Assume I dropped you in the middle of the Sahara desert. Then I told you to find your way home. All around you are dunes after dunes. You can replace the sands with a vast ocean. Or vast ice sheets.
Without instruments to show directions, it’s stretching the imagination too far. Isn’t it?
The same applies to any other endeavor in life. That’s why you need these four simple steps to create a successful online business. They act as a torch in pitch darkness. Or a compass to find your direction home.
Unfortunately, most people give up too quickly. It’s assumed a lack of results means it does not work. We do not give it enough time as we want quick results. We, therefore, try to shortcircuit the process.
Without following a map, the road only gets more uncertain. I’ve outlined the four steps process as below.
1. Choose a niche
The first, most important task is choosing a direction. A direction, in general, is a topic. What kind of content do you want to create? A niche can be a hobby, a passion, a trending topic, or even be a seasonal event.
People tend to overcomplicate this step. It is easier than you think. Furthermore, you can change it down the road. It does not mean what you choose now will be permanent.
There are many ways you can employ to reveal a niche.
What is your pastime?
The most basic method starts with you. Look around your environment. What is it that you enjoy doing? What brings you excitement? A hobby.
It works best because it takes little energy to get cracking. You’ll be creating content around it for a long time. A boring topic will be hard to face every day.
Make use of Google
What if I do not have a hobby? What next? Or the pastime I have is not enough to go on? Then you improvise. Make use of search engines to uncover niches.
Google ‘list of niches’. Thousands of results come up. Are you spoilt for choice? Take time to go through. Do a shortlist and put some thought into it. Then select a topic that you find engaging.
Break down broad niches into sub-niches. For example, fitness is quite extensive. Weight loss, training, supplements, equipment are more refined.
Head on over to Amazon’s website for niche ideas. Amazon spots a very elaborate classification of stuff. Also, Amazon has arranged it into several levels deep. It starts with a broad department. Then they refine it into specific categories.
For example, I’ve checked female shoes. The categories are many. Boots, flats, outdoors, you name it. Under the athletic set, there are thirteen subcategories. How many women do you think exercise? The opportunities are endless.
Use the Jaaxy keyword research tool.
There are many keyword research tools in the market. However, most are very expensive. Additionally, most lack a crucial feature. They do not reveal in-depth niche suggestions.
Jaaxy is affordable for beginners. You have free access as a starter member at Wealthy Affiliate. It’s limited to thirty searches only. You, however, get unlimited searches with a paid Wealthy Affiliate membership. Read here for the affordable membership prices.
Jaaxy populates related keywords with every search. It is critical for disclosing associated niches. Use the search box above to see this in action.
Ask for feedback
It is always a good idea to crosscheck. It’s ideally best with someone more knowledgeable. That’s not possible? No problem. Head on over to Wealthy Affiliate‘s chat.
You’ll get instant feedback on your proposed niche. And this coming from members with lots of experience.
Always remember niche selection is about defining an audience. If more targeted, the better. However, you have to balance this with the availability of content. Being too targeted reduces the content you can create.
2. Build a website
The digital world greatly mirrors the physical world. For this reason, you need premises. A website, in our case, to act like a storefront. It’s the point through which you engage your audience. Informing them. And selling products and services.
You can further extend a website’s functionality. To set up an email list. The money is in the list. You’ve probably heard this phrase among internet marketers.
3. Get traffic
I consider this step as the most important of the four levels. Most people give up at this stage as it’s very demanding on time and effort.
New websites, on average, take three to six months to establish traffic. You’ll have to be patient. Using the prior physical world analogy, stores with no patrons will make no sales.
There are several ways you can utilize to obtain traffic to your website. Most sources classify it into free and paid sources. Free or organic sources are the efforts of search engine optimization and social media sharing.
Paid sources refer to Google ads, Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads, etc. You pay a third party for exposure. It’s not the most recommended way for a beginner since you use your own money. There’s no guarantee of returns.
It’s best to start to publicize using free traffic. Once your website starts generating revenue, then you can use that money to pay for ads.
4. Monetize the website
The last step is monetizing your website. You can achieve this in several ways. By selling your products and services. Like informational products. Affiliate marketing. Through selling ad space. And so many more.
I’ll, however, highlight affiliate marketing. It’s the easiest. There’s no cost to you as far as stock handling is involved. Merchants handle all matters relating to the fulfillment of orders. Payment matters as well.
On your end, all you need to do is direct the audience where to obtain this or that. You’ll spend the bulk of your time writing opinionated product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations.
As you write the reviews, you’ll be inserting affiliate links appropriately. Obtain these affiliate links from the respective affiliate programs or networks. They contain a code that specifically identifies you as the referrer.
In return for purchases made through your referral, you get a commission. And depending on item cost and volume, the commissions can pile up pretty first.
I hope this will lay the foundation for your online business journey. If any part of this post needs clarification, please let me know in the comments section below.
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