Online Business


To make money online, you generally need 3 things:

  1. A website (don’t worry, they’re not that hard to make)
  2. An audience
  3. Something to sell

There will always be exceptions to this rule, like the YouTube celebrities who don’t have their own site, but most of the successful entrepreneurs online (myself included) have figured out those 3 things.

An online business is a great asset; you can work from anywhere and serve people worldwide. Depending on how you have it set up, you can even earn money while you sleep. Ahh that elusive “passive income!”

The location-independent business models you’ll find here include blogging, podcasting, self-publishing, teaching online courses, and more.

If you’re not sure where to start, let me recommend this “Greatest Hits” collection:


210: Steal This Process: A Step-by-Step System to Consistent $10k Months

Nagina Abdullah turned her weight loss blog, MasalaBody.com, into a 6-figure side business. By day, she works for a large consulting company, and with a busy work schedule, a young family, and limited time to work on her side hustle, Nagina has been very smart about her marketing and pricing.

After struggling with her weight for all of her adult life, she finally hit on something that worked and dropped 40 pounds! With friends, colleagues, and neighbors asking how she did it, she started her blog to share recipes and tips.

207: How to Use Video and YouTube to Grow Your Business

Thomas Frank is the College Info Geek and you can find him at collegeinfogeek.com. Thomas also has a podcast, and a YouTube channel with an impressive following of over 370k subscribers and over 12 million views.

Thomas’ blogging journey started back in 2010 when he applied to join a team of writers on blog in the college niche but was unsuccessful. He decided to publish his post on his own site, started introducing different forms of multimedia over the years, and stumbled across a love for producing entertaining YouTube videos.

My 10 Best Performing Email Subject Lines of the Year (and 3 that flopped)

Thursday is Podcast Day, or as my wife calls it, “The Day Nick Spends at Least an Hour Trying to Send Out an Email.”

I’m constantly trying to improve my email deliverability, engagement, and open rates, so I wanted to take this opportunity to look back through some of the data and see which of my subject lines from this year performed the best.

3 Productized Service Business Ideas You Can Start Today

Productized service businesses are all the rage these days. They involve packing up a service traditionally sold on a freelance or hourly basis, and instead selling it at a fixed price or on a monthly retainer contract.

Examples include Dan Norris’ WP Curve, which offers unlimited WordPress support for $79 a month, or Russ Perry’s Design Pickle, which offers unlimited graphic design tasks for $370 a month.

These services are popping up in a ton of different niches, and for good reason. They have low startup costs, low overhead, and a simple to understand proposition for customers.

202: Blogging for Recurring Revenue: Turn Readers into Members

Erin Chase is a busy mother of 4, a former teacher, and today runs 5dollardinners.com and the 5dollarmealplan.

Back in 2008, after some number crunching Erin was excited at saving 50% on her grocery bills. She shared how she had done this on her family blog, but with a low amount of interest she decided to start her own blog to help others make savings on their own grocery bills.

Erin says it was ‘‘very shocking to me that it just took off the way it did’’. But with her dedication to sharing lots of free content helping her readers save money on their grocery bills it’s no coincidence.

Podcast Marketing Brain Dump: 21 Lessons from 200 Episodes, 3.5 Years, and 1.9 Million Downloads

The Side Hustle Show just hit 200 episodes and 2 million lifetime downloads. It’s all pretty crazy for what started as a little side project experiment in 2013 with a $50 mic from my living room.

Podcasting is an incredibly powerful medium and it’s honestly been life-changing for me.

I wish I could give you a definitive answer on how to grow a podcast but the truth is I don’t know. I think there’s a combination of factors at play, and I’ll do my best to outline those in this post.

200: From Content to Cash Flow – Affiliate Marketing and Automated Sales Funnels

As co-host of the #1 marriage podcast in iTunes, the ONE Extraordinary Marriage show, Tony DiLorenzo speaks to a worldwide audience about sex, love, and commitment. Along with his wife Alisa, their goal is to reach as many couples around the world as they can, equipping them with the tools and strategies they need to create an extraordinary marriage.

With a hugely popular blog and podcast, Tony is a little modest in saying, “that’s consistency over 7 years.” Tony and Alisa sell coaching services, their own products, promote affiliate products, and have sponsorships as some of their income streams.

Here’s Everything I Did To Launch a Bestselling Book (and How Much It’s Made So Far)

Last month I launched my latest book project, Buy Buttons, out into the world. On Day 1, it became an Amazon bestseller and has gone on to collect 75+ 5-star reviews and sell more than 2600 copies.

My process was much more involved this time around than it was two years ago for the launch of Work Smarter. A lot has changed during that time so I was excited to put some new ideas to the test.

In this post, I’ll break down the entire writing and launch process, step-by-step, start to finish.

199: Building a Blog to $20k a Month and Beyond

You may remember Rosemarie Groner from episode 142 of the Side Hustle Show last year. She revealed how her blog Busy Budgeter was just a year old and receiving around 400,000 pageviews and making around $5k a month — primarily through Pinterest traffic.

It’s almost a year later now and I had to have her back to see how things were progressing. Rosemarie is now regularly making more than $20k a month, and while her pageviews are still at a similar number she has improved her ROI and diversified her traffic and income sources.

196: I Stopped Chasing Recurring Revenue, and 10x’d My Business

“The conversion rate ended up being about 10 times better than it was before,” Steve Cunningham told me.

While attending meetings for the family business Steve would spot some of the business books he had read sitting on the shelves in clients’ offices and saw this a good conversation starter. However, he would find out that more often than not that they had not read the books.

This presented Steve with an opportunity.