How To Start Online Business in 2021? The Ultimate Guide For Beginners.

Online Business is one of the best ways to create passive income on the side by working hard at least 2-3 hours daily on a consistent basis. So, with that being said, here are some of the best ways on how you can start an online business in 2021:

  1. Starting Online Business As A Digital Marketer.
  2. Starting Online Business As An Affiliate Marketer.
  3. Starting Online Business As A Digital Freelancer.
  4. Starting Online Business As An SEO Expert.

Before diving deep in to each of the above topics, here are some of the things that you should be aware of and be very well prepared before starting your business online:

  • Mindset: One should have the right mindset before starting anything whether it is online or offline. So, having the right mindset helps you to think of failure as a learning experience and as a part of success. Sometimes failing in the online business helps you to come up with new innovative ideas that can take you to the next level. Without having any clarity on what you want to be, you won’t be able to succeed.

Some of the things that can help you keep on track are exercising at least 45 minutes, meditating for at least 10 minutes and reading a non-fiction book for 30 minutes daily.

  • Market Research: Before getting into the online business, one needs to do market research thoroughly so that you will definitely know what you can get into. This may or may not be your niche, but you will get a head start and start taking ACTION. So, act properly!!
  • Financial Planning: There is no point in spending more if you don’t know what you are spending for. So, before starting anything, one needs to address this issue by doing a lot of research. Stop investing in online courses that are of no value. Find a mentor who is genuine and of value to you. Avoid “Shiny Object Syndrome“.

Now, let’s go ahead and discuss each topic in detail so that you will definitely have an idea on how to make the most out of 2021.

Starting Online Business As A Digital Marketer:-

At a very broad level, Digital Marketing is nothing but advertising made through digital channels like search engines, websites, email, mobile apps, and social media. Through these online media channels, Digital Marketing is the process by which companies showcase their goods, services and brands.

Ever since 2019, Digital Marketing is on the rise surpassing Traditional Marketing. This is because of the result of most of the people spending their time on social media channels and online platforms.

  • Out of 7.7 billion people in the world, the internet is used by 4.4 billion people.
  • Most consumers like to react to brands via online platforms rather than going to a store.
Starting Online Business As A Digital Marketer

Digital Marketing is classified into 7 types:-

Social Media Marketing:-

Starting Online Business As A Digital Marketer

People are highly reliant on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Tiktok, and Snapchat. This is why it is essential that brands are active across all of these social media platforms. Consider these stats:

Social media platforms allow marketers to reach their prospects in a variety of ways. First, marketing teams can use these channels to distribute paid ads and sponsored content. Each platform has a way for marketing teams to create paid ad campaigns and segment users so these ads appear on the feeds of target audience members. While each platform is different, most have capabilities that allow marketing teams to place ads based on location, job title, interests, age, etc.

Influencer Marketing:-

Starting Online Business As A Digital Marketer

One of the best ways to reach your target audience is with the help of Influencer Marketing through digital channels. Brands can partner with celebrities that are considered experts in their field and share similar values.

Brands can then reach these influencer’s followers with branded content and offers. Many marketers have found success with influencer marketing, with 9 out 10 noting that it was the same or better than other channels they use. Additionally, 1 out of 2 women based a purchase decision on a recommendation from an influencer.

Email Marketing:-

Starting Online Business As A Digital Marketer

Email Marketing campaigns are one of the best ways that can help an organization to stay connected with prospects and customers, sending them newsletters that are of value and sending them offers based on past shopping history.

Nearly 60% of consumers say that email plays a role in their purchase decisions. Furthermore, transactional emails are more likely to be opened by subscribers.

Content Marketing:-

Starting Online Business As A Digital Marketer

Content marketing allows marketing teams to be proactive in answering their user’s questions. Marketing teams create content, videos, and other assets to answer questions or provide context to consumers throughout the three stages of the buyer’s journey:

  • The awareness stage: Buyer realizes they have a need.
  • The consideration stage: Buyer determines a course of action to meet this need.
  • The decision stage: Buyer decides on a product/service to purchase to meet the need.

Search Engine Optimization Marketing:-

Starting Online Business As A Digital Marketer

This is one of the powerful topics where you will be able to rank on the 1st page of search engines like Google, Microsoft Bing, Yahoo, etc. By doing so, you will be able to generate a lot of organic traffic to your website without investing on paid advertisement.

