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Over the last few months, it has really become apparent to me that there are so many people online that are making money. They aren’t just making a living; they are exceeding so beyond what they’d thought possible. These individuals are thriving beyond what anyone else would have thought could be achieved online without having a boss or a company backing them up. How is it even possible that someone can just have an inkling of a thought, put it online, nurture it, and watch it grow. Not only grow but also EXPLODE. Through this post, I will be sharing what I have learned online during my research into this phenomenon, how I am currently growing my own side-business while working full-time, and how you too can become your own boss and create an online business of your own!
Why Do You Want Your Own Business
The most critical driving factor of any kind of success is a person’s why. Why do you want to start your own business? Is it the fact that you would be your own boss? Work where you want and when you want? Maybe with your laptop on a beach in Fiji while you are watching the sunset? Do you have a plan to retire early? Do you never want to retire, but you never want to have to step foot in an official corporate office again?
I realize I am not a majority in this, however, I actually like my current full-time job. This does not diminish my reasons for wanting to be my own boss or even the need to make my own income. I have 2 very young boys that depend solely on the income I bring in. They depend on me to be there for them. Neither of them has started school yet and when they do I would like to be there for the sports games they may play in. I would like to volunteer for field trips they go on with their class and not worry whether I’ll have enough vacation days to do that. So for me, my boys are more than enough to be my “why”.
In the corporate world, you are at the mercy of the current management. I have been laid off from 2 previous companies. The first time I was laid off, I’d been with the company for almost 10 years, and luckily had no children yet. The second time I was laid off, I’d been with the company for 6 years. I was 8 months pregnant with my second son, who is now 2-years-old. In the corporate world, there is no longer such a thing as employee loyalty. There can’t be in today’s culture, it seems.
Everything is completely based on the bottom line. The company needs to keep running and making as much money as possible to satisfy their shareholders. They are no longer able to pay you and make a profit at the same time, so they make a choice.
Unfortunately, the majority of Americans are now living paycheck to paycheck. 78% to be exact according to Forbes, For these families, this means possibly choosing between rent and food. I realize job security is a four-letter word in the corporate world, however, I never want to feel as lost, afraid, and downright frantic as I did then. I had no income and 2 small children looking to me for basic necessities such as food and shelter.
Who is The Targeted Audience For Your New Business
You’ve decided on your reason for being your own boss and shaping your own future income growth. The second step is now Who? Who do you want to help? Businesses are making money by helping people. Sometimes it’s not very obvious but bear with me.
Starbucks is in business to help people by providing an energy-giving elixir such as coffee. Some say it’s not necessary, but others cannot open their eyes or get their brains to start firing on all cylinders without the caffeine. For those individuals, Starbucks is a necessity.
Amazon is helping people by providing an almost one-stop shop for any and all purchasing needs you may have. Some metropolitan areas even have grocery delivery. Because of Amazon, some people never even have to leave their houses. There is a very real problem called Agoraphobia where people are afraid to leave their houses, and especially for those individuals, Amazon is a necessity. For the rest of us, it’s also a necessity as we no longer have to fight long lines during Black Friday if we do not wish to.
There are only 2 examples above, but can you see the trend? The companies are providing a service that people see as a necessity. But we never knew they were necessities until we were introduced to what they had to offer and discovered how much easier life could be with that service.
Narrow Your Focus
The above examples are a little extreme but just remember one thing. Consistency. Narrow your focus to one group of people at first. Discover your passion, or if you already know what it is, grab onto it, shake the crap out of it, and just start! Have you ever seen a cat chase a red dot? They narrow in with a laser focus and they catch their prey. For animals that can sleep 20 hours a day, they can be very persistent and patient. A cat can sit for hours watching a red dot and wait for its moment to jump. The cat will not give up when the red dot goes on the ceiling or a spot above them on the wall. They go for it. A cat will not easily give up what it considers theirs.
Adopt this focus when you are starting your new business, and realize that you may not catch the dot the first time or even the 100th. Consistency will get you there, however. Even if you have to go to the ceiling to rip off the plaster it’s sticking to.
What Service to Provide With This New Business
The services you provide or sell are your next step. Are you absolutely passionate about something? Is there something you love to research, or a hobby you can’t get enough of? Is there a subject or a craft you love to teach friends or even strangers that show even a passing interest? If you are passionate about something it will come through in what you are doing and people will immediately become engaged simply for the sheer fact that you are so energetic about it.
The most successful salespeople are not those that are selling the best products out there, but those that truly believe in what they are selling. Word of warning; do not be the stereotypical slimy used car salesman (No offense to any used car salespeople reading this). Be passionate about what you are selling or providing, but don’t try to shove it down someone’s throat. This shows desperation or a lack of belief in the product.
What Do You Mean, Product?
