A Little-Known Way to Make Money on Nearly Anything
Yes, you read that headline correctly. I’m about to show you a way to make money on nearly anything, and you can thank a 19-year-old boy genius for creating the platform to do it.
But first, you should know a little bit about how social media have influenced your life. Because even if you’re not active on Facebook or Twitter, to name only two mainstream products, those websites helped mold the culture you’re living in. They helped shape trends that influence the market, of which you are certainly a part. And this was done by changing how information travels to you.
Consider this astounding fact: More people are on Facebook today than were on Earth 200 years ago. And Facebook got started only in 2004!
No wonder traditional business models are under pressure to adapt…or go the way of the dodo.
Perhaps you’ve seen pundits who report people’s “tweets.” As if you needed them to tell you what someone said on Twitter.
News anchors aren’t necessary in that area. You can look it up yourself and form your own opinion. Or “tweet” the person in question yourself.
The trends in social media have allowed you to personalize and/or customize the information you give and receive. The mainstream media just hand it down, but they drew it from the same general well.
Point being if the information highway looks like a one-way street, don’t drive down it.
Your involvement — your “clicks,” “views,” “likes,” “follows” and “shares” — on these websites prioritizes information flow. Your participation makes content relevant. Your activity determines where companies and markets put their resources. You have the power.
The content that attracts the most attention gains the most weight in the information world, and therefore has the most leverage in the business world.
You might not be getting paid for it, but tomorrow’s business depends on what you view now. And what you create, others view.
So I’d like to introduce you to a new website that will enable you to market any content to people through the power of social media. Why?
Because it could change marketing forever and you could make money in the process.
It’s called Gumroad.
The Internet service was started by Sahil Lavingia, a 19-year-old app designer who has already had a number of successes. The last place he worked, for example, was Pinterest.
If you’re not familiar with Pinterest, it started in 2010 and has since become one of the fastest growing websites to date. To get a better idea of its success, consider this brief timeline:
“In December 2011, the site became one of the top 10 largest social network services, according to Hitwise data, with 11 million total visits per week. The next month, it drove more referral traffic to retailers than LinkedIn, YouTube, and Google+. The same month, the company was named the best new startup of 2011 by TechCrunch.
In January 2012, com Score reported the site had 11.7 million unique users, making it the fastest site in history to break through the 10 million unique visitor mark.
On 18 May 2012, Pinterest is raising $120 million in a funding round expected to be announced Thursday or Friday morning, according to multiple sources. The investment, Pinterest’s third, places the two-year-old social bookmarking site’s valuation in the range of $1 billion to $1.5 billion.”
In an interview, Lavingia says he held the No. 2 position at Pinterest.
But despite the fact that it was catching on like wildfire, he left anyway to start Gumroad.
Step back and think about that…
Either this kid is insane, or he has very good reasons to be confident in his new business…
As well as passionate… because according to him, he “wants to work on it until he dies.”
His investors must have observed something similar. Since they knew he had something in mind, the meetings went faster. He pitched a vision of a perfect alignment between the interest of advertisers and users. If investors focus on users making money, the business sells itself.
The meetings must have gone well. Earlier this year, Gumroad raised $7 million from the likes of PayPal and Google associates.
The company is based on one big idea, and it’s dead simple: Anyone can monetize any Internet link.
Any creative content — songs, videos, photos, writings… anything — that can connect to a link can be sold from $1 to $1,000 a pop.
Gumroad’s cut is 5% and 30 cents out of every transaction. Compared to iTunes, which takes approximately a 30% cut, that’s a bargain.
Monetizing the link is like providing a receipt between users…without them having to set up a store or an existing marketplace. It leverages existing marketplaces and effortlessly creates marketplaces where people least expect it.
Think of a ticket to a concert. The ticket is simply access to the physical thing.
Gumroad makes it simple. Just set up an account, upload a file (like a movie) and charge $2 for the link (the product). The credit card transaction is ready to transfer after you set up your account.
Lavingia gives the example of creating a visual graphic. He spent four hours developing a picture of a pencil… then he realized that he followed many designers on Twitter, and a lot followed him. He wouldn’t have shared the file before, but since there was an incentive, now it’s up for sale. He is charging $1 for it. If it sells 500 times, that’s a great return on investment.
Gumroad is founded on the belief that there is a disconnect between how people talk to their fans and how people sell to them. People used to think that nobody would want to hear about stuff people blog about. Then Twitter came along and proved that wrong. Why can’t the same be applied to commerce?
Let the marketplace decide.
When you lower the barriers for entry, products are designed that the marketplace never would have predicted. Then you find out how people respond.
As an app designer, Lavingia has strong views on the rating system of app stores. He’s not a fan of the five-star system…and would prefer something like a 20 unit system. A restaurant may be five stars, for example, but there might be three dishes that you would never touch.
He wants to reinvent that with Gumroad. This is where other social media sites would share a symbiotic relationship with Gumroad. Using Facebook or Twitter, for example, would probably increase the number of comments on the link to the product. The monetized link could be tossed around existing social networks… and selling stuff on Gumroad would be as easy as sharing stuff on Facebook. Imagine that!
In the world of social media, and entrepreneurship in the digital arena, there are more failures than successes. But when you look at the big successes, they usually stem from very simple ideas. Monetizing any internet link is such an idea, yet it is an extremely versatile one.
My advice is to keep an eye on Gumroad while we stay vigilant for an easy investment opportunity in the company itself. The best way to determine if the business is mega-trending, however, is to try it for yourself. It won’t take you long. In fact, the demo will take you less than a minute. Click here to see what I mean.
Start your free Tomorrow in Review email subscription...We Will Not Share Your Email Address
We Value Your Privacy