Ready to fire your boss and start your own home based business? Great, now we just have about 500 different things to consider and you’ll be well on your way. Okay, I may have exaggerated a bit there. However, you will want to do some planning and research to give yourself the best chance to succeed in your new venture.
I tried several different home based businesses even before we even had an internet. I’ve tried building a mail order business, I’ve tried a few MLM’s, helping people recover over-payments made to HUD through their mortgages. Lots of goofy things that seemed like a good idea at the time but not very practical.
My point here is, make sure you’re choosing a business model that is realistic.
What kind of business you decide to build could depend on several factors:
- Marketable Skills
- Start Up Costs
- Permits (Where Necessary)
- Business Structure (If Required)
- Hours Of Operation
These are just a few of the things that need to be considered with many traditional businesses. Building an affiliate marketing business eliminates almost all of these things and that turned out to be the best home based business for me. So, the rest of this article will be written from the perspective of building an internet business.
Can you really make a good living as an affiliate marketer? Check this out!
Starting A Home Based Business Online – Finding Your Niche
Creating a home based business online makes sense when you look at some of the statistics:
- There are over 2 Billion people online
- Every 7 seconds someone gets online for the first time
- The percentage of people who make online purchases increases every year
- The majority of people who make online purchases increase their spending amounts annually
Another HUGE advantage to building a business online is that you are not tied down to a physical location. Every place in the world that has internet access is YOUR potential marketplace!
Now, obviously you can’t be all things to all people, but you don’t need a very big slice of such a vast pie to make a great living online.
The way to start off is by targeting people who are searching for information within a specific area of interest which is what we refer to as a “niche”. If you need more clarification on what a niche is, watch the video below.
Once you have chosen your niche, you can start to develop a plan of action. That plan starts with building an online presence. In other words, your own website.
In the video below, I show you where to get 2 free websites to practice on as well as the training you need to get them properly setup. Put your wallet away, this isn’t going to cost you anything!
Building Your Online Business
Building a website can be a scary proposition for some people. It’s really not that hard. Making things harder than they have to be is part of the human condition. I can almost promise you that you have learned how to do tougher things up to this point in your life.
Will it always be easy? No.
Will you feel like throwing your computer out the window at times? Yep!
Will you end up spending several hours solving a problem that should have taken only a few minutes? You bet.
Guess what?……. That’s business!
Is it better than spending the rest of your life working for someone else? Abso-fricken-lutely!
Finding Your Customers
The best way to go about finding customers when you’re first starting out is by putting yourself out there and letting them find you! This is done by combining keyword research with the fine art of SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Speaking of making things harder than they have to be, too many people apply that to SEO. They look for loopholes or ways to “game” the system. This may lead to favorable results temporarily but never in the long term. You cannot fool Google for long. It’s their ball and their rules. They will ultimately win every time. It’s best that you just “Don’t go there”.
What Is Keyword Research?
Doing keyword research will help you discover how your potential customers look for information. Keep in mind that the idea behind building a website is not to sell stuff, it is to inform people and help them make a buying decision. If you are the one who leads them to that decision, you can earn a commission.
The screenshot above is an example of someone doing a Google search. To an internet marketer, this is a long tail keyword phrase (I’ll explain soon). Many of the pages you create for your website will be based on these keyword phrases.
First, you will want to think about some of the keyword phrases people may use to seek the kind of information you are planing to provide on your site. Open a notepad or which ever word processor you prefer, and start recording potential phrases.
Next is the fun part.
Next, you’ll take one of your phrases and plug it into a keyword tool to learn similar search phrases, the estimated monthly search volume and the competition for those phrases.
Try one of your phrases in that box above. You can get 30 free searches with that keyword tool which should give you quite a few quality keyword phrases to work with.
After doing a little research, you will soon discover that long tail keyword phrases tend to have much less competition. A long tail keyword phrase is simply a phrase with 3 or more words. Even though they tend to have lower monthly search volume, many of them are easy to rank for.
I’ve had a lot of success with long tail keyword phrases so they make up the bulk of the content I create.
What Do I Do With Keywords?
This is a very popular question. The idea is to let the search engines know that you have content on your website that their readers may find helpful. The best way to do that is to use your targeted keyword phrase in the title of your article.
For example, the title of the article your are reading right now is; “How do I start a home based business?” That is the keyword phrase I am targeting with this article and my goal is to provide you, the reader, with relevant, quality content based on that phrase.
If you can use your targeted phrase within the first paragraph of your article, it wouldn’t hurt but, don’t try to force it where it doesn’t fit naturally. Google algorithms use semantic phrasing and they are pretty good at picking out the most relevant articles. There’s no sense in “keyword stuffing”.
SEO Made Simple
As I previously mentioned, many people spend too much time on SEO. They have a checklist of 19 different things they do every time they publish a new article. I don’t have time for all that! Most of it just isn’t as effective as people have been lead to believe.
What Google really seems to like is fresh, quality content. You see, if you publish new content often, Google will crawl your site more frequently. The more frequently they crawl, the more frequently they see ALL of your content.
Want to maximize your SEO?
- Do Your Keyword Research
- Blog Everyday
One of my colleagues has an excellent resource for current and effective SEO strategies.
If you can’t blog everyday, blog often. Targeting long tail keyword phrases and blogging often works for me.
How Do I Get Paid?!!!
This is what you came here to find out in the first place right? It’s okay, you can admit it 🙂
Before we get into that, I want to urge you to NOT focus on making money right away. Trading hours for dollars is what you do at your job. As a business owner, your income is directly proportional to how well you serve others.
You need to develop a long term perspective when building any kind of business and online businesses are no exception. I would recommend that you spend the first year focusing on building your site and learning how to drive traffic to it.
I am not saying you won’t make any money in the first year!
In fact, it shouldn’t take nearly that long if you have the right training. What I am saying is that you should be focusing on adding value and increasing traffic. If you spend you first year doing that, the money will follow.
Monetizing Your Website
There are many different ways to monetize a website and the better your skills, the more methods there are. Many of them are more advanced however so I want to just focus on a couple of methods that are best for beginners.
Finding Affiliate Programs
Almost every niche has a variety of appropriate products that can be promoted. You do not have to focus on selling only one specific product. One of the easiest ways to find an affiliate program is to do a Google search and type (product + affiliate program).
I’ll show you an example:
Don’t ask me why I thought to look up beekeeper. I just wanted to see if there was a affiliate program for this niche and wudda ya know? The fourth site down offers an affiliate program to teach people how to become beekeepers.
I was curious so I did some keyword research and beekeeping is a much bigger niche than I ever would have imagined! Since I am more of a bee avoider, I probably won’t be going into this particular niche. But, there is definitely a market there.
Another popular monetization method for website owners is to place Adsense ads on their sites. Adsense ads can be easy money since you don’t have to make a sale to earn. If someone clicks one of your ads, you earn 68% of whatever the advertiser paid for that click.
Although it is easy money, don’t expect to get rich building sites that focus on running Adsense ads. You need a LOT of traffic to earn a decent amount of money. Another downside is that once someone clicks an ad, they are taken away from your site so you will lose the chance of earning a much higher commission which you would earn from a sale.
I Want To Help YOU!
Seriously. I want to help you succeed in building a thriving internet business. If you want to learn more, just head over to my review of the #1 online business building community.