This is where the fun part comes in. Do you love teaching? Or creating? Did you know there is a huge business for “regular” people developing training courses and selling them online? If you’d like to show someone the best way to make bait for luring carp fish, you can write your own ebook and self-publish it, or even write a training course and sell it. The “how” is endless, and will be discussed in more depth later in this post!
Do you like camping? Write a blog on how novices and pros alike can make the most of their camping trip. Where they can go that has the best shower/latrine combination around, or where the most family-friendly spots are.
Do you like fashion? Show different styles and ways to wear an item that people may never have thought of. Be unique. Most of all, be yourself. People can spot fake, and tend to run the other way. Show something they want to keep watching or experiencing.
Do you like finance? Do you want to help others prepare for retirement or plan their investments? Are there ideas you have that could really benefit someone and the rest of their life? Take these ideas and help them flourish.
This sounds grandiose and flippant, doesn’t it? Just make it flourish, make it happen. It’s the truth though.
Is There a Market For It?
Here’s the hard question. Is there going to be a market for it? Good news! There are many websites and tools that can provide you insight around what you are hoping to create and profit from in terms of marketability. The tools below will only show organic search results. This means simply an unpaid search. Someone will type a keyword into a search tool and look for content, like “what colors are in a rainbow”. They are not going to a site directly or being led there by an ad or even Social Media.
*Don’t be afraid of competition! This is a good thing. If there is competition it means there’s a market for it. Make your product stand out and show the consumer why yours is better!*
Keyword and Topic Help
- Keywords Everywhere – This is a website that provides statistics on searches over the last year. Very in-depth extension to your browser as well as some other apps. Simply install it, and when you run a search it will provide search numbers on that topic as well as what kind of competition you may
- Google Trends – This will show you the top, trending Google searches by day, as well as analyze a particular keyword you input and let you know what people are searching for. Do not necessarily look for high daily trends as they are fickle to world changes. Instead, look for the trends over a period of time. Is there a constant search from people for that topic? If there is a high number of people searching and the search volume is fairly consistent over a long period of time, then you’ve got a good strong keyword to focus on.
- Bing Keywords– Similar to Google Trends, this will show Keyword Trends, but for the searches that are done through bing.com instead of google.com.
- TubeBuddy – This is a different type of search platform. If you are interested in creating content or linking content to a YouTube channel, then you will want to look into TubeBuddy. It provides different services for a YouTuber including the ability to search trending keywords just for YouTube. This will help in knowing what the audience is currently looking for in YouTube as well as let you know if the keyword you are searching for has an existing audience built-in to YouTube already.
- Pinterest – What can I say about Pinterest? It is the surprise in all of this. Pinterest is a WONDERFUL platform that you can use to search for different ideas, trending keywords, and it’s an amazing app that allows you to share what you are working on to all of the other many different users that also use it and point them to the website, course, or video you are trying to promote.
How and Where to Start Your New Business
Now is the time you can decide HOW you are going to become your own boss. Surprisingly, the How is in the Where. Did that make sense? Let me phrase this in a different way. What you decide you would like to do, and HOW you would like to do it, will determine WHERE you do it.
This is the topic around which you’ll build your business. Through this specialized niche, you will monetize and sell your product. This doesn’t even have to be a product you create, sell, or manage. For example, you have a love of crocheting. So you would create a Blog on how to crochet, different patterns to use, different needles that are best for what type of projects, and so on. You will then have a Blog on crocheting, but you have so many different things you could write about and help different people on their crocheting. With the different ways to monetize a blog, you could have this niche site for years to come and enjoy the benefits and creativity at the same time!
As I currently have a blog, this is a little more dear to me. I love being able to create posts and share what I learn and what I’m passionate about with anyone that would like to read. I have a mom blog, but also want to share what I’m learning about becoming an Entrepreneur so my blog is a little more diverse than some would probably like. A lot of blogs are more concentrated and settled on a niche, which is a website specific to typically one idea. My brain does not work that way, however, which is why I have a mom-life blog and love to share my different interests.
The wonderful thing that blogs provide is an outlet. I love working with people, and sharing what I learn to others to spare them the pain of the research I really enjoy doing. I’m strange in the regard that I really like to learn as much as I can on a topic that interests me, and then I get extremely excited to share what I have learned. Instead of inundating my family with my many different interests I am able to use my seldom used creative side and really share my views, stories, and how-to’s to help, and hopefully entertain, other people.
