Did you know that every day you procrastinate starting your online business it’s affecting you? Yup, that vision you keep seeing for yourself and your family gets further from you when you don’t start.
But it’s not too late! I’m going to answer all the questions you might have regarding starting an online business for the first time. A few of the basics including what type of online business you should start, how to scale it, and what makes an online business successful.
Welcome to Franknez.com – the blog where you can digest content on personal finance, side hustle ideas, entrepreneurship, and trending investing topics.
Lets get started!
A little bit of background before I break this down. I left my 9-5 working for the family business in order to start my own online businesses. One of them is a hybrid model. With this business I sell a service and product remotely.
The second online business is 100% online, earns 5-figures per month, and I don’t sell any products or services! This is the type of business most of you might want. And I’m going to break down step by step how you can do this too.
Key points and questions
- Where and how to start an online business
- Online business ideas for beginners
- What makes an online business successful
- How to scale an online business
- What type of online business should you start
- Why are online businesses popular nowadays
- How does an online business work
- Why online businesses fail
- Can an online business make you rich
Why are Online Businesses popular nowadays?
Online businesses are attractive because they tend to provide people with a freedom like no other. People like you and I are ditching our 9-5s to provide value online and at scale.
Which leads me to the second reason why online businesses are so popular. You can scale an online business quicker and larger than a traditional business.
An online business will provide you with the freedom to work from home or anywhere else in the world. If you value the freedom to travel then know that this is what an online business can provide for you.
Travel while you work
Also known as the laptop lifestyle, traveling while you work requires discipline. However, the lifestyle provides a freedom working in a desk will never provide.
Notice I said travel while you work not work while you travel. That’s because life changes when you get your freedom back. You’re technically working all the time while enjoying your surrounding freedom.
The first taste I got from the laptop lifestyle is when I went on vacation to Rocky Point while working a sales commission job. And even though I was on vacation, I still had obligations for my clients.
We were in this beautiful luxury apartment with a stunning view of the resort and ocean. That day we arrived I had emails to answer and clients to call back. Keep in mind at that time I was managing my clients from an office. That’s when I first discovered this freedom.
Here’s a picture of my son Frankie chillin as we unpacked food in the apartment. I knew that if I wanted a life like this I would need my online businesses to out-earn my salary.
That’s not how it happened though, I took the leap and eventually went all in. More on that later!
Scalability skyrockets your income
So not only do you get your time back but you have the advantage of earning a ton of money with an online business. The reason being is that most online businesses can be scaled MASSIVELY.
Online businesses can all be scaled very differently. Some are easier and quicker than others while a few businesses do take more time.
Now, just because some online businesses are easier and quicker to scale, it doesn’t mean they don’t require a lot of hard work and attention to detail. An online business is still a very real business.
Your new business will require you to put your real life skills to work in order to manifest your career goals and that dream life. Online businesses are the reason why you see and hear about a lot of younger people earning 6-figures per year just from their laptop.
I’ll get more in depth on how you can scale your online business a little later. Here’s how you start.
How do you start an online business?
How do you start an online business, right? Where can you start an online business? These questions usually leave beginners a little mind boggled.
How exactly do you turn nothing into something? The answer is actually quite simple. You’ll need a website or online platform to use depending on your niche and type of business you’d like to create.
Your website will be your foundation to your entire online business model. It doesn’t matter what type of online business you create, but you’ll need either a website or platform to begin. I would personally avoid a free website like WIX only because it will not provide you with the tools necessary to scale.
The purpose of an online business is to scale it enough to provide you with the financial freedom you deserve. So for starters, I recommend building your own site using Bluehost.
It’s very easy to use but if you don’t want to spend the time personalizing your own site you can always pay a few hundred to thousand dollars to a professional who will use the same platform.
What type of online business models require either a website or platform to begin?
If you are interested in the following, you will need a website:
- Providing online services and consultation
- Reviewing products
If you prefer the following, you’ll need a platform:
- Selling a product
- Visually informing or training
It may not seem like a ton of options but believe me there are many niches within each of these categories.
How does an online business work?
An online business provides value online, and you get compensated online. Your online business will earn money depending on what type of service you provide. You will get paid depending on how your online business is monetized. I’m going to go over this more in detail down below.
What Online Business should I start?
The online business you start is going to depend on these 5 major key points. Ask yourself:
- Would you rather provide a service, provide information, or sell a product?
