How To Make Money From Your Knowledge Or Skill

Almost everyone has some knowledge or skill, that someone else would like to learn. It could be a hobby, tango dancing, playing a musical instrument, marathon running, changing careers, trading the stock market, budgeting, training sausage dogs, or anything else.

But… how do you make money from your knowledge or skill?

Let’s take Cambell, and his playing of ocarinas, as an example.

Cambell has shared his story before here. He is someone who would be considered an expert in the ‘learn to play ocarina’ niche.

[quote]An expert is someone with a high degree of skill or knowledge[/quote]

In Cambell’s case he has been playing ocarina’s for many years.

In the beginning he would have learned to play an ocarina from someone. He has bought, and probably sold, ocarina’s. He has found the best ocarina forums online. He has networked in the ocarina circles.

Cambell has accumulated a huge amount of ‘ocarina’ knowledge and skill over the years.

But, would people pay money for this knowledge?

Watch as Cambell demonstrates his skill…

[leadplayer_vid id=”517B526034CD8″]

Let’s Do Some Research

Using the Google Keyword Tool, I found that there are 1,500,000 monthly global searches for ‘ocarina’. The competition is low, and it has a $0.42 CPC (average cost per click you would need to pay if you bought traffic from Google).

The keyword phrase ‘how to play ocarina’ had 14,800 monthly global searches, low competition and a $0.37 CPC. If just 1% of the 14,800 searches ended up in a sale, that could be 148 sales per month.

Google Search TrendThe Google search trend is consistent over the last 12 months, with the majority of searches coming from the US for the keyword phrases ‘zelda ocarinas’, ‘songbird ocarinas’ and ‘ocarinas for sale’.

Amazon has over 3,000 results for ‘ocarinas’ with many having over 50 positive reviews. That means people are buying and selling within Amazon, but there are no how-to books.

eBay has over 2,000 active listings and a few ‘learning the ocarina’ books.

Searching YouTube, I found a user with the name ‘docjazz4’. He has an ocarina video with 6,350,943 views, and others with millions of views… Wow!

These stats are very good and shows that a huge amount of people are searching for ‘ocarina’ information online… And, they are buying and selling ocarina’s online. This is a very good sign, as there are many niches where people will research information online, but will do their buying offline.

How much money is in the niche? We have no idea, because there are no information products or membership sites to compare against. This could be seen as a red flag, but I believe that it’s because there are no ocarina experts with any marketing skills, until now. It reminds me of when I went into the model train niche. It was a similar situation and 4,000 ebooks later, with a 6 figure sale of the website… I think it turned out pretty well!

The other consideration, is that Cambell is passionate about playing ocarinas, so the process will be fun. It would probably make him even more of an ocarina expert. He also has YouTube videos which will provide content immediately.

Where To Start

The best place to start when you discover a niche like this, is to brainstorm some ideas. Here’s what Cambell came up with…

make money with your hobby

[box]I have brainstormed a heap of ideas for the content of my blog and videos, I just need some help with the implementation.

Should I begin to write some articles and the short guide now before getting the website domain and such? I guess it is better to have content ready before the site goes up, right?

My plan at the moment is to have some sort of beginner’s pack that people can buy from me that includes an ocarina (or perhaps a deal with an affiliated seller?), tunebook and beginner’s guide to learning the ocarina. I would also have the eBook available seperately.

There will be videos on YouTube and the blog on various topics that will serve as my subscriber base, with those that get to my website hopefully signing up for the mailing list to get a free product I offer.

I was thinking that I could perhaps conduct an ‘interview’ (probably via email) with David Ramos (Docjazz4) and use the interview information as my free product. New people are always crazy about David and Cris Gale and I could almost definitely get an interview with both of them.[/box]

Awesome job Cambell… The mindmap gives a nice big picture snapshot. And, as you think of ideas, or find resources, you can add them as you go.

Let’s talk about strategy…

What’s The Strategy?

The objective is to take your knowledge and skill of playing ocarinas, and make some money from it.

There are only 3 components needed for a successful business online.

  1. An authority blog.
  2. An audience.
  3. Products and services.

Your blog is where people find you. It’s your shop front and you own it. Nobody can take it away from you. I call it an authority blog because your aim should be to make it the best one-stop shop in the world for anything related to ocarinas. It’s an authority in the niche, it dominates!

Your audience are your raving fans. I’ll explain more later…

Products and services are needed to provide value to your audience. Your one-stop ocarina shop needs to provide the best ocarina deals available, the best how-to information available, the best ocarina community in the world, etc… Nothing less will do!

