starting an online business at home

How To Start An Online Business At Home

Last Updated on

Why An Online Business At Home Makes Sense

Online or On the Internet is where it is happening, so Learning How to start an Online Business at Home not only makes sense, but it could lead to a wonderful new lifestyle for you.

It really doesn't take a lot of imagination just how working from home on your own business can have a totally new effect on your daily routine.

Imagine, you wake up in the morning knowing there's no rush to get to work. No more rush hour traffic or squeezing like sardines on the underground.


You can take your time with your first cup of coffee, read the newspaper that's just been delivered, give the kids a peck on the cheek as they go off to school, then when you are ready, wander off to your laptop with another cup of coffee and get started on your own online business.

The Benefits of Running an Online Business

You Are The Boss:

Probably the most attractive benefit is the fact that you are literally your own boss.You are in complete control of your business going forward, not answering to anyone.You know that every penny you make is going into your bank account and not someone else's

Building a Business From Ground Zero:

This is where the excitement of owning an online business comes into play.
You are creating something that you believe in, are passionate about or just really interested in.
No matter what your Niche Market is, there is an audience out there that you will connect with and you will earn a living from.
It's your business and you get to create it in the form that you want, instead of following other people's instructions.
Most online businesses are based on something that the creator is passionate about, therefore, a level of knowledge and enthusiasm is already within you.

No More Living on a Knife Edge of Fear of Losing Your Job:

Building a business and working for yourself eliminates the fear of losing a paid job through no fault of your own.
Your destiny is in your own hands, the harder you work the better the rewards and once your business is operating successfully your lifestyle and security are assured.
Treat your Online Business like a business and not like a hobby.
Take on the responsibilities of running your own online business with the time and work needed to succeed and your whole outlook on life and lifestyle will be rewarded.

A Little on How I Got Started


I was probably in a different place to where you are right now.

I had been working most of my life for myself(couldn't stand the thought of lining someone else's pocket with my hard work), but what I didn't have in place was a pension fund.

I was approaching retirement age and got to thinking about the lifestyle I was used to and whether I would be able to continue with that lifestyle on a state pension.

The answer was a resounding No.

So I had to come up with a plan B to supplement my pension and continue doing the things I most loved doing in my spare time.

That's when I stumbled across Online Businesses.It was more than a stumble at first, I tripped and fell a few times but luckily I found the platform that was to change my life and give me exactly what I was looking for.

The platform that I am referring to is Wealthy Affiliate, from which I have and am still learning from every single day. Running an online business is what I do now, and my only wish is that I'd had the chance to start earlier because it is something that I really enjoy doing.

I am now into my fourth year, and there are still things that I am learning every single day to enhance my business, but the most rewarding thing is the fact that I can work on my business anytime and any place.

Internet Facts


Fact:

Each and every day there are over 2.5 billion people searching for information and goods on the internet.

Who would have thought when the World Wide Web took off back in the late 80's early 90's that it would have come as far as it has to date.

Over 1/3rd of the world's population, surf the net every single day of the year.


Fact:

In 1991, there was 1 website in 2016 the count was around 1 billion websites.

I am just trying to emphasise the enormous impact the internet has had on our everyday lives over the last 25 years.

More Facts For You


Every second of every day

  • Over 480 photos are uploaded to Instagram.
  • 1430 posts to Tumblr
  • Skype,  there are almost 2000 calls made from skype every second
  • Over 7000 tweets are sent out via Twitter.
  • Google will have over 52,000.00 searches in just 1 second
  • How about YouTube an astonishing 115,000.00 video views every second of the day.
  • And to round it all off there are over 2.5 million emails sent out over the internet every second of every day.


Astonishing Numbers and rising every year.

Can you imagine where we will be in another 25 years or so?

Maybe you will be retired by then, and it won't matter, but will you have enough capital to retire on, the way pensions are going at the moment it's going to be everyman for themselves.

But to have a nice passive income coming in every month for doing something that you enjoy, what better way to earn a living without all the modern day stresses that go with your working day.

Is an Online Business For You


Everybody and Anybody could run their own Online Business if only they had the know-how and guidance that comes with being successful.

Don't give up the day job yet, it takes a little longer than that, but the possibilities are there.

There are thousands of people searching for online business opportunities just like you, and yes many of them will find the information they are looking for.

But just as many fall by the wayside, because they didn't find the right information and support in building their business to fruition.

I was very lucky (after a few mishaps) to have a friend that already had an online business career, and he pointed me in the right direction as to where to get started.

Bear with me on this one and I will try to guide you in the right direction.

Different types of Online Business ideas:

  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Blogging
  • A Review Site
  • An ECommerce Store
  • Designing and developing websites
  • A Community Membership site
  • Creating and running online games
  • An Online Auction Business

  • These are just a few of the different opportunities of online businesses you can choose from, but it is always a good idea to really research your choice before heading off and getting started.

