Welcome to the Future
Hello, and welcome to 2020. This is a day and age where your mom can make millions by sitting at home and creating a blog about cats, and teenagers can make more posting about their pubescent gripes on social media than a CEO overseeing a company. Opportunity is truly everywhere in today’s digital landscape, and you would be wise to hop on the train sooner rather than later. One of the wisest moves you could make is investing your time and money into Digital Real Estate. What is digital real estate, you ask? Buckle up bucko (and buckette, it is 2020), you’re about to step into the first day of the rest of your life.
What is Digital Real Estate?
Digital Real Estate is any personally owned asset that is taking up digital space, typically referring to websites and web domains. It can be argued that social media handles are also digital real estate, but due to you not actually owning the account (they are ultimately under the control of the social organization; if Twitter shut down, for instance, your drunk 3 AM rants are gone), I do not categorize them as such.
Digitally owned real estate can be likened to traditional brick-and-mortar real estate in the fact that it can be built, bought, rented, and sold. The one major difference (outside of the fact that it’s not physical, per se), is that digital real estate is astronomically cheaper. For instance – the median cost of real estate in the US is $200,000. The average digital asset will squeeze you about $110 bucks a year.
I know what you’re thinking, “Okay, Kyle… well, unlike traditional real estate, digital real estate cannot make me rich”. To that, I’d say a big fat:
How can digital real estate make me money?
Let me toss some stats at you real quick. At the time of writing this, Uber is worth $48 billion dollars. Airbnb is worth $38 billion. Craigslist is worth $3 billion. Home Advisor is worth $427 million. I could go on. Now, what do these companies have in common? They don’t actually own anything. In their inception, Uber did not own cars, Airbnb did not own homes, Craigslist did not own..uh, Craigs. Their fortune was made off of a digital concept, connecting the consumer with the service, without actually handling the service. How did they do this? Through digital real estate. With a website.
Those are large outlying examples, and all of those have blossomed into monoliths their creator never could have envisioned. Let’s take a peek at more traditional digital assets that people are raking in the dough with:
- Blogging – We are all familiar with what a blog is, so I won’t bore you with a long-winded explanation. There are so many different ways to monetize and make money through your blog it is not even funny. You can place ads on your site, get into affiliate marketing, sell memberships, sell digital products (eBooks, etc.), the list goes on. There are bloggers writing about literally anything you can think of (I just Googled “blog about squid hats” and voila). FYI, there are 500 million blogs out there. Reports show that 0.6% of those make over one million dollars a year… That’s a casual 3 million blogs making over 1 mil. Not bad, eh?
- Lead Generation – Creating lead generation property is an extremely unknown addition to this list, so much so, I created an entire online master’s course dedicated to the subject. The concept is this: you choose a small local niche, such as carpet cleaning. You create a website for the niche that has the capability to gather leads (interested customers). You then optimize the website so it appears on the top of Google searches. As leads start coming in, you sell them to actual business owners, aka carpet cleaners, in that town. Once enough leads start coming in, you basically rent the site out to the business. They pay you a flat fee (typically $750 a month, all the way to $10k per month) and you send all the leads directly to them. You win, they win! The awesome thing about this digital real estate subset is this: it’s infinitely scalable! You can basically ‘copy+paste’ your website into other cities throughout the US and rent those out to the local business owners.
- Youtube – Again, we all know what YouTube is. As with blogging, there are YouTube channels dedicated to literally everything under the sun. Once your channel is monetized, you can typically expect to see $10 dollars per 1000 views. You also have the freedom to partner with outside businesses for reviews, promote your own products, and utilize this as another avenue to reach people. The downside to YouTube, as opposed to the rest of this list, is that it is not entirely under your control. Once you start getting paid, you are seen as a partner to YouTube, and as such, you are disposable. Regardless, there are still plenty of people making over one million dollars per year through this digital asset.
- Course Creation – eCourses are the wave of the future. The E-Learning market was valued at 176 billion dollars at the end of 2017 and is expected to jump to 398 billion by 2026. The opportunity to share a valued skillset has never been easier, and course creators are making an average of $200 dollars per course. Head over to Udemy and take a peek at their top courses, thousands of people pay hundreds of dollars for courses that are literally an hour-long! In-depth courses are even more profitable, both for the student and the teacher. They typically teach a skill set that can stand to earn the student thousands per month, and sell for an average of $5k-$10k a pop.
