Last Updated on April 21, 2020 by James McAllister

By: James McAllister

8 Comments

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It’s amazing how different two businesses can be, even if they’re within the same market, serving the same customers.

The right business has the power to build your dream life, making you excited to get up and work each day. The wrong business can make you so miserable, you’d do anything to get rid of it – even if it’s making you a lot of money.

You may have been told how you need to have a natural interest in the market you’re working in. What’s often neglected however is whether or not you’ll enjoy the day-to-day tasks involved with running your specific type of business.

After all, the day-to-day work involved with manufacturing and selling saxophone accessories, vs. running a business teaching others to play saxophone online will be drastically different – even though these people will likely serve the same customers.

If you’re planning to start a new business, I want to make the case for building something content-based – something like a blog, YouTube channel, or podcast (better yet, building a complete personal brand involving all of them.) While these business can take longer to build up, the numerous benefits I’m about to list more than make up for it!

Before We Begin, What Exactly Do I Mean By ‘Content-Based Businesses?’

Simply put, I’m talking about digital, online businesses that are centered around content marketing.

For example…

  • Personal brands
  • Blogs
  • YouTube channels
  • Podcasts
  • Freelancers or agencies (utilizing content to attract clients.)
  • Or a combination of these!

These businesses can be ran from anywhere, at any time, and do not typically require you to be at specific places at specific times (unless you structure things that way.)

This is different to other types of online businesses, that still may require you to maintain a physical office, manually ship orders, and hire local employees to scale.

There is nothing wrong with these types of online businesses. However, if you want to build a dream life rather than simply making a lot of money, these businesses will not work for you in the long-term.

Let’s discuss some of the benefits of content-based businesses in detail.

1. Low Risk, High Reward

Although content-based businesses are ideal regardless of your level of entrepreneurial experience, there’s perhaps no better choice for a beginner.

This is about as low risk as you can get – with an upside that’s near limitless.

No, you won’t  be taking your company public and racking in billions of dollars, but it’s certainly possible to make more than enough to fund an extravagant lifestyle.

Businesses can be started for as little as $50. There’s no need to take out a second mortgage on your home or put your life savings in risk in order to fund your venture.

At the same time, there is practically no overhead – if things take a little while to get off of the ground, you don’t lose anything but your time.

See: Starting An Online Business – What To Buy, Broken Down By Budget

On the other end, there is no real limit to how much money you can make. There are marketers pulling in tens of millions of dollars per year, with relatively low operating expenses.

Which brings me to another key benefit.

2. Income Tends To Grow Exponentially Over Time

These types of businesses are not very volatile.

One new competitor will not be able to enter your market and wipe you out. Changes in the economy won’t send you crumbling – even if income happens to drop for a little while.

Typically however, that’s not the case.

Content-based business tend to grow exponentially over time, as more people discover your content and become a part of your ecosystem.

If often takes longer to make the first $250 / month, then to quadruple that up to $1,000 / month.

It’s kind of insane to think about.

Going back to the saxophone market example earlier, think about this. If you build a blog around playing saxophone and you manage to attract a loyal reader, you will retain them for a long period of time. They may end up consuming hundreds of pieces of content from you. Every time you offer a new product for sale or run any sort of promotion, they are a potential buyer. Even if they don’t buy, they are likely to share your content with other people that are likely to be interested in it.

The more traction you get, the easier it becomes to continue growing. You are constantly reaching a bigger and better level – which makes running the business very exciting!

3. Content-Based Businesses Scale More Efficiently

This is best explained with an example. Compare and contrast the following scenarios:

eCommerce Store:

Your number of orders suddenly double, and you’re pulling in twice as much revenue. To fulfill the increased order volume, you have to ship out double the number of products, hire additional staff, deal with double the customer service inquiries, and perhaps even pay for a larger workplace to fulfill the orders. You’ll also have to place larger orders with your supplier in order to keep an acceptable level of stock on hand, and find a place to store all of it.

With a larger workplace and additional staff, your utilities go up, and you’re more likely for employees to get in conflicts with each other. You also have more paperwork to deal with, you’re more likely to get sued, and the number of odds-and-ends issues shoot up.

Yeah, you’re pulling in double the revenue, but a chunk of that goes straight out the window. Revenue does not equate to profit.

I’ve experienced this first hand, because I’ve ran this type of business (but don’t worry, I’ve never been sued 😉 )

Content-Based Business:

Your number of orders doubles. This could be digital products you offer yourselves such as (books, courses, or membership sites) or products you’re promoting as an affiliate.

Nothing changes, except for an increase in customer service inquiries. Your margins essentially remain the same, and most of what you keep is profit.

Which of these two sound more desirable to you?

4. You Get To Meet A Lot Of Wonderful People

One of my favorite things about running my blog is the amount of wonderful friends I’ve been able to make over the years.

These people are my customers and members of my community, but also other bloggers and entrepreneurs themselves.

It’s truly incredible being able to connect with so many other people that think similarly to you, and resonate with the messages and values you have to share.

I can’t describe how neat it is to be able to send a tweet out at 2 A.M on a weekday asking a question, and getting several responses in a matter of minutes. Or to let your audience know you’ll be traveling to a certain city, and meeting up with one of your followers that happens to live there.

These benefits are intangible, but honestly invaluable. This is not something money can buy you, and it’s incredibly rewarding.

Not to mention, the opportunities that other entrepreneurs in your space can bring you are plentiful and valuable as well. I owe so much of my success to my circle of entrepreneurial friends, and I am truly thankful for all of them.

Build a name in your space, and you will surely experience all of the same things!

5. Location Independence

At the end of 2019, my girlfriend flew out from Washington to California to see a concert. Because we were already in the area, we decided to spend 3 days at Disneyland as well.