    For this blog I am going to be concentrating on Affiliate Marketing, as I know that from my experience, it really is the easiest and most rewarding Online Business to follow.

    How do you get started with an Online Business?


    Starting an Online Business as in Affiliate Marketing, is broken down into 4 major parts.

    First you come up with an idea. This is going to be your Niche.
    Then you Build a website. Don't worry not scary at all.
    Next you have to Attract visitors to your website
    Lastly you start to Monetise your website and earn a living.
    These steps must be followed in strict order to make a successful business.
    Trying to skip from building your website then trying to monetise it, will not happen.
    There is so much more to learn in between.

    Choosing Your Niche


    Confucius once said “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life,”

    This is worth remembering when you sit down to choose the direction you want your Online Business to go.


    What is a Niche Market?

    A Niche Market is a specialised segment of a larger product or service.

    For example:
    Cakes: Shops or companies that only specialize in, Cupcakes, Muffins, Doughnuts, Celebration Cakes, Wedding Cakes.
    All these are sub segments of the broader product of Cakes.

    When choosing your niche:

    Firstly make a list of your passions and interests.
    From that list whittle it down to Identify customers' problems and needs.
    Once you have a short list Research the competition.
    Does your niche meet the problems and needs of your audience and is it profitable.
    You can test your chosen niche on friends and family to get feedback. Even make a simple landing page and spend a few dollars on a paid advertising campaign to get some reaction.

    Finding your niche is an important step in building and growing a successful business, but what's more important is that you enjoy what you do.

    Building Your Website


    Once you have chosen your Niche, it's time to start thinking about building a website around that niche to get yourself noticed in the wide wide world of the INTERNET.

    There are a couple of steps to take when first creating your website. 

    Domain Name and Hosting.


    The first step to creating a website, is buying a domain name, and choosing a web hosting service.  
    The domain name is the URL (e.g. https://runninganonlinebusiness.com) that people use to navigate directly to your site.
    The web host is going to provide the server and storage space for all the files of your site and gives the online world access to your website.
    When choosing your Domain name make it as short and as simple as possible, but reflecting what your Online Business is all about.
    You will notice that my Domain Name tells you exactly what I am about.
    Use your "Keyword" in the name: "cupcakes galore.com", "Marthasmuffins.com", "theweddingcakeshop.com", and always try to use the appropriate name extension, as in .com, .co.uk, .us, .ca.
    No matter where you are in the world there is a Domain Name extension with your location available.


    Where a Domain Name choice is completely your own, depending on availability, Website Hosting is a completely different scenario.
    With website hosting you are in the hands of the company that you choose to go with, but when searching out the best option, you should be looking at the speed of the server, the support they offer and the security of their hosting.
    There are many types of website hosting plans, and prices can range from as little as £8 ($10) a month upto £80 ($100) per month.
    As a beginner it is always advisable to start low and work your way up, as your site gets bigger and you gain more traffic, so you can upgrade to a higher service.
    Check out 
    How to choose a web hosting provider.

    Choosing a Site Builder.
    A website builder is a program that is going to create all the backend work for you without the stress of coding on your side.
    It is going to produce a working website ready for you to start adding content.
    Again there are many site-builders to choose from, but personally I use a site-builder called SiteRubixan all in one platform to choose a domain build your website and have it hosted.
    Watch how easy and quick it is to get your own website up and running with SiteRubix in this video.

    Now try it for yourself......No charge

    Attracting Visitors

    Obviously the most important thing about a successful business is customers.
    Without customers you have no business, without a business you have no income.
    So it is imperative that you attract visitors to your website as quickly as possible.
    Now this isn't going to be as easy as it sounds, because you are governed by forces that are going to dictate who sees your work and also whether your work is good enough to be seen.
    These are the search engines, Google, Bing and Yahoo being the main players.
    The most prestigious place to have your site showing is on page 1 on the search engines, not very many surfers go beyond page 1 or 2 in any search engine, so the priority is to get your site showing in the top 5 results of the first page.
    That way you are going to have every chance of people clicking through to your website and hopefully liking what they see and therefore buying what you have on offer.(See Monetising and Making a Living).

    To have every chance of getting your work to appear on the fist page of the search engines, there is certain criteria that you have to follow.
    This is known as .........

    Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

    Search Engine Optimization is basically following certain steps that the search engines need so as to crawl your work in the easiest possible way.
    It is letting them know what your site is all about, so that they can index it in the correct way.

    SEO is all about User Experience.

    All search engines work in very similar ways when it comes to ranking your content.
    But being as Google is the major player here with over 60% of total searches on the internet, it makes sense to follow their guide lines.

