So, you want to start an online business?
Well, luckily for you, launching a startup is doable for almost anyone, regardless of a person’s technical skill or previous experience.
Even having said that, however, just because you can launch an online business doesn’t mean it’ll be successful.
In fact, there’s a lot that goes into building a highly converting online business, especially if you’re in a competitive industry.
If you’re looking for a way to start your online business, one that has a good chance of succeeding, then follow the tips below.
1. Decide on a Product
While you can technically sell anything online, before you launch an online business, it’s a good idea to decide on something specific and test its viability before investing a lot of time or money.
Here are some best practices to follow when deciding which product (or service) you want to offer:
1. Find a Competitive Niche
It’s important you find a niche that’s doing well already. After all, if you start selling something that people aren’t really into, you’ll never generate enough revenue to make a profit.
You should also try your best to find a niche you’re interested in.
Promoting your products, writing engaging content, and encouraging people to buy what you’re selling is much easier when you like the industry you’re in.
2. Perform Market Research
If you aren’t sure how to find out whether your product will actually sell, start by performing some keyword research to see how often people are looking for that particular product.
You can do this using the free Ubersuggest tool:
Here you’ll find out your product’s search volume, SEO and paid difficulty, and approximate cost-per-click should you get into advertising.
The more highly sought after your product is, the better chances you’ll have of making sales. If you can prove your products are better than what the competition is selling of course.
3. Study the Competition
The last thing you’ll want to do before finalizing which product to sell in your online business is to study the competition.
Using a tool like SEMRush, you can find information like:
- Organic and paid search volume
- Number of backlinks
- Top keywords they’re ranking for
- Main competitors and links to their sites
- Sample advertisements
- Referring domains
- Landing pages
This way you can see how much competition you’re facing, and again validate whether the niche you’re choosing is reasonable.
Plus, you’ll get web design, advertisement, landing page, and content inspiration, and see which authoritative sites are linking to the competition so you can work on your own backlinking strategies.
2. Build a Website
Once you’ve decided on a product for your online business, you’ll need to build a website.
This is relatively easy to do since there are so many reliable eCommerce platforms available that are beginner friendly, such as Ozcart, which offers anyone an easy way to start selling online.
With the right platform, you’ll have everything you need to create product pages, landing pages, and blog posts.
You’ll also be able to configure payment gateways, connect to social media, and design your site to match your brand.
Not sure how to pick the perfect domain name? Here are some helpful tips:
- Keep it short and easy to type
- Include keywords, so people know what you’re selling
- Avoid numbers and hyphens, which are easy to mix up
- Make it memorable, so you stand out from the competition
- Choose an appropriate domain name extension
If you choose a self-hosted platform, you’ll also need to invest in a web hosting plan. This is the only way your site can go live and deliver site content to your customers. Meanwhile, a hosted ecommerce shopping cart includes hosting and support.
3. Develop a Content Marketing Plan
All businesses need a website, and all websites need a blog.
Even if you’re just selling products on your website, it’s a good idea to put some time into publishing consistent content for site visitors to read.
People want to feel like you have something of value for them and not that you just want their money. That’s where blog posts are handy.
After all, you don’t want people creating fake emails so they can get into your system without actually receiving your email campaigns.
Your site’s blog content can entertain, inform, and engage site visitors that come to your site looking at what you have for sale.
And, high-quality blog content can convince people to convert into subscribers (and later, potential customers) or make a purchase right then and there.
Not to mention, content on your website can drive traffic to your site from search rankings, boost your SEO, and help expose your brand to a broader audience.
If you want to stay on top of your blog posts and regularly post content for site visitors to read, check out Trello to help you stay organized.
Using Trello, you can organize your ideas, drafts, and posts that need to be published.
In addition, you can assign tasks to different members of your team, leave comments, set due dates, and even color coordinate your calendar for easier viewing.
These options help with blog posting, as well as automate social media posting, help with email marketing, and give you detailed metrics to make sure your content marketing efforts are producing results.
4. Build a Social Media Presence
If you’re using a content marketing tool like CoSchedule or Buffer, building a social media presence is easy.
After all, those tools take the blog content that you’ve published and turns them into social media posts that your followers can see.
With that said, there are other ways to establish a stronger social media presence to help you build a bigger customer base.
For instance, you should research which social media networks your target audience frequents the most and post there.
That way, you don’t waste time posting for users who are not interested in what you have to sell.
Second, consider investing in an influencer to help promote your brand to their large social media following.
You can use a tool like Phlanx to research potential influencers that will help you:
Phlanx shows you how many followers a person has and how engaged their audience is. And, the bigger and more engaged the audience, the more you will attract traffic to your online business and convert.
There are also opportunities to build your online presence on your website. For example, display social media icons so people can follow you on the platforms you use.
This way, that can stay updated on all things related to your business without having to go to your website all the time.
You can also encourage people to share their favorite blog posts and products on their social media accounts by adding social share buttons.
Lastly, you can look into advertising your online business on various social media platforms such as Facebook.
Not only can you encourage people to come to your website using social media, you can also add a call to action button that directs them to a well-designed landing page that converts.
And, there you have it! The simplest and most stress-free way to create an online business that will generate sales in no time.
Of course, this is not an exhaustive guide to building a successful online business. There’s a lot of work that goes into generating revenue online, and it takes time and patience too.
However, if you follow the steps above, you’ll have a solid foundation to work with, and your business will have the room it needs to grow and accommodate the increase in customers that it will soon see.