What Is The Best Online Business To Start?
The thing about starting any kind of business is that it has to fulfil your needs. If you start a business that doesn’t do what you want it to or you don’t enjoy it, you are not going to be fully invested in it. This means you won’t put in the necessary effort to make it work. In this post, I am going to answer the question of What Is The Best Online Business To Start?
Make A List Of Prerequisites
When I was trying to decide what online business to start, I was going to be starting from scratch with no experience or knowledge. But, I wanted to make it work for me. Therefore, I decided to write a list of prerequisites my business had to fulfil.
- It had to allow me to choose my working hours
- I should be able to work from anywhere
- It had to be worth it with regards to earning potential
- There had to be reliable training resources, as I would be starting from scratch with something new
So you can decide on what the best online business to start for you, I recommend that you create a similar list for yourself. This will allow you to eliminate the options that are not going to work for you and highlight the ones that will.
My list of prerequisites led me to start my affiliate marketing business. In my opinion and experience, affiliate marketing is the best online business to start. Therefore, I am going to go in to all the details of it in this post. If affiliate marketing isn’t something you are interested in, check out my post how do I start an online business at home? for more ideas.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Simply put, affiliate marketing is earning money from promoting other people’s products and services online. There are three parties involved in the process:
- The publisher (you as an affiliate marketer)
- The customer
- The merchant (online shop or supplier of the product/service)
How The Process Works
I am going to explain how the affiliate marketing process works with an example:
Mike is a keen amateur photographer and wants to get some aerial video footage. He starts doing some research on drones and wants to learn more about the DJI Mavic 2.
It just so happens that you have a website that reviews camera equipment and you have written a review on the DJI Mavic 2. Mike finds your review after a Google search and clicks on it. After reading your review, he decides that this is the drone for him and wants to buy it.
At the bottom of your review, you place an affiliate link. When Mike clicks on it, he is taken to the drone on Amazon, where he buys it.
How To Get People To Your Website
You may see gurus online saying that you attract website visitors with paid adverts. This works better with the drop shipping business model, but it isn’t advised for affiliate marketing (at least not straight away). When it comes to affiliate marketing, content is king.
By creating content that solves problems, you will attract people that have those problems to solve. When I say “problems”, these could be big or small. People search the internet for all sorts of answers from looking for the best fridge to buy, finding ways to keep their kids occupied or where they should go on their next holiday.
Therefore, there are a lot of opportunities to make money by providing information on different topics.
To stand a better chance of making your affiliate marketing business a success, it is essential to work in a certain niche. You may have an idea of a niche for your website, but you need to do some homework to make sure it is a good niche. I will go into this later on in this post.
How To Know What Content To Create
There is no point just creating content that you think people are looking for. You might get lucky, but essentially, you are shooting in the dark. Therefore, you need to know what people are looking for online.
You get this information by doing some keyword research. Keywords are what people are typing into search engines to get their answers. Basing your content around keywords will give you a much better chance of it being found by your intended audience.Check out my post finding the best keywords for search engines for all the methods. Keyword research doesn’t just let you know what people are looking for. It also gives you a good idea of the competition you are facing. This is because will see how many other websites are using the keywords you are planning on basing your content around. With this information, you will be able to determine if it is worth spending your time on.
Keyword research isn’t difficult and it doesn’t take too long. An hour of keyword research will give you enough content to write about for a few months.
How To Monetise Your Website
In my drone example, I mentioned affiliate links. These are how affiliate marketers make their money. To get affiliate links, you need to join affiliate programs. I go into all the details in my post what is an affiliate program and how does it work? But in summary affiliate links track the purchases made through your website.
They are really easy to drop into your content. It is just a case of copying and pasting them in. You do need to make them obvious, so people can easily go to the merchant’s website.
Most people will not notice that the link is an affiliate link. It makes no difference to them and it doesn’t cost them any more money.
Affiliate programs differ in how much you earn. For example, with the Amazon Associates affiliate program you can earn anything from 1 to 10% of the sales price. Other affiliate programs can reward you from 1 to 75% of the sales price.
Amazon is a good affiliate program to start with, as it gives you the opportunity to promote anything you can buy on Amazon. This means it is good for most niches. My post how does affiliate marketing work with Amazon goes tells you all about it. I recommend that you check it out, as there are certain rules to follow.
The Steps To Build An Affiliate Marketing Business
1. Choose A Niche
I touched on choosing an affiliate marketing niche earlier. This first step is what you need to get right. Not all niches are profitable, so if you chose the wrong one, you are setting yourself up for failure before you have even started. I go into all the details in my post how to find an affiliate marketing niche. But in summary, an affiliate marketing niche should:
- Be focussed
- Be something you are interested in
- Have low competition
- Have a good following
- Have lots of products to promote
- Not go out of fashion
- Not be seasonal
I can’t stress how important this first step is. I have fallen into the trap of wanting to appeal to as many people as possible with one of my websites. This was a big mistake, as the content wasn’t relevant to all of my visitors and the competition was too high.
