Make Your Own Online Business: 4 Steps To Success (The Ultimate Guide)

This is a photo of two people designing a poster for a start up business
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Anyone Can Achieve Success Online“.

If you’re in the process of learning how to make your own online business, then you may have already seen or heard this phrase before, possibly many times over.

Regardless of whether you see the glass half full or half empty, there’s no doubting the opportunity that presents itself in today’s digital economy.

With over 4 billion people now using the internet, there really is the potential to connect with and leverage a huge customer base in thousands of different markets, from finance to travel to technology. Whatever area you’re looking to build a business in, you can rest assured there’s enough cake to go round the room.

I’m confident you’re here because you want to learn more about making money online and not just here to pass the time.

Take Any Passion & Turn It Into A Livelihood

Hi, my name’s Michael Anthony, and I want to show you that not only can you achieve success online, but you can do so by creating an online business based around an idea that you’re absolutely passionate about and also one that will help others in the process.

I’m here to help guide you and provide you with the information and tools you need to make more money and have more time for you, your family and anything else that you love doing. You can do this either by way of a new side gig or as a full-time business. However, I must stress that it’s up to you to put the work in and take action, I cannot force you to do so.

Learning something new can be an overwhelming process at first, I still get a little swamped sometimes when I come across a new idea or new technique regarding my online business, but don’t worry, stick with me and you’ll pick up all the fundamentals to help you achieve your goals and much more.

Without any prior knowledge or experience, I’ve managed to build my own online business from scratch, using what I feel is the best training for beginners around and by starting out with the affiliate marketing business model. I’m no expert, but I’ve learned a thing or two that could also help you in your quest to making money online.

One word of warning though, affiliate marketing will not make you rich overnight. It takes time and effort to generate substantial income.

If you’re looking for a “get-rich-quick” scheme then I’m sorry, but you’re in the wrong place!

Making money online is not that difficult, but it does take a lot of hard work. I’m here, to be honest, and insightful, not scam you by way of false hopes and promises. I hope that clarifies things. Still with me? Great!

Why Choose Affiliate Marketing?


Affiliate marketing or referral marketing as it is also known is one of the most straightforward yet more powerful ways to get set up online. No prior experience or technical skills are required and the fundamentals are simple to understand. Not only that, but it costs little to get started, so it’s a low-risk option too.

Yes, there are many other channels to success online, but for the reasons just mentioned, affiliate marketing was a good fit for my needs when I was starting out online. The majority tend to over complicate affiliate marketing, but essentially, it allows you (affiliate) to promote products and services online for companies (merchants). For more on affiliate marketing and where you can get started for free, read My Beginners Guide To Affiliate Marketing.

The online business build we’ll be using can be broken down into a simple 4-step process and it goes like this:

  1. Choose a niche and build a website
  2. Create content that is helpful and relevant
  3. Attract visitors to your website
  4. Earn Revenue

this is a picture of an online business model using a 4 step method

It really is that simple, just don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise. They are probably trying to confuse you, so they can sell you their “secret formula“.

Let us have a look at each step of the process in a little more detail, bearing in mind I want to keep it bite-size and simple to digest, but still, provide you with enough basic information to help paint the whole picture for you.

Step 1) Choose A Niche And Build A Website


What Exactly Is A Niche?

A niche (or niche market) is essentially a balance between a large profitable market and a smaller targetable market (or subsection). Your niche is also your audience. It’s about being more specific.

For example; You may want to target the weight loss market, but this is a very broad area. Narrowing your market down into a subsection like weight loss after pregnancy, targets a more specific audience, whilst remaining profitable.

How profitable? Well, with 130 million babies being born globally each year and women wanting to lose the excess weight following their pregnancy, there will always be a lot of demand and products to promote in this market.

You can pick any topic no matter how weird or wonderful and make money from it. A lot of people get confused by the idea or overwhelmed, as they’re not sure if their niche will be successful. Yes, there may be niches that are more popular than others, but even if you struggle to make any affiliate sales, you can still make money from other channels.

