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Panning For Gold – Finding Revenue Generating Opportunities In Comment Threads

If you browse the Forum threads at somewhere like The Warrior Forum you’ll often come across people who’ve been working on their internet businesses for 6 months, or 9 months, or more and barely generated enough revenue to cover their hosting costs.

Coincidentally these people tend to use one of the following business ‘models’ for their online businesses:

(1) Build sites with the purpose of attracting traffic.  That traffic then leads to income generation via some kind of advertising, usually AdWords.

(2) Build a site (Or sites) in specific niches – the income generation for these sites is via Affiliate Marketing.

(3) A Version of the affiliate marketing model building sites that ‘review’ products on Amazon and direct the visitor to Amazon via an affiliate link.

Now it’s not impossible to make money with any or all of these models.  Steve Scott of SteveScottSite.com and Brankica from Live-Your-Love.com both have niche sites from which they make money.  Or check out Pat Flynn’s detailed diary of setting up his own niche site at SmartPassiveIncome.com.

But it’s hard to generate income from these models because this is what just about EVERYONE who comes into the ‘make money online’ field try and do.  And so the competition is fierce.

And I guess a lot of these people get frustrated, think the information they’ve purchased is a crock of shit, and give up in disgust.

And that’s sad.

Generating Revenue With An Online Business Doesn’t Need To Be So Hard

These models are hard work.  And getting harder.

For the last couple of years it seems there have been people teaching ‘niche site’ formulas where basically you set up mini-sites of 10 to 12 pages, rank those sites in Google to get traffic, and then monetize with either adverts or affiliate links.

Well Google made that even harder with the Panda Update this year.  And reading between the lines of what Matt Cutts says, it’s going to try to make it harder for those kinds of sites to flourish in the future.

But it doesn’t need to be so hard.  There are other business models that you can use – most involve either creating a service or a product – and selling those.  Being a ‘creator’ is a lot more fulfilling than being a glorified billboard, and potentially far more lucrative.

But What Would I ‘Create?’

This is the problem most people seem to come up against.  They don’t know what services to create.  Or what products to make.

You can often find the answers in comment threads on blogs.  In the rest of this article I want to show you 4 potential products and/or services that could lead to viable ideas that I found in the last two weeks.  Two of these four ideas I found today as I was thinking about this post.

So let’s walk through them one by one – hopefully you’ll see that with the right viewpoint you can find product and service ideas everywhere.

Idea 1 – Found at JK Allan’s Blog

A couple of week’s ago, I was surfing over at JK’s House and reading this post:

Personal Branding, Self Promotion and The Art of Marketing Yourself

By the time I got to this post there were already 80 or so meaty comments, so I started reading through them.  Here’s a screenshot of something that Bill Dorman posted:

The phrase that immediately made me sit up and take notice was this:

“What I put in my ‘About Me’ page might be totally different than how people see me.  I think I would rather somebody else write that for me.

Bam!  Bill just suggested a Service that you could sell people.  The service would be to write ‘About Me’ pages for people’s websites from the viewpoint of the website’s audience.  Because the About Me page ISN’T about the blogger, it’s about the visitor – they want to see a reflection of themselves in some way, so they know they are in the right place.

I immediately left a comment:

I honestly believe that if you were GOOD at this, that people would pay good money to get a great ‘About Me’ page written for their blog or website.  It’s the kind of service that once you’d done a few, it would get easy to do.

That’s Online Revenue Generation Idea 1.

Idea 2 – Found On The Blogosphere

A week or so ago I posted an article about Kindle Spam:

An Open Letter to Jeff Bezos – Please Stop The Kindle Spam

As a result of this post a couple of people emailed me links to posts about Kindle and Kindle publishing, and I discussed it briefly with people from my Mastermind Groups.

One of the things that came up somewhere (sadly I don’t remember exactly where) was that although Amazon could raise their BS Filter to a higher level, that a lot of the ‘Kindle Spam’ would probably fade away due to poor quality of information, spelling mistakes, typos, poor grammar, etc etc.

Bam!  There’s Idea Number 2.  If you know how to proofread, or can learn to proofread to a reasonable level quickly (which you CAN do if you have half a brain J ), then you could set up a service proofreading eBooks for people who want to self-publish to Kindle

You could start with that, and upsell the service to include formatting for and actually uploading the eBook to Kindle.  And extend that to formatting and submitting the same works to the other eBook sites like iBooks, Nook, Smashwords, etc.

Again, this is a service that people would absolutely pay money for – to have their eBooks ‘professionally’ edited and then uploaded for them.

That’s Online Revenue Generation Idea 2.

