So, your interested in starting an online business. This decision could be the best decision you make in your life. While operating an online business can be detailed, let’s take a look at the basic steps you’ll need to take. This overview will walk you through each point and help you to execute a perfectly planned strategy for online success…
Before you begin, you first need to do some simple planning and preparation. Consider these points before you do anything:
- What niche do you want to work in? Pick something that you know about and that has good earning potential. Better yet, pick something not overcrowded and that has a good route to market.
- What will be your brand name? Check that it’s not taken at IPO.org.
What will be your logo?
- What will be your URL?
- What types of product do you want to sell?
This last point will be tied to the first point and will also determine your immediate success or failure for the short term.
Make sure the product is VERIFIED. Do research to check others are having luck selling it, or find other ways to test the market.
Now you have that a vague plan, you can begin building your digital empire. This involves the following steps:
- Acquiring the domain name you want to associate with your business
- Finding a hosting account so that you have somewhere to store the files that make up your website
- Signing up to every social media platform possible. The maxim to follow here is simple: be everywhere. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (actually bigger than Twitter!), Pinterest, LinkedIn (important for networking and influencer marketing), Google+ (important for SEO), Tumblr – To a lesser extent… Vine, SnapChat, YouTube
Make sure that you are using consistent branding across all of these channels. Make sure that every interaction with you is a chance to strengthen your brand visibility and to reinforce your mission statement. Use high quality vector images to establish trust and authority.
- Create a website in WordPress
- Find or outsource a custom theme
- Create a landing page using OptimizePress/HTML
- Alternatively, if you’re selling lots of products, build an ecommerce platform
- Get an autoresponder and set up opt-in forms on your website
At this stage, you want to start blogging and start posting to social media. Do this even before you’re selling a product.
Finding Your Product
Next you need to decide how you’re going to monetize. Kind of important… You can use Google AdSense or other PPC advertising but this puts you right at the bottom of the heap.
Instead it’s far better to sell an actual product. The best way to do this is by:
- Creating your own product – this gives you the most control but has the most risk and takes the longest
- Outsourcing the creation of your product – higher investment of cash, lower investment of time
- Buy a PLR product – private label rights
- Becoming a reseller
- Find an affiliate product
While having your own product is a great aim to shoot for eventually, for new internet marketers, finding an affiliate product that offers 60% commission is a great choice. You can do this through:
- Commission Junction
- JVZoo – The best bet for beginners
The best part about this is that you can find an affiliate product that you can see is already selling and performing very well and then simply start selling it to your own audience. Some of these (and some PLR packages) will even let you re-use their marketing material which significantly reduces your workload and essentially lets you ‘copy and paste’ a successful business!
Fill your sales page to ensure your product starts selling like crazy when anyone lands there. To do this:
- Use a narrow layout
- Employ a narrative structure
- Use rhetorical questions
- Appeal to statistics and figures of authority
- Build on facts
- Ensure there are no break points where readers will lose concentration
- Acknowledge the reader’s concerns
- Use a red color for your call to action buttons
- Place CTA buttons at the bottom right of the page – the terminal point
You can also use smart pricing techniques like special offers, penny sales and contrast.
Content Marketing, PPC, SEO
Now you need to start generating more views for your landing page. To do this, you should start with content marketing.
- Keep posting to your site regularly
- The ideal length for a blog post is 1,800 words – but use your intuition and be flexible
- Use a keyword density of about 1-2%
- Use Latent Semantic Indexing by having lots of synonyms and related terminology
- Provide real value
- Be unique and different so that you would actually read the content
- Use titles that hint at the value and uniqueness of your articles to get clicks when you share
- Have a specific target audience in mind for each article – this enhances sharing and likes
- Do this and also keep your social media pages full.
- Make sure you focus on the lifestyle and emotions you are trying to promote with your brand
- Provide value through your social media – this isn’t just a means to sell more products, people have to want to be there
- Actively engage with your audience and the wider communities to attract more people
- Link out to your social media pages from your content and add social sharing buttons so other people can share the content to their social media
Now use the following ‘growth hacks’ to accelerate your progress further:
- Find influencers and reach them by working with them
- Or by gradually building up to working with the very biggest names, starting from the bottom
- Look into ‘CPA’ advertising for a form of PPC that guarantees ROI
- Build a big mailing list and use incentives to encourage more people to sign up – the mailing list itself can be an incentive
Got all that? If so then just keep plugging away and success will come eventually! Then you just scale…
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