The goal here when starting out is to choose a topic that you are passionate about or maybe have experience in, whilst you’re learning the ropes. Once you’ve learned the skills and techniques, you can apply them again and again to many different niches and markets.

To help with ideas for choosing a niche, you could ask yourself what hobbies or interests do you have? What are you passionate about and what excites you? What is it that gets you out of bed in the morning?


Task 1) To help identify a suitable niche, make a list of at least 10 interests, hobbies and anything you’re passionate about, anything at all. Write them down as soon as they pop into your head.

The following questions will help if you’re stuck with ideas:

  • What do you look forward to the most when you’re not doing it?
  • When you have some free time, how do you spend it?
  • Are there any specific topics you research or like to learn about?

You do not need to be an expert within any of these areas as you will learn a lot about your chosen niche as you go along. However, it is important you choose something that you’re interested in as you will be;

  • researching
  • writing
  • communicating with people about
  • choosing products to sell
  • And learning about the topic/niche

Now cross off any ideas on your list you’re not happy doing all the above for.

You want this to be fun so choosing something you’re not particularly interested in, or because you think it will make you more money is not a good strategy for beginners. The last thing you want to do is spend weeks or months building a website and the foundations of your business, only to realise you have no real interest within your chosen niche.


this is a picture with a construction traffic sign and the words "site is under construction" written across the picture

How To Build Your Website

Once you have chosen the direction of your business in terms of your niche market, the next step is to build a website based on that particular topic as your website is going to be the foundation of your business moving forward.

There are a lot of people generating an income online without a website via such platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. However, to give yourself the best chance of success, you must have a website. Think of it as your own piece of virtual real estate. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, etc could all make changes at any time which could have a huge negative impact on anyone using these platforms to make money.

By creating your own website, you’re in full control. Not only of your business but of the experience your audience and customers have.

That said, the thought of building a website may seem daunting in the beginning, but there is no need to worry. Unlike 10-15 years ago, there are many website builders and tools available that streamline the process, making it quick and easy. Unless you’re experienced and know exactly what you want, you really only have to make the following two decisions:

  1. Choose a domain name (eg – life-captain.com) You can think of this as your web presence.
  2. Choose a hosting provider – This is where all your files are stored and what determines the speed of your website.

Once you have chosen these, it’s as easy as following how-to guides and instructions from your hosting provider, to get your website up and running.


Task 2) If you were to create a website right now, what would your domain name be? Give it a go, type your ideal website name in the window below and see if the domain name is available.

All websites built via the SiteRubix platform use WordPress as their content management system or CMS which is the software that allows you to build and edit a website.


What Are The Benefits Of WordPress?

Well, not only is WordPress the most popular CMS in the world, powering a third of all websites, it’s also open-source, which means it’s free for anyone to use. Some of the biggest names and brands like Mercedez-Benz, Beyonce, The New York Times and The Walt Disney Company use WordPress to power their websites.

WordPress also gives you complete control over editing, customising and adding features such as plugins and widgets. It’s also very flexible when choosing the type of website you want to build (blog, e-commerce, portfolio websites, etc).

But rather than just telling you, I want you to see just how straightforward building your own WordPress website is

wealthyaffiliate.com

 

WATCH VIDEO: “Create a website in under 30 seconds”

 

My websites are also built using WordPress and are hosted using the SiteRubix platform shown in the video. Their servers allow me to host up to 50 websites without compromising the speed of my websites. Sound interesting? Then check out the “most powerful website platform in the world”.

Although, as I touched on earlier, there are alternative ways to advertise your affiliate links such as social media, or promoting directly through classified websites and pay per click advertising, having your own website is still the best & most cost-effective strategy for creating a successful long term business.

Your website is where you’ll be building your brand and it’s the foundation of your online business. All your visitors (traffic) will ultimately end up here, so you want it to be your showpiece. In the offline world, your website would be equivalent to your shop front, where you advertise all your goods.

Step 2) Creating Content That Is Helpful And Relevant


Creating content is absolutely the “meat and potatoes” of the 4 step process. But before we go into any detail here, I have to state a very important fact. We are in the business of helping people and so we need to have the mindset of helping people first before we begin thinking about making money.

