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So you’re ready to begin your journey as an online business owner. Naturally, a few questions arise such as “what do I need to start an internet business?” or “how much will I need to spend?”.
Well in the post below, you will discover the basic necessities to begin operating an online business today.
Read to the end of the post if interested in finding out how much I spend currently versus how much it cost me to begin building my personal online business.
I am aware that different businesses have different needs. I would say this post is geared towards someone curious or just getting started with an online business.
What Do I Need To Start An Internet Business In 2017?
1. A Website
This should almost go without saying, but in order to run an online business, it is best to have your own website.
There are those who are under the impression that they can sell (whatever it is their selling) just by promoting it on Twitter, Instagram, or wherever on social media. There is also some who do this very well.
When I think about my 400 or so friends on Facebook, I do not want to bother them or rely on them buying stuff in order for me to run a business.
Having your own website can be the perfect solution to this. Not to mention the many other benefits. With your own website you:
- Have and own a piece of property on the internet. (Sort of like your own little real estate on the internet).
- Can attract many eyes to your website/business. There’s currently over 3.7 Billion internet users.
- Won’t have to rely on the livelihood of Facebook, Twitter, and social media. (Not that I believe these are going anywhere anytime soon).
- Have the ability to connect and provide solutions with people interested in what it is your selling.
- Have your own damn website!!
There are many other benefits to having your own website. In 2017, I think it is great to have your own platform to be able to connect with your audience and potential customers.
Not to mention, building a basic website these days can be done with ease.
2. Website hosting
“Web hosting is a service that allows organizations and individuals to post a website or web page onto the Internet. A web host, or web hosting service provider, is a business that provides the technologies and services needed for the website or webpage to be viewed on the Internet. Websites are hosted or stored, on special computers called servers.
When Internet users want to view your website, all they need to do is type your website address into their browser. Their computer will then connect to your server and your webpages will be delivered to them through the browser.
Most hosting companies require that you own your domain name in order to host with them. If you do not have a domain name, the hosting companies will help you purchase one.” (Source: www.website.com).
See “6. Training” below to find out where you can get free websites and hosting today.
In order to earn money as with any business – you are going to need customers.
However, when working online I think it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that there WILL be actual people visiting your website. Consider that there is someone on the other end of that screen.
When connecting with others online, it’s important to just be yourself. Share your expertise, knowledge, thoughts related to your business and don’t stress perfectionism.
How to attract customers to a website?
There are many ways to bring in potential buyers to your website. There are free options and then there are paid options.
You can attract people through social media, by sending out emails, word of mouth, handing out business cards, through the search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing). All of which are usually free methods.
Next, there is paid advertising. Without getting into too much detail, let’s say you decide to throw up an advertisement on Facebook. One of the options, known as CPC (cost per click), will cost you each time someone clicks your ad.
There are other options within FB alone like CPA. Here your ad will be charged every time someone takes a certain action on your ad. It could be a like, a share, or leaving a comment.
There are many methods for attracting people to your website and business. Each of them has their own certain ‘techniques’. Advertising on Facebook is much different than advertising on Snapchat, for example.
Getting your website to rank on the first page of Google contains a much different strategy than sharing your website on social media.
It’s best to focus on just one or two of these methods early on.
I don’t pay to advertise.
Some people may have a larger budget when starting their online business than others. Just know that you do have options. I do not pay for advertising to this day.
I have tested out paid advertising but wasn’t really seeing great results. Again, each of these methods has it’s own ‘art form’ and one that needs to be learned. For now, I will just focus on the free methods which work very well for me.
4. Sales page
You have your website in order, you start to notice visitors are coming to your website. Next, you are going to need a sales page.
A common practice is to have a sales page in place which you can funnel people to from different pages on your website. This will allow people to take action (buy) or learn more about what it is you are offering.
For you starters out there, there’s really no limit to which products or services you can sell online. In fact, they don’t even have to be products you own!
See Your 6 Best Options For Starting An Online Business to learn about different online business models. I am positive you will find one that suits you.
5. Email List (optional)
You will eventually want your own email list. I added the “optional” because there is a series of steps you should take as you are building your business.
When you first create your website, it is highly unlikely you will see any visitors at all. It’s a process. So until you start seeing visitors to your website, I would hold off on adding an email list.
Why I love having an email list
At the time of this writing, my business focuses on ranking in Google, Yahoo, Bing to attract visitors. If for any reason I lose rankings, Google drops off the face of the Earth (won’t happen), or whatever. There is still an exclusive email list that I have built through this website.
The email list is my email list and I can still connect with people there. It’s the same thing for business who rely on advertising on Facebook only. What if FB for any reason went under.
Having your own list of people will give your business something to build on.
Last but not least is training. If you do not know where to begin your online business, proper training can help with that.
Before diving into where you can get excellent training, as promised, here is what I spent to start my online business and how much I currently spend:
Started business in 2015: $47 per month.
Current expenses: $97 per month.
- Aweber an autoresponder (email list) – $29/mo
- Jaaxy Keyword tool – $19/mo
- Wealthy Affiliate (includes training, website hosting, technical support, website builder, and more) – $29/mo
- Thrive Themes (provides plugin and current theme) – $20/mo
- Domain Name (.com, .net, .org, etc.) – 13.99/yr
So as you can see, I am only spending about $97 on a monthly basis to operate my business.
Again some of these things are optional. They help business to run smoother and have made life a little easier. You do not need them at first.
These services have only helped my business look more professional and helped it to grow. Once you get to a point in with your online business where you can reinvest into items that will help you to grow, I highly encourage in doing so.
When first getting started, all I personally paid for was training. I had no idea as to what I was doing. (Wealthy Affiliate is usally $49/mo but if you purchase the yearly for $359, it averages to about $29/mo).
I came across a training and service in Wealthy Affiliate that looked promising. So, I took them up on their offer and learned how to create an online business the right way.
It’s funny to think that I was very skeptical about online business as a whole. 18 months later I got a chance to meet the owners, who taught me pretty much everything I know about online business, in person:
I have learned that creating a successful online business takes effort, time, and commitment. The end result can be astonishing, however.
Start your own internet business
I recommend joining Wealthy Affiliate. You can join today at no cost and participate in the starter training. This will give you an idea if Wealthy Affiliate and their Premium service is the right investment for you.
Not only is there step-by-step training but WA comes full-service with website hosting, technical support if something is wrong with your website, Live Chat to engage with other members, a website builder (to create your own website), and so much more.
Wealthy Affiliate is a platform that was created with online business owners in mind.
Whether you’re experienced or new, everything you need to start an internet business begins right here.