Do you want to start an online business but don’t know where to begin, or are you afraid you just don’t have the knowledge you need to make it work? Or maybe you have tried in the past to make money online but were not successful or even felt scammed or ripped off. I hope to put some of your fears to rest and tell you how to start your own online business.
It’s true that starting any kind of business takes work, and that includes starting an online business. But the good news is, you don’t have to be a tech junkie or an internet genius to do it. I’m living proof of that. I’m neither of those, yet I have learned and achieved more online than I ever thought possible. When I first started online, I never thought I would be here today writing this post and telling others how to start a business online.
Starting an online business is a goal almost anyone can achieve if the desire to work hard and succeed is there, but it will not happen by itself. You must possess enough motivation to make your venture a success. There are no magic formulas that are going to propel you from rags to riches overnight. There are many get rich quick schemes and dozens upon dozens of scams out there that will not work for you. Many people have been duped by these kinds of things and as a result, they shy away from ever trying to make money online again.
Rest assured, though, that there are legitimate ways to make good money online. One of the best ways I know of is through affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing allows you to promote quality products from many different companies and brands and earn commissions without ever having to handle products or take money from customers.
There are many affiliate links on this site. If someone clicks on an affiliate link and goes to a merchant site and makes a purchase, I will earn a commission on that sale. The site visitor, or customer, does not have to pay any more for the product when this happens. Affiliate marketing is a very popular way to earn money online today and has been for years. In my particular case, I spend so much money on animals, animal rescues, and feral cats that a big percentage of anything I earn literally goes to the dogs (and cats of course).
There are other ways to make money online other than through affiliate marketing. You may have a product of your own, either digital or an actual physical product, that you want to promote. Maybe you want to start a consulting business, or maybe you want to set up a store front. You can also earn money through pay per click advertising through Google or by simply allowing others to advertise on your site. But if your goal is to start an online business of any kind, there are a few things you need to know and a few things you will need to actually get started. Before I get into the things that you will actually need to start a business online, I will go over a few things that you need keep in mind as you prepare to begin your new online business venture.
Always keep in mind that you should view your online business as a business right from the get go. A lot of people want to start a blog, and essentially, that is what you need in order to write content for your online business. But think of it in terms of a business and not just a blog. Most people who start blogs do so with the hope of making money from their blogs. There are probably some people out there that love to write and start blogs solely for the purpose of writing and sharing information, but I would guess that they are few and far between.
I really enjoy writing and typically excel at it, but I don’t have time to spend the hours that I spend writing online just for the sake of writing. That does not mean that this website was started only for making money. I chose this niche because I have an undying passion for animals and also love to wear makeup, use hairstyling products, etc. I was determined I would never again wear makeup that was tested on animals so I want to be in the know about which companies do test on animals and which ones do not, and I want to find great cruelty-free beauty products. My mission on this site is to help others do the same. But it is very nice to be able to make living doing something you really enjoy. I am not to the point of making a living totally online yet, but I am well on my way. That leads me to my next point.
If you are going to start an online business, by all means, let it revolve around something you enjoy, are good at, or are passionate about. That is the beauty of working online. An online business should not have the feel of a day job. Many people like what they do for a living and start a business online to make extra money sharing what they know. There is nothing wrong with that. But most people start online businesses with the intent of one day giving up their day jobs. Some people do not have a day job. For example, a stay at home mom might start a business in order to have an income so she can keep being a stay at home mom.
Again, make sure you start your business in a niche that you will enjoy. Many people ask what the most successful blog topics are, but you should never choose a niche (a target audience) based on what you perceive as popular just because you think you have a better chance of making money at it. If you do not enjoy what you are writing about, you will not be successful for a number of reasons. Mainly, your lack of enthusiasm will become evident to your readers, and also, you will likely give up on your business venture before you have any chance of ever becoming successful because your interest will soon fade.
Hobbies, passions, or things you are naturally good at…wherever your interest lies. The main thing to remember is that your niche is your audience. You will be writing for, helping, and connecting with real people online. The more like-minded you are with your audience the easier it will be to understand that audience and serve their needs.
Oh, did I fail to mention that a business, especially one online is mainly about helping others? That’s right. Real people will be visiting your business (your website) and they will be a lot more likely to stick around, buy from you, or pay for your consulting service or whatever the case may be, and maybe even return again if they feel like you have something of value to offer them. They do not want a sales pitch. They do not want you to be a salesperson. They want genuine help and information, and you can ultimately help guide their decision-making, which will increase the likelihood that they will be willing to spend money.
The next thing you need to know, before we move on to what you actually need to start a business, is that success takes time. I would guess that many businesses fail because of the “instant gratification” attitude. We wanted success yesterday. Not next week, next month, or next year. When it doesn’t happen like that, we deem that what we are doing is not working, it’s not going to work, and we throw in the towel and quit or try something else.
Think of it in this way. When a dentist finishes dental school, that dentist does not usually open up a practice and have a full clientele overnight. It may take several months to build up the practice. It is generally that way in almost any field. Why would an online business be any different? What if the dentist opened an office and after two weeks had only 5 or 6 clients and decided that it just wasn’t going to work out, closed the office, got a job doing something unrelated to his field, and was unhappy and unfulfilled. Wouldn’t you say that dentist sold himself a bit short? It works the same in the online business world.
Okay, now that we’re clear on the fact that building a business takes time and effort, I will tell you the main things you will need in order to actually start your own online business. You may be surprised to see that the list is very small. There are only 4 main components to an online business. If you can understand and build upon these 4 components, there is no reason that you cannot build a successful business.
Here are the basic steps to creating an online business:
- Build a niche website.
- Create content that is helpful and relevant to your niche.
- Get rankings in the search engines and traffic to your site.
- Begin making money.
Yes, I know it sounds quite simple. And the process actually is simple. Each step requires a little know-how, a little knowledge and skill, but it is not rocket science. Anyone with a desire to succeed online can do it! Let’s talk for a minute about each of these 4 steps.
Building a Niche Website
A niche is not things nor is it a topic. A niche is a group of people looking for things. However, the content on your site will be about things of interest to the people in your niche. You are writing content for people. The content will be about many different topics or things. Whether you have a product to sell or you want to start a business around a passion that you have, you need to build a website. It is doubtful that you will succeed online without one!
But is website creation difficult? Frankly, no it isn’t. You will have to host your site somewhere. There are lots of good places to host your website. And many of them are excellent and the cost of hosting usually doesn’t have to break the bank. I once hosted a website for about $5 a month. I got great hosting, good technical support, and access to a lot of things I didn’t know how to use. Basically though, learning how to actually use WordPress, the most popular platform upon which websites are built, learning how to write content, upload images, share on social media, etc. etc. etc. was all up to me. Yes, there were some resources available, but I had to really search for the information and help I needed while developing my website.
But I created Change of Heart Beauty inside an affiliate marketing community called Wealthy Affiliate. Wealthy Affiliate has given me amazing and unmatched technical support to keep my site up and running smoothly. Any technical issues I have had have been resolved with impressive speed. But at Wealthy Affiliate, great technical support is like the icing on the cake. Wealthy affiliate is a community filled with people who are all working toward the common goal of building successful businesses. There is never a time you won’t be able to find help when you need it.
And let me add here that with a starter membership to Wealthy Affiliate, which is completely free, you can build not just one, but two free websites if you want to. And you can remain a free member as long as you want and host your two free sites at Wealthy Affiliate. But if you like what you experience and want access to much much more, you can upgrade to a premium membership for a fee, which at the time I am writing this article, is $49.oo a month, but that amount is less if you choose a yearly membership. If you choose to upgrade to Premium, you not only get two websites, but you can host as many as 50 sites if you want to. You will be able to buy your own domain name if you like. Don’t worry, a domain name is relatively inexpensive. And your hosting is still included in your premium membership.
And the premium fee includes hosting, site security, technical support, and more training and community help than you will ever be able to use probably. But the thing that makes Wealthy Affiliate stand out more than anything I think is the community itself. It is truly amazing how, after just a short time, you can start to consider people you have never personally met to be family. The Wealthy Affiliate Community is like a big family, and I can almost guarantee that I am not the only one that feels that way. It is literally a community of people helping people.
If you try Wealthy Affiliate free, you will have plenty of time to decide if paying the fee for a premium membership is worth it. If it sounds a little expensive to you, you may change your mind about that when you see what all you get with a premium membership. I could go on and on about that, but I think you will get a better idea of all that by experiencing it, which is what a free account will allow you to do.
Once you get a website, you have to create content for that site. But how do you do that? How do you know what to write about? A little thing called keyword research will help you determine that. How do you do keyword research? By using a keyword tool and knowing how to choose keywords that will give you the best chance of ranking well in the search engines and writing content around those key words. Wealthy Affiliate will show you how to do that also, and within Wealthy Affiliate, you have access to a free keyword tool to do your keyword research. Keyword research will help you determine what kinds of things people are searching for online in your particular niche so you can create awesome content for you readers around those keywords. And ultimately, awesome content is what converts to awesome revenue!
So to get people to your website, your content must rank well in the search engines. If you write a post and it appears on page 1 or 2 of the Google search results, chances are lots of people who are searching for content with your keywords will see it and visit your site. If you do not rank well and your post appears on page 20 of the Google search results instead, not very many are going to find your site. The wonderful thing is, at Wealthy Affiliate, you will not only have a great keyword tool to use to find keywords, but you will have access to a lot of awesome training on keyword research and how to rank well in the search engines.
And now is a good time to mention that you will have access to tons of training on anything you could possibly need to help you build your website and your online business. I have been at Wealthy Affiliate for over a year now, and I have only scratched the surface at utilizing all the training that is available to me! There is just that much!
Once you get your site built, have sufficient content, and are starting to get some traffic (visitors) to your site, then you can start exploring ways to make money. Notice I said you must build your site and have sufficient content on it first. Many people make the mistake of putting up a website and sticking adds up all over right away. And they seldom make much money. That is because they are putting the cart before the horse. You must have a website in place and helpful content on that site if you are going to rank in the search engines, get traffic to your site, and have visitors that will stick around long enough to become customers!
By now, you are probably starting to see that building an online business takes some work and you don’t always just start making money right away. So if you need money to pay your bills and you already have a job, keep it. Work on your business anytime you can. It is very likely that one day you will be successful enough to quit your job and work from home full time. It can and does happen very often for a lot of people.
But maybe you are already a stay at home mom or a wife that doesn’t work and are looking for a way to make money without having to put your children in daycare or actually go out to work everyday. An online business may just be your ticket. Wouldn’t it be nice to literally make money from your couch or your kitchen table? The truth is, a lot of people actually do. You could be one of them if you were willing to follow the steps needed to do it and put in the time and effort it take.
So, are you willing to put forth the effort to learn to build a business online from scratch? If you really want to start your own online business from home (and literally work from anywhere you want to), start now and make it happen. Join me now at Wealthy Affilliate. Don’t worry if you think you “just don’t have time.” You can work at your own pace. No one is going to force you to do anything or complete something in a certain amount of time. You will find that creating content for your site should be something you do on a regular basis, but as far as the training goes, it is self-paced.
And the training is there for the taking. I think it will truly amaze you how much information and help is at your disposal inside Wealthy Affilliate University. And remember, you can join for free. Try it. If you don’t think it is right for you, you don’t have to stay. It’s that simple. And if you do find it beneficial, you can stay as a free member, although not with access to everything you would get as a premium member. I knew within a couple of weeks that I wanted to go Premium. I was just that impressed. You may be, too. But you will never know if you don’t try it.
Here, I have included a table so you can see what is included with a Wealthy Affiliate starter membership and with a premium membership and compare the two. I hope this is helpful in your decision making.
Hope to see you at Wealthy Affiliate. But whatever you decide to to do, I wish you all the best in your online business efforts!