Solopreneur Business Ideas to Help You Break the Chains of the 9 to 5

I remember what it felt like to be bound. I recall how it felt to be chained to a job you dislike. Working a 9-5 job never suited me. I felt grateful for the experience but in the same breath I felt like I was slowly dying. Waking up to work for someone, at a set time, 5 or 6 or even 7 days weekly when I was a security officer sometimes putting in 80 hour weeks wasn’t for me.

Says Ryan Biddulph, who is making a living blogging from Bali and Fiji at BloggingFromParadise.com. Ryan is a contributor to SearchDecoder.com, opinions his own.

Today I live a different story. I have engineered a freeing solopreneur lifestyle through blogging. Generating a full time income through my blog has helped me spend months in places like Fiji, Bali, Costa Rica, Vietnam and Laos. I have helped legions of aspiring professional bloggers break the chains of their confining lifestyles to become free.


I am thinking of one hyper passionate solopreneur in particular. He explained how seeing Blogging from Paradise lit the spark, stoked the flame and created a raging roaring fire from within that inspired him to leave his 9 to 5 behind to become financially free, to travel the world and to influence an army of folks to do the same.

You may be stuck in your cube looking for a way out. I believe in you. You too can break free of the chains to create a prospering, full time income earning, solopreneur business. It takes time, Matt Capala has a system to make money with your blog in 6 months. It depends on your effort and skill level. You may not cash in millions by discovering the next Facebook – or you may – but creating a sustainable online soloprenuer business is within anybody’s reach.

First, you need to learn practical, usable tips to be in charge of your life, to call the shots, to become a Ronin; a masterless samurai in full control of your destiny. Like a ronin, you too can be a drifter or wanderer, a digital nomad like me who makes the world his office.

samuraiphoto credit: Samurai via photopin (license)

I am soaking up a stunning view as I write these words from Bali. The Indian Ocean lies to my South. The Lombok Strait to my East. Gone are 18 hour work days at the shipping terminal. If I can become a full time, professional, free blogger I know you can do the same.

Goodness knows I’ve learned important solopreneur lessons along the way.vUse these solopreneur ideas to break the chains of your 9 to 5 job.

Go from Fiery Passion to Practical Problem Solving

I suggest following your passion into your solopreneur niche. The passion makes the engine go. This mindset tip is only one part of the equation though; after following your passion it’s time to solve some pressing problems through the use of tools, techniques and strategies.

Below you will find the practical ideas to work on to create a freeing, inspired lifestyle.

Start a Blog for 1 Stop Customer Shopping

Blogs are 1 stop shopping for readers/customers/fans. Publish:

  • reviews
  • articles
  • podcasts
  • videos
  • eBooks
  • free giveaways
  • online courses
  • images
  • testimonials

….and 101 other forms of content – or more – to your blog.

Solopreneurs need that extra edge to stand out from a crowded, competitive niche. Blogs brand you. Blogs build your authority, increase your trust factor and make you a one of a kind solopreneur.

Make sure to buy a domain and hosting. No sense branding anybody other than yourself.

I started from scratch, and over time I’ve garnered tweet endorsements from New York Times Best Selling Authors, Ambassadors for Oprah Winfrey’s network and I’ve also spoken at NYU about how to properly monetize a blog. I created these opportunities through blogging.

Blogs open doors that few solopreneurs can see without a blog in their marketing arsenals.

I became an influential blogger in less than 6 months. I did so through creating value and making connections with other growing solopreneurs. Show off your best stuff, but focus on solving problems and creating value. Promote your buddies to build your tribe. Start blogging.

Publish a Valuable Newsletter

Emphasis on “valuable.” If you’re like most people you check your email daily. Or, hundred times daily like many of us do.

An email newsletter is convenience marketing. Solopreneurs can spread their valuable, helpful, inspired message in an easy to find and digest fashion. You need to show up in the email inboxes of your growing audience.

Build trust over time and let your subscribers know when you have great content or an exclusive offer through well-written email blasts. A quality, ever growing email list is the cornerstone of a soloprenuer blogging business.

Offer free value first before you ask for anything. Use your newsletter to:

  • increase product sales
  • grow your freelance businesses
  • increase your conversion rate
  • grow your blogging community
  • monetize your content
  • get leads

I noted an instant uptick in Blogging from Paradise eBook sales the moment I started list building. More than anything, people were more frequently exposed to my content.

Pack value into your emails. If you publish in-depth, pillar style blog posts simply link to your eBook-sized posts via your newsletter. Grow the critical bonds with the prospects who discovered you through blogging, who can eventually become your clients or customers. Solopreneurs need connections and real relationships to establish a profitable – and freeing – business.

Do yourself a favor. Sign up for Matt’s email newsletter on SearchDecoder.com. You’ll get insider information along with a 40% discount on the best SEO course I’ve taken, ever. Scroll up. Find the opt in form on the right hand side of the page. Type in your email address and start optimizing your blog today.

i will teach you seo

Be a Social Media Butterfly

I have gained 31,300 twitter followers by engaging people on Twitter who fit a profile of a blogger. They didn’t come on their own to discover me when I was getting started, I sought them out. Embrace a mindset of a pro blogger and use social media to build relationships with other bloggers – make friends fast.

Bad social media marketing is media without the “social”. Solopreneurs may build their business from a solo space but no business owner is an island. Friends with high social influence can help you expand your presence, build up your brand and grow your business much quicker than you could do on your own.

