How to Set Up a Successful Online Business
This blog post was written by Leo and Aline (owners of Enigma Deals store), and their goal is to help you during these tough times that we are currently facing with COVID-19 by describing the best ways to create an online business.
I’d like to tell you a little bit about my journey in online businesses that I created over the last 10 years and tell you the best ways that you can create your own Online Business in a quick and low cost way. And hopefully this will generate a great income for you soon.
It’s a privilege to be here telling you that because it means that you are looking for ways to make money online.
In summary, all businesses I created were either to help people to solve problems or to find happiness through “passion” products.
So, let’s go one by one. Learn as much as you can and try to create your own online business later. I’m sure anyone can succeed as long as they put the effort.
Creating an online business is really cheap. Your monthly cost will be from $30 to $100. That is really cheap compared to other businesses. And you don’t need to spend 60k in College to start an online business. All you need is Internet and willing to try, try, try.
As I always say, the success comes from something that I call “ABT” = Always Be Testing. So, you may have setbacks, but you just try something different next time.
Let’s talk about my 1st online entrepreneurship.
1st Online Business: Effortless Investments Blog
I’m originally from Brazil and moved to the US in 2013 to study here. I used to work for a bank in Brazil and had a great passion (still have that passion) for trading stocks.
So, I decided to create a blog where I would post the stocks that I was investing that week and the results that happened after I picked that stock.
I had SO MUCH fun doing that. During some time, I was selling the methodologies I created for just $25. This was my 1st online sale! I will never forget how I felt! Someone paid for my knowledge.
I did that for a few years and I don’t sell my methodologies anymore.
Key Takeways and Action Items for you:
- Do you have any knowledge that you could monetize?
- Ex: Are you a singer? Play instruments? Like sports? Stocks? Helping people?
- These days, all you have to do is to add value to people. We will talk way more about that later.
- I will tell you platforms that you can use to sell your knowledge
- Don’t worry if anything came to your mind. You can sell other people’s knowledge in very easy ways, which brings me to my 2nd entrepreneurial idea.
2nd Online Business: Online Dog Training (you see, anything that you are good at can be monetized)
Aline had 5 dogs in Brazil and she knows everything about Dog Training. So, we decided to create a blog where she shared tips about Dog Training.
And how to monetize that? We didn’t have our own course, but, we were referring people to online trainings that she used in the past and to useful products. With that, she was making money through commissions. That is called Affiliate Marketing.
At the same time, we had our 3rd Entrepreneurial idea. Helping Brazilians to navigate American websites like finding the best hidden rates at Hotwire or getting discounts in AirBnB or Turo ("Airbnb for cars" - much better than rental cars) in order to save money when traveling abroad. Especially because 99% of Brazilian population doesn’t speak a word of English.
But, let’s focus here and go back to Affiliate Marketing because that is how we were making money on both pages.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
It’s when you earn a commission after directing people to a website and the person buys the product. Simple, right? So, you can use your Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, email friends, talk in person, etc.
What types of products can you be affiliated to?
I’d say practically anything. Not kidding! You can be an affiliate to Amazon or Walmart (I will tell you more about this soon). Or you can direct your family and friends to digital products.
Going back to the dog training website, we had so much fun and learned so much about how a simple blog + Fb page + Instagram page could make us money.
Now let’s do a deep dive on some programs:
Amazon Associate Program (Walmart, BestBuy, etc are all very similar).
- You can go to a website that you like and search for the word “Affiliate”, “Associate”, “Partner”.
- Not all companies that you like will have Affiliate programs. But several will have.
- Also, you can go to marketplaces like CJ.com or shareasale.com (but you must have a website to apply to them)
- Then, you apply and wait for approval.
- Once approved, you will be able to create your own special link.
- This is the link you will share with anyone.
- That is how the merchant tracks that the purchase came from you and pay your commission.
- We made some money from these programs
- Keep in mind that you make from 2% - 10% on average on commissions.
- So, in order to make good money here, you have to drive a lot of traffic and clicks to your links.
Digital Products Affiliates (these pay higher commissions)
- These will pay a higher commission since they are digital products and have way less costs than physical products
- They usually pay 25% - 75% commission, with an average of 50%.
- The most famous Marketplace for Digital products is called ClickBank.
But, how to drive traffic to my Affiliate links?
- There are SEVERAL ways for that. I really mean that.
- There’s a book called “Traffic Secrets” that you pay just for handling and shipping (US$9.95 in the US. I think they charge 19.95 for non-US) that explains a lot of how to drive Traffic to your page.
- Here are the easiest ones (free or paid):
- Free: You can create your Facebook page, Instagram page, Twitter page and start having some fun. You can post your things and sometimes talk about products
- Free: Youtube channel – Youtube is the 2nd largest search tool in the world (only behind Google search). You can create videos reviewing the products that you have. 5-10 min review. Then, you say “and if you liked the product, we have the link on the description of this video”. It’s that simple. There are thousands (if not millions) of people doing this.
