Your Own Online Business: Getting Started
As in many things, the hardest part to starting your own inline business is exactly that - getting started.
There are 4 things you need to do:
- Select your niche. Ask yourself what business do you want to be in? This is a fundamental question, whether your business is online or bricks and mortar.
- Register a domain name relevant to your business.
- Purchase web hosting from an established, reliable web host and point your registered domain name at their servers. This isn't difficult and simply ensures that your website will be displayed when your domain name is entered.
- Build your new business website on your web host's servers.
If you're just starting out and you don't have an IT background, this can sound very difficult. Almost impossible.
Don't despair, it's not really.
You just need to follow a step-by-step blueprint, one step at a time.
For a set of guides to do exactly that, you should take a look at
And, of course, you may have a lot of questions, particularly about affiliate marketing, the business model you are most likely to start off with. I've gathered together a collection of the most common questions, along with their answers, at Affiliate Marketing: Your Questions Answered.
Step 1: Select Your Niche
Your niche is what your business is all about. It could be coffee, for instance and you could monetize it by selling espresso coffee machines as an Amazon affiliate and coffee beans and accessories as a drop-shipper.
You would also write or outsource articles informing your audience about interesting coffee facts and give them useful tips. You would come to be acknowledged as an expert in your subject matter, all things coffee.
Over the years, I have built many websites. Some of my sites have been really successful, whilst others have not done so well. But in every mistake that I have ever made, I have always tried to learn from it and correct my mistakes on the next site.
Making a mistake when selecting a niche to start your own online business is really easy to do and sometimes you won’t even realize it until you are much further down the line in the content creation stages of building your site.
One of the worst mistakes that you can make when choosing your niche is to go with something simply because you think it’s going to make you the most money or to go into something just because you know it’s popular and the niche has a large following. Which also means more competition.
It’s all very well finding a popular niche, but you need to actually create content and give an opinion based on that subject. Remember that the related sub niches that are associated with the niche that you choose are the subjects that are going to make up the content of your website.
Selecting a niche is one of the subjects covered in
Step 2: Register a Domain Name
Your domain name is your business identity and so should indicate to your visitor what your business is about.
Just as a good street address is important to a bricks and mortar business, a good domain name is important to an online business.
But what makes a good domain name?
Well, first of all, it has to reflect your business. When a prospective visitor sees it, they should be in no doubt as to what your business is about.
In addition, these are the other desirable characteristics:
It should have a dot com extension.
The shorter the better, as long as it still makes sense. All the single word domains are long gone, and most of the two-word ones. If you can summarize your story in three words and they're available as a .com domain name, that's great.
For example, if you wanted to start your own online business all about coffee (a very popular subject) and use affiliate links to sell associated product, including high ticket items like fully automatic coffee machines, here are some domain names you could be investigating:
You just need a bit of imagination and just keep coming up with variations until you find one that no one else has thought of.
Registering a domain name is one of the subjects covered in
Step 3: Purchase Web Hosting
Your website is your business address and it's really important to have it hosted on a fast, reliable web host server.
Do NOT, NOT, EVER use free hosting. Their servers are inferior and they monetize your site by adding their own advertising to it.
A website host is a computer connected to the internet where your website is stored. When someone enters your website’s domain name into a search engine, the search engine retrieves your website’s details from the website host and displays them.
I've used a number of different web hosts over the years, and now use only two, for different businesses and for different reasons. I can't go into all the complexities here, but you'll find they are all covered in
Registering a domain name is one of the subjects covered in
Step 4: Build Your New Business Website
The first website you build to start your own online business is the hardest.
WordPress is arguably the best, easiest and most effective platform to build a commercial website on.
What used to be incredibly difficult has been made a lot easier with WordPress.
But many people still struggle with it.
Much of its strength comes from the huge number of themes and plugins that have been created to extend its functionality. Some are free. Many are not. They don’t all co-exist peacefully. Some used to be good, but haven’t been updated to work with later versions of WordPress. It’s a bit of a minefield. But worth mastering. Here are some statistics:
- WordPress runs 35% of the entire internet.
- With 60% of the global CMS (Content Management System) market, WordPress has dominated this niche for over 7 years. Over 500 new sites are built every day.
- WordPress powers 14.7% of the top 100 websites in the world.
- 17 posts are published every second on WordPress sites around the world.
- 37 million global Google searches for “WordPress” are made per month.
WordPress for the Technically Challenged is one of the short books available at
One Thing You Can Rely on
You will never start your own online business unless you, well, start! And when's the best time? That would be NOW.