This post originally appeared on MainStreet.
We are still in the covered wagon, Wild West frontier days of making money off the Internet.
New ideas, applications, and platforms are springing up almost weekly. If you are looking to cash-in on the Internet, first find a niche–then sell to it. Sports is not a niche. Women in Southern California that play tennis–left-handed–that’s a niche. The trick is finding a target market that is small, but not so obscure that only you and a few neighbors on your block know about it.
The key consideration is: small enough to specialize, but large enough to monetize.
Now that you’ve got your niche, here’s how to make money off it.
It’s difficult to get a YouTube video to go viral enough to make money – unless you’re a dancing South Korean musician — but if you drill down to your narrow-of-the-narrowest target market and charge the folks therein to use your instructional video, educational audio or how-to production; you might just make a few bucks. Pivotshare.com is a free service that takes a commission off of the monthly subscription fee you charge, or from your pay-per-view revenue. Adam Mosam sold his first tech startup in Orange County back in 2006 and then started looking for his next big thing.
“The entire media industry was ripe for disruption, and I had a few ideas on how to help evolve that market,” Mosam says. “We’re finally at a point where both the availability of technology and the economics of delivering the solution that I wanted to build were feasible, so I went for it.” He says Pivotshare exists to help content creators and publishers of all sizes make money from their media.
“We allow anyone to create an online channel, upload their content and then sell their media via rentals, purchases or a monthly subscription,” says Mosam. “Their customers can then access the content via the Web, smartphones and tablets.”
Make an App
If you have a blog or other useful content that your target market is looking for, turn it into an app and sell it. How? James Scott, CEO of theappbuilder.com says that he set out to “liberate app creation, enabling anyone to create and manage their own mobile app.”
A free service, with premium features for a fee, Scott says The App Builder has created 200,000 apps since launching a year ago.
“It’s as simple to use as Facebook with no programming required,” says Scott. “You can create an app for virtually any purpose, in either a public or private setting, such as sharing information securely with your customers or employees. We have a bunch of standard off-the-shelf widgets that can be configured by the app creator to meet their objectives. Content is uploaded into the app through our website.”