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How to start an online business: 10 Hard Facts

How To Start An Online Business: 10 Hard Facts

Make no mistake, entrepreneurship is hands down the most satisfying way to build wealth and enjoy life.

Thinking about starting an online business? Be prepared to work hard and consistently so. However, this time, instead of working to make someone else wealthier, you are directly reaping the benefits of your labor. 

The internet is a treasure trove of opportunity, risks, failures, and rewards all wrapped up in one. It makes or breaks you. The choice is yours!

If you’re going to start an online business, you better be in it for the long haul. It takes time to learn what you don’t already know. Ranking on search engines takes months to achieve based on the level of your activity over the long haul.

Prove Your Merit

if you’re serious about building an online business then treat it like your life depended on it. If you treat it like a hobby, then don’t expect to get much if anything out it.

How to start your online business - ranking on Google

Starting an online business is not easy and it will definitely test your resolve. It takes on average 6-10 months to move out of Google’s “dog house” during which time you must prove your worth to them. I started ranking in the 90’s and ever so slowly moved up to the 60’s after my first six months. Slow and steady wins the race.

You Can’t Make Everyone Happy

Trying to be all things to all people will stretch you thin and take your focus away from where it should be. Keep your focus on target and resist the urge to broaden your scope too soon. There are a lot of bells and whistles out there, don’t fall for them. Stay on track.

Your Blog Is Not A Business

Blogs are a good marketing tool whereby you can build your audience and include affiliate links and/or direct your audience to buy from you. Blogs also help you build your online presence and reputation as a trusted source. But this takes a lot of time and effort that many fail to understand.

Mistake #1: waiting too long to launch a product or service.

Don’t wait to achieve some crazy audience size prior to offering a product. It takes practice to build and launch products. The sooner you start the quicker you’ll learn what works and what doesn’t. Each lesson learned brings you one step closer to building a sustainable revenue.

Don’t Go Into Debt

Do not rack up your credit cards purchasing a bunch of bells and whistles for your online site. You don’t need all that stuff. Granted, I do subscribe to only the basic stuff to run my online business such as for hosting and the autoresponder system. That’s it! You can usually find “extras” through free plugins and other online free services. 

The Proof Is In The Pudding

It’s nice to hear compliments about your product or service from others. However, if they are not willing to pay for it, then it’s worth nothing to you or your business. Those who do hire you or purchase your product are the only ones that actually count. 

Provide a solution that solves a big problem. Don’t waste your time solving something no one really cares about.

By far the biggest mistake startups make is to solve problems no one has. – Paul Graham

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Dare To Be Different

A huge percentage of new bloggers is to choose an already crowded market. Are you thinking “if it works for them, it should work for me, too”? Online businesses succeed when they offer up something original that stands out from the masses. When deciding on what niche to focus on, clearly layout how your content, products and/or service will be dramatically different than others. This is your moment to really stand out and SHINE.

You can’t expect to grow an audience if your just like a million other sites in your niche. Rather than trying to compete with the “big boys” look to establish your own little niche that can offer what others cannot. This will take some research on your part but it is well worth the effort and will pay you dividends down the road. Remember, don’t be better…be different.

Keep A Tight Focus On A Niche

There are a million different niche topics out there. It’s okay to start with a general topic, just make sure it’s one you absolutely love. Something you could spend all day reading about and talking about. Better yet, something based on your own personal experience and/or talents and expertise.

Now that you have the basic genre, start drilling down. I mean, way down to discover your own little niche. So, for instance, let’s say your main topic is Health. There are a billion different directions you can go here, so let’s keep drilling down.

  1. General Topic: Health
  2. Weight Loss & Nutrition – still too general
  3. Women’s Weight Loss & Nutrition – still too general
  4. Weight Loss & Nutrition For Women Over 50 – getting warmer
  5. Weight Loss & Nutrition For Perimenopausal Women – better

You get the idea. Drill down as far as you possibly can. The tighter the niche the better. Now before you go thinking that a tight niche won’t attract much attention, think again. Consider there are literally billions of people on the web 24/7 looking for solutions, advice and other types of information.

Here are some well-known examples of tight niche online business that started small and grew to the millions:

  • TheWireCutter.com is an affiliate site sold to The New York Times for US$30 million.
  • Etsy originally launched as a platform solely for crafters, it’s expanded to include pre-made vintage and antique items.
  • The Dollar Shave Club. These guys started out in 2012 selling affordable men’s grooming boxes each month. By the time 2015 rolled around the Dollar Shave Club was acquired by Unilever for US$1 Billion. 

Going It Alone

No one can succeed in business alone. We all need other people around us to learn from, brainstorm with and encourage each other. The biggest mistake most newbie online entrepreneurs make is thinking they can set up and succeed completely on their own.

Let me save you all the trouble, you need support from others in your same shoes as well as those who are much farther along than you. I am lucky enough to be part of a growing number of online entreprenuers with whom I chat with almost daily.

Many of these guys and gals are making very respectable incomes online but they all started where I did too. I learned so much from this community, the training courses, and the weekly live webinars. It’s not a Facebook group. It’s so much more.

It’s a platform that not only hosts my sites but gives me access to an endless library of e-courses, video training, and live community chat all in one place. Take a look at the following free e-course or check out Wealthy Affiliate for more information.

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What Are Your Thoughts?

Wrapping up building an online business is easier in several ways and far less expensive than a traditional small business would be. In fact, you can start an online business with very little out of pocket expenses.

I started with Wealthy Affiliate’s free Online Entrepreneur E-Course. Within a week I had my new Word Press website up and running. I encourage you to take full advantage of it as I did. I’m now a pro member and never looked back!

Are you thinking of starting an online business? Have a niche idea you’d like to ask about? Have any questions about blogging, affiliate marketing, etc.? Feel free to leave your questions and comments below.

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