How to Start a Successful Online Business is the question that lingers in many people’s minds.
Today, I am going to show you the exact steps that I and thousands of successful business entrepreneurs have followed in creating more than ten online businesses that make money on autopilot.
Here is the summary:
- Identify a need and find a solution to fill it
- Write great copy that sells
- Design a good website and other online assets
- Use search engines to get traffic (SEO and SEM)
- Become an expert in what you do
- Use the power of email marketing
- Use back-end sales and upselling to increase your income
Whether you are a seasoned online entrepreneur or a newbie, you can benefit from these steps of creating an online business.
Let’s dive into the details:
Create a Successful Online Business Step 1: Identify a need and fill it.
Where there is a need, there is a lot of money.
We all know that there is a need to solve the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
What do you think will happen to you if you come up with a drug that cures HIV/AIDS.
You will become a billionaire instantly.
That is how online businesses work.
The moment you identify a need, you will start looking for a way to fill it.
Many people identify a product first before looking for the market.
However, if you identify the need first, then the needy people will automatically become your client when you launch your product.
In order to succeed as an online entrepreneur, you must get ready market for your product. the best place to get people who are looking for a solution to their problems may be online forums, social media groups or stores.
For instance, if you walk into a shop in your neighborhood and see a long queue of customers, you will start thinking that the storekeeper is exceptionally great or there are no competitors in the area.
You may also wish to do something great in an area that you are passionate about.
How to do market research for your online business
Here is what you must do to identify the ready market for your online business:
- Visit online forums where people are actively talking about problems. Interact with the groups and see their pain points
- See existing services which can be offered in a better and efficient manner and come up with an action plan
- Look for better ways of using technology to solve existing challenges
- Go online and do some keyword research. For instance, you can find high volume keywords that have low competition.
- If you have identified a niche, check out your competitors and see what they are doing. Look for ways of outdoing them or offering something better or cheaper.
- Using the information you have gathered, create an amazing product for the ready market and make sure it is better than existing products or services.
Case studies of a few people who changed the world by solving existing problems
- Randy Parker created Constant Contact to solve the existing email marketing automation problems.
- Mark Zuckerberg became successful for creating an easy-to-use innovative solution, Facebook, for people to socialize internationally.
- Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft which has changed the world. He is still researching innovative renewable energy options and cures to diseases to change the world further.
- You too can create a solution to an existing problem and become rich.
Start a Successful Online Business Step 2: Write great copy that sells
Copywriting is persuasive writing which aims at closing a sale.
Researchers have come up with a proven copywriting formula which produces amazing results.
The process takes website visitors through the selling process from the moment they arrive on your website to the moment they buy your product.
Here is how you should do your copywriting that sells:
- Create compelling headlines which attract and arouse visitors
- Describe the problem that your product solves.
- Explain why the problem is bad and must be solved asap
- Emerge as a credible solver of the existing problem
- Add testimonials and product reviews of customers who have used your product
- Explain how the product will solve the problems of the user
- Make an offer to the customer
- Provide an unmistakable guarantee
- Create a sense of urgency
- Ask for the sale and close the deal.
- Repeat the process for all other services and products
Instead of listing the characteristics or features of your product, you must show the website visitors how the product can solve their problems and make their lives better.
Don’t think like a client. Think like a customer and ask the hard question – “What is in it for me?”
Establish a Successful Online Business Step 3: Design and build your website.
When you settle on a product and the market, and have created marketing strategy, you are ready to create your website.
You will need a website for your small businesses.
Buy a good domain name.
Before buying a domain name, consider the following tips:
- Do your homework, don’t just rush and come up with your name as your domain name
- Choose a top level domain (TLD) such as .com, .net
- If your business is country-specific, choose a country level domain
- Make your domain name memorable, short, easy to type and sweet.
- Have some keywords in your domain
- Check availability of your name on social media sites
Purchase a domain name here (.com domains) for as low as $8
Get the best web hosting service
You now need good web hosting to host your website.
I recommend Bluehost for the best web hosting experience.
Get a good theme
Depending on your content management system, make sure you get a nice theme.
If possible, use WordPress as your content management system because of its ease of use and availability of useful resources and support.
You can get the best WordPress themes here:
Design your website: Simple web design tricks
- Little is much in web design.
- Choose your theme colors for your website and brand
- Choose two or three font colors for your website
- Keep your website easy to navigate on every page
- Use graphics but only when necessary to convey information
- Create sweet opt-ins to capture email addresses
- Make it easier for customers to buy your products
- Create a responsive and customer friendly website
- Install live chat/support to help your clients
- Make the product easy to buy with a few clicks
Start a Successful Online Business Step 4: Use search engines to drive targeted buyers to your site.