Idea 3 – Closer To Home

On Monday this week, I posted this article about making your blogging more efficient:

How To Blog More Efficiently

In the comment sections, I got into a discussion with Michelle, and we got talking about typing, and I mentioned that I thought it was crazy that my kids are taught IT skills at school, but not any keyboard skills.

Look at Michelle’s reply – “…a surprising gap in education….I’m sure there are typing lessons aimed at kids too.”

Not only a surprising gap in education, I bet that it’s a surprising gap in the market too.  I quickly googled ‘typing lessons for kids’ and found that there are some programs at Amazon.

But I think that if you created a simple software program to teach kids to type, and branded it along the lines of learning IT Skills rather than typing, that there’s a good chance you could create a useful and highly marketable product.

That’s Online Revenue Generation Idea 3.

Idea 4 – Found at Copyblogger

Originally I was going to write this article with just those 3 examples, but an hour before I sat down to write I was reading this post at Copyblogger:

How To Kill Writer’s Block – And Become A Master Copywriter In Only 3 Hours A Day

Now the post was of interest to me because it talks about copywriter Eugene Schwartz.  And it was written by Robert Bruce, one of the better writers at Copyblogger.

Now what you need to know is that Eugene Schwartz wrote a book about copywriting called Breakthrough Advertising.  And it’s considered one of the classics in the copywriting industry – at one stage it was the most stolen book from US Public Libraries.

Now, the post was good.  But there was gold in the comments.  First, this one:

Notice Sonia Simone’s comment that it took four or five readings to start to get to it.  And then Brian Clark chimes in about the depth of the book, and the layers of nuance.

Later down the thread we have this:

Note these words: “…learning how to use the principles in Breakthrough Advertising is harder than learning how to do anything else…”

And Sonia’s response: “I agree on all counts.”

Bam.  Idea Number 4.  What if you could take Breakthrough Advertising and systemize it, and create a course teaching the principles of Breakthrough Advertising to would be copywriters?  Do you think that might generate some revenue?  (This is only a guess, but I think if you could do this that you could charge at least $1000 for such a course and if you branded and promoted it properly you would NEVER be short of people to take it)

How To Find Potential Ideas

Now I’ve not done anything special to find these ideas.  I didn’t go to JK’s Blog, or Copyblogger, or anywhere else, with the mindset of looking for ideas.

In those cases I visited those blogs to read the posts.  And I really like reading good comment threads.  I’ve said before that good comment threads are virtual gold mines for ideas.

Good comment threads are filled with thoughts from people similar in some ways to you – and their comments often reflect the day-to-day problems that they’re dealing with.

Being able to take a step back, realize that a comment contains a problem, and being able to conceive a solution is all it takes to come up with potential revenue generating ideas.

The other benefit of doing this is that you’ll be carving your own space in the marketplace, doing your own thing.  You won’t be following a business model that just about EVERY newbie starts out with.

So the competition will be less, often non-existent.  Leaving YOU to be the product leader with that particular idea.


Every day more and more people go into the ‘make money online’ space.  And the bulk of them start trying to make money online using one of the business models I outlined earlier – or some variant of it.  So the competition is fierce.

An easier way to generate revenue for your online business is to create unique products or services yourself.  Coming up with the ideas for these products or services is where most people stumble.

In the last two weeks or so I’ve stumbled across four potential ideas that could all be developed into revenue generating products and/or services.

And all of those ideas came from reading comment threads at various blogs.  And having the mindset of looking for ideas.

Two of those ideas cropped up TODAY – maybe because I’m hyper aware of it because the first of them really made the idea for this post coalesce.

If you’re looking to turn your website or blog into a site that generates revenue, start collecting potential service or product ideas so that you can take them through the testing and development process.

Blog Comments are a rich, varied and fertile ground to find ideas that can be developed into products or services.  You just need a small change in mindset to pan for these golden ideas.

What Do YOU Think?

Have your say in the comments.  Firstly, are you looking to generate revenue from your website or blog?  (I say ‘generate revenue’ most of the time because I loathe the word ‘monetization.’)

How are you looking to generate that revenue?  Have you ever found golden ideas in comment threads – whether on your blog, or someone else’s?

Love to hear your thoughts on this – and you never know, someone may get an idea for a product or service from them ;) )

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Daniel M. Wood May 26, 2011, 8:50 am

    Wow, this was an interesting read Paul.
    The sum of it is, do what others aren’t.

    This is what any successful entrepreneur, business man, CEO will tell you.
    Find your own thing, find a market, give them a good offer and sell it to them.

