11 essential steps to start building your online business if you only have an idea

All online business starts with a thought behind in people’s mind, and this small idea can be a basis for a million-dollar company.

In the beginning, the entrepreneurs who became magic for today were also staying there where you’re waiting for at this moment.

At the start line.

Having only an idea seems many times hopeless but think about people who have never have any idea.

So, if you see your situation in this way, it looks much better, isn’t it?

Whether you already have something concrete in your mind or just a deep thought about business, the most critical step is to start working on it.

It doesn’t matter how bright the way before you because things are changing and nobody knows what will happen six months later.

For you, now, the most important is to take a deep breath and take the following steps I’m going to show you in this article.

The best advice, I can give you now, is not overthinking the process before you. Overthinking makes you uncertain, and uncertainty leads you to failure.

So, if you already have an excellent online business idea, you shouldn’t waste your time instead jump into the work and enjoy every step of the process.

Unfortunately, many people won’t realize their online business because they don’t know how they should launch it.

But really, how should you begin?

It’s a good question, my friend. Keep on reading, and you will learn the necessary steps how to start to build your online business.

Related: 7 reasons to start your online business if you have a killer idea

1. Narrow your niche

The most business idea at the beginning is not enough specific and people think that they can hold the whole topic in hand.

I also believed it. Before a year, I planned to be travel, lifestyle, online marketing, business blogger, and entrepreneur.

I thought I’m a superhero, and I can master all these topics because I like them.

But if I choose traveling as your niche even wouldn’t be specific enough.

One of the best travel blogger Nomadic Matt, who earns more than $50.000 monthly with his online business that’s niche is also narrowed to “budget traveling.”

He doesn’t deal with luxury traveling or lifestyle but you know, if you want to learn how to travel cheap, his website is the best place to visit.

On my own site, I teach people how they can start an online business and grow their audience.

If you want to learn how to build a website, write a blog and grow your audience, on my site you’re in the right place.

Narrowing down your niche helps people to understand what your business is about and you solve more people’s specific problems.

Let me show you an example.

Let’s say that you’re passionate about fashion. It’s great. If you’re a woman, you can narrow it to woman fashion. It’s better, but it’s still not enough.

Go ahead and let’s say travel fashion for women. It already sounds perfect.

“Travel fashion for women” is a niche with that you target a specific audience, women, who want to look stylish on their trips. I love it.

And you can bet that I don’t say nonsense things. Just take a look at the site of Alexandra Jimenez, the Travel Fashion Girl.

2. Choose a name for your business

The name of your business will be the basis of your brand that people remark and search on the web.

So, it’s essential to choose the right one.

But, what is right?

The best name is that you love and you would love it later too.

I was earlier Traveller Dave and wanted another site Vagabond Magazine also, but these names weren’t me.

That’s why I use a shorter version of my name Dave Mes because I’ll love it many years later too and it’s me.

Matthew Kepnes, one of the most prominent travel blogger in the world uses the name Nomadic Matt for his site and business.

It symbolizes his activity and includes a part of his real name.

I’m sure he loves it, and it’s a great idea.

If you don’t want to use your name, you can pick something creative like Travel Fashion Girl.

So, if you take a name for your business, be sure that you must be together for a long time, and you should like it.

3. Build a beautiful website

If you narrowed down your topic, the next step is to build your new stunning site.

Your site will be the place where you connect with your audience, teach them, build your email list, offer your product and express yourself.

Everything.

That’s why it’s crucial to invest time and money into it. The most straightforward option is to start with a self-hosted WordPress website.

It gives you the freedom to design and add functionalities.

If you already know the name, the second step is to choose a hosting provider like Hostgator, WPEngine or Bluehost.

Buy a cloud hosting plan with your domain name. As a domain, you should use your business name.

Why?

Because being unified on all your platforms and places is essential for your brand. You’ll read about it later.

If you buy your host, be careful and don’t buy the WordPress hosting option because you won’t be able to manage your files and databases. I recommend only the cloud hosting option.

These providers have a WordPress click and install opportunity, so you don’t have to spend a lot of time to set up your site.

If you WordPress is ready, the next essential step is to choose the perfect theme for your website.

In my post “10 places to find the best themes for your online business” I listed the best WordPress theme providers for you.

Don’t worry about, if you’re not familiar with coding because the mentioned companies already have a drag and drop or modular interfaces.

It helps you to build a beautiful site without writing any code.

On my site, I use the Indigo theme from Artisan Themes.

Besides on to the well-coded themes, they have a fantastic support, so if you would have any problem, they help you anytime.

4. Start to work on your brand

There is no successful business without a remarkable brand.

If you have the idea and your website is running the next step is to design your brand.

Your brand will help people to identify you on the web.

But what does brand exactly means?

The brand is a name, color, design, symbol, feature, slogan that makes your online business different from the other online organization.

The keyword is the difference.

The difference is your uniqueness, your voice, your personality that you express in the elements mentioned above.

You already have a name, so you need a well-designed logo. Choose at least two but not more than three colors that you will use on your pages and social media platforms.

