[1 MONTH UPDATE] JOURNEY TO STARTING AN ONLINE BUSINESS
I can’t believe it has already been one month since I started this blog and started my journey towards starting an online business. I appreciate the support that I have been getting from everyone and I hope that some of you have been able to learn something from me.
I thought that it would be a good idea to do a monthly update of my progress, my thoughts, things Iv’e learned and the direction that I will be going in the next few months.
It’s possible to become overwhelmed with everything that needs to be learned, and I must admit, I have felt discouraged at times and wanted to quit. This is why I think it’s best to start by talking about the progress that I have made in the past month.
The best thing that has happened to me in the past month towards starting an online business has been finding an internship. I am currently working as an intern one day per week at Winning International, which is a coaching business that helps other coaches (personal trainers, relationship coaches, life coaches etc.) leverage their business by creating an online course. It is absolutely amazing to be surrounded by a group of people that are so passionate about what they do.
This has helped me towards my journey of creating an online business because I am learning things such as how to use YouTube most effectively, how to create effective Facebook ad’s through marketing campaigns and how to write more engaging copy for advertisements. Both the skills that I am learning and the connections that I am making at Winning International, are going to prove pivotal when it comes time to setting up my own online business.
Remember, people are normally quite happy to help you in your journey, all you have to do is reach out to them and ask for help.
2. SEO Writing
As many of you may already know, this is probably the easiest way to get started making money online because it doesn’t involve high quality writing or a long-term time investment. SEO writing is simply writing articles for websites including certain keywords so that their pages can rank higher in Google.
This is how I made my first dollar online and I’m glad that I did, because it just proves that this whole making money online thing is possible. I am going to write an article on how I did this in the near future, so be sure to keep an eye out for that.
Although this is the only way that I have made money online, I’m not sure if it is the path that I want to take. The articles are extremely boring to write and they don’t really improve your skill set.
3. Social Media
I have set up 5 social media accounts including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and YouTube. That in itself proved to take longer to set up than first thought. I believe that even though I don’t have a large readership base at the moment that it is still important to be using social media because it is another form of marketing yourself, which is a skill set that is absolutely vital in online business.
Using social media doesn’t have to take up too much of your time because there are applications out there that can help you make the process relatively easy. I have been using Buffer to schedule my social media posts so that I don’t have to worry about posting several times per day, which seems to be recommended. Because I don’t have a product or a business at the moment, I don’t really have to worry about making everything perfect on social media which is great, because it allows me to post about a few different things to see which get the most engagement from my viewers.
The strategy that I have been using for the past week or so on Instagram and Twitter to get more followers is to follow 100 people per day. I have been using an application called Crowdfire for this because it allows you to see who is following you back and who isn’t. I simply unfollow the people who aren’t following me back. To be honest I don’t really like doing this for a few reasons because not only does it take quite a lot of time and mental energy to be constantly following and unfollowing people, it isn’t really creating a great image for my brand. It’s like being back in primary school and saying “If you don’t like me, then I don’t like you either, and I don’t like anything you do or anything you offer.”
I will definitely keep you updated on how I go playing around with social media and getting more engagement and followers. I feel the best way is to provide great content that is going to get shared and viewed by many people.
Starting this blog on wordpress has been an amazing experience. I have learned so much setting up my website from installing themes, to optimizing the pages so they can become more engaging. It really has been a lot of fun and I urge anyone who wants to start their own website to do it themselves the first time. Don’t be lazy and pay someone to do it. The skills that you learn are going to prove vital later when it comes to uploading content and making small changes to your website. You don’t want to have to always call and pay someone each time you need something to be done.
There are millions of different plugins on wordpress that you can explore to help optimize your site. Some cool ones that I have stumbled upon are Yoast SEO, which tells you what you need to do for each post to make it more SEO friendly, MailChimp for WP, which links a mailing service to your website so that you can start capturing emails and marketing to them, and WooCommerce, which is a plugin that allows you to set up an online store so that you can start selling products and making money from your website.
Although there are plenty of awesome plugins, the more you have, the slower your site seems to run, so it’s important to only add the ones that are going to be most useful for your site.
