As an entrepreneur, I have somewhat of a “problem”. I tend to see opportunities wherever I look. A few weeks ago, I started learning to bake a New York Cheesecake. It turned out very well and all of my friends were very impressed. When I saw how successful my cheesecake making venture was, I immediately started thinking – I can set up a blog that teaches people how to make cheesecakes and make ONE BILLION DOLLARS (Austin Powers voice).
These kinds of ideas always seem to pop up and can be quite distracting at times. I usually try to ignore them (eventually) and have been successful at doing so. Except for one time . . .
I’m a biology teacher and as a biology teacher, I LOVE BIOLOGY. It’s a subject that has always fascinated me. As usual, the entrepreneur in me came up with another great idea – to build a biology blog where I could teach biology and eventually sell resources that other biology teachers (and students) can use to enhance their biology classes and the learning experience.
There was one problem. I knew how much work it would take to get a blog up and running, market it effectively and start a profitable website from. Also, since I already have an internet business (and a full time job), if I were to venture into this new product, that would be time taken away from my already busy life.
However, there were some factors that weighed heavily into me still wanting to set up the blog:
My desire to put a high quality resource out there on the topic of biology was much stronger than my concerns about time restrictions, so I decided to give it a go. However, I knew that in order for this to work (and for me to remain sane), it needed to be set up in a way that I was contributing a significant amount of value, while not investing a significant amount of time, because my time was very limited. It needed to be as efficient as possible.
After doing some quick keyword research, I decided on a domain name, registered the name, set up WordPress, got a premium theme and put it up there within a very short period of time.
Once the site was installed, I started working on my Biology lecture powerpoints by adding high quality images that I had the rights to use and tweaked them to make them a little more interesting, with various animations. The great thing about it was that I was being paid to work, and enhancing my lecture materials is a part of the job.
In order to have content developed consistently, I decided that I would record my lectures with a lapel mic and record the screen with screen recording software (screenflow on the mac) to use as my main content. Every day I did a lecture in class was one more day of content for the website with minimal effort.
At first, I edited the videos myself and uploaded them to YouTube and my website. However, I soon realize that I had a student worker that needed the extra hours who would love to do it. I taught him how to use Screenflow and his job was to make all of the lecture videos ready to be put on the blog.
Once I had 10 videos on the website, I started reaching out to other bloggers and website owners that were also posting resources for biology, told them about my site and asked them if they would consider adding a link to my site on their website. A few responded, were quite excited about the content, and were happy to give me a link. This resulted in a significant increase in traffic over a relatively short period of time.
I’m to the point where I spend an hour or two every other week to upload the edited videos into individual blog posts. Besides that, I do nothing to the site and my traffic is growing faster now than with any other website I’ve ever started with minimal effort on my part.
Because of my experience in Internet Marketing, I knew that one of my main priorities had to be growing a list. I thought about what I could give away to entice people to join the list and after racking my brain for a little while, I decided that I could give away my powerpoints for teachers to use in their classes. I did not imagine how excited people would get about it.
There’s a constant stream of traffic coming to my website and people are opting in every day to be able to download the Free powerpoints. I installed Popup Domination on the website and the opt ins increased by over 400% overnight. Needless to say, this got me very excited.
When I launched the site, I decided not to start off trying to monetize the site. I wanted to focus first on contributing value. Also, I had nothing to sell at the time and little time to develop a product. I am still at the point where I’m just trying to give away value for free. The site is still in its infancy, but I do plan on eventually monetizing the site by selling some of the following:
I also have a few other ideas brewing in the back of my mind for a membership site later down the road.
There are many people who struggle to find a niche. I really believe that if you are creative, you can find ways to build a blog around what you are already doing.
I leveraged my job. What do you do on a regular basis? What do you love? Is it possible that you can leverage what you do to grow an online business? Is it possible that you can even build an online business around YOUR job? I think it is very possible in many cases. The important thing is for you to take action. Who knows? You might surprise yourself like I did.
You can check out my Biology blog at www.Interactive-Biology.com.
So what do you blog about? Let me know in the comments below.