How Wall Street Oasis Makes Money
How do you create a million dollar passive income business? Create a community centered around an intense pain and sell info products and services to them all. Done.
Seriously, that is exactly what Patrick Curtis has achieved over at WSO. Let me give you the run down on exactly what he’s created, so you can think about what similar community sites you could create…hello Jack Russel dog training!
Jack first created WSO as a news and forum site. So students interested in landing a job on Wall Street would come to read up on what was happening (funny take on the finance news) and would ask each other 1000s of questions on all things Wall Street related, from resume questions to interview hacks.
This two pronged approach created a giant pool of quality, unique content…the forums alone get WSO ranking at the top of Google for 1000s of long tail keywords, eg “How do I land a job at Goldman Sach?”. And if you can’t see the beauty in getting your site to the top of Google without actually writing most of the content, then you need to be Penguin Slapped!
So with this helpful community site purring along, Jack soon added ebooks to help students with things like writing a resume, answering the toughest interview questions on Wall Street, networking their way into jobs etc. These ebooks are typically 40-60 pages and sell for around $20 on average. He started to pimp up the ebook offerings with a wider range, extending all the way to VC and private equity, as well as the GMAT (a highly related problem for this target audience).
He also employed the smart trick of offering bundled or higher value ebooks, eg an ebook plus digital flash cards. Later on Jack added all sorts of other cool offerings to the site from which he can generate $1000s in passive income every week. If my memory serves me right he created a video course that showed top Wall Street bankers interviewing students – providing a never before seen look into the interview room.
Students were willing to pay good money to see these interviews unfold, and to hear the answers before they hit the interview room! WSO also added financial modeling training to it’s product category, but did this via a partnership (affiliate) with another company. Another high pain product – the kind of product that students desperately want to cure their anxiety and increase their chances of landing a dream $100,000+ job straight out of college.
WSO also offered mock interviews and resume review services; two things you might not think of as passive, until you realize that Jack doesn’t handle any of them. He just setup the system and hooks up bankers with students. He gets the middleman fee. Same goes with the job boards you’ll find on the site. Does this all sound like waaaaaay too much work?
Well, it is. But you can go for a more scaled down version. Look at Pat Flynn’s Green Academy for architects – it’s a community site based around an environmental accreditation exam. A very small version of WSO, but equally effective when it comes to time-return.
Before I finish this case study, let me just say that building community sites requires a huge first push to build the membership base and thus get the forums populated and active. It’s also a kind of first to market wins type of deal. So if you’re thinking about ideas for community sites like this, think super niche. Hello chicken coop community site!