- Are you looking for a more hands-on experience or more virtual experience?
- Do you want to earn money per project or passively?
- Will your startup require a lot of capital, or very little to no capital?
- How important is mass scalability to you?
By answering these 5 questions, you’ll have a grasp on what type of online business you’d like to create. Below you will find a number of online business ideas that will help you identify which model aligns with your needs.
Online Business ideas for beginners
I’m going to break down all the things you can do with these online business models. Your personality and intuition will naturally gravitate towards a specific idea.
This is a writer lovers paradise. Blogging allows you to share your experience, knowledge, and stories at massive scale. What makes blogging an attractive online business model is that just about anyone can provide value to an audience based on a particular niche or subject.
Entrepreneurs are blogging about really just everything! Here are some blogging topic ideas:
- Write about your experience in ‘X Industry’. Maybe you love the industry you work in or are an expert in it. Write about it and answer questions people might have on a variety of subjects pertaining to your industry.
- As long as there’s a real interest in it, you can blog about pretty much anything. People are earning money blogging about travel, teacher life, mom or dad life, pet life, college life, automotive, tech, and so much more!
How do bloggers earn money?
Bloggers earn money through a number of ways. One is through display advertisements, like the ones you see on my website. The second way bloggers earn money is through affiliate programs. Bloggers can earn a commission for making a sale of certain products or services. Bloggers may even sell their own products or services online.
How much money do bloggers make?
Bloggers can earn 3 to 6-figures per month depending on how you monetize your website. My website currently earns 5-figures per month. Scaling your audience is key to scaling your online business.
If starting a blog interests you be sure to read the beginners guide below. It will walk you step by step on how to start using a self-building website platform called Bluehost. The process is very easy and only takes minutes to set up.
Online Services and Consultation
If you already come from a consultation background, you may find this online business idea to fit your expertise. Find a niche you’d be interested in providing value to.
Consulting may revolve around relationship advice, marketing consulting, social media consulting, business / sales, financial, etc..
This online business model will require you to be available on call or chat when a prospect reaches out. A website could be a net for you to catch fish. You may accept payment with Zelle, Venmo, Cash App, or PayPal for example.
Examples of online services
- Reviews (blog or single website)
- Site building
- Social media management
- PowerPoint building
- Graphic designing / vector / digitizing
- Video editing / audio editing, mixing (engineer)
- Training / Health, diet schedule
The costs of your services and consultation will all vary depending on your niche and expertise in your field. An online business based on consultation and services only will be limited to scaling unless other monetization is included in your business model.
You might want to provide affiliate products that can provide further value to your customers. This will allow you to earn a commission for every sale you make on top of your consulting and service rates. You can also incorporate a ‘blog’ section where you can direct your website visitors to and earn revenue from displaying ads.
E-commerce is the way to go if you’re looking to sell products online at scale. There are two type of products you can sell online.
- Physical products
- Digital products
Selling products online are a great way to diversify your income. You can either have a full on Amazon store as your main online business, or you can create a small store to earn extra revenue on the side.
Physical products will require you to drop ship directly to your customers via manual entry or using an automated system. The best platforms for this niche are Shopify, BigCommerce, and WooCommerce. But if you want to build an e-Commerce business you’ll want to go with Amazon.
You can set up your own branded store with these platforms and use them to ship sell and ship product out to your customers. This type of online store is scalable when you’re selling product that’s trending and in high demand. Find your niche and cater them using your own online store.
Digital products on the other hand are a lot different. You’re not selling hard copy of anything here. A digital product could be a video, a course, an e-book, an audible, art, etc..
You can sell your own self published e-books using Amazon KDP and other products using a Shopify store. If you have a blog you can also integrate WooCommerce with WordPress and sell directly to your readers from your website.
A digital product can earn you passive income / leveraged income while a physical product might require more of your time. If marketed correctly, it can also scale much higher; especially if presented to a huge audience.
Reaching The $10K Mark: How Perseverance Overrides Adversity
In my eBook, Reaching The $10K Mark, I talk about the adversity I faced during my sales journey to reaching $10K per month in sales. Every time I was close to reaching my goal the waves would come crashing down on me further pushing me away from the tide.
This motivational eBook captures the world of every aspiring seller striving to make it big in their sales career. This is the first digital product I created and I wrote this with a lot of heart.
