Starting an online business and making money online is really simple. It’s simple, not easy. And yet, the majority of people who do it will fail. Why? Because they didn’t understand and implement these 21 must-do’s associated with the success of starting an online business.
|1.||Have a plan but don’t waste your time and money on a traditional business plan|
|2.||Figure out your best niche|
|3.||Determine which platform(s) you want to use|
|4.||Come up with an awesome business name/identity|
|5.||Register your perfect domain name|
|6.||Register social media accounts and set placeholders|
|7.||Select an excellent web host|
|8.||Set up a (WordPress) website (correctly)|
|9.||Select a great WordPress theme|
|10.||Link your new domain to your WordPress site|
|11.||Embed your new domain in your social media accounts|
|12.||Be highly accessible and respond immediately to legitimate inquiries|
|13.||Do it right|
|14.||Set your mindset|
|15.||Learn and implement excellent marketing skills as you progress|
|16.||Monetize your site and source your products – Digital vs. physical – Low/Med/High ticket|
|18.||The magic is in YOUR list!|
|19.||Keep feeding your head|
|20.||Crossing The Chasm|
|21.||TAKE MASSIVE ACTION!|
Have a plan but don’t waste your time and money on a traditional business plan
When I was working on my Master’s, they gave us the option to prepare a complete business plan in lieu of writing a thesis. I opted to do the business plan because I felt like it would give me more real-world knowledge than the thesis option would. Out of the two options, it was probably the best choice. But, that being said, it was probably somewhat a waste of my time too.
Business plans are a necessity if you are asking a bank for a boat-load of cash. But, one of the many beautiful things about starting an online business is that you don’t need fat stacks O’ cash to get your new business rolling! No expensive store-front, no high-priced equipment and certainly no labor expenses for employees that require your supervision.
Should you have a plan? Of course you should! Do you need to waste countless hours and thousands of dollars preparing a traditional business plan? Absolutely not!
Figure out your best niche
This isn’t a “get rich quick” plan. Not by any stretch whatsoever. No, if you are going to be successful with an online business, you are going to work your ass off for a long time before you see any type of traction whatsoever. Therefore, figuring out what your niche is going to be is of the utmost importance.
If you choose a niche that you’re only half-ass interested in, it’s going to be that much more difficult to stick with it. You have to choose something that you absolutely love. Otherwise, you increase the possibility of giving up and quitting before you achieve success.
Additionally, you need to choose something that can be well monetized. After all, if you’re not making money, you just have a hobby, not a business.
Determine which platform(s) you want to use
There are three different platforms available to you. Ultimately, you should strive toward creating your brand on all three. But to begin with, you should pick the one you love the most and focus all of your time and energy on it alone. Once you have created some passive income from your chosen platform, then you should begin to venture out into the realms of the other two.
The three platforms are:
- Youtube Channel
I chose to begin with a website/blog. Eventually, I will venture out to Youtube and a podcast. But, for the time being, I am still actively creating high-quality content by way of blog posts such as the one you are currently reading.
That being said, I have set up my Youtube channel with my brand name in anticipation of eventually creating content for it.
The same goes for a domain. Domains are cheap. Usually somewhere in the neighborhood of ten bucks a year or so. If you choose to begin your personal brand with Youtube or a podcast, still plan on finding and purchasing your domain now so you will have it available to you when the time presents itself. You don’t have to necessarily do anything with it now. You just want to take it off the market and make sure it is under your control. Think of it as a placeholder of sorts.
Come up with an awesome business name/identity
It’s extremely important your business name/identity tells people what you are about. For instance, Advance Dynamix is the “Dynamics of advancing.” Pretty self-explanatory, yes? But, just in case someone wasn’t able to figure it out, I have defined it at the top of the first page of my site just to make sure there isn’t anyone who still may be unclear.
Another great example is NameCheap. Is there any doubt about who they are or what they offer? Not really. Especially if you already know they sell domains.
