Active Digital Business

Stats & Advice on All Things Digital Business

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tips on starting your first blog

Tips On Starting Your First Blog

Plenty of people all over the world would love to start a blog and they want to know how to do it.

It’s worth noting that starting a blog takes a fair amount of work. It’s not like you can just post a few pieces of content and wait for people to start visiting your website. It’s a fairly large time commitment and it takes a hell of a lot of effort to attract visitors and get your website to rank highly in those search engines.

Here are some tips on how you get started (if we haven’t put you off ;))

I – Buy a domain name

You’ll want to think of a domain name and use a registrar like Namecheap or Godaddy to purchase the domain name or your choice.

There are “free” websites that you can create from sites like Weebly and blogger.com but it’s much better for you to have your very own domain from scratch as this gives you full freedom and flexibility to do what you want with it. It’s also easier to rank in the search engines with a standalone domain compared to a free one that’s connected to another website.

II – Write a list of 20 topics you can blog about

Write out the headlines of twenty things you’re confident that you can blog about. This could be things like content marketing, SEO, online business, lead generation, cats and dogs… it could be anything!

III – Write five posts  – and save them in your drafts folder on your website.

IV – Create a blogging schedule – that you will follow everyday. Set aside a certain amount of time everyday for you to blog.

V – Publish – your first blog post at the start of the following week.

VI – Send an email – to your friends, colleagues and reach out to fellow bloggers in your niche. Get them to read your blog post and provide honest feedback.

VII – Connect with people in your industry – get them to help you spread the word out about your blog. Ensure your blog is relevant to the people you’re reaching out to. The more relevant it is, the higher the chance of them promoting your content for you.

VIII – Publish fresh content at least twice a week – This can be hard to achieve but if you stick to that schedule and stay consistent with it, you’ll quickly find that you’ll form a habit and it’ll just become easier for you as time goes by.

Here are some useful blogging resources to get you going:

How To Start A Blog From Scratch – Amylynnandrews.com

How To Make Money From Blogging – Amylynnandrews.com

common mistakes when getting started online

Common Mistakes When Getting Started Online

Many of us that are starting out online have plenty of things to learn, and in a lot of cases, we make mistakes that can be easily avoided by just doing some industry research.

In this article, we will cover so of the most common mistakes people make when they first get started with an online business.

I – Thinking you don’t know anything someone else would be willing to pay for

This is a very common one. People don’t value their skills enough to realise that they can actually charge for their knowledge and experience. The chances are that people would be more than willing to pay you for a skill set that you have.

Many people don’t even get started because they think they don’t know anything. They see how much experts in certain industries know and they feel like they need to know everything before they can even get started.

II – Settings prices way too low

This is one of the most common problems with startup companies. They devalue their services by settings their prices way too low. Your pricing sets the tone for the quality of your service. By charging very low prices, people will automatically assume that your service is sub-par to your competition.

We’re not saying don’t be competitive because of course you need to be, but don’t set your prices too low compared to your competition. It’s a fine balance between pricing that is competitive and pricing that is just too low.

III – Not testing and tracking thing properly

If you aren’t testing and tracking your offerings and advertising, you’re literally throwing stuff at a wall to see what sticks. Marketing is a data-driven science nowadays. The amount of data we have access to is astounding. Make use of the tools you have at your disposal.

IV – Hopping from one strategy to the next

This is something i’ve personally seen quite a lot of people do. They try one strategy and before even testing it out properly (or making it profitable) they will jump onto the next thing. Entrepreneurs don’t do this, they stick with one thing until it works. They make things work. The essence of marketing is all in the optimisation. Pretty much every single campaign starts off losing money.

By “losing that money” you’re able to gather data that will allow you to optimise your campaigns. Optimising your campaigns will make them more profitable for you.

 

how to start an online business from scratch

How To Start An Online Business From Scratch

Starting an online business is fairly similar to starting a traditional business, except it’s just much less hassle.

You don’t need to worry about physical location, staff, inventory and a whole host of other things that traditional business owners have to deal with.

This makes running an online business more profitable that their traditional business counterparts (think Walmart and Amazon). Online businesses just don’t have anywhere near as many costs as a lot of traditional businesses have.

In this article, we’ll go over the whole process of getting yourself setup online, including all the steps you’ll need to follow to have to your business up and running.

Types of online business models

There is a large amount of online business ideas out there. There are plenty of options for you to choose. Here are some of the most common types of online businesses that people tend to get started with:

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a business model that is based on referrals. It works by recommending products and services from other companies. Everytime you make a referral you get paid a commission.

