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The Easiest Way To Build A Profitable Online Business Using Content Curation… But Is It Ethical?

Over the last couple of years there has been a lot of talk about viral websites, I myself wrote a few articles about the topic within the members area of the Digital Academy. The Cash Curator is a system we devised using the successful viral methods.

cash curator tmbLearn How to Profit Using The Cash Curator In Our Digital Academy Here 

The information in those articles which I wrote was pretty powerful. when I say powerful I mean “I made $100,000 In A Week” powerful. If you look at the screenshot below you will see a comment left on an article (not mine) covering this subject back in 2014. The guy who left the comment said that he generated $100,000 in Australian dollars within a week with his website which was only a couple of months old.

curator content comment

That is powerful stuff and what is incredible is that many of the websites online that are making good money are not creating the content themselves. Well they are and they aren’t… let me explain.

curator content websites

These sites are curating content, placing it on their own websites which then gets shared across multiple social media platforms. They then generate revenue from advertising platforms such as Google AdSense, Taboola and Content Ad.

Scott DeLong is the master of curated viral content. He built and grew the popular ViralNova website, working from his bedroom he grew the site from nothing to a site generating hundreds of thousands of dollars per month within 8 months.

viralnova scott delong

He started by working 16 hours a day and when it really took off he paid 2 freelance writers to help create the content. This home based business with a team of only 3 people not only generated millions it was sold for a staggering $100 million to media company Zealot Networks 2 years later… within 2 years he went from zero to $100 million! And the content on this website was what? That is right, it was all curated content which Scott and his team copied from other sources.

So What Exactly Is Content Curation?

Content curation is basically taking content from other websites, social media and other people, repackaging and reshaping it and then sharing it via your own site. There is a big debate whether this is ethical and right. Many people believe it is theft and infringes copyright laws. It is if you basically take it from another website as you found it but if you rewrite it and build on it often you are safe.

This has been happening for years by many of the big players online. The big players I am referring to online are the traditional papers like the Daily Mail, The Mirror and the Telegraph etc.

Papers have been doing this for years way before the internet was thought about let alone created. They would trawl other papers and magazines for interesting information, re write it, share it in their own paper and add a source credit.

curatoed content

In the past they might have contacted people to get permission to use certain pictures and maybe even had to license images but since the birth of the internet this has changed a lot.

With so much piracy going on it would take years to take many websites to court for sharing your content. It is generally accepted that your stuff will be reused elsewhere and if the people put a source credit link back to the original post/article artwork it is often overlooked.

The source link is not just a nod in the direction to the original creator in acknowledgement but if it is hyperlinked back it acts as a backlink which as we know is very important online.

This doesn’t mean you can or should use other people’s work all of the time, it means it is more accepted. You should really get permission but with so many blogs and websites being created by fans for example the extra sharing is seen as free exposure and advertising.

Imagine you were an artist creating wall art and you wanted the world to see your work curated art contentwhich could lead to you getting commissions to do paid artwork. You would add your images to your website; you create a social media campaign and start the process of putting your work ‘out there.’

How would you feel if the Daily Mail did a two page spread about you and your artwork? You would feel great wouldn’t you? Imagine if the online version of the Daily Mail which is read by millions worldwide shared your artwork and it went viral.

You would feel great again, a lot of the readers who liked your artwork would then share it and more and more people would eventually see it.

Your artwork could be seen by millions in a matter of weeks or even days. A lot of websites know that anything that is placed on the internet is in reality put on there ‘to be seen’, you might personally want to control it better and not have your artwork stolen and used by other people however you cannot argue with the fact that it was put online to be seen. Why else would you have put it online?

With this in mind many people see that they can freely share interesting stories, photographs and artwork without worrying about copyright infringement because they are not technically using it for commercial gain and in fact giving the original source free advertising and traffic.

But the truth is; many websites ARE sharing other people’s content for commercial gain. They are running a commercial business and the pull is other people’s work.

curator content source link

DMCA Removal Request , Copyright Issues & Playing It Safe

As long as a website gives credit and links to the original source and do not publish the whole post as seen on another website they should be fine. To make it more safe many content curation websites will have a dedicated page with details about DMCA Removal Requests and an email that people can use to contact the site owners requesting posts to be removed.

This is usually the first step if people want to have content removed; it is far easier and cheaper than trying to get lawyers involved. When a site receives an email they simply remove the post and people go their own separate ways.

I will not go into great detail about DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) but it is a global law protecting people’s work online and if you use other people’s work unlawfully you can be asked to remove it and you must comply otherwise it will be enforced which means your hosting company will be contacted and your account suspended if you do not comply. You can read more here Digital Millennium Copyright Act

One of the reason some people will ask to have their work removed from content curation sites is that the website owners ARE using it for commercial gain. They may not be taking it and illegally adding it to DVD covers or turning it into wallpapers that are for sale or other products which are deemed commercial use but they are using it to generate traffic to their sites so they can generate money through advertising revenue.

That is a commercial set up and a business generating money using other people’s work. As I said earlier this has been happening for years, newspapers need to sell papers to make money and they did that by providing great information and if that meant sharing stories from other papers around the country or the world then they would do that.

The other important thing to remember is that you cannot copyright fact; you can only copyright something that has been created so if that is a photograph, a video, the way something is written or a piece of music then you have to be careful as they are works of art. Most newspapers and websites would rewrite the written information of a news report themselves which is factual and then license or ask to use any images which were usually granted free if the source of the image/story was credited, bit like a gentleman’s handshake agreement.

If you write about something and you were accurate and factual then it is likely that the recipient would be flattered and see it as ‘free advertising’ and let your post go however if you wrote something real sloppy with many inaccuracies then they may see it damaging to their reputation and career and they are more likely to ask for it to be removed. So it pays to make sure you are as factual and as close to the truth as you know it.

curator content websites 2

Sites like Bored Panda have become very popular and have been around for many years. These sites usually share cool and interesting things like artists work, stories and technology while other popular sites like the Huffington Post stick to sharing the news which as we know is big business and one built mainly on free content.

