What Are Evergreen Ideas All About?

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So, say you’re ready for your next project. Congrats! And, say you want to start an online business.

Related: 25 Business Ideas Worth Millions That I Don’t Have Time to Build

But you aren’t sure whether your idea will be viable in 10, five, or even two years.

How do you know what niche your online business should be in? After all, you don’t want to waste your time building a business no one needs.

The first thing to recognize here is that online businesses typically fall into one of four categories: ecommerce, software as a service (SaaS), digital service and content. Examples include:

Whether you are thinking of starting an online business, or already running one, you should strongly consider targeting an evergreen niche. Evergreen niches typically never go out of style, nor are they usually subject to extreme seasonal dips and spikes, which makes them good candidates for starting a business in.

Evergreen niches are also not heavily dependent on trends. You may be doing a roaring trade in Fidget Spinners today, but how sustainable is that demand from consumers? Chances are, it will eventually go the way of the Tamagotchi, the Beanie Baby, and the Pet Rock.

Finding an evergreen niche that isn’t overly saturated is often one of the hardest parts to starting a business. Here are examples of the most evergreen niches and examples of websites that service them:

Related: 7 Online Business Ideas That Could Make You Rich

Sports and hobbies

Type: ecommerce/ Example: LifeFitness

Belong to a gym? You have most likely seen this piece of equipment before. LifeFitness is an elite manufacturer and wholesaler of exercise machines, such as treadmills, ellipticals and stationary bikes. This offering plays to the ever-expanding demand in the exercise niche. In fact, market analysis site FranchiseHelp notes that gym memberships rose 18.6 percent from 2008 to 2014, a trend which the article’s writers expect to continue.

Weight loss

Type: SaaS/ Example: Lose It

Lose It is a goal-oriented weight-loss program that helps you track your caloric intake. It allows you to set a target for how much weight you want to lose and how quickly you want to lose it, then offers suggestions based on those goals.

This is a subscription-based service that offers both a free basic plan and a paid plan with advanced features. This model is very common in the world of SaaS.

Gaming

Type: content/ Example: PCGamer

PCGamer is a gamer’s paradise with extensive reviews of all the newest games and hardware. It is the go-to authority for anything PC-game related, which means it is positioned to continually update its content as the industry evolves.

Ubisoft, a mega-player in the industry, recently put out a third quarter earnings report, which pointed to growth opportunities in the $30 billion PC gaming market (according to the company), so it’s a promising industry. PCGamer also previews new game titles before they launch and reports on technology news outside the realm of gaming.

Relationships

Type: SaaS/ Example: OkCupid

There are always people looking for love. OkCupid aims to help them find it. While many dating applications are mobile-based (think Tinder and Bumble), OkCupid is best experienced on a desktop or laptop.

OkCupid employs detailed questionnaires that try to elicit enough information to match you with your soulmate, meaning its offering grows more sophisticated as time passes and the company collects more data. This is sustainable, as it goes far beyond using just pictures to make a match.

Beauty

Type: ecommerce/ Example: Sephora

LVMH-owned Sephora was founded in 1969 and has over 1,900 boutiques worldwide. Sephora revolutionized the brick-and-mortar beauty industry by replacing traditional sales reps with “beauty advisors” and encouraging customers to try before they buy.

The company’s ecommerce store is no less innovative, offering video how-to classes and an extensive community section where customers can interact with brand representatives, influencers and other Sephora customers. Sephora is home to nearly 200 brands as well as its own private label.

Wealth

Type: SaaS/ ExampleeToro

EToro is more than just an online stockbroker. Its OpenBook platform allows you to learn from the trades and portfolios of over five million other eToro traders worldwide. It even gives you the ability to easily copy their trades, all within a  dedicated app.

With this type of social trading, eToro claims, “The collective well-being of the community is fostered through high levels of interaction, the wisdom of the crowds, strategy sharing and trading tips.”

Food

Type: ecommerce/ Example: Seamless

Founded in New York City and now available in over 15 states, Seamless spotted an opportunity and made itself a food delivery option for the millions of people who eat lunch (or dinner) at their desks.

Seamless isn’t good only for consumers. In 2013 it merged with GrubHub, which along with food delivery services offers a point of sales (POS) system to restaurant partners that seamlessly integrate in-house orders with online ones.

Education

Type: Digital Service/ ExampleLynda.com

Lynda.com was founded in 1995 and has been offering online classes since 2001. It was acquired by LinkedIn in 2015 for $1.5 billion. In turn, LinkedIn was acquired by Microsoft for $26.2 billion in 2016.

There is little doubt that online education is a big business. Lynda.com offers over 6,000 video courses that teach business, technology, and creative skills. Other highly successful sites that operate in this evergreen niche include Coursera and Udemy.

