Here at bizzthrive.com, we talk a lot about the importance of starting an online business, or side hustle if you will. I’ve always been a big promoter of not putting all your eggs in the same basket.
And now, after everything that happened since March 2020, I think it’s more important than ever to build at least one additional source of income. This pandemic has proven that nothing is safe in our society. People that had the same job for years lost, businesses that were making big money had to close it all down.
One particular area that had a big spike was the digital side of things. New businesses have been built in the last 10 months and some of them had direct inspiration from the current situation. And they had huge success! This isn’t a surprise anymore, since we know that in order to have success, your business must solve a problem.
The most important thing to remember is that digitalization has been put on fast forward because of covid. A process that most probably would have taken at least 5 to 10 years, has now reached its mark in less than a year. That shouldn’t scare us, even though jobs that seemed indisposable not too long ago have now been replaced with new, more modern and up to date solutions. Robots instead of people in shops, for example. It is important to change with the times, even when the change is sad. Yes, people will lose their jobs. But this is a chance to start something new.
With that being said, you should focus this year on starting an online business. It could be an online shop, a blog. You could sell e-books or consultations, depending on your field of expertise. And this is how’ll do it:
Pick a niche for your online business
First and foremost, you should think about the niche you want to activate in. Usually, when I start a new business, I place it as follows:
What are my passions?
It’s important that you pick a niche you are passionate about. Otherwise, you’ll procrastinate building and keeping your business successful. We don’t like to do what we don’t like to do, if that makes sense. It’s that simple. If you are passionate about living a frugal life though, you’ll love to create content in that niche and connect with other people that align with your views. Plus, you will also be able to monetize it, which means you’ll be able to make money from your passion. That is the ultimate dream on everyone’s mind and it’s a goal everyone should strive to achieve. Life is short but your time is important, don’t waste it trying to just survive. If you are now at a job you hate, start building your side hustle as soon as possible. Take your freedom back and build a life you are happy to live. Quit your job only when your side hustle can sustain your style of living though. It is important to be smart about this. We don’t want you ending up in a bad, financially unstable, type of situation.
What content do I enjoy?
This can help you find your niche and also your online business idea. By knowing what type of content you enjoy, you might find the right content you’ll want to create for your business.
If you love to read articles all day, for example, then it might be a good idea to start a blog and monetize your passion that way.
If you love video content, you might look into creating some videos yourself. Youtube, Instagram, and Tik Tok are all platforms where you can grow with this type of content. One important thing to remember is that your age doesn’t matter. You might think that Tik Tok is for youngsters only. But I have seen people in their 40s, 50s, and even 80s! killing it on the platform. Some were actively creating content in their field, for example, a psychologist who was giving advice for free and promoting his services, to grandmas posting funny videos and wise insights. That’s the beauty of the internet, there’s a niche for everything and an audience for it. Your goal is to be unique, have a twist, while also doing what it’s already proven to work.
What am I good at?
Maybe you haven’t been painting all day every day even if you love it and you know you’re good at it. If that’s the case, then you should start a Shopify or Etsy store and build your online business by selling your art.
Same goes for writing. You could write articles for your blog, offer writing services on Fivver, or write e-books and sell them on your own website. the possibilities are endless!
Everyone has something they are good at but haven’t been doing anything about it. For example, I studied art. Only this year though I decided to start a shop and sell my drawings on print on demand products. I could have done this years ago, but I didn’t. It’s never too late to start though, you just need a little push. Which is why you are reading this article right now!
Will this help your audience?
Think about your ideal customer. We’ll go with this idea even if you are not planning on selling anything and you just want to blog, for example.
Your ideal customer is the one your business was created for. Who are you trying to reach? It could be people that want to live a healthier lifestyle, just like you.
Ask yourself the next questions:
Who is this product/content for? sex, gender, age, geographical segmentation, occupation.
What are the main motivations and principles of your ideal customer? Do they want to be more productive? Do they want to be perceived as more successful? Do they want to build financial freedom?
Name at least three specific attributes of your ideal customer.
Ex: motivated, self-aware, intelligent, success-driven.
Name at least three vulnerabilities.
Ex: cares what others think about them, thinks they are always right, pride.
Make sure to talk about how their life will look like without your product/content, paint that image in their head.
An emotional trigger is, you’ve guessed it, an idea that wakes up an emotion inside of us. Always keep in mind that you are not selling a product, you’re selling a solution to a problem. Everything you have ever bought was to solve a problem.
That’s why it is so important first to define your ideal customer. The quickest road to failure is trying to sell your offer to everyone. Not every person on this planet has the same emotional triggers, therefore by trying to sell to everyone the same story, you’ll have way less success than if you’d first design a specific offer for a specific target.