Some photographers and journalists are paid to write and take pictures but the stories themselves were free. As hard as is it to say this September 11th was great for the news companies, it was awful for mankind but it gave news channels and papers days, weeks, months and even years of free content that a lot of people found interesting.

sept 11 curated content

Creating A Content Curation Website Business

The reason these sites are popular is that they do not require a lot of skill and work. Now I say that carefully, there is some work involved, when the website grows you will need to keep on top of it and that is often done best by hiring people but if it is not generating a lot of money straight away you might decide to do it yourself.

The content itself may not require someone to lock themselves away in an isolated cottage and do hours of creative writing like an author would but you will need to spend some time writing or rewriting articles you find, saving images from articles and uploading them to your own site.

Remember Scott DeLong would spend around 16 hours a day creating content, sharing content and setting up Facebook advert campaigns. It was hard work but it paid off and he sold ViralNova for $100 million as well as the thousands he generated each month before selling it off.

It will take some time to find good stories and videos to rewrite, use and share. While I am on the subject of videos there are a lot of video based sites that generate money by sharing funny videos they find on YouTube.

Why don’t people go to YouTube to watch the videos? Because they do not know they want to see the video until it is posted and shared on social media. Videos can be embedded on any site thanks to the way YouTube is run. If you created a video content curation website that simply took videos from YouTube and shared them then you would have even less writing to worry about.

Creating a website is hard work when you have to create all of the unique content and get the traffic by sharing on social media and worrying about SEO while building a brand. With these types of sites most of the thinking and sharing is done for you.

curator content websites 3

Since it was talked about in the public arena more and more of these types of sites are appearing online. Some are regurgitating other competitors posts and articles whereas others are looking for the newest and latest stories in a bid to go viral.

Taking existing articles republishing them and then sharing them on social media is a lot easier especially when the content is liked by a lot more people than specific niches. This way there is a greater chance of posts going viral and that is what builds up the big traffic which can generate those ‘$100,000 in a week’ scenarios we all would like to experience.

I might like to read posts on topics such as ‘How To Generate 1000 Page views In A Day’ but many of my friends and family won’t but both myself and my friends are often interested in fun and interesting stories/pictures/videos like the one about the ‘Snake In Australia That Ate A Crocodile’

People are getting hosting packages that allow unlimited disc space and bandwidth at places like Hostgator then putting together a simple WordPress website. With little work a WordPress website is basically ready to take content. They would create a Facebook page, Twitter account and a Google + account so they can start growing an audience to share their posts with.

If you are still not sure how to get hosting or create a WordPress website then we have easy to follow video modules inside our Digital Academy. To learn more about the Digital Academy watch the video here: ‘It’s Not All About Sunshine, Speed Boats & Shiny Suits’ A Free Look Inside The Digital Academy.
its not all sunshine, speed boats and shiny suits
Once those few bits are sorted it is a case of sitting down, finding your content and then curating it into new posts. Some of the bigger websites have a small team of people overseas curating content and others are simply run by their young owners who spend their days looking for stuff and sharing it. If one article can generate $100,000 in a week I can see why they stay at home and do this instead of going out to work.

Generally the biggest content curation websites publish at least one article a day but most of them publish several posts a day. How much does Mashable publish in a day? As you can see from the image below it isn’t always new tech related stuff. They often curate fun content for traffic generation.

mashable curated content

They keep churning a lot of content out and they get a lot of shares. It is these masses of content and huge amounts of shares that drive traffic to their sites that generate the huge amounts of advertising revenue they can make or ask for.

So how do you find great articles, news, stories, videos and pictures to share?

There are four main ways I would search for ideas and they are

  1. ‘Like’ lots of pages on Facebook and watch what they publish and what all of your friends and family share on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Instagram. These social networks are a great way to find new ideas, articles or even loads of fun images you can curate into a unique post of your own.
  2. Set up a Feedly account and have new posts and articles delivered into one place. Feedly has taken the place of the popular but now defunct Google Reader. You add all of the websites you like into Feedly and it will use their RSS feed and pull their latest posts into one account for you to peruse. The great thing about Feedly is that you do not need to keep going to all of your favourite websites, they are all there and you quickly scan posts to see if you like any. When you find a new website that could be interesting just add its URL to your Feedly account and you will now be updated of all of their new stuff. The website list can include all of the news websites and fun viral websites; it will save you a lot of time searching.
  3. Do a Google search, this one works better if you have an idea for a post. Let’s say that you wanted to do a post on pimped up camper vans, you type those words into Google and do both a web search and an image search. You will get back ideas and pictures that you can use as you will see in this interesting post ‘You Won’t Believe What These Guys Have Done To Their Vans 10 Pimped Up Vans & Crazy Campers
  4. Do a search on YouTube. YouTube is an incredible place; you find many great channels doing content curation using video as their main media. You will find videos doing many ‘Top Ten…’ videos of everything and I mean everything…  I recently saw a video for the ‘Top 10 Sexy Female Aliens’ Yes really! … And here it is 🙂

WatchMojo do loads of Top Ten style videos with clips they have curated and they add them to YouTube and share them on their own website.

Still you will get plenty of great ideas from YouTube and don’t forget you will get news reports and interesting fail videos by the bucket load too.

Only last night as a test I decided to do my own version of this post as a test ‘A Man Takes A Single Rake to The Beach. And When You Zoom Out And See It… Mind BLOWN’, it isn’t live but I did it in a Word Document as if I was doing it for real. This included downloading all 17 images and then placing them into my document, rewriting the content, adding source links and creating a new eye catching title as well as sourcing a new YouTube video to go with the post to make it more original.

I did this on my laptop while watching a film on the TV, it took me about half an hour and had I published it live on a WordPress website with some social media shares it would have been an hour tops. That isn’t bad really is it? I could have managed to have done more posts on a typical evening and had them scheduled but I started late and was only running a test so I do see this as a website business idea with a lot of potential.

When you consider that you could create and run a WordPress website for around £100 for the whole year (that includes the better hosting package with more disc space) it is a pretty cheap business model to get started with. The rest is really free, your content is based on other people’s work and content, Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus are free to use and they allow you to create things like groups, communities and pages for free to start growing a following.

You can if you wish spend some money on Facebook adverts to grow your page’s likes and this is recommended but then a couple of hundred pounds should be enough to kick start a viral effect to further grow your following.

