Do you want to make money online? Are you ready to finally get into the game and start your own online business?
A buddy recently texted me that he wanted to register his new business idea. I told him to focus on making a few bucks first. You need to make money if you want a business. I’m going to show you how you can finally start your own blog and eventually make some money in the process.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.
You’re going to start your own business, share your ideas with the world, and make some money on the side.
Do any of the following excuses sound familiar?
- “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 eight 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 (and every other possible outlet), been flown in to speak across North America, and have written an Amazon best seller. I’m not saying this to brag. I want you to see what’s possible if you’re just willing to launch.
It’s your turn.
[HUGE UPDATE: I had to edit 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 That saying is as outdated as your uncle’s dance moves.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 because hosting won’t cost you more than $10/month. Think about the stupid stuff that you normally spend $10 on.
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. You don’t need to think of a revolutionary topic. You only have to commit to one topic.
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.
Think of something very specific. Solve a problem. Think of a name. Launch.
The good news is that there’s a target market for everything.
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.
4. Install WordPress software and download your free theme.
Once you’ve purchased a hosting plan, you need to download the software to run your blog on.
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. I started off with free. As the blog made money, I invested the money into a decent design and logo.
Before you install WordPress or your theme you do this.
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, buy new domains, 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 and install them without any backend work.]
5. Create a few key pages and posts that will attract readers.
Now it’s time to start writing. This should be the toughest part of all because you need to sit down and create quality content for the world. 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. Share everything remotely interesting about your personality that you have going on.
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. Write something that you can be proud of sharing. You should try to explain something, share a controversial opinion, introduce a new idea to the world, or write something that you would want to share with a friend.
- Basic introductory posts. It’s important that you introduce the basics and get into the habit of posting updates. I would do a a “start here” page where you talk about the goal of the blog and what readers can expect. I would then introduce YOUR UNIQUE view to the world. Please try to have a unique view. You need a captivating story to capture interest. How are you going to capture the interest of the people?
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.
After a few weeks or so you’ll likely be in the habit of posting regularly and interacting in your field.
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.
You’ve launched something to the world.
6. Test your ideas out and try to get paid.
How does a blog make money?
You were likely wondering about this while reading the whole article. Let’s jump into different ways you can make money with a blog:
- Selling advertising space. Advertisers will contact you to buy advertising. You then negotiate a price that you can both agree on.
- Promoting your own products. You can create your own eBook, course, or any other product. You then promote and sell this product for profit to your audience.
- Affiliate marketing (promoting products you love for a commission). Are there products that you use? You can promote them for money.
It’s your turn to start a blog, share your ideas with the world, and make some money.
“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
Bonus: My offer to you.
If you absolutely don’t feel like going through this process alone, then you can send me an email to md @ studenomics.com and I can help you get started. The point is that there’s no more excuses allowed. You’re going to start a business right now. Of course, I’ll use you as a case study when you become successful.
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. 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 or so depending on the special that you grab.
Total time invested: few hours to think of a topic and 30 minutes to get everything setup. Then as much or as little time as you wish going forward.
“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