I check my twitter, Facebook and Google Plus accounts twice daily. Responding, engaging, asking questions, sharing answers and thanking my social buddies for sharing my content builds critical bonds that any growing business owner needs to expand their online visibility.

Engaging regularly also cancels out the “I will promote my business via a bullhorn at you!” tendency which strickens many growing solopreneurs who believe they need to do it on their own.
The Nuts and Bolts of Social Media Media…’Great Success’ from Matthew Capala

Build an Online Empire through Blog Commenting

I built my own online solopreneur ’empire’ through blog commenting. Commenting is a tactic that has worked for me over and over again.

In the past year I’ve lived for 4 months in Fiji, 6 months in Thailand and I’ll spend the next 6 months in beautiful Bali. I am not talking week long vacations; I’ve lived for years in the tropics now.

Blog commenting has been my #1 marketing strategy, my favorite friendship building tool and my #1 technique for driving traffic to my blog.

Blogging commenting is a:

  • free blog marketing method
  • perfect friendship building technique for solopreneurs just starting out
  • way to get paid – indirectly – for sharing your opinion

Comment on authority blogs from your niche. For example, if you’re blogging in the “blogging tips” niche consider commenting on blogs like ProBlogger. Check out this recent whopper of a comment I left in response to Darren Rowse’s post.


If you noticed this isn’t even the entire comment. Not every comment will be this thorough but you get the picture. Be memorable and try to stand out.

Make an impact with a thoughtful and authentic comment. Use first names. Thank the blogger for sharing their opinion. Indicate that you read the post (really do read the post, or at least get the gist of it).

Hang with the blogging big dawgs of your niche using platforms such as Triberr. Network. Spread your solopreneur stories and learnings, while helping others who do the same.

Blog commenting is one of the most underutilized strategies for building your online brand. Oh yes, download my eBook too:

Blogging from Paradise: How to Build an Online Empire through Blog Commenting

Build an Online Course through Udemy

Skilled solopreneurs are experts – they have been blogging about a niche for long enough to know everything about it. Experts are teachers. And teachers create courses.

If you wish not to be bound by some physical location – i.e., if you want to teach from Bali, or Fiji, or Tahiti – Udemy offers you the perfect platform for showing off your expertise.

Matt created the ultimate SEO training system online in SEO Like I’m 5: I Will Teach You SEO. He did a fabulous job baby stepping SEO newbies though the process of targeting their ideal readers, clients and customers. His course helped me speed up my growth and accelerated my content monetization efforts.

Udemy gives you a chance to become an expert without having to spend a fortune on earning your college degree, or on getting your PhD. Digital nomads are entering a bold new era, the ‘Choose Yourself’ era.

Solopreneurs are earning trust through a variety of non traditional, ever changing tools. Udemy is one such tool. Share your knowledge, Teach!

Sell Kindle Books

Matt notes in his article on The Next Web, The New Rules of Content Monetization, that

“The days when keyword-optimized landing pages with downloadable PDFs, powered by PayPal and video testimonials performed best are long over.”

You need to show up where your customers are and you need to make it easy for them to buy and use your products. If you’re selling books you better be on Kindle. I mistakenly ignored the platform for months. Recently I hopped all over Amazon Kindle at Matt’s insistence. I am so happy I did.

Solopreneurs like me and you need to harness the stupendously powerful concept of leveraging. I have said before that Amazon.com masquerades as a search engine for digital products. It’s Google, but for eBooks, paperbacks, and about a zillion other products.

Leverage your presence. Write informative, targeted and helpful eBooks for Kindle users. Format your eBooks properly. Solve the most pressing problems suffered by your ideal readers. Sell a problem solving value that is so overwhelming that readers have no other choice but to gobble up your eBooks.

Matt provides solopreneurs with a fabulous eBook blueprint in his best selling SEO Like I’m 5.  The book has generated 42 five star reviews, so the value speaks through his happy customers. At the end of the deck, it’s so much value-packed for a couple bucks.

Of course, I have generated a less modest but still respectable 21 five star reviews for How to Retire to a Life of Island Hopping through Smart Blogging.

The more reviews you get on Amazon, the higher you will appear on keywords and in the categories you target. Leverage your relationship with other bloggers to spread the message through interviews, podcasts and webinars.

Get Kindling you aspiring solopreneurs today, it’s the quickest way to make money online!

Sell Audiobooks

In this day and age of interactivity on the web audiobooks are growing in popularity. As a solopreneur you want that little edge that makes you memorable. Reading words on a screen can make an impact but hearing those words spoken makes an indelible impression on your listeners.

Add that human, engaging touch to your publications. Record audiobooks

Matt has published an inspired audiobook version of SEO Like I’m 5. Check it out today:

SEO Like I’m 5 Audiobook

Your Turn

What ideas can you add to this list?

As a solopreneur how have you built your business?

3 replies
  1. Sylviane Nuccio
    Sylviane Nuccio says:

    Grate stuff, Ryan,

    I have 3 short ebooks in the oven that I’ll be selling through Smashwords and I was thinking how much I could teach through a Udemy tutorial.

    I purchased one and frankly I wasn’t too impressed and though, wow, I could do something better than that LOL. So the possibilities are really out there.

    Thanks for sharing.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *