Do you want to dictate your own working hours?
Have the freedom to work from anywhere in the world?
What about having an unlimited income ceiling?
Sounds like a pipe dream? Well, it probably is.
It isn’t impossible though.
As someone who’ve had my online business for awhile now, I have observed that there are certain consistent patterns entrepreneurs follow when it comes to building a successful online business.
In this post, I’ll share them with you.
But first, why bother starting an online business?
- Low start-up cost
- Huge global audience
- Location independence
The implications of the above 3 are huge.
A college student can serve 1,000 customers from her hostel room.
Someone in a third world country can sell products in the USD currency and hit the top 1% of earners in his country faster than you can blink.
A stay at home mom can interact with viewers from around the world while taking care of her kids at home.
Heck, this is the only business that you can start in Bali or something.
Why you should not start an online business:
- Long hours in front of your computer
- You have to be comfortable with virtual friends
- It is a business – so the usual risk of business comes in. It may take you months and years to create anything sustainable.
- Shiny object syndrome
- You probably will need to invest financially in it first, like any business
- A certain level of technical proficiency is needed
- Noise in the internet world (e.g comment spam, trolls)
Still want to learn more about starting an online biz? Keep reading.
How to start an online business:
1. Identify a need online
Fundamentally, you need to solve a problem for someone. Specifically, the problem must be painful enough such that someone is willing to pay you to help them solve it.
Most people get “dazzled” by the idea of an online business and forget that… it’s fundamentally a business.
- What problem are you solving? (find the niche you want to be in)
- Who are you serving? (figure out your target audience)
- What are you going to sell?
2. Set up your website
Next, you need own website!
It will serve as the home ground for your blog and all your other online activities.
There are multiple platforms available for you to start your website.
Here’s how to start a website the right way: How to Start a Blog in 20 Minutes
(It’s also one of the most popular posts on this blog, with over 10,000 shares! You’re in good hands if you follow this guide.)
3. Establish yourself as an expert
There is no better way to put it – your brand is really an overall experience. You have to establish yourself as an expert in a particular topic.
This comes with time (you start out as a nobody and overtime, gain a following and influence).
People have to remember you and trust you to purchase from you.
4. Get traffic to your website
It goes without saying that you need people coming to your website. People have to know you exist, right?
A good way to get traffic is via blogging. You create useful content (here’s how to write a perfect blog post), and search engines pick it up and send people to your website.
For that to happen, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is what will help you get your content found by search engines.
You could also do paid ads and leverage on social media to bring more eyeballs to your site.
If you want to learn how to get an audience, I have a free webinar on 3 Key Strategies You Can Use To Rapidly Grow Your Traffic & Email List that will be extremely useful for you.
There’s so much information online, having a guided course that shows you exactly how will absolutely change your game. My course, Traffic Subscribers Yours, is my proven system that covers exactly how you can get traffic to your blog + biz.
5. Use your email list to nurture potential customers
Once you have people coming to your website, get them to subscribe.
Building your email list is very important! It gives you an avenue to “groom” and build a relationship with your readers until they are ready to buy from you.
When you have a product/ service to launch, email your list! It acts as a loudhailer to sell to your audience.
If you neglect building a list, you find that your traffic comes and goes, and they may never come back again unless you have an avenue to keep in touch with them.
Some articles about list building on this blog:
- List Building 101: How to Build An Email List That Makes Money (Cheatsheet Included)
- Why Building an Email List is a MUST for Your Blog & Business
- Why I Switched to Using Convertkit As My Email Service Provider
- Newsletter Content Ideas To Send & Engage Your Subscribers
- 10 Game-Changing Strategies I Used To Create an Irresistible Lead Magnet/ Freebie That Got Me 711 Downloads in 3 Months
- Get More Subscribers: 6 Hotspots To Place Your Email Opt-in Boxes
My course, Traffic Subscribers Yours, will help you get your first 1,000 subscribers in the fastest and most strategic way possible.
Most list building courses assume that you already have huge amounts of traffic coming to your site, waiting to be converted to subscribers.
But not this course – it helps people that are starting from an invisible speck online get traffic, and then convert them into subscribers. It’s a great course that cuts through all the fluff online.
Having an online business model is important. Otherwise, you’re driving traffic and building your list but you aren’t monetizing your precious traffic.
All online businesses work the same way: They all have something to sell.
Here are some ways you can monetize your website:
- Coaching services (health coach, business coach, etc)
- Freelance services (web design, graphic designs, social media management)
- Online courses
- Recommend products on your site for a commission (aka affiliate marketing)
- Website banner ads
- Sponsored posts
- Or a combination of all!
The ones that have worked the best for me are services, online courses, and affiliate marketing.
1. Identify a need online
2. Set up your website
3. Establish your expertise
4. Get traffic
5. Nurture your list
There you go – the 6 steps to start an online business. I hope this has helped!
It is a tough journey at times, but starting an online business is definitely worth it!
P.S: Feeling lost and overwhelmed by all the stuff you have to learn as a newbie?
My new course, Kickstart Your Blog, is an all-in-one resource dedicated to helping new bloggers start and grow their blogs strategically.
I made it specially for beginner bloggers in mind who are overwhelmed and don’t have the patience to trial-and-error (for maybe even years) to find out what works. Do check it out and grab it if you’re interested in starting your very own blog + biz!