Ok we're not talking about becoming the next Britney Spears, but how good would it feel to be well-known for doing something? Better yet, doing something that is a passion of yours? Being famous, maybe even a little famous, for something you really love? Sounds like a pie in the sky, you might be thinking, but for many of us this is our reality, and it's a lot easier than you think. Mostly because of this magical thing called the Internet.
I started my first business at age 14, a website I created and monetized with Google ads. I used SEO to get to the top of Google and build my website traffic, and I got myself on stage to speak at conferences to get myself out there, and soon enough I was in the newspaper, on live TV, on the radio, and being interviewed by Business Week magazine.
And it can be a lot easier than that. Think of all the self-made stars on Youtube, who started off as total unknowns posting videos of themselves singing song covers or baking weird foods, and now have millions of followers. Or the Insta-famous Instagramers, or the Vine-famous Viners. Almost every minute of scrolling through your Facebook news feed you'll see videos with millions of views of everything from how to make s'more pizza to a dog dancing the conga to some random guy's monologue about his cheeseburger. All of these people started off at home or on their computer or phone, putting something together and blasting it out there into the social-sphere. And yeah it's going to be a hit or miss, and most often a miss, but when it's a hit...it will spread like wildfire. There's no better time than now to go viral and get major visibility online. If you do anything that goes viral, next thing you know you'll be getting interviewed about it on Ellen or you'll be getting a record deal. If you have anything awesome you want to share with the world, the time is most definitely now. But there's more to becoming a celebrity than just being "that one guy in that video who did a really stupid but really spot-on impression of Owen Wilson". (I'm actually referencing a real video and it's still hilarious).
The most important part of becoming an online celebrity and not just a face in a viral video that faded out of popularity soon as the next best thing came along (5 minutes later), is this--build a brand. Build yourself into a brand, and build your brand by getting yourself out there. If you have a blog, or a little Youtube channel, you're already a step ahead. Or if you have nothing yet except a hilarious cat at home (cats are terrifically viral), build something out of that and tell the world about it. If you have something to offer that is super helpful, interesting, entertaining, hilarious, inspiring, or extremely weird, people want to see it. Create a website and social accounts, get your stuff out there, do guest posts on popular (and relevant) blogs, attend conferences and network, go after press opportunities, apply for speaking gigs... If you love what you're doing, then sharing your excitement for it is easy. If you're just doing something for a quick buck and choosing an industry purely for its lucrative potential, it won't work. You'll lose interest real quick, because your heart won't be in it. If you're going to take away one thing from this article and one thing alone, let it be choosing an industry for your online business based on something you LOVE.
So while all of this sounds so fun, fine and dandy, it definitely involves hard work. Not all of us have a voice like a magical songbird that gets 100-million hits on Youtube and the next thing we know we're Justin Bieber the 2nd. So how do you take your passion from a hobby to a business? How do you turn your love for dragons or for knitting cat clothes into your main income stream? If you make things, use Etsy and create a Youtube channel with DIY videos. If you're a gamer or movie/TV show fanatic, create a fan site (my first website was a fan site for Neopets.com, the virtual pet site, and it did tremendously well). If you have services to offer, like amazing pet haircuts, get on local search, get on Yelp, and advertise on Facebook. I've barely scraped the surface here, but as you can see the possibilities are endless. With the World Wide Web at your fingertips and the majority of the United States on social media, you have raving fans just a click away. If you love something enough, you can turn it into a business, and kiss goodbye to your 9 to 5 and living paycheck to paycheck. It will definitely take time and effort, but isn't it worth it? To love what you do and be your own boss, create your own hours and create your own paycheck? Only YOU writes the blueprint for your life.
Not sure which industry you would work best in if you were to start your own online business? Take the Entrepreneur Quiz at Millennial Millionaire Academy and find out what type of entrepreneur you were destined to be based on your skills, your passions and your mindset. Just remember this: your business must be something you love, something that gets you out of bed in the morning excited to work, and most of all makes you happy. If you don't feel a love for what you do, your motivation will go very quickly from a flood to a drip, and your business won't grow, thrive or even survive. If you LOVE it, LIVE it. And you'll be skyrocketing to online stardom in no time.