[quote]You only have a business when someone exchanges money for your product or service[/quote]

The Plan

The strategy gives you clarity and direction, but now you need to put all the pieces together.

Step 1 is to set up your authority blog…

authority-blogRyan Deiss has some great training on authority blogs, but I’ll give you a quick overview:

  1. Choose a domain that is more community focused. Something like ocarinaclub.com, ocarinaplayers.com, ocarinacommunity.com, etc.
    .
    This is because you don’t want the blog focused just around you. You want to be one of many contributors. This takes the pressure off you to be constantly writing and providing content…
    .
    It also paves the way for a paid monthly access to the community (membership site).
    .
  2. Think back to when you started (playing ocarinas) and list all the ‘how to’ information you needed. Then create detailed posts about these.
    .
  3. Create a resources page of all the best tutorials, places to buy and sell ocarinas, etc.
    .
  4. Create a page listing all of the top websites, Facebook pages, YouTube channels, etc. on ocarinas.
    .
  5. Install an optin form in the sidebar of your blog and at the end of each post. In the beginning you don’t need a bribe, just an opportunity to subscribe.
    .
  6. Add content on a daily basis. These could be YouTube videos, short or long articles, curation of other content, etc. Don’t worry about SEO (search engine optimization), that will come much later when Google gives you some analytics to work with.
    .
  7. Invite other experts to contribute (watch this video).

Get the Authority Hacks report here…

Step 2 is to find an audience…

Once you have an authority blog, the next step is to find an audience.

In the internet marketing game they call this getting traffic to your website. In my mind that conjures up images of thousands of people arriving at your site, of which 70% will bounce off in the first 30 seconds, and the other 30% aimlessly browse around looking for the free stuff. You don’t want that.Tribes by Seth Godin

You want an audience (or a tribe) that is captivated. They come to your site and subscribe within minutes. They can’t get enough of your information. Your conversion rates are high and they comment and interact.

They are raving fans!

Building an audience is slower, but the results are 10, 20, and sometimes 100 times better because you will connect with them at a deeper level.

Where do you find your audience? On Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, forums and more… Just do a search for ‘ocarina’. The people creating the video’s, the posts, the threads, the pictures, etc are your audience.

Find out about the Free Traffic loophole…

Step 3 is products and services…

You have the authority blog, your audience is building and now you need to add value.

You add value to people’s lives in the ocarina niche by finding them the best deals on new ocarinas, telling them where to find good 2nd hand ocarinas, advising them where the best how-to information is, offering your coaching services, and so on and so forth.

You want to genuinely help people. You might be making an affiliate commission on those sales. But, because you provide such immense value, people will want to make sure you are being credited as an affiliate for the sale.

It happens to me all the time. Subscribers to this blog will email me to make sure they are using my affiliate link before they purchase a product. Some subscribers email me saying they just bought through my affiliate link, so I can make sure I get credit. It’s wonderful, and I sincerely appreciate it.

But then I will happily help any subscriber one-on-one at no charge. It’s my way of providing massive value. I’ve also got cleverer about it and, instead of emailing back and forth with just the one person, I’ll do a post like this so all of my subscribers get to benefit from the information.

That’s the way to run a profitable online business, and one that you are proud of.

Anyone Can Do This

Anyone with a reasonable amount of knowledge and skills can apply this strategy and have a very successful online business… There are thousands of people around the world waiting to pay you for your expertise. You just have to step up and give them a reason to pay you…

Masako could do this with her marathon running knowledge.

Duncan could do this with his tango knowledge.

Joe could do this with his home work out and living in Asia knowledge.

Irwin could do this with his changing career at 30 knowledge.

John could do this with his sales and management knowledge.

Victoria and Andrew could do this with their knowledge and experience of caring for an ageing and frail dad.

Richard could do this with his knowledge for history.

Your job now, is to implement the above and give me some feedback.

Have Fun,
-Ian

Got any questions, comments or feedback? Please tell us in the comments area below this post. All comments are sincerely appreciated. They help us to help you.

If you liked this please hit the ‘Like’ button below or share this with your friends…

  • Owen

    Great tips here. Only thing that confuses me a bit is that you have used broad search instead of exact in the Keyword tool. If you believe in broad search for blogging, then what type of sites would you use exact search for? Or do you think thats not really that important.

    • Ian McConnell

      Hi Owen,

      The authority blog is just the store front online. It’s a way of casting a wide net to attract an audience, identify what people want and then giving them what they want.

      So, in the research stage, you just need to validate that the size of the market is worth your effort and give you content ideas. If you use exact match you will miss a huge amount of incredibly good data.

