Updated on November 25, 2018
This is a start to a series of posts that I will publish as part of my Startup Experiments Initiative to make Online Business Startup Folks comfortable in taking Online Business as a serious side project.
Many of You might have following questions [you’re not alone]
Do you have a start a Blog to do list for a long time?
Are you skeptical about making money online by Blogging?
Don't you have any idea of what and where to start with Blogging?
Have you ever felt like your 9-5 job sucks and want to start blogging? And You ask will I be able to make a Living out of it?
If This is what You feel about Blogging. [You will find valid reasons and a quick way to start a blog in this blog post]
Today, I’m going to show you some really important things you need to know before you get started with Blogging, the most effective strategies step by step, and skills and resources to help you with.
Before we proceed:
Why is Blogging a Profitable Business Idea in 2020?
Here are 7 supporting Facts:
- Change in Consumption: Users are comfortable and willing to spend more time reading online via Desktop, mobiles, tabs etc. [This trend will grow more with the advancement in technology, smartphones reaching masses and Telecom giants competing for providing good internet speed for users at very minimum price points]
- WordPress or SquareSpace: It is easy to setup, maintain and manage a blog with the CMS (Content Management System) platform where you can start a blog in less than 5 minutes.
- Bloggers Community: There are currently over 7 million people bloggers in the world right now. You will find more than 100 super active Blogger communities helping every other blogger in every phase of their blogging journey.
- Low Investment and Supporting Tools: You only need $100 to set up a professional blog and all the digital marketing skills, email marketing, and social media marketing skills are made easy with the Internet tools that are powerful and are available for free or at minimum cost.
You will find it easy and comfortable to use these tools [Do not worry if you are technically challenged] to grow your blogging business.]
- Your Passion or What You do best can be turned in to a Blogging Business:
- You have Multiple Revenue Options: Sell products and services, direct/sponsored ads, Affiliate marketing, Third party ads, informational products.
- Motivation and Inspiration: Many Bloggers announce their blogging monthly income and also what they have learned, difficult problem to inspire people like us to be motivated. [To start a blog]
Are You with Me?
So you’re convinced to make some money by Blogging? Here’s what you need to do next.
All you need to spend some more time over here reading before you make a mind to earn money online [with the new blog you are going to set up]
If you follow these 3 simple steps and tips you’ll hopefully save a lot of time and energy.
A Quick story behind my blogging journey even it is as new as one month old at this point in time in August 2017. [Only to make You believe Blogging is for everyone even if You are a terrible writer (like me) or technically challenged]
I was an accidental blogger. Never thought of writing a Blog even in my dreams. [I am a terrible writer and have zero knowledge on copywriting. Afraid of writing emails in my initial days of startup journey and took about 30 minutes to write a two paragraph sales pitch or introduction letter]
To cut short my story:
By being a co-founder of a startup you may ever know what kind of jobs you have to do whether you hate it or not. My other co-founder looked at me and said that ‘you have to do this and I believe in you’.
On his words, I started exploring how to write a blog post on the internet. After some point in time, I tried to write articles on our Startup Industry [Restaurants] somehow I am not comfortable and could not continue. Even more, push from my co-founder and during discussions I told him that I am not passionate about writing articles or blog posts on Restaurants [to escape the difficult task of my life :)]. Then he said ok what drives you and what you feel about writing.
Then the splash of an idea struck to write on my favorite topic startups and startup guidance. Because I am very comfortable telling my experiences and my failure stories and inputs to budding entrepreneurs. This is what I do when I meet people at network events, colleges, and other co-working places.
I spent over 15 days on my interest topic and a new business (FreshersBuddy) has taken birth in its own rights.
4 Profitable Business Ideas [#1 Blogging Business]
That I will work on for next 6 Months (bonus 2 more profitable niche businesses I will cover with help of my co-founder) to give you real business insights, my learnings, and hope of a way to budding online business entrepreneurs.
The Profitable Business Ideas to start with minimum to no investment that you can work over weekends or 4 hours daily are:
- Blogging as Business
- Online Training
- Personal experiences Blog
- An e-commerce site (selling your own digital products, personalized gifts portals or other handmade or art products)
- Selling Your Expertise Online (Videos, Guides, E-books, On Demand Course Offers )
A real question from one of my friend who wants to start Online Business for some side income came to my rescue to solve my search for great articles to start with for this blog.
[Start writing on your reader questions, problems and pain points]
Side Note: I have shown some friends my initial blog post drafts for quick feedback.
The question asked by my friend is:
You have done well and all the info you shared is good. But, Can you help and guide me to start what kind of Businesses to start? What to sell online? [I have zero business skills and minimum technical skills]
Then I tweaked my content plan and included Start Experiments Page on the Home page to write on very key pain points that my target readers have same as the one above mentioned.
I will show you how to start Online Business from scratch even though you have zero business skills and have less investment to start with.
In these 3 simple steps:
- Who am I?
- Content Planning
- Business Framework [Quick one-page Business Plan]
Let me apply to me as I am the one who is working on this Blogging as a Profitable Business Idea.