    • Paul Wolfe May 26, 2011, 11:02 am

      Hey Daniel

      I read somewhere – and I can’t for the life of me remember where, or who the author was – that the easiest way to ‘get ahead’ in the Online Business game was to find what your competitors found too hard to do, and do that. And do it lots.

      Although you can generate revenue with the models I led with – I firmly believe that in the long term you’re better off creating your own products. (Plus it adds more value to the old Interwebz). I’m looking forward to Steve (Scott) and Brankica chiming in….


  • Michelle May 26, 2011, 9:43 am

    Hi Paul,
    Great post and I’m not just saying that because you mentioned me ;)

    I am at the stage of developing ideas, for my business (I am determined to be my own boss). You’re completely right about the comments people make being a goldmine of ideas. It is a matter of finding one that you can be enthusiastic about and running with it. I’ll be reading comments in a whole different light now!


    • Paul Wolfe May 26, 2011, 11:05 am


      Being your own boss has never been easier! The combination of the mass uptake of broadband – either via computers or mobile devices – with being able to access quality production tools at low cost (whether writing, video or audio) AND the ability to self publish means NOW is the time to take advantage.

      Ideas for products and services are everywhere – it’s a question of recognizing the gold that’s lying around waiting to be picked up.

      I’m sure you know, but it’s not an overnight thang….not only do you need to create products and services, but you need to build an audience to sell them to, and you need to learn how to do it. But if you’re prepared to work hard you’ll get there!

      Good luck – and thanks for the inspiration yesterday! Your comment completed the article, and the Copyblogger find was merely a bonus!


  • Steve Thomas May 26, 2011, 11:38 am

    Paul, this is great! I have to say that I usually flip through the comments with my brain only about a fourth engaged. Not anymore!

    I’m torn between sharing this great idea and keeping it for myself! Guess I’ll be good and share. Don’t wanna!

    • Paul Wolfe May 26, 2011, 11:46 am

      Hey Steve

      Thanks for stopping by and welcome to my little corner of the Blogosphere!

      Don’t worry about sharing the post – once you start recognizing and finding ideas you’ll find so many ideas that you won’t have time to develop them all anyway.
      (I did laugh at that though – and thank you for sharing!). And it’s not only product ideas, you can get post ideas from Comment Threads too.


  • RILEY HARRISON May 26, 2011, 11:46 am

    A very interesting post Paul. ” How To Find Potential Ideas” I’m a big believer in working on heightened awareness. When paying attention (instead of sleep walking through life) life takes on a vitality that breeds creativity and creativity is where potential ideas reside.

    • Paul Wolfe May 26, 2011, 11:49 am


      I just posted a reply to Steve (see above) – but once you open your eyes to finding ideas the problem isn’t that finding ideas is hard, it’s that there are so many ideas out there that you won’t have time to develop them all unless you are superhuman. (And even then, you’ll need a clone or an evil twin that you keep locked in the basement).

      Glenn Allsop of Viperchill gives away a free idea to his list most weeks for exactly this reason – and there have been a couple of them that have been REALLY good. They are ideas he could probably have sold, or paid someone to develop. Seriously, getting ideas isn’t the problem, it’s finding the time to implement them.

      Thks for stopping by.


  • Stan Faryna May 26, 2011, 1:51 pm

    I don’t believe in adwords revenue. I had a client with fantastic niche-e-ness and an average of 50,000 page views per day. His adwords revenue averaged about $1,000 month. His initial investment: about $250,000. My simple advice to him: shut it down and cut his losses. I have another client that has site with an average of 2,000,000 page views per day and ad revenues (for ads sold at a premium rate by an ad agency) don’t pay for his service costs. Of course, someone will have that perfect case study where audience aligned with the ad offer and they made a boatload of money. But it’s rare.

    Paul is dead on about being useful. What can you do that is useful for bloggers, etc.?

    Generally speaking, if you can be useful, charge a lot less than what you think its worth. Think fiverr. Until you have 100 loyal customers that believe (for the moment) that they can’t live without you. Use their recommendations to build a reputation.

    Do a freebie for a continuing customer for their linkedin or other online recommendation.

    Here’s some free fiver ideas:

    1. 10 positive, thoughtful comments on their blog. Obviously, reading the posts is included.
    2. 10 “appropriate” mentions with links in comments on A-list bloggers’ posts.
    3. One blog post that illuminates a customer’s blog post like Paul has highlighted others above. You could actually fit as many as 10 if you follow Christian’s pattern.

    If you try it out, let me know how it goes.


    • Paul Wolfe May 26, 2011, 5:05 pm

      Hey Stan

      Thanks for leaving a great comment – glad I didn’t delete this one! Thanks also for the tweet.

