Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

This is my blueprint to make my first $1 online in 2022 — roast me

Three unsual tips for starting an online biz on the side this year

It’s scary, but I’m going to admit it right here:

I will make my first $1 online in 2022.

It doesn’t sound like much. But it’s a big deal to me — because I’ve failed before, and because I can’t afford to fail again.

More on that in a second.

But this idea, of making just $1 online, comes from Justin Welsh, who is building a portfolio of one-person businesses to $5M in revenue. He says:

“The challenge is that most people will never make their first $1 online because they are too focused on how to make $1,000,000 online.

Start with $1, then worry about $1M.”

So here’s my plan to make that first $1. We can think about those other numbers later…

Don’t make the same 5 mistakes I did

Like many, I’ve had a few flopped side gigs— drop shipping, YouTube-ing, selling online nutrition plans.

Each venture fell overbecause I made one (or more) of the following five mistakes:

  1. Afraid of appearing sleazy or salesey
  2. Not clear about the problems I solved
  3. Failed to add heaps of value before asking for money
  4. Didn’t have a decent network or audience I could leverage
  5. Too focussed on going really big and being really successful, instead of helping one person solve one problem.

If you’re struggling with any of those things — I’‘ve been there.

Here are three ideas about how to make it work this time around.

1. Create in public

“Document, don’t create.” — Gary Vee

Sorry to quote G.V, but here’s a truth to live by:

You don’t need to deliver the perfect product or service from day one.

If you woke up tomorrow and started posting content on LinkedIn like an ‘expert’, trying to be a thought-leader or authority overnight, your network would be like “…WTF man?!”

Instead, why not share the journey?

That’s why I’m telling everyone, “I’m trying to make $1 online this year.”

By sharing this goal, I’m:

  • creating an accountability mechanism
  • getting rid of the need to be perfect right away
  • letting people buy into the journey, so they can provide support + feedback

Ultimately, I hope this’ll help me develop and deliver something of tangible value that actually solves someone’s problem.

TL;DR: Share the journey to let others help you succeed.

2. Test Hypotheses

“You win by trying. And failing. Test, try, fail, measure, evolve, repeat, persist…” — Seth Godin

What’s the number one piece of advice for earning money on the internet?

Niche down!”

They all say it. But I’m not going to do it.

You know why?

In the early stages of any venture, you don’t really know what you do, who you help, or what problems you solve.

I think a better way is to start with a hypothesis and test it.

I’ve got a couple ideas about problems, people have, that I think I can solve.

But I want to be sure. So I’m going to test them out by sharing content around those problems and my proposed solution for a set period (say 60 days) and see whether I’m right.

Here’s my current hypothesis:

  • Who: mid-career professionals, especially those in conservative professions like law and accounting,
  • Problem: they recognise the value of creating an online personal brand and posting content, but struggle to get started because they: (i) don’t have the skills (copywriting, sales, marketing) (ii) have misconceptions about personal branding (it’s sleazy, you need a massive audience) and (iii) just don’t have time to create heaps of content
  • Solution: Simple tips to break down the barriers to sharing your first posts online, and simple frameworks for building an online brand

This might not be the thing that people want.

So I’m going to create content around these problems, and relevant to this offering, and see how it performs.

TL;DR: Instead of niche hunting, pick one potential business idea and test it out.

3. Build a Purple Cow

“The key to success is to find a way to stand out — to be the purple cow in a field of monochrome Holsteins.” — Seth Godin

Most content online is shallow and repetitive.

After a while, all the Twitter platitudes about personal branding look the same.

One of my biggest fears is that I’ll become just another digital hustler, selling the dream with endless empty one liners.

There’s only one way to avoid that dark possibility:

Create a Purple Cow.

“The essence of Purple Cow is that you must create something remarkable. You see…something remarkable is worth talking about. Worth noticing. Exceptional. New. Interesting. It’s a Purple Cow. Boring stuff is invisible. It’s a brown cow.” — Seth Godin

If you can create a purple cow, you’ll never be afraid to sell it. You’ll never be hustling or marketing or sleazy or salesey.

Instead, you’ll be saying “hey, I built this, and I think it’s cool — and I think you will too!”

There are plenty of ways to create a Purple Cow — see this post for more info.

My personal plan to make myy offer stand out is to back it up with hard, scientific evidence.

Rooted in research

So many courses and e-books on the internet are just fluff.

Instead of being grounded in rigorously tested principles, they rely on the proof of their founders.

But getting a six pack doesn’t qualify you to teach nutrition, and making a million on crypto doesn’t mean you’re a financial adviser.

To avoid the bro science and money madness, I’m planning to bring a research-based perspective to my offer.

That means applying the science of marketing, psychology and business administration to the concept of personal branding.

You can do this to stand out in any niche. For example:

  • Author Morgan Housel applied research-backed psychology principles to finance and economics, creating a Purple Cow with his best-selling book ‘The Psychology of Money’
  • Fitness O.G Layne Norton stands out from the crowed by sharing evidenced based nutrition and training tips and has sold thousands of great programs and courses on this concept.

Weirdly enough, referencing research is a differentiator in the online marketplace. And it’s a great way to overcome any of your fears about being a hustler or a sleazy salesman.

(You can, of course, pick your own purple cow — this is just the one that works for me).

TL;DR: To create something really worth someone’s dollar, look for ways to differentiate your product until it’s a Purple Cow.

Wrap up

Here’s my unconvential plan to earn $1 online in 2022

  1. Create in public
  2. Test hypotheses
  3. Build a Purple Cow

See you again on Thursday!



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