Starting an online business was one of the best decisions in my life.
I made my first money online thanks to freelance writing, but this blog is what helped me become self-employed.
Now, as a full-time blogger, I can see more of the aspects of a real business (paying taxes, strategizing on how to bring traffic, provide value and make sales, seeking passive income as opposed to active, creating new income streams for stability, and more).
It’s always best to do your research in advance, though, and know what you’re getting yourself into.
Many people start something on the side only to leave it behind a few weeks after without seeing any results. But by keeping in mind the things below and preparing before launching the business, you can make sure you do it right.
Here’s what you need to consider:
1. Know how much it will cost.
One of the best things about working online is that you can do it from the comfort of your home. You mostly need a laptop, a good Internet connection and PayPal (easiest way to get paid).
Together with the many free online tools created for bloggers, freelancers and entrepreneurs, you can have a blog, be on social media, create professional graphics, make and edit videos, and learn from other business owners thanks to the free resources they provide.
However, if you want to do things professionally, there are some investments involved.
Check out the costs of launching a business here.
If you’re sure you want to start a blog (which is a must for any online business owner these days), learn how much it will cost to build a website here.
2. Do it while at your regular job first.
Big risks lead to stress. You don’t need that. Stay at your current job and only work on your side hustle in your free time (mornings, evenings and weekends).
Plenty of people began earning a full-time income online while working their job 40 hours a week. They only quit once they were ready to free some of their time or wanted to dedicate all their focus to the business.
But when your income is coming from your job, there’s nothing you should worry about. You will also build discipline (and will spend less on other things) by waking up early to work on your online business and doing the same on weekends.
Such dedication pays off. Tell yourself that you will only quit your current job once you reach a certain monthly income. Till then, you won’t need to worry about paying the bills and will also be able to invest in your business.
Buying online courses for bloggers, for example, has been one of my best investments. These products are more expensive but the knowledge inside can help you change your life in many ways.
3. Understand the market.
You’re planning to enter a certain market so learn all you can about it now. That’s also your niche and there are big names in it you can learn from.
Study their businesses and products. Follow them on social media, read their blogs and subscribe to their newsletter.
In addition, check out the resources they recommend.
All this will help you understand the customers in this market, how things work, what topics are most profitable and whether the ideas you have in mind can actually make you money.
4. Prepare to do a lot of work for free first.
If you’re waiting for the money to come in your bank account from day one, you’ll end up being disappointed. Instead, know that you’re building the foundation of a business that will help you earn for the rest of your life.
That’s worth the investment of a few years of your life so you can grow it.
Start small. Learn a lot and don’t focus too much on things that don’t matter. You’ll figure it out as you go.
If you want to become a full-time blogger, start your blog as soon as possible and learn about all the possible ways to monetize it.
Build your brand, write content and publish it for free, create freebies for subscribers.
Don’t worry about creating your own products just yet. There’s a lot to do before that. You need to have many articles on your site first so people can have a chance to benefit from you before they trust you more.
It takes a lot of work to get noticed too. Google won’t start ranking your articles immediately. It will take months (and even years) and writing long-form articles while learning how to properly optimize them.
Pinterest won’t magically start sending you targeted traffic either. You’ll need to learn how to get Pinterest pageviews first and then encourage these people to get to your blog and engage with the content on it.
Read also: How I Made $5,808 from My Blogging Business Last Month (+ Q4 Goals)
5. Handling the legal aspects might be tricky.
Okay, so you start a business online and you somehow make a sale pretty soon. Is that money legal and if so, how do you pay taxes for it?
You want to make sure you do everything by the books and that means:
- Registering the business in your country (and choosing the right business entity)
- Finding an accountant to handle your finances
- Protecting your assets
- Opening a business bank account
- Getting business insurance
- Being GDPR and CCPA compliant
- Including the right legal information on your website
- Being GDPR-compliant
While an online business can be launched as a side hustle from home, things get serious when you start earning a few thousand dollars. Prepare well in advance so when your website is up and running and you’re collecting payments, you will already know how to be tax compliant and do everything right.
Stock Photo from Tatomirov @ Shutterstock