How To Create An Online Business With A Website
Creating an online business with a website isn’t difficult. Making it successful is the hard part, but in this post I am going to tell you how to create an online business with a website and give you loads of tips on how to make it successful.
I have had an online business for a while now and want to share with you what I have learned. My continuing research in to the different types of online business has allowed me to live the lifestyle I want. This is something you can do too, no matter what you goals are. Personally, my goals are to live comfortably while being able to do the things I want to do. Some people want Ferraris, boats etc, this is perfectly fine. But, I want to enjoy the outdoors and spend my time snowboarding, mountain biking, hiking and whatever I feel like doing without having to wait for a day off work.
Keep reading to see the steps you need to take to enjoy total freedom.
Step 1 - Look At Your Options
Is money your prime reason for starting an online business, or is flexible working hours your priority?
There is a lot of compromise when it comes to starting your own business. As I said before, flexibility was my prime reason for starting a business. And this is what I got with running my affiliate marketing websites. However, I work longer hours now than I did when I had a job. The difference is, I get to choose those hours, which is great. Before you start looking in to the different types of online business you can start, I suggest you come up with some prerequisites for what you want from it. For example, my prerequisites were:
- Flexibility for working hours and location
- It had to be a legitimate business as I didn’t want to waste my time or anyone else’s. Also I didn’t want to be involved in any scams
- There had to be quality training resources, as I wanted to get it right
- It had to be worthwhile, as I don’t want to work for nothing
By coming up with a list like this, you will be able to rule out certain options and find ones that tick the necessary boxes for you.
Online businesses you can look in to are:
Step 2 - Do Some Research
Once you have narrowed your choices down to a couple of options, you really need to dig deep in to the details. You need answers to questions like:
- What does it take to make it successful?
- What would my average day look like?
- Where do I learn about it?
- How much money could it make me?
- Will I enjoy it? (this is the main one)
- Is this something I can do alongside my current job?
- How much does it cost to start?
- Will it allow me to do what I want to do?
- Am I prepared to do the work required to be successful?
Doing his will mean you will pick something that suits your needs. You really need to choose something that you are happy doing. If not you will get bored and won’t put in the effort or attention your new business needs.
Part of your research needs to be in the marketplaces you intent to potentially work in. You can do this by:
- Look at social media groups associated with the marketplace. You can look at people’s interests in more detail, look at problems they are trying to solve etc.
- Research what people are looking for online. There are lots of methods to do this with researching the keywords that people type in to search engines. This is useful to know what content to create and/or what products you should be putting on your website.
- Have a look at what your potential competitors are doing. The chances are, they have already done a lot of hard work to see what they need to do to fulfil demand. You need to see how you can do it better.
If you choose drop shipping or affiliate marketing, you need to make sure that you research the niche you intend to work in. A niche is a group of people with a common interest. When you target a niche, you have more of a chance of people buying stuff off you.
You also need to research products or services you are intending to sell through your website. How much demand there is for them, availability and how much money you can make from selling each one are all important.
Step 3 - Build Your Website
Building a website is actually easier than you may think. There are a few ways to do this, you can code your website yourself from scratch, but you really don’t need to do this. This is because it takes far too long to do and it will be pretty rubbish. Most people that create their own online business, build their websites using WordPress. The main reason for this, is that it really easy to use and its plugins allow you to give your website certain features and functionality with very little effort. Here are the steps open what you need to do to build a WordPress website:
- Choose a website host and choose a domain name – It is common for people to choose the cheapest host they can find. This is not always recommended, as they are usually slow and unreliable. A good option is Blue Host, as it is inexpensive and reliable.
- Set up your website – If you sign up to Blue Host, you can easily install WordPress with one click. If you choose another host, they should have something similar. If not, the chances are they are a poor website host.
- Choose a theme and personalise it – WordPress themes are what gives your website its look. There are lots to choose from and many of them are very customisable. When you choose a theme, I suggest you do a bit of research in to it. The most important thing these days is to make sure that it is responsive. This means that it will be fast and works well with mobile devices. Also look at the amount of downloads and the star ratings of the theme that you like the look of.
- Choose plugins – As I said before, plugins give your website certain features and functions. Plugins give you the ability to speed up your website, add tables, buttons, video, add eCommerce functions, block spam add security and much more. Many plugins are free, but some have “pro” versions that unlock extra features for a small payment.
If you are considering an affiliate marketing business, I suggest that you have a look at Wealthy Affiliate. This will make the process of building a website, expanding it and maintaining it much easier. Have a look at my review of Wealthy Affiliate here to learn all about it.
Step 4 - Attract Traffic
To make your online business a success, you need to do everything you can to get as much traffic to your website as possible. More traffic means more money. There are a few ways to attract traffic to your website:
- Pay for it – By paying for Google ads, you can get to the top of people’s searches. This is really only recommended if you are already earning money from your website. It takes a bit of research to make sure that you target your ads to the right people and use the best keywords to get your money’s worth.
