Building an online business... where do I get started?

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@Patant Consultants The tone of my initial response may have been harsh, and that's because we strongly discourage MMO and any similar predatory products here and approach that side of the industry with an extreme skepticism. You're right that we're getting off topic, so let's leave it at that. Please feel free to PM me if you would like to discuss this further.
No hard feelings. Its all in the spirit of getting to the bottom of what works and keeping newbies on the right track. Not here to sell anything. Just here to share learn and grow.
 

lyannastark

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I want to spend the next month reading as much as I can and then starting to decide what I want to do.
Can anyone point me towards good resources for beginners? I'm talkin TOTAL beginners. Don't assume anything is too obvious because I'm starting from scratch here.
@coldbeerhere Believe me, I know exactly how you feel. About a year and a half ago I was in exactly your shoes. I remember the very first time I ever got the inkling about making money online. I used to google things like "How to start a blog" and "How to make money from a blog" at that time I had no idea what SEO even was. I remember most of the "how to make money online with your blog", blogs recommended starting off with a hosted blog like wordpress.com or blogger. Because creating a self-hosted blog was just sooo difficult. And I believed them. *facepalm* Never in my wildest dreams did I know I would ever create a "real" website. I eventually decided that creating a blog would be too difficult for me, and then I ventured into the world of "make money online". Data Entry scams, Survey clicking crap and many many more scams. Fortunately I was never suckered into any of these because I was smart enough to realise that alot of these things didn't make any sense.

Eventually, I'm not sure when, I happened upon Warrior Forum. I never registered there, but I used to lurk alot. I thought "man, this place is great!" And this is where I got my very first exposure to SEO and IM in general. I soon realised that WaFo was pretty crappy, and that all the "gurus" were full of shit. I don't remember how I came across it, but I eventually started reading Niche Pursuits, which is a great blog for beginners by Spencer Haws. I followed his case studies voraciously. He breaks down every single step (or most steps) and provides a very easy to follow blueprint for beginners starting out in SEO. Of course like most other bloggers, he totes his product (a keyword research tool--- the Google research tool is just fine, and it's free) and his friends' products as the best ones ever, but otherwise from that, it's a great start for an extreme beginner. He walks you through picking a subject, keyword research, choosing a domain name, hosting, putting the site up, SEO, monetizing etc. So you should check it out.

Eventually, I then joined Black Hat World and lurked alot. Some good samaritan directed me to Wickedfire.com, and it was all over at that point. :wink: It was there, admittedly, that I learned the most about real Internet Marketing, not just the SEO circle-jerk. It was people like CCarter and TheHobbster and soo many other great guys there, that I realised that internet marketing was more than just making a few bucks online and that you can actually make a living from this. It was because of WickedFire initially, that I eventually found this place. I'm definitely no guru and no expert, I'm still a beginner in many senses of the word, and I'm learning every day. So don't think that you're going to read for a month and then have it all figured out. You might just end up even more confused.

You are really lucky because you've found this place and have a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips. So the only thing I can suggest for you to do right now, is just jump in. Take a look at Niche Pursuits, set up a website, get some content up there, and then ask questions. Lots of questions, which we would be happy to answer.

TL;DR As @CherryPit said, don't get caught up in analysis paralysis. Just go for it.
 

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Hey OP:

The first thing I would do is compile a list of how other people are making money online.

  • Are they offering a digital product or service? If so, how do you go about looking for gaps in a market to fill? What kind of information do you need to collect on potential customers?
  • How do the individual websites you come across websites make money? Is it Adsense, Taboola, affiliate products? Ecom?
  • What categories (and subcategories) of websites are there? Are there certain methods of monetization that correspond to each category/subcategory of website?

    I know I didn't really answer any of your questions directly, but the point is to get you thinking a certain way.