The moral of this story is how perseverance overrides adversity. I wanted to create something personal that showed another person that we are all human beings and that we all come across setbacks in life.
My goal is to inspire you to keep going.
Become a YouTuber
Lights, camera, money! YouTube is a great platform for you to provide value at a massive scale. YouTubers for the most part entertain no matter the niche.
Like blogging, you can share your knowledge and expertise in video format whether it be a vlog, instructional videos, or illustrational ones. Anyone can create a channel and upload videos no matter your niche.
This type of online business will require you to be a little tech savvy, or outsource that work to those who are.
How do you YouTubers earn money?
Like bloggers, YouTuber’s main source of income is through displayed advertisement. However, as your channel grows you can also leave affiliate links in the description of your videos to diversify your income from your viewers.
The amazing thing about YouTube is that once you’ve monetized your videos, you begin to earn money in your sleep. As long as people are watching your videos on loop you will always be earning money. This is what’s known as leveraged income.
If you love to travel, you only need to pack up your filming gear and move it with you to produce content no matter where you are.
How can I incorporate YouTube with my niche?
If you’re into tech you can always review products or film unboxing videos. People love this type of content. You can then diversify your income by leaving amazon affiliate links to the type of gear you use in the description area of the video.
If your audience loves your channel to the point where they want to support your work they can always become a patron. My patrons altogether cover most of my website’s monthly expenses.
If you’re a trainer, you could combine the use of YouTube with your website to generate leads. Not only can you upload content to YouTube, but you can also provide consultation or 1-1 virtual training sessions.
It’s really all about creativity and leveraging these ways of earning money online to benefit and scale your online business.
How to scale an Online Business?
So how exactly do you scale an online business? Audience is key. You’ll need a lot of eyes on your product, service, or content to scale your online business.
Once you’ve figured out how you’ll be monetizing your online business you’ll need as many people as you can get over to your website. The more people that see you means the more possibilities you have to earn big money.
#1. Produce quality content
Quality content is going to be the foundation to your online businesses’ success. People want to consume and buy quality product, services, and content.
Take as much time as you need to ensure your content is superior to that of your competitors. Forget what they’re doing, just do what you know how to do but do it exquisitely.
Quality content never fails to be noticed, recognized, and appreciated. In fact, quality content has a higher chance of being shared on social media and referred through word of mouth.
Everything on this list can be perfect but if you’re not producing quality content then your online business will not be taken seriously. Take your time to learn something if you have to or invest in the tools to make your presentation look and feel better for the engaged user.
#2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization is the key to a successful and high ranking website. You build your SEO by using the correct keywords and building backlinks to your website.
When you’re building your website you’ll want to make sure you’re using keywords that reflect what your online business is offering. This will give you a higher chance of being found organically on Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
Don’t be discouraged if you aren’t seeing your online business pop up on Google right away. SEO takes time to build but trust me, Google will automatically start ranking you after a few months of being active online.
Meta description, titles, subheadings
SEO is also heavily influenced by your website or platforms description, titles, subheadings, images, and even what is being vocalized in a video.
The more you stay on topic means the higher chance you’ll have at ranking higher in the organic search and recommended results.
#3. Social media marketing
Scaling your online business is heavily dependent on the use of social media marketing. You’ll need to identify which social platform best connects with your target audience the best in order to drive traffic to your website or platform.
Get involved in Facebook Groups, relevant Twitter topics, or even network using LinkedIn. Every niche and every website/platform will connect with a group differently.
Sometimes it takes time to find which will work best for your online business but you must find it. Sharing your content, service, or product on social media is the first step towards promoting your online business.
Once you’ve worked on your SEO, you’ll want as many people as possible to click on these ‘backlinks’ leading them to your landing page or video. Google loves backlinks and actually ranks you higher when you have plenty of them which means you need to consistently be sharing content that drives people to your site.
#4. Be consistent
Search engines begin to ignore you if you stop producing content so be consistent. This is the part of building any type of business whether it’s online or traditional that requires patience.
You cannot expect to produce content once or ten times and start seeing huge results. It takes time and effort. Consistency is going to improve your marketing and pitching skills online.
It’s also going to make you produce better content for a bigger audience. When search engines see your links have been spread around consistently for quite some time, your domain authority begins to climb meaning your visibility also begins to climb.
#5. Brand your online business
The fifth tip to scaling your online business is to brand it. Branding your business is more than just a logo. It’s the character of your business, the personality, and the likeability.
