There’s a saying that in China, if you’re one-in-a-million, that means there’s more than a thousand people just like you. The same is true of the Internet, and I’ve come to realize that if you’re truly passionate about something (anything), that almost certainly means that there are enough people out there who are also passionate about it that you can make a living from it. You might not make a billion dollars, but you can almost certainly make a good living.
Gary Vaynerchuk touches on this concept in “Crush It”, but it kind of sunk in for me tonight while watching “Terminator Salvation”. During the first 20 minutes or so, Christian Bale is sporting this really interesting leather jacket. I bought an amazing leather jacket last year and now I’m hooked, so I spent a few minutes trying to find the manufacturer of the jacket in the film.
That’s when I found this.
Yes, that’s right. It’s an entire forum dedicated solely to jackets found in movies. There are more than 1400 registered users and they’ve posted almost 30,000 posts. So pretty active.
Here’s another example. That’s right, it’s a forum just for Christian pipe smokers, and there are hundreds of thousands of posts.
Now, I don’t know how much money these sites are making, but that’s not really the point. If you have thousands of very active forum members, you probably have 10x that many lurkers and occasional readers, not to mention all the search traffic you’re likely to be getting. That’s a large audience, and with some hustle and creativity and just living out your passion for the topic, I’m convinced you could make a good living in these niches.
In fact, you might be better off in a tiny niche that seems like it’s too small to be viable, because it’s likely under the radar for almost everyone else, except your audience. So the next time you find yourself thinking about how much you love polka-dotted socks made in Middle-Eastern countries, or Middle-Eastern country music singers who wear polka-dotted socks, think about starting a blog on the topic. You never know where it might go.