Users on digitalpoint often ask “What niche is profitable right now?” and my response is always “Follow your passion. If you don’t believe in your topic then you won’t get far”. It goes without saying that, for them, my answer is the “wrong answer”. Chasing the dollar is a pretty soulless way to operate.
I’ve been watching how people use the internet to make names for themselves ever since I first went online back in the ’90s. I’ve been frustrated by my husband’s humbleness that has stopped him from utilising his already high profile within his industry while others have done it incredibly well – however it has seemed that in his world, the loud and proud are not what they seem – something their clients only realise after its too late.
Back in 2004 Shawn Hogan was well known in the fledgling SEO community and when users became disenfranchised by SEOChat (alot of us were still on dial up and the ads were huge) he started his own internet marketing forum which is huge. He tied it to his company and had lots of free tools which drew people in.
By 2006 Jeremy Schoemaker was making his presence felt under the name “Shoemoney”. He decided to take it up a notch and had tshirts printed. I was envious of his ability to go to conferences in the US and of his energy. He lives and breathes his topic. By believing in his brand Shoemoney is now a huge resource for bloggers interested in monetizing their sites.
Being a big believer in open source, blogging and sharing information freely I haven’t been big on buying books about online marketing. Back in ’99 I used to go to Tech Books in Newmarket and elbow my way through the crowds filling the aisles to the books I wanted to read, pore over them to decide which were valuable and then spend over a hundred dollars a book. Today the shop is gone and I haven’t bought a programming text book this century.
Audio books, however, have caught my attention. They’re essentially podcasts and I like having them on my phone and being able to listen when I’m alone in the car. Audible.com had a sale on last week and they highlighted that a book that was in my wishlist was included in the sale so I hopped online and bought it.
Gary Vaynerchuk published this book back in ’09 and the audio book came out in ’10 and he updates the book throughout where he thinks things have changed. By now things have moved on even more. There was no Google+ then and Orkut is now gone (not sure what the Brazilians are using now).
Don’t let the age of the book put you off reading or listening to it – the guts of the book apply today. I’m going to summarise the key points the way I see it but Gary embelishes from his own experience and really gets the point across.
- be passionate about your subject
- be 100% committed
- choose your medium
- don’t be afraid of hard work
Obviously his book goes into way, way more than that but I see kids in Pakistan saying they want to do a Hollywood Celebrity blog because they think adsense pays well. There is no way that that kid is going to do well because all the material is going to begged, borrowed or stolen. Now if the kid lived and breathed Hollywood Celebrity and had the knack of interpreting tweets and photo opportunities to know that a relationship was on the rocks etc and published that before anyone else, that blog would be interesting and successful no where the blogger lived. The key difference is passion!
On a personal level, I’m wondering if my passion is actually helping others shine and coaching them on how to use the internet well. I’ve made a start in a couple of areas where the “client” is receptive the message and can see the long term benefits. I’m ready for a change so I’ll be mulling my future direction over and re-listening to the book.