So that is content curation, I guess you need to decide whether it is ethical or not and whether you want to get involved with it but I have shown you roughly what is involved and how to get started. I will leave that with you.  🙂

Remember: To learn how to build your own viral content curation website we have the several video tutorial modules inside the Digital Academy as well as our very own specially created Cash Curator system for our members using these viral content curation principles.

Check it out now by clicking the button below!

the digital academy

The Changing Face Of Business

I am sure you are aware of the global economic crisis that has been happening over the last few years. We have heard of the horror stories where the economic and social foundations of Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Cyprus have nearly collapsed. These have all added fuel to the fire which resulted in the British public leaving the European Union in last week’s referendum.

brexit

Unemployment is high in these countries now. As I write this Spain is having a second general election because the last one in December did not result in a decisive outcome and so Spain has been run by a caretaker Government.  It is said that unemployment is at a staggering 50% with more and more people in Spain forced to get food from food banks because they cannot afford a full weekly shop.

Greece is slowly recovering after seeing regular street protests and rioting resulting in shops and businesses being attacked. Times have been so desperate lately that people are turning on themselves.

greece

Many of the issues in places like Spain and Cyprus were made worse by people in places like the UK not being able to afford overseas holidays so they chose to stay in their own countries which meant a lot of tourist places that relied heavily on income from tourism and tourist based work were seriously affected.

Many people believe that the bankers with greedy intentions and dodgy dealings have caused many of the issues, and they might be right. Governments bailing out banks have had to force cuts within the public sector which simply amplifies the misery that people are living with. But bankers and capitalism isn’t the cause of all of the issues that protesters will have you believe.

We are living in a different world these days and what worked 10 – 20 years ago is slowly changing.

Do you remember Woolworths, Blockbuster video and HMV? Over the last few years they have been in the headlines because they were forced to close making a lot of people unemployed. And of course the  BHS collapse has been in the news recently. But when we look closely at these stores what do we see? We see companies that have been around for years offering the public products that were once expensive to buy, expensive to manufacture and that you could only get from the big stores that could afford to stock them.

hmv blockbuster woolworths

Products like video and DVD’s, music CDs, books, stationery and even household goods. What is the first thing most people think when they look at those items?

‘Videos? DVD’s? They are so last decade!’

Many of today’s big stores are not suffering because of the economic crisis that has been caused by the bankers, many jobs are not being lost because of the banking system, they are being lost because the way our society is changing, they are being lost down to the advancement and development in modern technology and working systems.

We are at a similar stage to the industrial revolution of the early 19th century. Advancements in technology is making life easier and better for all, unfortunately with those changes some things and some people may suffer.

We are now living in the digital age; music is now in MP3 format and can be downloaded to mobile phones, MP3 players, computers, tablets and even eBook readers like the Kindle. Books are in PDF or Kindle form and can also be downloaded directly from the online store to Kindles, mobile phones, computers and tablets.

Movies and TV shows are the same; they come in digital format that can be downloaded and streamed live via your computer and mobile phone. I mean think about it, mobile phone? We can sit and watch TV on a phone while travelling on a bus or train!

Tesco now have their own Film and TV streaming service called BlinkBox to rival Netflix and Amazon. All are growing and changing the way we receive our entertainment. What was just an online thing routed to a TV by HDMI leads from a laptop is now becoming a defunct technology with modern TVs now coming connected to the internet via wifi or with USB sticks like Google Chromecast and Amazon Fire. Internet TV is now being watched on large TVs!

blinkbox love film netflix

Imagine trying to tell someone one back in 1988 who owned one of those huge car phones that within 20 years we would be watching TV or listening to radio broadcast live from the other side of the world on hand held mobile phones! Then tell them that these phones are capable of storing more books and music albums than what most people have on their shelves.

scooby doo mobile

We live in a new age, we cannot overlook that, Woolworths might have closed down their stores but their online business was thriving until they recently joined the huge online store Very.co.uk. An online store has far less overheads and running costs compared to the traditional retail business model which requires having loads of stores in each major town across the UK.

There are rents and rates to consider, the utility costs such as electricity needed for lighting and running tills, water and possibly gas for toilets and heating. There are the costs of fitting out the stores with shelving, stands and equipment, there are the big costs of insurances, the cost of replacing products that have disappeared thanks to light fingered shoplifters, the cost of repairs after ’10 Stella’s Steve’ decided to put a road sign through the window on a Saturday night when he realised he was too late to buy a kebab and finally there are the wages that come with having so many staff. Offline businesses are very costly to run.

Change Is Inevitable!

coal not doleIt is a sad fact that when change comes people will lose their jobs. When the Miners were shouting ‘Coal not dole’ during the strikes of 1984 it was a desperate attempt to keep Britain in the past, what worked 20 years ago might not work now. No one likes to be out of work, (apart from those on Channel 5 documentaries!) but when one door closes others open.

Woolworths sold items that were becoming available to smaller shops like stationery and even household items, now they can be bought online and even personalized from the comfort of your own home by using sites like CafePress.com. How can these big shops still compete?

An ex Woolworths employee might have lost their job but today they now have the opportunity of creating an online store selling mugs, T-Shirts, notepads and bags with their designs and photographs using sites like CafePress or Zazzle for very little outlay. This was not possible 20 years ago, where a Woolworths store once sold to the local populace, a CafePress store owner can sell to people worldwide.

cafepress

As the popular saying goes ‘when one door closes another opens’; the doors to the world have been thrown open wide. When I was printing T-Shirts and selling them on my eBay shop I was sending T-Shirts to place like Russia, Singapore, the USA and Australia. I was sending items abroad every week, many of the places I had never visited.

Musicians are now able to take control of their own music. Typically I cannot remember the name of the band I wanted to use as my example but I remember the story well.  Several years ago there was a new young indie band that had been signed to a record label, they were quite good, they were fairly popular and even had records in the UK charts and an album out.

Surprisingly the record label decided to let them go, maybe they were not generating enough sales for the label – I am not sure. Record labels do spend a lot of money producing albums and promoting bands but with shows like the X-Factor coming along which creates the market for the winner and generates money from the voting system, the music industry has changed a lot. It has moved away from the old days where record labels risked their money on new bands so it is possible this band was a victim of the current state of the industry.

