5 Simple Steps To Building An Online Business From Scratch
If you have dreams of building a profitable blog-based business online, then you are in the right place. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a blog set up yet. And it’s okay if you don’t have a product, email lists, or even a plan on how to proceed.
In this article, we’re going to look at all the steps you need to take to create a business that will provide you with a full-time income in just a few short months.
The first thing you need to understand is that the journey from where you’re starting to the success you desire is simply just a series of steps that you need to take one after the other.
Consistency is key, and it doesn’t matter whether you have 10 hours a day or just four hours a week to dedicate towards building your online business. What matters is that you follow the plan and you get things done!
You probably already know that this type of business has amazing potential.
And chances are you already have an idea of what you might like to do online. You may have a desire to help other people, to have a really big impact on the lives of others. Or maybe you just want to create a way to make passive income online so you can have more time and location freedom.
Whatever your reasons are, you’re in the right place.
With regards to online marketing, most people want a successful business but they start off with nothing more than a simple, general idea. And when people don’t know how to proceed, they do one of these two things:
The first group hopes their idea will work and they jump right into setting up a blog.
They buy a domain, set up WordPress and immediately get to the business of blogging. They blog day and night in the hopes that the world will soon notice.
The second group of people is the one that gets stuck in endless loops of what if’s. They are the people who research and analyze, and read blog posts and how-to ebooks until they are blue in the face – but they never get off the ground.
Luckily, there’s a better way.
After years of running my own online business and being able to help others do the same, I can show you a much better way to get started building your very own profitable online business.
But first things first, I want to dispel a common misconception which is…
The first step in creating a blog-centered business is to start blogging.
The simple truth is that for those in the beginning phase of creating their online business, it’s not necessary to start a blog just yet. I know that sounds counter-intuitive for most people – after all, you are trying to build a business that is focused on your blog, right?
If you already have a blog, but you haven’t yet figured out the business aspect of it, that’s all right.
I am going to advise you to stop blogging (for now). Don’t worry, this is only temporary. You’ll be able to get on with your blogging very soon.
There are just a few other steps that you need to take first, and that’s why this system works so well.
You see, blogs come with baggage.
They take a lot of work to make them successful. Of course, if you already have a blog set up, I don’t really have to tell you this. I’m willing to bet, you already know how hard it is to get visitors to your blog.
That’s why the first thing you need to do is to ensure that your idea is valid.
If you just create a blog based on nothing but a hunch, there’s a very real chance that you’ll end up wasting a lot of your time. Doing it that way means that you could end up with a blog that might prove to be extremely difficult to monetize later.
I’ve seen a lot of such blogs online and trust me, you don’t want yours to be one of them.
That’s why it makes a lot more sense to prove the concept first and to make sure that the business model works before spending your valuable time doing any real blogging.
And this brings me to the next point:
Start Your Blog Based on Proven Metrics
When starting a business, it can feel like lots of things are determined by your gut feeling.
- Will people care about your topic?
- Will they want the solutions you’re providing?
- Is your idea even going to work, or will it end up being a giant waste of time?
This way of thinking can result in analysis paralysis, particularly if (like the majority of people) you have a real fear of failure.
The great thing about following this simple series of steps is that none of that is necessary.
When you take a series of baby steps and make small tests along the way, you’re able to prove your ideas before jumping in with both legs.
This is about numbers. It’s about real math. The numbers work or they do not – and in either case, the tests will show you positive signs and you can move on to the next step.
If they don’t show you the results you seek, you can simply make adjustments and then retest.
This is the process of proving your concept as well as making adjustments to the way it’s presented until it passes the test. Only then can you move ahead with your blogging and whatever else that entails.
What Does all this Mean for Me? (I hear you asking)
What this means for you is that by the time you start working on your blog in earnest, you will not be in any doubt as to the profitability of the niche you’ve chosen.
In fact, you’ll already be in the process of building your email list and you will have made some sales before your blog even goes live!
This means you won’t risk any of your money or time on something that might not pan out.
