Chapter 3: Passion or Money?
One common debate among internet marketers is whether to follow your passions or follow money.
Do you go with something you are passionate or knowledgeable about or go where the money is?
Of course if possible you can combine both.
What do the experts recommend?
I decided to ask Ramsay at BlogTyrant, Glen at Viper Chill, Matthew Woodward, Pat Flynn at SmartPassiveIncome, Spencer at NichePursuits and Brian at Backlinko.
Ramsay at BlogTyrant
I asked Ramsay at BlogTyrant.com whether he recommended passion or money for someone picking their first niche....
As you can see he said...
"I find it really hard to work on things I hate and would happily take a pay cut"
Which I take to mean he prefers to get involved with things he is passionate about.
Glen at ViperChill
I asked Glen at ViperChill a similar question...
"passion...and sometimes money. Easy cash in industries even when you don't care for them".
I also asked Matthew Woodward ....
and I found his answer....
"Select a niche I'm passionate about"
Pat Flynn at SmartPassiveIncome
Next up was Pat Flynn of SmartPassiveIncome.com
Pat's answer was EPIC......
"I'd hesitate to say follow anything. You must LEAD, and I'd start with an area of interest and then validate it's commerciality"
What I believe he's saying is here is never be a 'follower' but be a leader and dominate your niche by being the best you possibly can be.
Brian Dean at Backlinko.com...
Brian from Backlinko.com gave a a difference in opinion from the other experts which was refreshing.
"Definitely money. Once you learn the skills to promote and monetize a site, you can make one around your passion"
Brian champions learning the essential skills first then thinking about passions later. Good to see a difference of opinion from him over the majority.
Spencer Haws at NichePursuits.com
Spencer from NichePursuits.com gave the following advice...
"Depends. Small niche site go where money is. Authority/long term project, go with passion"
This is solid advice. If you're just looking to make quick profit it makes sense to see where there's a demand and capitalize on it rather than focusing on something you enjoy but might take time to be profitable.
If it's going to be a long term project you spend a lot of time and effort on then focusing on something you enjoy will make life easier for you.
So far the common theme here is do something you are passionate about BUT make sure it's a viable money maker.
There were exceptions with Brian Dean saying focus on money first whilst you hone your skills and then work on passion niches later.
What do I personally do?
Mostly I follow my passions and interests but I make sure that they are viable and profitable first.
When I first started I jumped into a few niches I had an interest in without really thinking about how I could monetize and found out later it wasn't easy to due to being unable to easily get traffic or lack of affiliate products to promote.
Don't make that mistake. I cover how to check a market is viable and profitable later in the guide.
If I see a real untapped opportunity that's just too good to pass up I will tackle it even if not very interested in it.
Why Passion & Knowledge...
The idea behind going with something you have knowledge in or are passionate about is that you're more likely to succeed.
Not only do you already know more than your average person (who likely knows nothing) on the subject at hand but you'll be willing to put more effort into it and enjoy working on it.
If you know nothing on the topic and don't have any real interest in it it can be difficult to succeed and stay motivated.
You might find yourself unable to create interesting content on the subject and getting bored with the topic quickly or that your audience knows more than you do and don't have any reason to listen to your advice.
Many successful entrepreneurs have succeeded because they created something they were passionate about.
You have to consider whether your interests actually have any commercial viability.
If there's nothing to sell and no way to monetize then you can be as passionate about the topic as you like but you won't make any money.
Take for example if your hobby was collecting rocks. Probably not any way to make money from that regardless of how enthusiastic you are about it (though I wouldn't be surprised if actually there was and I just didn't see the opportunity as I know nothing about the niche).
Following the money is isn't a bad idea. If you've crunched the numbers and can see that the niche is likely to be profitable then of course it makes sense to get involved.
However if you know nothing about the subject at hand, don't have any interest in it and plan to do all the work and content creation yourself then there's a good chance you're going to struggle.
Unless you are very business minded, focused and motivated, and can work on something which you get absolutely no enjoyment from then you would be better focusing on something you have passion for.
This is especially important when it's your first online project as you're going to have a lot to learn and a lot of work to do so you need to enjoy it to some extent.
Combining Passion and Money...
Ideally you'll be able to identify a niche where you have some knowledge and passion that is also profitable.
This is where the majority of individuals trying to create online businesses and niche website will find their success first time round.
Once you've had initial success it's much easier to venture into other projects where your interest level isn't as high and make a success from them.