2017 Predictions: What is Going to Happen to Lifestyle Businesses?

By Sean Ogle •  Updated: 12/20/16 •  10 min read

2016 is nearly over (duh.)

And right now you’re probably just like me, and you’re going through your annual review, and looking over what went well, what didn’t go well, making goals for 2017 blah blah blah.

That’s great – and necessary. 2017 Lifestyle Business Predictions

But you know what I’ve been really bad at over the years (and I bet you are too)?

Thinking about the future, and specifically, really diving deep into my predictions and what I think will happen.

You can learn a lot by looking at the past, but it’s having a solid grasp of what’s going to happen in the future that will ultimately make you successful.

So, I started thinking.

I start thinking about my business, the online landscape as a whole, the political situation we’re in – and I started asking myself “where will we be this time next year?”

What do I think is going to stop working, start working, or continue working?

What do I think is happening that will leave me and my business vulnerable? Alternatively, where do I think I’ll be able to take advantage of new opportunities?

This post is all about my predictions, which I hope will serve as a starting point for you’re own reflection.

I could be wrong about every single one of these, but if nothing else the exercise in looking forward, rather than looking back is one every current or aspiring business owner should engage in.

So let’s do it, here are my predictions for 2017 and how it relates to lifestyle businesses and the online landscape.

2017 will leave America more divided than we are now

Being honest? Right now is a scary time. I don’t talk about politics much, and I will continue to mostly refrain from that.

But regardless of which way you lean politically and which candidate you supported in the election, you can’t deny we’re facing uncertain times.

I hope Trump reinvents the American political landscape in a positive way. But with all of the hate associated with his campaign (and cabinet picks that basically seemed like they were available to the highest bidder), I think we’re in for a tough year in 2017.

Things will flare up again towards the end of January, and every move the new President makes will be under scrutiny – and this will lead to more anger, resentment and fighting.

Later in the year, I think this could change if the President is willing to change and be more open and accepting to all ideas, and not just ones involving walls and bombs.

All of this said…

This will lead to the best time to start a lifestyle business since 2009

If you’ve followed this site, you know that I believe uncertainty can be an asset and lead to opportunity if you frame it in the right way.

If I’m being honest, I would say that my life is better because of the recession. I don’t feel good about that, because I know it was horrible for many people and families.

But coming straight out of school into such a negative ecomonic time period, it meant there was a lot of change, and I had little to lose – so I took some risks (that really weren’t all that risky).

I think that while we won’t see the same economic drop we did back then, the newfound uncertainty will lead to opportunity for people who are willing to seize it.

As job security may be called into question for some, it will be a time to think about next moves, long term goals, and frankly what makes you personally happy in a world where so many people are not.

With so much attention placed on global politics lately, the happiest people will be the ones who do their best to tune that out and focus on their own lives. And I think for many, focusing on a new business, alternative incomes streams, and ventures where they are in control will be a big piece to this puzzle.

SEO writing and content writing will continue to be the best way to get started online.

I’ve heard the question a lot lately: “does SEO writing still work?”

Short answer, yes, absolutely.

But a longer explanation is needed for this one.

First off the term SEO writing is dying – it’s evolved so much that term doesn’t accurately describe the opportunity any more.

The vast majority of the internet is based on words.

The majority of businesses get their traffic from search engines.

So call it whatever you want, content that is optimized for search engines, will continue to be relevant.

In 2017, I think a content writing will be even more relevant and valuable to the new entrepreneur than it’s been in the past.

Sure you can’t use article spinners to pump out 10 articles an hour for $5 bucks a piece.

But because Google is getting smarter, that means there’s an increasing need for high quality content (call it SEO writing, content writing, freelance blogging, whatever you want), that people will pay a reasonable amount of money for.

Do I think this is what most people will do forever? No. But I do think it’s the best “bridge business” out there, to help you transition from what you’re doing now, to having a business that gives you the freedom and flexibility to do more of what you want in life.

If this is interesting to you, check out Location Rebel Academy. We’ve just completely revamped our blueprint structure and released our “Content Writing” blueprint, which replaces the old SEO writing blueprint.

More people will start to self-publish, and have a difficult time with it.

Over the last couple years one of the most popular online businesses to start has been to self publish books on Amazon.

