Starting An Online Business: The Ultimate Online Business “How To” Guide
Online Business Opportunities That Anyone Can Start
When it comes to making money online, the possibilities are limitless. What started out as an idea to create an online bookstore, turned out to become one of the worlds largest online retailer, aka Amazon. With the growth of the internet, you no longer even need to have taken any web development or web design college courses.
How is this possible? Just type in the Google search engine "how to [your question]" and you'll find thousands of websites and YouTube videos teaching you how to build an online business without any prior experience.
Even if you want to get technical and learn the in's and outs of coding and web development, you can learn very quickly for just $25 per month with companies like Treehouse.
If you have access to the internet, then you can build an online business. You just need to know the basic process, and know where to find the right online business resources to speed up the process. You can find that, and much more, right here.
4 Online Business Models With Unlimited Income Potential
When it comes to making money online, there are essentially 4 different strategies that most businesses use to begin making a profit online. In order to make money online, we have to create value for our customers be it in the form of physical products, paid services, or helpful content. The following four online business models have unlimited income potential and can be done regardless of prior experience.
Why Start An Online Business
Starting an online business may seem like a daunting task. Rest assured its actually pretty easy to do, thanks to today's innovative companies. Why would anyone want to start an online business? What's the benefit to you, and how is it going to help you achieve your lifetime goals? Allow me to list all of the reasons you need to start an online business:
- The internet has over 4 billion daily users
- Those 4 billion users start their purchasing cycle through online research
- You can sell any product, service or membership in any industry you choose
- The income potential is limitless
- If there is an audience, you can make money. This means that most market industries have potential!
- No inventory is required in most cases.
- No start-up costs are required in most cases.
- You can truly put in a lot of hard work now, and get paid on that work for years to come.
- No prior experience is needed.
- No college degree or education is needed.
- The internet is only growing in its potential, and to not start an online business is a sure path to failure for any current business.
Think about the last time that you purchased something. Where did your purchase cycle start? I'm willing to bet that 99.9% of you reading this answered with "researching the product online" or something to that extent.
Where did you end up making that purchase? Probably with the company that ended up helping you make a decision, or provided great insight and referred you to a trusted provider (to which they got paid a small commission behind the scenes, if you didn't know).
The surprising part is, that most likely that website that provided you great insight and help was being run by a single person in their 20's or 30's, and created that content possibly up to a few years ago. They put in the work now, and reap the rewards indefinitely.
See where i'm going? Starting an online business has virtually unlimited potential, and can be done by anyone with a computer, keyboard and mouse. Ready to get started?
How To Start An Online Business
There are essentially four different ways that can be used to begin making money with your online business. All four strategies can be used together, and when done properly will accelerate your online business growth.
The foundation to starting your online business begins with your online presence. All four online business strategies that we discuss here require that you have a basic website if you want to build a sustainable business foundation.
This is similar to having a store location in the local strip mall, but online in this case. Without a storefront, how do you expect your market to find your store?
How to build a website for your online business
Using website hosting companies like HostGator or Shopify allows you to create a professional looking website without the need to know how to code. How is this done? With the simple "drag and drop" features of website builders, you are able to write blog posts and organize your website without any prior experience or knowledge.
So which option should you start with? It depends on your primary online business model (Affiliate Marketing, Blogging, Ecommerce or Email Marketing).
Start here if your primary business model is Affiliate Marketing, Blogging or Email Marketing
If your primary business model is Affiliate Marketing, Blogging or Email Marketing, then your best option is to start with HostGator.
For just a couple bucks per month you get access to a domain name, access to WordPress along with their hundreds of website themes, website security, and website support should there be any issues.
Their wide variety of options for website hosting makes it a perfect fit for small websites and enterprise websites.
Should you choose to start selling physical products at a future point of your online business, you can even integrate WooCommerce, a popular WordPress plugin that adds the features needed to sell physical products on your website.
Start here if your primary business model is Ecommerce
If your primary business model is to be an ecommerce website, then your best option is to build your online business with Shopify.
Shopify is perhaps the most popular ecommerce website builder, allowing anyone to easily set up an online store in just minutes. They are the king pin of ecommerce websites.
They have made it easy for anyone to open up an online business and connect it to wholesale companies and drop shipping companies to sell physical products.
Along with their user friendly store builder, you get access to free training's and content on how to properly build your ecommerce store to be successful.
5 Steps To Build An Online Business Successfully
When all is said and done, there are essentially 5 steps to building a successful online business. All you have to do is follow all five exactly and your success is inevitable.
Step 1: Choose your industry
The first step in building a website is determining your website niche. Choosing a website niche is essentially choosing which industry or market you want to focus on. The idea is to start out with a detailed topic that allows you to be the "go to" for everything related.
An example of this could be "Health and Fitness for High School Basketball Players". The market is detailed, and the audience is large. You also have potential to expand your reach as your business grows.
Step 2: Pick a domain name
Your domain name is like your telephone number. Its your digital storefront address that will tell your customers where to find you. You can pick your domain name using a free domain, or purchase a domain for a few bucks per year.
If your just starting out, I recommend starting with a free domain, and as you become more familiar with your business you have the option to purchase your own domain without interfering with your current website.
There are potentially hundreds of places online that you can purchase a domain or use a free one. To ensure you get the top quality service, with options to integrate with other online business services, you want to choose a well known company that has been around for a long time. Our top pick is HostGator.
Otherwise, for those of you wanting a quick and easy way to build a free website on a free domain, I suggest using SiteRubix to start out. Here's a video showing you how to build a website for free with SiteRubix in under 60 seconds.
Step 3: Choose your website theme
Your website theme is simply the template layout of how your website will be organized. It's like choosing between apple or android. Both have different features and allow you to do different things, and each has their own style of layout and organization.
The difference is that with websites, you have thousands of themes to choose from. Don't stress this too much since the theme can be altered or changed as your business evolves.
Despite whether you chose to purchase a domain or use a free domain from step 2, both options will allow you access to plenty of free theme options to start with. However, you will want to purchase a theme sooner or later as it will allow you to customize your website to fit your market and audience.
Choosing a which website theme to purchase can be a tedious process. The problem is most themes only give you access to see a demo version of your theme. This can result in purchasing the wrong theme and having wasted your money. How do you avoid doing this?
Start with trusted theme companies that have great reputations, and buy a theme that offers a package of different theme options rather than just one theme. Here are our top two picks:
ThemeHunk: ThemeHunk is a great option for access to modern and professional themes for blogs and ecommerce stores.
They offer an option to get access to all of their professional themes for a one time payment.
Each of their themes offer a lot of customizable options making it easy to fit almost any website niche.
Elegant Themes: Elegant Themes is popular among online business owners because of the variety of options they provide.
Along with their "elegant" style of website theme layouts, they also offer multiple professional WordPress plugins that make your themes even more customizeable.
Their WordPress plugins also work with any WordPress theme available, not just Elegant Themes.
Step 4: Create your most important pages
If you want new customers to purchase from you, you need an "About" page. The next page you need to focus on creating is your "Disclosure" page. This is another page that is required by search engines and affiliate companies should you decide to include affiliate links on your website.
Step 5: Make money
Once you've completed steps 1 - 4, you are ready to begin posting your products and marketing your website. Depending on which business model you start out with will determine whether you begin selling physical products or creating helpful content.
Now that you have the foundation of your website built, the next steps are to market and create over and over again, and watch the money roll in!