I made a realization during that trip that inspired me to write this article:

Regardless of how much money you’re making, you’re not truly free if the business requires your presence.

You may call yourself a business owner, but the reality for so many is that the business actually ends up owning them.

During that trip and still today, I own two eCommerce brands. I also run my personal brand here on this website.

While I was at Disneyland, I did absolutely nothing to keep my personal brand running. All content was scheduled out in advance, and one of my virtual assistants handled all customer service inquiries. I still responded to social media, but that is because I wanted to – not because I had to.

However, it was about 4 PM on our first day when I received a text message stating that there was an issue at our office, and the eCommerce companies needed my attention. Angrily, I had to leave, go back to the hotel, remote connect to my office computer, and deal with the issue.

It was at that moment I realized that the eCommerce companies can never give you true freedom – even if you hire a manager.

But content-based businesses? Go anywhere and enjoy life for as long as you’d like – you’re in control.

(Funny story – When we went back to the park, we happened to have ran into YouTube star Loey Lane, who basically confirmed everything I just mentioned – she goes to Disneyland all the time!)

6. These Businesses Will Survive The Long-Term

The problem with so many entrepreneurs today is that they set themselves up for short-term wins, while ignoring the long-term sustainability of their companies.

We see this commonly in the tech sector (where products today may be obsolete next year), but we also see this in the internet marketing space as well.

Think of all the people building businesses on platforms like Amazon, Udemy, eBay, or Etsy.

These platforms may be very profitable today, but they’re not your own. You would not be building up your own customer base – you’d be building up the platforms.

And unfortunately, these platforms really don’t care all that much about any individual seller. They can and will shut you down at a moment’s notice, leaving you with nothing.

In other words, you’d be screwed.

You cannot build a lifestyle around a business that you do not truly control. Because one day, the rug will be pulled out from underneath you – if the platform’s competition hasn’t already rendered you obsolete first.

I am not trying to fear monger – but I have known far too many people who have essentially had their entire business – years worth of work, erased overnight, without any warning whatsoever.

I beg you not to become one of those people.

It is far better to build a business more slowly that will actually last, than to achieve quick profit, but have it dry up even quicker.

While running blogs, podcasts, or personal brands, you can sleep comfortably at night knowing that things will only continue to get better.

It’s very comforting.

It is far better to build a business more slowly that will actually last, than to achieve quick profit, but have it dry up even quicker. Click to Tweet

Conclusion

Content-based businesses are not the best for every entrepreneur. It’s important to analyze whether or not any business model is something you’d actually enjoy and be good at, before committing to it.

However, if you’re on the fence, I would strongly encourage you to think more about what I’ve shared with you before making a decision. No other type of business offers such an incredible level of freedom, which is why I consider it to be the ultimate business model for capable and willing entrepreneurs.

If you want to fast-track your success, I highly recommend checking out the courses on blogging and building a winner’s mindset in particular, as they’re well suited to content-based businesses of all types.

And of course, if there’s ever anything that I can help with, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

To your success,

– James McAllister

About the author 

James McAllister

James is the owner of JamesMcAllisterOnline.com. He started his first blog at the age of 11, and has since gone on to start several successful businesses. In total, these businesses have sold hundreds of thousands of units and have touched millions of lives. Here on JamesMcAllisterOnline.com, he shares his knowledge that brought him to where he is today. If you want to connect with James, follow him on your favorite social networks!

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  1. The key with content is that it work for you and it ages like vine becoming better and better.

    If you can get to the point where you’re growing in business even when not working, then you’ve made it.
    Then the only question is how fast do you want to get to your goal?

    If it’s really fast ,then you’ll have to buckle up again, to double the efforts your business brings on it’s own. And also, this flywheel effect compounds over time, like you mentioned, James.
    P.S.

    Hey James, I love reading your articles. They’re very inspiring and you have a knack for storytelling that lifts the spirit.

      (Quote)

    1. Hey Nikola! Sorry for taking so long to get back to you.

      Very well said. It’s an excellent business model – the work that you do today pays dividends for years and years into the future, leading to steady growth over time. Eventually, you’re able to take the foot off of the pedal and still accelerate.

      This is why when it comes to blogging, running a channel, podcast etc – any progress is good progress. I’ll take slow consistent growth over sporadic traffic spikes any day!

        (Quote)
      James McAllister recently posted…What To Do When Business Progress Feels SlowMy Profile

  2. Hey James,
    Great post as always.
    Would be pushing it too much if I said content- phased businesses are the future of online businesses?
    It is interesting that you say that although no other type of business offers such an incredible level of freedom as content-based businesses, yet they are not suited for every entrepreneur. A real conundrum. Isn’t it? Sometimes, we’ve got to jump and grow wings on the way down 😎
    But seriously, as you rightly said, it is important to analyze whether or not any business model is something one would actually enjoy and be good at, before committing to it!
    Thanks for sharing.
    Best,
    Pedro

      (Quote)

    1. Hey Pedro! It’s great to see you and I do apologize for taking so long to get back to your comment.

      I definitely think we’ll see content marketing pushed more heavily in the coming years. New entrepreneurs will make content the core part of their business, and existing companies will increase their output of content as well.

      I think that we can gain a real advantage now by scaling our content production early, before bigger companies with larger budgets come in and start cranking it out. Fortunately, we still have a lot of opportunity to grab our piece of internet real estate and insulate ourselves from the increased competition we’re likely to see in the future!

        (Quote)
      James McAllister recently posted…8 Gadgets That Will Make Your Entrepreneurial Life More EnjoyableMy Profile

  3. I definitely think we’ll see content marketing pushed more heavily in the coming years. New entrepreneurs will make content the core part of their business, and existing companies will increase their output of content as well.

    satta

      (Quote)

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