Your brand should attract your customers or audience and make them feel like they belong. Did you know that you can evoke emotion through colors? I get a little more into detail here with this marketing strategy but the key is to creating an identity.
When you create an identity, people will remember you and come back for more. This is how you can get your customers to use your services again, buy another product, or indulge your content every day.
In the beginning, your brand will change from time to time. This is 100% okay. Branding is about discovery and this takes time. Your brand will slowly begin to reveal itself to you as you continue to push forward.
What makes an online business successful?
To me personally, an online business is successful when it is able to provide you with a certain freedom a 9-5 can’t. Whether it be more family time, personal time, recreational time, or even money, it’s different for every individual.
Perhaps you’re making a little less with your online business than you were from your corporate job but at least now you have more time with your family. I see this as successful. Maybe you keep scaling it and now you earn your previous salary every month. I’d say that’s tremendous success.
My online businesses have provided me with the freedom to work from anywhere I please and to earn money in my sleep. I could work less hours but my work ethic doesn’t allow me to. I have to constantly be providing value because as an entrepreneur, nothing is truly every secured and my family’s financial freedom is that important to me.
I make every minute count and I’ll ease off the gas pedal when I reach certain milestones. Work hard now rest later!
Can an Online Business make you rich?
I think you know the answer to that. Due to how scalable online businesses are they can certainly provide substantial income to by most standards be considered to be wealthy or rich.
They key to your wealth will heavily resonate with the amount of people you’re able to provide value to. You will become wealthier if your scalable model can reach 1 million people oppose to 100k people.
There is no shortage of people by whom you cannot provide your services to. It’s a matter of figuring out how to get in front of them. Everyone is fighting for attention one way or another. Your job as an entrepreneur is to figure out how to stand out so that your product, service, or content is seen.
The marketplace will then decide whether or not your product, service, or content is worth buying, using, or indulging in. So, be sure quality is always the first thing in mind when building your online business to provide value at scale.
Why do online businesses fail?
Like almost anything else in this world, any endeavor will fail once you stop working on it. It’s really that straight forward.
If the marketplace didn’t react well to your service or product and you quit then you were the reason for the businesses failure. Instead of tweaking and perfecting your product or service you rendered in self defeat.
Online businesses fail when their owners are defeated by adversity and barriers along the way. An online business is not worth failing over. The upside is too valuable.
Write that down in case it ever gets overwhelmingly difficult for you. “An online business is not worth failing over. The upside is too valuable”.
Online business courses
Should you attend them? This is a financial literacy blog and and financial literacy says don’t sign up for online business courses when in the end, you end up learning from experience instead.
I didn’t take online business courses but I did attend a private college and earned my associates degree in business administration. I was left with $50k in debt and didn’t know how to sell, apply social media marketing, or file taxes for a small business.
You have to understand that any school offering you any online business management degree is scamming you. They’re a business themselves. They will teach you theory and give you a good grade for your efforts and presentations. But they will not teach you how to become a successful entrepreneur. That you learn on the streets.
Online business school
I’d be lying to you if I didn’t personally look into online business schools after I received my associates degree in order to ‘further my education’.
It wasn’t until I began earning money in a sales position where I learned that there was no need for me to attend an online business school. Online business school wasn’t for me at this point.
In fact, my business professor wasn’t a very successful entrepreneur. He owned a volleyball team but the startup was a partnership. And he had given up on it and referenced selling his half to his partner quite often.
Online business management degree
If you’re thinking about getting an online business management degree through an online business school, I would take financial literacy a little bit more seriously. You can invest the money for your tuition into your startup instead!
The money could go towards gear for that YouTube channel or towards your domain name and website configurations. There’s so much more you can do with that investment.
An online business management degree will not teach you the real world aspect of running a business or managing people. Start off small and work for a small business to gain exposure and experience.
Learn the ropes and start with data entry. I began my journey managing a small team due to my leadership skills, not through my degree. Start there and see how much further that takes you.
Start your online business today
Stop procrastinating. You got this! Get excited about it and start taking your first steps towards that new life.
That vision you keep seeing is the preview to life’s upcoming attractions. And if you’re lacking strength to get started then I encourage you to borrow mine. Borrow my strength to start. I believe in you.
- Build your website with Bluehost
- eBook: How To Reach The $10K Mark
- Create your artwork and logo: CanvaPro
- Provide freelance services with Fiverr