    Some additional advice:

  • Anytime you're tempted to buy an online marketing course or ebook, don't. Instead, look at how they're marketing to you and appealing to your pain points and desires. Take note of their landing pages, their sales funnels, the newsletter, the blog content, etc. Reverse engineer their marketing process.
  • Browse forums that feature IM related case studies. It's like learning from expensive mistakes without the pain of actually making any.
  • Things to avoid when you're new to Internet Marketing: Blackhat SEO blogs/forums, info products, expensive "magic bullet" software, get-rich-quick schemes, and the idea that making money online is simple and easy.
  • Things to focus on when you're new to Internet Marketing: How to write great content, Lean Marketing/Lean Startup books & theories, on-page SEO, information architecture, sales funnels, copywriting, headline formulas, customer buying cycles, landing page design, customer personas, Unique Value Propositions, conversion-optimization, and understanding how traffic sources naturally & easily emerge when you know exactly WHO your target audience/customers are.
 

learningcurve

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Stop thinking and start doing. Pick a project and work with it, more importantly, learn from it. It doesn't matter what it is. Even something that doesn't make you much money can teach you a bucket load. Follow peeps like Carter, Hobbster, Grind, emp and others. Find their blogs and put their ideas into action on your project. Nothing like learning on the job. :smile:
 

Alex VanDavid

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@learningcurve is on the money. Follow the names he suggests- they are brilliant mfs.
Everyone starts as a beginner. Start doing. Even without a plan in place. The plan will evolve. Refine it as you go. Keep records. Refine again. Take the time to log or journal your activities- even get crazy and document time invested. It's totally worth the effort.
Do you have an objective? Maybe MAKE MONEY? Bingo. You've got a GOAL.

There's hundreds of ways to do so, overwhelming? Yes. Pick one play it out, live and learn, gain experience, next. Try to pick activities that create groundwork for future projects. If it blows up, move on to the next one.

This business is possibly the most exciting and fastest changing industry in history. It gives those with balls and brains the opportunity to make real bank, stay ahead of the pathetic earning curve of the sheeple, determine their own fucking destiny. Does it get any better than that?

You've got to hammer away- day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. Overnighters? Hell Yeah!
Nothing in this world gets done without a hard core commitment to succeed, laser sharp focus, and the willingness to see it through. Never, ever, quit. Adjust your path, but march on always.

The pot of gold is there, but rarely around the first corner, or the fortieth. Keep forging ahead and you get the best real world education money can't buy.

"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." - Benjamin Franklin
 
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A little birdy told me I got mentioned twice in one thread on some new awesome forum, so I had to come check it out. Looks like a fantastic place to hang.



Don't worry about choosing the perfect project at first. Just choose something and go. Follow one path to completion and you'll find that not only have you learned far more through experience and action than through reading, but that this knowledge will extend horizontally over to new projects that are completely unrelated. You're just building a toolbox of skills and information for yourself.

The key is to make sure the tools in your toolbox are self-developed and self-accredited, or you'll never know what to trust.
 
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@coldbeerhere Maybe even before you 'learn' something new, put the end goal in mind by what your strengths already are, and work towards it in anyway you're already comfortable. Working online is pretty unique because you can pay for basically anything to get done which you can't on your own--once it's done, reverse engineer the process. Don't feel like you need to learn to master everything right away.
 
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Holy smokes guys! I forgot signing up here an now I'm seein that everyone put in all this time to help me out. I wish I knew all this great advice was sittin here waiting for me
 

JT1

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RiverStyx

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Hey @JT1 I'm setting up an agency as well, launching in the New Year. What area are you working in? I'm hoping we won't be on each other's turf! Assuming we're not might be good to bounce ideas off of each other. Best of luck in your new agency :smile:
 

JT1

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Hey @JT1 I'm setting up an agency as well, launching in the New Year. What area are you working in? I'm hoping we won't be on each other's turf! Assuming we're not might be good to bounce ideas off of each other. Best of luck in your new agency :smile:
We arent even in the same country mate lol
 
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Meta, Hobbster and the Yeti are on point. This is a big industry with a dozen paths to $ if you get a plan from concept though execution. Do the reading you mentioned and see what direction feels most inspiring to you. Then start. A little experience 'doing' will tell you very quickly where you want to spend all that free time.

Best of success