How to Start an Online Business in 8 Simple Steps

Start an Online Business

Starting an online business is a simple process; however running an online business takes effort to make it work.  Those who say it doesn’t or are trying to sell you a “done for you system” where you pay a monthly fee, they do the work for you, and you just sit back and watch the money roll in are lying.

You have to have some value to offer, a product, a service, or an idea that solves a need.  In this post I’m going to share eight simple steps on how to start an online business or to get your current business online, if you already have one.

Start an Online Business in 8 Simple Steps

1.  Decide What You’re Going to Offer or Sell

If you’re going to start an online business you have to have something that you’re going to exchange for money.  As I said earlier, this can be a product, a service, or an idea that solves a need.  If you already have one, great if not start to think about your passions.  What are you passionate about?  What do you already know that people are looking for?  Do you play an instrument that you can teach others how to do?  Are you passionate about fitness and losing weight, creating crafts, gardening, photography?

Whatever it is it doesn’t matter, you can take almost anything you’re passionate about and turn it to profits online.  If you can’t think of anything you can always sell other peoples products as an affiliate.  Places like clickbank, commission junction, and even Amazon will pay you commissions on their products that you sell and the best part is there’s no need for you to have any inventory of the products, most are digital in nature.

2. Purchase a Domain Name

Starting an online business is going to require you to have a domain name, a web address.  If you’re going to brand yourself, which is what I recommend, then you’re going to want to invest in YourName.com.  This way you can brand yourself as the expert in your given niche.  If you’re not, then you’ll want to get a domain name that is easy to remember, easy to spell, and if possible, has the key word or phrase that people will be searching for online.

Another tip, always get a .com.  Stay away from .net, .org, etc. always get a .com because people are use to typing in .com and if you have one of the others you may lose traffic from people typing in your web address wrong.  There are a lot of places to purchase domain names, I prefer GoDaddy.  They’ve been around a long time, they’re reliable, and they have good customer service.

One thing to watch out for when you buy a domain name from GoDaddy, is they’ll try to up sell you on all sorts of extras, just ignore them and just get the basic domain name, (and I always just go for one year).

 

3. Get Web Hosting

Once you have your domain name, you’ll need a place to host it.  This is where a hosting account comes in.  A host is server where you will store all your web files.  It’s the connection between you and the internet.  You have to have hosting if you’re going to have a website, unless you use a service that hosts it for you, which I’ll discuss in step four.

If you’re going to self host your website I recommend using Host Gator.  They’ve been around for a long time, they’re who I host my sites with, and there customer service is excellent.  I’ve called them many times and they’ve always been able to help me with whatever challenge I may have had.  If you decide to go with Host Gator get the “baby plan” it’s all you’ll need and it’s cheap, plus you can enter this coupon to get 25% off you initial purchase:

hostgator-coupon-blog

4. Set Up your Website: Blog

Now that you have your domain name and hosting you’ll need a web site.  I recommend having a blog as you’re website instead of just a regular website for a couple of reasons.  A website is your online real estate that you want people (sometimes referred to as traffic) to visit.  Go to Google and do some searching, what you’ll see is blogs coming up in the results more than regular websites.  Why?  This is because the search engines LOVE blogs.

Blogs are always producing new content that Google wants their users to find.  A regular website is static, it doesn’t change.  People are searching for information and if your blog is providing valuable information they’ll find it.

Another reason to have a blog is that it’s relatively easy to set up and maintain.  It helps with your branding, it shows you as an authority in your niche and helps create creditably.

If you are going to self host your blog then you’ll need to set up a WordPress blog, period.  WordPress in my opinion is the best self hosting platform out there and it’s free.  Now, there is a learning curve to using WordPress, however it can be learned.  Setting up and optimizing your WordPress blog for traffic can be challenging, that’s why I created a course that walks a person through every step from buying your domain, linking your hosting, changing your themes (the look and feel) basically an A-Z course where you watch over my shoulder and follow along.  To learn more go to WPTrafficFormula.