Does the band regret being left high and dry by their label? Not at all, in fact it is quite the opposite; to start with they might have been a bit deflated and miffed but now? They are in complete control of their own future. With social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and with music stores like iTunes, the band were able to keep growing their following and producing music that they wanted to produce, music which they were able to sell and promote themselves while keeping all of the rewards.

They can dictate where they go and what they do, they are completely free to go in the direction they and their fans want without the interference of the record label who were focusing primarily on getting back as much profit from their investment as possible.

How many people have we seen that have become stars worldwide because they took the time to use the tools we all now have at our disposal? Tools we take for granted?

The Scottish singer Sandi Thom, who was signed to a small record label, released a single “I sandi thomWish I Was A Punk Rocker” which flopped big time. Travelling from a gig her car broke down and as she sat waiting an idea popped into her head, Sandi created the “21 Nights from Tooting Tour” which were 21 live performances from her basement flat in Tooting.

Tickets were sold but the basement could only hold 10 people with most of them being the band. These performances were recorded and put out onto the web, using the then popular social media network MySpace to promote her webcast she gained a following; she went on to do a series of live webcasts.

With the help of several national newspapers who ran the story, one of Sandi Thom’s live webcasts was watched by a reported 70,000 people. Record label A&R men flocked to her shows to see what was going on. Sandi was eventually signed to Sony and her single was re released and became a huge hit worldwide making it to the No 1 spot.

She has since gone on to released 5 studio albums and 1 Best Of album. There is more to the story, some say it was a well-planned marketing campaign where she had help with promotion by her tech savvy friends but what is great is how they took a flop, created an online buzz using tools and networks we have available and created a career for herself.

After releasing 6 albums and playing across the world at many great festivals, it is fair to say that she hasn’t looked back.

the digital academyIt’s A Changing World

This is a changing world and that is good, people may lose jobs which is always a shame but when change happens new jobs are created. What people generally do is find something they enjoy (or at least are comfortable with) and want life to stay that way. When they are doing a job they love, working with people they like, it hurts when it is suddenly taken away from you. It is like being in a long term relationship which suddenly ends and you can do nothing about it.

You spend most of your day at work with your working friends so when it goes there is a big loss and a period of grief with a lot of fear, not only do you lose your daily life and work friends you now have no money coming in which can be very scary so losing a job is not a nice thing at all and not something to be taken lightly.

But when you look back at the days of the Miners strikes, there were no mobile phones, no laptops, no tablets, no websites and no internet. When you think how bleak it was at that time with many miners being made unemployed it was scary and you see the world getting worse.

But it doesn’t get worse, it changes, there are new advancements in technology and those advancements require people to make and sell these new fang dangled machines.

The internet meant people were now creating websites which opened up new doors for the young to become designers and coders, mobile phones have developed to a point where more people are employed to create apps and mobile technology. Do you think the BBC can suddenly appear on your phone without employing or hiring people who know how to do it? No of course not.

Social media has opened the doors for social media managers and people who now specialise in online marketing campaigns. Even your electricity company and your favourite supermarket now have dedicated teams monitoring social media for complaints, questions and enquiries. I recently contact Morrisons on Facebook regarding a missing quorn sausage when we had our shopping delivered.

morrisons fb chat

The Amazon Kindle has allowed people who didn’t think they could become authors to write and sell their own books. Read the fascinating story about Nick Spalding here: Building A Profitable Self Publishing Business Using Amazon & Google

These ebook readers like the Kindle also need making and selling, yes many of the technical items are manufactured overseas but the world is shrinking around us, we in the UK can benefit from overseas workers too, especially if the work we want done is in the digital domain. Many people have become very successful by outsourcing work to people overseas and being nothing more than the project overseer.

elance upwork

Stay at home mothers and fathers can be paid to write website content, do research or even answer emails for people. A cheap computer desk from Argos, a relatively cheap laptop, an external hard drive for backup and a small quiet room is enough for many people to start making money from home.  Joining outsourcing sites like Elance and Upwork can be a great start to finding work online.

There Is No Looking Back

This is a changing world, we cannot rely on others to give us job security, we have to rely on ourselves instead and that is the hardest part but there are so many new opportunities and ideas that we can get involved with.

Take Forex Trading as an example, 20 years ago a person working on a building site or in a shop would not be able to make money trading the markets very easily, you could I guess play the long game and buy a currency and hold it until it was ready to sell to make a profit. My dad’s cousin in Australia used to do that; he would get up early to catch the UK markets and brokers; he was probably one of the first to trade using computers, I don’t think I had even heard of eBay at that time.

That was 16 years ago, now it has become far easier for people to get involved in the Forex Markets and generate money using a combination of software. Some software is free and given to you by brokers and some tools that make the whole process easier and faster costs less than a pound a day to run.

advantedge

We Minions work with a guy called Charlie who makes several thousand pounds in tax free profits each month from his home based office using just a computer, a good quality broadband connection and software that is available to anyone. He even appeared on a BBC documentary about successful traders, you can learn more about Charlie and watch parts of that documentary here: AdvantEdge The Simple One Click System.

Even gambling has changed; no more visits to the bookies on the high street having to take the odds you were given. People now regularly make money by trading bets at online betting exchanges like BetFair. Yes you read that right, trading bets, not placing them.

You buy a bet at one price and then sell it off later at a profit. An online betting exchange is different to a high street bookmakers, the exchange is an online middleman business, they make their money from putting two set of people together. The internet has made it possible for many ‘Joe Public’ people to open up a middleman business and become successful. Read Starting A Middleman Business & Profiting From Other People’s Work.

the greater good

The days of having to be part of the ‘in crowd’ or move in the ‘right circles’ are over. The creation of the internet and the big worldwide online family has opened up so many ‘circles’ and ‘crowds’ to all of us. The doors and walls have be blown wide open.

We no longer need to be signed by a publishing house to sell books; we no longer need to even have paper books made from trees – which is great for the planet. We no longer need to be signed to record labels, we no longer need to press records or make CD’s which again is also great for the planet. We no longer have to buy printing equipment, inks or T-shirts to sell our own designed T-shirts worldwide.

I will say it again… This is a changing world.

