“Money for nothin’ and chicks for free.”
Iconic lyrics from Dire Straights.
I’ll leave the chicks for free bit alone. Let our “dating” niche colleagues cover it.
I’d like to discuss money for nothin’ from the internet as best as I can.
I’m not a lazy person, but I tip my hat off to lazy folks looking to make money.
Before I weigh in on the lazy person’s options, let me point out two ironies.
First, lazy people have an advantage. If they’re truly lazy and stick to their value of doing as little as possible, they will only do the bare minimum which means they’ll focus on the one or few tasks that get results. While fuelled by laziness, it’s also smart.
Second, lazy people better watch out because they just might turn into hard workers without realizing it. Many-a IMrs have. Here’s what happens. They start making money one way or another, end up liking the process and results and so they get hooked. Before you know it, they’re pulling 10+ hour days. It’s not a bad thing; just an observation.
But let’s assume our lazy IMrs will stick to their value of making money working as little as possible.
What’s the best approach?
It’s not easy to answer because if it were, a lot more people would not be working.
Before setting out concrete examples, let’s discuss the most important element for anyone to make money with the least amount of work.
I’m talking about LEVERAGE.
The lazy person must use leverage in order to make money not working.
Leverage comes in many forms. Branding is a big one which is developed with personality, engaging content, or a great product protected by patent… something where results far exceed inputs.
Think celebrities and the trunkfuls of cash they get for 30 second commercials, magazine spreads, Instagram photos and wearing brands. Millions for one day of work is not because they make the commercial in one take. They get millions because they’re a brand.
Leverage can also be harnessed via systems or processes. While effective, I’m going to focus on branding because it’s a better option for the lazy person.
Let’s go through some examples.
I think it’s safe to assume most people reading this are not prepared to file a patent so we can rule that option out. If I’m wrong, good on ya. Hire lawyers and get that sucker filed. There’s a reason Big Pharma is so profitable; they get to protect their products with patents.
A. Build a Brand
The lazy person, if going the self-branding personality route, must not be afraid to put themselves out there in the public.
Brands aren’t built over night, but once developed, leverage opportunities are awesome.
You can brand a company or yourself.
1. Corporate branding is generating content people like no matter who produces it. Think Imgur, The Onion, Buzzfeed. These sites don’t have a face to it. Content is contributed. The sites are the gatekeeper.
2. Personality content. These are sites/YouTube channels/Instagram feeds where people like reading/watching/looking at the opinions, ideas and experiences of the person behind it. The blogger is the brand.
The lazy person’s better option is personality branding. Creating a corporate brand is hard work, but a person can develop a personality brand with one awesome piece of content that goes viral.
The magic of branding
The magic is attracting followers, readers, subscribers by virtue of the brand (backed by something cool).
The operative word is “attracting”.
It’s FAR easier to attract than promote. Therein lies the secret for lazy profits. Leverage stems from attraction.
It gets better…
When you attract readers/followers/subscribers, they will engage. They will click social media posts, open emails and best of all, buy buy buy.
For example, how often do you open your emails from some mega corporation? I bet hardly ever. I never do.
On the flip side, how often do you open emails from personalities you like? If you’re like me, you open them nearly 100% of the time.
Once the personality brand is developed, they can sell like gangbusters, including digital courses. A business is born.
Platforms to build a personality brand
The platform (blog, YouTube, social media) doesn’t matter.
Use what works.
It can be a blog for written content. YouTube channel for videos. Instagram feed for photos. Use the medium that fits best with content or use all 3.
This is the best option when you have no money to invest.
B. Sell Great Software
Building a personality brand is best because there’s no investment required.
However, if you have some money, coming up with a software concept and having it developed can be a very good and easy way to make huge money.
In this case the product is branded.
Because it’s a digital product, margins a grossly high.
As sales grow, much of the business can be outsourced.
While promotion is critical, that too can be outsourced.
The lazy person’s sole job is thinking of ways to keep making the software better… and even this can be outsourced.
Sure, there’s some upfront work, but the right lazy person with a knack for setting up systems, can stick to lazy values while making a fortune.
C. Set Up Systems
There are so many online models where systems can earn profits for lazy folks.
It can be:
- content mills,
- SEO services,
- Writing services,
- specialty websites such as job boards, real estate listings, directories,
- E-commerce sites (need superior systems).
The systems for these online businesses require other people to run things; with every part of the delivery process broken down into pieces, each piece performed by a person or persons. Together it’s a symphony of digital delivery. If running smoothly, the lazy person can fulfil their dream.
Anything resembling a factory but in digital form can be highly profitable with well planned and executed systems.
There you have it. 3 options to make a fortune online if you’re lazy
You choose the option that best fits you.
Are you a great writer, funny on video, have great ideas or opinionated? Build a content brand.
Do you have a good idea for software people or businesses need? Develop it.
Are you a systems person? Organized? Like streamlining processes? Set up efficient systems and let those systems run on their own.
Think, Plan and Test
One of my biggest failings but also contributed to my modest success is that I fire then aim. I’ve applied a lot of horsepower into failed projects because I failed to plan.
The lazy person must think about the best model for them and then plan it out. This will minimize effort, resources and shorten the time to profits.
Once a plan is in place, tests can help dictate chances of success.
For content, this could be test content concepts published on other platforms with large readerships such as Medium, Tumblr, Facebook. If highly engaging, it’s a winner.
For software products, a minimum viable version can be a good way to start.
For systems, prototypes should be tested before the system if ramped up.
Which lazy methods do I Pursue?
I do all 3.
Even though I’m not lazy, I kinda do all three models. I could be lazier than I am. My biggest problem is I don’t excel at any one model yet. I’m a slow learner, but it’s coming. One day I’ll be lazy. It’s retirement.
I do know most people can do this stuff better than me. Many actually do.
My half-assed efforts at a lazy fortune
Fat Stacks is a personal brand to an extent. I’m out there. That’s my real name. The content is based on my broader blogging business. Return visit rates are decent so people want to read what I have to say. People open emails probably at better rates than generic corporation emails.
While I don’t develop software, I promote a lot of it across my niches and while profits aren’t as good if I developed it, affiliate commissions are good. I earn well into 5 figures per month promoting software.
My “corporate branded” niche blogs churn out content daily. I’m not much involved; I have content concepts and systems in place. I oversee the operation so it’s not like I can disappear for 2 years, but the overall work level on my part is minimal.
The stage is yours
The internet is a stage.
If you go the personal branding route, you become a performer in words, opinions, art, antics or whatever you do to engage.
The hardest part is coming up with a personality concept that will work its magic. Once you do, have fun getting famous.
As for selling software and setting up systems; not so exciting, but both viable models for lazy entrepreneurs if executed well.
Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes.
Hyperbole? Maybe, but go check it out to see what some readers say.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.