2. Choose A Domain Name
Your domain name is very important and surprisingly difficult to choose. Your domain name is the first impression your website visitors get, it is important for SEO and it is part of your brand.
My guide on how to choose a domain name for your business goes in to all the details. This is something that I wish I had research more in the early days, as I would make my life much easier. A domain name should:
- Be .com
- Be brandable
- Be short
- Be easy to say
- Be easy to type
- Use niche keywords
- Allow you to expand later on
- Not be in use
3. Build A Website
Building a website isn’t that difficult to do, even if you have never done anything like it before. You need to find a domain name registrar and a website host.
The registrar is where you buy your domain name from and the host is the server that your website sits on. A good example of a website host is Bluehost. This is a reliable and fast host that is reasonably priced.
You may be tempted to use the cheapest host you can find. This isn’t a great idea, as cheap ones can be unreliable and slow.
Once you have a hosted website, you need to download a platform to base it on. I recommend WordPress.
You will notice that there are two different WordPress platforms. WordPress.org and WordPress.com
- WordPress.org – This is also referred to as self-hosted WordPress. This is the free, open-source WordPress software that you can easily install on your web host. This gives you 100% control over your website.
- WordPress.com – This is a paid service that uses the WordPress.org software. It is very easy to use, but it isn’t as flexible as the self-hosted WordPress, which means you are not 100% in control of your website.
When people talk about their WordPress website or blog, they are usually referring to the self-hosted WordPress available at WordPress.org.
- Before you go an do this, keep reading, as I have a more efficient way of doing it to tell you about.
4. Start Creating Great Content
As soon as you have a hosted website, you can get cracking with your content. Remember to use your keyword list to make sure you are creating content that people will find.
Examples of content you can create are:
- Buyer’s guides
- Personal experiences
- Travel guides
Your content has to be created in a particular way, to ensure that it appeals to your audience and to ensure that it ranks as high as possible in people’s searches.
This is where good SEO skills come in. SEO techniques for affiliate marketing are not particularly difficult to learn. But they are essential to the success of your business. The better your SEO skills, the higher your content will rank and the more money you will earn.
My SEO website checklist goes into all the things that you need to do to while creating your content. I have also put together a guide on how to get your website at the top of Google. This will give you an understanding of Google’s search engine results page and how you can get to the top of it.
Advantages Of Having An Online Business
Having an online business such as affiliate marketing has many advantages. Here are the things you can enjoy:
I like the fact that I can work at any time that I want to. I currently live in the French Alps and love the outdoors. My online business allows me to make the most of the best weather and snow conditions for snowboarding. I often work late at night, but this is because I have enjoyed my time in the mountains in the morning.
As I am writing this, I am confined to my apartment, thanks to the Covid-19 lockdown. This is giving me plenty of time to catch up and do loads of work. I am not quite sure what the future will hold, but if we have to leave, I will be able to continue working on my online business from wherever we end up. I just hope that we don’t have to leave.
The fact that online businesses have access to a worldwide market 24 hours per day, means there is fantastic earning potential.
Anyone in the world can buy through your website at any time, thanks to internet connectivity and their mobile phones.
Low Startup Costs
Traditional businesses are very expensive to start. If you were to open a shop, you would have to pay rent, get it set up, pay for staff, buy stock and much more. With an online business, you can get set up with a computer connected to the internet and a hosted website.
Learn About Affiliate Marketing
When I was looking for the best online business to start, one of my prerequisites was that there had to be good training resources for it. This is because I was starting from scratch.
I trawled the internet to find the best information I could. I wanted as much insight into what I was potentially letting myself in for. It was difficult to find training resources that I trusted amongst all the gurus.
However, I found Wealthy Affiliate. This is a platform that not only gives you comprehensive training on how to start your website and to scale it up in to a successful business. But, it also gives you access to the Jaaxy keyword research tool, quality web hosting, technical support and more.
You can learn more in my post affiliate marketing training beginners will love.
The thing that attracted me to Wealthy Affiliate, was the Free Membership. This is because I could start my first website while doing the training without any risk. This meant that I could get the first-hand experience, which would help me make my mind up if affiliate marketing was for me. Se my full rundown of the Wealthy Affiliate Free Membership, for all the details.
I urge you to check out Wealthy Affiliate if you are even in the slightest bit interested in starting an affiliate marketing business. You have nothing to lose and you can learn a lot from it.
Wealthy Affiliate isn’t perfect and in my post does Wealthy Affiliate Really Work? I discuss all the good and bad things about it.
What Is The Best Online Business To Start? - Answered!
Well in my opinion anyway. In the uncertain times we are in right now, an online business is the best way to go. With the social distancing, quarantines and lockdowns, online businesses are going to get more popular. Get started now and be ahead of the game.
If you have any thoughts and questions about this, please leave them in the comments section below.