What was not possible many years ago are now possible and in ways we never imagined, jobs have been developed as others have gone. Many shops and industries may be closing but that isn’t always down to the economic crisis, it is simply down to the evolution of society and change.

Is it time you invested in yourself to learn new skills and take control of your life to reduce the risk of this changing society causing you grief and harm? I will leave you with that thought.

What Niche Can You Run A Profitable Membership Website Around?

If you hadn’t realised it by now, one of the best types of online businesses is a membership website. The subscription model is a fantastic business because not only do you get paid a recurring income each month (for as long as a person is subscribing to your website) but you can create content once and sell it over and over again to many people.

Membership sites are not hard to set up, using the simple to use WordPress system to build your website you can use plugins like S2 Member to lock your content away behind a registration page with a PayPal subscribe button. It is a great plugin, we Minion’s recommend it because we use it ourselves.

s2 member

Membership sites can be built around any topic that you can think of, if you promote and market it well there will always be people willing to pay to access your site and enjoy your content.

Spotify and Netflix are technically membership sites as people pay a monthly subscription to access the content and then when they cancel their subscription they lose that access. Both Spotify and Netflix offer exceptional value for what you pay but they are also in a very huge market dominated by big companies like Sky TV, Amazon and many other TV/music companies.

However there are many MANY other niches and topics where you can start a membership website with paying subscribers. The adult business has shown this to be true, there are big porn companies that sell monthly subscriptions for users to access their adult videos and websites and there are smaller home run adult membership sites which are generating money via paying subscribers. (Click the above link or image below to read the article)

adult membership

Anyone can run a membership site as long as you can produce the content that keeps people subscribing. This can be easy if you love the niche that you build your membership website around or if you turn your website into one where the subscribers add the content for you. I remember many years ago reading about a membership site which was set up by a couple of gardening lovers, at one point they had over 70,000 members paying either a quarterly fee of $5 or an annual fee of $15.

These were people paying to access a website with a forum about gardening…. if there was one subject that you can find loads of information for free all over the place it is gardening. Since I can remember there has always been magazines, papers, TV shows and books focusing on gardening, and yet here were people paying to access a website about it.

Gardening might be too broad a subject today to have as a membership site, you might need to niche down a bit and focus on a specific area of gardening like growing vegetables, growing bonsai trees, indoor plants etc. These are topics that will have a keen group of fans looking for information.

If you are not sure how powerful membership websites can be think of them this way, a membership website is a kind of online magazine. People will happily pay for magazines that are published around the hobbies and topics that they love. Do you regularly buy magazines? If so then you have a great source of information for your membership website/online magazine. 🙂

magazines

The one thing that will keep people subscribing is to deliver quality content and when I say deliver quality content I do mean OVER delivering quality content. A successful business will always deliver more in value than what it takes in payment. This might sound harsh for anyone wanting to make money but the truth is when people feel like they are getting value for money especially if the value worth is greater than what they are paying for it they will keep paying and coming back for more.

With a membership website you can deliver more value than what you take in payment and still make a lot of money because you offer the content to many people. For example, if people paid £$20 a month and had access to a series of videos and that series was grown each month by five more videos which they thought was value for money… you only need to make five new videos each month even though you could have one hundred and thirty people paying for those videos.

It’s all about the numbers, to over deliver in content is actually very small when you have a lot of paying customers… you are not making new content for hundreds of subscribers… you are making content for one subscriber… which is enjoyed by hundreds of subscribers.

To end this article I shall list a few (and I mean a few) of the thousands if not millions of niches that you could possibly build a membership website around.

  • Football (Specific team fan club, football tutorials)
  • Rugby
  • Cricket
  • Breakdancing
  • Line dancing
  • BMXing
  • Snowboarding
  • Skateboarding
  • Skiing
  • Cooking (Specific styles like Chinese, Thai & Indian)
  • Music (Specific genres & bands, music & instrument tutorials)
  • Fashion
  • Writing (Specific genre, writing tutorials)
  • Magic
  • Travel (Location specific)
  • Singing training
  • Acting lessons
  • Forex
  • Stocks & Shares
  • Poker
  • Gambling Tips
  • Horror and zombies
  • And the list goes on

If you want to know how to build a profitable website using WordPress register for the Digital Academy now… click the button below.

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How To Generate Hundreds Of Pounds Extra On Your Website Doing This 5 Minute Task

In this video we show you a quick way to monetise your niche website/blog with a product relevant to the content of your articles.

People will see these products and might buy because they like what they see and do not feel pressured into buying. Also when someone clicks through the link/image to the affiliate site, you get paid on any sales made even if no one bought the product you were promoting.

So what is this great product? … T-shirts… good old fashion T-shirts.

Simply add a T-shirt to your post like this one in a mere matter of minutes.

not my monkeys 2Buy This T-Shirt Here

Enjoy the video.

Check out SunFrogShirts for yourself here: SunFrogShirts.com

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Multiple Income Streams – How The Rich Get Richer

When I first started to study online marketing and wealthy business people, one of the first things that I learned from them was that their wealth was very often grown by having multiple income streams.

This is one of the biggest differences between a wealthy successful person and the average Joe & Jo Bloggs on the street. When a person has a job which pays them for their time in the form of a wage they have only one income stream.

If that person has a second job or creates something which earns them some more money then they have a second income stream. What wealthy people generally try and do is to create as many income streams as possible and there are good reasons for this.

Not only does it increase your monthly income but it is also actsas a safety valve in case anything should go wrong with one or two of their other income streams. If a person working one job for an employer was told that they were to lose their job because work had slowed down or the company could no longer afford to keep them on then they would be up the proverbial ‘shit creek without a paddle’.

Their income would come to a crashing halt meaning that they would probably not be able to pay their rent or their mortgage and many if not all of their utility bills.This is a very scary position to be in, I have been in that position myself and it is no fun I can tell you.

There are many different styles of multiple income streams, some people own different business in different fields such as a cleaning company, a building contractors company and a haulage company. (This is an example)

Take Richard Branson for example, at one point he had Virgin Records and Virgin Airways, two completely different businesses in completely different industries. He sold Virgin Records but he now runs Virgin Airways, Virgin Trains, Virgin TV and Broadband, as well as many others.

richard branson

He even once had a ‘pop’ at the soft drinks market selling Virgin Cola trying to take on rivals Coke and Pepsi. I don’t think that one was that successful, but it didn’t matter as he was still earning from his other businesses and so he did not hit rock bottom.

