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This week I’m excited to introduce one of the hottest side hustles of the moment, and that is low-content self-publishing.

What is low-content publishing?

Let me explain -- self-publishing has been around for a decade, and we’ve covered that quite a bit in both fiction and non-fiction -- it’s one of my favorite and perhaps most passive side hustles. Write the book, hit publish, collect royalties for years.

Cool, right?

Well, it’s the whole write the book part where a lot of people get stuck.

You might not know what to write about, and even if you do, it can be really time-consuming, and at the end of the day, it still might turn out to not be a huge seller on Amazon.

What low-content publishing aims to accomplish is to accelerate your product creation by focusing on a very specific sub-set of books:

  • journals
  • diaries
  • planners
  • notebooks
  • sketchbooks
  • and more

With these types of books, the value doesn’t come from your years of experience and a 35,000-word brain dump. Instead it comes from how you’ve structured the mostly-blank internal pages and prompts, and who you’re targeting as your customer.

With Amazon’s print-on-demand KDP print service, you can upload these products as digital files, hold no physical inventory, and collect passive royalties whenever they sell. But there’s an art and a science to it, and that’s why I’ve assembled a panel of experts in today’s show.

I’m joined by three experts in the low-content publishing space with more than 1,000 titles between them:

Rob Cubbon from RobCubbon.com - Long-time listeners might remember Rob from episode 81, back in 2014. Rob’s been in the low-content game for the last year or so and in that time has published over 1,000 titles.

Flav Maderios from SideBusinessLaunch.com - Flav was a guest on episode 300 of The Side Hustle Show last summer, where we were talking about his merch business. Since then he’s expanded to the self-publishing space with around 300 titles so far.

Rachel Harrison-Sund from RachelHarrisonSund.com - Rachel built her low content business to 6-figures a year on a very part-time basis.

But as you’ll hear in this episode, there’s some seasonality that comes into play, there are some competitive factors that come into play, and there’s a little bit of a gold rush feel to all of this.

Tune in to hear how these low content publishers go about their product research (so they don’t waste their time), how they price and market their books to maximize sales and royalties, and how they manage such wide-ranging portfolios.

Download the Free PDF Highlight Reel:

Click here to download Rob, Flav, and Rachel's top tips for starting a low-content KDP publishing business from this episode.

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At the end of nearly every episode of The Side Hustle Show, I ask my guests for their #1 tip for Side Hustle Nation. There’s always a great variety of responses, and I wanted to take some time today to go through some of my favorites from the past 50-ish interviews.

This has become an annual tradition on the show, and we just passed 6 years and 8.5 million downloads!

If you like this short-and-sweet meta-style show, be sure to check out the others in this series:

And even though my primary motivation is to extract helpful tactics for you, the listener, I can’t help but learn from my guests as well. You never know when inspiration will strike or where you’ll hear the one insight that has a huge impact.

These episodes are a lot of fun to put together, and give me an excuse to revisit some of my favorite moments and wise words from the show.

From the last 49 guests, the 3 most common theme I heard was to "Take action. Just start!"

While it might sound overly generic, don’t be quick to dismiss it. If all these really smart and successful people keep saying these episode after episode as their “#1 tip,” I think it's worth paying attention to.

My #1 tip this time? Surround yourself with people on the same trajectory.

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The Side Hustle Show by Nick Loper Of Side Hustle Nation - 2w ago

Dr. Shirag Shemmassian decided to take action on a particular skill of his, and is seeing some impressive results -- all on the side from his day job as a research psychologist.

What do I mean by impressive?

How about $650k in revenue last year, which was more than double of 2017, which was more than triple of 2016.

He’s on a serious growth curve!

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“Everyone is researching a product, I’m telling you to research a problem,” Chad told me.

Chad Rubin runs ThinkCrucial.com, a profitable e-commerce business that he’s built by selling products that solve a pain point for people. Every product follows a direct-to-consumer strategy that lets him source and sell in-demand products efficiently and inexpensively.

Click here to download Chad's top tips for finding and sourcing direct-to-consumer products from this episode.

