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Conservative Expansion: Building Microbusinesses

In many of my pasts posts I’ve mentioned the idea of starting up a number of different microbusinesses in order to support myself. Now that I’m officially out of the 9-5 grind and working on a number of different projects, I’ve been presented with the unique opportunity to really go after it.  I originally did some brainstorming with a  microbusiness portfolio all the way back in June of 2008, sort of a predecessor to more well known bloggers who can put forth the idea in a much more concise format than I can such as the Art of Nonconformity post about $100 businesses. Since then I’ve had a number of successes and a few failures along the way. Here are a few ideas that have succeeded along my journey:

Success: Niche Sites

I used to post my Adsense income on a more regular basis and I intend to do so in the future, but my portfolio of smaller sites has recently blossomed and is appoaching $6k in profit annually. That’s some serious walking around money, but the whole process has taught me a lot about SEO and niche sites as a source of income in general. Most importantly, I’ve learned that much of the niche building process is hit or miss. Some of our “greatest” site ideas have been flops and seemingly worthless domains have turned out to be real money makers. A coworker of my brother also lost much of his site portfolio’s content in a catastrophic crash and rather than build it back up from scratch, sold the names to us for a song. That strategic acquisition really helped us out quite a bit in the revenue department (one site especially). We’ve had $20.00 days and we’ve had $0.30 days, but the journey so far has been awesome. Expanding it out, however, will likely continue to be a volatile process.

Success: Freelance Writing

I was crushed when I was still working my 9-5 and was told that I would not be allowed to write for other publications (this blog included) while employed there, but now that I’m out I’m once again building up my writing gigs. I currently write over at Walyou covering various gadgetry and software and a few other small sites.  I’m in the process of building a site dedicated to this aspect of my business alone, as well.

Success: Beekeeping

Beekeeping was a hobby I got into thanks to my oldest brother, and while I never thought it would ever make any money, we’re getting there. Unfortunately for us it’s a slow process, building up the hives to the point where we can harvest the honey is time consuming and takes a lot of patience. Outside of the potential revenue from honey sales, however, my brother has made a tidy side income doing presentations about the bees. The audience ranges from horticulturists to schools, and he’s currently seeking out grant money to start an eductional program teaching about the bees to kids. The potential of the project looks promising, but will still take some time to pan out.

Up And Coming: Web Design, 5 Jobs Portal

I’d really like the opportunity to build a portal for myself and my brother’s efforts into microbusinesses, and we are working on building out a blog that will do just that. While I love TFC and will continue to write here, I feel like a dedicated blog toward lifestyle design, passive and alternate income would be a lot of fun and something I’d like to pursue. We are also starting to fish around for small web design projects, such as a former coworker who’s starting up a photography business.

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