There are those who have multiple income streams in the same industry coming from different products such as laptops, mobile phones, tablets and other technology. Some may not think of them as multiple income streams but they are, if a tablet sells brilliantly one day but then suddenly stops selling, the company will lose profits but it will still keep earning thanks to the other products they sell.

You and I may not be able to join such big and expensive markets like aviation and computer technology and we may not have the funds or interest to start up several ‘real world’ businesses like cleaning companies and building contractors but there are other styles of multiple income streams we can build.

I love the ‘creative’ world, the creative world can create many multiple income streams especially now that we live in the digital age. But even before the internet became part of everyone’s daily life the creative world has created millions for people who have been creative.

authors and artists

I will use Stephen King, J.K Rowling, The Beatles and one of my favourite bands of all time Orbital as examples.

stephen king

Stephen King has written many great books, many of which have been turned into films and TV shows. Each one of his books is a separate income stream. They can generate money for years to come.

Yes they will have a peak when they are first released and end up in the bestsellers charts as will the songs by pop artists like the Beatles and Orbital but books were often reprinted and re-released meaning that they could be bought by new readers years later.

jk rowling

J.K. Rowling is another author who has written several books as part of the Harry Potter series which have also been turned into big box office films. There is also a lot of merchandise with the Harry Potter franchise.

I cannot say whether she gets a percentage of sales from the DVD sales, merchandise sales or box office ticket sales for the films or if she gets an annual license fee for the rights to use the names and brands but what I do know is that she has earned a lot of money from those different products.

Each book is an income stream, each DVD is an income stream as are the merchandise products which are sold. She also writes other books in other genres under a pen name which yet again is another income stream.

the-beatles

The Beatles are a band that have not performed together since the early seventies and will never perform again due to two of them sadly not being with us anymore yet they still generate sales from their songs and albums.

I am not sure who gets the money though as Michael Jackson bought the rights to the Beatles back catalogue but Paul McCartney still has numerous albums and songs that still sell today.

Orbital

Orbital are a UK based techno band that were performing and recording before the internet was readily available as it is today. They generated sales from singles and albums as well as doing gigs just like the Beatles did.

They also generated money from merchandise like T-shirt sales and DVDs (I have had both over the years). They even did live recordings of their Twentieth Anniversary gigs which they sold on a memory stick at the end of those gigs creating a unique income stream.

orbital live in sheffield 2009 wristband

I bought the recording of the Sheffield gig which I was fortunate to have gone to.

What I want you to think about is that before the digital age, books, singles, albums and films needed to be republished and made for them to be restocked in shops and sold. Today however, it is a different game altogether. With the invention of digital music files and digital eBooks we can buy these products anytime we want from a multitude of stores online.

This has given birth to many online entrepreneurs that you won’t know about who generate a fantastic living by creating many income streams such as books, music and clothing that they can sell online from various stores. Each track, book or T-Shirt is an individual income stream.

Let’s think about T-Shirts, if you are good at design or can pay someone to create unique and individual designs then you could sell T-Shirts online using all of the social media platforms and you own website via companies like SunFrogShirts.com without ever having to do any of the printing, packing and posting.

tshirts

Every T-shirt that you design is essentially a new income stream. Now I am not going to say that everyone is going to be able to design 20 unique T-shirts and then sell 3 or 4 of each design each day but some people do.

As for Stephen King and J.K Rowling, they were introduced to the public by passionate and well funded book publishing companies, you may decide to be a writer and you may not become as popular as those two but you could still make a great living just as Nick Spalding has. Read more about Nick’s story click on his name or the image below.

building a profitable business using amazon and google

And let’s not forget, J.K. Rowling was turned down by 8-9 publishing houses who didn’t think Harry Potter was any good and didn’t think it would sell. How wrong were they? Incidentally, the Beatles were also famously turned down by a record company saying that they would not amount to anything… yes that is right, the Beatles… the biggest band known to man!

Multiple income streams are the best way to grow your wealth, there are many different ways to create different income streams, some require a lot of money, equipment, contacts and staff whereas others require a laptop, a desk, some spare time and a good idea. Is it time that you considered creating another income stream or two before it’s too late?

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How The Technology We Take For Granted Today Could Make You Rich And Famous

In case you were not sure whether you were in a position to change your life with the technology we have available at our fingertips then I wanted to give you two comparisons to think about.

These two comparisons are in the music industry and involve two popular British acts, one is established and old and one is new. This article was inspired after watching two different shows on television last weekend.

I watched one show that was all about the 1980s and was called something along the lines Ten Years That Changed Britain, it discussed all the things that happened in those years which were groundbreaking and society changing like Margaret Thatcher’s Government, the Falklands War, The Acid House explosion and the British New Romantics music scene.

As part of the music scene it went on to discuss how the American TV channel MTV was changing the way we listened to music in our homes. MTV had given birth to the popular music video and UK bands like Duran Duran embraced this with their groundbreaking and expensive videos like the one for ‘Rio’.

duran duran rio

Martin Kemp and Tony Hadley from the popular British 80s band Spandau Ballet were interviewed for the show, Tony said that he had seen Duran Duran’s Rio video and wanted to do the same and so the record company sent the band around the world to exotic locations to film videos for their songs.

Martin said that in the early 1980s the band had made around four videos which had cost nearly £1 million each to make. These music videos were then sent to stations like MTV and other music shows so that they could be shown to millions of fans and help increase the sales of the band’s music, merchandise and gigs.

spandau ballet now

Spandau Ballet today, reformed and touring.

In those days, bands had to do a lot of television, radio and magazine appearances for exposure and that was all they could do, it was out of their hands. They had to rely on their fans tuning in to see those interviews at that scheduled time or buy those magazines.

Thirty Years Later: The Game Has Changed… A Lot!

