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How To check If A Niche Topic Is Trending

If you’re someone who is researching keywords or niche topics to see what level of interest/demand there is for a potential online business, have you considered Google Trends?
Google Trends shows you what is trending currently across the Web, and allows you to enter your own phrase or keyword to gauge the level of interest. 
Needless to say, an upward trending search term (over 5 years, say) is a great sign that you’re into a winner. 
You can search by time frame, country and search type. (Note that a value of 100 is the peak popularity for the term. A value of 50 means that the term is half as popular. A score of 0 means that there was not enough data for this term.)
Check these examples out:

Search term: ‘Golf’ (web search, global, 5 years)

You can see this is a cyclical business with most interest occurring in the spring and summer months. Golf product advertisers would look to take advantage of this seasonality by increasing their advertising budgets.

Search term: ‘Vegan protein’ (web search, global, 5 years)

This has been a trending item over the last 5 years with the current search levels reaching peak popularity. As there definitely is demand and interest for this product – producing content relating to ‘vegan protein’ will get plenty of eye-balls. Especially if the content is relevant, up to date and answers the users questions or concerns. If you’re site is getting lots of visitors you can then use strategies to monetize your site.

Search term: ‘Cross fit’ (web search, global, 5 years)

Around 5-10 years ago Cross Fit was a popular fitness method. The interest has since died down –  as shown above. A whole bunch of ‘Crossfit’ coaches tried to capitalize off the trend and the quality on offer wasn’t as good.

Search term: ‘Online Business’ (web search, global, 5 years)

As you can see, web search for ‘online business’ has remained popular and consistent over the last 5 years. This shows how much interest people have in creating a business that leverages the power of the internet. Now check out the same term but filtered for YouTube searches:

Whereas the web search for ‘online business’ is nearing peak popularity – the interest in ‘online business’ on YouTube is not even half as popular – yet. And more importantly, it is trending upwards over the last 5 years. 


What does that tell you?


It tells me that there is growing demand for online business related information on YouTube. And if you are a video person, then it makes sense to:


1. Create your own YouTube channel

2. Learn online business skills

3. Learn the skills of video creation

4. Create awesome content


This is what I did. Check out my channel here 🙂

The point is that Google Trends that help you research and identify what is 1) trending, and 2) how popular it is
The key is you want to find those keywords or niches that are trending upwards and have a popularity score of <75.

Start your online business training by clicking here.

For many of us, the idea of an online business sounds like a dream. The chance to earn income in your sleep, work you want and achieve freedom from your job. However, it can sound overwhelming especially if you’re not familiar with the business models out there. I want to break it down for you, and show that it’s not overly complex. I will distinguish between the models based on an investment of your time, resources and effort required.

Watch the video or read the transcript below 🙂

#1 – E-commerce

This is the type of business model where someone sells physical products on the internet. This may be shoes, electronics, bags, furniture, etc. The main platform that most people shop on for physical products is amazon and ebay, but there are still many specialised independant online ‘shops’. An ecommerce business model requires that you have a product that you know sells to A target market. It will usually require your own website (if not selling on amazon), suppliers and a warehouse to hold the stock. Of course, there are expenses that come with a warehouse or physical space – i.e. rent and insurance. Amazon offers an option where they can arrange fulfilment for you, i.e. sourcing from the supplier, storing the product, packaging and dispatching to the customer – all for a cost.

This model is good is you have a product you are passionate about, have a reliable supplier and a target market in mind. It will generally require an initial investment of resources to set your business up, marketing and of course regular purchasing of supplies.
With the power of the internet, this model can be automated – and so will not require a huge slice of your time once the business is running.

#2 – Freelancing

This is where you provide independant services for another individual or company. This may be as a photographer, website builder, digital marketer. An example of this model is ‘Fiverr.com’ – a platform that allows people around the world to make money by providing a digital service, i.e. photo editing or adding subtitles to your videos.

Essentially your customers will be paying you for your time, so as you can tell – this is a business model that is dependent on you and your time in order to earn money. It is difficult to automate as you need to be there. But if you are good at the service you provide, you can do very well!

#3 – Consulting

Consulting is a type of freelancing where you provide services for generally higher ticket fees. You are providing your knowledge as opposed to a physical product. To be a successful online consultant you need to pick a niche where you have real expertise. In this business model, you are exchanging your time for money, but as mentioned if you really know your stuff – then with the right marketing you can charge lucractive amounts per hour. Consider online marketer Neil Patel who reportedly charges $5,000 per hour for consulting.

