Sometime early in 2010 I became interested in the idea of having an online business. Strangely enough, the topic made its way into my life by way of homeschooling. I enjoy learning new things by listening to podcasts and other audio teachings. In listening to several different homeschool leaders teach about different aspects of homeschooling, another common theme started coming up; that of running a family business. As I listened I became more and more convinced that online businesses are very real and something I could pursue. So, I enlarged my circle of influence, that is, the people I was being influenced by, to include more people who could teach me some things about working online, from home.
And oh, I’ve had so much fun!
I’ve always wanted to have my own business. I’ve tried several things and thought about many others. Nothing stuck. After about a year of poking around the world of online marketing I found that I still wanted to learn more and that I was enjoying what I was learning. I told my husband that I had come too far to turn back. I was hooked.
I thought back over the year and realized that there is a lot of information out there, and to a new person it can be sort of overwhelming. I wondered if there would come a day that a friend might ask me some questions about internet marketing. If so, I wanted to be able to remember what it was like to be at square one, so I could help them avoid the information overwhelm that so many new people go through. I decided to take a step back and take note of what I had learned so far. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a lot of physical notes, so I’m sure I’ve learned things that won’t show up on this list. But it was kind of fun going back and recounting the things I learned in my first year.
It’s now two years later, and I’ve learned a lot more, but I wanted to share some of the lessons from that first year with you. Here are the ones I could think of. Be warned; it’s a random list!
1. Do something you enjoy, but be careful to choose something you won’t end up hating after doing it as a job.
2. Do something you know a lot about or can (and want to) learn about.
3. Believe that you have something to offer. Don’t underestimate the power of your “little idea.”
4. Do research to assess demand for your topic.
5. You need a mailing list. Do not try to use regular email to correspond with your audienceUse a service like Aweber.
6. It’s better to enter an existing niche than to start something completely revolutionary. You don’t have to educate your market as to why they need what you are offering.
7. You can start by selling other people’s products by signing up as an affiliate. Many online marketers earn a bulk of their income this way.
8. Write every day.
9. Read every day.
10. Be a giver.
11. Know your “why”; to stay motivated.
12. Know your “why”; in order to make goal-oriented decisions.
13. Repurpose content; you’ll learn more about this later, but it basically means taking one thing you’ve done and making something else out of it. Did you write an article? Great, now turn it into an audio, etc.
14. Don’t underestimate the power of you, and your uniqueness- be yourself- even though there are others doing what you’re doing, nobody can do it the way you do it. You will attract the people who like your style.
15. Don’t move too fast. Don’t get ahead of yourself. Just do one thing at a time, get that going and move on to the next thing. Don’t try to do everything the successful people are doing. They had to build one step at a time and so do you.
16. Don’t try to do everything yourself. As soon as you are generating income, get in the habit of outsourcing the things you aren’t good at, don’t enjoy, or that someone else can do cheaper than you can (because you’ll make more for your time creating content than doing this task). Even before you’re making a profit you can barter to get the jobs done that you can’t do.
17. Always be learning from someone who is a step or two ahead of you. Don’t go it alone, look for mentoring relationships and a community of online business owners to learn and grow with. Once you’ve found several experts in your field, follow the people who you relate best to.
18. Always be willing to look back and help the person who is just behind you on this trail.
19. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to learn what you need to know.
20. This can be as fun and as profitable as you make it.
21. But… it is work.
I’m sure I learned other things as well. I know I’ve learned a lot since then, and I still have so much to learn. But it doesn’t have to be overwhelming, it’s fun. I hope you’ll come along with me as I learn even more and share it here with you.
If you’re new to online marketing, what have you learned lately that helped you, or what would you like to learn more about?
Enjoy your day!
enjoying the learning (and earning) journey