How to Start Your Online Business

A Step by Step Guide

Starting An Online Business

Lets Be Honest about starting an online business, Its not free, easy and does not happen overnight. Anyone telling you that it is, is plan lying.

You can find a free sign up to hosting sites and that’s a good way to learn about what they offer, but eventually you’ll have to pay something.

You can find $.99 cent domain names, but they are offered by hosting sites that are not user friendly or lack a lot of what you will need to build your website. They offer these low prices on domain names to get you tied into their hosting platform.

What will it take?

Your going to need: a domain name, a website host that offers everything you need, a keyword search platform, images to use, training, etc. You’ll need a good niche, affiliate programs and more…

When you add all of it up to a monthly expense, you could be paying $40.+ a month. 

Are you ready for it? Do you have a good WHY? Do you have the time, patience and determination your going to need?

What do I mean by a good WHY? Let me put it this way, Why do you want an online business? People have all kinds of reasons, kids college expenses, a vacation home, new car, a better life, etc.

Whatever you WHY is, make sure its something you feel strongly about. You will get discouraged and think about quitting. You need to have a picture of your why or have it written down and at your workspace. When you get discouraged, look at it and get back to work.

If you want an online business up, running and creating an income 6-12 months from now, you need to start now. Its a timely process but if you stick to it, it can change your life. 

Do you have a business plan?

Making a plan is the most important part of starting any online business. We plan for a vacation, a dinner party, buying a new car, buying a home, so why wouldn’t you plan for something as important as a new business?

When you are starting an online business, you have to decide what your business is going to be, what your going to sell, who are you going to be selling to,(your target customer), how much is your budget, the time you can contribute to your business and more.

If you want to start your own online business, you must write down some details. You can’t just “shoot from the hip”, as they say. Take some time and make a detailed plan. [Read More]

Some Online Business Ideas

There are over 20 million online businesses, but the majority of them are doing little or no business. There are clear and precise reasons why.

Contrary to some of the claims online, you cannot build a fully functional online business in 30 seconds, or even 30 minutes.

Creating an income producing Website takes time. Do not fall for the scams claiming you can have a website up and running in no time at all. You could buy a domain name, register and host it in 30 minutes, but its an empty site producing nothing.

90% of new online business start-ups fail. That statistic is all too real and the number one reason is people don’t realize the time it’s going to take. [Read More]

When I wanted to start my own internet business, I searched the internet for online business opportunities. What I found is the most popular online businesses today are Affiliate Websites. 

If you need some Online Business ideas, I have compiled several of the top ideas for an online businesses. As we go along, I will explain in some detail each step you take in building an Online Business. [ Read More ]

What is your Niche? Is it a Focused Niche?

The definition of a Niche isdenoting or relating to products, services, or interests that appeal to a small, specialized section of the population. To me a focused niche is “a group of people looking for something specific”.

Finding your Niche is relatively easy. What is it your passionate about? What do you love? Your going to be spending time filling all the pages you create with content, so be sure your going to love doing it.

After you have chosen your Niche, you have to narrow it down to a more focused niche. Lets say you feel your niche is Golf. You cannot create an online store with all the thousands of golf products.

You will do very little, if any business at all. You have to narrow it down to say, golf shoes, golf apparel, golf balls, etc. You have to focus in on a smaller niche within a niche. [ Read More ]

You also need to know who your potential customers are going to be and the buying cycles that they go through. Read more about customer comprehension

Once you have fine tuned your idea to a more focused Niche, (business idea), you’ll need to do some research on that idea. Check out what competition your going to have. To do this, go to your favorite web browser (google, Bing) and start typing in your idea. 

Lets say your idea is to sell Custom Wooden Picture Frames. You would search, Picture Frames, Custom Picture Frames, Wooden Picture Frames, etc. Check some of the site’s and see what your going to be up against.

Your also want to do some keyword searches based on your business niche. That will give you further ideas for choosing a domain name for your business. All of this is going to give you some great ideas for your online business domain name. [ Read More ]

This next step is going to be your first financial decision regarding your online business. When you choose where to buy your domain name, it will automatically be registered there.

A website hosting platform is where you will build your site, its the doorway to the internet. Most of your training is going to be there. If your new to starting an online business, make sure you have it hosted on a site that offers some kind of training.

As listed on my Avoiding Online Scams page, you have to be careful what platform you choose. You can move your sites to another host, but it takes some time and work, so choose wisely.

Some people buy their domain on one site but have it hosted on another. The first time I did that, it took 4 days for my site to be moved and active. Now I buy and host at the same site. You would also have 2 places you make payments to. 

