The Only 6 Steps You Need to Start an Online Business Right Now

Do you want to make money online? Are you ready to finally start your own online business? 

A buddy recently texted me that he wanted to register a business for a new idea that he had. I told him to focus on making a few bucks first.  You need to make money if you want a business.  I’m going to show you how you can finally start your own blog/online business so that you can eventually make some money in the process.

Keep on reading if you’re ready to start your own business with a few easy steps…

You’re going to start your own business, share your ideas with the world, and make some money on the side.

Start a business with no money

I’m not here to show you how to get rich quick or scam the system. I can show you how to make some extra cash and share your ideas with the world through a blog.

But first…

Do any of the following excuses sound familiar?

  • “I can’t think of any good ideas.”
  • “I don’t have the money to start an online business.”
  • “I didn’t go to a prestigious college.”
  • “I need to register my business first.”
  • “I’m waiting to get more clients before I start my business.”

I started this blog in November of 2008 because I was bored and sick of feeling sorry for myself. I launched it with no experience and no clue as to what was going to happen next. Now over the last eight years, I’ve built this into an outlet where I can share my ideas, vent, and even make some money in the process.

I’ve helped thousands of readers over the years. I’ve been featured in the NY Times (and every other possible outlet), been flown in to speak across North America, and have written an Amazon best seller. I’m not saying this to brag. I want you to see what’s possible if you’re just willing to launch.

Check out our video on why you should start a blog…

Here are the 6 easy steps to start your own online business right now even if you’re broke and confused…

1. Stop stressing about the money.

Your first step to starting a business is to accept that you don’t need lots of money to get started. You don’t need money to make money. That saying is as outdated as your uncle’s dance moves.

You’re not getting into real estate and you’re not buying a sports franchise. You’re starting a simple online business. This is a one woman operation.

You need to just stop making excuses and get the ball rolling. It’s not that hard. I’m here to help you and make this process as easy as possible. Once you get the ball rolling and build some momentum, it’s going to be impossible to stop you.

Stop stressing about the money because all you need is a few hours a week and about the price of a cup of coffee per month for hosting to get started online because hosting won’t cost you more than $10/month. Think about the stupid stuff that you normally spend $10 on.

2. Pick a topic already.

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. You just need to keep it spinning.

Here’s a newsflash: you do’t have to create the next Facebook to have a profitable online business.

You don’t need to think of a revolutionary topic. You only have to commit to one topic.

How do you pick a topic?

The best strategy for picking a topic that I’ve heard of is the 7 passions, 7 fears, and 7 problems model.

You write down 7 things that you’re passionate about, 7 things that you’re afraid of, and 7 problems that you have.

Then you narrow it down from there. With 21 ideas you’re bound to find something that you can move forward with. If not then you need to get out more and live a little.

You also have to niche it down as much as possible. Studenomics is personal finance for folks who don’t want to miss a party in their 20s. So clearly, the site isn’t for everyone and I’m cool with that. I want you to get as specific as possible. The world doesn’t need another general blog.

Think of something very specific. Solve a problem. Think of a name. Launch.

The good news is that there’s a target market for everything.

3. Buy your domain and go live.

Getting started is very simple. You can check out the tool below to see if the domain name that you want is available. Then you can sign up and get started.

Start an online business

You can start off with the most basic plan.

How to start a blog

Then you fill in your info for your payment. Finally, you choose a password.

Start a blog

You’re set!

Everyday that you ponder about your idea is another day you’ve missed out on establishing yourself online. You need to stop chasing perfection and just get started. There’s no such thing as perfect. It’s all about learning on the job.

The thing is that this little investment will force you to take your new business seriously. You never know what can happen when you share your ideas with the world.

Use the tool below to see if your desired domain name is available.

I want you to go to Bluehost and sign up for your domain hosting. You can grab a few domain names for a few extra bucks.

