A lot of people have heard about the “simplicity” of the internet lifestyle and “how easy” it is to make a living online. Some of them are tired of living the 9-5 and others are looking for ways to break free from the shackles of unemployment. Making money online is truly possible for everybody irrespective of whom they are and from where they are in the world but the reality is that a very large percentage of those venturing into online businesses lack what it takes to build a successful business.
Believe me, you might have a lot of knowledge as far as your corporate job is concerned and you might even be someone who is just very intelligent and is promoted every year, but I can assure you, all these has nothing to do with building a thriving online business. In the online business world, we have our own rules, and we play on different grounds compared to those in the corporate world, you have to realize this in order to build a successful online business and this post will be giving you some insights into how I built a thriving online business in 12 months.
You Have to Know Your Audience
It is true that the importance of having a plan should never be underestimated in business but I’d like you to know that knowing your audience is even more important. It doesn’t matter how great your plan is or how renowned your business planner is your plan will be of no effect if it isn’t tailored to your audience and there is no way to tailor a plan to an audience if you hardly know them.
The first step to building a successful online business is to know your audience since every part of your business will be focused on them. The real secret to building successful businesses lies in contributing great value to your market, contributing great value to your audience who will in turn help you make money from your efforts, and there is no how you can help someone you barely know.
There are several ways to know your audience and the first thing to do is have a clear knowledge of what you have to offer. It is your offering that will determine who you will do business with. What you have to offer can also vary depending on so many factors; for example, if you’re a blogger your approach will be different from that of someone who is only selling information products. After knowing what you have to offer, research and take a proper look at some of the top people in your niche offering the same thing, try to examine how they do it and which kind of people they offer their services to, try to know where they spend their top advertising dollars or where they promote their business the most, from this you should be able to know which type of audience they target and start targeting the same.
By taking a look at my last sentence in the above point you will notice I told you to research and target the same audience as the top people in your industry. My question now is, since this people are the top and most respected in your industry can you truly achieve success by targeting the same audience as them? While this is a complex question the answer is yes depending on so many factors. You should also know that your aim isn’t to create a competition here but to be a better alternative to them.
The only key to succeeding when you’re in the same niche as so many highly successful people is differentiation. You have to prove to people that you’re completely different and are the best when compared to them both in your approach, how you deliver, how you gain customers and some other things like that. If these top experts in your niche are used to writing short filler posts everyday why not focus your efforts on writing highly comprehensive, detailed articles once or twice a week? If these people are used to getting the bulk of their traffic via Google Adwords and the likes why not focus your efforts on guest blogging and SEO? If these people are used to utilizing strategies that helps them make quick cash why not follow an approach that gives value first and make money later?
At this point I will also like you to know that, differentiation or not, there is nothing called overnight success. The fact that your approach is different doesn’t mean you should get results immediately and we all know that the patient dog eats the fattest bone. Some of these top people in your niche didn’t achieve any result for years after starting their business and you should also prepare for the worse, the difference is that you differentiating your business will have an impact on your business and accelerate your success but it wouldn’t guarantee overnight success.
Identify Your Business
Or let other people do it for you…
If I were you I wouldn’t leave the fate of my business into other people’s hand but will determine its future myself. The name of your business has a great impact on how far you can go, the website address and tagline of your blog has a huge impact on how successful you can be. You don’t just need to build a copycat business but rather build something millions of people will happily identify with.
When I first started in the blogosphere I started with a domain name called “dataentryforall.net”. I didn’t know anything about that industry when I started but after four months of building my blog to a stage (3k monthly visitors, Google pagerank 4, Alexa rank 100,000k etc.) I realized that the data entry industry is one labeled as a scam industry and no matter how hard I try I won’t achieve success with such a domain name. It was time for change and this kind of change was really difficult to make but due to me knowing the importance of a name and how it can affect my success I went through with it and created “writersincharge.com”. 11 months later, I’m so happy I did it.
Another thing you should also realize is that your tagline is also very important. I mostly talk about building a successful online business here but I do get a lot of emails from entrepreneurs, my blog is being categorized with entrepreneurs and I have been ranked on some lists with some of the best young entrepreneurs in the blogging industry. Why? Because of the name and tagline of this blog. The title of this blog references young entrepreneurs and the tagline also does the same, the impact this has is that the first thing anybody who comes to this blog will think is that this is a young entrepreneur blog (it is in some sense) and they will treat it like that.
Your business doesn’t need to be static and it can be really complex if you’re blogging about more than one subject (blogging, make money online, social media, SEO, getting traffic etc.) but you don’t need people to make the conclusion for you, you can easily do that for them by naming your business so instead of having party A call you a “blogging tips blog” and party B calling you a “make money online blog” and party C calling you a “website traffic blog” you can easily make everything easy for them and call your blog a “blogging tips blog”. Blogging entails the whole process of building a successful business which includes getting traffic, social media etc. and entrepreneurship entails the process of building a successful business and promoting your business (in which case I’m justified).
Market Your Business Like You Have No Other Choice
Exceptional content is great but marketing is what makes the difference. Your content is useless if it isn’t read, no matter how great it is, and your service is useless if no one is using it.
One of the major things I did with this blog is market it as much as I can. I wrote a lot of guest posts for other blogs, I tried to be the first to comment on some of the big blogs and I sometimes enlisted the help of my friends to help me spread the word about my content. Marketing is what differentiates a successful business from a failed one so you should always do your best to market your online business.
It doesn’t matter whether it is paid or free, as long as it is an effective form of marketing make sure you do your best to gain that first, few, loyal fans that will do anything to spread the word about your business and your business will easily take off from there.
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