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Best Fastlane Business Model for Digital Media Side-Hustle

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Hello, I'm new to the Fastlane Forum, I finished the book and enjoyed it as definitely one of the most clear cut books on the logic behind business scale and impact.

I've been a manager of a digital media business that grew from a few thousands in revenue to ultimately multimillions in revenue. That said, I've moved on to other work, and much of what was done in that business was not replicable to today's world since the media industry has changed at a rapid clip.

I'm working on a smaller digital media site in a new niche as a side hustle, however I haven't found a strong way to monetize it. At this point it's serving more as a news aggregator although we have a few contributors who produce original content.

Ideally I'm looking for a way to monetize and scale with: 1) minimal human resource systems 2) maximum time leverage since I can only put in 1-2 hours per day or so currently.

I've tried things like Google ads (pays very little), advertising sales (low demand), affiliate links (payout is really low despite generating decent income for Amazon), however these have not produced much fruit despite quite a bit of effort. I also have some experience with Facebook and email marketing, though I haven't been able to turn those into an ROI.

I've briefly experimented with a membership program too. Any idea what's the best way to drive value and find/meet demand using digital media? I'm all ears :)

(PS: I tinkered around on the forum but didn't find a strong thread about digital media, although there were a few posts about generating income blogging which is semi-comparable. Please feel free to point me to any other threads out there if I missed them)
 

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OP
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Going in a more philosophical direction, about the truth/essence of business growth.

I read the book "Power of Habit" a while back and essentially boiled it down to, "if you want to lose weight, step on the scale every day."

In other words, whatever you measure every day - the data you look at - will be what forces you to change if you want to hit your goals. I.e., looking at how much I weigh everyday inherently causes me to take action to hit my new weight target.

So in the last couple weeks or so, I set up several key metrics for my biz, and that has already inspired me to try and figure out how to "crack the code" for manipulating those metrics to my liking - how to increase revenue by x amount, how to get to x profits, etc.

Has anyone else found this methodology to ring true for your biz? What key metrics did you measure, and how often, and how did these help your biz grow? Any info will be helpful. Thanks!

(PS: I will just turn this into a progress thread for myself, since I saw another "homie" who just consistently updated his progress over time and seemingly went from dabbling with a new idea to killing it, generating multimillis in rev.)
 

Rawseed

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Consider a paid newsletter business model.




 
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OP
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Read Millionaire Fastlane
Feb 19, 2019
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I will check all of these out imminently and report back. Thanks!
 
OP
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New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Feb 19, 2019
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Consider a paid newsletter business model.




Launched paid enewsletter. Thanks for the tip! (Still reviewing all the links above as the very first one sent me down a rabbit hole of additional links.) Now need to figure out how to promote it and meanwhile get the content ready :)

=========

On another thread I got the advice that only two initial metrics matter (paraphrasing): 1) how many of the action steps that directly lead to $ were taken, and 2) how much $ actually came in.

Since I already have an estimated 500 or so "real humans" (read: not bots or crawlers) to my site each day, and already have ads setup, I think the # of articles published will be the key metric to watch.

Currently $100 daily income from about 1 article per day, gonna try to double that by publishing more articles per day (I noticed there's no 1-1 ratio there, I'll just try to publish more until I get there).

The tricky thing will be managing time, since after all, it's a "side-hustle."

==========

So the paid e-newsletter will be product two, in addition to free (ads based) "niche" news service.

Initial promotion thoughts are slap the link to the paid e-newsletter on every single article I publish. So there should be some synergy ("leverage"?) whereby, if I publish more, thus increasing audience and ad income, I will then get more eyeballs onto the paid e-newsletter link, and hopefully at some point get some initial sign-ups.

Any other tips? Anything I am missing here?
 
OP
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Woke up and found I got my first subscriber, though I did zero promotion (including not even on my own homepage). I have no clue how they even found this!

Let's see how this develops...!
 

MHP368

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Is the niche the problem? , It seems like all those revenue models really just depend on scale right?


If your aggregating news on the topic do you have experts in that field or youre just reposting the stuff they write? Because that could open up courses or paid memberships if you have an in with them


Is the niche the type of thing that could warrant a podcast?
 
OP
OP
Nice_home

Nice_home

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Feb 19, 2019
13
4
15
Woke up and found I got my first subscriber, though I did zero promotion (including not even on my own homepage). I have no clue how they even found this!

Let's see how this develops...!
Semi-false alarm, so far 3 people submitted their (respective) emails as subscribers, which were captured, but none of them overcome the checkout page.

I hit them up by email to see what's going on, my email to them was pretty formal (attempting to look systematic though it was just from me) not sure if that was the right approach or if I should have just be honest with them, i.e. a two word email: "What gives?!"
 
OP
OP
Nice_home

Nice_home

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Feb 19, 2019
13
4
15
Is the niche the problem? , It seems like all those revenue models really just depend on scale right?


If your aggregating news on the topic do you have experts in that field or youre just reposting the stuff they write? Because that could open up courses or paid memberships if you have an in with them


Is the niche the type of thing that could warrant a podcast?
So far I'm not sure if the niche would be a problem (compared to any other content niche). And I'm not so sure this depends on scale either (any more than any other biz model)?

I've been working on this for a while, a major issue for me was trying to spend/invest early on to jumpstart revenue.

Then I read a quote from Warren Buffet, "never lose money." That one quote inspired me to cut back all expenses to below the revenue levels, so I am always in the black.

Hence I wouldn't necessarily think scale is the issue per se, it's more like, how to generate more content within the (very limited) budget.

So far I do have a few experts writing original content, and also some which offered me to aggregate their content which has already been posted elsewhere.

I'd love to offer a paid course if that can be a good revenue stream, I just have zero experience with that and wouldn't have any idea where to start. Rather than use an expert and needing to pay them or set up a business partnership with them, I'd probably rather offer a course that's produced by yours truly that's an aggregation of expert tips.

In this niche, I have absolutely no clue what type of course or price point would work. I would think these courses would need to be relevant as a business expense to justify such high prices I see out there ($2k, $3k, $5k a pop)?
 

MHP368

the man, the myth, the Pseudo-Apollodorus
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Aug 17, 2016
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Sahuarita AZ

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