This is what is going to set you apart from many other internet marketers and online entrepreneurs. Far too many put themselves first before their customers, which never ends well.

If you place the emphasis on helping your audience (your niche) first, you will gain their trust and as we know, trust is what all good relationships are built on. Remember, from the very first point of contact, you’re building your brand. People like shopping around, more so than ever before, but people also love a brand they can trust. We all have our favourite brands, favourite places to eat and that’s all because we trust that company’s brand. Continuously providing value and gaining the trust of your niche is what will lay the foundations to earning revenue and your long term success online.


Zig Ziglar could not have put it better:

“If people like you, they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you”.


this is a picture of a blackboard with the words "follow the rules" written across it

There are a couple of rules to follow to help with building trust.

  1. Only recommend products that you have either used or are very familiar with. You need to be confident about the product or services you’re promoting will help your audience.
  2. Do not directly tell your audience to buy a product. Again, only recommend products by showing your audience how it’s helped you.

I cannot stress enough the importance of gaining trust and building rapport with your visitors, It really should be the principal step in your system or method. A customer will not buy from someone they don’t trust or feel does not have their best interests in mind.

Task 3) The next time you’re browsing online, write the process down and what it is that you search for. When you’re searching for something, are you looking for a sales pitch or honest, helpful and relevant information? Practicing this technique will allow thinking like a buyer

How To Create Quality Content

To ensure your content is relevant, you’ll need to roll your sleeves up and get your hands dirty by carrying out market research. This is to identify areas where you can help your niche and find products that might fit the needs of your audience. You could kick-start the process by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Who is the content for?
  • What are the problems you’re niche faces and how can you offer solutions to these problems?
  • How is it going to help them achieve their goals?

Let’s put this into practice and look at an example of this. Say your website is geared towards helping absolute beginners build an online business (with or without affiliate marketing), what do you think their main problems will be?

They’ll need to learn all the basics and how to get started, so by offering them the best training course on the market and showing how it will benefit them, you will, in turn, solve their problem and help them achieve their goals.

They may also need to keep their investment low, to begin with, due to not having a lot of funds spare to invest or may not believe in the idea 100% yet due to so many internet scams in the past. Therefore, offering them FREE trials or money-back guarantees are great ways to generate leads whilst also offering value to your customers.

Content Structure And Style

There are a few main types of content that your website will use, regardless of what website you choose to build. These are

  • Product Reviews
  • Product tutorials and How To’s
  • Product Troubleshooting
  • Questions & Answers
  • Industry News
  • List Posts (such as Top 10 etc)

Having a mix of all these different types of content will expand your reach of attracting as many visitors (traffic) to your website as possible and help them with their problems and achieving their goals.

When it comes to the style of writing within your content, you simply need to communicate with your audience, no different to the way you do with your family, friends and colleagues. You do not need to be a highly-skilled writer, as your writing skill will naturally improve as you gain confidence, experience and write more and more content. The key is to be yourself and be consistent.

Be real and be opinionated. Whether people differ from your opinion or agree with your opinion, it will likely spur engagement. Engagement is going to lead you to better rankings and more trust.

Remember This Is Your Business

But whatever the type of content or style you choose to use as your template, EVERYTHING YOU WRITE SHOULD HAVE A PURPOSE. Your goal is to get people to take action during or following your content, so you need to have intent within your words. This doesn’t mean every piece of your content is one big sales pitch with affiliate links everywhere. In fact, Google and other search engines dislike this strategy, so you have to use other ways to incorporate actions.

How many of the following have you done whilst on a website?

  • Joined an e-mail list (subscribed)?
  • Read another page on a Site via a link?
  • Filled out a survey or answered a series of questions?
  • Left a comment on a post, positive or negative?
  • Shared content you liked or disliked?

I’m guessing for the majority you answered yes to all of them. Well, these are all actions that were created with the intent to get the customer (you) to take action and lead you one step closer to either making a purchase or completing a signup form.