It is done by optimizing content for user experience and ensuring the technical elements are in place to enable search engine crawlers to easily find and index this content. We will be discussing this topic in detail in the below sections.

Pay-Per-Click Marketing:

Pay-per-click is a form of paid advertising that allows marketing teams to essentially purchase traffic to their website. Marketers place ads on websites or search engines such as Google and Microsoft Bing, and pay a fee each time the ad is clicked on.

These ads often appear at the top of the search results page and are typically determined by bids on specific keywords, while banner ads on websites usually have set prices.

Affiliate Marketing:-

Affiliate marketing is similar to referral programs, it involves working with outside individuals or companies under the agreement that they promote your product in exchange for a commission from each sale that can be attributed to their efforts.

This is a way to cut down on costs and outsource some of the heavy liftings of promotion, however, you’re putting your brand’s reputation in someone else’s hands, so this type of marketing often requires more extensive monitoring and tracking.

Again, Affiliate Marketing is one of the most trending topics like SEO and we will discuss these in detail in the below sections.

If you are a beginner and really want to make a presence in the online world, I suggest you go through one of my posts by clicking on this link where we explain Digital Marketing in-depth for a career in 2021.

Starting Online Business As An Affiliate Marketer:-

Starting Online Business As An Affiliate Marketer
Credit: Shopify

Affiliate Marketing as an online business is not everyone’s cup of tea. Being a professional Affiliate Marketer takes a lot of effort, time and consistency.

Before learning how we can start out as an Affiliate Marketer, we need to first understand what Affiliate Marketing really is.

It is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. You find a product you like, promote it to others and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.

Let me explain to you how Affiliate Marketing works as an online business. All you need to do is:

  1. Find and Join An Affiliate Program.
  2. Choose Offers That Give Good Results To Your Audience.
  3. Obtain Affiliate Link For Each Unique Offer.
  4. Share Those Links As A Part Of Your Blog and On Your Social Media Channels.
  5. Earn Commission When Someone Makes Purchase By Clicking On Your Affiliate Link.

To give you an example, Sometimes marketers promote their affiliate programs by offering bonuses to anyone who purchases the offer. You could give a free eBook you wrote to any follower who makes a purchase. Promotions like this encourage customers to buy by sweetening the deal.

Although studies show that affiliate marketing isn’t easy, as you remember to foster relationships, focus on your niche, focus on a few key affiliates, and create a system that generates performance for both the advertiser and the affiliate, you can drive profit and conversions for your small business.

I have written 3 posts on Affiliate Marketing,

  1. How To Start Affiliate Marketing? Online Passive Income!!!
  2. ClickBank Affiliate Marketing – Here Is How You Can Succeed!
  3. Best Affiliate Marketing Programs – Join Today and Start Making Passive Income!!!

In these 3 posts, I have gone deep and done market research about Affiliate Marketing and how you can get started with it.

Starting Online Business As A Digital Freelancer:-

With freelance digital marketing as an online business, you’re basically helping companies promote their products and services online. Your job is to reach out to your client’s target audience, drive them to your client’s website, and convert them as paying customers.

Starting Online Business As A Digital Freelancer

Steps to follow to become a digital marketing freelancer in the online business world:-

  1. Build the necessary skills.
  2. Build your personal website.
  3. Start a digital marketing blog.
  4. Build your personal brand.
  5. Make connections with other freelancers.
  6. Choose your specialty.
  7. Learn how to create a services proposal.
  8. Set your prices.
  9. Register your business entity
  10. Pick up your tools
  11. Get your first client
  12. Gather customer reviews and build your portfolio
  13. Organize your time wisely
  14. Plan your next steps

Unlike other freelancing jobs, a freelance marketing professional has to wear many hats. Digital marketing has a number of channels and processes and you need to have the required skill set to offer a range of services to clients.

To give you an idea of what the actual job looks like, these are the most common tasks executed by marketing freelancers:

  • Monitoring job posting websites for new project opportunities.
  • Submitting job proposals to secure new clients.
  • Meeting / communicating with new and existing clients.
  • Responding to emails.
  • Connecting with other freelancers.
  • Working on your own website or blog.
  • Building your personal brand.
  • Optimizing client websites for search engines (SEO).
  • Running PPC campaigns on platforms like Google Ads and Bing Ads.
  • Executing campaigns on Facebook (free and paid).
  • Designing email marketing campaigns.
  • Creating content to satisfy the needs of the various online marketing campaigns.
  • Creating a digital marketing strategy and action plan for clients.
  • Preparing monthly project reports.
  • Issuing invoices to clients.