So now we come to today, things are a little bit different, we live in an age of social media and smartphones which come with high resolution cameras and leads that can hook up to tablets and laptops easily. These are taken for granted today but they really are game changing tools, not just for the music industry but for many businesses.

technology

Let me explain:

On Sunday I watched a show called Sunday Brunch which always shows a clip of a music video of some new band, singer or song with a couple of lines of information just before the ad break. They showcased the talents of the relatively new singer Shannon Saunders.

shannon saunders video

The information that they gave about her was that her first music video was made for the cost of £9 and that it had been seen just under 1 million times on YouTube. I believe this is the video that they were talking about.

Heart of Blue – Shannon Saunders (OFFICIAL VIDEO)

How different is this to the Spandau Ballet and MTV days?

Ok so there are some big differences, Spandau Ballet was sent to foreign countries to film the videos and the record company footed the bill (which would be deducted later out of record sales though) whereas Shannon is filmed wandering around London.

However there is nothing stopping her from creating a similar video using the same methods while on holiday in several places, what is important here is that she has created a video for the cost of £9 probably using a mobile phone or tablet and then uploaded it to a free social media platform like YouTube which has been watched by nearly 1 million people!

If she is a YouTube Partner and generating money from Google AdSense (adverts shown on and around her video) then she would have easily made back a lot more than the £9 she spent thanks to the nine hundred thousand plus views the video has had.

simple youtube profitsAnd now she is getting exposure on popular TV shows because of her ‘own’ work.

We have technology now that we can use to do things that people in the 1980s could only dream of, the show that I watched about the 1980s showed people using the new ‘mobile phones’ from Vodafone, you remember the ones… the size of a brick and had to be carried with a battery pack that was the size of a smart car.

Today we have smart phones that allow us to record videos as we have seen above and to create and record music using incredible software and apps. Tor Miller is a musician who was given a lot of airtime on Radio 1 by the DJ Zane Lowe after he heard his debut song which was recorded entirely using his mobile phone.

Ok so these people are singer songwriters and musicians and have created music for which the videos were made but the technology we have access to can be used for doing so much more such as artwork, writing books and running online businesses… I am just using the music industry as an example and a comparison on how the world has changed.

webcam busines fi

In a recent article I mentioned how musicians were using the internet to broadcast gigs using webcams and how one DJ was running an online music school where he would use tools like Skype or Google Hangout to conduct interactive live lessons… you can read that article here… Using Skype, Google Hangout & A Webcam To Generate A Second Income

I want to show you some more examples of DJs and musicians using technology that we have available to us which was not affordable or readily available to the people in the 1980s.

Many DJs do live sets which are added to sites like YouTube and Facebook which are recorded using webcams and laptops. After the sad news that David Bowie had died the Canadian DJ Skratch Bastid did a short tribute to one of his heroes by cutting up two copies of Bowie’s ‘Let’s Dance’ song which you can see here.

Skratch Bastid – David Bowie Tribute “Let’s Dance” routine

Here is a snap of the same video which he uploaded to Facebook and take a look at the number of shares and likes it has had!

skratch bastid

Kutski is another DJ who does regular short scratch videos in his studio as the image below shows.

kutski scratch video

What I like about Kutski is that he puts some time and thought into creating his videos. They only take a minute or two to set up and probably an hour to edit but they are still relatively cheap and quick to do and they look very professional and can be powerful tools in his business.

He uses multiple camera angles and he has also spent a couple of hundred pounds buying a GoPro camera to create these fantastic short but exciting memories of events and weekends.

Kutski @ Paradox, Baltimore NYE 2015

I apologise if the music is a little too hard for you but I love it 🙂 But the point I want to get across is how they are utilising this incredible and cheap technology we all have access to and using it to keep fans interested and generate new sales and business.

Notice how many of the free to use social media platforms these people use… Kutski is a very busy DJ, he travels the world performing at big events and is pushing his ‘Keeping The Rave Alive’ brand as he goes and to help he is using all the free social media networks that are available as you will see in the screenshot below.

kutski keeping the rave alive

Kutski also produces a radio show/podcast which he uploads to music sites like Soundcloud & iTunes then shares the link across social media. It is all about getting the name and brand out there.

In many ways for DJs and musicians it is easy, they can do so much to share their own music and sets across the networks using videos but so can many other industries like chefs, artists, authors and even philosophers.

We have such great pieces of technology to hand that we can use, much of it is usually sat in our coat or trouser pockets most days. We can record audio, video, write articles, take pictures which we can upload to many different websites and networks within seconds from most places in the western world and we can connect with millions of people around the world quicker than it takes to order a coffee.

Currently we are living in the greatest time for personal technology, mankind has never had a period in history where we could do so much with so much ease and share it with so many people at the same time… with speed. If that is not impressive and has not made you realise that anything is possible for you then nothing will. 🙂

The Laptop Lifestyle: Is It Really Achievable?

Making a living online has been nicknamed the Laptop Lifestyle as it can free you up from the limitations of a traditional business such as property and location. However not all online businesses fall under the Laptop Lifestyle name as some online businesses are selling physical items which need storing, physically packing and sending out to customers.

The Laptop Lifestyle refers to a person who can do as much or as little work they want on a laptop anywhere in the world and make a very decent living. They can move around from one place to another living an ongoing ‘holiday’ adventure and still get paid.

The Laptop Lifestyle focuses on the businesses which generate money by using the internet but does not require any physical items or a set physical location like a shop or office. Traditionally this is thought of as ‘Internet Marketing’ or IM as it is often called. This industry also has many different business models such as affiliate marketing, flipping websites, selling information products like eBooks and online video courses.

But the Laptop Lifestyle doesn’t have to end their, there are many other businesses which offer the Laptop Lifestyle such as being a blogger, a YouTube star, a writer, a trader, and a product creator. There are many jobs online these days that you can do using just a laptop and maybe a few other tools like headsets and webcams which can generate money wherever you are in the world.

You Must Read:

voice over fi

Do You Speak English? Would You Like To Get Paid To Talk?

You Must Read:

webcam busines fi

Using Skype, Google Hangout & A Webcam To Generate A Second Income

Someone who writes article content for example can do that anywhere in the world, they just need a laptop a comfy chair and an internet connection which does not always need to be constantly connected. They only really need an internet connection to receive orders, payments and send finished articles.

