Have you been contemplating the possibility of starting your own online business? Now is a great time to stop thinking about it and start taking action. Throughout history, it has probably never been easier to start your own business.
How would you like to work from the beach or work from home and create a reliable income for you and your family?
With the internet, this is now possible. It’s incredible how quickly things have changed in the last few years to make the online marketplace, the place to do business. With more than 3.25 billion people online and increasing daily, the potential client base is huge.
But let’s not get too carried away, don’t quit your 9 to 5 job straight away, let’s see what’s involved.
At the same time don’t make excuses “I don’t know how to build a website”, “I don’t understand coding” or “Where do I start?”. There are thousands of successful entrepreneurs who have asked the same questions as you, but they succeeded because they took action and you can do the same.
I was like you a couple of years ago, I didn’t know the first thing about starting an online business. I joined an online training platform and learned how to build a niche website. Now I wish I had started years ago, don’t make the same mistake!
Believe me, it’s not that hard, if you are willing to work and are determined, you too can build your own successful business.
Is now the best time to start?
There is no perfect moment, but if you keep delaying, you may end up putting it off forever. The longer you work for someone else the harder it will be to quit, or if you haven’t got a job what have you to lose?
The sooner you start, the sooner you can reap the benefits of making money and working from your own home.
Some outstanding advantages of starting a business online
- It’s cheap
- Relatively easy to get everything set up
- It can be very profitable
- You can sell to anyone, anytime and anywhere
- You can live where you like
- No more commuting
- You can have more time for your family
- Build a business around one of your passions and enjoy what you do
- You’ll be happier
Remember how it used to be, to set up a bricks and mortar business, huge costs for renting premises, buying stock and employing people. This usually meant taking a bank loan and going into debt for a few years, if everything went well! Today we’re lucky starting a business online costs very little.
Some disadvantages of running your own online business
On the whole, creating and running your online business is fun, but there are times when you will wonder if you’re doing the right thing.
Here are a few problems or realities of running your own business.
- To build your business will take lots of hard work, time and determination. Before you start earning any money it will probably be a certain time, that’s why I don’t think you should quit your job immediately. A better idea is to work on your business when you have the time and then when your online business starts to make money you can have a rethink.
- Being your own boss means you have to decide on everything. You are responsible for the results good or bad and you have to solve any problems that arise.
- You may become isolated and miss the camaraderie of your old job. Having some good support when you are having doubts can be a great help.
- Don’t let procrastination or distractions get the better of you. You need to have strong self-discipline and manage your time.
Running your own business, you must always try to improve, learn how to solve the next problem that arises or try new ideas. Most of the time, this is an enriching experience that gives you great satisfaction when you’ve achieved a new goal.
However, we will all have moments of doubt and we will all make mistakes. Mistakes are part of the learning process, try and treat them as such.
The amazing low costs to start an online business
The cost is one of the first things people want to know.
The costs below are a guideline for creating a business like this one, an affiliate marketing site. There are other options, for example, an e-commerce store for which you may require different software and the costs will be slightly different.
These are the minimum you will need:
- A domain name – cost $10 – $13 per year. Your domain name is your online identity and is often the first impression someone will have of your business. So some thought should go into choosing your domain.
- Hosting – cost $7 -$20 per month. You will be building a website, so for that, you will need hosting.
- A keyword tool – cost $19 per month for a good keyword tool. There are cheaper alternatives but to obtain all the information you need it’s worth paying a little extra.
That’s the bare minimum, however, if you are a beginner, it’s a good idea to also invest in some good training.
The platform I recommend costs $49 per month or $359 per year. This includes excellent step by step training, hosting for up to 25 paid domains and 25 subdomains, a good keyword tool, and 24/7 support. Remember, earlier in the article, I said that having some good support when you need help is important, with this program you get it!
The program is called Wealthy Affiliate, this is the best online training platform I have found and you have everything you need in one place.
If $49 per month is too much, I understand. They do have a free option but you only receive a limited number of lessons. Nevertheless, even the free training will explain how to choose your niche, set up your website and start adding content. Very useful information, most of which you won’t obtain if you choose to set up your site on a traditional hosting platform.
Taking the first steps
Step 1. Your niche
The first step is to choose your niche. Many people make the mistake of choosing a product first and a niche or market second.
A niche is a group of people who are searching for something specific. This could be a group of people searching for the solution to a problem or information on a specific subject. When choosing your niche, it’s a good idea to pick a subject you are passionate about.
You are going to spend hours writing content for your site and if you are interested in the topic this will be easier and more enjoyable. At the same time, it’s also a good idea to find out what’s available in terms of affiliate programs for your niche.
