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How to Start an Online Business

There is no doubt that starting an online business can be very profitable and, as the internet is growing everyday, there is a market for just about any type of online business ideas you may have. Add to this that online businesses can be run with just an internet connection and a laptop then you can see why people are looking for success online.

Starting and growing an online business, however, is easier said than done. Today, 2.5 billion people log onto the Internet. This is good in the sense of the opportunity for income, but negative in the sense that an online business has become a modern day gold rush (beware, all that glitters is not gold).

Everywhere you look a new “guru” or “expert” who offers their cheat sheet or course on how they made “seven-figures” in one year and sometimes in one month. Logging into your Facebook account can be downright depressing with all the over-hyped ads. Choosing whom to learn from can be just as hard as starting an online business.

HOW TO START AN ONLINE BUSINESS?

First of all, you don’t need a guru with shiny new objects (that glitter) to start your online business. I would like to be balanced in my opinions so I would also say that there are some very good guru’s around. The good ones tend to be the ones who really want you to succeed and they are the ones who put time and effort into your coaching.

Once you have your online business ideas, you need to take action.

HER ARE 5 SIMPLE STEPS FOR STARTING AN ONLINE BUSINESS.

1. FOCUS AND STAY FOCUSSED

When I say focus, the first thought that comes to your mind is probably “niche.” While figuring out a profitable niche is important, it’s not the end all be all. Focus means figuring out who you want to serve and how you will deliver value to that group.

It means you stop following the gurus and focus on what will help you where you are. There is an abundance of free information online, almost too much. Many entrepreneurs fall victim to information overload. I’m guessing that if you applied 10 percent of the knowledge you currently have, you would make progress building your business. Turn off the constant learning and focus on 20 percent strategies. Use a service like Unroll.me to unsubscribe from unnecessary emails lists that take all your time.

2. BUILD AN AUDIENCE AND KEEP BUILDING IT.

This is where many businesses miss the mark. You put together a beautiful website with all the right plugins, widgets and opt-in boxes. You follow all the steps, but the money doesn’t come because you have no audience.

There are many ways to build an audience and quickly:

* Be a guest on a podcast. Every morning, Radio Guest List will deliver to your inbox a list of shows looking for your expertise.
* Guest post on blogs. There are blogs that get millions of visitors each month. In 2012, I guest posted on 50 blogs that brought half a million visitors to my website.
* Get exposure from large author sites. If you can be interviewed or write for sites like Entrepreneur or the Huffington Post, you get exposure to millions of potential leads and customers. Writing for these websites builds authority, grows your social media presence and leads to sales. Here is a podcast episode that walks you through how to do this

3. DEVELOP A MONETIZATION PLAN.

After you’ve started to get exposure, it’s time to implement your plan to generate income and start making money online. Your website/blog needs a content strategy that aligns with a promotion schedule. It shocks me how many coaching clients come to me without an organized plan to generate revenue. Plan what products and services you will be offering your customers. Use your exposure and content plan to sell premium offerings and build your online business.

4. TEST AND REFINE AND REPEAT.

Once you have a plan and have implemented it, study what works and what doesn’t. There is a lot of advice online, but nothing beats good old fashion testing. Try different offers, bundle various products and services, run sales from time-to-time. Once you have an offering that takes off, run it every 30 days. Refine your process and improve the parts of your plan that aren’t working.

5. LAUNCH AND SCALE.

By this point, you will have built “1,000 true fans” and a business that’s ripe for growth. Always launch with a bang when your promotions hit at the end of each month or quarter. This means you have affiliate partners, joint partnerships through webinars and launch bonuses. Each launch should produce serious revenue and momentum for your business. From that point, it’s a matter of reinvesting and scaling.

Don’t be fooled, starting an online business is not easy. No matter what subject or niche you pick, there is always going to competition. You will have to work hard at it, no matter what anyone else says, but the rewards can be great. There is help out there, you just need to find the right help.

My last piece of advice, TAKE ACTION, it might not always be the right action but you won’t know the difference until you do.

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