- Free: Help people on forums. Yes, forums still exist. Go to your niche’s forums and help people. Some forums allow you to post your links.
- Free: Facebook groups. Help people on Facebook groups. Answer to questions. Answer to commentaries. Post your link when possible.
- Free: Youtube commentaries. Leave commentaries that add value to people. Don’t say “Nice” or “Very Cool”. Say something good and meaningful. Then, post your link.
- Paid: You can always run Ads on Google or Facebook. It’s not that difficult and we will not try to explain everything on this blog post. Just know that you can accelerate people going to your links by paying for traffic, which is very normal.
How to create an Affiliate website?
- You can create everything on your own (which I don’t recommend because it’s extremely time consuming) or you can pay between $9.95 to $100 to have it ready for you. We did that to save us time.
- If you want to start everything on your own and save up to $100.
- Try wordpress.org or Wix.com
- We used both of these when creating by ourselves (we had another website where we helped Brazilians to save money when traveling. It was so much fun)
- If you want to get some guidance or "done for you", then we recommend these products:
- You should watch the replay of a very good free webinar that they hosted here.
- It creates a website for you – 14-day trial for $9.95
- Then, they can build all pages for $67 on the niche you decide
- And they can help you with traffic for $39
- This is the easiest and quickest way to start your 1st Online Business.
- And they have very good support via email and Fb group.
- Huge catalog of trainings (we really mean that). We’ve never seen something like what they have.
- They teach you Affiliate Marketing from A to Z.
- They have somethings for free or you can try their Premium Service to accelerate the creation of your website.
These are the two last ideas we tried and made sales:
You can create your own Online Store (just like ours) using Shopify. Or even better, you can sell your knowledge at any price you want and make way more money using ClickFunnels.
Both of them have 14-free trials where you can test the platform and do as much as you can for free.
Let’s do a quick deep dive on each, where we will tell you how we used them.
- ClickFunnels is by far the most powerful platform that exists.
- Anything that you can imagine on a website can be done using ClickFunnels.
- Best resource from Clickfunnels: One Funnel Away Challenge - You will have daily training and tasks for 30 days where you will launch your business.
What is the concept of a funnel?
- Funnels just mean that a big number of people will visit your page and just a small number will actually buy what you are selling. Therefore, your business should be optmized as Sales pages or sales funnels
Who do we recommend ClickFunnels?
- If you are trying to sell your own Digital product, such as your own training or your consulting / coaching on a specific topic.
- Why? Because this is a very powerful platform where you can easily collect emails from people and follow up with them later
- They have techniques that helps you to convert better than regular websites
- Cost: $99/month
- Shopify is definitely the best platform for Online Stores. Kyllie Jenner sells $2Bi / year on this platform. So, they can handle payments 😊
- You can sell your own products.
- You can find suppliers / manufacturers and sell their products
- This is time consuming and it’s how we operate
- It’s better if you have a friend that speaks Chinese because most of the manufacturers and suppliers will be in China
- Of course you can find suppliers in the US.
- Etsy, Ebay and ShineOn are great sources to find suppliers.
- You can do Print on Demand, where the manufacturer only prints the product after you sell one. So, no front cost.
- We tried Printify and CustomCats . They are great. But you have to come up with the designs or pay someone to design for you. However, to be honest, you can sell funny t-shirts or mugs with phrases and people will buy.
- What is tough side of having an online store?
- You have to deal with a lot of things: Maufacturers / Suppliers / Customer Service
- Your margin is low, since you are selling physical products
- Be aware that there are people selling courses for US$2,500 and we don’t think you need those.
- Costs: It varies so much. The platform is $30 + email marketing $15. Then, you add all other costs
Other useful resources that we used:
- If you are considering creating an Youtube channel to do reviews or to drive traffic to your store, then, you have to check the channel of Sunny Lenarduzzi. Tons of free resources that will help you to launch your YouTube channel.
- As mentioned before, we helped people to succesfully invest in the stock market. We will not try to teach you how to invest in stocks. But here are ways to start:
- Best book for long-term Investments
- Best book for a Rich Mindset (and you have to do the tasks)
- Best Broker for beginners, with zero Fees (and you get a free stock just for opening your account)
- How do you make more money online?
- Sell your knowledge at the price you want (training, consulting, coaching)
- Use ClickFunnels for that
- Sell Digital Products as an Affiliate
- Use 12-Minute Affiliate or Wealthy Affiliate for that
- Sell Physical Products
- Use a Shopify Store for that
- Sell Physical Products as an Affiliate
- Use Amazon Associates for that
- Sell your knowledge at the price you want (training, consulting, coaching)
We hope this blog post helped and inspired you to create a side hustle and generate some extra income during these crazy times we are facing right now.
As mentioned before, this is something that can be cheap and quick to start depending on the solution that you choose. And, it can be start of a new career , like it was for us so many year ago.
Leo and Aline
Owners – Enigma Deals