3 Essential Steps to Starting Your Own Successful Online Business

How to start an online business

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How to Make Money Online – Getting Started

Becoming financially independent is something we all want, right? I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t love the peace of knowing that they don’t have to worry about money or if they can take care of their family. There’re many ways to make money; starting an online business is one of them.

Now, when you ask about making money online, you’re going to hear many different opinions. Some people may tell you that you can’t make money online and that all the right topics and business models are already taken (untrue). Or they might tell you that all online businesses are scams.

You’ll also hear people promise you that you can make millions online in a short amount of time. While that is true for many, it’s not the norm. Not at all.

What IS true about making money online is that ANYTHING is possible, and you can make a very comfortable living doing something that you love.

But … you’ll have to put in the time and work to overcome the inevitable roadblocks that’ll show up.

This post includes affiliate links for products and services I use and trust. Please see my privacy page for more. 

How to start an online business from home

So, How Do You Make Money Online?

There are a few basic business models that are generally successful online formats. They include:

  • Information marketing – Information is sold online, usually about a specialty topic. Information marketing includes creating and marketing products such as online courses and coaching.
  • Membership marketing – Profit is made by selling memberships and selling advertising space. An example of membership marketing is Cindy Bidar’s monthly 6-Figure Systems program.
  • Service provider – Here, you’re making money by providing a service. For example, virtual assistants provide administrative and technical services online.
  • Retailer or e-commerce – You make profits by selling products online such as crochet designs. Platforms to do this include Amazon and Shopify.
  • Affiliate marketing – Here you can make a profit by promoting the products or services of others and earning a commission. It’s a good idea to promote only products that you’ve used or trust.

There are a few things these five business models have in common. Yes, they all operate online because, yes, we’re talking about online business. But, they all also need visitors to succeed.

So if you’re considering starting an online business, how exactly do you get that traffic?


You may have heard the phrase “Content is King.” This is an absolute fact. Content is the unifying theme behind successful websites; people go online to be entertained, to be informed, and to connect and communicate.

Content can be:

  • Read
  • Watched
  • Listened To

… and shared!

Your content may be an article or blog post, a report, a book (eBook or physical), an online course, a video, an audio or a podcast.

Internet users go online to find information, so a website won’t survive if it doesn’t contain some useful content.


Initial Steps to Creating an Online Biz

  1. First, you’ll want to choose your business model (information marketing, service, membership site, e-commerce, affiliate marketing). Think about which model suits your personality. You can always switch models or expand to include others as you gain experience.
  2. Then, select a business topic or specialty. This specialty is often called a niche. A niche is a specialty topic that you’ll use as a basis for your content. For example, you could decide you want to start an e-commerce site. This is a sound idea but what will you sell? Maybe handmade earrings because that’s your passion. Or printable affirmations because you enjoy helping people reach their goals. These are just examples, but before you even think of starting your online store, you’ll want to decide what you’re going to be offering to your customers.


Get Your Information Out There

Once you’ve settled on a business model and niche, it’s time to structure the content for your site. You’ll have to give people a reason to visit your website and make a purchase or opt into your email list.

If you’re not big on writing, why not create videos to showcase your work? You could even show the process you use to create your earrings or printables.

Or, if the thought of being on camera scares you silly (guilty!), you can even record audios of yourself explaining a process, and post that.


Keep Your Visitors With You

The next step is to continue to provide value. What are you going to offer your visitors and subscribers to motivate them to stay with you? Can you offer free products such as an eBook about creating simple products? Or a checklist with steps for setting up their site?

What information are you going to provide as an information marketer that will motivate people to buy your books? What information can you give clients to drive them to hire you as a service provider such as a virtual assistant? Perhaps you can share short reports on how readers can take care of simple tasks themselves. We all love to feel empowered.

Another highly recommended idea is to create an email list as soon as possible. You can do this by placing an opt-in offer on your website. This opt-in offer is usually a free product such as a checklist, or a useful article that your visitors can download after letting you have their email address. The sooner you start setting up an email list, the better; you don’t have to wait until you’re a rock star influencer! Nor do you have to wait until you’ve made a ton of money.

Once you have customers on your list, you can then send more valuable information directly to their inboxes, and you’ll get to know some of them when they reply to you or ask you questions.


The Bottom Line

Online, regardless of the model you choose, people want to know one thing: “What is in this for me? How will this benefit me?”

  1. Choose your topic and model carefully.
  2. Create amazing content and always provide value without expecting anything in return.

Once your peeps are comfortable with you, then you can offer them something to purchase that’ll benefit them. That’s the core of any successful online business.

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