      Like you I believe the ‘Ad’ model is difficult to make work. Pat Flynn’s ‘Niche Site Duel’ is an interesting exception to that….he’s close to generating $100 a day after about 6 months of work. The interesting thing to note though is that Pat puts up quality content – he just paid close to $1000 to get a bunch of content pages written by a freelance writer. Most of the people I see doing these kind of sites aren’t interested in providing quality content – they seem to be working on the ‘put up a few pages of generic content and the traffic will come’ model.

      That didn’t work three years ago. And doesn’t work now.

      You put up some great suggestions there for people – there are lots of different ways to generate revenue for online businesses. People just have to find a method that suits them – and that few other people are doing.


      • Stan Faryna May 28, 2011, 12:21 pm


        Glad you found my comment worthwhile.

        Although my specific suggestions taste spammy, I’d like to emphasize their elegance to the new blogga-preneur ready to pay his/her bills, taxes, and frequent starbucks fix.

        1. The present market can handle a minimum of 10,000 people doing this without batting an eye.

        2. There’s enough potential gigs for each of those 10,000 people to serve an estimated 582 clients each. That’s the conservative number.

        3. Overlap and repeat business is encouraged and beneficial.

        Last but not least: If you don’t do it, the Chinese farms will. And they’ll do it so sucky, they may just kill commenting.

  • Steve@Internet Lifestyle May 26, 2011, 3:44 pm


    What can I say. Some great ideas and really great out-of-the-box thinking.

    #1 Great Idea on the “about me” pages. I think that would be an excellent service and a great idea. Talk about thinking outside of the box!

    #2 I have actually thought of something similar to this. I am just not a talented editor.
    This could even be where the future of “publishing” is at.

    You review/edit and quality check. Regardless of what people pay you, you discriminate somewhat, only only accept commissions based on a baseline quality level. Then you give a “badge”, a positive comment on Amazon that this article has been quality checked by XYZ publications and a dofollow link on your website with an original synopsis, a link to amazon and another way to get traffic for the ebook.

    With the right dedication, push, drive and crap-ton of hard work (and scaling) this could be a million dollar idea.

    #3 Another great idea. In fact I see a whole niche for trying to push typing skills and even a subset of related products to sell. Typing is after all getting more important every day with lesser and lesser importance being put on it.

    #4 Another great course idea!! I would certainly think about taking it if it was marketed properly.

    These are the type of ideas that people need. The same-old-same-old just doesn’t cut it. (and I follow the same-old)

    As you can probably tell I am specifically excited by #2. Like I said, I had thought of something along those lines. I think that is a HUGE opportunity for people willing to grab it.

    Traditional publishing may be dead or dieing and I see there is definitely a gap in that market. To make that into a “million dollar” idea will take one hell of a lot of marketing, promotion and good old fashioned hard work but I too see the gap in the “Amazon age” of publishing.

    • Paul Wolfe May 26, 2011, 4:52 pm


      Done ‘properly’ each of these ideas would undoubtedly work. The point is that ideas like this can be found in comment threads or forums every day of the week.

      Following on from the conversation at your place earlier, it’s possible that you need to put in two or three years of work first at product creation before you can start seeing the possibilities that are all around. I’m not sure about that – but I’d be interested in anyone else’s thoughts on that.

      But honestly, I don’t troll comment threads looking for product ideas. I have a plan to generate revenue for One Spoon and will be starting to implement it at sometime in the period July to September. (Exactly when depends on a confluence of three events….long story, won’t bore you). These ideas are EVERYWHERE.

      And the interesting thing is that how you perceive an idea will be different depending on your personality. For example you’ve posted a totally different slant to Idea 2 than I envisaged. SO it’s entirely possible for example for two different people to come across the same idea but come out with very different products.

      These ideas are everywhere. Saves you having to go to the Idea Shop in Poughkeepsie:)

      Thanks for stopping by.


      • Steve@Internet Lifestyle May 27, 2011, 1:19 am


        You definitely need to get me the address of that Idea Shop in Poughkeepsie. Are they better than Amazon? ;)

        Anyhow, I got your main point, I was just riffing off the specifics.

        Ideas are everywhere. You can often find them when you least expect them, if you know what you are looking for.

        The hard part can sometimes be implementing them

  • Allie May 26, 2011, 4:33 pm


    I’m going write to this and regret it BUT my blog, to me, unfortunately is that “cookie cutter” type where I post about blogging and passive income. I have been trying to think of ways to break out and make it original or different. Can’t figure it out yet. But I do know I can use my blog as the main platform for other ventures.

