What are you passionate about? What would you spend more time on, if the all the bills were paid and you focused on that which provided you the most joy and satisfaction? I’m going to show you how, by spending a little time on your interests, you can start a business.
Years ago I used to work for a beer manufacturer. I spent nearly two years on the road, 100% of the time, touring across the US. I visited almost every state, and got to participate in some high-profile sports and entertainment events. This was around 2000-2001, and I didn’t know anything about publishing content online. But since I was meeting celebrities and getting into goofy situations, I wanted to write about it. So I would send “road report” emails to my friends. Mostly funny stories of crazy things that happened to me while traveling.
After my contract ended, I got a “real job” in Chicago, and wore a suit and tie to work for years. I had forgotten how much fun it was to send out funny emails, and to get positive responses from those who enjoyed reading about my adventures. I had told myself that I needed to focus on my career, so I stopped sending out those email stories, and did normal business stuff.
What are you passionate about?
For years friends had suggested that I should organize all my “funny stories” into a collection and publish it as a book. But I have some experience in the that world, and know how difficult it can be to get a book published, much less marketed effectively, distributed in stores, and sold.
So, let me ask you once again – what are you passionate about? Well, the thing I enjoy most in this world is to make someone laugh. I’ve studied humor my entire life, and I feel pretty competent at it. But I don’t want to be a stand-up comedian, or a script writer for television or movies. I have two businesses of my own that keep me busy.
So, if I don’t want to put the effort in to write a book, what can I do to share my passion? Blogging.
Earlier this year I launched a blog that is a continuation of my old “road report” emails I used to distribute. Altogether, it cost me $20. That was the expense of registering a domain, and paying for hosting. Even though I had never built a website before, I learned how, and got it up and running.
Then, I started focusing on content. Now again, I know how to write funny stories. So, that’s what I did. I started publishing regular posts. I had a bunch of content, but guess what? Not a lot of readers.
So, as my friend Laura Roeder would say, “Start doing some social networking!”
Start doing some social networking
I took to Facebook. I have about 400 friends there, many of which I’ve known since grade school. I basically sent out a few posts on Facebook (and Twitter) and announced that I had a new humor blog, and I would love their feedback. And of course, since they’re in my social network, they ended up checking out my website.
Well, a few months later, I had hundreds of regular visitors show up every time I posted a story. Because I focus on my passion – comedy – I have attracted people who enjoy my content.
At this point, you may be saying, “So what? How does a blog help create a business?” Well, all my trends and analytics suggest I will keep increasing my readership. And whenever you have traffic, you have an opportunity to promote products or services.
Now, truth be told I’m pretty busy as it is with my other businesses. I have no idea if I would ever promote a product or service to my readers. The point I’m trying to make is this:
By focusing on my passion (comedy), I attract readers who have similar interests. Readers = business opportunities.
Does this make sense?
For example, I could put a banner or text advertisement on my website that could generate revenue. Or, I could create a premium product or service and market it to my readers.
If I decide to do this – guess what? I’ve just started a business by focusing on my passion!
But even if I never launch an actual business for my blog, it’s still worth doing, because I’m having a LOT of fun!
Image credits: Making dollars.. making sense