So you can release your fear of failure (and for some, the fear of success) and replace it with this series of small tests that we’ll discuss later on. If any of them doesn’t work out, all you need to do is to adjust and then retry.
The good news is that you won’t have invested months into it.
By the time you actually start blogging, you will already be in the top 10 percent of bloggers because you will have made your first dollar online.
For the majority of bloggers in the world, that is the biggest challenge they face.
I’ve written many posts on my blog about all the topics concerning the steps that you need to take to build a business from scratch, particularly if you don’t have a clue where to begin or how to proceed.
So while I’m only giving you the steps in this article you can find all the information you need about each one of those steps on my blog.
There are various topics that you will need to read up on in order to understand the following:
- Why a product/market fit is a lot more important than just finding your niche
- The best way to identify a strong target market
- The only money metrics and money levers that you need to pay attention to for your online business
- The process to find and evaluate potential markets
How to conduct market research
- How to research your competition
- Why customer avatars are so important and how to develop one
- How to create a simple sales funnel so you can test your market
- How to get traffic for testing your funnel even though you don’t have a blog or email list
- How to decide what offers your market is likely to act on or buy
- How to sell to your audience right away, even though you don’t have a product yet.
And now, here are the steps to starting from scratch and creating a successful online business within a relatively short time-frame.
Step 1: Get Basic Hosting
SiteGround is a particularly good hosting company that I would recommend. They have solid hosting that is a lot better than most other popular hosting companies out there.
They also have better support and you even get a free domain name.
Step 2: Get a Good Theme
If you have some money to put into your new business, investing in a good theme is one of the best things you can do for yourself. I recommend Thrive Themes because they are conversion focused and they have everything you will need from landing page creation to opt-in form builders, and everything else in-between.
If you’ve chosen to build your business using the WordPress platform, Thrive Themes offers the best value. But, if you don’t want to invest in a paid theme just yet, they are a lot of free ones that you can choose from.
But, it’s important to note that if you want faster results, you need to use the best tools and technology when building your online business – and you have to pay for those.
I get that most people have the mindset of trying not to spend any money when starting an online business, but that is just going to sabotage your results.
When you think about it you only need a few tools to get started and begin making money online, so doesn’t it make sense to spend a little so you can get results that much faster?
Step 3: Get an Email Hosting Account
The third step is to sign up for an email account with a reliable host. There are some posts on my blog to help you choose the best email host for your needs.
I’ve written in-depth reviews about all these tools that I’m recommending, but you can still choose from the vast array of similar tools if there are others that you would rather go with.
Step 4: Develop Content Focused Around the Solution You Provide
Now you need to create three or more in-depth posts around the offer you’re making to your target audience.
The last thing you want is to spend the next few months on the hamster wheel of creating content that will never bring results.
You need to be smart about the way you develop your content for your blog.
That’s why at this stage you only create about three or so in-depth posts that’ll cover every aspect of the solution you are offering.
So basically, all you’re doing here is thinking about what you want to offer to your target audience and then outlining all the barriers and roadblocks or obstacles that they have to overcome on the way to the results that they want.
Next, you need to conduct basic keyword research to find out which of those problems they’re facing has the highest search volume and then create some stellar, useful content around those topics.
In developing your content, make sure that you will be able to come back to it and expand over time to create what is called a Pillar Post.
Step 5: Start Building Your Email List
Your most valuable asset in growing your business will be your email list. It gives you the ability to direct and control attention without having to pay for it each time.
You need to create one lead magnet for each of the posts you wrote.
Make sure that it’s tightly related to the topic and position each to be the logical next step after someone reads your blog post. You can then start directing paid traffic to your posts using any one of the many options available to you.
But, for beginners, I recommend using Facebook Ads.
The Bottom Line
With this plan, there’s absolutely no need to spend countless hours tweaking or researching and never getting off the ground.
This is all you need to know to get started, and the rest is all about keeping an eye on the right metrics, and then making changes where required until you reach your online business goals.
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Updated: Originally published April 22nd 2019