Starting an online business can be a rewarding and profitable venture, but it can also be overwhelming if you’re just starting out.
In this blog post, I’ll walk you through the basics of setting up your online business from scratch.
* If you learn better with video, grab Sarah’s new white-label video course on this topic. Not only can you learn from it, you can offer it as your own course to others who need this help. (Sell it and keep all the profits, or give it away to grow your own opt-in email list.)
OK, let’s dive in.
Step 1: Decide What You’ll Sell
Will you sell your own products or be an affiliate marketer? Or choose the path I chose, and do both!
Deciding between selling your own products online and becoming an affiliate marketer, or pursuing both, depends on various factors. Here are considerations to help you make an informed decision:
Selling Your Own Products Online:
- Passion and Expertise:
- If you are passionate about a particular niche or have expertise in a specific area, creating and selling your own products allows you to showcase your knowledge.
- Brand Building:
- Selling your own products enables you to build a brand around your offerings.
- You have control over the branding, packaging, and customer experience.
- Profit Margins:
- You have the potential for higher profit margins as you are directly selling your own products.
- However, consider the initial investment in product creation and marketing.
- Control Over Inventory and Fulfillment:
- You have control over inventory levels, product quality, and fulfillment processes.
- This can lead to better control over customer satisfaction and shipping times.
- Customer Relationships:
- Selling your products allows you to build direct relationships with customers.
- You can gather customer feedback and implement improvements.
Becoming an Affiliate Marketer:
- Low Initial Investment:
- Affiliate marketing often requires a lower upfront investment compared to creating your own products.
- You promote other people’s products and earn a commission for sales.
- Diverse Product Range:
- As an affiliate, you can promote a diverse range of products within a niche without the need to create them.
- This allows for flexibility and the ability to adapt to market trends.
- Focus on Marketing:
- Affiliate marketing allows you to focus on marketing and driving traffic without the concerns of product creation and inventory management.
- Risk Mitigation:
- With affiliate marketing, you’re not responsible for customer service, refunds, or product development.
- This can be advantageous in terms of risk mitigation.
- Passive Income Potential:
- Once set up, affiliate marketing can generate passive income as long as your marketing efforts continue to drive sales.
Both Selling and Affiliate Marketing:
- Diversifying by both selling your own products and being an affiliate marketer provides multiple income streams.
- It spreads the risk and allows you to adapt to market changes.
- Synergy Between Products:
- If your own products complement those you promote as an affiliate, there’s a potential for synergy.
- Cross-promotion can enhance overall sales.
- You can choose to start with one approach and gradually incorporate the other based on your business’s growth and evolution.
Ultimately, the decision depends on your goals, resources, and preferences. Some entrepreneurs find success in a combination of both selling their own products and engaging in affiliate marketing. It’s essential to continuously evaluate and adapt your strategy based on market dynamics and your business’s performance.
Step 2. Register a Good Domain Name
Once you have an idea of what you’ll be marketing online, you should register a domain of your own.
Your domain name is your online address, the first thing people will see and remember about your business. So, it’s crucial to choose a domain name that is both memorable and relevant to your niche. Here are some insider tips to help you find and register a good domain name:
a) Keep it short and simple: A shorter domain name is easier to remember and type. Avoid long and complicated names that are hard to spell or pronounce.
b) Make it brandable: Your domain name should reflect your brand and identity. Try to come up with something unique that sets you apart from your competitors.
c) Consider keywords: Including relevant keywords in your domain name can improve your website’s visibility in search engine results. However, don’t overdo it – choose keywords that are relevant and natural.
d) Avoid numbers and hyphens: Numbers and hyphens can make your domain name confusing. Stick to letters and make it easy for people to remember. (I know, my own bizweb2000.com domain has numbers, but I didn’t have this advice when I registered it way back in 1997!)
Once you have a few potential domain names in mind, it’s time to register one. There are many domain registration services available, but I like Namecheap as it’s easy to use and very inexpensive. Compare prices and features to find the best option for your needs and be careful for pricy renewal rates.
Step 3. Build a Good Website with Free and Low-Cost Tools
Now that you have your domain name, it’s time to build your website. Fortunately, you don’t need to be a coding expert to create a professional-looking website. There are plenty of user-friendly tools and platforms that make website building a breeze. Here are some free and low-cost tools to simplify the process:
a) WordPress: WordPress is a popular content management system that powers millions of websites including this one. It offers a wide range of customizable themes and plugins, making it easy to create a website without any coding knowledge.
b) Wix: Wix is another user-friendly website builder that provides drag-and-drop functionality. It offers stunning templates and features to help you create a visually appealing and fully functional website.
c) Squarespace: Squarespace is known for its beautiful and modern templates. It’s a great option for creative businesses and those who prioritize aesthetics.
Remember, your website should be visually appealing, easy to navigate, and optimized for mobile devices. It’s also important to include relevant and engaging content on your website to attract and retain visitors.
If you want a site built and hosted for you, I offer that service here.