      You then build the blog based on good quality how-to information (no search engine optimization at all) and see what keyword phrases Google naturally ranks you for. You do this by looking at your Google Analytics. Traffic > Google organic traffic > keywords.

      Once Google tells you what keyword phrases they are naturally ranking you for, then you optimize those pages to improve conversions 1st and rankings 2nd.

      By doing this you work on your strengths.

      Have Fun,
      Ian

  • Hi Ian,

    I have my domain up and I’m writing my first ‘Authority Article’ at the moment. This is a very straight-forward guide to setting up a good blog.

    I did a search on The Ocarina Network for questions that new players had asked and created another mindmap on a few topics that I found. These questions get asked all the time, and so if I could produce an article that covers each question thoroughly, I could promote it as an authority on the subject. If I can do this, then it will get used on the ocarina network, possible as an official post!

    I’m sure that with the articles I write I can get an established group following me and the information I provide them, especially the large number of new players that are arriving on the scene today.

    Once I have a couple of articles up and checked by some fellow players, I will advertise the site on the ocarina network to build my tribe.

    As always, thank you Ian! I look forward to more of your insight as my site develops!

    p.s. How do I get my main blog page to show a summary of each post rather than the entire thing? I want my readers to click through to each page seperately, for tracking purposes.

    • Ian McConnell

      Hi Cambell,

      I tried loading http://www.theocarinarepository.com but it won’t load… I’ll try again later. It may not have syndicated around the world yet.

      The word repository in your domain is interesting… I don’t know if it will give your website a community feel though. I’m not a musician, but is repository a word commonly used in musician circles?

      My dictionary says the meaning of repository is an abundant source or supply of information… So I can understand your thinking about it being a one-stop destination for info on ocarinas.

      The problem is that it misses the mark with feeling like a warm, friendly ocarina community… and it is hard to spell (maybe that’s just me).

      Look at the domain TheOcarinaNetwork.com… it’s easy to remember, you can say the domain while being interviewed on the radio and people will get it. It also gives you that community feel of being surrounded by like-minded people.

      However… you can always buy a more brandable and easy to spell domain with a community feel later, and then redirect it to the repository.

      This is why these one-on-one case studies are so valuable, because I sometimes overlook small details like these, which could have a big impact on conversions and selling the site.

      Cambell, you should start by brainstorming (from step 1 to step 101 and onwards) everything that a beginner to ocarinas would want to know. Think of your own learning experience and what resources you wished you had at each stage.

      Then go to the forums and add to your list all the questions you find. This will give you content ideas for months and months… Then you have to get the content written, with videos or anything else that will make the reader go ‘wow, this is awesome’ when they read/watch/listen to the content.

      An ad on the forum will be okay, but your signature on all your forum threads will work even better, if they allow them. This is because the reader will be warm when arriving at your site. The ad will bring cold traffic.

      Warm traffic is when they read your comment/input on a forum thread. They like what you have to say (they have warmed up to you) and then when they click across to your website you have a much easier job converting them.

      Re the snippets on the home page, this is a setting in your theme.

      Well done on your progress and enthusiasm. I can’t wait to see your site and give you some more feedback.

      Have Fun,
      Ian

      • Hi Ian,

        I knew I’d get some questions about the domain name! I actually had this idea quite a long time ago and it has been circling around in my head. You see, The Ocarina Network is never typed or said in full on the forum, but is rather shortened to ‘TON’. I think you can probably see where I’m going with this. The majority of players are in their late teens and are a decidedly geeky bunch, according to the polls that the forum has run over the years, and so ThOR (as in the movies) should resonate very well with them. I have already run this past a few players and had a very good response. I plan on putting clickable links everywhere anyway, so most people will click the link, bookmark it and not have to type it anyway 🙂

        I’ll definitely see about changing it if and when I run into problems though! 🙂

        I will begin brainstorming the step-by-step process (I already have a few steps planned out) and set about writing my content now. It’s exciting! 😀

        Signatures are indeed allowed on the forum, and they will display nicely under my posts. I have thousands of posts there, so it will get a good viewing on most threads. People also know me quite well as an ‘authority’, so I have the credit there to back me up.

        I got the blog posts to summarise. I was using the wrong optimizepress template (‘Blog Template with full media’ rather than ‘Blog Template’). Thanks!

        ~Cam

        • Ian McConnell

          Hi Cambell,

          That makes complete sense… I didn’t even think of that!

          Your authority and credibility in the ‘TON’ forum has given you a 2 year head start… which is just awesome!

