I’ve long been a fan of running a secondary income source online – from having my own e-commerce business for 8 years to now earning through blogging. Starting a web-based business is popular these days as people try to supplement their income or replace their jobs altogether. This is a rewarding experience that allows you to do something you love. From learning SEO to using Google tools, here are some crucial first steps.
Choose Your Site Builder Carefully
There are many website builders you can choose from. Some of the most popular include Wix, WordPress and GoDaddy. But there are also specialist builders that come with features suited to online business, such as WooCommerce and Shopify. Then, there are even niche-based builders you can use that are more suitable. For example, providers like Autoweb specialise in automotive websites and offer all the features you and your customers need and expect.
Learn About On-Page SEO
You might have stumbled across the term SEO while researching starting a business online. But what is it? SEO means Search Engine Optimisation, and it is how search engines and your site communicate. The main aim is to ensure your site is placed in the right position when someone searches. This is based on the content and relevance of post and page content, your site’s usability and where your business is located. It helps to learn at least on-page SEO for content.
Set Aside Time For A Web-Based Business
Getting a business up and running isn’t easy, and you need to dedicate some time and resources. Fortunately, you don’t need to work flat out to accomplish an online business. But depending on what you are offering and the scope of your site, you will need to set aside between two and eight hours per week to work on it. This doesn’t sound like a lot of time, but it can feel like it when you come home from work or have to attend to family responsibilities.
Consider Extra Ways To Make Money
An online business doesn’t always have to be focused on selling, and you can work it like a blog. But blogs alone don’t make money, and it will cost you to run your site. So you can consider making money in other ways to cover at least the costs. Some of the most common are:
- Connect with Google Ads to show relevant promotions to your users.
- Write eBooks related to your niche and offer them on your website.
- Strategically place affiliate links within your relevant blog content.
- Work with sponsors in your niche to provide content and ads.
- Ask for donations if your business offers free services and assets.
Google Ads is a popular way to make extra money online but relies heavily on organic traffic. Affiliate links are powerful, and you can make some good money by marketing your site well.
Check Out Places For Royalty Free Assets
You will need more than just your writing skills to make a business website work. A modern website relies on other media, such as videos, images, audio and accessibility tools. However, these can cost a lot of money. Fortunately, there are many royalty-free services available, such as Pexels for images. You can also embed YouTube videos for free, and tools like Canva offer limited free versions for things like logo and header creation using their powerful AI tools.
Get Familiar With Search Engine Tools
You need to work with certain tools to get the most out of your site and increase the reach of its SEO. These tools are offered by search engines such as Google and Bing and include Google Search Console, Google Analytics and Bing Webmaster Tools. These allow you to see your site data and work with the engine to improve its understanding of your site, such as uploading a sitemap. You can also use Google PageSpeed Insights to analyse your site’s functionality.
Research Your Target Audience
Assuming you have settled on a business and niche, one of the most crucial steps before beginning an online business is understanding your target audience. This is tricky and requires some time and analysis. But you will get much more optimised results if you spend time doing this. Some tested methods include market research, using existing website data (Google Analytics), and even checking out what successful competitors in the niche are doing.
Choosing a suitable website builder is critical when starting a web-based business. You also need to ensure you can work at least two hours per week on getting it up and running. You will have an easier time and see better results if you identify your target audience early on.
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