Example Business Ideas

How to Start an Online Business

Written by Mac Cassity for Gaebler Ventures

Want to begin making money online? Learning the skills necessary to make money from the internet can be a time intensive and costly endeavor. This article will help you understand some of the steps necessary to take your online business from an idea to an income generating reality.

Thanks to the internet, millions of people all over the world are using the internet to earn money.

Some do it as a way to earn a little extra money, while others go on to replace their current income through their online business. While the internet can be a great way to produce income, it does not come without work. It is a wise idea to do plenty of research before investing large sums of money. Much of the trial and error can be taken out of the process by simply following what other successful online marketers have already achieved.

Below is a simple general blueprint to help you start a profitable online business:

Choose a product to sell- First and foremost, you must choose a product or service to sell. If you have your own product, that can offer the most profit potential, but you must also factor in the costs of creating and shipping those products as well. If what you sell is a service, then those costs can be excluded of course. You can also choose to sell the products of others which, while offering less money per sale, will also limit your expenses greatly. In addition, you can also generate revenue simply by hosting advertisement from your site. For instance, if you create a blog about a popular subject and attract a huge amount of visitors, others will gladly pay to put their advertisement on your site.

Create a website- Once you've chosen your product and revenue generating model, it is time to build a website. Today, blogs are very popular and offer the most affordable method of getting a profit producing website quickly. Wordpress.com offers free blogs which allow you to pay for additional features to help increase the activity and profit producing potential of your site. More traditional websites are much more affordable these days thanks to the proliferation of computer programmers and the lowering of prices through competition. It is fairly easy to have a comprehensive, feature rich website created for you for under $500 and even much less in some cases.

Drive traffic to your site- Driving traffic to a website is the ultimate goal, but is always one of the hardest aspects of operating an online business. There are hundreds of millions of websites in existence today, ALL competing for traffic. Learning basic search engine optimization (or SEO) can help you in your quest, but hiring an experienced firm is a shortcut you might want to look into. These firms can be pricey, so make sure to compare their services and guarantees. In addition, services like Google's Pay Per Click advertising product is a great way to generate traffic quickly. Simply put, you pay for each person that clicks an ad that you create and visits your website. As long as your site sells a percentage of them, you can make a profit. Like all aspects of marketing, this too takes some know how, so again, do your research before investing large sums of money.

Work on increasing conversion rate- It doesn't matter how many people visit your site if none of them buys from you. Your conversion rate refers to the amount of people that buy after visiting your site. If your product is something incredibly in demand, you may be successful without much effort but if clients need to be sold to, attention should be paid to the sales copy on the page to help encourage visitors to take action. Again, this sales copy can be something you learn and perfect or can be outsourced to qualified copywriters who have experience getting website visitors to buy.

As you can see, there is more to operating an online business than simply throwing up a website online and hoping for the best. Like any successful business venture, care must be taken in creating something that has shown to work in the past. Through a combination of learning skills yourself and outsourcing others, you can create a profit producing online business for less money and in less time than most traditional bricks and mortar business opportunities.

Mac Cassity is an entrepreneur and business person. Mac began writing professionally when he was twelve years old for a comic book collecting publication. Today, he has experience in insurance agency management and runs his own freelance writing business, Mac the Knife Articles.

Share this article

Additional Resources for Entrepreneurs

Lists of Venture Capital and Private Equity Firms

Franchise Opportunities


Business Glossary


Conversation Board

We greatly appreciate any advice you can provide on this topic. Please contribute your insights on this topic so others can benefit.

  • Taryn East posted on 7/26/2010
    Taryn East
    Hi, I've read a number of articles on this site - and really like them - especially the ones on how to come up with business ideas, and some examples of the kinds of business ideas that are likely to be marketable in this economy. What I see is that mostly the articles on this subject are about how to come up with ideas for concrete "real" objects to be sold. I'm a web-developer, so I can build online stuff really easily... and I'd really love to see an article with a way to brainstorm ideas for *online business* ie - businesses that are purely online and have no real-world objects that are being sold. Any ideas on that? :) Cheers, Taryn
  • Ken Gaebler posted on 7/30/2010
    Ken Gaebler
    Taryn, if you can code, it'd be easy for you to apply the technique on this page -- business idea generator -- to the task of generating online business ideas. It just randomizes two columns of data. For generating web business ideas, you would end up with concepts like Dating Sites for Veterans, or Email Alerts for Currency Exchanges, or maybe eBay Combined with LinkedIn. Most of the ideas created by a random idea generator will be nonsense, but you might find a few diamonds in the rough. Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Questions, Comments, Tips, and Advice

Email will not be posted or shared
Code Image - Please contact webmaster if you have problems seeing this image code

Problem Viewing Image? Load New Code