    I did not even think to look through the comments. I cater to WAHM (work at home moms), I know I simply need to frequent the forums and find stuff that is challenging or baffling to them, create a solution and start marketing it.

    I have some ideas and will hopefully be able to work on those this summer.

    Thx for the boost and the info.


    • Paul Wolfe May 26, 2011, 4:59 pm


      Thanks for stopping by.

      Forums work as well – but personally I find better ideas in comment threads. And not just your own either – the Kindle idea came from another blog (I just don’t remember which one :) ) and the Breakthrough Advertising came from Copyblogger.

      Another way you could look for ideas is identify the type of problems that WAHMs have, and see if other markets have similar problems. And then you can transplant those solutions to YOUR market.

      The problem I find isn’t to get the ideas – it’s finding the time to implement.


  • Tristan@Blogging Tips May 26, 2011, 6:07 pm

    Good stuff here, Paul!

    Yeah, the whole niche site thing… Not for me. Kudos to those people that make it work and make money that way, but it’s not my thing.

    Regarding writing about pages… It’s funny you mention that! I came across this service last week and bookmarked it because I thought it was a good idea: http://dotnetconnector.com/connecting/

    My problem definitely isn’t lack of ideas. It’s definitely staying focused long enough to see the idea through. Hey, there’s an idea for a product :D

    • Paul Wolfe May 26, 2011, 7:05 pm


      Got some serious advice for you. Set a publication date. Pre-sell exactly 30 days before that publication date – offer people who take up the pre-sell a great deal.

      It only takes 30 or 40 buyers to make you seriously move your ass into gear – because you don’t want to hit publication date and let them down. The only issue is if you underestimate what you can do – and then you end up working late every night to get it on time.

      Happened to me with my first eBook – which was a beast. 350 pages. A4 pages too….I think I put in 40 hours on it on the weekend before its publication on the Monday. Brutal. Taught me a harsh lesson – BUT it got it done.

      (The other side of the coin is that if only one or two people buy and you have a reasonable list – you won’t know the first time out of the gate – then you know it’s a ‘dud’ and you can refund the purchasers and quietly shelve it.)



      • Steve@Internet Lifestyle May 27, 2011, 1:26 am

        Great Tips Paul.

        I know you were addressing Tristan but I will jump in here.

        4th of July (Date Set)
        I will be doing some pre-sell with that date in the next few weeks.
        I will be doing a (one day or one week, I haven’t decided) special with a pretty decent discount.

        You heard it hear first….

        Actually 2nd,
        I responded to your comment on my post first. :)

        • Paul Wolfe May 27, 2011, 6:59 am

          Hey Steve

          Good for you – and good luck with it all. Pre-selling something is an interesting technnique – Clay Collins did a ‘full monty’ course on it (Full Monty = 2K), didn’t get chance to invest..maybe next time.


  • Alex | Perfecting Dad May 26, 2011, 7:05 pm

    Too bad there are already five thousand comments here. You are one popular guy Paul. My observation is that ideas are a dime a dozen. You came up with four in four minutes. My buddy was being secretive about an idea for a tv show and I said, forget keeping it secret, the idea is the easiest part — everyone has ideas. So he smuggly challenged me on the train to come up with an awesome idea for a hit tv show within five minutes and I came up with three, dropping his jaw. I have ideas for maybe 10 novels, at least 3 business ideas per day, I’m going to try an open-mike comedy night so I’m coming up with joke ideas daily. I though of ideas, independently, that are making people millions of dollars right now. I have products in my head that aren’t invented yet, but will be and will again make someone millions. But I can’t figure out how to execute on them.

    The idea is nothing. If you aren’t even at the idea stage then there is no hope to progress to a business. I’m being purposely a bit controversial and extreme in my language, but it is all execution. You can take even the most mundane and boring idea but actually execute it, and do better than 99% of the people with brilliant ideas. I’ve GIVEN golden opportunities to people because I needed their help to execute an idea and even then they didn’t take a step.

    • Paul Wolfe May 26, 2011, 7:14 pm

      Hey Alex

      Not as popular as I hope to be!!!

      As far as I’m concerned you’re not being controversial – I agree totally with you. Ideas are everywhere.

      Implementing is the key to anything. What’s great about digital products is that although you want to get it as right as possible, you can always publish it and think of it as Version 1.0 – and look to fix any glitches and upgrade the product to version 2.0.

      I’ve already said in the comments, for me the problem isn;t getting ideas, it’s finding the time to write them.