Step 1: Who am I?
- Your Purpose of Starting up Online Business
- You selected Profitable Business Idea
- You have a very clear Frame of Mind
- You have put some time to Know Yourself Better
Let me answer to myself…
My Purpose is to learn Content Writing, build a community of readers to my blog, Share my knowledge and mistakes as little as I have over the past 5 years as an entrepreneur.
My Target Customers (readers) purpose (the purpose my readers expect from me) is to share actionable steps, tips and start-up guidance and solution to their pain points in as simple as it should be.
Profitable Business Idea:
I strongly believe blogging is a profitable idea with low investment (the internet, a laptop and hosting space charges) (few other expenses include designs, logo, business tools costs etc)
Note: You need to put a high amount of energy to create quality and sharable content.
[No overheads, resource cost, office cost and other infra that you might see in other online businesses] (At this point of time you do not have to register your company. Only domain name registration is fine which costs roughly Rs.600 to Rs.900 per year)
Once you have regular visitors to your website an income of Rs.50000 is quite possible. (6 months wait time required to receive the first cheque from the efforts you put on Blogging as an Online Business)
The frame of Mind:
I am committed to spending some 4 hours of time every week not focusing mainly on immediate income from the blog. I have no overheads (system, the internet, hosting space etc) (I am using the one what I have from other businesses. Only domain registration and maybe in future quality hosting services and internet tools and promotions will cost me)
I have the skill set to some basic business skills, have hands-on experience with internet tools, I can make my own designs using Canva and Photoshop (developed during my start-up days)
So overall, nothing to lose all well set to experience the new Online Business Startup ride with an expectation of minimum side income say Rs.50000 for my bill payments in 6 months time. Fingers crossed.
With that, I also have a great clarity and know my strengths and weakness to execute the Blogging as a Business Idea. [Credit to Few of my failures and mistakes in early start-up and to my reading Habit and my very clear Outcome purpose]
Step 2: Content Planning
This is very crucial for blogging business even holds true for any kind of business.
Here, as quality content only takes me to the top of the pyramid. I have put a lot of effort into planning, organizing, and research and start-up experiences for the past one month.
A snapshot of my excel sheet on my content planning and blog posts draft titles I have listed once I made clear on my Content Strategy only for You.
I also have written no less than 50 blog post drafts over weekends and free time for the last 30 days. I will work on refining, including actionable steps and prioritize the most important ones for your perusal.
My Content strategy is to Solve problems, solve pain points most importantly, share loads and loads of personal experience, never hesitate to share failures, connect with readers, communicate in a simple language, connect both emotionally and practically and always put actionable steps and tips. I am putting the reader first in all my content development tasks and always put myself in the same state of You as a beginner.
Step 3: Online Business Framework [Quick one-page Business Plan]
A quick Business Plan includes [not the same one you see in Business Schools or textbooks. I pick related to the business idea and focus on only present not too worried about long-term. Have learned this from Rework and my own experiences.
Not in any particular Order (you can be as messy as you want but focus only on important ones and executable business tasks that will be done in quick time)
Product and Services
Below is a quick list of the business plan, business model, revenue options, startup checklist, competitor analysis or whatever name you call it. [An Index for a Business or chapters in a startup book]
Note: I have spent a lot of time drafting business ideas, business models; go to marketing strategies, market research, target customers, financial projections, and pitch decks over the last few years. [Now, the best way to approach is REWORK way an inspirational disrupting startup book published by the founders of 37 Signals]
So, let me showcase a one-page Business Framework to You.
Again, I will take the FreshersBuddy Blog as an example [ the main purpose of this blog post is to try to make it as easy as for you]
Here is a quick Google search results for online business and online money making ideas.
These are just for your reference. But I am pretty sure of the Market size and high competitive niche for Online Business.
I have quickly sorted out to focus only on College students, Frustrated Employees, and Mompreneurs as my target group. As I believe these are the people looking for online business options on the internet and are diverted to easy money making, quick money hacks and fall prey to scams.
I am focusing to guide my readers to choose more profitable business ideas. [See my idea and further details on why I write and why I choose these target users in Start Here section in Home page]
Problems [pain points]
There are plenty of Online Business Ideas and information over the internet and people stuck with what to start and how to start. Sometimes they choose less profitable businesses even though they are dedicated to working hard.
Identifying Business ideas and starting from scratch with Low investment, Have a little time to spend, commitments (family, job, and payments etc) Business Models and Technology and startup business tools and how to be a good online business professional are the pain points.
In-depth and actionable steps, suggestions and quick guide write-ups from my startup experience by focusing on core and basic pain points will help budding entrepreneurs to take decisions more positively and with confidence. Further, my startup experiment initiative with business insights, skills that I write as I experience over next 6 months will help my readers.
Market Analysis and Competition
Online Business Ideas, Support and any topic related to Money making Online is a very competitive market. Sometimes it is good to have high competition. I will definitely have my share of Pie. [Only focusing on 3 target users as mentioned above]
Products and Services
I am sharing my expertise or experience whatever little I have for the last 5 years. [I know it is a good position to be one step ahead of my readers to share the knowledge in a positive way]
I will use only Facebook marketing, a little work on SEO and Paid to advertise on Google and Facebook.
