1) Determine how much extra time you have to invest in building a new source of income and then figure out how much extra money you have to invest in it. There will be some infrastructure costs and marketing. You have to get in front of people to make money and will need a website. Those things either cost money or a large investment of time. Most websites are built on a platform called WordPress and many website templates are offered for free. I got this website from ThemeForest.net. You can pay ThemeForest to set your website up for you or learn how to use WordPress. My best suggestion is to learn to do it yourself so that you can quickly make changes to your website when necessary. It took me two or three weeks of tinkering with my website before I really knew what I was doing within WordPress.
While learning how to put my WordPress website together, I also learned how to better value my time and outsource certain things. Fiverr.com is an excellent resource, as is Upwork.com. Fiverr’s platform allows computer and internet savvy people from all over the world to sell their services starting at $5. I’ve learned to pay someone $5 to take care of an issue for me, instead of spending hours trying to figure out how to do it myself. You must learn how to value your time. One of the quickest ways to get discouraged is to spend hours trying to figure something out and hitting dead ends. Don’t do that. Pay someone to do it for you so you stay positive and keep up the momentum. Do the business-building activities you enjoy, and pay others to take care of the things that drive you crazy.
2) Brainstorm all the topics you know about or would be interested in knowing more about and then pinpoint several to focus on. What problems or issues need to be solved within those topics? What demand or need is going unfulfilled? What is stopping people from fulfilling that need?
3) Research all companies that sell products/services within the topics that interest you and find out which ones have affiliate programs, where you can get paid for connecting people to those companies. A friend of mine owns TheUpscout.com and he acts as an affiliate, showing cool products to site visitors and gets paid a commission if site visitors click through and then buy one of the products. Remember that it takes the same amount of effort to connect a potential buyer to a $1 product that it does to connect them to a high ticket product that pays you a high commission. Once you’ve narrowed down the companies you might like to represent, further narrow down based on their product funnels. Does the company sell complementary products/services that cost more than the entry-level products? Are any of those complementary products paid for on a recurring basis? If so, you may have found a company to work with. The goal is to move buyers through the product funnel and to get paid each time they buy and hopefully for those products to have recurring fees. That way you are building yourself an exponentially increasing income for no additional effort over time.
Finding the companies with the best product funnels might be the most important item on this list and then you can narrow down from there. Look for companies that sell downloads, information, or monthly access to information. That will be the wisest way to leverage your time.
Check out my video on affiliate marketing to the right and read my blog post about the best affiliate marketing opportunity here.
Steps to start a successful online business
4) Hire a mentor or get training from somewhere. Google, Yahoo, Facebook, YouTube, etc are all trying to protect their users from scams and spam. That’s a good thing, but it means that they are constantly changing the rules and so it’s easy to have a website or social media account blacklisted. Mentorship and training is priceless because of the mistakes you’ll avoid and thus money you’ll save. You’ll save hours and hours of time too, which will allow you to spend more time doing the things you love. Isn’t that the point of starting an online business?
Whether you decide to market your business via social media, banner ads, pay per click, email marketing, etc. you’ll need direction. It is essential that you have a mentor or someone who can guide you.
5) Get a website. If you decide to hire me and The Six Figure Mentors to train you, you’ll receive a WordPress website, landing pages and thank you pages, and help setting up your email autoresponder. If you go another route, find a simple template on ThemeForest.net and learn how to use WordPress. Amazing website templates can be purchased for under $75. It will probably take a few weeks to learn WordPress, but then you’ll be able to make quick changes to your own website and WordPress isn’t terribly difficult to use and there’s a large online community to turn to with questions. If you host your site at a company like the digital business lounge, there’s a back-office to answer questions and provide support.
FREE workshop at the bottom of the page. Enter your email.
Make sure you have an email opt-in box on your website, where visitors can sign up to receive something of value in exchange for their email address. My email opt-in box is at the bottom of every page on my website. I use Aweber’s email opt-in box and use Aweber as my email autoresponder service. You’ll want to communicate with people all over the world at all hours, and allowing an email autoresponder to do that is an essential way to leverage your time. I pay $45 every three months to Aweber. These email addresses will become the list that pays your bills and provide you with the financial freedom you’re hoping to find.
6) Schedule time to work on your business or it’s unlikely to happen. Make a daily timeline of what needs to be done. Draw a line down the center of a piece of paper and at the top of one side write, “Things I’m going to do today” and on the other side write, “Things for the universe to take care of.” This will allow your mind to focus on what you can immediately accomplish and remove the fear that comes from seeing the huge pile of work that needs to be done at some point. The amount of time you put into your website’s content will directly determine the success of your efforts. Learn to identify busy work vs. income producing activities and focus on the income producing activities.
7) Learn to blog and tell the world what you know and how you can help. Blogging is a free form of advertising. Have affiliate links in each post that visitors can click and if they then buy, you get paid. That’s one of the main reasons to blog. You can find my post about the best blog format here or watch the video to the right.
8) Re-purpose your content because not everyone likes to receive information in the same way. Some people like to read. Some people like to watch video. Some people like to listen. Every blog post can be converted into a video for YouTube, audio podcast, Ezine article or social media post. Coming up with content for your website and then sharing that content with the world is essential. If you’re stuck and can’t come up with ideas for content, read my blog post on the top 10 blog post ideas here.
The forms of advertising I just mentioned, are all free!
9) Keep in touch with your clients and prospects through e-mail, social media and updated blog posts.
10) Be consistent and be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but these steps to start a successful online business should get you off to a fast start. One of the best analogies I’ve heard is to think of each blog post, video or podcast as another hook on the line you’re pulling behind your boat. My bet is that if you devote just 90 days to this process, you’ll have your additional source of income paying you in no time.
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Steps to start a successful online business
Matt T. Nathanson, CEO Island Time LLC. Leading Entrepreneurs to Lifestyle Freedom
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