There are plenty of big brand online businesses that are essentially just glorified affiliate marketing websites. Plenty of people in the blogging space have launched successful affiliate marketing websites and continue to rake in staggering commissions from their affiliate referrals.

Affiliate marketing is great because you don’t need to create or sell your own products. You just get paid to attract targeted traffic for other businesses.

The best affiliate programs pay high commissions rates for their products, meaning you don’t need to make tons of sales to generate a really good income for yourself.

It’s one of the easiest types of businesses to get started with and also one with the lowest levels of risk, as it barely requires any startup capital.

Ecommerce Store

An Ecommerce store is another popular way to start an online business. With your own Ecommerce website, you’ll be selling products directly to your customers without using a middle-man of any kind.

The best thing about having your own Ecommerce site and hosting all your products on there is that you have complete control over your online store. You’ll have the ability to fully customise anything as you see fit. The caveat this positive is that it makes everything quite a bit more complex.

Choosing the right web design for your ecommerce store is so important. Ensuring you have great shopping cart software is equally important for your business. Shopify offer a whole Ecommerce website solution with some fantastic features.

An eBay Store

Starting an Ebay store has some big advantages to setting yourself up as a standalone Ecommerce website business. With an eBay store, you won’t need to set yourself up with your own website, customise the front of your store or pick a shopping cart software to use.

When you use eBay to sell products, all that is automatically taken care of for you.

The downside to working with eBay is that they have high seller fee’s that will add up to a significant portion of your revenue every month. You’ll also have very little control over how your website looks as the site isn’t yours!

3 Steps To Starting An Online Business

Create a plan of action

Just because you’ll be running an online business it doesn’t mean you don’t need to create a business plan. Your planning process should include competitor analysis as well as plans on marketing strategy and income streams for your business.

For online businesses, most people don’t need to go to the bank to look for funding because most businesses don’t cost much to get started. You can create a simple plan on a Google docs spreadsheet. This will save you time and keep things lightweight.

The last thing you want to do is to complicate things unnecessarily.

Register your domain and setup your site

If you’ve chosen to do affiliate marketing or setup yourself up with an Ecommerce store, you want to make sure the domain name you want is still available. Once you’ve purchased it, you can start setting up your website!

Unless you’re absolutely terrible with computers, you won’t need to outsource this to a professional. It doesn’t take expert knowledge to build a beautiful website in this day and age.

Sort out the legal stuff

You want to make sure you’re trading legally. The last thing you want is the tax man after you!

There are a few differences to legalities when it comes to online business.

You want to read up on online business law. These laws are all about the collection of personal information, including privacy and other regulations. Make sure you cover this information before you get started.

In terms of tax obligations, it just depends on your situation. If you’re running your business from home, you’re eligible for a certain tax discounts (depending on the country you’re in).

It may be worth hiring a lawyer to make sure you have everything covered. You can’t be too careful when it comes to all these legalities.

To summarise, starting an online business is much easier compared to a traditional brick and mortar one. You’ll have less overheads and less things to think about, not to mention higher profit margins!

You’ll still need to have a solid plan for your business and an awesome website but if you nail these two things and stay consistent to your plan, you’ll soon reap the financial rewards of your efforts.

 

5 steps to start online business

5 Steps To Starting Your Own Business

People need a list of essentials for starting their own business. Covering things from the type of business model to the location where you’ll be working, there are so many custom variables so it’s really difficult to come up with a one size fits all list.

That said, here are our top five steps for getting yourself started with your own business.

I – Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

Heard the famous saying from Ice cube? Well it applies to you when it comes to starting a business. You need to take stock of your situation in life.

Ask yourself these questions: 

  • Why do I want to start a business? Is it for more money? more freedom and flexibility? both? Or maybe something else entirely?
  • What skills do I have right now that I could use for my next business venture?
  • What industry knowledge do I have?
  • What type of business do I want to run?
  • How much capital do I have to invest?
  • Do I want to do this part-time or full-time?

your answers to these questions will lay the foundations for your next steps.

This step isn’t supposed to put you off starting a business, it’s more about getting you thinking and planning ahead.

Passion on it’s own just isn’t enough.

You need to have a plan of action, set goals for yourself and know where you stand with everything.

The last thing you want to do is start a business and focus on your weaknesses. What are you strengths? Make sure you cater to those strengths and use them as much as can.

When you get started with your business, it’ll probably take over the majority of your life for the foreseeable future so you want to make sure it’s something you’re willing to give 110% to for the medium-term at least.

II – Study Your Industry

Once you decide on a business that suits you, you want to evaluate your business idea. Who are your target customers, what are you going to be selling and who is your competition going to be?