They could in fact spend their days writing on a beach or sitting at a table in a bar (which might have free wifi connection anyway). If your work doesn’t depend on you being online all of the time but requires basic contact with people to send and receive orders you could live without an internet connection and use many of the free wifi set ups that coffee shops, hotels and bars have.

It is likely that you own a smart phone which allows people to contact you using mobile internet for things like emails and messages so you would only need to use free wifi hotspots now and then for sending and receiving documents making a laptop based lifestyle very easy today.

Traders however will need an internet connection and a reliable one at that but again all they need is a laptop to trade the currency markets, stock markets and even football games. Some territories do not allow gambling and so sports trading and spread betting is illegal and unavailable to do in those areas but you can still travel many countries with a laptop trading the markets.

If you want to visit countries that will not allow you to access trading and gambling sites there are other options available like using a secure VPN on a proxy server which will allow you to access those sites within those restricted countries.

You Must Read:

building a profitable business using amazon and google

Building A Profitable Self Publishing Business Using Amazon & Google

People have made small fortunes by writing books and publishing them in websites like Amazon Kindle Store or their own websites which only requires a laptop and can be done anywhere. They can also design or have merchandise designed for them which they add to their stores and sell through 3rd party companies like SunFrogShirts.com.

Sticking with SunFrogShirts there are people who design T-Shirts using software they have on their laptops and add them to sites like SunFrogShirts and these T-Shirts are sold by an army of affiliate marketers. So if you upload a lot of quality designs they could easily get promoted by many affiliates and you could be generating sales each day.

The Laptop Lifestyle can mean different things to different people, for example you might just want to generate £1000 a month from minimal work to help fund backpacking around the world whereas another person might want to focus on making tens of thousands of pounds from it while they stay in their hometown playing golf and enjoying their lives and another person might just want to replace ‘working for a boss’ for a business of their own that gives them more freedom than money.

The Laptop Lifestyle is very much possible today and will only get more possible overtime as technology and business methods evolve and change with new ones being created daily. The world is changing and getting more money and freedom by working online is very possible but as my grandma would say ‘you need to set your stall out right from the beginning’. I guess she used to work on a market but what she meant is that if you want something you cannot start haphazardly, you need to get the foundations right, do good quality work whatever it is you do and be disciplined and stick to the plan.

Having a plan and building up the business is the way forward to a successful business, get that right and there is no reason that you could not be working and earning from wherever you chose using only your laptop.

Want to learn how to start several online Laptop Lifestyle business? Click the image below and join us Minions in the members only Digital Academy.

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Do You Speak English? Would You Like To Get Paid To Talk?

Before we get into the bones of this post, as the title says, ‘Do You Speak English?’ English is the language of the internet but it is not the only language that people need, if English is not your native tongue then there is no reason why you cannot make money doing voice overs in your own language.

Recently I have discussed how people were making money using nothing more than their laptops and an internet connection incorporating maybe a webcam and a microphone which you can read here:

Using Skype, Google Hangout & A Webcam To Generate A Second Income

How Youngsters Are Making Thousands Each Month Using A Webcam Whilst Eating Their Tea!

Today I want to discuss another couple of ways that you can generate money using just a computer and a microphone. Laptops do come with built in microphones but for this I recommend getting a stand alone microphone or a headset which can cost as little as £15 so it is not a lot to invest in what is relatively a cheap business idea to set up.

If you can speak clearly and are able to read well then you could make money from home by becoming a voice over artist for other people. You get paid to read a script for their video productions.

Video is big business these days and companies are always looking for people with great clear voices to do the voice over work and for this they will pay a lot. If a video has the power to convert people into buying and generating a lot of money then it makes sense for these companies to pay a good sum for a professional job.

There are people who are making several thousand dollars each month from doing just that, people ask them to read out a short script into a microphone and record a short audio file which they send to them in exchange for money.

Depending on what the job is, people are earning anything from $50 for a short recording of a couple of minutes up to $1000 for a longer job.

In reality, to be a good voice over artist you just need to be able to read confidently and talk clearly with a voice that is not too dull or monotone. That basically is it… and the equipment needed is minimal too.

recording tools

A microphone/headset is required but very cheap to buy, the audio recording software I recommend called Audacity can be downloaded from the internet for free and if you need a software to record videos showing slide shows or pages on a website then there is a free software that you can use called Screencast-O-Matic.

vidcast profits buttonIn a system that we call Vidcast Profits we show you how to use the tools mentioned above and how to create great videos and audio recordings which you can sell for profit, you can access those training materials by joining the Digital Academy here:

the digital academyThis could be an ideal business for someone who does not want a lot of complicated work like building websites, writing content and trying to promote products to sell. This is a simple case of finding out what the client wants you to read then hitting the record button and reading it out loud into a microphone.

At first it might feel a little alien to you talking out loud all the time and so you might need to make a few re-recordings but with practice and learning a few editing tips you will be making perfect recordings in no time.

You might decide to set yourself up with a website to showcase your expertise and services but that is not necessary as there are several websites where you can set up profiles for potential clients to see.

These websites are ‘middleman websites’ which are market places or meeting places if you like where people who are offering their services meet with people looking for people with specific skillsets to do certain tasks such as voicing over videos.

upwork odesk

Sites like Elance.com (now part of the Upwork.com community) and Upwork.com (formerly Odesk.com) allow you to open up free accounts where you can offer your services and give examples of your work and you either ‘bid’ on jobs that clients have posted or clients can directly offer you work after going through your profile.

elance upwork

Payment is done through these sites using an escrow system, the client pays money to the website, the website holds it until the job is completed and the client is satisfied then it will release the funds and pay the person who did the work minus their small fee.

These websites take a 10% fee on all transactions, that is how they make their money but you as a service provider agree on a price with a client on how much you want to be paid for the work that you do.

If you wanted $100 (The dollar is the currency of the internet) for your work then you would agree that with the client first, if you were happy losing their 10% fee then that is great and you would take $90 for your troubles but if not then you would add enough to cover that 10% such as for $100 you would need to charge around $111.15.

That is basically all there is to this business idea, there are only a few tools needed and the only major skills you need are to be able to read and talk well. So could you make money doing this in your spare time?

vidcast profits button