[Full disclosure: Bluehost may not be the best hosting company, but I generally have no issues with them. Whenever something goes wrong, they’re pretty quick to fix it. I included an affiliate link because I support them fully.]

4. Install WordPress software and download your free theme.

Once you’ve purchased a hosting plan, you need to download the software to run your blog on.

You just have to log in and WordPress is already setup for you.

Start an online business

Just choose any theme for now. You can easily edit this after.

In a funny story, when I first launched Studenomics, I thought that I had the coolest theme ever. I posted it in a few forums and they quickly pointed out that my theme was pathetic.

WordPress is simply the software that you use to run a blog. It allows you to publish articles and control your blog without any technical expertise.

Your theme is just the appearance of your blog.

Once you start making money, you can pay for a better design. You can also use Fiverr to get a decent logo for $5. I started off with free. As the blog made money, I invested the money into a decent design and logo.

Now when you want to log in to write posts and go on your blog all you have to do is type in yournewblogname.com/wp-admin and put in your information.

How to start a blog

Your theme is up and you can start playing around.

Start an online business

This is where the fun begins.

Start a business

Now you know where to go to work on your new website.

Start a blogStart an online business

There’s literally a theme for every kind of genre and specific taste. Once you get a little more into it and people are actually reading your site (real people, not your parents) you can upgrade to your theme, hire a designer, and do all of that fancy stuff.

5. Create a few key pages and posts that will attract readers.

Now it’s time to start writing or creating content (you can post links to your YouTube videos if you hate writing long articles).

This should be the toughest part of all because you need to sit down and create quality content for the world. The world has enough boring out there. You have to write stuff that sticks out. You have to find a way to be unique. You have to find a way to solve problems without giving the same boring advice as everyone else (work hard, be yourself, bla bla bla).

You need to create a few basic pages and posts before you can attempt to bring anyone over to your blog. If you’ve already created content on other platforms (YouTube, Instagram, etc.) then you can also easily share it on your blog posts.

What are a few important pages that you need to setup?

  • A contact page. Keep it simple. You can download a contact page plugin or you can just list your email.
  • “About me” section. Tell everyone who the hell you are and how you can help THEM. Share everything remotely interesting about your personality that you have going on.

You can eventually worry about the privacy policy and a resources page. For now you just need those two pages. You want people to be able to contact you and you them to know what you’re all about.

What are a few posts that you should get going?

  • A pillar piece. This post that you’re reading is a pillar piece. This is a huge article that others want to link to and people want to spread the word about. Write something that you can be proud of sharing. You should try to explain something, share a controversial opinion, introduce a new idea to the world, or write something that you would want to share with a friend.
  • Basic introductory posts. It’s important that you introduce the basics and get into the habit of posting updates. I would do a “start here” page where you talk about the goal of the blog and what readers can expect. I would then introduce YOUR UNIQUE view to the world. Please try to have a unique view. You need a captivating story to capture interest. How are you going to capture the interest of the people?

Once you have these pages and posts setup you can then start to promote your blog by commenting on other sites, offering to guest post, or whatever advertising strategy you plan on using.

After a few weeks or so you’ll likely be in the habit of posting regularly and interacting in your field.

If you realize that your first idea sucks, move on to the next one. It’s that easy. Starting is the toughest part. Executing trumps all theory. The world has enough great ideas. The world needs more closers.

You’ve launched something to the world.

6. Test your ideas out and try to get paid.

How does a blog make money?

You were likely wondering about this while reading the whole article. Let’s jump into different ways you can make money with a blog:

  1. Selling advertising space. Advertisers will contact you to buy advertising. You then negotiate a price that you can both agree on.
  2. Promoting your own products. You can create your own eBook, course, offer coaching or any other product that applies to your niche. You then promote and sell this product for profit to your audience.
  3. Affiliate marketing (promoting products you love for a commission). Are there products that you use? You can promote them for money.

It’s your turn to start a blog, share your ideas with the world, and make some money.

