Thousands of people have successfully built online businesses from the comfort of their homes. There’s no reason why you cannot do it too if this is what you want to do. There’s a sequence of steps to follow if you also want to be successful in building your online business at home. Here’s how to build an online business from home in simple steps:
- Find a niche and master it.
- Create content that’s engaging and attractive.
- Build a website that’s easy to navigate.
- Drive traffic to your website using search engines.
- Establish yourself as an authority on that subject.
- Keep up with your readers via social media and email.
- Increase your revenue with endorsements and back-end sales.
Whether you’re a newbie or an experienced entrepreneur, these steps above will help you to start a business online, and from home too.
How To Build An Online Business From Home
Your online company must be meeting a need
The common mistake people make is to find a product before finding a market, but this is wrong. To increase your chances of success, begin with a target market. There have got to be a group of people who need a solution to a specific problem.
Visit online forums like Reddit and Quora to see what questions people are asking. Do keyword research to find keywords with high search volumes and low competition. Check out your potential competitors’ websites and study them. Then use what you’ve found to build a product for a market that already exists, and do it better than your competition.
Create content that will sell
There’s a tried and tested formula for creating content that takes your website, visitors, from visiting your website to buying something. Here’s the formula:
- Pique their interest with an engaging headline.
- Describe the problem your product solves.
- Establish your authenticity as a solver of this problem.
- Add testimonials from people who have used your product.
- Talk about the product and how it benefits the user.
- Make an offer.
- Make a strong guarantee.
- Create urgency.
- Ask for the sale.
Throughout your article or email, focus on how your product or service is uniquely able to solve people’s problems or make their lives better. Think like a customer and ask “What’s in it for me?” Your content should be able to answer that question.
Design and build a website for your online business from home.
To succeed in this online business thing, you have to get it right with your website. It is your shop, your showroom and your office. Keep it simple. You have fewer than five seconds to grab someone’s attention otherwise you’ll lose them forever. Some important tips to keep in mind:
- Choose one or two plain fonts on a white background.
- Make your navigation clear and simple, and the same on every page.
- Only use graphics, audio or video if they enhance your message.
- Include an opt-in offer so you can collect e-mail addresses.
- Make it easy to buy — no more than two clicks between potential customer and checkout.
- Your website is your online storefront, so make it customer-friendly.
Use search engines to drive targeted buyers to your site.
Pay-per-click advertising is your best bet to get traffic to a brand-new site. It has two advantages over waiting for the traffic to come to you organically. First, PPC ads show up on the search pages immediately, and second, PPC ads allow you to test different keywords, as well as headlines, prices and selling approaches. Not only do you get immediate traffic, but you can also use PPC ads to discover your best, highest-converting keywords. Then you can distribute the keywords throughout your site in your copy and code, which will help your rankings in the organic search results.
Establish an expert reputation for yourself.
People use the internet to find information. Provide that information for free to other sites, and you’ll see more traffic and better search engine rankings. The secret is to always include a link to your site with each tidbit of information.
Give away free, expert content. Create articles, videos or any other content that people will find useful. Distribute that content through online article directories or social media sites.
Include “send to a friend” links on valuable content on your website.
Become an active expert in industry forums and social networking sites where your target market hangs out.
You’ll reach new readers. But even better, every site that posts your content will link back to yours. Search engines love links from relevant sites and will reward you in the rankings.
Use social media and email marketing to turn visitors into buyers.
When you build a subscriber list, you’re creating one of the most valuable assets of your online business. Your customers and subscribers have permitted you to send them an email. That means:
- You’re giving them something they’ve asked for.
- You’re developing lifetime relationships with them.
- The response is 100 per cent measurable.
- Email marketing is cheaper and more effective than print, TV or radio because it’s highly targeted.
- Anyone who visits your site and opts in to your list is a very hot lead. And there’s no better tool than email for following up with those leads.
Social media is much the same in the way it is personal and gives you a personal insight into your customers’ lives.
Increase your income through back-end sales and upselling.
One of the most important internet marketing strategies is to develop every customer’s lifetime value. At least 36 per cent of people who have purchased from you once will buy from you again if you follow up with them. Closing that first sale is by far the most difficult part — not to mention the most expensive. So use back-end selling and upselling to get them to buy again:
- Offer products that complement their original purchase.
- Send out electronic loyalty coupons they can redeem on their next visit.
- Offer related products on your “Thank You” page after they purchase.
The internet changes so fast that one year online equals about five years in the real world. But the principles of how to start and grow a successful online business haven’t changed at all. If you’re just starting a small business online, stick to this sequence. If you’ve been online awhile, do a quick review and see if there’s a step you’re neglecting, or never got around to doing in the first place. You can’t go wrong with the basics.