Every entrepreneur dreams of coming up with a groundbreaking business idea and riding it to success. However, the reality is that very few have the good fortune to make it big on their first try. It’s far more common for entrepreneurs to work for years looking for an idea that could offer their big break.
Every now and then though, new platforms emerge that create opportunities for potential entrepreneurs. For example, Shopify and Etsy made it incredibly easy to launch online stores, creating a new wave of business owners. Right now, Amazon’s Audible audiobook platform is creating similar opportunities, especially as Amazon makes a push to promote it.
Entrepreneur Rob Anderson has a unique perspective on how others can capitalize on this. Here’s his story and his advice to others looking for the next great entrepreneurial side hustle.
Rob started out on Amazon as a third-party reseller who eventually built a 7-figure business. While he was successful as a private label seller of his own brand, it was a full-time job that consumed all of his attention and time and required considerable capital.
Then it occurred to him that there might be a better way to leverage Amazon’s unprecedented reach to make a profit. He began to notice that advertisements for Amazon’s audiobook platform were beginning to appear everywhere. They were sponsoring well-known personalities on YouTube and were all over the social media ad space. They even enjoyed a prominent position on Amazon’s home page.
Rob says, “Because I was already selling through Amazon, I’d seen what it looked like when the company threw its weight behind a new product, and I started to wonder if it meant there was an opportunity for people like me to capture some of the traffic their big push was no doubt creating. So I started to look at the types of audiobooks that were available through Audible. And to my surprise, most of what was there wasn’t coming from big publishing houses, it was self-published works from people all over the place.”
Rob had spent years learning how to be successful as a third-party reseller on Amazon. Given he already understood how to work within Amazon’s system to achieve prominent product placements on the site, he decided to try and publish audiobooks based on the insights he gained as a third-party reseller on the platform.
In his first year publishing audiobooks on Audible, he generated over $100,000, which he discusses on his Youtube channel.
Rob says that there’s no reason others can’t do the same. In fact, he even founded another new venture called Audiobook Masters where he teaches entrepreneurs how to market their audiobooks. He explains, “Audiobooks are a perfect side hustle for entrepreneurs because they can convert expertise and knowledge they already have into an evergreen product that produces ongoing revenue. There’s almost no overhead, and it frees them up to do what they do best, which is innovating and nurturing their business ideas.”
According to Rob, there’s very little you need to get started as an Audiobook publisher. All you have to do is buy some inexpensive recording gear, the same kind podcasters use, and brush up on their writing skills. For those who are limited on time, he recommends outsourcing the entire process using low cost ghostwriters and narrators found on websites like Upwork. You can easily find a native English speaker to write or narrate your book for reasonable prices.
Rob explains, “Once you get your thoughts and ideas onto paper, you’ve already gotten past the hardest part of the process, then it’s just a matter of recording and editing a reading of your manuscript.”
To market your audiobook, Rob suggests studying the Audible listings for audiobooks aimed at similar audiences and looking for common points among them. Per Rob, “Then you can try and reach that same audience by including text in your descriptions that is likely to be a part of their content search.”
Additionally, marketing an audiobook is similar to promoting any other kind of product. You have to understand your target customers’ pain points and demonstrate how your audiobook offers solutions.
The most attractive part of publishing audiobooks is that your work is scalable. Once published, you can continue to earn a consistent revenue stream from an audiobook as more people discover it over time.
This means it can free you up to pursue more ideas with less economic pressure. As Rob explains, “Lots of entrepreneurs rush into starting businesses when they’re not ready because they have no choice, economically speaking. But with an evergreen product keeping their bottom line stable, they stand a better chance of making good business decisions that end in long-term success.”