When I first made the decision to become an entrepreneur, there weren’t as many tools available as there are now. With all the resources available online, it is easier than ever to have the freedom to work remotely from the comfort of your home (or hotel room) and earn passive income.
Make no mistake: It’s not easy to be successful running a lifestyle business, and it requires a ton of upfront work. But with dedication and hard work, you can reap the rewards of the lifestyle you’ve always wanted.
Here are three lifestyle business models you can tackle today that I use in my business:
One of the biggest myths in online business is that you can’t make a decent living off blogging. While it’s true that most blogs on the internet don’t make a single dollar, there are plenty of blogs that bring in significant incomes. For example, we use our blog to educate our customers about the different materials we use, our design process and the lifestyle surrounding our brand, as well as some fun facts. We believe the more we share with our readers, the more knowledgeable they’ll be about the company and products — and the more likely they are to be loyal customers.
But there are other ways to utilize a blog and monetize it. A blog that has significant traffic can make money by selling physical products, digital e-books or ad space. For the most hands-off approach, I prefer ad space with Google AdSense.
The problem I see is that most bloggers (whether they’re building a brand or an independent site) don’t have a systematic approach for growth and monetization. We first have to realize just how much weight is being given to trusted authorities by the search engines. We can build all the micro blogs we want. If we don’t build any authority to it, we probably won’t see much traffic.
So what are the main components of building an “authority site”? In my experience, they’re quality content (pillar posts) and thematic backlinks.
Pillar posts are your site’s most important and informational pieces of content. They should target a broad and relatively competitive topic, where you can expand with several self-standing articles (inner pages).
What makes a good pillar post? We like to use internal and external text links to relevant articles. This improves the user experience by providing readers with an option for more information. High-quality images can also increase time spent on the webpage. Clear headings can help break up content and allow visitors to quickly skim through the content.
You should not only write a great pillar post but also link each topic to its own separate article. Link-building efforts should be focused toward your pillar posts because once they start gaining authority and ranking, your inner pages may follow suit.
Dropshipping (And Working With Dropshippers)
With the dropshipping method — which my company offers to companies that want to list our product — you never have to buy or store inventory. Instead, you list other people’s products on your e-commerce store, and they ship from their warehouse.
The biggest pitfall of this model is that many people dropship from international countries. In a day and age where Amazon provides free two-day shipping, you can see why making your customers wait three weeks to get their products may be a problem.
However, for a branded company like us, it works beautifully and is a win-win for both parties. It starts with a screening process our marketing department goes through to determine if the dropshipper aligns with our brand. Once they’re approved, the company begins selling and promoting our products. Every time they make a sale, our warehouse ships directly to the customer, and the dropshipper earns a commission. Dropshippers don’t have to worry about upfront inventory, logistics and product guarantees, which allows them to fully focus on selling. In return, working with dropshippers as a branded company allows you to focus more time on design and building a quality product.
The key can be to strike dropshipping agreements with domestic or local companies, whether you’re the supplier or the dropshipper. Sure, your profits may be slightly less, but the positive feedback will be well worth it.
The best place to look for potential dropship partners would be trade shows. Google and Yelp can also be great tools for locating wholesalers or dropshippers you can call. It’s as simple as finding relevant partners in your niche and simply asking.
Amazon FBA And Other Fulfillment Centers
E-commerce has arrived, and Amazon is leading the way. In fact, The Wall Street Journal reports that according to Amazon (paywall), there are already over 1 million small businesses selling on Amazon. But where does that leave new sellers wanting to enter the Amazon landscape?
Amazon’s sales growth is expected to see a 53.7% increase and reach a staggering $325.04 billion in sales for 2019, according to eMarketer. It’s a great time to start selling on Amazon.
Like many other lifestyle business models, I know from experience that programs like Amazon FBA require a lot of work — at least in the beginning. The FBA program makes it somewhat hands-off for the seller, as they’ll store your inventory, ship to customers and deal with returns. This means sourcing products and getting them to the Amazon warehouse is on you. But since we are more focused on building a brand, we prefer smaller fulfillment centers like SnapShip and Shipwire that provide attention and a faster response to update our clients.
Because of Amazon’s extreme competition, finding a winning product can seem like a daunting and futile task for new sellers. Not to worry. There are plenty of high-quality and effective tools for finding that hidden gem product, such as Google Trendsand Jungle Scout, data-driven resources I find useful for product research.