          Because you have this authority and credibilty already, it would be a good idea to set up a dedicated optin page on your home page, with a “Here’s What’s Coming Soon” and then bullet point everything your site will offer.

          Then, you can start building your subscriber list straight away. You can keep in daily contact with your subscribers, tell them what progress you are making, and ask them what they would like… Sounds like a winner to me!

          Have Fun,
          Ian

          • Hey Ian,

            I’m hoping it is catchy and ‘familiar’ enough that TON members will trust it from the get-go.

            I have my first article up and my opt-in page kind of ready. How do you get an opt-in form to work on the blog mainpage, like you have on here? Currently I am linking the page at the end of each article, but that won’t be as effective…

            I really want to get a following established quite quickly so they can grow naturally with the site and I can give them what they want from the start, rather than waste time writing articles that people don’t want to read, you know?

            Cheers,

            Cambell

            • Ian McConnell

              Hi Cambell,

              I couldn’t find the optin link at the end of your articles. Basic how-to information will always be welcome by beginners. Think of your own ocarina journey and write about the how-to basics.

              You also need to get all your YouTube videos on there. The site needs some work on the header and background but because it is new you are probably working on that.

              Have a look at http://declutterhowto.com/ for some design and layout ideas.

              You set the squeeze page as the home page by going to Settings > Reading > Front Page Display > Static Page > Your optin page.

              Have Fun,
              Ian

              • Hi Ian,

                I fixed the opt-in box in the sidebar, and Aweber is fully functional now 🙂

                I’m currently writing more articles and sorting out the layout, images, etc. of the site. Videos will be going up soon, as I am using my sheet music video in the sheet music post I am writing.

                I also have a logo in the works that I think will fit quite well 🙂

                Do you have any recommendations for plugins that I could use to sell a product? I would need to gather a separate lot of data on address, item specifics, etc. Is it better to create a sub-domain and then have a separate theme that is sales-specific?

                I have also set a matching FB page up to catch traffic that way.

                • Ian McConnell

                  Hi Cambell,

                  Your blog is coming along nicely…

                  Are you talking about widgets for the sidebar to sell stuff? If yes, then you shouldn’t have any. You should do the soft selling within the blog post. When you have more authority in the niche, you can then experiment with other monetization techniques.

                  Look at the above post for a good example of a soft sell… Always help first and then, if people want more, they can get access to the premium product.

                  Have Fun,
                  Ian

                  • Thanks Ian!

                    I was talking about a separate shop page with ocarinas, my book, and accessories for sale. I’ve been thinking about it and I’ll get that set up later, once the book is written and people are visiting (more importantly!). The soft-sell idea will work well I think, as one of the main features of ocarinas are the looks; people love buying good-looking ocs!

                    So far, I’ve had 38 site visits, with 13 unique visitors. This surprised me, since I have only told about 5 people about it, and it wasn’t on the days where it spiked.

                    I’ve been really busy this week, but I have 2 pages and a post in production, and when I take annual leave (two weeks starting monday) I whould have them up and running, and more of the site set up.

                    This is a very exciting project for me. I really hope I can get the site monetised sometime soon!

  • Just another comment. I forgot to tick the box for email updates on this post. ^_^;

  • Owen

    Makes sense, Ian.
    Do you have an upper and lower limit for the seed keyword?
    It will be interesting to see how the authority site goes for Cambell.

    • Ian McConnell

      Hi Owen,

      To put an exact upper and lower limit would eliminate many very profitable niches. It’s the ratio of global monthly searches to the competition in the niche, that is important.

      This is an extraordinary niche where there is a very large search volume with low, and almost non-existent, competition.

      There are many little gold mines like this on the web, it really is amazing and exciting!

      Cambell has the perfect environment for a very successful business… Ocarina playing skill, knowledge, passion for the instrument, an aged forum profile with thousands of posts, and marketing skill…

      The only way he won’t make more than I did from model trains, is if he doesn’t put the effort in.

      Have Fun,
      Ian

  • Joe

    Great post! I wished I’d paid more attention in music class at school now!

    This post really shows the value of having a hobby or developing a skill and how the time invested in it can pay you back in the future (by building a business around it).

    Campbell has gotten off to a great start. The site looks good and it seems like your standing in the forums will help you get going quickly.

    Now its my turn to get started I guess!

    Good luck everyone!

  • Hi Cambell

    How is TheOcarinaRepository.com going?

    I read your interview with Ross Dubois, which was very well done. There are many ways you can further leverage that interview with some content syndication (social shares, press release, create a video from it, podcast, etc.).