      See ya…


      • Alex | Perfecting Dad May 27, 2011, 12:36 am

        “I’ve already said in the comments…” yeah, that’s why I was so sad that I was so far in and didn’t have time to get caught up on the threads. Sorry for repeating your message, but I thought of it independently. See, you implemented before me and better. I Agree! :)

  • Marina Brito@Defeat The Cousin May 26, 2011, 10:00 pm

    Hi Paul,

    I do think that one can get lots of good ideas by keeping our eyes open to the possibilities. But I would be very careful of doing what you suggest without having an actual strategy.

    I would first decide how I want to monetize my online efforts, then find an actual market for it, and finally, jump in to try some of my newfound ideas out.

    Otherwise, I’m afraid that there is a danger of trying out a bunch of different things without rhyme or reason, many of them will fail, lots of time will be invested, and it will be exhausting and disenchanting.


    • Paul Wolfe May 27, 2011, 7:14 am


      Totally agree with what you say. The point of the article was to point out to people that the seeds for revenue generating products can be found everywhere. Tying them into what you can do and your overall business/website strategy is obviously important.

      It’s possible that my experience in the Bass Guitar field makes me a little more aware of what’s possible that someone who’s approaching creating their first product or service – in the last two years or so I’ve created eBooks, Courses, a regular magazine, some webinars and sold some ‘mentoring/coaching.’

      The point of the post wasn’t to suggest that people go running around trying every idea they have – just that ideas are plentiful and all around us. Your comment should serve as an appropriate caveat to all readers.

      Thanks as always.


      • Marina Brito@Defeat The Cousin May 27, 2011, 9:25 pm


        What do you think about writing a case study of a fictitious blogger with a decent strategy, pick an idea out of comments, see if it would be profitable, and come up with an implementation plan?

        Perhaps even make it a collaborative effort or contest? Or a blog-off?

        Just a thought…

  • Rob May 26, 2011, 10:08 pm

    Hey Paul,
    Perfect time for me to be chiming in as I agree once again with Alex. Strategy+Implementing+Persistence. I have friends who’ve invented things that are making it work (solar attic fan, nozzle for the end of a hose to clean underground tanks,etc.). Other inventor friends who have not been ‘discovered’. One had a wonderful idea taken from her and brought to market successfully. She decided against seeking damages.
    The key is in the implementation. Same with improvements (or off shoots) on existing products that you mentioned. Doesn’t it seem odd when you read about someone who has made a large sum in a business they are unfamiliar with? That again points to how the idea is carried out. imho. So is it the idea or implementer?

  • Valerie May 27, 2011, 1:57 am

    Hey Paul,
    I like you list I am already a number 2 I write content, about us pages, descriptions and more for others online. But to your comment about the kids and typing my son who is 5 plays they games on the computer made by Jumpstart and they have entire sections of games target toward teaching kids to type.

    • Paul Wolfe May 27, 2011, 7:29 am

      Hey Valerie

      Thanks for stopping by. I think there’s a huge hole in the market for a company/person specializing in just about About Us pages. And writing the best About Us pages in the world.

      There are tons of people writing generic content for the web – I’m talking about a service that’s so far above generic that it’s effectively out of sight.

      Didn’t know about the Jump Start games….I was thinking about older kids and slanting the branding towards acquiring IT skills. The fact that people have already developed programs shows there’s probably a demand!


  • Bell May 27, 2011, 7:19 am


    This post is chock-full of good ideas, and I’m not going to argue with them.

    Let me focus on the one thing I don’t really agree with.
    I’ve been a translator for 9 years. Translation often demands that you perform beyond your job description – you’re often asked to proofread and do copyediting. Lots of it.

    So let me tell you this: proofreading to a reasonable level is not enough. If you’re going to sell that as a service, you have to be more than perfect. I often review documents that have already been proofread and I still find plenty of issues to correct. We’re talking issues with semantics, syntax and yes, spelling. Working with text at a professional level requires an obsessive level of dedication, because there are a million things that could go wrong with a text. Any text, fiction or non-fiction.

    Obviously, the amount of work you do depends on what they pay you. But my honest opinion, that you get for free.

    • Paul Wolfe May 27, 2011, 7:53 am

      Hey Bell

      Thanks for stopping by. I hear you – and agree with you up to a point.

      IF – and that’s an IF – we assume that the kind of people who publish around the blogosphere are the kind of people who are going to publish on Kindle, then the level of grammar, readability and word choice used by the bulk of these people is low.

      You COULD make a big difference to the publication quality of these people’s writing without having to be a ‘professional’ level proofreader. (Also from what I’ve seen, I sometimes think that ‘professional’ level proofreaders get the balance wrong between getting the words right, and making the words readable and understandable to the intended audience).

