6 Step Plan for New Digital Marketers 

 January 19, 2024

By  Jim Daniels

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Focus on Marketing:
    • Affiliate marketing allows you to focus on marketing and driving traffic without the concerns of product creation and inventory management.
  4. 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.
  5. 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:

  1. Diversification:
    • 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Flexibility:
    • 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.

Step 4. Choose a Web Host for Your Website

Choosing a web host is an important decision that can significantly impact the performance and reliability of your website. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a web hosting provider:

  1. Type of Hosting:
    • Shared Hosting: Affordable but resources are shared with other websites.
    • Virtual Private Server (VPS): Offers more control and dedicated resources.
    • Dedicated Hosting: Entire server is dedicated to your website.
    • Cloud Hosting: Resources are distributed across multiple servers for scalability.
  2. Performance and Speed:
    • Look for a host that provides fast and reliable servers.
    • Consider the location of the server data center in relation to your target audience.
  3. Uptime Guarantee:
    • Choose a host that offers a high uptime guarantee (99.9% or higher).
    • Check reviews and testimonials for real-world experiences with uptime.
  4. Scalability:
    • Ensure that the hosting plan can accommodate your future growth.
    • Easy scalability options are crucial as your website expands.
  5. Support and Customer Service:
    • 24/7 customer support is essential, especially if you’re not an experienced webmaster.
    • Look for providers with multiple support channels (live chat, email, phone).
  6. Security Features:
    • Check for security measures such as firewalls, SSL certificates, and regular backups.
    • Ensure the hosting provider keeps software and server configurations up to date
  7. Price and Plans:
    • Compare pricing structures and consider the overall value for the features offered.
    • Be cautious of very cheap hosting plans as they may lack essential features.
  8. Reviews and Reputation:
    • Read reviews from other users to gauge the hosting provider’s reputation.
    • Look for feedback on customer service, uptime, and overall satisfaction.

Before making a decision, take your time to research and compare different hosting providers based on your specific needs and budget.

Step 5. Start Growing Your Own Email List

Building and growing an email list is a crucial aspect of digital marketing. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to start growing your own email list:

  1. Define Your Target Audience:
    • Identify your target audience and understand their needs.
    • Tailor your content and offerings to appeal to this specific audience.
  2. Choose an Email Marketing Service:
    • Select a reliable email marketing service provider (e.g., Aweber, GetResponse, or ConvertKit).
    • Consider features like ease of use, automation capabilities, and scalability.
  3. Create a Compelling Lead Magnet:
    • Offer a valuable incentive, such as an ebook, webinar, or discount, to encourage sign-ups.
    • Ensure your lead magnet is relevant and addresses your audience’s pain points.
  4. Setup a Landing Page:
    • Create a dedicated landing page for your lead magnet.
    • Keep the page focused, with a clear call-to-action for subscribing to your email list.
  5. Optimize Signup Forms:
    • Place signup forms prominently on your website, blog, and social media channels.
    • Keep the forms simple, asking for minimal information to reduce friction.
  6. Implement Popups and Slide-Ins:
    • Use exit-intent popups or slide-ins to capture visitors who are about to leave your site.
    • Ensure these popups are not intrusive but timed well for better conversion.
  7. Run Contests and Giveaways:
    • Host contests or giveaways where participants need to subscribe to enter.
    • Promote these events through various channels to maximize participation.
  8. Use Social Media:
    • Leverage your social media platforms to promote your lead magnet.
    • Share teasers, testimonials, or snippets to generate interest.
  9. Guest Blogging and Partnerships:
    • Write guest posts on relevant blogs and include a link to your signup page.
    • Partner with influencers or other businesses for cross-promotion.
  10. Optimize Confirmation and Welcome Emails:
    • Craft engaging confirmation and welcome emails.
    • Set expectations, deliver the promised lead magnet, and provide valuable content.
  11. Consistent Communication:
    • Regularly communicate with your subscribers to maintain engagement.
    • Provide valuable content, updates, and exclusive offers to keep them interested.

By following these steps and remaining consistent, you can effectively grow and nurture your email list, establishing a valuable connection with your audience.

Step 6. Start Getting Traffic To Your Site

Getting traffic to a new website requires a combination of strategies and efforts. Here are various methods to increase visibility and attract visitors to your new site:

  1. Optimize for Search Engines (SEO):
    • Conduct keyword research and optimize your website’s content for relevant keywords.
    • Optimize meta titles, descriptions, and header tags.
    • Create high-quality, valuable content that addresses user queries.
  2. Social Media Promotion:
    • Leverage social media platforms to share your content and engage with your audience.
    • Create a posting schedule and use visually appealing content.
    • Join relevant groups and communities to share your website.
  3. Content Marketing:
    • Develop a content strategy that includes blog posts, articles, infographics, and videos.
    • Share your content on various platforms to reach a wider audience.
    • Guest post on other websites to build backlinks and increase visibility.
  4. Influencer Marketing:
    • Collaborate with influencers in your niche to promote your website.
    • Influencers can introduce your site to their followers, increasing visibility.
  5. Online Advertising:
    • Invest in paid advertising on platforms like Google Ads, Facebook Ads, or Instagram.
    • Target specific demographics to reach your ideal audience.
  6. Partnerships and Cross-Promotion:
    • Partner with other websites or businesses for cross-promotion.
    • Collaborate on joint initiatives to increase exposure.
  7. Networking:
    • Attend industry events, conferences, and online forums to network.
    • Build relationships with other professionals and website owners.
  8. Engage in Online Communities:
    • Participate in forums and online communities related to your niche.
    • Provide valuable insights and share your expertise.
  9. Create Shareable Content:
    • Develop content that is easily shareable, such as infographics or interactive tools.
    • Encourage visitors to share your content on social media.
  10. Run Contests and Giveaways:
    • Host contests or giveaways to generate excitement and attract new visitors.
    • Require participants to share your website to enter.
  11. Optimize for Mobile Devices:
    • Ensure your website is mobile-friendly, as a significant portion of traffic comes from mobile users.
    • Google also considers mobile-friendliness in search rankings.

Remember that building traffic takes time, and it’s essential to be patient and consistent with your efforts. A combination of these strategies tailored to your specific audience and niche will contribute to the growth of your website’s traffic.

OK, there you have it, a complete plan for getting started online.

Thousands of people come online every day to start a new business venture. Why not help them and earn in the process. Grab Sarah’s new white-label video course on this topic and offer it as your own course. (Sell it and keep all the profits, or give it away to grow your own opt-in email list.)

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About Jim

I gave up a life of jobs in 1996. Since then I've been earning a living online.

I write books, create software, license info-products, affiliate marketing, build membership sites, design websites and more.

I prefer this over my old lifestyle of getting up early, commuting to work, coming home to have a few hours for my family and living for the weekends. Now every day is a weekend. I work when I want and answer to no boss.

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