You have to get it all right and have all the elements play together.
First, you have to choose a niche. This is important, because each niche acts in a different way, people use different networks and communication channels, the demographics of the people in the niche are different, the situation, the competition. Everything can be different in a different niche.
The niche influences everything you do online!
#2 Learn about Content
Online success without content is rare.
That means you have to think about content when you think about growing an online business.
Decide the main content formats you are going to use: blog posts, podcasts, videos, graphics, …
Consider that there is competition: The better your content, the better can you compete. Your goal should be to create the best content that exists on your topics.
Think how you are going to use this content, what do you want to achieve with it.
#3 Get traffic to the content
OK, you have content. Now you have to make sure that people find it.
There are various ways to get traffic to your content. SEO, social media, email, referral traffic, …
You need to know the most important traffic sources:
- Search traffic: most website traffic comes from searches. But the problem with SEO is that it usually takes Google around 6 months or longer to display content on a new website in their search rankings. And if you don’t find some website visitors from other sources until you rank on Google, you will not see much traffic.
- Social media: you can build your social media audience long before you have a website and content ready. Social media may in the long run not be your biggest and highest converting traffic source: but it can be the first channel you can use to get considerable traffic. Plus social media is an awesome place to build community.
- Email: when you are new to the game, you will not have many subscribers. Still, email traffic is important as it will turn into your highest converting traffic channel and most important part of your sales funnel.
- Others: Guest posting, public relations, forums, groups – these channels can be great, especially when you are new.
#4 Grow your Email List
I already mentioned email as a traffic source. But the process will usually be: bring people to your website, convert some website visitors into email subscribers, nurture email subscribers and sell your products to your email subscribers.
The difference between an email list and a social media audience is that you “own” your email list. No social network is going to change the rules for your email list – and you reach ALL your subscribers with each email, no algorithm decides who is going to see it.
#5 Consider monetizing your website traffic
Now, if you already see some traffic to your website you can think about making some money.
You don’t have a product yet, but you can use ads on your blog or use Affiliate marketing and offer sponsored posts.
This may not make you rich, but it can help to pay the bills.
#6 Build a product
Since you now already have an audience, you can use them to build exactly the product they want and need. Use surveys and polls to include your audience in the product building process.
Don’t work for months on a product if you don’t know if anyone is going to buy it.
Think about creative and interactive product building: Build and sell chapter by chapter or do a series of workshops that you can later turn into one course.
This way you can minimize the risk of building something that your audience will not buy and learn from the experience.
#7 Find a Funnel
There are various ways to sell online.
Launches, sales funnels, webinars, sales letters to name only a few.
You have to find a sales framework that works for you, your niche, product and your audience.
As you can see above, there is not ONE key to online business success. The key to online success is to learn how to combine the elements of online business to a successful framework that works for you, your skills, communication preferences and audience.