#4 – E-Courses

If you have an expertise in a niche topic, and you know that thing is in demand – then creating a training course is one of the best things you can do on the internet. This business model can be lucrative because digital products, i.e. online training, can attract large prices – especially if it is a training course that many people are interested in and so there’s a demand for. Just imagine – you create your training course ONCE, and then with the right advertising, you will earn recurring fees. All you need to do is invest resources initially to create a professional looking training course and to market your training course on the right platforms to the right people.

This type of online business can earn you fantastic passive income – as you don’t have to do too much after you’ve set it up!

#5 – Affiliate Marketing

Many of the successful companies in the world, i.e. Facebook, Amazon, AirBnb, Uber are using the affiliate model. This is where you sell someone else’s products in return for a fee or commission. Take Amazon for example – the majority of the products on the Amazon website do not belong to Amazon. They simply provide a platform to bring sellers and buyers together…and take a commission. Similarly for AirBnb. They do not own the properties, but take a commission from people renting their properties to renters through their website. Affiliate marketing is the epitome of digital commerce. And you can do it too.

If there is a product or service you use and can vouch for, then affiliate marketing allows you to earn commissions from marketing and selling that product. For example there’s a health drink that I like and can happily promote in return for commissions. Amazon has its own affiliate model, where you can promote amazon ‘products’ on your website and if someone buys it – you can get a commission. However, Amazon product commissions are low.

In order to make a sustainable online business based on affiliate marketing – you should seek those products that offer high ticket commissions, i.e. digital products – courses, consulting etc. This means with each sale, you can stand to make hundreds or thousands in commission. Why? Because those companies that sell digital products have very little overhead cost. They know that if an affiliate marketer promotes and sells their products – they know they can give up to 50% of the revenue to the affiliate marketer knowing that they still stand to make very good profit from the sale. A sale that did not require the product owners time, and involves little overheads. From the product owners point of view, they would rather make some money – as opposed to no money – for the same level of effort!

So affiliate marketing is a great option to create an online income. It requires little time on your part, except at the beginning to set up your website and marketing costs.

When deciding between these business models, you’ll want to weigh up how much time you want to give, whether you currently have a product and additionally your knowledge of a particular area. For example, if you have a fantastic product and want to automate the selling and fulfilment, then ecommerce could be an option.

If you have an expertise in a niche topic, but don’t want to commit your time – then a eCourse could be your calling. Of course, to make any business successful online – you need to become excellent at influencing and marketing. If you want to learn how to market effectively and create any of these online business models, then the company I am part of educates people on digital skills.

Click here to learn more.

I wanted to share some familiar excuses for why people don’t take the plunge and start something new. In this case – an online business. I would know as most of these applied to me.

“No time”

The lack of time to commit to building a business is the most common excuse based on surveys and polls. Time is a precious commodity, and we generally try to fill the free time we do have with enjoyable, rather than productive things. The desire is definitely there among young people but time is often cited as the excuse.

Don’t forget, each day on earth represents a greater portion of our time left to live compared to the previous day. Scary right?
With that in mind, surely you’ll want to spend less time commuting and working unsatisfactory jobs and more time with family, passions and growth?

This is why having an online presence is the best thing you can do considering so much interaction and commerce is done through social media. It is astonishing that with people and networks at our finger tips, we’re not taking advantage as we can and should.

Solution

  1. Make time. if you want something badly enough you’ll find a way.
  2. No time at this present moment, and too many commitments? Then consider an affiliate business model where you promote and sell other peoples’ products/services for a commission. This requires less time and can help build a solid side income.

“No technical skills”

Three months ago i didn’t know how to build a website or set up email systems, write blogs or create custom graphics. There are so many resources and its so easy these days. Especially when it can be just a case of point and click, and drag and drop interfaces -which means no HTML code learning required!

Solution

  1. Digital Business Lounge (for integrated hosting, website building, email, landing page) – all in one place!
  2. Outsource all the technical parts to your business using Fiverr.
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“Don’t truly believe I can do it”

I am part of a community that consists of all types of people with varying skills and beliefs. From truck drivers through to big shot lawyers. They all have one thing in common – they want to change their life. Whether that’s more money, time, fulfilment. there is an underlying ‘why’, and that’s what you have to discover for yourself.

And yes, they all had initial doubts as I did, but the first step is always the hardest.