It’s crucial to unifying your website with your social media to make your brand strong and easy remarkable.

Keep your mind, that this is your business and you should love how it looks and works.

So, don’t be copycat and imitate other websites because every company is different.

Let me show you as an example the website and Facebook page of Laura Belgray, the Talking Shrimp.

Facebook:

Website:

5. Create a professional email address

You’re professional. You also want to look professional.

And if your brand seems impressive, it’s essential to have a professional email address.

What I mean.

An email address like david.meszaros@gmail.com is one of my personal emails. Not for businesses.

My business email address is dave@davemes.com.

You can see my domain in my business address and my name too.

Later, when I have a team, I’ll work with people, and they’ll get a personalized email address like john@davemes.com.

It’s still under my brand, but people would know that they write to John in this case.

Other alternatives are to create addresses like hi@davemes.com or info@davemes.com. The point is your domain name.

How could you create such an email address?

I use G Suite Gmail account to have it.

It’s easy to set up, and many hosting providers offer G Suite option as an extra service.

If you decided to create one, click on the text below this section and you will get -20% of the price. Basically, it costs $4,95 monthly.

6. Get a professional email marketing tool

An email marketing tool helps you to build the perfect communication channel.

As your business is growing, you want to give the option for your audience to subscribe to your email list.

These tools help you to keep in touch with your audience, send them articles, tips, and later product promotions as well.

In my opinion, you should use it from the first day because you don’t know on which day can land a new customer on your list.

I use Convertkit to build my email list because it’s one of the best tools on the market and it has an extraordinary support.

7. Start to write articles about your topic

Oh yes, your site is stunning, but it’s empty.

Don’t forget, everybody was staying here, so you shouldn’t feel bad seeing your blog without hundred of articles.

Writing post is essential for your business. It doesn’t matter what kind of business you have, writing a blog brings more traffic to your website.

Think about a little bit if you’re going to offer a product, but nobody knows what it exactly is. People need valuable and useful information in every second.

Amazing posts also help your audience understand the advantages of your product or services.

Help them, teach them, show them details or even behind the scenes moments.

If your content is compelling, people will visit your site, and you have more chance to turn these visitors into customers in the future.

The best advice I can give you is to write continuously.

Write at least one article weekly but don’t stop it because your audience is waiting for fresh content all the time.

Don’t make them disappointed.

Related: 9 free tools to find new blog post ideas if you feel uninspired

8. Tune your website with call-to-action and opt-in forms or lead pages

Building a site is a long-term process.

You always learn more and get inspirations. That’s why tuning your site is crucial.

I have mentioned above that your email list is the most significant treasure on your site.

Having blog posts and an email marketing tool is just one thing. People won’t sign up your email list for anything. They can visit your site when they want.

But many great tools can help you to turn your visitors into subscribers.

For instance, you can see below this article is an opt-in form and on the sidebar a CTA, call-to-action banners too.

CTA motivates people to do something on your website. I encourage them offering free downloadable materials. You can provide coupons or any other free products.

Use tools like LeadPages, Bannersnack or Thrive Themes to call people doing action on your site to boost your email list.

9. Offer freebies

Creating free materials for your audience is a win-win business.

They get something valuable stuff, and you’ll gain trust and a new subscriber.

Freebie can be a cheat sheet, workbook, e-book, coupon, checklist or even tutorial.

These materials are extractions or addition of your primary product.

For instance, if you aim to sell cooking video training, you can offer recipes, tips&tricks to your visitors if they sign up to your email list of course.

Take care of the design, your brand and create as many freebies as you can.

10. Organise your content and tasks for your business

To this point, you’ve already achieved a lot of things.

Your website is running, your brand unified and you’ve started to write articles as well.

You’ve got a lot to do every day.

That’s why it’s essential to plan your activities because without a plan you will be unorganized and you will pass things that matter.

You don’t need to think about something complicated thing.

Use Google Calendar and to plan your week, your month.

To organize your tasks is Trello a great online tool. You won’t forget anything using these tools.

Work every day on your business. I know, it can be challenging, but it’s inevitable if you want to grow.

It doesn’t mean you need invest six hours every day into your business.

Work at least one hour, write 500 words, edit one image or schedule social media content.

11. Plan your product

In this article, I aimed to talk about how to build your online business if you don’t have anything yet.

Yes, but your long-term goal is to sell something because without a product you would have a fancy website with some articles.

Maybe at the beginning, you don’t know in which form you want to realize your product.

Whether you plan a webinar or selling t-shirts, it’s important to think about from the first day.

It’s not necessary to wait for millions of subscribers to try selling something them.

With the time you will know your audience better, and you’ll know what they need.

Conclusion

As you see at the beginning of an online business there are a lot of things, you need pay attention to.

But following the steps as mentioned above, you know which steps you should accomplish to jump into the hard work with your excellent idea.

What is your experience about starting a business? How did you launch yours?

Learn the first steps how to start working on your business and turn it into the reality. 11 essential steps to bring the best out of your idea.

Blogger and entrepreneur from Germany. He writes about business, blogging and online marketing. His mission is to help people to build an online business and grow their audience.