      Anyhow, we’re discussing ‘fine print’ when we should be discussing the bigger picture. But I do agree that if you were to set up a service like this you’d need to demonstrate the requisite expertise to actually set up such a service. (Not that I’m planning to – but again, done right, there’s definitely a ‘hole’ in the market for such a service).

      Thanks for the comment.


  • Marianne Worley May 27, 2011, 7:26 pm

    Isn’t amazing how many ideas we can get just from reading comments. You’ve really got me thinking about the eBook proofreading thing. I could add that to my “Hire Me” page, and maybe even blog post proofreading too… Huuuum

    • Paul Wolfe May 27, 2011, 7:32 pm


      I ‘m pretty sure that if you market it properly it will work. (Work as defined in the sense that people will pay for that service).

      What I don’t know is what the price point for such a service would be – and whether that price point makes it profitable for you (e.g. let’s say it translates to $50 an hour, there are people who would literally claw your eyes out for the chance to earn $50 an hour and there are people who wouldn’t get out of bed for $50 an hour. Only YOU can decide what your price point is and then try and make the service work for that).

      If you’ve got the proofreading chops then why not? The point is, these ideas are all around us. We just need to open our eyes to them. (And make sure as Marina points out that any ideas you have are in alignement with the goals for your business!).

      Thanks for stopping by. (thanks for subscribing too!:) You should get a nice juicy PDF in about an hour’s time!)


  • Hi Paul
    Clever post – unique format, who gave you the idea? LOL

    I’m looking to generate revenue, but I’ve never found the golden idea.
    Need to read your ideas again.
    Looks as though you’ve done a lot of reading and research to put this one together.
    Appreciate that.

    Cheers Paul

    • Paul Wolfe May 27, 2011, 10:22 pm

      Hey Keith

      I think the search for a golden idea is a grail quest. And i think it’s an unobtainable goal for most people.

      Far better – IMO – to set your sights on creating a chain of ‘bronze’ ideas that gradually lead your buyers through an upsell sequence until they buy a ‘silver’ idea. Focus on creating a bunch of revenue generating ideas – even if they only sell a few copies a week – and focus on building traffic and tribe. Over time this will turn into gold.

      When I wrote my first eBook I thought it was going to solve all my problems. It sold two copies on launch day. That was over two years ago now. But it still sells a couple of copies most weeks. Combined with other eBooks and some bigger ticket courses, it makes a reasonable revenue.

      My advice – get an idea (PDF 2 coming tomorrow will help!), spend 4 to 6 weeks putting it out there. Drink a congratulatory glass of wine, and then move onto Idea 2. And do the same. Then Idea 3. And 4.

      When you’ve got Idea 10 out there, the compound interest effect of those products might surprise you. (As well, the more of these ideas you put together and sell, the higher your ‘perceived expertise.’)

      It’s a model I plan to start on very soon……you;ll see ;)


  • Robert May 27, 2011, 11:40 pm

    Paul, I love your business mindset! I don’t know your current business situation but the few golden nuggets of yours that I have read lead me to the belief that you stand to make a load of money online if you are not doing so already.

    I’ve been doing affiliate marketing for about a year now, and it is a pig! It’s so true, that’s what every man and his dog are trying to do, and even worse send their visitors to some crappy Clickbank product lol. I know the recent Panda update practically wiped out some people’s affiliate income, but I kind of welcomed it at the same time.

    They are some great ideas, and it’s changed my mindset for when I look at both posts and comments in the future; and unlike affiliate marketing where the aim is to be the market leader, as you said, the aim in this case is more to be the product leader.

    Thanks for being generous enough to share your ideas, I hope someone brings them into fruition and tells us the story. The ideas reflect the attitude of many of us in the blogging community, they are not some bs temporary loophole, they’re proper sustainable and ethical business ideas, something I feel is very important.

    Another great post – I’ve got to say you’re top of the list for passionate bloggers, really inspiring, your passion oozes through your posts more than most other people’s.

    Keep doing your thing man, awesome as usual.


    • Paul Wolfe June 17, 2011, 8:47 am


      Thanks for your comment – apologies for the delay in replying. It arrived during a bout of ‘man flu’ (as my wife calls it). Backlog is just starting to clear up.

      Your thoughts on affiliate marketing are interesting – personally affiliate marketing is not a model that I’d ever pursue. It’s not right for me. (Note that I said ‘for me,’ – that doesn’t mean it’s not right for everyone.) I think if you can create products or services that your business is much more likely to thrive. And of course, if you create something valuable enough, there will be people knocking on your door to sell it for you as an affiliate!