Solution

  1. Everyone starts somewhere, but to embark on an entrepreneurial journey, you need to sort out your mindset. Mindset, confidence and being clear on your ‘why’ is discussed on regular ‘WakeUp’ calls within the SFM (Six Figure Mentors) community. Check it out!
  2. Get inspired and learn from mentors through podcasts, books and motivational videos. I particular love listening to Jay Shetty’s and Satori Prime’s podcasts.
  3. Daily visualisation practice so that eventually your future successful self becomes ingrained in your sub-conscious.

“I don’t have a product or service to sell”

This is something I struggled with initially. I always loved the idea of an internet business but just didn’t have a product or service. What to do?

Solution

  1. AFFILIATE MARKETING – As mentioned above, affiliate marketing is a great online business model for people who are looking to dip their toes into online marketing and start making money. Affiliate marketing is essentially recommending other peoples’ products and services that are aligned to your content, and that you have used before. SFM is a platform that not only teach you how to become an effective affiliate marketer, but also allow you to earn high-ticket affiliate commissions ranging in the $000s.
  2. E-COMMERCE – Amazon is the e-commerce platform of choice for millions across the globe. If you don’t have your own product, no problem. It is so easy these days to find wholesalers that produce t-shirts, camera bags, bikes, etc, and have them redesigned and re-branded according to your taste. Additionally, you don’t even need to hold stock in your garage or bedroom. With Amazon drop-shipping, the product can be collected from the wholesaler’s factory and dropped directly to the customer. The SFM teaches individuals this Amazon drop-shipping process- step by step.
  3. YOU are the product. as you have so much to share that certain people will resonate with you. Give and share what you know/love about a particular topic, area or product and before you know it, you will realise rewards from the value you give your customers and readers/viewers.

“I want to see examples of people like me make it first”

People fear the unknown and that’s entirely natural. Therefore it is completely understandable that whenever starting something new, it helps us to see evidence of success in that area thus giving us something to model on.

Before I started my journey with the SFM, I was intrigued by claims that people like me – in respective jobs earning comfortable salaries, managed to replace their salary with impressive profits from their online business. Conversely, there were also individuals in the SFM community that had nothing like the academic education or training that I had yet were commanding huge respect from their successes.

Solution

Click here to read real testimonials from real people, get inspired and change your life!


Conclusion

I wanted to shine some insight into the excuses that most people (yourself included?) say to themselves to avoid starting an online business. And with forecasted online sales of $25 trillion by 2025, surely you’d want to build your internet business and claim a tiny chuck of that??

Best

There are a whole host of investments out there, each with unique risk, liquidity and feasibility characteristics. I firmly believe in diversifying your portfolio, but for this post I want to share why I’m a fan of property investment and think that it’s something everyone should and can invest in. Not forgetting its an actual physical asset you can touch and feel – here are my 6 reasons;

Steady income with tax deductible expenses

The rental income you get on property investment provides a source of steady, passive income. This is unlike equity investments where not all companies pay out a dividend. In addition, you have control over the property (i.e choice of tenants, renovation, structure) whereas with equities – you have a negligible, if any influence over the strategic, operational or financial decisions of the company!

Owning a rental property is like owning a business, in that pretty much all expenses related to running the property are deductible from the rental income – which lowers your tax bill. Of course, there is no escaping property taxes but you can be smart and optimize your tax deductible expenses….legally.

Tenant pays down your mortgage

Most people take out a loan secured on their rental property, i.e. a mortgage – in order to purchase the property. As part of the loan, there will be monthly payments – which will include a mixture of loan repayment and interest. To service these payments, you rent out the property to earn rental income, and essentially this income covers the monthly mortgage payment and (hopefully) leaves a surplus/profit every month.

So basically, your tenants are paying off your mortgage. As a result, your outstanding loan reduces and the interest on that loan becomes lower (due to a lower loan balance). In time, you may increase the rent due to either a buoyant rental market or through your additional work/renovations you carried on the property.

Through this combination of lower monthly loan repayments and higher rent, your profits and cashflow increases. Eventually you want to get to a position where your rent pays off the entire mortgage, and you no longer owe the bank. This takes time, but it can be sped up with lump sum down payments where possible. T

The aim should be to get the property free of debt – making it a low risk, high return strategy in the long-run.

Inflation hedge

Property prices like most markets are subject to economic cycles and the micro-economics of supply and demand. However if you are prepared to stay invested in property for the long haul, you will find that the real returns of property are positive, i.e. after adjusted for inflation effects – the rental and capital appreciation of a property exceed the inflation rate.

This is not the case for all equities or fixed income investments. For the last 40 years both the US and UK residential property market returns have exceeded the rate of inflation. This particularly is due to the progressive increase in property prices rather than rental yields. Of course, the returns vary within regions, and that’s where location becomes a huge factor in your property investment strategy.