It’s amazing we live in a world where you can literally make millions of dollars self publishing books.
However, as with any medium where people start seeing success, the more people that flock to it, the harder it’s going to become.

I know quite a few people who make very good livings self publishing. But lately, I’ve talked to a handful of them who found it harder to achieve the same levels of success in 2016, as they did in years prior.


“There are just so many other people now, it’s getting saturated and becoming harder to hit those best sellers list that were a cake walk before.” said one author I know.

Is there sill an opportunity? Yes, absolutely. And they will continue to be one.

But the people who are going to be successful will be:

  1. The people who really know how to write
  2. The people who have something unique to say
  3. The people who know how to market a book.

So don’t take this as me discouraging you from self publishing, just recognize it’s getting harder and harder.

Frankly, we’re in a gold rush state, where the best way to make the big bucks is to sell the tools rather than searching for gold. I know a couple entrepreneurs who have built million dollar businesses very quickly capitalizing on this by teaching people how to self publish.

Personality will be 100% necessary if starting a new business online

I grazed past this in the last point, but this is going to be one of the most important factors in any business in 2017.

What are you doing that’s unique? What is your angle that makes you so different from the thousands of other people who are trying to do the same thing as you?

If you’re boring? No one cares.

If you’re a copycat? No one cares.

Bottom line, if you’re going to succeed you need to be useful and entertaining.

Now I’m not saying you have to be a comedian or rock star to have success online, but you need to at least try to set yourself apart.

“Why would you follow you?”

Ask yourself that honestly, and you’ll be way ahead of the game as you move into the new year.

The tighter the niche, the better chance of success

Because so many markets have been saturated, the people who will be most successful are the ones who niche down into those markets.

Do you help people learn how to trade stocks?

Or do you help people under the age of 35 that want to travel the world, learn how to day trade penny stocks, like Cameron.

Do you help people lose weight?

Or do you help video game nerds who don’t like traditional gyms get in shape like Steve?

Do you help people make money online?

Or do you help people who are in jobs they don’t like, become new entrepreneurs by building small bridge businesses, that allow them to travel and spend more time with their family like me?

In 2017, you won’t necessarily have to change what you’re selling, but you will need to niche down how you’re selling it and who you’re selling it too.

People will make a killing off of others being scared.

This isn’t something I’m advocating here, but it’s something to be thinking about.

Earlier we talked about the scary things going on both with the US and the world as a whole.

People are scared. When people are scared there is opportunity, and there will always be someone willing to capitalize on it.

Cape Breton is doing a pretty good job of this.

So be aware in 2017 who is selling and what you’re buying, and why you’re buying it.

Instagram will become even bigger, and Twitter will become increasingly less relevant

I’ve had a couple people ask me which social media platform I’m the most bullish on.

The answer? Instagram.

I think it’s beautiful in it’s simplicity, and they’ve been implementing new features in a way that really works.

The biggest factors are stories, disappearing messages, and Live video.

These directly take on Snapchat and Periscope.

Do I think Snapchat is going anywhere? No, but I think it now gives me even less of a reason to start using it considering I can pretty much do the same stuff with Instagram in a much easier to use package.

I think it is also another huge blow to the Twitter owned Periscope that specializes in live video – as now, I have even less of a reason to use Periscope as well.

I think Twitter is the best tool for reaching out and getting on the radar of other influencers or people you want to know, but I think it’s going to continue to slide as there are far better ways to share and consume content.

Next year…

These are just a handful of things I’ve been thinking about, and considering while planning what my year is going to look like.

Over the last few weeks, it’s become on clear on social media that 2016 was simply a bad year for a lot of people.

For 2017, focus on you. What actions can you take, and what moves can you make that will get you closer to the life you’re really looking to live?

I’m excited to see where things go, and one of my biggest goals for the new year? Tune out the global and political noise, and truly focus on what want, and what my audience (you!) want – that’s what will be most important to my success and happiness.

Sean Ogle

Sean Ogle is the Founder of Location Rebel where he has spent the last 12+ years teaching people how to build online businesses that give them the freedom to do more of the things they like to do in life. When he's not in the coffee shops of Portland, or the beaches of Bali, he's probably sneaking into some other high-class establishment where he most certainly doesn't belong.
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11 comments on "2017 Predictions: What is Going to Happen to Lifestyle Businesses?"

