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Many of us dream of working from home while running our own business. The problem of course is that you need a steady income to cover your living expenses, and until your business really takes off, that income needs to come from a “day job.”
This is a significant challenge that almost anyone who starts a new business, whether online or not, will need to face. While some will simply take the plunge and quit their job to go all in on their business, most of us can’t realistically make that work.
Instead, we need to find a way to balance our day jobs, an online business, and our day-to-day obligations (family, etc.). This can seem overwhelming at first, and is likely a big reason why many people fail before they even begin.
To cut straight to the point, if your goal is to build an online business by creating and monetizing niche sites, it can absolutely be done while working a full-time job. In fact, out of our four-person team, two of us (including me) are still working full-time jobs to this day.
In this post, I’m going to give you several strategies to build niche sites on the side. Just know that it’s not always going to be easy, but if you’re willing to get through the initial phase, it becomes much more manageable.
1 – Use a Task List
My first tip for building niche sites on the side is to take advantage of task lists. While it might sound simple, using task lists to outline your day or week can keep you on track and keep your business moving forward.
One of the biggest hurdles that people have to overcome when starting a new business is that it feels overwhelming and unattainable. However, if you can identify the tasks that need to be accomplished (whether one-time or recurring), then turn those into a list, you can focus on each task individually instead of the business as a whole.
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2 – Focus on What’s Important
Speaking of focus, another mishap that many people make (I’ve been there plenty of times as well) is to spend too much time on things that don’t actually help your business grow.
A great example of this is spending time researching the business model. Yes, it’s important to have a general idea of how to build niche websites, but at the end of the day, the most important thing you can do is to add content to your site.
Using the task lists you created in step #1 above, prioritize the tasks to make sure you’re focusing on the tasks that will grow your business. The most important task in this business model is to write articles.
3 – Set Task-Oriented Goals
A great strategy for keeping yourself motivated instead of feeling overwhelmed is to set task-oriented goals. A task-oriented goal is one in which the goal is to accomplish a task, not to make a certain amount of money, etc.
When starting a new business, a lot of people set financial goals, like making $1,000/month within a year. While you might think a financial goal like this will motivate you to keep pushing, it often times leads to discouragement instead, as it takes quite a long time to build a successful niche site.
If instead, you set task oriented goals, like writing two articles per week, you’ll not only keep yourself from feeling discourages, but you’ll continue to see growth on your site as you hit each goal.
The key with task-oriented goals is to keep them small and attainable. By setting a lot of small goals, it’s easy to stay motivated as you achieve each goal. This leads to a snowball effect that keeps you motivated and fuels the growth of your business.
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4 – Take Advantage of Every Opportunity
While definitely not easy, if you want to grow a business on the side, you absolutely need to take advantage of every opportunity you have to work on your business.
This can mean working from your phone for 15 minutes on your lunch break, waking up an hour early each day, or staying up an hour late each night to work on your business after your spouse and kids are asleep.
This is probably the toughest part of running a business on the side. That’s why it’s important to use the strategies I’ve outlined above to keep you from getting discourages or becoming overwhelmed.
I’m almost four years into this journey, and I’m still doing these things. I stay up late regularly to shoot videos for Passive Income Unlocked and often work on keyword research or writing articles every chance I get.
Just know that this phase doesn’t have to last forever, and it’s much more intense in the beginning. Even in my case, I push hard because I enjoy it and it’s just how I’m wired. I could easily take a step back and not push quite so hard these days and continue to grow our business.
5 – Be Patient
I’ve harped on this before and will continue to do so, but growing a niche site from scratch takes a long time. Knowing this up front will go a long way toward keeping yourself from getting too discourages as you don’t see any results for the first several months.
From the time you post each article on your site to the time that it start generating a significant amount of traffic can be anywhere from six months to 18 months. As you can tell, this business model isn’t for someone who’s impatient.
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On the plus side, if you can keep yourself motivated throughout that first year when it’s the toughest, you’ll put yourself head and shoulders above many of your competitors. A lot of people give up in those early stages, so pushing through will give you a much higher chance of succeeding.
6 – Get a Partner
While definitely not a necessity by any means, having a partner to build a business with can make the process much easier.
For one, by working with someone else, you can theoretically produce twice as much content for your site. While this won’t realistically happen, what often does happen is that one person will pick up the slack during those times when the other person struggles, which helps to keep the site growing.
Another benefit of having a partner is that you can keep each other motivated. Building a site on your own, especially when many people will probably tell you that you’re wasting your time, can be difficult. Having someone to push you when doubt creeps in can be huge.
Lastly, when you have more than one set of eyes on something, each of you will see things from a different perspective. That means you have a better chance of figuring out the best way to attack certain aspects of your business.
7 – Outsource
There’s a reason that I saved this one for last, and that’s because it’s the last strategy you should consider. The reason for that is that if you outsource before you really have a good understanding of what it takes to build a successful niche site, you’ll likely spend quite a bit of money with very little return.
However, once you’ve gotten your niche site to a point that you consider it to be successful, outsourcing will not only free up your time, but also allow you to grow and scale your business at a rapid rate.
Outsourcing is what really leads to a niche site being a passive income stream, or at least about as close to a passive income stream as you can get. You’ll still have to work with the people who you outsource the tasks to, but your time commitment will be significantly reduced.
Outsourcing is a big reason why I can still work a full-time job and continue to grow multiple sites at a rapid rate.
To see who we’re currently using for outsourcing our content, see our tools and resources page.
Starting and running a business of any kind while still working a full-time job will require sacrifices, so you have to do whatever you can to keep yourself motivated and pushing forward.
While some types of businesses are nearly impossible to start on the side, you can quite easily build niche sites while working a full-time job. The best part is that once you get past the early stages, it can become significantly more passive while continuing to grow and scale at a rapid rate.