Sail through those economic cycles

Consider these economic scenarios that illustrate that if held over the long term, your property investment is a safe bet:

  1. Low interest rate environment => Cheaper to borrow/refinance mortgage => more house purchases => house prices increase. GOOD FOR LANDLORDS
  2. Higher interest rate environment => More expensive to borrow => fewer house purchases => mortgage payments higher => people more inclined to rent. GOOD FOR LANDLORDS
  3. Supply of housing exceeds demand => House prices stagnate/reduce => more purchases due to lower prices => eventually pushes up house prices. GOOD FOR LANDLORDS.
  4. Demand for housing exceeding supply => Can be good for house prices, rent or both. GREAT FOR LANDLORDS!

Of course, the above is just a basic implication model, and there are other factors that can contribute to the housing market, i.e. regional housing micro-structure, global credit event (i.e. Credit Crunch of 2008-2010), rental ceilings, property taxes etc.

Ariel view of properties

Leverage!

A key feature of property investing is the ability to benefit from ‘leverage’.

For example, to buy a £200,000 property would cost you just £62,000 (assuming 25% mortgage, £5k refurb, and £2k legal costs) rather than the full £207,000.

If the property price then increased over two years to £250,000, upon selling the property you’d receive £100,000 (£250,000 – £150,000 outstanding mortgage), a phenomenal 61.2% return on cash invested, while also receiving rental income.

While this is true, the reverse also holds. If the property value declines from £200,000 the investor experiences negative equity and his/her loss on investment is also amplified due to leveraging (borrowing).

Of course, the recent stamp duty changes and tax laws introduced by the UK Government on buy-to-let property has significantly reduced cashflow for landlords. As a result, investors have become less incentivized to acquire further properties fulfilling the Government’s intentions. Despite this, there are still many property investment strategies available to investors, including;

  • ‘Flipping’ (developing and selling the property in the short term)
  • House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)
  • Short-term lets including Air-BnB
  • REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts)
  • Crowdfunding (see below)

On a budget…try Crowdfunding

Owning properties is great, but with the higher deposit requirement for buy-to-lets or rental properties, it means you can have a lot of capital tied into one property…not forgetting the taxes and any refurbishment costs.

Real estate crowdfunding allows you to invest in real estate along with other investors, usually through a platform that will propose real estate deals and take care of all the work, like listing deals, doing all the legal work, and then managing the property. This allows you to invest as little as £1,000 into a residential or commercial real estate project for potentially 8 – 13% annual returns based off historical data.

This beats the return from £1000 in your savings account! With real estate crowdfunding investing, there’s also physical asset that’s backing your investment – similar to direct investing.

In addition, crowdfunding is great for people who want the hassle of tenants or renovations and essentially want a ‘hands off’ approach once the investment is made.

Essentially, it allows an investor to invest in a variety of property deals (residential, commercial, industrial) with a much lower capital injection. Click here for a list of recommended crowdfunding platforms.

What about the recession?

The last recession in 2008 onwards was driven by irresponsible lending to house buyers, complex credit products and greed. On top of that, the banks and lenders had rubbish capital buffers and so suffered wild losses – and had to be bailed out, severely affecting the markets, economy and consumer confidence. This time around there is more regulatory scrutiny over financial products, lending and bank capital adequacy. In other words, we are unlikely to see large corrections in house prices – although that’s not to say they won’t be affected.

Consumer confidence is hit in a recession and people are less likely to spend and invest, which reduces house prices. And the property investor needs to be prepared to ride these out – especially if s/he doesn’t have a need to sell. Note that a recessionary environment also provides opportunity to purchase assets at a discount!

I would always recommend investing in property for the above reasons. Refer to Global Property Guide for a useful source on property trends, statistics and news across the world. As mentioned at the top of this article, rental properties should form part of a diversified portfolio thus aiming to spread risk. Of course, all investments should be entered with a thorough due diligence.

Property investment is a great way to generate a passive income. Another way is through a profitable, online business. If you are keen to learn about setting up an online presence, developing unique digital marketing skills and generating an impressive income online, click here to get started!

Best

After working in the corporate finance sector for over 13 years, I’ve had some realizations when it comes to money and wealth. An employee, even a fairy well-paid employee may struggle to truly create the life that he or she desires from their employment alone. You see, I define financial wealth as having the capacity to acquire those dream assets, like the house or the car or the holiday home abroad with just cash and no loans or mortgage.