Website hosting platform reviews 
[ Wealthy Affiliate ] [ GoDaddy ] [1and1 ] [BlueHost] [FatCow] [IPage]
[ namecheap ] [ HostGator ] [Website Builder] [] [JustHost]

Finding relevant Keywords

Keyword by definition is: an informative word used in an information retrieval system to indicate the content of a document.

What are Keywords?  When you want to find something online, you go to a search engine (google, Yahoo, Bing) and type in a few choice words, those are Keywords. Its what the SEO’s (search engine optimization) scours through on Websites to bring up the results that you see listed.

You will be adding these keywords into the Content of your site as well as an area just for keywords. The more keywords you have on your site, the better ratings you will get in the SEO’s. The better the rating, the more visitors you will have which in turn will lead to more sales.

Pages and Content

Now you will start building your website by adding pages and content. The more pages and informative content you have on your new website, the better ratings you will receive.

Content is all the written information your going to have. Your posts and blogs is also considered content. 

Your page titles are more important than your website domain name. Read that over again because understanding that is paramount to success. [Read More]

When your writing your Content, you will want to use keywords and phrases as much as possible for the SEO’s to pick up on. You want it to be interesting for your visitors and relevant to your online business

I cannot stress enough how important having good informative content is to your success. You will also find as you go along, that you will be adding more and more pages and writing more and more Content. Find information about content here. [Read More]

 Links are a very important part of any website’s success or failure. There are 3 links that will be used on your site. Placement and the amount of them are crucial for your new site.

Internal Links, External Links and Anchor Links are the most popular and most important. Internal and anchor links are used to tie your Website together, by directing your visitor to more information but keeping them on your site. 

External links are links that take your visitor off your site to another, but are the links used to earn commissions. There are guidelines for using them and their placement. [ Read More ]

 Other Considerations  

If your selling your own products with your new online business, your going to need a way for your customers (visitors) to pay you.

If you have an affiliate site, your going to need a way for your advertisers to pay you. You could have a check sent, but an online way to get your commissions is best.

Out of all the companies online, I would recommend PayPal. They’re the most recognizable and trusted site online. People feel very confident using PayPal that their information is secure.

You’ll want to add social media to your site so your visitors can share your site and information with their friends and family. [Read More]

Email capture and an email marketing campaign is very important as soon as you start to get some activity on your site. You can use that to email your potential customers more information and specials on products or services your promoting.[Read More

Some last thoughts if your selling your own products, you’ll need a way to ship these and all the packaging supplies. Boxes, bubble wrap, Styrofoam pellets, labels, etc.

You also need to add a shopping cart to your site so your customers can just send it to the cart, and keep on shopping. There are independent sites to get a cart, but again PayPal has one. [ Read More ]                                                                                        

Double and triple check everything on your site, Check your grammar and spelling, all your keywords, all your pages, make sure you can navigate from one page to the other. 

If your going to be taking payments, make sure the links are all working. Make sure your shopping cart, if you have one on your site, is working.

Check all your internal and external links and make sure they are taking your visitor to the right page. Don’t forget to check any posts you may have added.

I have a 12 point check list Here 

Other reviews on website hosting platforms.

[ Wealthy Affiliate ]   [ GoDaddy ]   [1and1 ] [Bluehost] [FatCow] [iPage]
[ namecheap ] [ HostGator ] [Website Builder] [] [JustHost]

All the best to your success.     


PS: Please leave a comment if you have a minute…Thanks 



  1. Paul says:

    Hello Doug

    This is a very nice looking website – clean and tidy with
    great information.

    I like the colour scheme and also the easy access to things
    You have done a really great job!

    best regards


    • Paul,
      Thank you for visiting my site. I have put a lot of time in trying to provide as much information as I can. I am always adding more in hopes to provide anyone wanting to build an online business the information they need.
      Thanks again and all my best to your success.

  2. Jacks says:

    Great looking site I must say!

    But I totally agree I believe that planning is the key to success in everything and especially when it comes to building your online brand. I have made the mistake in the past of just leaping into creating an online business and lost money in the process, not a lot of money but enough to make me stop and say, “hold on a second, your doing something wrong here”

    Breaking the process down they way you have is very helpful, not just for newcomers but also for people who may have started to loose their way.

    • Douglas Schmitz says:

      Thanks for your comments Jacks, I keep tweaking and adding to my site as I find more important subjects that need to be addressed.

      Can’t build an online business without a plan. Like you said you’ll be wasting time and wasting money. One step at a time is what you need to do.

      Thanks again for visiting and glad the information was helpful.


  3. John Rico says:

    Hey there! I’m actually looking for a guide that will help me with online business. I’m a college student and I’m looking for a part time job online. I heard that online business gives decent amount of money that’s why it got my interest. I found your article very informative but is there any program that will help me with this kind of online job? I really appreciate your response.

