Do you want to make money online? Are you ready to finally get into the game and start your own online business?
A buddy actually just texted me as I was typing this that he wanted to register his business. I told him to focus on making a few bucks first. No more excuses will be tolerated. I’m not here to show you how to get rich quick or scam the system. I can show you how to make some extra cash and share your ideas with the world through a blog.
Today you’re going to start your own business, share your ideas with the world, and make some money on the side.
Don’t even think about using any of the following common excuses:
- “I can’t think of any good ideas.”
- “I don’t have the money to start a business.”
- “I didn’t go to a prestigious college.”
- “I need to register my business first.”
If you’re not serious then I don’t want you here. Close this window and find another personal finance blog to check out.
I started this blog in November of 2008 because I was bored and sick of feeling sorry for myself. I launched it with no experience and no clue as to what was going to happen next. Now over the last seven years, I’ve built this into an outlet where I can share my ideas, vent, and even make some money in the process.
I’ve helped thousands of readers over the years. I’ve been featured in the NY Times, been flown in to speak across North America, and have best a best seller on Amazon since.
It’s your turn.
[HUGE UPDATE: I had to repost this article because starting a blog has actually gotten easier.]
Here are the 6 easy steps to start your own online business right now even if you’re broke and confused…
1. Stop stressing about the money.
Your first step to starting a business is to accept that you don’t need lots of money to get started. You don’t need money to make money. That saying is as outdated as your uncle’s dance moves.
You’re not getting into real estate and you’re not buying a sports franchise. You’re starting a simple online business. This is a one woman operation.
You need to just stop making excuses and get the ball rolling. It’s not that hard. I’m here to help you and make this process as easy as possible. Once you get the ball rolling and build some momentum, it’s going to be impossible to stop you.
Stop stressing about the money because all you need is a few hours a week and about the price of a cup of coffee per month for hosting to get started online.
2. Pick a topic already.
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. You just need to keep it spinning.
Here’s a newsflash: you will NOT create the next Facebook.
I’m sorry. You can easily create a steady part-time income source and even a full-time source if you stop watching lame reality shows and playing video games like a loser.
How do you pick a topic?
The best strategy for picking a topic that I’ve heard of is the 7 passions, 7 fears, and 7 problems model.
You write down 7 things that you’re passionate about, 7 things that you’re afraid of, and 7 problems that you have.
Then you narrow it down from there. With 21 ideas you’re bound to find something that you can move forward with. If not then you need to get out more and live a little.
You also have to niche it down as much as possible. Studenomics is personal finance for folks who don’t want to miss a party in their 20s. So clearly, the site isn’t for everyone and I’m cool with that. I want you to get as specific as possible. The world doesn’t need another general blog.
3. Buy your domain and go live.
Everyday that you ponder about your idea is another day you’ve missed out on establishing yourself online. You need to stop chasing perfection and just get started. There’s no such thing as perfect. It’s all about learning on the job.
I want you to go to Bluehost and sign up for your domain hosting RIGHT NOW. You can grab a few domain names for a few extra bucks.
You can also grab hosting for $3.95/month (which comes with a free domain).
[Full disclosure: Bluehost may not be the best hosting company, but I generally have no issues with them. Whenever something goes wrong, they’re pretty quick to fix it. I included an affiliate link because I support them fully.]
I do understand that starting a blog, Twitter or Facebook page won’t solve your problems if you’re completely lazy. The thing is that this little investment will force you to take your new business seriously. You never know what can happen when you share your ideas with the world.
What are my options?
You can sign up with Bluehost to get your domain & hosting. I personally use both. This site is hosted on Bluehost. My other sites are on Hostgator.
4. Install WordPress software and download your free theme.
I’ve included some screen shots below (click on them for full image) so you know exactly what to look for. Installing WordPress and your free theme should take you exactly less than 20 minutes.
In a funny story, when I first launched Studenomics, I thought that I had the coolest theme ever. I posted it in a few forums and they quickly pointed out that my theme was pathetic.
WordPress is simply the software that you use to run a blog.
It allows you to publish articles and control your blog without any technical expertise.
Your theme is just the appearance of your blog.