A combination of Online and Offline Targeted marketing will help me to reach my readers.
[I have very little time 4 hours max for a week considering my other startup commitments. So will work smart and productively for this Experiment]
With Infographics I will also target Pinterest as I believe Pinterest is quickly becoming the Image search engine. I observed when I Google for few of my research topics there are several Pin suggestions occupying Google First page results[Infographics also will give a quick overview of my thoughts to readers easily. Have to build these info-graphics design development skill to create stunning designs]
My own Commitments
First Month daily 3 hours and next 5 months I will only allow myself 4 hours per week for Blogging Business.
Strictly, Rs.10k to 20K is my investment.
Write a blog post once or twice fortnight.
Always provide actionable and insightful blog posts.
Revenue/ Monetization options
You might already have an Idea of what options available to make money online with Blog.
I will not focus more in detail. A combination of Affiliate, Sponsored and consulting services is good to start with. Never mind Google ad sense revenue option. If all goes well eBooks and guides may be another option. [I will consider my reader’s response to my writings on FreshersBuddy]
I will use Facebook page, will build a Facebook group [motivational, inspirational and side income and extra money posts are most viewed on Facebook, so I will use my design skills, quote websites such as Brainy quotes and inspirational quotes for Monday motivational posts, Wednesday food for thought posts and some stats posts.
Also, will write some guest posts, use Quora to answer my target reader’s pain points and thus drive traffic to my blog.
As mentioned will do some organic SEO and paid ads (very cautiously). I have built a small network of startup community connections and will approach for references.
Benefits [Enhancing my Content writing, Content Marketing, Digital Marketing, and Growth Hacking Skills]
Additional: Self-satisfaction of experimenting with all above-mentioned startup experiments that I have in mind for so many years.
Build a community of readers for my writings, a network of great people where I and the other innovative people can help each other by sharing knowledge and Business insights, experiences, trends etc.
I wontedly skipped Market size, competitor analysis to some extent, market analysis, Financial Projections and other parameters as I believe all these are not relevant at this point in time.
I also believe in start small and aim Big…
So, kept it very simple [at least to my likings]
Finally, What Success is for You/ Maybe Failure
What is Success for You:
Maybe I am a gut feeling typo entrepreneur and maybe this is the quality that led to my 2 startup failures or may be the same quality will hand over a cash cow in my kitty in future.
I believe in creating opportunities for myself and for others. So, a satisfaction of helping a small group of people who have the same questions when I started and who are struggling to move on in their Startup Journey.
What is a failure for You:
Here, is a famous quote from Mark Cuban the self-made Billionaire (the famous Shark Tank panelist)
I believe in the famous saying: Businesses failure is not for individuals it is for Businesses. An individual never fails. He tries to experiment with success on trial and error basis with calculated risk and eventually succeeds.
The above-mentioned 3 step process is a great start to your Online Business and Tech Startups for those who are willing to take action and implement the business idea step by step using who am I? , Content Planning and Business Framework methods I discussed above.
I have shared the way I strongly believe Blogging as a Profitable Business Idea to implement even for beginners who want to start an Online Business for their own reasons.
The key is I want you to understand even I am very new to Blogosphere and writing particularly copywriting. When You start Online Business things will be very different and you will end up doing the things you never thought of and will always improve your skill set and become more professional and finally an expert for whom the startup and corporate world looking for.
Bonus: I am also including the content development and content structure that I used for this post with you guys below Conclusion section
With this, I have shared how I became an accidental blogger, a definite framework for an Online Business Success and Why Blogging is a Profitable Business in my view. I hope this post will give you enough information.
Additional Read [Happy to share with you]:
Here, is a snapshot of my brainstorm and theme and blog post draft version only for you.
I had this theme for some time now in a different way. But, when the real question asked by my friend who is a perfect reader (target user) to my blog (as discussed in the begging of the post) changed the entire blog structure.
The handwritten blog post from my diary notes gives you a glimpse of how I had written step by step points for the blog post writing. [Hey, I am not an expert, I am same as you who feel writing is not my job until I discovered this blog]
Behind the scenes:
While walking for a quick tea break late in the evening the other day I had this flow of blog post key points I want to write for this post (15 minutes of brainstorming)
Quickly grabbed my diary notes [20 minutes] (I had this habit of writing on paper even though I am introduced to computers and WordPad in 2003)
I am getting comfortable with Evernote, Google Drive for blog post writings these days.
Rewriting the Draft post in Google Drive and proofread [30 minutes]
Final proofread using Grammarly Tool and linking images, external useful links and redirecting to my previous blog posts took another 45 minutes.
The all hard work goes live with one publish Button and a click on the same will bring a smile to my face and then wait for things to happen in a good way. [I am used to taking things easy when my work gives results or not. Keep myself telling will improve and do better next time]
Pro tip from Copy Blogger Team: I have spent a good amount of 15 minutes on Title for this Blog post.