The Magic Key to Start Small Online Business
If you are working 9 to 5 for another company yet want to know how to start a small online business, then I am going to show you the magic key that you should start with.
When I first started online, I subscribed to so many different training, tools and online community to learn the trade. I was totally overwhelmed as there were just so many opportunities, strategies and choices to earn money online.
To name some, I learn on how to build a website, do keyword research, drive traffic, find profitable products, paid advertisement (here's where to learn paid advertisement), create ebooks, setup email autoresponders, ecommerce and so many other skills down the road.
Trust me, I've spent so much money to learn all these and realized there are in fact some magic keys that anyone who want to venture online must learn in order to become successful.
The good news is, I plan to share with you, all that I know so you won't have to spend time searching, thus can focus to start your small online business quickly.
Now, here are 5 factors to consider if you want to succeed online.
1. Build Own Website
Can a small businesses continuously profit on the web by solely depending on social networks without the need to build own website?
Well, maybe it can but definitely can't achieve long-term business sustainability.
Social network is indeed powerful for marketers to build brand's presence online, but it is not absolute. It only forms part of the business and can never replace the significance of having own website.
Why would I say so?
Look, you have little control over your Facebook page as there are tons of rules Facebook is imposing on you.
If you ever break any rules for whatever reason (which will be ignored), Facebook will not forgive you and can punish you for that!
Your page can be flagged anytime without any “human” explanation from this social media giant.
All they do is to send you an automated message informing you that you've violated their rules. And you won't even know what is that!
You won't have any problem if you are selling own products.
But things get worse when you are selling affiliate products. Facebook does not favour affiliate links. Its algorithm might prompt fans not to click on your link.
So how can you promote your affiliate product on Facebook?
One way is to create your own landing page so when people click on your Facebook ads, they will be directed to your landing page (your website) before reading your content that can lead them to click on your affiliate link and buy.
You still need to have a website to create sales page or any landing pages.
By having your own website, you will always have full control on how you want to promote your products online.
You can choose to drive traffic from social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram to your sales page; send emails to your subscribers so they will visit your website or even buy search ads on Bing, Google or Yahoo.
The choice is yours!
If you choose to rank your pages on Google using SEO-optimized content, you can get unlimited traffic without paying for advertisement.
Having a website literally opens up all possibilities you can think of to earn money online. And it belongs to you where nobody can take away!
Therefore, start building your own website and stop depending solely on social networks anymore.
If you do not have one right now, start one for FREE below.
2. Use the Right Tools
In highly competitive e-marketing industry, leveraging on proven tools to support your business growth is a must.
For example, I use Hootsuite to manage my social media accounts that include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and LinkedIn. This tool allows me to search for content on all major social networks, schedule posting, and engage with fans and followers from one single dashboard.
For email marketing, I use AWeber to collect email list, create auto-responders and broadcast my latest blog post to my subscribers together with Profit Builder to create professionally design landing pages.
My latest tool is Sqribble that helps me to create stunning ebooks as giveaways to my subscribers so I can collect their emails and send them latest offers or products.
As you know, my favourite traffic strategy is to create SEO-optimized content and get ranked on Google, therefore I use Jaaxy Keyword Research Tool to research for high traffic keywords before creating any content.
So what about the site builder that I use to create this business site?
Yes, unlike others, I do not leverage on the standard hosting provider to build my website as I find it too complicated.
To lessen my workload and compliment my lacking on technical skills, I use SiteRubix to build this site. It is extremely easy to use and the platform provides 24/7 top notch support!
Seriously, anyone who want to start a website, please use SiteRubix.
Other must-have tools when building your business site are All-in-One SEO, Pretty Links and Canva.
I am constantly exploring latest tools that can improve my work efficiency because I understand without leveraging on good marketing tools, you literally lose key driver to profit from your small online business.
3. Follow Influencer of Your Niche
You need to have a mentor to succeed. Find out who are these people that can command influence in your industry and follow them.
There must be a reason why influencer succeed and you need to learn from them – their mistakes and proven strategies so you could prevent making the same mistakes but repeat their successes, or even do better.
Read: How to Become Instagram Influencer
Other than following them on social networks, subscribe to their newsletters and comment on their post, you need to build engaging relationship with them. This can increase credibility of your brand.