“Successful people learn from failure, but the lesson they learn is a different one. They don’t learn that they shouldn’t have tried in the first place, and they don’t learn that they are always right and the world is wrong and they don’t learn that they are losers. They learn that the tactics they used didn’t work or that the person they used them on didn’t respond.” – Seth Godin

Bonus: My offer to you.

If you absolutely don’t feel like going through this process alone, then you can send me an email to md @ studenomics.com and I can help you get started. The point is that there’s no more excuses allowed. You’re going to start a business right now. Of course, I’ll use you as a case study when you become successful.

What are you going to do?

I gave you the only 6 steps that you need for starting a business right now. You can feel motivated for five minutes and do nothing. On the other hand, you can follow the tips in here to actually get started with your new online business with practically no money involved. If you’re serious about starting a business to see if you have what it takes you need to sign up for your domain and get the ball rolling. You can watch The Simpsons while you do this.

Total money involved: about $3.96/month or so depending on the special that you grab.

Total time invested: few hours to think of a topic and 30 minutes to get everything setup. Then as much or as little time as you wish going forward.

You can either join Bluehost right now to start your online business or keep on waiting for some magical moment to come.

25 thoughts on “The Only 6 Steps You Need to Start an Online Business Right Now”

  1. Hey Martin

    This is true. I think everyone should stop making excuses and start something on the internet today. I see a lot of people wasting so much time on the television and social network.

    Its relatively easy to learn this. If you dont you can go to youtube for instructions. Theres no need to be too technical about here.

    I’ll share this post to some of my friends and relatives.

  2. Great post! I think that college is the perfect time to have an online business! With the amount of time that college students are already online, starting and running an online business is a great way to help pay for college and have a little more spending money on the side.

  3. Very good advice, I’ve always thought of starting a blog, but it didn’t happen until I fully committed to the idea and created an actionable plan to get it done.

  4. Elena @ Personal Finances

    Having your own online business is a great idea, but you always have to keep in mind that you won’t get rich overnight. It takes a lot of hard work, passion and dedication. For a while, you won’t have any play time because there is an enormous amount of work to do to create and promote online business!

  5. Hold on, is your advice to just start and then make it work? Who would have thought?! 😉 Sorry for the sarcasm – I completely agree and am just frustrated with anyone that isn’t paying attention. Every success story that I’ve ever heard starts with someone jumping in and starting something. That’s it. You can’t achieve anything by just thinking about it for years and years and that’s it.

    1. I totally agree. I just wrestled my second match today in front of 300-400 people. I was nervous as hell and totally not prepared. I just went out there and offended the crowd to no end. The match wasn’t perfect, but the crowd will forever remember me.

      The same thing happened with Studenomics. It wasn’t perfect, but I learned on-the-job.

  6. When you say “start an online business”, do you mean selling products on a website? Or creating an income from the ads? I guess I’m confused as to how you are actually making money by just posting articles.
    Thank you 🙂

    1. Good question Samantha. For me it’s a combination of both. You could sell ads (affiliates, sponsored posts and so on) and your own products.

      The articles are what brings in the traffic. It’s a very unique business model. There’s lots of free work involved.

      1. Am in Africa, Cameroon and am not sure if they are options through which I can be paid since I don’t have credit or debit cards.is there any way?

  7. Mark McKnight

    Nice post. I’m following along and taking action. I’m going to add my about page soon. Do you like my pillar content piece?

    1. Hey Mark. Welcome to the blogging world. I checked out your site. I would like to see you improve your about page and add more content. You’re in the right track.

  8. Thanks for this post. It’s not only for students but for anyone, at any stage, trying to start something new. Sometimes you just have to jump and see where it takes you.

    I think that it’s important to always have your goal in front of you. It will take you through the rough times.

      1. Hey Martin. Stumbled into this article and I’m challenged. I have a wordpress blog, but few followers. What more do I do to draw traffic and earn too?

