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.
Can you run a successful business by only using the free membership option at Wealthy Affiliate? Well, you can, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Instead, I recommend you sign up for the free Wealthy Affiliate membership as a way to try things out. Honestly, the free membership is set up to be a bit of a teaser to get you to sign up for premium eventually, but most of us expect that going in. What’s nice about it is you can judge for yourself, based on the free membership, whether it is worth it for you to sign up for premium. Ultimately, only you can decide if Wealthy Affiliate is high quality or not. You will get more than enough of an idea by signing up for their free membership option. On average, about 1 in every eight people upgrade to a premium membership.
If you have a great deal of business experience and knowledge, why not create a business that helps aspiring entrepreneurs find success? As a business consultant, you can use your skills to help new business owners get off to a good start and help experienced entrepreneurs keep up with demand. Your chances of success may be greater if you focus your strategy on a niche aspect of business consulting. You can start this process by following this 18-step checklist for becoming a small business consultant.
When one of your customers makes a purchase, you purchase the product from a third-party company (the drop shipper, usually a manufacturer or wholesaler) for a lower price. This process is as simple as forwarding the order from your customer, a process that can actually be completely automated. (Remember you don't have any risk here of buying inventory because the sale has already been made).
I’ve noticed that a lot of people who sign up for Wealthy Affiliate are those who are in dire need of financial help. They may have lost a job or may have suffered some other financial setback such as medical issues. The thing is, there’s no reason these people should stay away from Wealthy Affiliate, but many of them have this expectation that they can create a full-time income in a matter of weeks or even a few months. That is NOT the case. Remember, it takes an average business 3 years to profit. Fortunately, it will not take that long with an online business, but it will take considerable time and effort. If you need an income source fast, Wealthy Affiliate is not the place to provide that. Instead, Wealthy Affiliate teaches you how to build a real, sustainable online business over a period of time that will also last a long time.
If you have the expertise or a passion or interest for a subject, you're ready to start making money with a blog. With a service like Blogger (www.blogger.com), you can start up your blog totally free. You can also create your own site and secure your own hosting for a low price, which is generally the route I recommend, as many free blogging sites have restrictions on what you can say or do, including making money or advertising.
If you are a creative, digital professional who thrives on forming the layout, visual theme, font set and color palette of a website, freelance web design may be a good path for you. If you have little to no experience in this field, you can learn the basics of web design and master the tools you'll need for success, like Adobe XD, Chrome DevTools and text editor software.
You know this one already. You include links to products you are promoting as an affiliate and every time somebody buys the product, you get a commission. With a blog, you can integrate advertising with content to make it even more likely you’ll get the sale. For example, you could do a product review—which is useful content—and then include a link to buy the product under an affiliate link.
To get your e-commerce business up and running, all you need is a web hosting service with an integrated shopping cart feature or e-commerce software. To simplify the shipping process, you can work with vendors to ship products to customers on your behalf. This can reduce the amount of inventory you need to keep onsite. [Related: A Small Business Guide to E-Commerce Shipping]