Until you’ve built your blog and reputation and get to a point that clients will come to you and ask for services, one of the fastest ways to find a job as a freelancer is in job portals.

There are hundreds of digital marketing jobs you can apply to by monitoring the job postings in these websites:

  • Upwork
  • Flexjobs
  • ProBlogger Job Board
  • LinkedIn Jobs
  • PeoplePerHour
  • Fiverr

Some tips to help you during the application process:

Prepare in advance – Visit the above sites and view a number of job postings that you think you would be a good fit. Take note of their requirements and try to create a couple of templates you can use to send your application. This will save you a lot of time than trying to do this for every job application.

Submit your application fast – A typical job posting may receive 50-60 applications in a matter of hours. People looking for services may not go through the full list but select the first candidate that is a good match. So, it’s important to submit your application as fast as possible.

Personalize your application – While you’ll have your templates ready, try to personalize each application to match the requirements of the specific job. If employers realize that it’s a template-based reply, they will probably not take it into account.

Read the requirements carefully – One of the tricks employers use to help them with the screening process is to ask specific questions in the job posting. Applicants that don’t reply to their questions are not taken into account. So, before submitting your application make sure that it provides answers to all their questions and concerns.

Keep your rates low – In the beginning, you’ll have more chances of getting a project if your rates are low. Make sure that you mention in your application that your rates are negotiable. Once you start a conversation with a client, you’ll get a chance to convince them that you’re the right person for the job and secure a better rate.

Becoming a freelancer in the online marketing industry is a great experience. Digital marketers can choose which tasks to perform and it’s a job that you’ll never get bored.

On the other hand, it’s not a profession for everyone. To work as a freelancer you have to be motivated and have high-level self-confidence. When your life and family depend on it, it can quickly become a very stressful job.

The best way to build your confidence is to first build your skills. To offer digital marketing services to clients, you need to be an expert in a number of areas. This won’t happen from day one but it’s something that you can build by learning and practicing.

Once you feel that you know how digital marketing works, and have a few success stories in your portfolio then you can relax and enjoy the ride. The demand for digital marketing consultants is on the rise and it can only increase in the next few years.

Take it step-by-step, build your portfolio gradually, and never stop learning and experimenting. Digital marketing is an exciting industry to be in and you’ll never regret it.

Starting Online Business As An SEO Expert:-

SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” In simple terms, it means the process of improving your site to increase its visibility for relevant searches. The better visibility your pages have in search results, the more likely you are to garner attention and attract prospective and existing customers to your business.

SEO is a fundamental part of digital marketing because people conduct trillions of searches every year, often with commercial intent to find information about products and services. Search is often the primary source of digital traffic for brands and complements other marketing channels. Greater visibility and ranking higher in search results than your competition can have a material impact on your bottom line.

For a helpful dive into SEO, our Periodic Table Of SEO Factors will introduce you to all the key concepts you need to know, including the elements for successful on-page and off-page SEO, plus the “Toxins” or tactics that can hurt your rankings.

Credit: Search Engine Land

The Periodic Table of SEO Factors serves as the foundation of this Guide to SEO. Together, these resources will help you learn about SEO and inform your strategy for success.

As you can see, the foundation of good SEO begins with ensuring crawl accessibility, and moves up from there.

For true beginners. Learn what search engine optimization is, why it matters, and all the need-to-know basics to start yourself off right.

Search engines work through three primary functions:

  1. Crawling: Scour the Internet for content, looking over the code/content for each URL they find.
  2. Indexing: Store and organize the content found during the crawling process. Once a page is in the index, it’s in the running to be displayed as a result of relevant queries.
  3. Ranking: Provide the pieces of content that will best answer a searcher’s query, which means that results are ordered from most relevant to least relevant.

If you’re serious about improving search traffic and are unfamiliar with SEO, I recommend reading “What The Duck Is SEO & How Does It Work?” by Sanjay Shenoy.

So, I am glad that I could provide some insights on how you can start an online business in 2021. But, what makes online business successful is hard work, consistency, patience and showing up for your audience.

Are you ready to start your online business? If yes, share some insights about this article and let me know if you need any help in the comments section below.

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