    • Douglas Schmitz says:

      Hey John,

      Yes there is John. I have a review of Wealthy Affiliates on my site that contains the reasons that they are the best. Its not just another web hosing site, its a university.

      There are live classes, instructional video’s with every lesson, a community of tens of thousands that are not just willing to help, but eager. And to top it off their the only web hosting site that will let you sign up for free and they will give you 2 free websites.

      You could build your business for free with all the help you’d ever need. You have nothing to loose, give it a look and let me know what you think.

      Thanks for visiting my site and glad it helped. If you need anything else, drop me a note.


  4. Diana says:

    Hi Doug,

    These are some very clear steps on how to start an online business. If I had seen this post when I first got started, I would have seen results sooner rather than later.

    It’s evident that you know what you are doing and want to help others accomplish the same. As far as when it comes to how to make money, I think the best way is to sell other people’s products. I think it’s a little less stressful; especially if you’re just starting out.


    • Douglas Schmitz says:


      Thanks for visiting my site and glad the information was helpful. People don’t realize the steps that have to be taken to build a successful and profitable online business.

      I hope my site provides this information and will be able to help those that are just starting out.

      Thanks again for stopping by and leaving a comment.

      All my best,


  5. Del says:

    Some great information you’ve got on here. I have to say that emphasising that planning and understanding that there really is no quick solution is important. I currently have two websites, one of which is a newbie, and even with my experience from doing my first one I’m still two months in, spending many hours on it and it has yet to generate revenue – but I know that in time it will. You just have to understand that it all takes effort and time 🙂

    • Douglas Schmitz says:

      Thanks Del, and your right. People have to understand, you will not have overnight success. 

      It takes time, dedication and a love for what your doing. I laugh when I see adds saying you could be online and running in an hour or a day. It just does not exist. 

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. It gives me such a good feeling knowing that I am offering the information people need. 

      All my best to your success, 


  6. Tanner says:

    I’m really liking your website!
    I wish I would have read more articles like this when I was first starting out trying to create a business online, I probably could have done things a lot more efficiently.
    But I suppose working out the kinks on the way is part of the learning process! Anyway, great article and a very visually appealing site, best of luck to you!

    • Hey Tanner,
      The whole reason I started this site is give people the information they need. I remember when I was just starting out, I couldn’t find the information on what was really involved with building an online business.
      I had to do it the same way you did, trail and failure until I got it right.
      Hopefully I make it clear for anyone wanting an online business to know what it really takes.
      All my best to your success,

  7. Ralph says:

    Starting a online business has always been an interest of mine. But I have always been unsure of how to go about it. I looked at the wealthy affiliate program you recommended and it looks very promising. I do wonder how supportive are the people within the community when it comes to helping out newbies such as myself? Thanks for this.

    • Douglas Schmitz says:


      I could never say enough about the community at Wealthy Affiliates. I have been on several website hosting platforms in my online career and have never seen people so eager to help. Some of the members that have been very successful are always in the live chat room and ready to help anyone.

      Although there is enough training to keep you informed with every step of the way, I find that the community of like minded people can’t do enough for you. Its been a big factor for getting my sites built properly and ranked quicker than I have been in the past.

      Anything else I can help you with, just let me know. All my best to your success,


  8. Neil says:

    When most people start up new online businesses, they lack real direction which then makes the process seem complicated.

    But it’s AWESOME to see the steps here for laying the foundations of an online business. Once the structure is place, folks then simply need to move forward with adding content to their websites.

    I also agree that creating a plan is the most important thing to do before starting a business because it’s what determines the direction.

    Without first designing a plan and choosing a niche, people will definitely fall at the first hurdle.

    Thanks for outlining the important business building steps. This will be a massive help for noobs.


    • Douglas Schmitz says:


      The plan is the most important step along with understanding that it is going to take time and patience. Building an online business is fairly simple if you know what you have to do and when.

      Problem today is all the sites that claim that it can be done in 30 minutes or overnight. It simply cannot because it takes time to get indexed, ranked and for you to create all the content that is needed to be ranked.

      Glad you found my site helpful and all my best to your success,


  9. Sylvia says:

    It’s easy to read, understand, informative, and very, very interesting. I had a hard time ‘putting it down’ so to speak.

    The color, theme, and set up is really nice. It’s easy to navigate and find things that are most important about the topic. Pictures match the articles.

    I’ve bookmarked the site. It’s one of the best ones I’ve seen on starting a business online.

    Keep up the great work!

    • Douglas Schmitz says:

      Thank you Sylvia, its always so good to hear that my work is noticed. Its taken a lot of time so far and its not near done, probably never will. There is always something new to write about, let people know, and sometimes to warn them to some scam. 

      Thanks for your comment and all my best to your success,   Doug

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