    Google is in the business of Information and User Experience

    When it comes to Ranking factors, there are over 200 algorithms that Google uses to determine which content ranks where.
    Nobody but Google themselves know exactly what those 200 consist of, but it is widely recognised by the top marketers and entrepreneurs, that certain strategies must be taken into consideration to have any chance of higher rankings.   

    The Content that you produce has to be informative, unique, descriptive, and relevant. 
    The top 10 results on the search engine results pages for any keyword on Google are occupied with articles that are, at least, 2,000 words long.

    position in the search results

    Your Site Speed is a major factor and must load quickly on any device.
    A fully optimized website will load up between 500 milliseconds
     and 2 seconds.
    It is a known fact that if your site doesn't load on any device within 3 seconds you are going to lose 40% of your visitors.
    It's the nature of the internet, people want information immediately.

    Images must be optimized
    One of the biggest factors for a slow loading site is badly optimized images.
    Image files should be compressed and sized to produce a fast response when loading.

    Your site must be Mobile Friendly.
    Your site must be Mobile Friendly. Over half the searches done over the internet are now coming from a Mobile device. 
    Surfers will user a mobile device to search the net even when there is a PC available.

    Internal and External Linking. 
    Linking your content to other relevant posts/pages within your site enhances the quality of the information that you are providing for your reader. 
    Linking to outside websites that are also relevant to the piece of work you are writing, adds to the User Experience.
    Google sees this as quality in your work and you are giving the reader as much information as possible.

    Title and Meta Tags
    The Title and Description of your post/page is all about relevancy.
    The Title tag of your page is the strongest, most important signal that you can give to search engines.
    Therefore the keywords/phrase(See Keywords) must be included in your title tag.
    The keyword should also be as close to the beginning of your title tag. The second ranking factor that can give you an added boost, albeit smaller, is the meta description tag.

    The Meta description is a small summary of what your post/page is all about, so working your keyword within this part helps the search engines understand your content.

    Social Media

    Whether Social Media exposure is or isn't taken into consideration by the search engines isn't really known, but it is a known fact that sites with more social media exposure do seem to get higher rankings.
    It is always advisable to get as much exposure for your site as possible, so having a social media presence won't do you any harm. 

    Keywords

    Keywords play a major role in people finding your work.

    A keyword is the word or words that surfers type into the search bar to find the information they are looking for.
    For example the keyword for this particular post is "How To Start An Online Business At Home".

    Now you are saying to yourself, "That's more than one word", 
    Correct.
    Back in the day when the internet began, surfers could type in one word and get a list of websites that contained that word.
    There may have been a list of about 20/30 sites to look through.
    Nowadays with over 1 billion websites listed one word would would produce millions upon millions of sites containing that word.

    Here's an example of what I mean.
    Let's take my Keyword and put it into the search bar.

    Google search numbers for how to start an online business at home

    Notice that there are 5,780,000,000 results for that search term.

    Now let's just search for Online Business.

    Google search numbers for Online Business

    Now you can see the number of websites that have that particular search term has increased significantly to 22,950,000,000.

    You have to bear in mind that the search engines will return every website that has a particular keyword within their site, whether it is the main keyword of not, and any keyword that is remotely the same. The website may just be using the phrase within their content as a throw away line, but the search engines find that phrase and it gets indexed with all the other keywords of the same nature.
    There are new keywords being added to the search terms every single day.
    Every time a surfer keys in a new phrase for a particular search, that gets registered as a keyword.

    So how on earth do you go about finding a phrase that a visitor may type into the search bar that pertains to your niche?

    Keyword Research

    Keyword research is finding the most searched for phrase giving you the most visitors to your site with the least amount of competition, enabling your site to rank higher.

    Again there are many Keyword Research tools online, and it really is down to which one you have most trust in.

    I personally use what I consider to be the most advanced Keyword tool on the Internet called Jaaxy.

    Jaaxy Keyword Research Tool Banner

    Finding competitive keywords is dependant on 3 elements.
    The keyword must make grammatical sense, the projected visitors per month must be over 100, and the competing websites must be under 100.

    3 crucial elements to finding keywords

    As you can see there are several columns of "keyword data" above and all are very important when it comes to researching your keywords.

    Keyword. This is the search phrase that the data to the right of it is representing. Jaaxy will give you numerous versions of the phrase that your are searching for.
    Avg. The Average is the overall monthly traffic(visitors) this phrase gets on all search engines.
    Traffic. Is the average amount of traffic you will get to your site  if you  manage to rank on the first page of Google with this phrase.
    QSR. Or "Quoted Search Results", is the exact number of competing websites in Google that you are competing with for this search phrase.
    KQI (Keyword Quality Indicator) is going to indicate the quality of the keyword by showing Great (Green),  Normal (Amber), Poor (Red)
    SEO is giving you the percentage chance of ranking for that particular phrase. It is based on the numbers for Traffic and Competing websites. The nearer you can get to 100 the better chance of getting your work onto page 1 of Google.