Chad’s story began when he was laid off from his job on Wall Street. He started helping out at his parent’s vacuum shop, selling some of their inventory online.

He came to the realization that the profit margins were being eaten up by intermediaries along the supply chain, so he decided to get closer to the manufacturers to make more profit per sale, while still selling at a competitive price.

His first products, starting with what he knew, were vacuum filters. Once he had the blueprint down for selling at a higher margin than his competitors, Chad started sourcing new products to expand his product line, and he has an interesting and unusual way of finding product ideas.

Tune in to hear Chad’s unique take on product research, what he calls the “anti-Amazon opportunity,” and some sneaky ways you can connect with expert manufacturers.

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He'd just gained 3000 subscribers and made $8000 in a matter of days, but Chris Ritter's first virtual summit didn't deliver the result was looking for.

As a personal trainer for swimmers, he was looking for more clients to coach online.

Not a single one signed up.

Still, the summit was a serious turning point in his business--one that turned into a 6-figure side project in its first year. He started serving an entirely different set of customers, and went from working one-on-one to one-to-many.

Note: Click here to download Chris' top tips from this episode.

His multi-year journey includes in-person personal training, seeking online clients, writing blog posts, selling an e-book, hosting a hit virtual summit, and more.

Listen in because you’ll pick up some tactics and ideas you can apply to your own side hustle as this is one that’s ripe for replication across different niches.

It’s a story about leveling up your reach and impact and income, and evidence that opportunities start to appear once you’re in motion.

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The Side Hustle Show by Nick Loper Of Side Hustle Nation - 1M ago
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There's a topic that no one really talks about in entrepreneurship or online business, and that's the unfair advantages someone had starting out.

Behind every killer case study, every income report, every "overnight" success, there's a backstory you don't always hear.

The truth is, no one ever really starts from scratch. We bring our own history, perspectives, and baggage to the table.

We also have the advantage of learning from everyone who's gone before us. Like Newton said, we "stand on the shoulders of giants."

In this episode, I'll share some unfair advantages that undoubtedly helped me, and offer up some you probably have working in your favor as well.

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Kimberly Gauthier has been running KeepTheTailWagging.com since 2011, but things really started to take off when she niched down her focus to raw feeding for dogs.

Raw feeding is basically the paleo diet for dogs -- attempting to mimic their ancestral diet.

Her blog had than 2 million page views last year -- almost entirely from organic search in Google, and she’s monetized the traffic with a few different income streams.

Tune in to hear how Kimberly arrived at his niche, what drives content and marketing today, and how the business makes money -- all on the side from her day job.

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WTF man!?

Are you willing to fail!

Let that be your new mantra.

That's the rule Brian Scudamore -- the founder and CEO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK -- lives by.

What started with a $1000 investment (Brian's life's savings at the time) has turned into a home services empire that does $1 million in sales on any given day.

Brian's come a long way since that beat-up pickup truck going door-to-door that first summer.

His portfolio now includes house painting, moving services, and home detailing--all under the umbrella of Ordinary 2 Exceptional Brands. He’s formulated some unique and effective ways to build teams of passionate employees that share his goals and has leveraged the franchise model to grow his businesses and revenue from $0 to $444 million and beyond.

Tune in to hear how Brian started the junk hauling business as a soon-to-be college student, his thoughts on marketing and hiring, and how you can apply nearly 30 years of his own successes and failures to your business.

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A few years ago, a side hustler named Brock McGoff reached out to me with a guest post pitch.

The post detailed how he was making, at that time, $4,000 a month, from his blog about men’s fashion, on the side from his day job.

Since then, Brock has turned TheModestMan.com into his full-time focus, into a 6-figure income, and into a media empire that expands well beyond the blog itself.

Note: Click here to download Brock's top tips for growing an online business from this episode.

In this episode, Brock talks me through how he generates content ideas, how the business makes money, where he’s focusing his energy for the best results, and how he’s taken his site from a side hustle to a full-time business.

Don't have a website of your own yet? Check out my free video series on how to get up and running in no time.

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