With the evolution of the internet, the working world underwent a monumental shift.
You no longer have to work yourself to the bone making money for someone else. Instead, you can build a successful business from the comfort of your own home.
Seriously, all you need is a laptop, a half decent internet connection, and a little bit of guidance, and you are good to go.
And here is that guidance.
1. Identify your niche
One of the best things about the internet is there is no shortage of ways you can make money — especially when it comes to selling.
You can sell educational content and informational packages, you can sell physical products, or you can even sell a suite of services.
What route you choose to take comes down to finding your niche.
A niche describes an area of interest in which you want to specialise. It guides the type of products you sell, the content you create, and the customers you draw to your online business.
Making sure you have identified your niche before starting your online business is essential.
When it comes to identifying your niche, it is best to find a topic or area that you are truly passionate about. From there, you can find an issue that people within that area have, and aim to solve it.
2. Pick your products
So, you have identified your niche. As a result, you have identified the type of customer you want to sell too.
Now it is time to pick your products.
The above section described three potential routes you can take with your online business, where you can choose to sell:
- Content and information
- Physical products
- A service (or suite of services)
No matter what route (or routes) you choose to take, there are a few things that are absolutely essential to success.
Firstly, you want to make sure that the products you choose to sell need dictated by your customer base. They should solve a relevant problem, make something more convenient, help them achieve something specific, or enhance an experience.
While the product will be dependent on your niche, this will be extremely important no matter what.
Secondly, you need to exceed customer expectations.
The products you sell should ultimately go above their price point. In this manner, you need to over-deliver in every aspect. The success of your online business is reliant on the experience of your customers — so give them a good one.
Finally, you don’t need to start with a lot of options.
Often picking one or two products and ensuring they are the best on the market is a much better option than trying to sell a myriad of mediocre products.
Quality over quantity.
3. Find a platform
Once you have your product sorted, you need an effective online ecommerce platform to sell from.
An ecommerce platform is a type of website that allows people to buy your stuff. And while this may sound like a minor point, it is actually very important.
Having a good platform guarantees that customers never have to leave your site, while ensuring that you have zero issues during the purchasing process.
If you do skimp on your platform, there is a very good chance you will find yourself dealing with transaction problems, customers orders disappearing, wrongly set shipping details, and maybe even security vulnerabilities — all of which result in a lot of time and money wasted.
Check out the side-by-side comparison of the two of the most popular platforms at the moment; Big Commerce VS Shopify.
Pick the one better suited for your needs and get started!
4. Publish Consistent Content
Once you have your website up and running, you need to attract people to it — and the easiest way to go about it is by writing relevant articles.
Simply increasing the amount of content on your site makes it more likely to come up on the first page of Google. Additionally, it offers a great way to show people your knowledge base, while demonstrating your expertise in the area.
Some great topics for content include:
- Relevant learning experiences within your niche
- Product reviews and recommendations
- Practical tips for customers
- Solutions to common problems in your area
I strongly recommend publishing 1-2 pieces of content per week — and make sure that it is of a high quality. The idea here is to offer free information that is of value to your customers.
5. Get your SEO sorted
SEO stands for ‘search engine optimization’ and it ultimately determines how visible your website is to search engines like google.
The better your SEO, the more likely you are going to be on the first page of google’s search results. While your content is extremely important, you want to make sure that you integrate SEO to ensure that it is as visible as possible.
This step is what draws people who don’t know anything about you to your website. In short, it makes sure people know you exist — which is pretty damn important if you plan on making a profit.
Focus SEO from the start, and you will never look back..
6. Build an email list
Last but not least we have email marketing.
Once you have people visiting your website, you want to turn them into life long customers — and that is exactly where email marketing becomes so important.
It allows you to do simple things like send targeted messages to customers, and notify them when they have left an item in their cart. With it, you can also contact past purchasers when you have new products, sales, or competitions.
To get started with email marketing you need to collect people’s email addresses.
When you have your website up and running, there will be many opportunities to do this (during checkout, or via a pop-up while they are browsing). However, I believe the best way to approach it is to offer something of value for free in exchange for their email.
This could be an eBook, a ‘how to’ guide, or even a free webinar.
It doesn’t really matter what it is as long as it is high quality and offers your customers value.
With the wonders of modern technology, making a living from the comfort of your own home has never been easier — as long as you know where to start, of course.
With that in mind, using the steps outlined in this article you can build a successful online business from scratch in no time.
So what are you waiting for? Take that first step and get moving.