Ultimately, it’s all about aligning your content with the needs of your audience. Remember you’re helping potential buyers make purchasing decisions by answering their questions or providing them with value. Do that and your business will thrive. As you start producing quality content more regularly, you will start to get noticed by the major search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo) and this will lead to more visitors to your website (traffic).

Step 3) Attracting Traffic To Your Website


What do you think is at the top of the wish-list for every business owner? Yep, more customers. And in the case of affiliate marketers, that translates to more traffic!

Getting people to visit your website (traffic), is a lot of hard work. Not only that, but getting these visitors to engage and read your content, is another battle.

How much money you can make with affiliate marketing is primarily dependent on how committed you are to making it happen and the time and effort you’re willing to invest. But another key element is the size of your audience and how you engage and promote to your audience.

Like myself when I started, the majority of people who are new to affiliate marketing will not have the budget for PPC. So, their focus will be on free or “organic” traffic by default and adopting a method known as SEO or search engine optimisation. SEO is all about optimising your website to achieve the highest rankings possible in all main search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo, which generates the most amount of traffic available and ultimately lead to revenue opportunity.

This technique involves research into finding target keywords that you will be able to compete and rank for in search engines. Keywords are essential when focusing on SEO and by creating content targeting keywords you will be helping the very people entering these keywords into the search engines. There are a few techniques you can use to find suitable keywords, such as;

  • By using a keyword research tool
  • Google Instant (+ People Also Ask)
  • Alphabet Soup Technique

It’s way easier to show you rather than just tell you, so check out the video below where all 3 points are covered

Jaaxy.com

For more on the keyword research tool used in the video and to receive a FREE trial, click ==> JAAXY <==

Generating free organic traffic is where most people focus their efforts and you can indeed run your business without having to pay for traffic. As you build out your website, you’ll essentially be communicating and helping more and more people in your respective niche, which will lead to rankings in search engines. Although this does not happen overnight, this technique is the best long term approach to gaining traffic and rankings (for free).

How Can I Increase Traffic Without SEO?

There are different ways and various techniques to attract visitors to your website without focusing on SEO, such as paid advertising, and leveraging all the different social media platforms. Seriously, people make a living just writing about how to gain more traffic! But, whether it’s free or paid advertising, you cannot beat helpful and relevant content as the best long term traffic source. It’s the most effective and efficient method out there. And it’s what we will be focusing on, to begin with.

Although there is huge potential with paid advertising where you can gain a lot of traffic fast, if you’re not sure what you’re doing, mistakes can be extremely costly. For that reason and because this is a beginner’s guide to setting up an online business, it’s best to stick with applying free methods for now at least.

Just a quick side note – If you come across anyone or anything claiming they can automate traffic or offering to sell you large amounts of “clicks” to your website/s, avoid at all costs. They are a SCAM.

As we’ve already touched on, there are also alternative methods for driving traffic to your website. One example that can lead to a possible short term spike and can be extremely useful for new websites and blogs, is to get your content in front of someone else’s audience (or guest blogging).

In a nutshell, you approach someone or a company that already has a large audience and present them with relevant and quality content that they post on their website or blog and this would lead to exposure for you as the creator and drive traffic back to your own website via a link. This is a very powerful way to build relationships and get noticed.

But whatever method you use and no matter how much traffic you can generate, if your strategy and content are not able to guide and help your visitors to make a purchase, you can forget about the next step.


this is a photo of a metal case with stacks of 100 dollar bills inside

Step 4) Earning Revenue


Now For The Fun Part!

Once you have targeted and consistent traffic visiting your website, there are many ways you can “monetise” this traffic. Although to begin with, we’re using the affiliate marketing model that is based on promoting products and services online for companies to earn a cut of the sale, there are other methods to explore and test out.

Many beginners tend to focus on the making money stage of the process way too early and that includes myself when I first started. All too often I see newbies focusing on throwing affiliate links in front of their audience, without firstly providing any value.

But this approach will only lead to failure as you will not have created enough quality content or gained enough traffic to convert into sales. As long as you’re executing steps 1 to 3 correctly, you’ll set yourself up to generate income long term and it’s then you can then explore different opportunities open to you.