Mental health

Type: SaaS Example: BetterHelp

BetterHelp pairs its more than 1,500 licensed therapists with people in need of help. Clients fill out a questionnaire that details how they are feeling. It offers them the opportunity to name problems and areas of concern that they want to work on.

For a flat monthly fee, they get unlimited access to “their” therapist via an app, where they can message that therapist 24/7. Why is this evergreen? It’s a safe bet that humans will never run out of the desire to improve their mental health.

Related: 12 Low-Cost Business Ideas for Introverts

Final thoughts

The ten evergreen niches here are among the most consistently lucrative. You can find an even more comprehensive list here. When choosing a niche, remember that competition isn’t always a bad thing. A competitive market indicates that there is strong demand and, thus, money can be made.

In short, there’s always room for someone with a new angle, idea or product. A niche without competition is unlikely to be a profitable one unless you’ve invented an entirely new product for which there is consumer demand.”

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Email Marketing Works

1. Email marketing is easy.

One of the reasons email marketing is so valuable for business owners is that it is an easy way to start reaching consumers on their mobile devices without requiring a big investment in new technology or software.

52 percent of US cell phone owners access their email from their cell phones. (Pew Research Center)

42 percent of retailers’ email messages were opened by consumers on their cell phones. 17 percent were opened by consumers on tablets. (Forrester Research)

Conclusion: Nearly three out of every five email marketing messages doubles as a mobile marketing message. Why is email marketing better than SMS marketing?

why does email marketing work1) It works on a variety of mobile devices (phones and tablets)

2) Emails are free to receive for the consumer (texting can incur a charge)

3) Emails have far more space for content than text messages

4) Emails can be formatted much more creatively than text messages
2. Email marketing is effective.

Being a relatively easy strategy makes email marketing very appealing. But one of the biggest benefits to email marketing is how very effective it is at helping business owners and consumers stay connected.

Consumers often seek out email marketing campaigns from their favorite brands and local stores. 28 percent of US online shoppers intentionally subscribe to receive store and product related emails. (Nielsen)

59 percent of US moms say they would sign up for email updates from brands if rewards were offered (Loyalty 360).

There is real value to staying connected to your customers. Email marketing makes that easy to do.

Still asking, “Why Does Email Marketing Work?” Keep reading …
3. Email marketing is adaptable.

The versatility of email marketing is a major reason marketers should keep this tool in their marketing toolbox. Email marketing messages can range from simple to very complex. Emails can be personalized to include the name of the user and even more.

Many of the personalization tactics used on web sites can easily be applied to email marketing. (Retention Science)
4. Email marketing is inexpensive.

The best reason to use email marketing? It’s easy, effective, and inexpensive. Email marketing allows business owners and entrepreneurs to reach a large number of consumers at a rate of pennies per message as compared to much more strategies such as TV, radio, or direct mail.

And it’s not just saying this. A joint study from Shop.org and Forrester Research found that 85 percent of US retailers consider email marketing one of the most effective customer acquisition tactics.
Why Does Email Marketing Work?

The point is this: Email marketing may be an old tactic, It may be misused by some but it remains a vital strategy. It is relatively easy to get started with email marketing, so there really is no excuse for business owners to not be taking advantage of this powerful marketing tool.

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How Do Emotions and Beliefs Relate

The Relationship Between Emotions and Beliefs

Updated on September 10, 2015
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Dr. Thomas Swan studied cognition and culture at Queen’s University Belfast. His work explores theories of emotion, attention, and memory.

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Beliefs often describe a commitment made in the face of uncertainty. | Source

What are Beliefs?

A belief is an internally held or publicly espoused commitment to a premise that may be knowable or completely unsupported by evidence. Importantly, this gamut of uncertainty is what distinguishes beliefs from knowledge. For example, most of us know and believe that the sky is blue, but if you believe it will rain tomorrow, you do not necessarily know it will rain. Thus, beliefs are often formed when someone ventures beyond the scope of their knowledge, and takes a risk by committing to a premise that may not be entirely supported.

Given the inherent risk, beliefs that are publicly stated often have non-trivial content, i.e. they concern topics that are important for the well-being or social status of the speaker. As a result, beliefs may be imbued with an emotional investment, such that if the belief is proven wrong, there will be an emotional cost.

Many psychologists view belief as an unscientific term that deserves to be phased out. Contradictory and ambiguous definitions may be to blame for this attitude. However, knowledge is even less well defined. For example, a skeptic would claim that we can never know we know anything. If this is the case, then knowledge is merely a well-supported belief that we falsely ascribe the comforting notion of certainty to.

The Purpose of Beliefs

Beliefs may function to advertise your unique characteristics as a mate. The beliefs you hold will distinguish you from other potential partners. This allows like-minded members of the opposite sex to pick you from the crowd, which helps to guarantee a stable relationship in which a child can be brought up successfully. Natural selection should favor extensive belief formation, as this will improve the process of mate selection, and the quality of the child-rearing environment.

How Are Beliefs Learned?

