Something hit me while I was doing research for a new article on one of our niche websites. Being a small internet business really has advantages for a lot of things. What I was doing was keyword research. I wanted to come up with a keyword-rich title that didn’t have a lot of competition for an article I was writing. It’s just going to bring in a trickle of traffic compared to that overall niche market even if I’m right and we rank #1 for that term. The research and the writing took about an hour total and somewhere during that time I had an epiphany.
Would a bigger company be able to do that? Probably not. A larger company, even with a good online department, likely couldn’t spend their time doing it. They might add it to their list of pay per click advertising terms to get an ad shown. But creating content for terms like those can’t possibly bring them enough revenue. Sure they could outrank me if they wanted to but it’s just not worth it. By the time they pay for the salary, benefits, office space, and IT infrastructure for their webmasters, marketers, writers, lawyers, and managers, they’d be knee deep in a monetary hole.
Small businesses like us, with just one or two people, can afford to go after the little fish though. The median family income in the U.S. was about $50,000 last year. It’s obviously less than that for an individual. Assuming a 40 hour work week and 2 weeks of vacation, that comes out to $25 an hour. Could the one or two wage earners in your family bring in $25 total by working on your small internet business for an hour? Sure! Remember, it could bring in money over the course of an entire year. So even $2 a month makes you about even. A single affiliate sale or lead might do that too.
That $25 still isn’t realistic you say. Well, it obviously depends on how you spend that hour. Let’s say your article is meant for a guest post. You get a link and some traffic from it. The truth is that traffic compounds, subscriptions compound, and the link helps your whole website including all of your other articles in the search engine rankings. So make sure you account for the residual effects of your efforts.
When you do an hour of work for an employer you get paid for an hour. Doing it for yourself potentially pays you over and over again. That one article might bring in $25 a year for the next five years. Mmm… residual income…
There’s also the speed issue. When you decide to do something new at 3:30 PM, you could start working on it at 3:31 PM. Nothing happens that quickly as the size of a company grows. You’ll have to ask marketing for this, IT for that, and get management buy in. That takes a lot less time when I’m marketing, IT, and management. I tend to agree with myself.
It’s not likely they’ll care about your niche as much as you do either. That passion and knowledge might as well triple the size of your resources. It isn’t a big deal to work hard on something you love because, well, it isn’t really work. You’d probably do it for free because you like it so much. How many employees at an average company would do the same?
Sticking it to the man.
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