How To Monetize Your Website Content

Implementing affiliate offers and using affiliate programs will be your bread and butter option when starting out and is where the majority will begin and become their main focus. There are millions of different products and services that you can promote and thousands of affiliate programs you can leverage across absolutely any niche you could imagine.

It’s definitely possible to generate a full-time income from one website as long as you have the correct strategy that we’ve covered in this 4-step business build. But you can also have several websites and diversify your earning potential. The choice really is yours once you’re up and running. Here are a few other notable ways to monetize your website;

  1. Create Your Own Products – A great way to earn a higher % of commission or in fact 100% of the sale if you create digital products. You’re effectively cutting out the middle man so there’s more profit. Self Study Courses, E-books, even memberships are all effective ways to diversify. Having one or more of these products as a continuity program is a great way to start earning recurring income and the premise of passive income.
  2. Display ads (PPC) – easy to set up and use in your content. The problem is the payout can be tiny so you will need a huge amount of traffic to make decent money and they can also slow down your site dramatically.
  3. Sell ad space – This is more time consuming to set up than PPC and can be a little overwhelming especially for beginners. This is more for the experienced blogger looking to cut out the middle man and maximise ad revenue.
  4. Selling Your Website – Also known as “flipping”, selling your website can be a lucrative way to earn an income. If you have a website making $5k/pm, you could quite easily sell that for $50k+
  5. Email Marketing – “The money’s in the list” is a phrase I’m sure you’ve heard of by now and for good reason. Email marketing is well known as one of the most lucrative ways of generating an income. Much like content marketing, it’s about providing value and is a long term strategy.

Ultimately whichever direction we choose and whatever method we adopt to monetise our website, our main goal is to have a lucrative and highly profitable business right?

I’m sure 99% of us want to earn a profit and make as much money as possible to help us achieve our goals and live the life of our dreams. This is all possible, as long as we do not lose sight of the fact that affiliate marketing is still a people’s business, REAL people.

As we’re conducting our business online, we tend to sometimes forget that REAL people are visiting our websites. So remember, you’re helping and engaging with REAL people, and it’s REAL people who take action and ultimately earn you profit.

Marketing and any business for that matter are about building healthy long term relationships with customers. If you understand this part of the process and treat your customers with great care and attention, then the earning revenue step of the process won’t be so difficult for you.

How Much Can You Earn From Affiliate Marketing?

This is one of the most common questions I hear from wannabe marketers, and my answer is always, “how much can you earn from any other business?”. There are many different factors to consider, so it’s not a black and white answer. However, I also go on to say that with a strong work ethic and a smart strategy, you can definitely earn a full-time income (at least) from affiliate marketing. A simple Google search will give you some fascinating results.

My answer to the question would also be, what are your goals? How much do you want to earn? $5k/pm, $10k/pm, $25k/pm? It’s all relative and depends on what you want to achieve.

Regardless of how much you can earn, the most important point to remember is that without a niche website, without helpful and relevant content, and without consistent traffic to your website, you can forget about earning any amount of money. It’s just that simple.

Once you understand that and get each of the 4 step process working for you, you can scale your business to whatever level you want to.

 

Putting This All Into Practice


Now you are up to speed with the process of affiliate marketing and understand the basics surrounding each step of the process, it’s up to you what you choose to do from here.

  1. You could do nothing and stay as you are, doing the same old things with the same old results, or;
  2. You could take action and access the FREE training course called Online Entrepreneur Certification right now and have your very own niche website up and running today. It’s the exact same training I used when I started online and It’s built specifically for beginners – like you – to show you how to get started with affiliate marketing.

Once you’re enrolled, you’ll learn much more about each of the 4 steps we have covered and many more topics that will help and guide you on your way to empowering you with the knowledge to build your own successful online business.

Click here for instant access to the FREE course and start learning your way to success!

Keep it simple and work hard… Success WILL happen!

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Mike

About Author: Michael Anthony is the owner of Life Captain and a proud father to twins. He hopes to help fellow parents escape the 9-5 rat race and take back control, by providing the tools to start their own business.

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