By Sean Ogle
How great would it be if you could start a business around a hobby or something you love to do? It's something so many of us want to do, but we stop short because we think we don't have the technical skills, a good enough idea, or simply don't know where to start.
But in 2018, I predict we're going to be seeing a lot more of these "niche sites," and right now may be the best time for you to start that business you've always been wanting.
What is a Niche Site?
A niche site is a website that targets a concentrated group of people within a larger industry. So for instance, rather than targeting "golf" and everything that includes, a niche site would pick one aspect of the industry and focus on that.
But why are we going to see more of these, and why is now a good time to consider starting one of your own?
Niche Sites Can Resonate in Ways Larger Brands Can't
Most big companies have to appeal to the masses, as they have a bottom line to protect. This often means the people who are engaging in a small subset of an industry get overlooked, since there isn't enough money in it for the bigger brands to pay much attention to them. This can leave a subsection of consumers clamoring for more information on that topic.
Maybe you love vintage camera lenses -- but the companies that manufacture those rarely mention them, as they're too busy trying to sell their newest lenses. Perfect niche site idea.
We're Seeing an Increased Focus on Lifestyle Balance
These days, the concept of the side hustle is real. In fact, CNN reports that more than 44 million people currently have one. We're also seeing millennials drive a cultural shift: a shift where there's now a premium on work/life balance, and workers are less inclined to rely on their corporate paycheck as their only means of an income.
In my opinion, a niche site is one of the easiest side hustles to get going. All you need is a few hours to setup your website, an idea for a niche and a willingness to write content. If you’re one of the 69 percent of millennials who feels unengaged at work, then this could be a great way to start building something that matters to you.
They're Getting Easier to Create
All of this is further helped by the fact that websites are getting easier and easier to create. Tools like Wordpress and Squarespace are making it so people with little-to-no technical experience can set up a niche site in the span of a weekend.
You Can Monetize From Day One
There are all kinds of ways you can make money with a niche site: Ads, sponsorships and creating information products are all ways you can make money over the long term. But when you're first starting out, you can add affiliate links to your site and earn a commission from recommendations you make. Essentially, how this works is that you get a special link and if someone clicks this link and buys the product, you get a commission.
As an example, if you've got a niche site around cookie baking, you can earn a little bit of money for that review of awesome cookie sheets you just did. Best of all, you can get started creating these links in under 10 minutes.
It Can Boost Your Enjoyment of Your Hobby
One of the great things about developing this kind of site is it actually makes it more enjoyable and beneficial for you to participate in your hobby or passion. Since starting my niche site in the golf industry, I've seen benefits like free rounds of golf and equipment to review, becoming more well known within the industry, meeting hundreds of other like-minded people I wouldn't have met otherwise, and I'm even able to write off some of my golf expenses on my taxes!
There's Never Been a Better Time to Start
With so many people creating side hustles and with technology making it easier than ever, there's never been a better time to start a website around something you love. Who knows -- that small site you threw together in a weekend could become a big deal later on.
Sean Ogle helps people build small businesses that let they can run from anywhere on Earth through his business Location Rebel.