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.
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
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?