Are you looking for ways to start an online business? I am sure you would like to keep your initial investment to the possible low. Everyone does. I was trying to minimize my investment from the time when I have learned the lesson that investing hard-earned savings into the idea doesn’t mean it will return to you. I have learned it the hard way and now I am advising everyone not to repeat my mistake.
That is why I am writing this article- to share with you the free way to start an online business that I am using ever since.
Why do you want to start an online business?
The first question you have to answer to yourself is- why do you want to start your business. This is the first step in planning your future venture.
You may want to start it for;
- To supplement your existing brick-and-mortar business;
- To supplement your income;
- To make it your way to completely change your lifestyle.
The way you will approach your business will depend on it.
Types of online business.
There are hundreds of ways to make money online. But I would like to group them 3 ways in this article.
- Your existing brick and mortar business online “face”;
- Direct sale of various products;
- Indirect sale of various products (my favorite- and I will explain why later).
Let’s review them in some details. But- first you need to create a website. You can learn one of the ways to build your FREE website here.
You have your traditional-type business and you are doing very well with it.
As millions of people, you are running your family business or your partnership- whatever. Small businesses are providing almost a half of GDP in the US. It’s flesh and bone of US economy. So, we all want them to do better. What is the better way to give your business a boost than establishing its online presence?
Whether you are running a bakery, a crafting shop or a boutique store, your business will benefit from the website that will allow your customers, both returning and prospective, to get informed about new products you are offering them, make an order online, or just simply to meet your business for the first time thus making your customer family growing. This is also will allow you to go beyond your local customers and join the globalization process J.
Your site must include informative, but “short” front page, informing your customers about what your company is doing and directing them to other pages of your site. Many people are making the similar mistake, trying to put as much information on the front page. Doing this may distract your sit’s visitor’s attention and prevent them from reaching the valuable information you want them to see.
Your site must also include your products catalog. The best way to create this catalog is to create a separate page for it with subpages for every product that you are offering. Again, you must be informative but short when describing your products. It doesn’t have to look like you are writing a review- you should write a review in your blog posts and place the link to this review in the product description.
If you want to be able to take product orders online, you must enable E-Shop module. It will take care of payments processing and automate sales.
- Pros: you are giving a boost to your already established business, no need to create it from the scratch, which saves you a lot of time.
- Cons: if you are promoting a tangible product, you must consider shipping process.
You have found a number of great products and you know how to get them well bellow the market margin. You want to monetize on your knowledge.
This is another great way to make money online. After all, the profit is the difference between your selling price and your expenses.
In this case, you are building a typical Online Store. Your front page must look like a collection of products that you are offering to your site’s visitors. If the number of products is relatively high- more than a couple of dozens- you may want to break them into categories and display these categories instead of displaying products themselves. This is serving the same purpose, as in the previous scenario- it makes your site easier to navigate.
In this scenario, the E-Shop module is becoming the main part of your business, since you simply don’t have the conventional storefront.
One of the main aspects of achieving the success in this type of business is getting to the top lines in search engines (Google, Yahoo etc.) because this is the main way for your prospective customers to find you. You can’t rely on the word of mouth way to spread information about your business. There are lots of paid services to help you to advertise your business, like Google AdWord and others, but since the topic of this article is about creating your business for free, I will not cover them now.
I will show you how you can find free ways to establish and raise your site’s online ranking later in this post.
- Pros: you don’t have to create your own product if you don’t have it yet. All you need is to make sure, you’ve got a popular product cheap and let people know about it.
- Cons: you need to maintain an inventory and deal with shipping, returns and customers. You have to spend money on buying these products, which makes this scenario, well, not completely free. It takes time before your store gains popularity and trust.
Indirect sale of various products.
Indirect sale of products basically means that all you need to do is to show someone, who is looking for a product or a service online where to buy it and receive your commission from the seller after the transaction is complete. In other words, we are talking about affiliate marketing now.
