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:


216: Merch by Amazon: $53k in T-Shirt Profits in 10 Hours a Week

Elaine Heney is an app entrepreneur, an Amazon FBA seller (a business she actually sold), and is living the location independent lifestyle. You can find out more about her merch business at MerchEntrepreneur.com

Last year she sold more than $128k worth of t-shirts through Amazon’s Merch by Amazon program, a print-on-demand service offered by the retail giant, of which, $53k was profit.

215: How to Quickly Build an Online Business Without an Audience

Mark Wills is a professional notary public loan signing agent. It’s something he started doing as a side hustle that eventually turned into a full-time business.

While his friend Roman Rosario was between startups, Mark showed him how to do loan signings to make extra money.

And that sparked an entirely new business idea. If Mark could teach him how to do this in just a few hours, he could probably teach others online as well.

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.