Online Business in Spain, Very Useful Resources

This post forms part of an ongoing series about running an online business in Spain. If that is something that might interest you, read on!

Nowadays a lot of people including, I suppose, myself, are touting the dream of a live-anywhere, internet-based income. You know, the idea that you can chill out by the beach, check your email once a week, and watch the cash role in.

The reality is obviously a little bit tougher than that. Not only do you have to find an online business idea that works, you then have to lovingly pay attention to it, full time, for a very long time. Still, it beats having to commute to work every day, and yes, you can live by a nice Spanish beach if you want to!

A problem for many people that might be considering this online lifestyle here in Spain, however, is that they just don’t know where to start. Either that or, like us, you wake up one day and realise that your website is making you some money, but you really don’t know how to build on what you’ve got. You have no idea how to take your fledgling business idea up to another level, to a point where you really can rely on it to pay the mortgage.

In either case you need to find the right expert resources to carry you forward. Over the last 6 months I’ve spent a lot of time investigating such resources, and wanted to share the very best of what I’ve discovered with you here. A lot of what I’ve found out stemmed from a very useful lunchtime conversation with Dean Hunt (interview here), who taught us an incredible amount about honing our websites, and online marketing principles.

His advice put me on track in my continuing investigations, so if you can’t find a local Dean to tell you what’s what, I recommend you have a good look at this lot (presented in no logical order!):

Internet Business Mastery

In this excellent podcast Sterling and Jay do a great job of taking you through the whole process of conceiving, building, and marketing an online business. As I was already several steps down the line when I started listening to these guys, I was able to pick and choose which episodes I knew would be most useful – mostly, in my case, related to marketing and information products.

But if you are starting from scratch, want to know how to find a profitable niche, what free software to use to build an online presence, and how to get people’s continued attention, then you can learn an enormous amount from the podcast: www.internet-based-business-mastery.com

Note: A lot of what they cover is related to the sale of information products. If that is something that interests you, then there is a pretty excellent summary of how the whole information product business works online here.

Teaching Sells

Without doubt one of the fastest growing areas of online business is Education. One day we will all be learning almost exclusively online. If you know more about something than most other people (be it knitting, photography, being an expat, teaching English abroad, depression, ebay, hair-care for dogs… you name it!), the chances are you could already be making money from teaching others all about it.

A fairly new – and potentially hugely profitable – angle is the development of membership sites, where people pay you recurring monthly fees to learn all the stuff you already know, and carefully present to them. The Teaching Sells program provides a complete blueprint to setting up such a membership site, covering everything from easy multimedia content development, to affordable software solutions, and marketing your new site.

Personally, I don’t want to set up a membership website at the moment, but I have still managed to learn an incredible amount from being a member of the Teaching Sells program. As well as the great advice on content development and marketing, the information I’ve picked up in the members-only forums are worth the price of admission alone. You can currently check out the whole program with their one-week one-dollar trial offer. Check out Teaching Sells here.

The E-Myth Revisited

They say that to become an expert in anything, you only need to read the right three books. Some people go as far as to say just two well-chosen books on a given subject can give you all you need. I’m going to go one step further and say that in this case, just one book will do.

The E-myth Revisited is like an instant MBA. Honestly, if you are already running any kind of business, online or off, and you are not entirely sure how you got where you are or exactly where you are going, reading this book sets fireworks off in your head. If you are overwhelmed by your work, or by the work you envisage ahead, this book will put you right.

Even if you are already doing well and think you know exactly where you are going with your business, you have to read this book. It will pretty much up your chances of future success by about 3000%.

You might initially be put off by the writing style, and the occasional conversations with case-study Sarah, the lost, over-worked pie shop owner, but believe me, about halfway through the book those mental explosions will be happening, and you will feel infinitely more confident about where you are going with your present or potential business life.

Highly highly recommended (and I still have 20 pages to go!) Check it out on Amazon: E-myth Revisited

The Four Hour Workweek

I’ve mentioned this book before, and not everyone is convinced. But the point of this book is that it is very inspiring if you are thinking about leaving a boring life behind, finding an online income, and living life to the full right now. Actually, it’s inspiring even if you are already living the good life abroad!

There is a lot here which is frankly worth ignoring, including, to be honest, some of the advice on making money online, but everyone takes something away from this book. The productivity tips alone are excellent, and likely to give lost hours back to your life (it’s all about the 80/20 and controlling the email!!).