Legendary Marketer is another fantastic example! Is there any doubt what they do? Hell no, there isn’t! They create Legendary Marketers from people like me and you.
A poor example is SEM Rush. Don’t misunderstand me here. SEM Rush has absolutely awesome tools! But I still don’t know what their name means and it sure as hell doesn’t tell me what they can do for me.
Register your perfect domain name
Your domain is whatever is behind the www. For instance, my domain is www.AdvanceDynamix.win. Registering your domain is fast, cheap and easy. This is essentially Internet real estate you create and then own until you let it expire or sell it There are companies out there who come up with good domains and then resell them. For instance, www.AwesomeBBQ.com is available but you would have to pay $2,495 for it. Someone else already bought it for $8.88/year but they are now reselling it for what it is actually worth. And, truth be told, it may actually be worth much more than that to someone. Personally, I would probably not be willing to pay that for a domain. I would rather figure out an alternative that worked well for me. For instance, www.AdvanceDynamix.com was taken so I opted for the “win” Top Level Domain (TLD). Everything you could possibly want to know about TLD’s can be found in this post from NameCheap.
Register social media accounts and set placeholders
Showing up on page one of the Google SERP’s (Search Engine Results Pages) is our ultimate goal. Whether you are blogging, vlogging or podcasting, you want people to be able to find you. Sites such as Youtube, Twitter, Pinterest and the like can help you own more real estate on the SERP’s.
When you Google the two words “Advance Dynamix”, you will notice I pretty much own that first page thanks to my social media account placeholders I created in the beginning. No, I don’t have anywhere near the content on them that I do here on the actual website itself. But, I do have enough to make sure I dominate the SERP’s for my brand.
Don’t get caught up wasting a lot of time creating a bunch of content on those sites. It rarely pays off. But do make sure you get your placeholders set.
Select an excellent web host
If you have read most of my blog posts, you know I absolutely love WPX Web Hosting. Those guys offer an absolutely excellent product and their customer service is absolutely unbelievable. I can’t say enough good about them. Are they expensive? Yeah, kinda. Are they the most expensive? Absolutely not. I used to use Hostgator and it cost me less than four bucks a month back then. Nice and cheap, huh? You ever hear the expression, “You get what you pay for”? Well, it’s true. You do get what you pay for. WPX costs me more than five times what I was paying. Is it worth it? You’re damn right it’s worth it!
Set up a (WordPress) website (correctly)
Back in the day, it was a real pain in the ass to build a website. Then, along came WordPress Today, a third of the entire Internet is comprised of WordPress sites. There’s a reason for that. It’s just awesome, that’s why. It’s quick to set up and easy to use. It’s fast. It’s free. The list goes on and on.
Over the years, I’ve set up a few WordPress sites. Today, I can have one built out in a matter of hours. Even if you have never built a website in your life, it won’t take you more than a weekend to get your WordPress site up and running.
If you have any trouble whatsoever with getting WordPress installed on your WPX hosting account, just give them a shout. They will be happy to help you get it up and going. Additionally, Google is your friend. Anytime you need to know exactly how to do something, you can Google it and quickly get the answer you need too.
Select a great WordPress theme
You are reading this post on an Athemes WordPress Theme called “Rocked Pro.” I really like Athemes. And, Athemes has free versions you can start out with if money is tight.
Also, the Astra theme is rapidly becoming quite popular within the world of WordPress. It is lite and super-fast. And, super-fast means more Google love for your site. I am considering moving my site over to Astra and becoming an affiliate for them. If this happens, I will add the link to the site here right away.
Link your new domain to your WordPress site
Linking your newly minted domain to your WordPress probably sounds like a totally daunting task if you have never done it before. But fortunately, it is actually really super-easy. And, if you run into any problems at all, all you have to do is give the tech support pros at NameCheap a shout and they will help you get it going in no time at all.
It’s as simple as getting your WPX DNS Nameservers from your WPX account and then just plugging them in to your Namecheap account. If you can’t find them, just contact WPX tech support and they will tell you what they are.
