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    gold rush

    During the California Gold Rush, beginning in 1848 when John Sutter discovered gold while building a water for a mill on his California property, California’s population boomed. During 1848 and 1849, the influx of settlers exploded from 400 to 90,000.

    Gold mining towns sprung up all over. Shops, brothels, saloons were set up to make money of their own. And while estimates are that over 1700 pounds of gold were dug up, gold mining was not the road to riches that the new settlers envisioned.

    (Sutter, in fact, went bankrupt in 4 years, because his property was overrun and livestock stolen.)

    Who DID make money, besides the relatively few settlers who did find (and keep!) their gold?

    The people who served the miners.

    Ever heard of Levi Strauss? Yes, THAT Levi – the jeans guy.

    He opened a wholesale dry goods business in 1853 and partnered with one of his customers in 1872 to make heavy cotton work pants with rivets in the pocket corners. Marketed as “waist high overalls”, Levi Strauss & Co. became a success that endures to this day.

    And a guy named Sam Brannon – who basically kicked off the gold rush by bragging about an early find – decided not to look for more gold.

    He bought up equipment the miners would need and resold at a huge markup. He became California’s first millionaire, selling up to $5000 PER DAY in goods to would-be miners. (That’s about $155,000 per day in 2020 dollars) 

    How does a historic gold rush relate to making money online?

    You can make money by serving other people who want to use the internet to make money.

    Take what you learn, the skills you develop, and offer those as a service to other people. What you can do for yourself – do for someone else. Especially local businesses.

    The people you know who adjust backs or fix leaky toilets or replace roofs did NOT learn marketing as part of learning their trade, as a rule. 

    They don’t know why backlinks are important – they don’t even know what one IS. 

    They may know they need a website, but they don’t understand what makes a good one. They don’t understand SEO or copywriting or site structure or any of the components that are needed to build a site that makes them money.

    Here are some of the digital marketing skills that other people will pay you to do:

    • Build websites
    • Run ad campaigns (Ads, Facebook, YouTube)
    • Create videos
    • Optimize websites
    • Offer hosting
    • Get sites to rank higher (SEO)
    • Write articles and website copy
    • Email marketing
    • Social media management

    There are many more, and many specializations within those ideas. 

    Advantages to offering online expertise as a service

    Low(er) competition:
    Especially if your focus is local, you’re less likely to be competing with large national firms. And many business owners like the local, personal touch – they want to work with someone they can meet for coffee to discuss plans.

    (Of course you CAN work nationally too – many digital marketers have clients in other cities, states, or countries. You are not restricted by geography.)

    Inexpensive to start and operate:
    You don’t need inventory – and you probably have a computer anyway! You may already own some of the software and other tools you’ll need, too. Payment is often upfront, depending on the service. If you need help, there are many ways to find good freelance workers.

    Can be run from home:
    Related to the above, you typically don’t need a storefront, so no need to rent, furnish or pay utilizes for a commercial space. And no commute! 

    Can be run part-time:

    You can set your own hours and take on customers as time permits. Many online tasks can be operated around kids’ schedules or your day job. In fact, it’s smart to start slowly anyway, as you figure out your own pricing, marketing and processes. 

    Higher profit-margins:

    Some digital service businesses have very high profit margins, so you can begin making a profit almost immediately. For example, the actual tools to build a website are few and much of the software is free.

    And you get paid immediately, for doing the work itself, not for the results of the work (well, unless your business model is selling leads.)

    Disadvantages to offering online expertise as a service

    Shiny object syndrome:

    It is very tempting to buy training, and software, and courses to do X Y or Z better, faster or cheaper. There’s always some “shiny” new tool or or money-making idea. 

    If you don’t stay focused, you can piddle away a lot of your profits as well as your time.


    Some people need the stimulation of having colleagues and feel isolated or depressed when working alone, from home.

    Being self-employed isn’t easy:

    This is your own business; you’re in charge of bookkeeping and supplies and answering the phone and keeping up with your calendar or replying to emails, at least if you start as a solo entrepreneur.

    You need to learn to sell:
    Related to the above, you need to talk to people and market your services. This may mean joining networking groups, cold calling, or running your own ads online. 

    Some of this can be done online – perhaps you post in Facebook groups and get prospects that way – but some time and effort must be devoted to selling.

    Specific ideas using YIVE tools and training:

    SEO is a great service to offer that fits well with many of our tools and training. 

    YIVE Ranker is specifically designed to build backlinks to websites. Learn how to do keyword research (there’s training in this Forum), and then run monthly backlink campaigns based on what you learn.

    Using YIVE Sites, you can build a network of sites and automatically generate content on which to run ads for a company, link to their website, or sell their products directly.

    Using YIVE Video, you can create informative and engaging videos that business owners can use on their sites or in their social media marketing. You can even upload those videos to channels such as YouTube or our own StreamMachine.tv.

    In short, it can be more profitable, more quickly, to offer what you know as a service. Become adept at a particular skill or two and help business owners who desperately need what you know.

    Suggested reading:

    Local Client Services Business Model

    How to Make Money with Local Clients If You Don’t Know Digital Marketing


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