Once you start making money, you can pay for a better design. You can also use Fiverr to get a decent logo for $5.
Before you install WordPress or your theme you do this.
Before you install WordPress on your new site you need to grab your new domain name and assign it. You’ll likely get the domain name during the sign up process. Once you’re all signed up you need to add your domain to your control panel for your host.
In your control panel you click on DOMAIN MANAGER. Then you just click on ADD DOMAIN. Now you can move on to the next step. Under the Domain Management section of your control panel you can also make other changes (register new domains, redirect, and so on).
Installing WordPress for your new site.
To install WordPress on Bluehost you go to your control panel and you click on Install WordPress.
Now when you want to log in to write posts and go on your blog all you have to do is type in yournewblogname.com/wp-admin and put in your information.
Time to get the theme on.
Now you need to install your free theme. Your theme is the appearance of your blog. The good news is that you do not need any graphics skills at all to get a theme up.
Here’s the process for getting your theme on your new site.
- Find a theme you like.
- Download the zip file.
- Upload it.
- Press activate.
I recommend the Arras theme for beginners. You can also pick one of the million free themes on WordPress. There’s literally a theme for every kind of genre and specific taste. Once you get a little more into it and people are actually reading your site (real people, not your parents) you can upgrade to Thesis, hire a designer, and do all of that fancy stuff.
[Note from Martin: Now you can just browse for themes straight and install them without any backend work.]
5. Create a few key pages and posts.
You need to create a few basic pages and posts before you can attempt to bring anyone over to your blog.
What are a few important pages that you need to setup?
- A contact page. Keep it simple. You can download a contact page plugin or you can just list your email.
- “About me” section. Tell everyone who the hell you are and how you can help THEM.
What are few posts that you should get going?
- A pillar piece. This post that you’re reading is a pillar piece. This is a huge article that others want to link to and people want to spread the word about.
- Basic intro posts. It’s important that you introduce the basics and get into the habit of posting updates.
Once you have these pages and posts setup you can then start to promote your blog by commenting on other sites, offering to guest post, or whatever advertising strategy you plan on using.
Now you can chill out for a bit because you’ve launched something to the world.
6. Test your business ideas out to see if you have a chance.
After a few weeks or so you’ll likely be in the habit of posting regularly and interacting in your field.
You now have the tools, hosting, and information to start a new online business in a matter of minutes. Now you need to apply this strategy:
If you’re going to fail, you better fail fast.
Test out your idea, see if it has any chance of making you money, see if anybody cares about the topic, and determine realistically if you have a chance of making anything happen.
If you realize that your first idea sucks, move on to the next one. It’s just that easy. Starting is the toughest part. Executing trumps all theory. The world has enough great ideas. The world needs more closers.
“Successful people learn from failure, but the lesson they learn is a different one. They don’t learn that they shouldn’t have tried in the first place, and they don’t learn that they are always right and the world is wrong and they don’t learn that they are losers. They learn that the tactics they used didn’t work or that the person they used them on didn’t respond.” – Seth Godin
My most helpful posts for testing your business ideas are:
Bonus: My offer to you.
If you absolutely don’t feel like going through this process at all, then you can send me an email to md @ studenomics.com and I can do this whole process for you. The point is that there’s no more excuses allowed. You’re going to start a business right now. I’ll do this for free if you promise me that you’re going to commit. My time is limited so you need to prove to me that I should help you.
What are you going to do?
I gave you the only 6 steps that you need for starting a business right now. You can feel motivated for five minutes and do nothing. On the other hand, you can follow the tips in here to actually get started with your new online business with practically no money involved.
Studenomics is about taking action. If you’re not willing to take action, then please consider finding another blog to read. If you’re serious about starting a business to see if you have what it takes you need to sign up for your domain and get the ball rolling. You can watch The Simpsons while you do this.
Total money involved: about $3.96/month.
Total time invested: few hours to think of a topic and 30 minutes to get everything setup.
You can either sign up with Hostgator right now or keep on waiting for some magical moment to come.
“Here’s to the crazy ones – the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently – they’re not fond of rules. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things. They push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they could change the world, are the ones who do.” — Steve Jobs