From there, go over to your Namecheap account and follow these instructions. If you have any problems, give Namecheap a shout and their tech support will help you get those nameservers plugged in where they need to be.
Don’t forget, it’s going to take some time to propagate. Up to 24 hours but it usually happens quicker than that.
Embed your new domain in your social media accounts
Most social media accounts have a specific place for you to do this. For instance, When you create a Facebook Page, there is a space in the “About” section that asks for your domain. Just plug it in. Additionally, the Facebook Group Page gives you an area to describe your business. It’s a good idea to embed your domain here too. When I create memes for Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc, I always embed my domain within them as well. You never know who is going to share it and who will see that share and go to your domain because of it. That being said, don’t get super distracted with doing this type of thing. It isn’t going to be near as helpful as publishing more great content is.
Be highly accessible and respond immediately to legitimate inquiries
Have you noticed my email address is posted prominently in the top-right corner of my website? And, I have a WhatsApp button that moves as you scroll also. You and anyone else has the ability to contact me at any time. It’s important to respond quickly when someone reaches out to you. Often times, this indicates they are very close to making a purchase from your site and just have a quick question they need answered beforehand.
That being said, keep your eyes open for spammers too. I seem to get quite a few spammers from countries other than the United States. If someone can’t form a complete sentence and/or ask a legitimate question, they don’t get my time. If they truly need something, I am more than happy to help. If it’s just some type of bullshit spammer ploy, NEXT!
Do it right
If you chose to blog, learn to do it right (or write as the case may be) 🙂 with Income School. I HIGHLY recommend you subscribe to Project 24 from Income School. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I have learned from Jim and Ricky. And, you can learn it too. Jim started his first blog to pay off his $90,000 in student loan debt he incurred from getting a Juris Doctorate and becoming an attorney. Thanks to that first blog (and the many he started since then) Jim hasn’t been an attorney for years, he owns his time and gets to spend most of his time with his family and loved ones instead of spending 40+ hours in corporate hell every week. And he made that student loan debt go away a long time ago too.
Set your mindset
Having the proper mindset is the most important piece of this entire puzzle! If your mindset isn’t right, you will fail. Failure is inevitable if your head isn’t right. Think about that though. This really holds true with just about anything, doesn’t it?
The wrong mindset is why so many fail out of BUDS training and never become Navy Seals. It is a major reason so many people drop out of college and never get that degree they wanted. Their mindset wasn’t right. And, to be brutally honest, it’s the reason so many people fail with starting an online business. Their mindset isn’t right.
Hell, it’s why I failed so many damn times in the past! The truth hurts and I’m sure as hell not proud to admit I had so damn many failures but it’s true. And you know what? By me being able to admit it, maybe, just maybe it will help you to learn from my mistakes and make sure your head is in the game for the long haul. If that’s the case, then, I’m glad I had those failures. They were worth it.
It doesn’t matter which of the three platforms you choose, you must settle in for hard work and long hours. Plan on working your ass off for 2 to 5 years before you ever see one iota of success. Maybe it will happen before that. If it does, congratulations! But don’t plan on it. Get your mindset right that it could take one hell of a long time! Two to five years seems like a long time, doesn’t it? It is. If it seems like a long time now, it’s going to really seem like a long time a couple years down the road when you are still grinding out fresh, new content but still don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. That’s why so many fail. They don’t put in the time and effort required for success.
Remember we were talking about Project 24 earlier in the post? Many don’t know this but the 24 signifies 24 months. Their goal is to get your business profitable within 24 months. Is there a guarantee? Hell no, there isn’t a guarantee! Only you can control your effort and decisions. And, your effort and decisions are what will determine your level of success.
Look, we don’t know what we don’t know. You could try to reinvent the wheel or, you could learn from the experts, shorten your learning curve and greatly increase your odds of success.
