Want to Make Money Online? Here’s the Basics...

20 Apr 2016 / Freeparking Team / Marketing Online Startups Ecommerce

Thinking about starting a blog or an online shop to generate some money online? It can be a great idea, but knowing how to do it successfully can be what will make or break your business. Incredibly, 90 percent of online business fail within the first four months! Just because you have a good idea, doesn’t mean it’s going to fly.

Why? Because these failed startups haven’t spent enough time planning before diving in and setting up their site. It doesn’t take long before they realise without a solid strategy, determination and a lot of man hours, making money online is just not going to happen.

Here’s the basics of what you need to know to have a successful online business:

1. Find out if your product will sell

Your friends and family might think you have stumbled upon a winner with your product, but they might be the only ones buying if you haven’t received insights from potential customers.

There are a few different ways you can do this:

  • Gain insights from people within the relevant industry. If that’s the industry you currently work in, ask your colleagues, your managers and even clients.
  • Use online survey tools like Client Heartbeat. Surveys are a great way to get honest feedback and to see if your product or service has the potential to meet your target market’s needs.
  • Get crowdfunding on sites like KickstaterPozible or Fundable. Not only will you potentially make money to start up your business or create your product, but you’ll also have a clear gauge if anyone is interested, by the amount of money you raised during your campaign.

2. Identify who specifically is your target audience

Having a clear understanding of who your targeted audience is will help you tailor your website, social media platforms and any other marketing tools to reflect your ideal client. Choose who you want to help, research their needs and interests, and promote your business accordingly.

3. Get to know your competition

There is a high possibility you will have some competition for your product or service. Before you launch your business, get to know these companies well. Explore their website and social media platforms to see how they present themselves and what they are posting to make money online. Even try their products or services to see what they offer their clients and how you can improve on this.

4. Create an awesome website

These days it’s so incredibly easy to create a website, but simply having a website isn’t going to be enough to make you stand out from the crowd. You need to have one that reflects your audience and product/service. It needs to be user friendly, incorporate the right ecommerce tools and look great visually.

Here’s some tips do this without spending a whole lot of cash:

  • Register a domain name and set up a hosting service.
  • Decide on a content management system, like WordPress or set up an e-commence site like Shopify.
  • Search for a theme that suits your brand and product/service. If you’re not design savvy, jump on a site like Fiverr and hire a freelancer to make the necessary tweaks to get your theme just right.
  • Enable the ecommerce plugins you need to sell and make transactions such as WP eCommerce plugins for WordPress.

5. Create a sales and marketing strategy

How many units of your product, subscriptions or consultations need to be sold in order for you to make a profit? Figure out the monthly revenue your business needs to make so you can achieve your goal in your first year.

While you’re planning your sales, figure out a marketing strategy too. Are you going to launch into social media like Facebook and Pinterest? Will you start up your own blog and possibly guest blog on complementary sites to increase traffic?

Think about creating e-newsletters, subscription giveaways or e-books. Know what your marketing and advertising plan looks like before you start.

6. Prepare to do the work yourself

One of the top reasons online business fail so quickly is people underestimate how much is involved in making money online particularly in the early days. The best way to do things on a shoestring budget initially is to have a DIY mentality.

Set up your own website if you can, write your own content, even package up your products. Online startups are a gamble when you don’t have any cash to waste, so try minimize your commitments and expenditure by doing what you can yourself.

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