Many of the beliefs we hold have been borrowed from individuals who demonstrate authority or prestige. This includes parents, celebrities, historical figures, politicians, and community leaders. For example, children will overwhelmingly adopt the religious beliefs of their parents. Another natural means of belief adoption is our propensity to conform with the majority.

Ignoring these sources of belief can negatively affect well-being. For example, one could be disowned by their parents, ostracized by society, or destined for failure as a result of choosing maladaptive beliefs. Natural selection has filtered those who are disposed to this behavior from the gene pool, leaving the human race with a disposition for conformity and prestige-based mimicry. An added benefit is the ease with which these types of beliefs are formed. If we assume that the popularity or success of a belief makes it reliable, our mental resources are spared the difficulty of testing it.

Nevertheless, niche beliefs can be attractive if the benefits outweigh the costs. Indeed, if beliefs demonstrate one’s unique characteristics as a mate, then pandering to the majority isn’t always an effective strategy. However, it’s likely that most niche beliefs will be adopted from models of authority or prestige for the aforementioned reasons.

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When forming beliefs, we all like to think we’re perfectly scientific. | Source

How Are Beliefs Formed?

Sometimes a belief will be formed using one’s own cognitive faculties, with little or no influence from other people.

Perhaps the rarest mode of belief formation is that which relies on empirical observation and universal systems of logic to make `rational’ deductions about one’s environment. Not surprisingly, most people claim to exclusively use this method. Indeed, people wish to be seen as impartial because it gives their opinion extra weight. Even if someone has made a rational deduction, accusing them of being irrational will provoke an emotional defense. Thus, it may be impossible to form a belief without the influence of emotion, because even rational beliefs are a source of pride.

A more common form of belief formation is motivated reasoning (PDF). This is often used to reinforce prior beliefs or knowledge that one has an emotional stake in. For example, if a patriot extracts pride from the belief that her country is great, she will be more inclined to believe stories that show her country in a good light. In the same way, religious people are inclined to believe Intelligent Design because it supports prior beliefs that they are emotionally invested in. The purpose is to fool oneself rather than others. Indeed, if a new belief agrees with preexisting beliefs, it appears to be rational, and the motivation for forming it can be ignored.

As well as reinforcing positive emotions, motivated reasoning can be used to cope with negative emotions. For example, sitting in a hospital bed might intensify one’s fear of death. This should create a motivation to believe in an afterlife, prompting a biased search for information that can be used to support the premise. Whether the individual reads holy books and theological articles, or listens to priests and religious groups; the goal is to convince themselves that, if they believed in an afterlife, their belief would be rational. If these mental gymnastics can be performed, the new belief serves to alleviate the negative emotion that triggered the process of motivated reasoning.

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Emotions such as anxiety may be a significant factor in belief formation. | Source

Intuitive and Reflective Beliefs

Cognitive scientists usually separate beliefs into intuitive and reflective states. For example, a man observing a lady smile at her companion’s behavior may form the reflective belief that replicating this behavior would be useful during a romantic encounter. However, this relies on the intuitive belief that a smile is an expression of happiness. Intuitive beliefs are automatically treated as data. They include folk beliefs such as `solid objects cannot occupy the same space’ and `other people have beliefs and desires that are separate from my own’.

Ineraction Between Emotions and Beliefs

Our beliefs influence how we perceive, interpret, and construct the world. As a result, beliefs are central to the production and transformation of emotional states. According to cognitive appraisal theory, emotions are elicited when we evaluate stimuli in our environment. This evaluation includes questions such as “does this stimulus help or inhibit my goals?” and “can i cope with it?”. Negative answers should produce an unpleasant emotion, but if we are to answer these questions, beliefs are required about the nature of the stimulus. For example, feeling anxious during a romantic encounter requires beliefs about how one is expected to behave, and whether one’s behavior matches that ideal. If these beliefs are wrong, one’s emotional state may be unduly affected.

As we have seen, emotions also affect the beliefs we form, suggesting a recurrent interplay between the two cognitions. In fact, some emotions may be especially able to facilitate the formation of new beliefs. For example, anxiety is appraised whenever a non-trivial, uncertain threat to well-being is detected. This describes many of the conditions under which new beliefs form. As such, there should be no greater emotional influence on beliefs than anxiety.

Wishful Thinking?

David Hume described beliefs as perfectly inert states that cannot produce or prevent action. Conversely, pragmatist philosophers have described beliefs as that upon which we are prepared to act. If this is the case, what compels us to act on our beliefs? The deductions made thus far would suggest that if beliefs bias the direction of our behavior, emotions provide the impetus for it.

What we end up believing is invariably what we most want to believe. Though some desirable premises are plausible, many are merely a prelude to wishful thinking. Indeed, if you wish to measure someone’s lack of delusion, just ask them how many unwelcome beliefs they have.

© 2013 Thomas Swan

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