Startup Costs For a Blog/Website
I’ve come to learn a few things in the course of creating my blog. If I want to make money with it, there are a few things out of the box I actually have to invest in. There are many free options out there in order to start a blog, but those options don’t come across as professional It’s also a bit of a nightmare to switch midstream to the more optimized, professional option when the blog starts generating traffic. The free options would no longer be able to hand the number of people coming in, or the sales, and it would be necessary to switch. My recommendations are as follows if this is something you would like to pursue:
Use a website host! First, this will allow you to have your own website name such as mine, itslifeinmotion.com. Instead of something like itslifeinmotion.wordpress.com which doesn’t have the same appeal. It’s also more professional sounding to have your own domain, and quite frankly, less to type. Second, it allows you complete control over your website. If you have your website hosted by a company, this enables that you have the ability to move that content, save the content, monetize it, and pretty much have limitless room to expand your business. Third, it will allow more security for your content. You can create backups, have an SSL certificate, which is very important as it’s what tells Google and all other search engines that your site is secure, and you can get your own IP address.
All of these things combined make for the selling of a product you create all the easier to accomplish in the long run, especially if you start out with the pieces already in place. When you are creating content, the last thing you want to worry about is moving or completely recreating your website due to limitations.
There are different options on creating your website, but by far, the most superior one I’ve seen is WordPress. I’ve read a statistic that says over 58% of websites today are run on WordPress and that’s a pretty amazing statistic. Mosts hosts you choose now will have a built-in WordPress page right out of the box, which makes it a very easy building process.
The good news is, there are free WordPress themes. The bad news is that many of these themes are not very user-friendly and take a very long time to customize the exact look and feel of your vision. I ended up choosing a paid theme for this reason as I was spending literally 60 hours on building my website and I hadn’t written a single post yet. Within a day of purchasing a theme, I was able to have it up and looking mostly how I wanted and able to begin creating my content. I currently use Divi due to reading many other reviews by bloggers and reviewing a few different videos on how the website building is accomplished. I was pleasantly surprised! I’ll definitely be sticking with Divi for the foreseeable future, that’s for sure. Here’s my Link for Divi if you are interested.
Just starting out, there are free options that will work just as well, and while easier, it’s definitely not necessary to pay for a theme. Just be prepared that it may take a bit longer to get the look you want.
You will want to make sure you write content consistently. You cannot write 2-3 posts and then stop and expect anything. It will take work and time. If you write a post once every 3 months it may take even longer to see any kind of results. I currently aim to write one large post every week. The kinds of posts you want to write will help your readers with a pain point. For example, how to make money. You’ll definitely want a great overview of the topic you will be discussing in future posts that you can link back to for reference.
If you don’t have content for a reader, then they have no incentive to stay. They don’t have trust in what you are trying to teach them, and they won’t come back in the future. The goal of a blog is to get consistent traffic, help with the content that you post, and ensure that your readers want to come back to read more.
Speaking of traffic. All blogs need consistent, steady traffic, and a lot of it, to actually make any kind of income. It doesn’t matter what kind of blog it is. There are many different ways to build up traffic but they all, unfortunately, require two things.
- All websites take time. There is the time to build them, the time to research your content, the time you spend to create your post outlines, and then creating the posts themselves.
- Then there is the marketing side of it. It takes time to create all of your images that will go on the posts, and then be shared across social media, namely Pinterest. It’s a very time-consuming process to build your social media channels in order to start driving traffic to your website.
- The different search engines take even longer to start realizing that you have content on your site that is valuable enough to start recommendations during searches. Do look into placing the Yoest plug-in on your blog. This will help you understand SEO (Search Engine Optimization) so much better and will allow you to grow your website organically instead of only depending on social media. In the research I’ve done, it can take up to 2 years to fully realize the income potential for a website, especially if only depending on SEO for growth.
- It takes time to build up your blog, write all the posts, and start growing an income. Persistence is EXTREMELY important. It’s necessary to be persistent and not give up. Most websites fail within about 4-6 months as the creator will not see any income and sadly give up. This is where your mindset comes in. Get stubborn. Dig in like a tick and keep going. If you believe in what you are doing, if you are creating content that has the right keywords and the information that is valuable to consumers, it will work and you will start making a full-time living.
- This persistence will also come into play when you start creating your own sellable content. Maybe a course on something you blog about. If you are persistent in growing your blog, writing your content, and expanding your reader base, it’ll make selling that content so much easier. They will have had time to come to trust what you say, like how you say it, and will be willing to pay to learn more.
YouTube is another wonderful place to create your business. If you are not afraid of getting out in front of a camera and sharing with the world your ideas and content, then this is a great platform to use. As with a blog, you can be extremely creative with YouTube, show your personality, and connect with people from all over the world with all different backgrounds. It’s a great way to be seen and become “real” to those you are wanting to reach.
It’s very possible to earn a great income from YouTube by building a following of people to share your content with. Also, if you have a blog, these 2 compliment each other extremely well! You don’t necessarily have complete control over your content on YouTube as it’s held and controlled by YouTube, however, if you also have a blog, you can ensure that your subscribers can follow you on either platform.
