Facebook’s most recent earnings reported revenue of $5.38 billion for the first quarter of 2016. Of that total revenue, a whopping 82% came from mobile traffic, up from 73% a year before. As you can see from that trend, mobile platform undoubtedly is the place to focus on if you ever wanted to start an online business.
Easier said than done right? So you would think. Creating an online business has never been easier, with a ton of free resources to get you started. The hardest part is the sweat equity and commitment to sustain the peaks and valleys of operating a startup business.
Getting Started – Less Thinking…More Doing…
One of the most common mistakes when starting an online business is to fiddle on and on about the designs and technology of the website, or even spending hours and days simply coming up with a name for the company or domain name. These are inconsequential details that many dwell over and hold them back from spending time from actually creating the business.
Doordash Startup Strategy
Think about the case of Doordash by Stanley Tang. Doordash helps smaller restaurants streamline their delivery service to help the restaurants solve their problem of fulfilling delivery orders. To date, Doordash has raised a total of $186.7 million since inception three years ago. But before there was any seed funding from investors, Tang and his partners simply put their head down and got straight to work. They could care less about the design of their site, the goal was simply to test their proof of concept. So in less than an hour, they threw up a website with a simple landing pages with downloadable menus, and got an order within 30 minutes of launching the site.
How you can launch your online business fast like Doordash
Although Tang and his partners did their own coding for their initial site, that is not something you should worry about. Here are the tools to get you started:
Before we begin, you need to figure out if your goal is to create a blog or to start an eCommerce website.
If you are simply looking to start a blog for popular niches like food, fashion, gossip or sports, then you will want to go with WordPress as your content management system. Roughly two thirds of all websites in the world runs off WordPress, including heavy hitters such as CNN, Variety, Time, New York Post, Re/Code, Forutne, NFL.com and Techcrunch.
If you are interested in starting an online business to sell widgets or services, you will want to use a hosted eCommerce platform that can help with accepting online payments securely. Most of the reputable hosted eCommerce services are user friendly that can get your shop up and running in a very short period of time without any programming experience.
Popular blogging services offered for free include:
While these services are great for beginners, we do not recommend using the free blogging platforms if you plan on building a long term business. The biggest challenge is that you do not own any of the files, you are simply borrowing their platform and creating content for them. And they actually advertise on your pages, which you are prohibited from doing in some cases (i.e. wordpress.com). The worst of all, you cannot work with your own domain. Your URL would be some sort of subdomain such as MySite.tumblr.com rather than a more professional domain of MySite.com.
You can get a professional website with your own domain up and running in just a few minutes. One of the most reliable services is Bluehost. They offer 1-click wordpress install and a free domain to get you started. Since most of the wordpress templates are responsive themes, which means your site will most likely be mobile phone friendly as well.
Try Bluehost for $3.49/Month
For eCommerce Store Owners
The biggest player in the industry is Shopify. If you want credibility, they are the exclusive partner for Amazon merchants. Amazon has been referring all their third party sellers to Shopify when they are looking to sell on their own website. Having Jeff Bezos’ stamp of approval should alleviate any doubts that Shopify is the eCommerce platform to go with.
Try Shopify Free for One Month
How to Monetize Your Website
After you get your website setup, you have the option to start monetizing your content or product.
The easiest way to monetize your blog is to sign up for a Google Adsense account. Have you ever visited websites that serve ads that seem to follow you around? Google keeps track of your search patterns, and will display ads that is targeted based on your online behavior. It might seen creepy, but it is extremely profitable for advertisers, and you can easily profit off these advertisers simply by install a few lines of code from Google adsense. For beginners, Google Adsense is simply the best way to earn your first dollar.
Earn Money From Selling Services or Products
The American Dream is all about starting your own business and running your own store rather than working for a boss. There no better way than to start an eCommerce shop. You can start selling and make your first buck within a few hours. Here’s a checklist to get started:
- Sign up for an eCommerce platform like Shopify
- Find products you want to sell (see below for tips)
- Create sales pages for your product on your web store, it’s very simple on Shopify. Simply add images, item descriptions and set a price, Shopify will take care of the rest, including accepting payments for you.
- Drive traffic to your sales pages, easiest and quickest way is to buy advertising from Google Adwords or Facebook
- Sell sell sell
How to Find Products to sell
You can draw inspiration for your product from various sources. Some include:
- Utilize third-party resources. Shopify has several third party apps that integrate their system to your store. For example, if you want to sell T-shirts but do not want to print the shirts or carry your own inventory, check out the Printful shopify app. You can design the shirts and sell at a markup, Printful will print and ship the order for you.
- Create your own product that you think will solve a problem.
- Source from wholesalers domestically, you can do a simple Google search for wholesalers and find thousands of stores that sell to small businesses like you.
- Source from foreign companies, the easiest way is to search on Alibaba.com, you can easily get lost in the vast amount of products you can import.
We’ll leave you with this…
Quote from Tony Robbins:
“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”
If you have the desire to start your own business or even pick up a side hobby that can earn a couple bucks, why not take action now?