There has never been a better time to start your own online business than today. Regardless of the type of business or the particular industry spot you are trying to tackle, the market has never been more open. However, starting anything on your own for the first time can be a terrifying and online business is no different.
Leveling the playfield
Technology and digitalization are often blamed for killing the traditional ideology of business and jobs in general. However, no one can deny that these new technologies also created a huge variety of new jobs and a virtually endless array of business opportunities. The main advantage of online jobs over all other jobs is the fact that you can work from home. All you need to start a business these days is a computer and a good internet connection. However, as easy as it may sound, starting an online business, you will still have to work invest considerable working hours in order to succeed.
On the other hand, it is good to point out that the internet is a great equalizer. The poor and the rich are closer now than ever before. Some poor boy from the hot concrete of city slums and a rich privileged girl from Beverly Hills can potentially have almost equal chances to succeed in an online business. Once the internet started showing its full business perspective, it leveled the playing field in business. Before the internet made our lives easier (or more complicated, depending on who you ask) you needed a lot of capital to start any kind of business.
All brick-and-mortar businesses are more demanding than any online business you could possibly come up with. Money, people, facilities, you name it – you’ll need it. Needless to say, the only solution to starting a business from scratch is – the internet.
Making your debut as a young entrepreneur can be particularly scary if you are not techy. If you are tech savvy, the chances are you are already well aware of how to use the advantages that the internet provides. If you are more of a “pen and paper” kind of person, anything virtual can seem too difficult to handle. Luckily for you, there is a number of free online websites that will help you get into the matter in no time. One of the most widely used such websites is WordPress. It offers plenty of tools and it is very easy to navigate, so you will be able to start your online business with almost effortlessly. Depending on the type of business you want to start, you can build a fan base, design a portfolio, open your own store and start a blog.
Blogs are undoubtedly one of the most successful ways to start your own online business. In fact, a large portion of highly profitable businesses you hear about these days started with simple online blogs. Starting a blog is fairly simple and there are plenty of ways in which you can earn money off of your blog.
One of the most popular ways is to monetize your blog by displaying ads through Google AdSense.
However, before you hit that money-earning point, you will need an original idea and hours upon hours of creative work. In order to gain a regular audience, you will need to be dedicated and offer entertaining, useful and engaging content. Luckily, after you’ve determined the approach you want to take, there are tons of different blog-post ideas you can use to constantly and consistently create content. As your blog grows, you will be able to monetize it and eventually even use it to launch other businesses.
In my humble opinion, the best website where you can start your blog is WordPress, because it is free, allows you to customize virtually everything, and you can make money from it without any restrictions whatsoever. At this point, most inexperienced people jump the “it’s a scam!” bandwagon, because it sounds impossible that something that good is completely free. The reason why WordPress is free is that you do the setup by yourself and you host it by yourself as well.
To start you will need a domain name which is basically what people will type to get to your website. It is like your address on the internet. Aside from that, you will also need web hosting, which can simply be described as your website’s house on the internet. Once you’ve acquired these two, you can install WordPress and start working on making it your personal creative playfield. This part usually starts with selecting the theme that will best suit your blog. You should keep in mind that the overall look of your website is controlled by your theme, so it is important to choose wisely. It shouldn’t be a problem since there are thousands of ready-to-use WordPress themes that you can immediately install on your website.
Furthermore, WordPress will allow you to change the chosen theme and customize it any way you see fit. After you’ve written your first blog post, you will need to add a contact form. Contact form is an integral part of every website as it creates a clear pathway for your users to express their opinion or contact you for business purposes. Now that we’ve mentioned users, you should also set up Google Analytics tracking, so you can see how many people are visiting your website on daily basis and what is it that they find most interesting. This is particularly important for the future development of your blog, as you are able to see the demand and govern your creativity to answer that demand. Speaking of the demand, it is also very important that you optimize your blog for SEO. This will ultimately help you with the traffic on your blog. It might sound complicated, but it is actually fairly simple and there are plenty of plugins that can help you do this by yourself.
Now that you’ve created your blog, it is time to start earning some money. As we already mentioned, most bloggers go for Google AdSense monetization. This way is the best way, as Google is the biggest advertising platform for both bloggers and publishers. In this case, Google acts as a middleman between you and advertisers, allowing them to bid for keywords matching your blog’s content. This further allows you to get the best rates for the ads. Second, the most commonly used strategy is affiliate marketing. It consists of you recommending products on your website and when your visitors make a purchase you get a certain referral commission. Check out this beginner’s guide to learn more about affiliate marketing and once you are ready go check out the list of 99+ Affiliate Marketing Tools from our friends at Affiliate Guide.
Lastly, you can always go for using your website as an online store.