    Did you want to comment below and give us an update on what you have done, and what you intend doing in the next week or next month on your website. It will be good as a catch up and I can then provide some feedback and pointers.

    We all want you to succeed…

    Have Fun
    Ian

    • Hi Ian!

      The site is going well! I appreciate you following along! I’m glad you think the interview went well. I used the interview pointers report available free on your website 🙂

      I have a Facebook Page set up for the website that I use to generate traffic from my Facebook ocarina friends (who are recommending their friends! 😀 ) I’d love if you could tell me whether you are able to find it easily. (Same name as the site)

      What exactly do you mean by content syndication, Ian? I have a whole series of interviews in the same format lined up from the absolute experts in the field (3 more are lined up with 2 already having replied with answers! They love the idea!). I am planning other articles to do with beginner topics but I have had a hold up in the past month with university exams. Back on track now though!

      Before I forget, I’m having trouble utilising my Aweber… people aren’t subscribed (I think I have 4 people!) and so I don’t know whether it’s worth it…

      I really appreciate the feedback and input Ian. It’s really helping me stay focused and improve my site. Thank you!

      • Hi Cambell,

        That Facebook page looks good…

        You can learn more about content syndication from James Schramko at:
        http://www.superfastbusiness.com/traffic/content-assault/

        People are not subscribing because your optin copy is not compelling enough. You need to think about your visitor… What can you give them for free that will get them to optin?

        Have a look at other website where you have gladly given up your email in exchange for the free gift, etc.

        Have Fun
        Ian

        • Ok, so I checked my Aweber subscribers today and I now have 10! 🙂 I know that’s not many in real terms, but it’s a start! I have a tribe! What’s interesting is that there are a couple of pretty big names in the ocarina world in there. Is there some way I can target these people?

          Do you only send out updates on new articles to subscribers?

          I’m glad the FB page is looking good. Most of my traffic is coming from there, apparently, so I am focusing on it as a traffic source. I have 36 ‘likes’ on the page, all of which get my updates. How can I make the links and write-up more compelling?

          The content syndication link and the new prolific creation video from Market Samurai are both really good. I have a pretty good plan now for content and how to get it seen by lots of people.

          A friend gave me the idea of reviewing other people playing the ocarina and techniques they use, giving tips on how to emulate it or interesting points, really nice performances, etc. Such a great idea, which I am in the process of implementing at the moment. I know I would like that content, so I think others will too.

          Cheers Ian!

          Cambell

          • Hi Cambell,

            10 optins is a great start… Now you have a conversion rate you can only improve from… Make your optin box look better, add a compelling reason to optin and your conversions could be 10 times better. Check out Hybrid-Connect for ideas.

            Yes, you can target anybody on your list. Just look in your Aweber account for the list of subscribers with their name, address, IP address, etc.

            You can send whatever you want to these people… Just look at my emails for ideas, or model someone else that sends emails that you like. You should treat your subscribers as individuals (don’t ever write as if you are talking to a group) and with a BIG willingness to help them get to where they want to.

            You make your writing compelling by looking at what compels you to act and then model it…

            Reviewing, coaching and critiquing other people will always be a winner because people can take the info and apply it to their own ocarina journey.

            Have Fun
            Ian

            • If anyone hasn’t read the ‘Authority Hacks’ report, you really should. I just read the reports that you get and the information makes so much sense. I am going to implement the guest writing strategy – there are lots of people that are willing to write for free (I’ve already been asked) so I want to utilise that.

              The Aweber optin will be sorted as soon as I can get around to it 🙂 I only realised now the importance of putting the call to action at the bottom of each post – it really is important! I will be working on a free product, but the opt-in will have to suffice for now.

              I had a kind of ‘Aha!’ lunchtime… A few things just clicked together and I have a clear idea of where to head now.

              One thing I am still slightly cloudy on, however, is getting the authority site monetised. I will be making a beginner’s guide soon, but what kind of things do you sell on a monthly basis? (I don’t think a membership will work in the ocarina niche, but I will try!).

              I’m really excited about this again! 😀

  • Hi Cambell,

    For monetization you should re-read step 3 in the post (above)…

    Think about where you have spent money with your ocarina journey and how you can offer all those products and services (and more) on your site.

    Snippet from step 3…

    “You add value to people’s lives in the ocarina niche by finding them the best deals on new ocarinas, telling them where to find good 2nd hand ocarinas, advising them where the best how-to information is, offering your coaching services, and so on and so forth…”

    Have Fun,
    Ian