Feed your head with head-food that will help keep your mindset on the right track. Go read The Magic of Thinking Big. Read everything you can get your hands on from Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, Grant Cardone, Gary Vaynerchuk and others like them.Growing up, my mom used to say, “Garbage in, garbage out.” The opposite holds true too. If you are feeding your head with content that will propel your Advance Dynamix, you are going to get better and better. It’s just that simple.
Another extremely important aspect of mindset is to focus on your customer rather than yourself. It’s tough to do in the beginning. It’s extremely difficult for some. But, if you focus on your customer and what they need, the money will follow. If you focus on the money, you will fail. Ol’ Zig used to say, “You can have everything you want in life if you will just help enough others get what they want in life.” I subscribed to that concept 100%! Zig Ziglar was an extremely intelligent man and he is one of my heroes.
Learn and implement excellent marketing skills as you progress
No matter what you decide to do, you are in the business of marketing. If you are building a blog, Youtube channel or podcast channel with the intention of creating income, you are a marketer. And the better you become at marketing, the more income you are going to create for you and your family. Having that in mind, why wouldn’t you want to learn from the best. That’s where Legendary Marketer comes in. You can get the first few lessons for free. Go check those out and you will quickly see exactly why you need Legendary Marketer to totally catapult your business.
Monetize your site and source your products
I just read about another blogger who started her blog in 2013. Her blog is in the personal finance niche. She started it long before Google came out with their YM/YL (Your Money/Your Life) algorithm. YM/YL can and will decimate this type of niche today. That being said, there are still tons of niches out there that you can create an absolutely fantastic income around.
This woman stated that at seven years old, her blog is currently grossing over $1.5 million dollars per year. 62% of that income is from affiliate marketing. That is huge! She also montizes her site with a course she created, partnerships and ads. They make up the other 38% of her income.
There are pros and cons with all of those options. Personally, at this particular juncture, I only monetize my site with affiliate links. If I were to create a course, I would have to deal with a lot more things than I do just as an affiliate. I may change my mind at some point in the future but the bottom line is, affiliate marketing is creating the lion’s share of her income and I know this holds true for many other affiliate marketers as well. So, having that in mind, affiliate links will continue to be my only source of monetization for the time being.
I know a lot of people have affiliate sites based around Amazon products. There are several reasons, I’m not a fan of being an affiliate for Amazon products.
First of all, my customers get to enjoy instant gratification because I am only an affiliate for digital products. That means, as soon as the item has been purchased, the customer can begin using and benefiting from it immediately. That doesn’t happen with physical products. The buyer has to wait for it.
Plus, it costs to ship physical products and there is always the possibility of them being broken, lost, stolen, etc during shipping.
And third, higher profit margins are much more prevalent with digital products such as courses, software and other types of digital tools.
When you monetize your site, make sure you aren’t just throwing products up for the sake of throwing them up. This goes back to the Zig quote we talked about earlier. Make sure your customer is first in your mind. Make sure the products you are offering are high-quality products and can actually give the benefits that are expected.
Low and mid-ticket items are important but it is extremely important you also offer one or two high-ticket products as well. Those high-ticket items will be what sets your business apart from the others. Go back and read this short little paragraph again. It’s a golden nugget for you. Grasp it and don’t forget it.
With that all being said, it bears mention that Jim and Ricky over at Income School/Project 24 rely heavily upon Amazon affiliate links and displaying ads on their sites. They built CamperReport.com up to $8,000 per month with Amazon affiliate links and ads alone. Then, they sold it for a fat stack O’ cash. I believe someone else could build an absolutely massive income in this same niche by incorporating additional monetization methods.
If you aren’t sure where to find great digital products to monetize your site with, I mention several great options toward the bottom of this post.
Running ads has the ability to really ramp up your game FAST! That being said, it also has the ability to totally drain your coffers FAST! Don’t gamble what you don’t have to lose when you are running ads.
