It is very easy to get carried away, when starting an online business.
Without a clear plan to follow, it is common for most people get enticed by shinny object and unrealistic expectations, which intimately results in lost of time and money.
In the following article, I share a simple 10-Step Action Plan, which I am using to build my new online business.
Secure A Source Of Income
In the initial stage of building an online business you will incur some costs.
While it is possible to minimize these expenses, you will need a source of income to cover the business and your living expenses.
If you already have job, even one that you dislike, don’t quit just yet.
In the mean while, you should consider developing some high income skills, especially if they relate to, or would aid, in your future business of choice.
Some awesome examples of high income skills are:
- Content Creator
- Video Production
- Website Designer
While the list is not exhaustive, I’m sure you get the idea. In this way you can act as a freelancer as you develop relevant skills.
Do Some Niche Research
It is advisable to choose a niche, in which you are interested or already have some knowledge.
However, this is not an admonition to “follow your passion”, even though it would be ideal if you got to do so.
You must keep in mind that the success of the business ultimately depends on its ability to serve the needs of the intended customers.
Here are a few questions you can consider.
- Who do I intend to serve?
- How competitive is this niche?
- Are there any underserved areas within this niche?
- What information are they seeking?
- Do I know the answer to their problem?
- Am I willing to put in the effort to find and share a suitable solution?
It is important not to miss this step; as it can save you a lot of time and money in the long term.
Start To Build A Brand
A brand is basically the reputation people associate with your business.
At first, this is represented by your choice of domain name, logo and look of your website.
In short, keep it clean and simple. First impression counts!
Ideally, you should think about where you wish to share your content and secure “your name” on those platforms.
Here are a few places to consider:
Notice I have not included Facebook and the like, this is due to the recent performance of non-paid external links on these sites.
However, if you see it as necessary to develop a community, then you may consider such platforms.
Create Content Consistently
It is said that content is king and this rings true.
People like to do business with people they know, like and trust. This is true for other companies as well.
Through your content you can develop your authority in a particular field over time.
This also helps to build your brand, as well as open doors to monetization opportunities.
As you build an audiences ad networks are willing to pay you to display their ads to your content, as long as you met their criteria.
In order not to miss out on this opportunity, it is best to take this into consideration as early as possible.
Do research on what criteria has to be met in order for you to qualify to partner with these networks.
If you are going to be putting in the effort to create the content anyway, could as well you get paid for it.
Start To Build An Email List
An email list is the lifeblood of many online businesses.
However, it is important to ensure that you take the time to build your authority, before implementing this strategy.
This goes back to content creation.You have to give people a reason to want to stay in touch with you, or to return to you site.
Think of it this way, when is the last time you returned to a website with one article?
With that being said, it is important to have a reason to send out that email or news letter.
By regularly creating and publishing new content, you put youself in the ideal position to share this, niche related, content with the person who requested it.
See how all of this is coming together already?
Create A 30 Days Email Series
A nice way to automate this process is to create a 30 day email series. This will be your first info product.
Don’t over complicate things.
You can use existing articles and structure them as a free mini course. Offer this in exchange for the visitor’s email address. The autoresponder will take care of the rest.
Over the next 30 days, this series will build rapport with you new reader, all on autopilot
Participate In Affiliate Marketing Programs
Affiliate marketing is opportunity for you to earn a commission by sending visitors to certain offers.
This is also an opportunity for you to test what type of products your readers are willing to buy, without spending a ton of money to create one of your own.
Never sell to your list! At least not like a pushy sales man.
Think of how you felt after eating a great meal or looking at an awesome movie.
- Did you share your experience with your family and friends?
- Did you feel nervous of uneasy recommending the restaurant or film?
Keep that in mind when you refer a product or service.
Sell Your Own Product On Amazon
It is now easier than ever to sell products on Amazon.
With the advent of Amazon FBA, Published On Demand, Print on Demand; T-shirt, Books, etc., you have ample opportunities to choose from.
A word of warning though, don’t get carried away.
If there is a need within your niche, then by all means give it a shot.
For the very least, you may like to consider writing a book at this point, if suitable for your chosen.
With the magnitude of information you had gathered over the months or years, you can self publish via Amazon’s publishing service.
At this point you are not looking mainly for sales, but the authority that comes with being a recognised, publised author in your chosen niche.
Accept Coaching And Consultation Request
Over time, the opportunity for one on one and group coaching will present itself.
This may come in the form of consultation or simple question and answers sessions.
Many people are willing to pay a small fee to “pick your brain” for a specific period of time.
This is a great time to do some “field research”.
Listen carefully to their concerns. Identify recurring issues.
As these request grow beyond your capacity it will be time to automate this service.
Create An Online Course
An online course can be considered an automated version of your one on one coaching.
You can simply make note of common questions and concerns that customers have expressed while requesting consultation.
At this point, there is no question that you are an authority in this little niche. You have a list. You have a brand. Now you can capitalize on all of this in one little “package”.
Although simple, the steps laid out above are by no means easy. In fact, each step requires you to acquire knowledge and skills you may not have had previously.
However, it is a clear guide nonetheless. Once followed it gives a clear path to building a business from scratch.
In order to succeed, you will need focus and determination as well as the discipline to do the monotonous work even when you don’t feel like it.
Most importantly, if developed properly you will have a business that will not depend on you, which means that you can enjoy the ultimate pleasure not business building; to sell and do it all over again