    Monetizing and Making a Living

    Now for the fun part.

    How are you going to make money with all your hard work?

    There are numerous ways that you can monetize your website, and obviously the choice is yours.
    Some of the most popular ways are:

    Affiliate Marketing:
    We will cover this further down the page. In my opinion the easiest and most rewarding method for your website.

    Ad Networks (e.g. Google AdSense, AdThrive, MediaVine)
    The method only works well when you have high-quality traffic coming to your website. Because the payout is quite minimal, the more traffic you have the better the results.

     Sell advertising space
    This method is mainly aimed at higher traffic sites, but I think worth a mention for future investment.
    Selling advertising space directly to interested companies, allows you as a publisher to cut out ad networks and maximize the amount of revenue you earn.
    If you get your traffic to a consistent level Here's How to Sell Ads Directly

    Create an eCommerce store
    This is a very popular method of monetizing a website. 
    Basically it involves putting in place an online store, where users can come and order the products they like. 
    There are ecommerce sites that help you build your store and take you through the setting up process, most notably Shopify

    ​ 

    Sell e-Books​​​​
    Here is a low-cost and low-risk method that is quite easy to start. You can either write and publish new material or when your website is established, and you have a number of blogs, categorise the blogs and turn them into an ebook for sale.
    There are also sites that give away free ebooks that may be worth exploring.
     All this can be done online, from your own website. 

    Product reviews
    More and more online buyers now start their buying cycle by seeking out reviews on the item they intend to purchase.
    This method is really more Niche orientated and companies will pay good money to have their product reviewed online.
    Let's say your website is all about Gardening, and you are writing a post about mowing the lawn.
    You may want to tell your readers about the different types of lawn mowers that are on the market.
    So you contact different lawn mower companies explain what you do and that you are writing a blog on the different types of lawn mowers and would they like to have a review written about their product. 
    You may have to give them some examples of your work, but if successful some companies will pay up $500 for a good review on certain products.

    But for me Affiliate Marketing is where you should be laying your hat.

    How it works:
    Basically you advertise other companies products and when they make a sale from your promotion you get paid a commission.

    How Affiliate Marketing Works

    Lets stay with the Gardening theme for a moment.
    Your website is all about the Gardening world, and you have written posts/articles about different aspects of Gardening.
    First thing you need to do is get yourself Affiliated to a Gardening Company.
    You do this by typing into the search bar "Gardening + Affiliates"
    This will bring up companies that have Affiliate programs attached to their business.
    Once applied and accepted you are given a unique ID code, this ID code is attached to every promotion that you place on your site. The company that you are affiliated to recognises this code and any sales they make with your code attached, you will be compensated.
    There are 2/3 ways that Affiliate links can be added to your website.
    A text link, whereby you add the link to a certain part of your text.
    An Image link by adding your Affiliate link to an image.
    Or a widget link, by adding your Affiliate link to your widget area.

    Here is a very good video explaining all 3 options.

    Being Transparent With Your Affiliations

    By law now you have to disclose to your readers that you have an Affiliation to the company for any products that you promote on your website, and therefore may receive a commission if they purchase that product.

    This can be done quite easily by adding a new PAGE to your website and headed up Affiliate Disclosure.

    Then tell your readers exactly what you are all about by adding text similar to :

    Affiliate Disclosure

    "When you buy something from this website, I may receive an affiliate commission.
    These are my opinions and are not representative of the companies that create these products.
    My reviews are based on my personal own experience and research.
    I never recommend poor quality products, or create false reviews to make sales.
    It is my intention to explain products so you can make an informed decisions on which ones suit your needs best."
    Make the page a "No Follow" and "No Index".

    You can then link to that page from every post on your website that include Affiliate Links, by placing some text at the beginning of your post in the form of :
    "This post contains Affiliate links. Please read my Disclaimer for more information."
    Then you can highlight the word "Disclaimer" and link it to your Affiliate Disclosure page, giving your readers every chance of realising that you are in fact trying to sell them something.

    Here are clear rules set out by the FTC on Affiliate Disclosure 

    Creating your own Online Business is so much more  than building a website placing some links on it and sitting back waiting for the cash to roll in.
    It just won't happen.

    Like any business, it takes hard work and patience.

    If you are serious about setting up an Online Business then I highly recommend that you follow my lead and give Wealthy Affiliate a chance.
    It is the #1 Online Business training platform on the internet and everything you need to start and run your business is all under one roof.

    Try it out for 7 days free of charge(you won't even be asked for any financial details), and make your own mind up.

    wealthy-affiliate-sign-up-page

    A Platform Designed For
    Affiliate Marketers Of All Levels.

    I hope you got some value from this article and I would love to hear your comments on my post so please take the time to contribute by leaving your thoughts below.

    Leave a comment