I admit that I am happy with the progress that I have made, but I feel like I could have achieved so much more in the last month. There has been so much procrastination and thinking instead of doing, which has really hurt my progress. I know it’s a long journey but I can really see the life that having an Online Business holds and I want to get there sooner rather than later.
1. Paid vs Free Marketing
One of the biggest takeaways I’ve had from my internship is that paid marketing will save you a lot of time. Before starting this blog, I had done so much reading on free marketing such as how to build an audience, how to sell products, how to market yourself etc, and it all involved spending hundreds of hours over a long period of time before you were able to build any traction. Although it is important to do this through social media, SEO and creating great content, it takes too long, especially when you are first starting out. It is so hard when you are first starting out to build an audience by doing your own SEO and social media, although it is so appealing because it is free.
The truth is that people don’t want to start spending money before they are making money. If you have a product that you want to sell or a course you want people to sign up for, you need to market it, and the best way to reach the most people is through paid advertisements and marketing. You will not only save yourself a ton of time, but you will also be able to start bringing in money for the business from making sales, which is the forefront of every business.
2. Create Value
The most important thing that you need to remember when producing content, is that it needs to provide value. You need to create value for your readers and clients so that they will get their desired result from your course or product.
There is so much information out there, that you need to create content that stands out from the crowd and the best way to do that is by providing value. You should provide so much great free content, that by the time you want to sell something, people won’t need to think twice about buying your product.
3. Do What Excites You
If you want to create value for your clients and audience you need to be passionate about what you are doing. I see this every time I go to my internship at Winning International. They are so passionate about helping people change lives that it’s inspiring and even contagious. Do what you love and it will make you become the best version of yourself.
4. Plan Ahead
I have only realized how important this was in the last week or so. I would have some vague goals of things that I wanted to accomplish for the week, but have no real structure around when or how I was going to do them. This meant that I was wasting a lot of time I could have been working, floating around the house doing nothing.
I believe it is important to write down the night before a clear list of the tasks that you want to accomplish the next day in order of importance. This alone will help you wake up knowing exactly what you have to get done for the day, creating some urgency to your work so that you are able to get more completed.
5. Stop Reading and Start Doing
One of the best ways to procrastinate is to read. I often read things about creating a business and ‘the best ways to find the perfect colour for your website’ for example. It is completely irrelevant to what I need to get done at the moment, but since I feel like I may need to know it in the future, I convince myself to keep reading.
You need to ask yourself two questions:
“Am I inventing things to do, to avoid doing the important?”
“Will I definitely use this information for something immediate and important?”
I stumbled upon these two quotes while procrastinating reading Tim Ferriss’s book ‘ The 4 Hour Work Week,’ which is an amazing book for anyone who wants to get inspired. But don’t read it just to avoid doing what you need to be doing right now to procrastinate.
As you may remember from my opening post on this website ‘Journey to Starting an Online Business,‘ I wanted to explore the world of online business by diving into Blog writing, SEO writing and Copywriting, which would help me build the skills necessary to start my own online business. I have discovered through some SEO writing and blog writing that I have done, that I don’t enjoy writing about subjects that I am not interested in enough to make a living from it. It is great to know that I can make money online through writing blog posts and SEO articles for clients, but I’m not passionate about it enough to fully commit and make a full time income that is going to sustain my way of life.
My internship has shown me a new way of making money online through coaching. Creating world class coaching courses online that can be leveraged and be location independent really appeals to me. I have such a great opportunity to have access to some amazing people who can help me create an online coaching course that I will be able to run from South America. Learning everything I can from my internship and doing everything I can to help Winning International achieve great results really excites me and is definitely going to be something I strive for.
It’s important to take note that once you learn how to set up an online course, market it, make sales and create leverage for your online business, you can do it again. Anytime that you want to create a business around something that you are interested in, you will have already built the skill set and knowledge on how to do it.
The only problem for me at the moment is that I don’t have anything that I am passionate about that I would be able to coach to others. If this is the way that I plan to create an online business I really need to start researching and thinking about some really cool skills that I can learn, which I can then create a course around.
I’m really excited and I can’t wait to see what the next few months hold.
Please leave a comment below if you have any advice or tips on this article and how I have gone after 1 month.