At this point it’s also important to consider how much money you’ll need to get started.

To find out how much potential your market has, there are a few questions you need to find the answers for…

  • How badly do people need the product/service you offer?
  • How big is the market? Are there a lot of people searching and paying for this?
  • How easy or difficult is it to acquire a new customer?
  • How much is the product/service you offer going to cost you?
  • What investment do you need to get started?
  • Is your business evergreen or is it something that is seasonal?

You can even take things further by thinking about the needs that aren’t being met in the marketplace at the moment. How can you improve on the things that are already out there? What will be your unique selling point?

This is a great time to study your competition, find out what they’re doing (and what they’re not doing).

You really want to take as much time as you can to study your competition. We’re so  lucky right now to have access to fantastic competitor analysis tools that pretty much reveal everything that your competition is doing.

Understanding exactly what your competition is doing, how they’re providing the products and even what’s missing with their offering will put you in the best position to create something better.

III – Go Legal

Registering your business is something you can’t forget about. You may want to work with an attorney to clarify all the details and figure out your best option and the type of legal setup will vary depending on the type of business you want to setup.

You want to spend some time discovering and weighing the positives and negatives of each type of business formation.

You also want to decide on a business name and check to make sure that it’s available for you to use!

IV – Create A Plan

Creating a business plan is a crucial part of your business startup phase. As the famous saying goes, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

This is especially true if you will be looking to finance your business startup through a loan or any other form of outside financing. Creating a business plan will help you figure out how much money you need to get started. It’ll also help with figuring out where the money will be going exactly.

A business plan isn’t a one off thing that you just need to get out of the way to launch. Having a business plan is like a roadmap, it is something that you will refer to continually as you progress in your business and move forward.

Even if you don’t think you need a business plan for your particular business idea. We highly recommend that you still go through the planning process. Ask yourself all those questions and write down your answers. When it comes to starting a business you need to make sure you know where you stand.

You need to cover all the bases to give yourself the best chance of success.

V – Getting Started

Phew! You’ve done it! You’ve brainstormed business ideas. Asked yourself all the important questions, researched your competition, created a business plan and maybe even pitched and successfully funded your venture!

You’ve got the money in the bank and now you’re ready to go!

But it’s not time to celebrate just yet.

You’ve still got a chunky list of things to do.

Find a location, maybe negotiate a lease for the premises, buy inventory (if you’re selling physical products), hire staff and set your prices. It’s worth noting that none of this applies at all if you’re running an online business.

If you’re running a physical brick and mortar business, there are a few things you want to consider:

Business location – this will have a direct impact on the type of customers you attract so is definitely something that needs to be thought through.

Price – Can you afford to pay the lease in the place you really want to be?

Parking & public transport – Can people find you easily and are they able to par their vehicles? If they aren’t able to get to you easily they may just use your competition instead.

Competitors – Do you have many competitors within a close proximity to you? If the location is saturated with competition, you may want to think twice about setting up shop there.

Local laws and regulations – Find out if local laws and regulations will stop you from doing anything you want to do in your business. Make sure there are no restrictions that will limit your business in any way.

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technical seo for your online business

Technical SEO For Your Online Business

We thought we would start off this new blog by showing you how you can rank higher in Google for your business by making a few technical tweaks to your website SEO.

I know this might sound quite daunting but in reality, it’s not that difficult and is something that can see some big results for you in the SERPS.

Google’s search engine algorithm is becoming increasingly complex. Google already has over 200 ranking factors at this point.

Google is putting much more importance on user experience. As a result of this, user experience signals make a difference to your search engine rankings. These are things like page load time, bounce rate, mobile-friendlyness and SSL.

Google values their customers and wants them to have the best possible experience so you better make sure your site is user-friendly or your search engine rankings will suffer.

Personally, I find it extremely hard to believe that people are still happy with websites that look like they’re from the dark ages. This is such a turn off, especially for the millennial generation! Aesthetics are very important. It doesn’t take long to turn your website into something that looks like a masterpiece. It’s literally pushing a few buttons.

Bringing things back to technical SEO..

We came across this infographic that covers some of the more technical aspects of SEO that you might be missing on your website.

The way the architecture is setup on your website is so vital to your search engine rankings. A website that has good architecture will make it easier for the search engine bots to crawl your website and understand what you’re trying to rank for.

This infographic covers various tools that can help you with your businesses SEO. Free tools such as Google Webmaster Tools, Google Pagespeed Insights and Screaming Frog.

To find out how you can optimise your site in the best way, check out this infographic:

 

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