- Drop Shipping – Drop shipping is another great avenue on which to build your digital real estate empire. The concept is simple – create a website and sell other people’s products. You can either design, market, and sell products that you personally customized, or you can market and sell any number of pre-existing products. Either way, as soon as a customer makes a purchase on your website, the company that actually creates and houses the product ships it out to the customer. Reminiscent of the conversation that started this section, you profit from being the digital middleman. You make money on products that you never actually touch.
- Amazon FBA – Amazon FBA, or fulfillment by Amazon, is the older, more sophisticated brother to drop shipping. In this business model, you source a product directly from a manufacturer, typically overseas, and have them create the product to your liking (your logo, colors, design, etc.). You then ship the product to the US, have it sent to Amazon warehouses, and sell it on Amazon’s marketplace. You are in charge of marketing your product, but you leave the storage, the picking, the packing, the shipping, and the customer relations to Amazon. Let me give you a clear example of the process – you buy 1000 water bottles for $3 from the manufacturer and have them sent to Amazon. You list the water bottles on Amazon for $20. You pay Amazon a small fee for each bottle sold so that they will store and ship the product for you. Once again, you never have to lay a finger on the product!
Which Digital Real Estate Model is Best?
Much to my wife’s dismay, I have invested time and money into all of the models outlined above and can honestly say that each of them will offer you success if you work hard enough. That being said, I have found my favorite to be the creation of lead generation websites. As unbelievably conflicting of interest-y this is (since I made a course for this) I’m telling the truth. Once you are familiar with the process, you can have a fully built lead generation website up in one afternoon. The scalability of the process is nutty – you can have 10+ lead gen sites up in a week, and have all of them ranked on Google in a matter of a few months. My favorite part of the process is this: once your site is ‘renting out’ to a business owner, it’s hands-off! They pay you a flat monthly fee for the leads that are coming in and you don’t even have to touch the damn thing.
The lead gen process does have it’s downside – the courses (mine included) are typically very expensive and very time-consuming. It is definitely not a get-rich-quick scheme, but I’ll tell ya, if you put your nose to the grindstone for a couple of weeks to learn the process, the return on investment is huge. Sure, a course can run you a few thousand bucks, but once you have a few sites up and renting you’ll make that investment back in the blink of an eye (and then, again and again, every month!).
There’s a reason that’s the model I decided to create a course for. I believe, pound-for-pound, it offers the quickest way to prosperity. I own a profitable FBA business (which took years to accomplish), have had my hand in the drop shipping pot multiple times (the model feels cheesy to me), tried the YouTube thing years back (funny videos that I had fun making, but a TON of work for very little return), and have multiple blogs up. The reason I’m so passionate about the lead gen process is because it works. Not only does it work, it works well and it works fast. There is an incredible amount of money to be made in the industry, so it seemed like a no-brainer to share this. To put the proverbial cherry on top, not only are you prospering, you’re helping small business owners prosper. You literally hand deliver business to them… when you do well, they do well!
Anyways, let’s wrap this up.
I think we can all agree, digital real estate is an absolutely booming business. The market is constantly expanding and there is no doubt, now is the time to get in. I highly encourage you to research some of the above topics and to get cracking. The hardest part of any journey is the first step, especially when it requires a time commitment and money investment. Here’s what I look at before I jump into a new side hustle:
- ROI (Return on Investment). How long will it take to return my initial investment? How much time do I have to invest to make this profitable?
- Sustainable Income. Will this offer me a stable form of monthly income? Is there an option to easily increase my monthly income?
- Scalability. How easy is it to scale the business up? How much money will it require to do so?
- Time Management. Outside of the initial time investment to get this started, will I have to constantly put time into this business to keep it profitable?
“Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use”.Earl Nightingale
In other words, put something into motion now. Give your future self something to look back and be thankful for, the time will pass regardless… you’ll either have an empire built, or you won’t. May as well lay that first brick! I look forward to seeing how all of you build your digital empires! Keep me posted – like our Facebook page and join our Facebook group to get in touch with like-minded entrepreneurs.
See ya around,