- Create great content – This goes back to keyword research. By basing your content around what people are looking for, your audience will come to you. This is because people search for answers to problems they have in search engines. If you create the most relevant content for a particular search, you will get to the top of Google. This means that your audience will click on your link and, if they like what you have written, they will buy following your recommendations. The good thing about a content based website, is that this method doesn’t cost you any money and is the best way of attracting organic traffic.
- Social media – Having a good presence on social media is essential these days. By posting engaging and entertain content across social media platforms regularly, you can get a good following. This will bring people to your website that genuinely like what you are producing.
To get your content to the top of Google, you need to have a good understanding of how Google’s search engine results page (SERP) works. You also need to understand how to build up a good list of quality keywords.
Step 5 - Monetise Your Website
Once you have a website with some great content, you need to monetise it. There are lots of ways to monetise a website, including:
- Flipping (build a website to sell it on)
- eCommerce (selling your or other people’s products)
- Affiliate links (promoting other peoples products and services in return for commission)
- Lead generation (direct traffic to another website and get paid when they fill in contact forms etc)
- Sponsored content (get paid to feature other people’s content)
- Donations (people just send you money)
- Sell digital products (music, ebooks, courses, videos etc)
- Google Adsense (place Google adverts on your website)
Step 6 - Refine Your Website
After a short while you will learn a lot about your website. Using Google analytics etc, you will realise what works and what doesn’t. You will also learn new stuff and realise that your website could be much better. This is where you start to learn from your mistakes and find ways to improve.
It is OK to make mistakes and is normal to do so. Just make sure you learn from them and don’t make them again.
Step 7 - Build A Reputation
Your aim is to become an authority within your niche. Once you start to do this, you will get a reputation of being a reliable and quality source of information. This will; be done by constantly creating quality content on your website and through social media. A good reputation will build up trust with your audience and they will feel better about buying through your website, making you money.
Step 8 - Build A Mailing List
A mailing list is an underrated resource. When people start to sign up to your mailing list (through a form on your website), you can send them regular updates directly to their inbox. This means that your content is put in front of their eyes, rather than them having to go out and find it.
Step 9 - Keep Your Audience Interested
When you have a website that people return to again and again, you will find it much easier to convert sales. There are a few ways you can do this:
- Create a “featured” section – Depending on your online business, this could be a best of, featured products relating to the season or showcased products. Display a banner image that they can click on to see your featured section.
- Encourage engagement – By encouraging your audience to comment on your content, you can create a community. Reply to the comments to let them know you are a real person, you can also direct them to other content you think may interest them.
- Be up to date – By creating content on up to date products, services and events, your audience will likely be wanting to see what you have to say about them.
- Create a good user experience – A website that is hard to navigate round, read and use puts people off. Therefore, make a beautiful website that is fast and easy to find content.
- Use your mailing list – As I said before, your mailing list is important. It is a potential gold mine. Send your subscribers new content that will interest them, you stand a good chance that they will buy from you again.
- Reward advocates of your brand – A simple thing as a thank you to your biggest fans will keep them interested and feeling valued.
What Does It Take?
Above are the steps for creating an online business with a website. But, this is the easy part, I am now going in to what it takes to ensure that your business is successful
You need to work on your website every single day. You also need to be consistent with the quality of content you are producing. Search engines reward websites that are good sources of quality information with good rankings.
This is seriously important. Many people that start online businesses fail because they give up before they make any money. It takes months to make pennies as a beginner, or even over a year in some cases. There are lots of reasons for this:
- Search engine algorithms – These make it difficult for new websites to rank. This is to ensure that only the best content is put in front of its users.
- The learning curve – The chances are that you are starting something totally new to you. In most cases, the techniques for starting an online business are not complicated, but they will be uncharted territory. This means you need to learn how to do them and do them well.
- Mistakes – You will make mistakes and you won’t find some of them until months after you have made them. Learn from them, fix them, put it down to experience and move on.
- Creating content takes time – If you have a content based website, such as affiliate marketing, it takes tome to create the content. It also takes a long tome to research the topic you are writing about.
- Researching products – For businesses such as drop shipping, you really need to do your homework when it comes to choosing the right products to sell on your website.
You have to have a bit of hustle about you. By being eager and having a passion for what you are doing, you have a much better chance of being a success. This is why you need to choose an online business that is based around a topic you have an interest or even better a passion about.
By learning the bare minimum, you will stay stagnant and will not make any progress. This is why you need to learn something every day, no matter how small. All these small lessons learned add up over time and will help you build your online business to the next level.
Education is super important. By being informed you can make the right decisions and avoid mistakes. You can trawl the internet to find ways of doing things, but I recommend that you find a good training course. By doing this, you know you won’t miss out on any important steps in the process of creating your now online business with a website.
A great example of one of these courses is at Wealthy Affiliate. This is what I used to start my affiliate marketing business. It has a free membership, that allows you to start training and actually build a couple of websites without having to spend a penny. I have put together a rundown of what the Wealthy Affiliate Free Membership is all about.
That Is How To Create An Online Business With A Website In A Nutshell
These are the steps you need to take to create an online business with a website. You can make a proper living with an online business, but you really need to put the effort in and not give up when you haven’t made any money. It will come with perseverance and consistent hard work.
if you have any questions or comments on this subject, please leave them in the comments section below.