Facebook has gotten really stupid with their advertising policies. I have really cut back on giving them much of my money because of this. I burnt up a ton of money with Facebook Ads before I found Manuel Suarez and his Facebook Masters Class. You know how they say hindsight is 20/20? Well, my hindsight tells me I shouldn’t have spent a dime on Facebook ads before learning what the hell I was doing! lol! Once again, learn from my mistakes!
Jim and Ricky teach several really cool ways to SEO your content. Techniques they invented and work really, really well. I’ve never seen anywhere else. For instance, their “Alphabet Soup” method is really cool. Have you ever noticed how Google gives you autofill when you are searching for something. Guess what? That autofill is Google’s way of telling us exactly what others are searching for. Jim & Ricky teach us to type in our core topic and then follow it with each letter of the alphabet. It gives us all kinds of new ideas. That’s just a little morsel of what you can learn from them.
They also teach many other cool things no one else is talking about. “Getting The Snippet” is another cool topic they teach. Those boys are worth their weight in gold, literally.
Content SEO is like pennies from heaven. You put in the work and once Google picks it up, you continue to get traffic over and over from that. Much more fun than advertising in my opinion.
The magic is in YOUR list!
It is extremely important for you to set up an autoresponder and build YOUR list. Any professional marketer will tell you the money is in your list. You build your list by using a digital product known as an autoresponder. There are tons of different autoresponders on the market. Personally, I like and use GetResponse.
If you have been to the bottom of any of the pages on Advance Dynamix, you have seen the eBook I wrote down there. I could sell that eBook for $7 to $10 but I choose to give it away for free instead. Why? I trade it for email addresses. You click the rocket down there and give me your email address and in turn you get a $10 eBook packed with good, solid information. This is how I build my list and it is how you should build yours too.
Keep feeding your head
Dr. Stephen Covey listed this as one of his 7 Habits of Highly Successful People. Only, he entitled it differently. Dr. Covey listed this as the 7th Habit and he called it “Sharpening The Saw.”
When my kids were young, I coined the acronym KIPFYH. It stands for Knowledge Is Power, Feed Your Head.
It is said that Tai Lopez reads a book a day. Whoa! That’s probably one of the major reasons he has gone from rags to riches (to the tune of tens of millions of dollars)! Some say Tai Lopez is worth over $60 million bucks! Not too shabby considering he was couch surfing different friends houses at one point in his life.
This article from the Mays Business School at Texas A&M talks about a recent study that indicates the most successful CEO’s average 60 books per year. Do you read 60 books a year?
Crossing the chasm
You know this isn’t a business that will start spinning cash overnight. You know this because I repeat it over and over. No, this business model takes a hell of a long time to get it off the ground. You have to persevere. You have to have faith. Faith in yourself. Faith in what you are doing. And, faith your hard work and tenacity will eventually become something most only dream of.
Audaces fortuna iuvat – Fortune favors the bold.
Going into it with this knowledge is half the battle. This is the very reason I failed many times in the past. I have had multiple million-dollar ideas throughout the years. I failed to give it everything I had. I quit entirely too soon. I didn’t cross The Chasm. Because of this, I experienced multiple failures. It took someone actually telling me and seeing what the other side of The Chasm looked like for them in order to get my mindset right. Trust me when I tell you, once that happens, all bets are off!
TAKE MASSIVE ACTION!
Remember, all of the initial stuff is really exciting. Coming up with your niche, brand, domain, building out your site, etc. All of that is a ton of exciting fun to get going. But, it’s not what puts meat on the table. And, as Pink Floyd used to say, “If you don’t eat your meat, you can’t have any pudding.”
Always remember and never lose sight of this one thing. Hitting that publish button is the one thing that moves the needle. It doesn’t matter whether you chose a blog, Youtube or a podcast for your platform, you absolutely must be creating excellent, high-quality content all the damn time. That is what is going to get your rocket to leave the ground and it is what is going to eventually propel your rocket into the stratosphere. Mash that publish button gas pedal and never let up! #justrockit