There are two ways of using search engines to get traffic to your website.
Search engine marketing (paid advertisements)
Search engine marketing involves paying search engines such as Google, Bing, etc. to display the ads of the services you provide.
Search engine Marketing delivers fast results as opposed to search engine optimization.
It is easy to show PPC ads even after one day of placement.
Furthermore search engine marketing helps you in A/B testing of headlines, keywords, prices and strategies. It helps in discovering strategies that work best for your brand.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
SEO is the process of influencing teh online visibility of a website’s unpaid results in the search engine results pages.
Using white hat SEO tactics can help you in achieving success with an ecommerce website.
Here are a few SEO tactics that can help you improve your website’s rankings:
- Have a secure and accessible website
- Make sure your website loads faster and is responsive
- Create great content focussed on targeted keywords
- Make your website mobile-friendly
- Increase the domain authority of your website
- Implement technical SEO
- make your website visitors happy by giving them a seamless experience
- Get many social signals from social media sites
- Have a tonne of backlinks to your website.
You can read a complete list of 200 Google ranking factors that can help you rank your website well.
Check this SEO ranking factors article on Optin Monster
Set up a Successful Online Business Step 5: Establish an expert reputation for yourself
Now is the time to set yourself apart as a subject matter expert.
The best way of setting yourself as an industry leader is by providing a ton of information for free.
Informational products are helpful because they help in solving other people’s problems.
When you solve others’ problems, they see you as a subject matter expert.
Whenever you share information on other websites, news channels and on social media platforms, it is good to include a link back to your website.
This way, people will always find you when they are looking for more about you.
It is also an excellent way of creating more awareness about your products, services and your website.
Here are a couple of things you can do to emerge as a subject matter expert:
Create a free or paid course and market it all over the internet
Write a great ebook about a subject and distribute
Create amazing videos on how to solve common problems people face in your niche.
Tell people how to and how not to do some kinds of stuffs
Distribute all information through online directories, social media sites and on other blogs networks
Create a serious social media group and share your ideas freely with your followers
Include share buttons and social media buttons in your outreach emails to enhance sharing of your information
Become actively involved in niche forums, social networking sites and industry forums where your potential clients spend their time.
As you share more information about who you are and what you do while solving other people’s problems, your client base will increase.
Furthermore, you will get more backlinks from other sites and your website will grow organically without you spending more money on advertisements.
Start a Successful Online Business Step 6: Use email marketing to convert visitors into buyers
Email marketing is the secret gem of collecting emails from your audience and sending targeted emails aimed at converting the subscribers into clients.
An email list is one of the most important aspects of an online business.
Without an email list, the future of your business may be uncertain.
With email marketing, your email subscribers give you permission to engage them and send them information about you.
Email marketing develops relationships between you and the subscriber, it is measurable and the cheapest form of engagement between you and your clients.
In fact, email marketing is the cheapest type of digital marketing.
Although it is cheap, email marketing produces the highest returns on investment.
This means that you should take email marketing seriously by using the best email marketing services.
In so doing, you will capture the email addresses of people who visit your website
After getting the emails, you should do the following:
- Segment your subscribers according to their likes
- Establish a close relationship with them
- Provide free information addressing their problems
- Promote your services and products to them
- Ask for referrals from your subscribers
- Make sustainable money throughout your lifetime.
Constant Contact is one of the best email marketing services in the world.
Try Constant Contact for free for 60 days to taste the feeling – No credit card required!
How to Start a Successful Online Business Step 7: Use back-end sales and upselling to increase your income
Every person in your email list has a lifetime value.
Researchers have shown that people who have bought from you once are likely to do it again and again.
This is because customers tend to trust the services they have used before as opposed to new ones.
Closing the first sale is the most important thing you need to do.
Upselling is important because it helps in selling complementary products which support the initial sale.
Keeping in touch with customers after they have bought your products helps in showing them that you value them.
You should always thank your customers and continue providing them with fresh industry information on your services, new products and efficient ways of solving their problems and getting happy.
Occasionally, you should reward your loyal customers and subscribers with freebies and high quality informational products which will leave them happy.
Conclusion on starting an ecommerce business
Now that your business is up and running and already making money for you, it is time to analyze its weak points and adjust appropriately.
The principles in this article are evergreen and they apply to all businesses and all niches.
If you are seeking to start a new online business and make it successful, then follow the steps carefully and you will realize how easy it is to own a successful ecommerce website