One of the biggest obstacles to starting your own internet venture is the inability to get started. You very likely have a clear financial target in mind: You want to make money with this business, and to a secondary extent, you don't want to lose all the money you currently have trying to get it up and running.
What can really gum up the works are all the possible solutions you can come up with as to how, what, where and why the business will succeed. The choices are endless, and their possible combinations, near-infinite. You can't quite settle on just one or two choices to consider, you keep rating and ranking and comparing choices ---right into paralysis. Why?
Because it's easy to dream big. Dreaming is free. Joint ventures. Teleseminars. Blogging, maybe, hopefully towards an eventual book deal. Money, fame, authority. The images are so seductive, so shiny, that we can spend hours immersed it what-will-happen-when-I-get-rich. In the blink of an eye, we're at the grand finish. We have a thriving, successful e-business.
And without any solid, real plans to explain how we got it.
Dreaming is free, and the problem is when you come up against the reality
of the things you need to do
to actually start. Faced with too many choices, we can fall into the trap of endless comparisons, cost-to-benefits ratios, etc. and never really start.
So here's a simple plan to start an on-line business: you already know you want money.
Pick a method to earn it.
The Internet is the great leveler. It doesn't have timezones or physical borders, so there are many ways that you can make money via the 'net. You can:
Pick a channel.
- Create a product - design, test and come up with a product that fulfills a certain need.
- Become an affiliate or an affiliate marketer - Leverage the power of groups and shared marketing strategies. You don't need to come up with a product on your own, or make your own advertising campaign or content.
- Sell ads - There are many kinds of ads out there. In your own browsing it's a sure bet you've been exposed to almost all of them.
- Sell services - Promote your skills and-or talents in exchange for money.
It's the information superhighway. "Communication is key," is the very heart of it. And think of it, you definitely use different channels all the time to get your
Read about and research your choices.
- Blogs are ubiquitous. There are blogs for every niche. Think of a topic, there's probably a blog for it somewhere. The investment comes in the time and work it would take to come up with solid content, getting (and keeping) attention in the form or followers and subscribers)
- Email subscriptions are good for gathering a following -- that's a pool of interested followers right there who want to hear what you have to say, or know what you want to share.
- Social media is a great way to get in touch with like-minded people who share the same interests that you do, or want to solve the problem you believe you have a solution for. You could get instant feedback, tap resources and share news instantly.
- Video is a very good way to earn money when you've got a good system down cold. The weight of the work comes down to producing quality videos with good, value-filled content on a consistent, regular basis to draw in and keep subscribers and followers.
- Paid ads are part of the lifeblood of the internt, no matter what extension we use to keep them from interfering with our own personal browsing habits.
Knowledge is power. If ever you've heard about 'due diligence' now is the time to exercise it. Do the research.
Go on forums, niche and industry blogs and look at how things work in the channel you've chosen. Information gathering is valuable in the following ways:
You can check for fit.
- The more you find out, the more information you have on which you can make a good decision on the channel (or channels) you've picked. You can ask people in the business model you're interested in, and get first hand accounts of what it means to run things that way.
- You can gather concrete examples for the most common mistakes first-timers make and save yourself time and effort (and probably money, too) from learning from other people's mistakes.
Dreaming's free and all, but work is every day. If you want this thing to succeed, you have to do the work, so you better know what that means, and whether you can commit to doing it day in and day out until you reach the point where it starts making money (and hopefully get to the point where: the business is stable, self-sustaining, and the money is enough to support you in the lifestyle you desired in the first place). If you can't commit to putting in the time needed to start and keep going, you may need to reconsider.
You can get an idea of whether or not the channels you've picked are suited to your personality.
Some people are naturally gregarious and can't imagine being unconnected from the 'net. They would think nothing of keeping multiple conversations or threads open, readily responding to comments and reviews. Some need a lot of time alone, without any distractions, to center themselves and make outlines that will be turned into blog posts and content articles, or ebooks. Some may prefer video, some may prefer podcasting, and others writing. You have to know if the fit is good.
When you've got working knowledge and resources you have what you need to paint a clearer picture of what you'll be facing. You can brainstorm, diagram, outline and identify necessary steps, and come up with a working plan. You have a good idea of what you need to know, what skills you need to learn, and what you have to do to get the ball rolling. You can start laying out the foundations for your online business. First a webhost, then a website, then a blogging platform or a personal channel...you're on your way.
Wanting things to be perfect or to have the best options for success is only human, but those needs can hinder us from actually taking concrete steps towards the goal. Once you get out of your own way you'll find that each small accomplishments fuels the next.
When you've started your venture, it's easier to keep going. Measure your results and track the important statistics to see if you're getting the numbers you need, whether in visitors, subscribers, clients, etc. Study the numbers and be ready to tweak things so things will run better and get you the results you want. Get things started, keep things going, and once it's sustainable, you can level up. Just start.