This is definitely something I am currently working up the courage to start doing by slowly investing in equipment and trying to teach myself how to use the software to edit videos. None of which is necessary when starting out, and can be done on the fly, though. For me, it’s part of my own personal build up in getting courage enough to be in front of a camera. If this is not an issue for you, and you are extremely comfortable, then don’t let the lack of equipment stop you. Use your cell phone camera and start today!
Are you interested in teaching? As discussed above, there is a huge need and a huge audience right now for learning new things on the internet. Cooking, cleaning, crocheting, knitting, writing, blogging, making money, learning Microsoft products, learning how to have a natural birth. There is literally no end to what you could teach. If you blog or have a YouTube channel or even both, these are wonderful avenues to market your courses on! You already have the audience and the trust built-in, and you can use the knowledge of what your readers are most interested in, and build your courses around that as well.
The most common platform I’ve seen used so far is a website called Teachable(teachable.com) This is where I’ve personally taken most of my paid for as well as free courses so far. They allow a mixture of video courses as well as written courses. If you would rather do all video, you can record yourself teaching the entire course. If you’d like to create the content using PDF or PowerPoint, that is an option as well. A mixture of the two seems to also be very popular; Video as well as written content. A number of the courses I’ve taken provide a written document to the video to allow the student to have something to refer to. Again, this would be a very customizable option depending on how you’d prefer to teach your course.
If you’d like to provide a course, and not use a paid platform, YouTube would be a great option. You could create your video courses and upload the content to YouTube. If using YouTube, you’ll want to make the videos hidden and available to only those you would share the link with. This would ensure that not everyone could get to the courses except for your paid or free students who would have access.
There is another option as well if you are absolutely not interested in starting a YouTube channel or a blog of any kind. You can also set up a website to basically sell your services as a freelancer. Meaning, you can write articles for someone or create social media marketing for different companies. You could sell web designs or create a widget, app, or any other of the many marketable skills that are sought after online.
If you are not sure of how to do any one of these things, but the interest is there, complete a course online such as discussed above! There are so many different options for individuals now, and the only limitation is ourselves. Corny but true!
A number of blogs and YouTube channels and many other sources for that matter, monetize with Affiliate links. What is this? It allows the creator of a post to refer a reader to a recommended product via a link. This could either be a course you’ve taken or a product you’ve used or researched, or even something on a website like Amazon. If the reader then buys the product, then you are able to get a commission as they clicked on your link.
Depending on the type of traffic you are able to pull in, I’ve even seen some affiliates provide discount codes so that a customer or reader can actually get a discount on the certain product just for clicking on the affiliate link or using a discount code provided them. With Amazon, if you sign up for their affiliate links, and suggest a product to a reader, if they buy that product within the next 24 hours of clicking the link, there would be a small commission.
You will definitely want to read the rules and terms that come with each affiliate program, however. They will each have their own little rules that need to be followed and addressed.
When to Begin Creating Your Online Business
The last step in creating your own business is deciding when to start. It doesn’t seem like it is ever a good time to add yet one more thing to your already overflowing schedule. This is for your future though. Depending on your situation, this is also for your family. At the time I am writing this post, my 2 and 4-year-old boys are finally asleep in their beds and it’s Friday. I’m working on my dream after already putting 40 hours in of work in my full-time job and being a mom to my 2 kiddos.
Anything is possible. You have to believe in yourself, be willing to put in the work and lose a little sleep. Also, you will need to be ready for surprises that come from having your own business. Starting out, it can be daunting and scary. Self-doubt WILL start to creep in. You’ll wonder if you can even do this, is the time worth it.
YOU are worth the effort. The financial security for you and your family is worth it.
With all of that said, only you can decide when. There is also the small matter of deciding where your passions lie. Do you want to create your business online, where you are completely in control of when and how long you work? The when is up to you. My when is now. Please join me in this crazy fun, and we can share it together!
In this post, we’ve discussed how you can become your own boss and create your own business online. We’ve talked through the Who, What, Where, Why, When, and How it can be done. We all need to fully realize our own potential and not let our own worst enemy hold us back. Ourselves. For tips on how to stay inspired and motivated while you are starting and growing your business, please see my other post here.
Don’t let your mind tell you that you can’t do this. You can! We can! The internet today is a limitless opportunity for growth, and I’ve jumped on for the ride. Take the ride with me, and together we can see where it takes us and how high we can fly. Just remember the things in the post.
Remember your Why most of all. The why will keep you going. It will keep you motivated. This is not a get rich quick scheme. This is a work your butt off until you make it. The rewards are there for the taking though. Hard work and perseverance will see you through and allow you to make it. Have faith in yourself, do the work, be consistent, and the rest will follow.
Comment below if you are taking the leap with me, and we can keep each other engaged and motivated!