This video gives some good tips.
Step 2. Domain name
Once you have chosen your niche, you can select your domain name. A few tips: keep it short, avoid hyphens and numbers, make it memorable and easy to type. For the TLD, choose dot-com domains where possible, as people will often assume it’s a dot com even if it’s not.
Step 3. Build Your Site
Building a site could be the part that people dread the most, but the days when you needed to know HTML code are long gone. You will see it’s now a very simple process, literally, a few clicks of your mouse and you can have your site set up. I recommend using the WordPress content management system with the SiteRubix site builder.
The great advantage with the SiteRubix website builder is that you get a free trial with 2 free websites and also some free step by step training to get you started. Even if you decide to use another platform later, this training is really helpful and gives you a good insight into the first steps to take.
There are other platforms that offer free sites like Wix or Weebly, but my preference is Site Rubix. If you’re thinking of starting an e-commerce site, you could add the Woocommerce plugin to a WordPress site, which is free, or try Shopify, they offer a free trial and this might be an easier solution if you are a beginner.
If you want to give the SiteRubix website builder a try, just enter a domain name below and see for yourself how easy it is.
Step 4. Adding content
Once your site is set up you can start adding content. Before writing an article you will need to carry out some keyword research, to find some keyword phrases that are related to your niche. You can then use these phrases to build content.
Ideally, the keyword phrases will have low competition and enough searches to bring traffic to your site. This is why a keyword tool is necessary and the best I have found is Jaaxy, although if you join Wealthy Affiliate they do have a free keyword tool that gives excellent results.
Having decided on your keywords you can start writing your content. Your content will lead to you being ranked in the search engines which in turn will lead traffic to your site and then sales or revenue.
Make sure your content is written with your readers in mind, don’t fall into the trap of writing for the search engines.
Always make sure your content is original, don’t copy text from another site or you will never achieve good search engine rankings. Your content could also be in the form of video.
The goal is for you to establish your site as an authority in your niche. The best way to achieve this goal is to write unique, quality content on a regular basis. This can be in the form of product reviews, posts that deal with common problems in your niche or evergreen articles, these could be how-to posts, lists or top tips.
As you add content to your site and you obtain some good search engine rankings, you will attract visitors.
Step 5. Monetize your site
Now you have shown that you offer something of value to your audience, you can start promoting products that will be useful to your readers. There are several ways to make money with your site, for example:
- selling digital products – ebooks, online courses or guides
- coaching or services – if you have some expertise that can help others you can sell your time
- affiliate marketing – you sell other peoples products for a commission
My favorite method is affiliate marketing. You can use text links or banners with your affiliate ID in your articles or reviews. These will direct your audience to the products you recommend. When they follow these links and make a purchase you earn a commission.
Step 6. Rinse and repeat
Now, that you know how it’s done, you simply continue the same process. As an affiliate marketer, you will spend much of your time writing content, especially when you start. Later, after you begin to earn some money you may be able to outsource some of the work.
This is a time-tested strategy to start an affiliate marketing business. Hard work is required, but it is possible and very cheap. Having started a business like this, I would say anyone can do it. You must be ready to put in the work and have the determination.
Some common mistakes to avoid
Although this may be a tried and tested process, many people still fail. Here are a few of the mistakes people make when they create their business.
- Starting more than one website. You may think you can handle having more than one website. It’s much better to concentrate on one business, at least for the first few months. Ideally, you will be writing a few posts every week, therefore, focus on one site and build something of quality.
- Being tempted by get rich quick schemes. Don’t believe the marketers who say they’ve found a magical system that lets you earn a fortune overnight. These don’t exist, to be successful takes time and hard work.
- Setting unrealistic goals. Don’t imagine you will be earning a fortune in a few weeks, this isn’t possible. If you set goals like this you will quickly become demoralized. Be realistic, if you put in the time you may see sales after a few months, however, it could be longer, there is no set rule.
- Problems and no support. With any business, there will always be problems that arise. You must find a way to overcome these problems, don’t become dispirited. This is why good support can be vital to answer your questions and also to give you encouragement.
- Giving up too soon. Success may be just around the corner, so you should never give up. If you keep going you will be successful!
Are you ready to try this opportunity?
I started this site after joining Wealthy Affiliate and now I wish I had tried it years earlier. If you’re contemplating starting an online business I would advise you to start sooner rather than later. You may have some apprehensions, but this is completely normal.
I recommend signing up for a FREE trial with Wealthy Affiliate. Then you will be able to get a good idea if this could be for you.
Now is the time to start and I wish you great success online!
If there’s something holding you back from starting or you have any other questions, let me know in the comments below.