When I was a kid, I always viewed owning the £1m house as being the benchmark for being truly wealthy. Of course, with inflation a £1m house today may be worth £5m in the future – and in that same future, £1m doesn’t buy you alot. But essentially everybody’s dream home and desires are different. I just use a home as an example because it is almost always the biggest ticket item people want to purchase.

beautiful bedroom overlooking beach and sea
My dream view

And I specifically selected the salaries of a UK and US Investment Banker as they are the highest paid professions in Finance, and I want to illustrate that despite their earnings and status – it’s harder to acquire that £1m (or $1.5m) house with CASH ONLY – no mortgage.

I’ve put together 2 tables – one for the UK Banker, and one for the US Banker. The tables show how with age, the banker’s savings accumlate alongside the change in house prices.

This is only a model, and I have inserted my assumptions below each table – the key being that both bankers save away 20% of their annual salary;

UK Investment Banker financial path:

Assumptions: Salary & bonus growth at 15% annually, UK tax rates for 18/19, Personal savings rates of 20%, No interest on savings, UK inflation at 2%, Annualized house price growth is 3.7%. No other investments or sources of income.

US Investment Banker financial path:


Assumptions: Salary & bonus growth at 15% annually, US effective tax rates for 2018, Personal savings rates of 20%, No interest on savings, US inflation at 3.22%, Annualized house price growth is 5.4%. No other investments or sources of income.

From the UK table, it would take the employee (starting at a £40k salary) 34 years before they have acquired enough savings (£3.49m) before they can afford that same £1m house – which is now valued at £3.316m after 34 years.

From the US table, it would take the employee (starting at a $60k salary) 42 years before they have acquired enough savings (£13.12m) before they can afford that same $1.5m house – which is now valued at £12.958m after 42 years.

This line graph summarizes how the accumulated savings largely lag the house value over time;

You may look at my total compensation figures and find them to be conservative. But you gotta bear in mind the economic cycles, burnout and structural changes to the industry. Again, this is purely a model with my own researched assumptions. Even, the savings rate of 20% is an average. Some people save almost nothing and purely rely on living pay check to pay check.

Of course, after 34 or 42 years, and with that kind of savings, the banker may choose to buy a property elsewhere where there is more value for money or even downsize. But, the point is that, upon seeing their dream house (valued at £1m or $1.5m) when the budding banker was 21, it would take them a helluva time before they can pay for it outright in cash.

Sure, the banker can still take out a mortgage to make up the shortfall at any time during his career to buy the dream house. But it would just mean continuing to work for another 10 or 15 year to meet the mortgage payments.

Entrepreneurship

The above data illustrates that an employee (with no other investments or income sources), will struggle to purchase their dream asset if they were paying for it in cash. However, being an Entrepreneur and owning several businesses and sources of income can help you achieve this goal.

Sure, the business owner may not pay himself much in comparison to the earnings of a top ranking Investment Banker, however the benefits of having multiple sources of income are as follows;

  1. Not subject to economic downturns as much as an employee, who may lose their job. The Entrepreneur can rely on other sources of income if one or two take a hit;
  2. Not working for anyone else. Be your own boss. As a result, take as much time as you need off;
  3. As a business owner, you have controlling ownership in your company which leads to my next defining point…
  4. More chance of huge cashflow or liquidity events. What this means is that one of your businesses could eventually be sold or partially sold for seven-figures if it’s a successful venture and has been creating huge value for customers. Alternatively, a minority stake in your overall portfolio company can be sold to investors. These events create huge windfalls and allow the Entrepreneur to purchase those dream assets much earlier. And they don’t have to one-offs either.
  5. Another benefit of entrepreneurship is the incredible satisfaction you gain from creating something out of nothing. Having the freedom to do whatever you want provides for tremendous happiness as well.

I highly recommend that everyone should start their own business, and in particular – an internet business to leverage the lucrative digital economy. There are so many ways to make money online (refer to my post to ‘4 Realistic Ways To Make Money Online‘) as well as;

  • Blogging (written and video)
  • E-book
  • Online training courses
  • Downloadable templates
  • Video subscription

You definitely need to start by creating your own website, create a blog and build your brand and potentially access over three billion people online. And you can do this so easily and cheaply these days.

If you would like to make the first step to creating your online business, and learn how to market effectively online, click here to access a free video series workshop that will really open your eyes to the possibilities for making money. You will wonder why you didn’t start this process earlier! In fact, that’s something I always ask myself, especially having gone through the traditional route of academics and employment.

If you wish to get started now – take the first step to your freedom my friend.

Best of luck