        1. Mark McKnight

          You could try two things Vera. Create a Facebook fanpage or group about your topic and share lots of your own content as well as other peoples. Share about 5 posts per day. You could also try creating some videos for YouTube as well.

  9. I say thanks. I just found you today as I was tracking back to my blogspot, after going in circles with the local government people about ‘registration’. I then realized and said to myself, forget this, get online and STAY!

    My question: I presently maintain a blogger blogspot. I’m actively learning to manage/improve it. Why should I need also to add in wordpress? My friend has a great site she built with weebly. Also, if/when I do shift, if I’m able to redirect, that’ll be good.

    I’m entirely interested in ‘monetizing’ all my talents. I really appreciate your 7/7/7 list. Likewise, I have an Ebook on Amazon. I know that I need to relaunch and likely re-categorize and add in new key words. Ok, that’s all a bunch of stuff that I know Meantime, I’m building a free ebook/article for my first total give-away.

    My goal is to speak/write/consult on alternative health/nutrition as disease prevention. Thanks again! LiveWellToday/DrinkTeaAlways!

    1. Thanks for the comment Sandra. I would spend the few bucks to get a custom domain. It’s simply more professional and it only costs a few bucks per month. Could you please tell me more about your niche and the problem that you’re solving?

  10. This all sounds great, I get that you have to get off your couch and actually do something and I like the 7x7x7 approach to coming up with the idea, but I do not even have 3.95 a month at this point. I have no job, a hubby who give me 0 in cash and I have no resources otherwise. The only reason I have internet is that he pays for it. If I get money it is for specific needs and it is counted and change expected. I am tired of having no control but this is where I am. Any ideas how to do it without the 3.95 start up? It’s not laziness. This man monitors every single dime that comes into the house and even when I make money it is for specific needs. I do not have a bank account at the present time and would like to learn how to regain control financially. Any ideas for that?

    1. Mrs. Dragonfly

      Think your issue is more than not having money…you are being controlled in your relationship. Why allowing it?

  11. Refreshingly honest article on how to start a business blog. I love how you break the often confusing process on how to start a business into 6 easy steps. You are right, blogging is getting easier than ever. My friends are always asking me why they don’t see me on Facebook often. I tell them the truth, that I am blogging to make money instead of gossiping online. Anyone can start a blog and I encourage you to try it. Thanks again for such great info and hard love and motivation.

  12. PhilanthroCapitalist

    Hi, Martin. This is the first time I’ve been to this site. I like the “Party Hard” slogan. You’re pretty much exactly where I want to be in ten years.

    Judging from your landing page pic, it looks like you lift (or at least are interested in fitness). I was wondering if I could get your feedback on my small business, which will start selling on Amazon in a couple weeks: Quick Cup, the disposable shaker cup (that actually works). It’s like a Blender Bottle that you can throw away.

    Do you think there’s any way I can incorporate that product into my current blog, thephilanthrcapitalist.com? It’s about working hard and giving back, and I’m thinking it’s probably best to just keep them separate because there isn’t a lot of crossover between the target demographics.

    Thanks in advance.

  13. Great article that really gives some focused direction. I do feel though that some may be turned off by the thought of starting a blog. I have friends that ask me all the time how can I make money online. I tell them well an easy (but time consuming) way is to start a blog. They reply, “what? I hate writing though”. So many people don’t want to write day in day out.

    Though good advice nonetheless. It would be great to see other ways in which newbies can start an online business. That is something we’re currently researching and trying to catalog on our website. Hence how we ended up on your very well put together site 😉

  14. I’m currently looking for a way to make money from my art as a lead in to saving enough and ultimately quitting my current day job. Time and energy when I have them are mainly going to either commissioned art or personal / skill building work. Does it make any sense to further split my energy and throw starting a blog in the mix also? That’s what I’m trying to figure out. If you have any insight I’d appreciate it.

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