Google is now factoring social influence into page rank which indicates that the more social influence you have, the better your SEO ranking will be.
But how to find influencer of your niche?
Again, you can use tools like Tweetdeck, Klout, AllTop, Crowdfire, Discover.ly, BuzzSumo or Similar Web to locate influencer.
Alternatively if you do not want to use too many tools, you can try to follow hashtags on Twitter to determine influencer of your niche.
For example, if you type #onlinemarketing on Twitter, you will most probably find @NeilPatel, @PatFlynn or @JeffBullas very frequently. They are definitely influencer in this niche.
You can also determine influencer by the number of fans they have on their Facebook page. I follow @KimGarst as my social media influencer.
4. Promote High Value & Profitable Products
Once you understand how to create a website by leveraging on effective tools, then the next thing is to find high value & profitable products to promote, if you haven't had one.
People are most successful when promoting products that they have tried and proven to works. So, the best products to promote are those you are passionate about and that truly work for you.
Of course, there are other factors you need to consider when selecting a product.
For me, I prefer to promote knowledge-based products like tools, software or online training, preferably those that can give me recurring income.
One very profitable product that I promote is Wealthy Affiliate.
It is an awesome community that helps beginners who want to build a profitable site start one. And I started my business website with them too.
If you haven't had any products or would want to find new products to promote, (be it digital or physical products), you can find inside reputable affiliate networks like ClickBank, ShareASale, JVZoo, CJ Affiliates, Rakuten LinkShare and the most popular Amazon Associates.
To understand differences of each affiliate network, you can check it out here.
5. Track and Analyze Traffic
One must-have tool that I and many other successful marketers use to track and analyze website traffic data is Google Analytics.
This is especially needed when you consistently have huge amount of people visiting your site and you have problem converting them to becoming your customers.
One very important metric that all marketers will look into is the traffic source.
Your site visitors can come from direct, search or referral source. To know how Google Analytics works for newbies, here is one article that helps.
When you are able to determine which traffic source is giving you the highest conversion rate, then you can scale your campaign by putting more resources on the same traffic source.
There are new and returning visitors. When your new visitors don't convert, it might be good to set a remarketing campaign to convert them become customers.
For returning visitors, they come back because they like your site and wanting to know more. You can convert them or get their emails by asking yourself these questions.
- Which page did this customer landed during the last visit?
- Why this visitor return to my site?
- Did the person convert the first time around?
- If didn't convert, why not and how to make them convert?
I know these are quite complicated if you are new to online marketing. I suggest you look at the simpler metrics like traffic source and bounce rate if you are new.
The higher your site bounce rate is, the lesser time your visitors spent on your site.
It can also mean your traffic source is weak or irrelevant OR your website content is not optimized for conversion (eg: poorly designed website, slow load time or low usability).
Traits to Succeed Online Marketing
To succeed online marketing, there are some important traits you need to have – whether it is inborn or learned and honed over time.
Online marketing is a large, complex puzzle especially when it comes to search marketing.
You must enjoy putting many pieces together (keyword research, content creation, link building, technical compliance, user experience and social media integration) to complete the puzzle.
This requires you to cultivate patience, persistence and consistence in taking action throughout the journey. Can you do this?
Also, there are too many shining objects along the way.
One day you will be offered lessons on how to create SEO-optimized content, get ranked on Google and make sales.
And next you are offered the opportunity to build sales funnel, leverage on paid advertisement and this will lead to making sales too.
Both involve tons of work but applying different strategies to create sales. There are just so many unknown opportunities and strategies to earn money online.
The question is, which one should you do first? Can you stay focus on one strategy and only move on to the next one after you have achieve the first milestone?
To be successful, you need to stay focus and do not let yourself be distracted by the next big thing.
I know it is important to remain flexible and adaptable, but constantly shifting focus is definitely not good to achieve success.
For me, I choose to build a business website, create SEO-optimized content, get free site traffic and promote affiliate products to start small online business.
What about you?
Regardless of what strategy you choose to start online, stay focused, be persistent and consistently take action. When you do all these, success will not be too far away.
I hope you enjoy this article about how to start small online business the right way. If you have other methods you would like to share, do leave me a comment below.
p/s: if you find this article valuable, I hope you can share on Facebook and Twitter too.