Let’s say you are promoting a back pain e-book. The e-book is your product. The back pain is your problem; the information in the e-book is the solution.
How do you wake up emotional triggers for your audience? By putting the problem right in front of them. By knowing your ideal customer, you can use their motivations and principles to convince them to buy your offer.
Example: Your ideal customer wants to spend more time with their children, but their back pain doesn’t allow them to. The emotional trigger is not being able to spend time with their children; your offer is the solution that will let them do just that by curing their back pain.
You must also bring into the conversation other benefits, such as emotional, financial, appearance, health, and so on.
Use emotional triggers wisely. Never ever manipulate people and never lie to them. Don’t promise something you can’t deliver. This information is for you to learn how business works, but use them with kindness and empathy. Being a good human is important. These are just tactics that teach you how to reach your audience the right way.
Make a plan for your presence online
If your plan is to sell, then you should look into how to build an online shop (we have a step by step guide HERE). If you want to start a blog, then you should learn how to (we also have a detailed step by step guide on how to start a blog HERE).
Next, you must learn more about the platforms you’ll be on. If you want to learn more about Shopify and why it’s the best platform for online shops, click HERE. If you want to learn more about Bluehost, our number one hosting provider for blogging, click HERE.
Once you picked your services provider, you should also check the availability of your chosen name. You most probably have a name already for your business. If not, here’s how you pick one:
- Make sure it’s short and catchy. You want your name to flow on the tongue, as I like to say it. If it doesn’t sound easy to pronounce and remember, you might want to look for better ones.
- I’ve read more articles about how you shouldn’t use your name, but I don’t agree. If you put in the work and promote yourself the right way, while also giving high quality free and paid content, the people will follow. Remember everyone starts at 0. Once you have a following, your name will mean something in your niche. Personal branding is a smart move, don’t let other people convince you otherwise. Obviously, this depends on the niche and type of business you choose. If you start a blog, you could find a name for it. If you want to give legal advice, to offer nutritional and health support, you can go with your name. It depends on what you want from your business.
- Make sure it’s smart and makes sense. You don’t want to niche down too much. For example, you might want to blog about travel. Yes, it’s a pandemic now and no one is traveling but once things get back to normal, this niche will explode. You heard it here first! You wouldn’t want to name your blog uktraveltales.com, while you travel worldwide.
Once you have a name you must check the social media availability. If the desired name isn’t free to use, you might play a little bit with the words and still keep it. If it’s important to you to have the same one on all platforms, you might need to change it.
After all the domains and social media handles are secured, you’ll have to build your blog, website, and/or shop.
Create content for your online business
Niche picked, social media handles secured, and website created? It’s time to create the content. In our step by step guides for blog and shop creation, we have detailed explanations on how to create the best content. I would like to add some information here as well though.
First of all, you should use Canva.com. It’s a free and paid graphic design platform for beginners, therefore you won’t have to draw or be a graphic designer to create beautiful content for your online business.
You’ll be able to create content for your social media platforms, e-books, edit pictures, and more. They even have a video editor now, so you’ll also be able to edit your video content.
For a blog
If you plan on starting a blog, you should decide how many articles you want to post per week or month. You should also make a list of everything you want to write about, and write down the ideas you want to mention. This way your article will write itself.
Next, you must come up with a monetization plan. For a new blog, affiliate links are the best option. You can make money even if you have a small number of people on your blog. Use free traffic sources such as Pinterest.
Use the products you want to promote as a guide on what content you should create.
For a personal branding/expert in your field type of business
A great idea would be to sell e-books and consultations. Once you build an audience, a monthly paid membership could also work for you.
You should also write articles and start a blog. Almost all of the themes available today have the option of adding a blog to your website or even shop. Write articles where you show that you know what you are talking about and promote them on social media.
Create social media content with short useful tips and promote them through different types of content. Video for Instagram, Tik Tok and Youtube, pictures, quotes, infographics for Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.
For an online shop
For an online shop, it’s all about putting your products in front of your audience. Find influencers to promote your products. You can even use the content they create to promote it further through ads, or on platforms such as Instagram and Tik Tok.
Additionally, find a creative way to present your products. You could create a top 10 video or write an article about them, or show a creative way to use said product.
Canva should be your new best friend, since they have thousands of elements and templates you can use for free in order to differentiate your business.
Create an email address
Every business owner should start an email list as soon as they start their business. A lot of people choose to skip this step because it seems daunting, but trust me, it is one of the most important steps in starting a successful business.
Any social media platform you might be on could just disappear tomorrow and any followers you might have had will be gone with it. Your email list, on the other hand, will always belong to you. This is where you store your audience, your customers, and potential customers. So don’t postpone it, read our articles on how to start and build one and get to it!