If you relate to any of the above then you are at the right place. In this post, you will learn the steps you need to take in order to have a successful online business.
The great thing about taking charge of your destiny and starting an online business is that it is inexpensive compared to renting a place and setting up a regular business.
There are millions of people on the internet every second that can serve as a market for your products and services. Plus, you can take your business with you every where you go (who doesn’t like a portable office?).
To succeed online, you need a great business idea, a lot of help and you need a plan! Any big idea will die if there is not a good plan in place for its implementation. Below are basic steps you need to take in order to start an online business.
Before you start any business you need to define your product(s) or services (in other words, you need to choose a niche). A niche is a small portion of the market that is unique ; for example xyz jogging strollers.
Niche picking is one of the most important steps because when done right, can determine whether your business is going to succeed or fail.
For example, you could be very good at calculus and physics . You notice that many students struggle with these subjects and you decide to build your business offering tutoring classes to these students.
In this case, your niche is centered around providing services to students who need help with calculus and physics. On the internet, you could reach thousands of these students who will be eager to pay for your services.
You can make written tutorials and videos that give a step by step analysis of these subjects or you could even give live video lessons.
On the other hand, you could be very good at making jewelry and other things which you need a market for. In order to reach many people, you can start an online business and display your products to millions of people around the world.
Another way you could offer a service is via affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is a kind of business where you recommend someone’s product for a share of the sales.
Say for example that you are passionate about home décor, you could build your site on the idea of recommending specific decors to your readers. When someone goes to your site, read your review and buys any of the products you recommend then you get paid a fraction of the sales price as commission.
In fact, your site can be a mix of all the types of businesses mentioned above.
As I mentioned earlier, wealthy affiliate is a great place for anyone looking to start an online business to go. They teach many business strategies and they also provide a way for you to build your website and start your business.
Step 2-Register your business
Before you can reach people online with your business you need a domain name for your business. Once you come up with a suitable domain name for your business, you need to get this trade name registered with a legitimate registrar in order to claim ownership of the name.
Registering a domain name is an important step towards a successful business because after this step you can then build your website. Your website is the platform where you will present your business to the world.
There are many domain name registrars but the most popular ones are wealthy affiliate, Go Daddy and Name cheap. Wealthy affiliate is my # 1 recommendation and by far the most convenient because they can register your site, host it and give you lessons on how to grow your site all in one place.
Your site’s name should be relatively short and easy to remember. It is good if it is something people google on the internet very often. For example “how to loose belly fat fast” can be the name of your site or it can be Fanny exotic jewelry; the point is, it needs to be specific and catchy.
A domain name for the above examples will look like this; howtoloosebellyfatfast.com and fannyexoticjewelry.com . (I will write in greater detail on the topic of “picking a domain name for your business” in a subsequent posts).
Once you have done plenty of research using keyword tools on the name of your site you need to go to a registrar and findout if that name is available. Many times you find that a name is already taken and you need to choose another one.
Once you have registered your site, you need to build your website (I know all this can be overwhelming at the start but I will give more details in subsequent post).
Step 3- Build a website
You can’t be an authority in your niche if you do not have a website to drive your idea through. Many people will try to tell you that you do not need a website but you do. It is the only way you will have control over content, design and much more. With a site you have control and people will trust you better.
Building a site might sound really frightening but with modern technology, it has become so easy. A great website building platform is WordPress. WordPress is one of the best content management software in the world. It is also very secured and has a big community of members who can help you make the process of building a website even simpler.
One of the biggest users/partners of WordPress is Wealthy affiliate. Wealthy affiliate university is a program that helps members start and grow an online business. They already have WordPress installed so building a site with them is even simpler than ever. In fact, it only takes a few minute and you can build one for free.
The key to driving traffic to your site is writing/ presenting captivating contents. It can be a written content in the form of a post, charts, graphs or it could be media.
Search engines love sites with rich content that draw and hold the attention of readers. They also like a site with content that is constantly updated. A great way to update the content of your site is to engage with your visitors via comments.
People are very visual creatures so a good mix of text and images will work well for your site. This is why sites like Pinterest whose content is mainly based on images are doing so well.
When writing content on your site it needs to flow as though you were having a conversation with a friend. Overly academic content turns people off. More so, you should allow plenty of white spaces because people get bored read long blocks of word.
Write till you have exhausted what you want to say. A good content should have at least 250 words. A word count of 1000 words plus is great but it should be good content. Avoid copying peoples work; in other words, be as original as possible. Search engines penalized plagiarism very harshly.
Step 5-Advertise, spread the word
Both new and old sites need to put in a lot of work spreading the word about their site if they are to succeed with stiff competition.
There are many ways to advertise your site without breaking the bank. Social media (Facebook, google +, whats app, twitter e.t.c) are all mediums of advertisement. Word of mouth is also a vital tool.
Many site building platforms like WordPress have plugins that allow you to share your content as you write them on a wide variety of social media.
You can also pay for advertising. Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines and even social medias offer these services for affordable prices.
Step 6- Build an Audience
By building an audience, I mean building an email list. You can write the best content in the world, but if no one reads it then you would have worked for nothing.
It is important to build an email list which is made of a targeted audience. You can do this by promising a freebie in exchange for email addresses.
Usually, people who sign up for what you are offering are already interested in it so it is more productive, marketing to these people.
When you build your list and start marketing to them, make sure you don’t go down as a spammer. It is temping to send mail after mail to prospective customers in the hope that this will lead to more sales.
This however does the opposite; people get upset with this abuse of power and opt out of your list. So, email marketing can be a very powerful tool; you just have to use it wisely.
To succeed online, you need a lot of help and you need to work very hard. This page is just an outline; I will be getting to the details soon. I am here if you have any questions. It is going to be an ongoing process and as long as you are open to learning you will succeed.