As I said, it’s inspiring stuff, and despite the bits you’ll instinctively know aren’t for you, it’s well worth reading. More reviews here: The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

Conclusion:

That’s plenty for now. Delve into that lot and you’ll have enough to keep you going for a year, because not only will you be taking action on everything you can learn from these resources, but I can promise that all the above will be sending you off to other useful information sources as well.

Now you can help me with two important questions. 1. Was this post useful? 2. Have you got any favourite websites, or books, that have made a huge difference to how you do, or are hoping to do, business online?

12 thoughts on “Online Business in Spain, Very Useful Resources

  1. Ben Post author

    A few I left out but you still might like to look at:

    http://www.copyblogger.com – great stuff in the archives, delve around a bit.

    If you ever decide to do anything with Google adwords advertising, get Perry Marshall’s ebook “The Definitive Guide to Google AdWords” or risk loosing a fortune to Google. Find it here: http://www.perrymarshall.com

    Another book I found interesting:
    Meatball Sundae by Seth Godin – all about web 2.0 marketing. Find it on Amazon to see if you think it might be for you.

  2. Jonk

    Great article Ben, I’ll be checking out some of those links definitely. Like when I wake up tomorrow morning. I’ve just finished an ebook I’ve been writing to build an email list for my membership website. This is going to be an interesting experience.

  3. Maria S.

    1. Yes, this post was very useful.
    2. I can’t think of any favourite website, except yours. Yours was the first one I joined and learned by doing how to navigate it. (Women…)

    My personal goal is not to make money on-line, I prefer the writing part. Of course, if more money came in (in 15 months of my blog, I have not even met the $100.- pay out limit yet), that would be pleasing.
    But I will keep watching and learning.
    Thanks, Ben, for great updates.

  4. C

    Great Post! If you’re going the blogging route then you might want to check out:

    1. ProBlogger.net for blogging advice
    2. Sitepoint.com for buying an established online business (if you don’t want to mess with creating one yourself).

    Also, don’t forget, in the US at least, lots of companies are allowing 100% remote employees. You just have to look!

    (My husband and I both work for fortune 500 companies remotely– I manage software teams all over the country, he creates advertising and manages campaigns for clients)

  5. MedioGringo

    Thanks a lot for this post Ben. I’m starting a couple of my own blogs and I’ll be checking this stuff out pretty soon. And I’ll also be coming to Madrid in a few months to follow in your footsteps (hopefully) so keep the inspiration coming!!

    Dan

  6. Ben Post author

    Glad to help, I know this is a niche niche subject, but I always work on the assumption that if at least one person in interested then that is a good thing!

  7. Geoff Harrison

    My main advice to anyone setting up an online business would be to be prepared to invest a lot of time and effort in your idea before it starts to pay off. Many potentially good websites are ruined because their creators try to cash in too early on whatever popularity they have achieved and drive away new visitors with overbearing banner adverts and unrealistic subscription charges.

    Follow the Google example, create something genuinely useful and the traffic and revenue will eventually come. Have faith in your idea and persevere but don’t expect the millions to start rolling in overnight!

  8. chris

    Good advice Geoff – I think a lot of people expect to do a Bebo, but, as Ben has pointed out in this series, it a takes a lot of time and graft

  9. SeePortugal.Org

    And it is also the best way to live outside the United States, since getting all the proper work visas can be a drag. I like the post, and thanks for the resource.

  10. Ana

    I just found this site and this blog. I love it already and the spirit I find here is … well, contagious.
    I’m a single, middle-aged woman with a lifelong dream of living in Spain. Visa and work permit restrictions have been barriers up to now. But now with the ‘Net it may finally be coming true before too long — if I can find profitable niches. I have nothing up yet, I’m still learning. But I continue to get ideas. I hope to meet some of you there very soon!

  11. Chris Wright

    Hi Ben,

    Great article you’ve a way of cutting through the hype of the internet and explaining what works and what doesn’t.

    I was at ExpoManagement in Madrid recently and picked up a great book that turns traditional biz books on their head.

    “Funky Business Forever” by 2 mad swedish business profesors – how to be funkier in business.

  12. Sarah S

    I just searched Google for ‘setting up an online business in Spain’ and found your site. The article was very useful and I am tempted to read the books you recommended. I live in southern Spain and am about to embark on setting up an online company… As soon as the website is up and running I’ll be back to let you know.
    Cheers,
    Sarah

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