by Christopher Neil
Have you had enough of the daily merry-go-round 9-to-5 grind for not enough money, and wondered how easy it would be to start an online business?
In this article I am going to give you the 7 steps you need to start your own online business from home. By following this proven method, you will create your own successful online business, and be in control of your life.
Follow the seven easy steps below to get started, and then scale your business as much as you like. Whether you are a newbie, or an online expert, you can benefit by following these 7 steps.
Step 1: Find A Problem And Solve It (The Need)
The internet is a place where millions of people are looking for the solutions to problems. Your first objective is to find a problem that you can solve, but you need to find your preferred marketplace first. Once you have found your marketplace (niche); you can now find the right product to solve it.
The biggest mistake people make starting out online is finding a product first, and then finding the marketplace for the product, only to later discover that it’s a limited market. So, how do you find your market, or “niche”, as it is often referred to in the online world?
What is needed here is keyword research. There are many available tools for doing keyword research, both paid and free. So, let’s use one of the best free tools. Google is your friend, and Google has a keyword research tool called “Google Trends”.
Often a good niche to get started with, or to create your business with, is something that you are interested in. A hobby, or something that you are passionate about. Maybe you have a few ideas, now it’s time to research them. Enter your search term into Google Trends, for example: dog training, or how to lose weight.
Google Trends will provide a ton of information about the search term that you entered. The main result you need to look at is the number of people who have searched for your keyword or phrase.
If you enter “how to lose weight” you will find the result will be massive, this means that it is a very competitive market, and it will be difficult to conquer.
What you could do is narrow your market down by searching “how to lose weight without exercising”. Alternatively, you could look for a smaller less competitive niche. However, you do need to have people searching to solve problems within your niche; as these will be your customers.
A keyword search with a search result of 1000 or more Google searches would be ideal for you to start your Google search advertising campaign.
Take your time while researching, you will be more successful with a niche that you are comfortable with. Once you have decided upon your niche, you now need to solve the problem(s) people are having in that niche. This is far easier than you might think. You can look at your competitors, and see what they are offering as solutions.
You can create a product for a niche that already exists, and make your product better than the competition, or offer more value for the same or similar price. Now you have the basis for your online business.
Step 2: Create Your Sales Copy
Many people are daunted by creating sales copy: “I’m not a salesperson”, or “I don’t know what sales copy is”, or “I don’t know how to write sales copy”
There is no need to panic; it really is easy. Sales copy is simple text telling your prospective customer what problem your product solves, how it will benefit them, how it has benefited others, and what a great offer you have for them.
Follow this simple process, and you will have created great sales copy in no time…
- Grab interest with a compelling headline.
- Introduce your product, and the problem it solves.
- Establish credibility.
- If you have sold online before; ask for testimonials from existing customers, and include those.
- Make a great offer (price).
- Offer a guarantee.
- Ask the prospect to buy.
As you are creating your copy, put yourself in the customers shoes, and the problem they are trying to solve, and then think “what’s in it for me”.
Step 3: Time To Build Your Website (With Zero Cost)
In today’s world websites are easy to build, and there are many ways to create your website. Of course, true you can pay an expert to build an amazing multi-page, muti-functional interactive website for you, or even just a basic one.
On a budget, you could use a website like Fiverr, and get someone to build one for you for less than $50. For the type of online business we are creating here, the fact is you DO NOT NEED an extensive website. You need easy and simple. One page which holds your sales copy, and a button for customers to click and buy. It can be that simple.
You can achieve this for zero cost by using one of the many free website creation software’s such as Wix, or GoDaddy. Search “website creator free”, and you will find many to choose from. It’s website DIY, and it is as simple as can be. A child could probably create a website for your online business.
Step 4: Find Your Customers And Drive Traffic To Your Website
This is the life blood of your online business, you need traffic to make sales, it sounds obvious of course, but it is vital.
In a nutshell there are two ways to get traffic…
- Sit back and wait for organic traffic, by that I mean potential customers sent to you by search engines. Or, should I say putting your website in front of potential customers, and hoping they click through to it, and not one of your competitors.
- Drive customers to your website! This is by far the best way to go. Unfortunately, this is where you need to invest some money, but if you have got your product and sales copy right, you will get your advertising money back, and make a healthy profit.
The good news is you can start off with a low budget, and re-invest after sales. To drive traffic, you need to run ads that send targeted traffic to your website. Targeted customers who are ready to buy. You can run these ads everywhere, search engines, social media, YouTube, etc.
I would recommend you start with Google, why? Because you can get some free ad credit to give you an initial boost. Google offers incentives to new customers. Usually something along the lines of: spend $25 on Google Ads, and get $100 free. A fabulous way to boost your initial sales, pay for targeted ads, and get four times as many ads for free.
This targeted traffic is known as Pay Per Click advertising, or PPC. It is far too big a subject to go into here, but there are many excellent guides free online that can help you with your ad campaigns. Investing a little money into PPC is really the best option for a new website, because you get instant traffic as these ads show up on search engines immediately.
Step 5: Build A Good Reputation
This is all about getting yourself known. Once you are recognized as an expert in your niche or market; your sales will go through the roof.
So how do you become an expert? You need to spread yourself around (for lack of a better phrase). People use the internet to search for information. Give that information away for free to other sites, and you will get better search rankings. Always include a link to your site in any info you give away.
Social media is king, but not the be-all and end-all. Article sites and directories are also very valuable. Create a free report in your market to give away with your links in it. Post it on social media, in forums, website directories, and/or article directories.
Think of it this way, your name is Bill Jones, you own a house, and a piece of real estate. A few people might know you as Bill Jones who owns a home at 42 Park Drive in your town. Now if you, Mr Bill Jones owned 20 homes and 20 pieces of real estate in your town; it is inevitable that more people will know you, right?
Well, the internet is the same way. Think of the internet as real estate, the more you own (branding and site links), the more well-known you will be, and your reputation will eventually rise to an expert level.
Therefore, the more online real estate you “own”, the more customers will consistently come to you, because they view you as the expert (or at least one of the experts), and your profits will gradually rise.
Step 6: How To Turn Visitors Into Buyers
This is probably the most powerful area of your online business. “The money is in the list”. You may have heard that phrase before, because it is true, and it can increase your profits, and make you debt free, or wealthy.
Capture your potential customer emails. Even if they do not buy, they may in the future. If a visitor comes to your website, and they don’t buy your product, it’s not the end of the world. They are targeted visitors, so they are in your marketplace for something, maybe just not your particular product at that time.
Offer all your visitors something for free, a report, or even better offer them a monthly newsletter if they subscribe. You will need to spend a little money here for an email autoresponder account to capture your visitors name and email, but emails are like gold dust that you are capturing.
The more your business grows, the more solutions you will have for different problems in your niche. That means you will have more offers for your potential customers, and especially those on your email list. They, your email subscribers, are ready-made buyers who you have built a relationship with.
Email marketing is highly effective, because it is targeted. Again, email marketing is too big of a subject to go into here, however, again there is a ton of free stuff to help you online, if you do proper and thorough research.
Step 7: Increase Your Income From Your Customer Base
It’s a known fact that around 36% of people who buy from you will buy again.
It’s time to upsell. The first sale is the hardest that you will ever make to a first-time customer. Once you have obtained the customer; offer them more products or services, and it is highly likely they will buy from you again. They will be lifetime customers, if you build a good relationship with them.
Offer products that complement their initial purchase. Give them discount coupons for their loyalty. Follow the steps above, and you can build a successful online business that you will be proud of for many years to come.
There is a lot of information here, and if you would like any help with anything in this article, please do not hesitate to contact me: [email protected]