  1. I appreciate your work- but I must say that I don’t think it’ a matter of Google getting smarter—the matter here is MONEY. It really doesn’t matter how much you blog or link—content write or write for SEO—It’s all about MONEY. If you can afford to pay these high tech companies to run sophisticated traffic bots and apps for your company–you will do well and you will have sales. Otherwise, you will suffer for years trying the build an organic foundation that you “think” will eventually put you on top. Do not fool yourself and stop trying to fool the people. I say—If you can’t be honest with people about e-commerce and the real pathway to success—you shouldn’t be online telling people to blog more—write more—educate the internet public more—while we simply pay the big guys to send us all of the revenue. It’s really sad that e-commerce has come to this “totally monetary” engrossed system—while struggling entrepreneurs are trying to do everything “right” as decided by Google…? It’s just like real life—you will have the poor and struggling and the wealthy—who just open a shop—pay the big dollars—and sit back and enjoy the fruits of no labor. Google needs to change this—-and so does Facebook.

    Happy Holidays.

  2. Now more than ever, quality content backed by realistic views and facts needs to become a hot commodity again. As someone who writes a historical blog that has been focused on politics lately, I share your uncertainty as to the course of the world. History is a great litmus for such things but living in times without many historical parallels, I find your insight to reflect my own and that of many folks in this country now.

    Either way, we are all in for the ride so we must make it the ride that we desire.

    Cheers to another year in the books!

  3. Prefer to remain anonymous says:

    Thanks for another great article Sean.

    Happy holidays!

  4. Nely says:

    Great post, Sean. Thanks!

  5. Paul Fountaine says:

    I am going to disagree with your first assumption, that America will be more divided. America has been divided, quite clearly, for at least a couple of decades. Whining and crying in public may be at a peak, but what I see in commerce has almost nothing to do with political landscape and public bad behavior.

    The Leena Dunham’s and Amy Schumer’s of the world have already lost audience, as people in general can’t maintain a hyper-critical emotional position long-term. If you’ve never had kids, you may not realize, but a tantrum is a tantrum, regardless of age or political persuasion.

    What I see in commerce and ecommerce (I work in logistics as a profession, both domestic and international) is that creativity, specialization, and the ability to properly identify a marketable niche have a lot more to do with success today than politics, religion, or any other pop culture fad.

    Recognizing a fad from a trend, taking seriously your particular product or service, and applying that knowledge and expertise to an accessible niche seem to be keys that successful businesses of all types pursue.

  6. Timothy says:

    Thanks for your predictions Sean. This should help in steering online businesses in better directions for me.

  7. Elly Klein says:

    Great post, Sean. Thanks for taking the time to share your predictions with us.

    Sadly, I think you’re right about this: ‘Tune out the global and political noise…’ I feel guilty turning my back on what’s going on in the world, the reality is I’m absolutely maxed out on it. It’s not possible for me to move forward in a positive way if I spend most of my time and energy obsessing over every piece of ‘news’ (yes, I put that in inverted commas because 2016 proved that news is no longer accurate or unbiased, which results in it not being terribly informative). In 2017, I’m focusing on me and my little world for a change. Ironically, I think I’ll end up helping a lot more people this way.

    Hope you have a merry Christmas and a very happy and productive New Year.

  8. Chad Westby says:

    This was an interesting piece! I’ve stuggled with the authority site/niche site conundrum. It seems like one of the key benefits of a tighter niche is much more clarity on what content to prioritize and the opportunity to develop a more intimate connection with an audience.

  9. Jakub says:

    Totally agree with the SEO writing – English is my second language + I’m not good with languages. Finding a decent writer is very difficult.

    The issue I see is that they usually don’t niche down. “I can write about anything mate!” OK, write “XX” and then you can see it’s written by someone who has no knowledge about the topic.

    Someone passionate about finance should not write about internet marketing.

  10. Harrison Burge says:

    Thanks Sean for the 2017 predictions, especially your thoughts on Instagram vs. Twitter and the insight into providing the tools instead of searching for gold.

  11. “Do I think Snapchat is going anywhere? No, but I think it now gives me even less of a reason to start using it considering I can pretty much do the same stuff with Instagram in a much easier to use package.”

    And what do you think about Snapchat’s IPO?

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