This is a proven 3-step process for building an internet business that is working great right now.(In 2021)
Let’s jump right in:
- Identify the best internet business idea for you
- Build an audience
- Monetize the audience
1.How to find an internet business idea or niche for you
There are two ways to find the best idea for your internet business:
- Combine your interest and skills
- Do market research to find an untapped opportunity
Both work, but I prefer doing something I am interested in and where I can apply my skills. The interest keepsme going and skills reduce the time to succeed.
Ready to find your idea (and have some fun along the way)?
- Grab a sheet of paper and draw a vertical line through the middle.
- Write “My skills” in the left column and “My interests” in the right column as heading.
- In the Skills column, write down your top 5 professional skills. Be as specific as you can be. For example, UI design is better than just design, sports fitness training is better than fitness training.
- In the Interests column, write down your top 5 interests. Write Football/cricket/tennis instead of sports or beach travel instead of just travel.
- Mix and match the two columns to come up with ideas like these
- Data Science + Football = Analysing Football statistics
- Web development +wild life = Creating resource for wild life experiences
- Graphics design + politics = Creatingpolitical infographics and memes
- Teaching + meditation = Using meditation to improve student performance
Start with five niche ideas to explore.
Start with a narrowly defined niche business. Focusing on a narrow idea reduces competition and gives you a better chance to succeed.
You earn money by building a product, service or creating content like books, courses, and webinars. Affiliate marketing is another popular way to make money from an internet business.
The next step is to check which of your business ideas have the potential to earn real money:
- Open an Excel or Google sheet and enter your ideas in the first column, one on each row
- Go to www.Ubersuggest.com and check how many people are searching Google for your idea
- Enter your idea in the search box and click Search button
- Ubersuggest will show the monthly search volume and SEO difficulty
Here is the result for Football statistics
5400 people search Google every month and the SEO difficulty is 21. SEO difficulty tells you how difficult it’s to rank a website in Google search for the search term. In this case, it will be relatively easy to rank for the term Football statistics.
It looks like this is a good niche. Let’s do some more digging to see if people will pay for it and how competitive it is.
- Search these sites for your niche idea:
- Amazon–shows products and books related to your idea, relative demand and prices
- Product Hunt–technology products, blogs, podcasts and sites launched recently and their popularity
- Gumroad–shows digital products related to your idea and their prices
- Substack- a newsletter publishing platform to find newsletters in your niche
- Listen Notes–world’s largest directory of podcasts
- Reddit – a goldmine of business ideas. Reddit is great for finding online business ideas and validating them.
I did not find much on these sites about Football Statistics, except some books on Amazon. There is clearly a gap between demand and supply. But we don’t know if people will pay for it. To find out, let’s broaden our research a bit.
Searching these same sites with the interest (or mother niche) Football returns several results.
While Football products dominate Amazon, there are also several books with hundreds of reviews, showing strong demand.
Gumroad, Substack and Podcast list several digital products, newsletters and podcasts with thousands of subscribes and downloads. Product Hunt shows several digital products, not just games, related to Football. And Reddit has multiple subreddits with thousands of members.
Clearly, people are passionate about their sport and willing to spend on what they want. We can definitely build an affiliate business promoting the products we found during research.
2.Build an audience for your online business
We know we can develop the Football Statistics niche into a viable internet business with affiliate marketing. The next step is to create an audience so you can promote these products.
- Set up a blog–This is the first step in building an audience. You can also start with a Facebook page or try to build a following on Twitter and Instagram. I prefer creating a blog as it gives me control over my platform. Social media platforms can ban you for flimsy reasons destroying your audience in a minute.
Setting up a blog is as actually very simple:
- Buy a domain
- Buy hosting for your blog site
- Setup a WordPress website for blogging
- Start building your audience
- Once your site is up and running, start publishing your blog posts
- Look through podcasts, newsletters, questions on Quora, and popular posts on Reddit to find ideas about posts.
SEO is the key to the success of a blog. Select the right keywords to target. Optimize the posts for the target keyword and promote heavily on social media, Quora and Reddit to drive visitors and attract backlinks.
- Create a few link magnets like infographics, resources, and templates your audience loves. Use no-code tools like Airtable and Pory to create professional looking resource collections, then promote on Product Hunt, Reddit, Quora and other places.
People are suckers for these resources and will link to them in numbers. These backlinks increase your website’s authority and improve search ranking.
- Start promoting your blog and building audience
- Join Subreddits on Reddit related to your niche. Respond to others’ posts and comments to build points (karma on Reddit) and following.
- Answer questions on Quora to become an expert and build a following
- Sign up for newsletters related to your niche. Post comments, participate in discussions and build a relationship with publishers. Do the same with podcasts in your niche.
- Set up your YouTube channel. Find new and popular products to cover in your videos.
Interview the product owner/founder to get insights your competitors may not have. It also gives you a chance to build new relationships.
Ask product owners to share the video with their audience–they get publicity while gets you more audience.
- Transcribe your videos and edit to create new blog posts. Promote these posts on other sites like Quora and Reddit.
- Use tools like Beacon.by to quickly create eBooks from your blog posts. Offer these eBooks as free downloads in return for email. Use the email list to announce new blog posts and promote affiliate products.
- Share new blog posts, interesting facts and trivia on social media –Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Connect with other influencers in your internet business niche. Promote their content to build relationships.
Use social media to amplify your blog, build a personal brand, and drive people back to your blog. Never send people the other way round.
- Comment on videos posted by influencers in your internet business niche to get noticed and build relationships with them. YouTube is very effective for selling courses and driving people to your website.
- Join niche forums and groups like Indie Hacker to expand your network and get new readers.
3.The final step is to monetize the audience
This is where you reap the rewards of the hard work done in building your audience. There are multiple ways to make money from your internet business:
- Promote affiliate products in your niche
The easiest way to monetise your audience is to offer affiliate products. Sign up as an affiliate for the product and start promoting:
- Review the product in detail – see my review of SiteGround for help. Interview the product owner to get information other reviews may be missing. Be authentic and honest in your reviews.
- Create a resource or favorites page on your site. List all your affiliated products here.
- Create video reviews of the products and publish on YouTube
- Promote to your email list
- Write a book – start with your most popular blog posts and ideas. Add more content and insights to create a valuable book for your audience. Sell on your site and through Amazon self publishing, KDP.
- Start a paid newsletter – Once you have an email list and website audience, you can upsell them on the idea of a paid newsletter.
- Start a paid community – people love to hang around like-minded people. A tightknit community focused on a small niche is extremely valuable to people who love the niche. There are several platforms like Circle that make it a breeze to set up a closed community with membership fee.
- Create a video course that you can sell to your audience. Again, there are readymade platforms like Teachable you can use to set up and sell your courses.
Already have a successful internet business? Share your thoughts with others and help them build an internet business.