Now, for those of you who think you’re too technically challenged, which you’re not, you can always decide to use a done for you blog platform.  These are great if you don’t want to hassle with all the set up and learning curve of a WordPress blog.  The only one I recommend is the Elite Marketing Pro blog platform.

With the Elite Marketing Pro (EMP) you can have your blog up in minutes with only a few clicks of the mouse.   The great thing with Elite Marketing Pro is they actually teach you how to market online and you don’t need hosting, it’s a low cost and it gives you the ability to unlock 13 brand new income streams, some which will allow you to generate residual income from if you don’t know what you’re going to sell.  I personally use my own blog and Elite Marketing Pro.  You can check out Elite Marketing Pro by clicking Here.

5. Get an Email Follow Up System

Regardless if you decide to use the WordPress platform or Elite Marketing Pro you’ll need a way to build a list of prospects and follow up with them.  This is where an autoresponder comes into play.

An autoresponder is a permission based email marketing system.  It allows you to capture visitor’s emails, when they fill out a form, and allows you to stay in touch with your prospects through follow up emails.  This is what you use to build your list and your list is your most valuable asset online.

aweber-logoThere are lots of autoresponders out there and the one I use and recommend is Aweber.  I’ve tried others and I think aweber is the best.  You can find out more about aweber by clicking the aweber picture.

 

 

6. Build Your Brand and List with Valuable Content

Now that you know what you’re going to sell, you have your website and autoresponder set up, it’s time to build your brand and list.  You do this by providing valuable content.  Have you ever heard the phrase content in king?  Posting regular valuable content to you blog is how people are going to find your website.

Find what people are searching for in your niche (by doing some key word research) and post articles that are relative to those searches.  When you’ve made a post the search engines index it and if you’ve done it correctly (like I show in WPTrafficFormula) you appear in the search engines.  You can also take the link post and share it across the different social networks, like FaceBook and Twitter.

There are other ways to getting traffic and we’ll save that for another post.  Once someone comes to your site you want to capture their email so you can inform them of updates in your content and follow up with them, which we’ll discuss in the next step.  You do this by putting an opt-in form, through your aweber, on your site that offers something of value in exchange for their email address.

This can be a free report, a free video series, an ebook, something of value that you give away for free.  Once this is done you move to the next step.

7. Develop a Relationship with Your List

When someone gives you their email address in exchange for your free offer now you have the ability to follow up with them and develop a relationship with them.  This is done by sending a series of “follow up” emails that provide value with information related to your niche.

You can survey your list with services like survey monkey to find out what they want to learn or know more about.  Then you can create content based on those responses.   The key here is to build that relationship so your subscribers get to know and like you.  When you create a new post or find something that will benefit them you can email it to them.  You’ve heard the old saying; the fortune is in the follow up?  Well, the fortune is in the relationship you build while following up.

8. Market Products or Services that Fill Your Lists Needs

Once you’ve built a relationship, which doesn’t have to be a long process, then you can market products or services that fill your lists needs.  You have to know the needs first and have the relationship before you can do this.  Also you just don’t keep sending marketing messages, spread them out.

Give valuable content for a few emails then send a marketing message, then go back to sending valuable content, then after four or five content emails you can send a marketing one.  Just make sure that whatever you are marketing is valuable, fills a need and will help your subscriber.  I see a lot of people just marketing junk to try and make a sale.  Always put you subscriber first and give the best you can give to them, just like you would a close friend.

As you can see starting an online business is a simple process.  It may seem like its complicated, but it’s really not.  It’s just doing certain things in a certain way.  Still some people may need help and if that’s the case with you than I encourage you to subscribe to this blog by filling out the form to the right of this page to stay up to date with more information that will help you build your business online.

If you got value out of this post than leave me a comment below and any questions you may have because I truly want to help you succeed with your online business.  You can do it.  You just need to have the faith in yourself and believe it’s possible.

 

To your massive success,

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Ed Reiner

CEO at Global Visions Online, LLC
Ed Reiner is a personal development teacher partnered with Bob Proctor's LifeSuccess Consultants company and an internet marketer. He assists individuals in building their business online and helps transform their lives from the inside out.

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