An Absolute Newbie’s Guide to Starting an Online Business

build an online businessFirst, the title of this article is a little bit of a misnomer. This is not going to be a guide to creating an online business from scratch. Not because I couldn’t write such a guide but because such a guide would require more than a single blog post. Instead, what I hope to achieve here is to give you the basics that you’ll need in order to succeed in creating a successful online business.

There is No Magic Button

The very first thing to realize is that there is no magic button. There is no magic idea that will make you piles of cash. There is no such thing as click six times and then wait for the truck to back into your driveway and unload buckets of cash. Building an online business is real, hard work. Most of you who try will fail.

The reason most of you will fail is because you keep chasing the dream. Even if you think that you’re not chasing the dream and you pay lip service to being willing to work hard, most of you will ultimately find it hard to stick to building your new business.

So, if you are not 100% certain that you are ready to put in the work to build your business, then you should instead go and find a job. I’m completely serious – building a business is not for everyone and there is no reason to waste time and money trying to do it if it’s not going to happen. Frankly, I wish more people told the truth about this, but most people in the Internet Marketing business prefer to sell the dream instead of being honest.

Find Your Niche

This is something that really does require a great deal of your time and unfortunately, most people don’t take the time to do this correctly. There are two equally important issues that you need to consider when you pick your niche.

The first one is the market. Check and see how many sites there are that sell whatever product you want to sell. Don’t be afraid of competition, but keep in mind, the more competition there is, the harder it will be to break into the business. So for example, if you want to go into the make money online business, you’re going to find some very steep competition. Ditto for SEO.

On the other hand, it’s also important to find a niche that has potential to make some money. So for example, if you happen to be interested in collecting balls of lint and you want to sell display cases for putting your lint collection in it, you’ll probably have a tough time finding a market for it and it’s unlikely your business will succeed.

Follow Your Passion

Speaking of things you like, the other half of picking your niche is to follow your passion. Weight loss for example is a very big business online. However, if you have no interest in that subject whatsoever, then you shouldn’t be trying to make money selling weight loss products. The reason is that you’ll likely get burnt out and not continue with your new project long enough to make it successful.

Come Up With a Twist

The next thing you need in order to start your own business is to come up with your own twist. This is especially important in a popular niche. So for example, if you are in the weight loss niche, selling Acai berries without any twist is likely to be a losing proposition. Try to find something original to say and or offer so that your customers will have a reason to choose you over the competition.

Create a Website

Yes, it’s obvious, but this is an important step in building your site. If you don’t know what you’re doing, invest the money to have a professional do the job. You can usually find some reasonable prices on places like Elance, oDesk and Guru.

Stick With It

Finally, the single most important ingredient in creating a successful online business is what I like to call stick-to-it-ness. You need to stay at it for at least a year or possibly more without the expectation that you’ll be making much money.

While you can easily make something in the first month or two, it usually takes at least a year to turn an online business into something that’s making serious money on a regular basis. If you aren’t prepared to stick to it, then again, you should probably not start because you’ll get discouraged and end up walking away, constantly trying something else.