      And yep, it would be great if someone runs with one of these ideas and creates it. Personally I’d LOVE LOVE LOVE someone to break down BREAKTHROUGH ADVERTIZING into a system and teach that to me!

      Keep it real, thanks for commenting.


  • Hulbert Lee May 28, 2011, 3:23 pm

    Hi Paul, first of all, I just wanted to say that I like your design layout. It was very easy on the eyes and provided a soothing read.

    Anyway, this was an awesome post. I think that’s the brilliance of being an online entrepreneur — the ability to generate remarkable ideas that can sell from reading about other people’s ideas via blogs, comments, etc. Although you have listed three common ideas (that do sell), they require a webmaster who will most likely be up against fierce competition like you say. It is probably a lot easier to do something different. Thank you for opening up my mind to new possibilities!

    P.S. Google “The Typing of the Dead.” Your kids might enjoy it.

    • Paul Wolfe June 17, 2011, 8:49 am

      Hey Hulbert

      Thanks for the comment – apologies for not replying sooner. Your comment came when I was in bed for two or three days with flu – and the backlog that caused to my other website is only now getting manageable! There are always opportunities out there – you just have to think a little more creatively than most people are prepared to.


  • Jk Allen May 29, 2011, 6:14 am

    Hey Paul!

    Well, considering I just returned from a 8 day vacation at Disney World Resort, I need to start studying my comments and figure out a way to re-create the money that Mickey Mouse and pals stole from me! LOL

    This is seriously one of the most tasteful displays that I’ve seen in reference to Monetization. Not that other ways are bad – but it’s a nice breath of fresh air to get see new ideas…and to see how you found these ideas…even from my own blog!

    I love them and I took notes. I actually haven’t done a bit of revenue generating on my site, but I suspect that I will start working that into the picture within the next 3 months or so. With all the great info you’ve provided on creating ebooks, I’d be a fool not to take advantage of that content and make it work for me…right!

    Thanks for the info Paul – you’ve heightened my awareness of the types of opportunities there are to generate rev!

    • Paul Wolfe June 17, 2011, 8:44 am

      Hey JK

      apologies for not replying sooner – your comment ‘landed’ during a period when I had flu. The backlog (mainly on my bass guitar site) is only just getting back to normal.

      Glad you had a great time at Disneyland – and stoked to hear about your new job opportunity (haven’t found time to comment on raising the bar yet – but I will!).

      Also pleased you found some value in this post, I got annoyed with someone who was whining on the Warrior Forum about not being able to make any revenue online. And the reason was that their ‘revenue model’ was creating sites that link to Amazon products and trying to get sales on those products and earn 4% or whatever it is that Amazon pays.

      Rather than waste info on the Warrior Forum, I turned it into a post here. There really are revenue opportunities everywhere – you just have to think outside the box (to use a cliche). Be looking forward to seeing the first HN Product – whether it’s service based (Suit you to a tee) or an eBook.


  • Nail Yener June 17, 2011, 8:35 am


    Very interesting ideas, I am always looking for smart ideas of generating revenue in any way, preferably the simplest way, and your post just gave me some new ideas to put into action.

    Actually, in the past I tried to monetize some of the ideas that I came up from some of the blogs I was browsing and I took immediate action to see whether they will work or not. Some of them did and some of them not, that’s how the business world is.


    • Paul Wolfe June 17, 2011, 8:39 am

      Hey Nail

      For most ideas you won’t know for sure if they’ll work or not until you implement them. Most people sit on their ideas and never do anything with them – so kudos to you for doing something.

      I consider an idea to be a flop ONLY if I never implement it.

      I wrote about this in Module 2 of my ‘Create an eBook’ mini course (which is free to subscribers, that’s a HINT btw;) )- but sometimes you can publish something and not get a big take up. But then in the future you publish something else that DOES get a big take up – and often the push from the success of that product helps the sales of your back catalogue too. Of course, if you don’t have a back catalogue, you don’t benefit from that.

      Thanks for stopping by – and welcome to ONe SPoon!


  • Sally@Treadmill Reviews July 11, 2011, 6:59 pm

    Me and the kids went gold panning yesterday for the first time. The kids actually found small flakes of gold. It was a blast.

  • Sarah October 11, 2011, 12:02 am

    Great post! I have ideas all the time, I can always see so many different opportunities for people both online and offline. I have always joked I would be the first person in line if they ever found a way to clone yourself so you could get more done. There are great business opportunities all over the internet, I get tons when I go to a forum and see the needs people have.
    If you just read the questions in any of the Ask your question places they basically spell out what would make a good business.
    I just wish I had a bit more time to try some of them…..There you go right there 2 business opportunities right in this post lol.

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