This is my favorite way to make money online. Here is why:
- You don’t have to create your own product, like in the previous scenario.
- You don’t have to maintain an inventory. You don’t have to stock products (I don’t have a spare space in my house for that!).
- You don’t have to deal with shipping.
- You don’t have to deal with order’s processing.
- You don’t have to deal with customers.
Everything is taken care by the seller.
In this scenario, you are acting like an online store with the difference that you are free from lots of issues, associated with running the store. You don’t even need an E-Shop module, which you have to pay for, in most of the cases. You just have to present the product (or Online Store- with capitals) to the prospective buyer and collect your commissions when he buys the product.
As in the previous scenario, your main task is to get to the top of search engine results. It takes time (like with any new business), but there are a lot of ways, you can leverage online resources to help you in this task.
- Pros: you don’t have to create a product. If the product you have chosen to promote doesn’t bring you money, you simply switch to the new product. No investments necessary, although, if you can afford it, some investments may accelerate your business growth.
- Cons: it takes time for your business to grow. You may need to learn new skills (I will show you, how you can start doing it FREE).
Start building your online business today.
- Creating your free website;
- Making sure that it is seen by as many prospective customers, as possible.
At the top of this page, you saw the link to the tutorial, how to build a website. The process is completely free and takes just a couple of minutes. You can try it simply out of the curiosity. You can even build not just one, but two sites- completely free. No matter, what Online Business scenario you have chosen, you will see how simple the process of building a website for it is.
Now, when you have your business’ website created, you need to learn, how to make your visitors, who are, essentially, your prospective customers, to come to your site. In other terms, you need to market your site; you need to engage in Online Marketing. Like I’ve said earlier in this article, the best way to do it is to get to the top of Google (and other search engines) search list. You can do it two ways- paid and free.
The typical example of paid way to promote your website is PPC (Pay Per Click). You can open an account with Google AdWords and set up your spending budget as low as five dollars a day or ten cents per click. Facebook is also offering an adverting program, which works similarly to AdWords. The main point of this way to promote your website- its effectiveness is increasing proportionally with cost.
You can also hire an SEO specialist to optimize your site for the better search results. This method can bring you great results, but it may cost you a significant amount of money and it is not a one-time task. SEO is an ongoing process which cam may the cost of your website maintenance rising.
The best free way to promote your website is to write free and original blog posts on your website. These posts must be relevant to products you are offering to your visitor’s attention and can generate a lot of organic traffic over a time. You can combine running a blog on your website with guest blogging for other well-reputed sites. Doing so allows you to leave a link to your site on sites that already have many visitors and thus getting more online exposure for your content.
When you have an original blog with fresh content, posted regularly, you can start promoting it using Social Media- Facebook, Youtube, Linkedin and others. You can avoid spending on their advertising programs in this case because you are promoting your content, not your products and services. People will be interested in what you are saying and while reading the article, which they are interested in, they see products, relevant to your content, and if you’ve got their attention, they will buy your product.
After you get familiar with managing your blog you can take another step and learn SEO yourself. It is not so hard when you have a detailed, step by step tutorial, which will help you to start this process. Sure, SEO is a never ending story and it is hard to say if it is possible to become an invincible expert, but you can become SEO specialist if you will use your site as the training ground. I know people, who have started with creating and optimizing their own sites and now they are offering SEO services to other people and make pretty nice money with it.
You already know- the one thing building your profitable business is required for sure- it’s time. This is the investment you can’t avoid. The only things you can do to reduce it are investing the money instead or accelerating learning process by leveraging relevant training on the process of creating and developing your online business.
If you are interested in learning how you can start your training absolutely FREE please read “What will you gain with Wealthy Affiliate”. It is going to give you an insight to the one of the best Online Marketing training programs. It will help you to start your business the right way, saving you a lot of money and a lot of time. Building your online business is much easier than you might have imagined.