Starting an online business can be overwhelming for those who are completely new to the industry. From the beginning, you will have doubts about whether you will succeed or not.
I made lots of mistakes during the first couple of months. As matter of fact, I believe these very mistakes are the reasons why I didn’t start off on the right track. In this article, I will cover things that you should know before starting an online business. Without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Starting An Online Business Will Require Initial Investment
I honestly thought starting an online business can be done for completely free. Well, it’s definitely possible to not spend a dime on my recommended platform. However, if you want to take your online business to the next level, you will need to spend some money.
Fortunately, unlike a regular brick and mortar business, the cost is significantly less. When I finally accepted the fact that to run a successful online business, you will need to invest some money. My blog went up to a whole new level.
Here’s a list of things you need to start an online business:
- Purchase a domain name: (Example, https://smartaffiliatehub.com/). – $15 per year.
- Purchase a website hosting service: This can be done through Hostgator or if you’ve signed up for my recommended platform, you will have one of the best website hosting services available. – As low as $3.00 per month.
The additional cost to better your online business:
- Premium WordPress Theme: Paid themes are more optimized for search engines, speed, and usability. You should definitely consider spending money on this because your website is practically the first impression. Personally, I use the Genesis framework. – As low as $20 one-time fee for most premium themes.
- Premium Plugins: Even the best WordPress theme is far from perfect. The WordPress platform allows you to customize your website with different plugins.
- Email Marketing Services: Many successful businesses collect emails to contact their customers. That’s why you should replicate what works for them! You see, with the help of email marketing services, you don’t have to follow up with your visitors manually. You can set up email sequences to be automatically sent out on a set frequency. There, you can drive traffic back to your website or recommended product(s) and service(s) to earn a commission. If you are interested, you can check out my review on Aweber, my recommended email marketing service provider. – $19 per month.
- Keyword Research Tool: Writing content that is not optimized for the search engine is just pointless. A proper keyword research tool will allow you to find and use keywords that are relevant to your niche, track traffic, and competition level, and determine if it’s easier to rank on the first page. There are many options out there, but I personally use Jaaxy Keyword and Niche Research Tool. – Try 30 keyword searches for free!
You Will Need To Make Sacrifices In Life
I honestly thought running an online business is a piece of cake. Soon I realized that it’s actually very difficult especially when you have to learn and build everything on your own. I didn’t have the luxury of a wealthy family, so I had to conserve my money to pay the bills (no, I’m not cheap haha!). Therefore, I had to make sacrifices in my life.
To this day, I am still happy that I’ve made the sacrifices to pursue my dream to become a successful online business owner.
Let’s just say that I had to make changes in my life in order to fit this new venture into my daily routine. There’s only so many hours in a day, so I had to wake up earlier than usual and use my time more efficiently.
Times when I would usually lay back and watch television or play video games, I would instead be on my blog producing content or upgrading my website to deliver a better experience for my readers.
Obviously what I do will differ from what you would do. Regardless, you’ll have to make changes and sacrifices in your life if you wish to run an online business.
You Will Face Lots Of Competition
My friend started an eCommerce website in which he thought would have low competition, but he was wrong. Nearly every niche will have competition, so you have to be ready for it. To me, competition is both good and bad!
You can learn from competitors who are successful. I like to tell my friends who are new to this business. Monkey see monkey do! It’s funny because they would tell me, “No! I am not a monkey.”
It’s inevitable when it comes to having competition, so what I like to do is to leverage my competition by doing the following:
- What kind of keywords are they targeting? I will then take this information and include it in my content marketing strategy.
- What kind of content is generating lots of Social Shares? I will then take this information and produce an even better version.
- What kind of hashtags are they using on Social Media? I will then make a list and use it when it’s appropriate.
However, with competition, you will have to work harder to put yourself ahead of your competition. Imagine a crowd of 1000 people who offer a similar product or service. What makes you different? Why would someone buy from you instead of the other 999 people?
Competition is there for a reason, it’s there to make you better, so don’t dismiss the fact that you have competition. Use competition to push yourself further into the next level.
Running An Online Business Is Not Easy
Unlike a regular job, you’re practically on your own. When problems arise, you will have to make the decision and fix it. When you had a job, your manager would come up with a solution and disperse the work to you and your peers to fix it. In other words, you didn’t have to think too much.
I guess that’s why your managers are making more than yourself. It’s also the reason why your earning potential infinitely increases as an online business owner.
Before starting my online business, I used to think to myself, wow these business owners have such a great life! However, I had no idea what it took for them to reach that level of success.
After starting my own online business: The mentality of how easy it is to start an online business and become successful soon disappeared into thin air. I realized that success comes from a series of trials and errors before you start earning profitably.
When I started my blog, I was making nothing for the first couple of months. It was discouraging because I thought this would be easy.
From my experience, this is what I learned:
- You will have to spend lots of time researching and producing content.
- You will be discouraged by the lack of results in the beginning.
- You will have to constantly monitor and update your website to make it better.
- You will have to answer emails and respond to reader comments.
- You will have to put in actual work!
If you understand that starting an online business is not easy, you will be more successful.
Networking Is Very Important
I’m not the most sociable person in the world. As a matter of fact, I didn’t want to network with people at all because I felt like I could do everything on my own.
With so much competition, some very successful, you can try to network with some of those people to see if they can help you build your brand. Most will say no, but you never know unless you try.
For example, you can try to contact authorities in your niche. Send them an email and tell them that you are planning to write an article about the top 10 money making blogs in 2018 (varies depending on your niche).
Ask if it’s okay for you to include them on your list. If they agree, tell them that you will send them the link once it’s completed, so they can share it on their Social Media platforms.— By doing this, you are not only doing them a favor, but you’re also going to leverage their readership!
You Need To Be Passionate With What You Do
Most beginners who start an online business focuses too much on making money. They don’t realize that their passion for their niche will determine how difficult it would be to become successful. You don’t want to start a blog about losing weight just because you can make lots of money.
You want to start a blog about losing weight because you’re truly passionate about it. You want to help people achieve weight loss results. When you only work for a quick buck, you will not last long in this industry.
Without passion, you will soon find your online business dreadful. It’s almost like going to work and that’s exactly what you don’t want to end up happening.
With passion, you will enjoy what you do and the articles that you produce will become more natural. Like me, you will enjoy writing these blog posts.
By understanding all the above, you will be way more successful. I’ve always wondered if I knew all the above from the beginning. Where would Smart Affiliate Hub be right now? Well, there’s no point in asking the what if questions. Fortunately, I never gave up and continued to push for success. You can do the same, but only if you try!
With effort and a positive attitude, you too can start and create a highly profitable online business to replace your regular 9 to 5-day job.
If you’re currently running an online business, what are things that you wish you knew from the beginning? I look forward to hearing from you.