. They need quick-start advice on things like social media, email marketing, advertising. Basically, they need to fill in the gaps in their knowledge.
Then there are all the hobbyists and creators – the people into arts and crafts, DIY, gardening, writing, sports and travel – they also want ways to become better at what they do, get noticed by a bigger audience, or turn what they do into something profitable.
Finally, you’ve got all those who just want to improve their lives… relieve pain, lose weight, bring up kids, care for elderly parents, train pets, do up their house, grow vegetables and rid themselves of annoying habits.
These people are online too, urgently seeking simple, quick, honest advice from people who have been there and done it.
It’s a massive and varied market of info-seekers, one that’s growing all the time, and being ever more connected to social media networks.
And while a lot of people will just use Google, a lot of them don’t. Because the glut of free information online, with all its conflicting advice has created a problem.
It’s hard to find good, trustworthy information quickly and easily. Particularly in the more obscure niches.
Sure, you can piece your own advice together from Google, YouTube, social media and other sources, but it takes time and some amount of judgement and experience on your part. Plus you have to do a lot of searching, sifting, referencing and then put it all together yourself.
Increasingly, time-poor people look for help and advice that they can trust, which is quick to digest and with easy, practical steps to follow…. almost like joining the dots, or painting by numbers.
They’re willing to pay for this, too.
Large numbers of info-seekers are now buying online courses designed to fix a problem, achieve a goal, or deliver a specific result.
People choose to buy them because it’s so easy. An online course can be done in their own time, from home, at their own pace. If they’re shy or housebound they don’t need to go out and interact with strangers.
Compared to university courses, or taking up vocational training programmes, online courses are a lot more affordable and with less time commitment. You’re looking at maybe days, weeks or a few months to complete a course.
This is why eLearning is skyrocketing.
How to take your share of the eLearning market
Although it is growing fast, there is still time to get in and make money from your own course, if you’re willing to do something this year.
There are all kinds of potential niches, including homes, gardens, pets, health, diet, food, travel, art, sports, fitness, collectables, alternative investments, personal finance, education, career, retirement, parenting, self-improvement.
You don’t need to be an expert, or qualified, you just need to have had experience in something, either at work, in your personal life, or in one of your hobbies.
As long as you have something that you’ve achieved, or learnt, in life which you are willing to pass on, then there is probably an audience for it.
There are many types of eLearning course in a myriad different subject areas, but you can boil it down to three:
1. Quickstart – A beginner’s guide that gives a series of tips to get someone started, priced at around £29-£99. Think of it like a basic toolkit someone would need in order to get going. For instance, 10 Essential Steps to Creating a Professional eCommerce or Preparing Your Home for a New Baby.
2. Single topic – these hone in on a specific topic, problem or goal in more detail than a Quickstart Guide. An example might be, Growing Organic Tomatoes (instead of a more general ‘organic gardening’ course), or Spreadsheet Mastery (instead of, ‘How to Run a Small Business’). You can also charge around £99-£499 depending on the level of detail
3. Signature Course – this is a more complete, rounded course that takes the customer through a longer process towards a larger goal. It might cover a large range of topics, perhaps in modules, with tools like downloads or spreadsheets, The Compete Forex Home Trader or School Football Coaching Academy. For this kind of course you can charge as much as £499-£2,000
If you’re interested in the idea, then Heloise Laight, cofounder of Canonbury Publishing, is an expert in eLearning, as this has been the foundation of her business.
She’s helped ordinary people take a skill or interest (trading, betting, cryptocurrencies, local business marketing, Amazon, eBay) and turn it into a course that they can sell.
This year she’s going to look for a small number people to take on and help develop a course in a load of new subject areas, anything from bringing up children to accountancy skills to overcoming insomnia. I’ll let you know full details as soon as I have more information.