There are many ways to start a business online. The route you take dependents on the kind of business you are interested in starting.
Most online businesses how ever require a website. Like a brick and mortar business, your website is your platform for conducting your business.
Here are the basics of how to start a business online
Find a Niche
The very first thing you need to do is ask yourself this question; What kind of business do I want to start in?
If you can’t answer that right away, brainstorm and come up with as many ideas as you can.
Do not try to screen at this stage. Just let the ideas flow and write them all down.
Then think of what you enjoy doing and add to the list. Ask friends and families about their hobbies.
Be observant and look at your environment and ask yourself this question; What problems can I solve with my business?.
Read news papers, go to forums, watch the news and gather as many ideas as you can.
Write all these ideas down as you go. Once you have exhausted the list of possible business ideas, go through your list and use several methods to narrow it down.
You can use keyword research to find which of the ideas on your list are lucrative.
Usually, ideas with a lot of monthly searches and medium to low competition are usually good keywords to target for your business.
The high monthly search means people are searching the internet for this idea.
The medium to low competition means you have a better chance of making money with this idea than one that is highly competitive.
You can use a keyword tool like Jaaxy for you research. They will allow you 30 free searches, after which you will need to pay a monthly fee to use the tool. Fees start at $49 a month for basic membership.
If you start your online business as expected, you will need such a tool for targeted content keywords which will help draw organic traffic to your business.
For more about keyword research, click here
Another way to narrow down you list is by sorting out those ideas you are least excited about.
It is important to start a business with an idea you are passionate about, simply because the online business world is tough.
There will come a time when your passion will keep you going when nothing else can.
Many people give up mostly because when the tough times hit, they have nothing to keep them going.
However, when you are passionate about your business, you will have a good reason to keep it going.
There need to be a good balance between passion and profitability.
Don’t just go into a business because you are passionate about it. You also have to make sure it is lucrative.
If you don’t balance these two, you will be wasting your time.
Buy a Domain Name
The next in the process is to buy a domain name. You need a domain name in order to lunch a website.
As I mentioned earlier, if you are going to start a business online, you will most likely need a website.
Take the example of businesses like E bay, twitter and Amazon; they all have websites through which they communicate and interact with their customers.
A domain name is a name like xyz.com.
Let’s say for example that you want to build your business about portable toilets; then your domain name should relate to this idea.
You can search portable toilets and choose the best from the list that comes up.
Many times, the name you like is taken and you need to keep looking till you find a new one that works.
Some people use keyword tools to help them when searching for domain names.
These people prefer to go with Domain names that contain lucrative keywords.
That is, Keywords with plenty of searches a month and medium to little competition.
Other people prefer to build a brand so they choose a name that means something to them.
It is up to you what you name you website. Domain names cost some where around $13 a month.
Buy a hosting plan
After finding your niche and registering your domain name, you need to buy a hosting plan.
Most hosting companies use WordPress to build websites. The plans cost anywhere from $5 to $100+ a month, depending on the number of websites hosted, their speed and their size.
Sometimes, you may have to buy your domain name from one company and host it with another but this is complicated.
It is better to buy your domain name and hosting plan with the same company.
You can build your website by yourself by downloading WordPress for free.
It is not hard to do but why do it when you can use services from many of the companies I listed above to build it for free as well.
WordPress is an open source content management software so it is free.
Most websites in the world are build with WordPress. They have many beautiful responsive themes to help you build a unique business website.
Personalize your website
There are many steps involved in this stage.
This is the stage where you choose the color scheme of your website.
You also get to arrange the positions of the side bar and decide the text type and fond color for your pages and post.
There are many free WordPress themes to choose from. Some work better for certain types of businesses than others.
You will have to play with them for a while to figure out which one you like best.
The tools you need will be located on the dashboard of your WordPress site.
After you have finished tweaking your website; you are ready for business.
Writing content for your website
The first course of business is to write content for your website.
As you go about running your business, you will have to keep up with content writing to attract visitors to your website.
Content has to be captivating and related to your topic/ business idea.
It is even better when your content solves a problem . At this stage, you should be well aware of your target population and how to go about attracting them to your website.
Monetize your website
Seeing how the whole idea about starting this online business is to make money; it is very important to use the right techniques to monetize it.
For affiliate websites, product reviews are a great way to draw traffic and thus earn money.
In this instance, all you have to do is write very helpful product reviews and add affiliate links to it.
When people read your review and click on your affiliate link, it takes them to a vendor’s website where they can buy the product.
If they buy this product, you will earn commission for referring that customer.
If your website is e-commerce related, you need to list your products and use targeted keywords to draw traffic to your website.
You can also use paid traffic to generate income online.
How to start a business online with Wealthy affiliate
Wealthy affiliate is an education platform that teaches people how to start successful online businesses.
They also facilitate the process of starting an online business by providing the necessary tools for building a website.
It cost $49 a month for premium members and this covers education and hosting for 25+ websites.
You can join this program for free and you can also build a website for free to begin.
The free membership does not expire so you are under no pressure to upgrade to premium. With the free membership, you will get basic training and tools.
This is a great place for beginners to learn what they need to start a successful online business.
It is where I learn about online marketing and this website is hosted by them.
If you are serious about starting an online business, click here to join for free.