When I think of online marketing for beginners, I think back to when I got started as a writer, marketer, and entrepreneur in 2006, working exclusively online for the very first time. The thought of launching a solo career as an online entrepreneur can come with a mix of heightened emotions.
On one hand, you’re excited at the prospect of being your own boss and enjoying more income on a schedule you decide.
On the other, it’s a daunting path ahead of you – filled with uncertainty, a steep learning curve and risk of failure, even if you’ve done everything strategically to try to prevent that.
Most beginners claim they wish someone would just give them a blueprint of what to do in a step-by-step manner. They want guidance so that they don’t waste time veering off-course, or accidentally missing an important task.
Here, you’ll find the entrepreneur’s playbook you need to get started and ultimately master your role as a successful niche leader in the world of online marketing. We’ll cover everything that you have to consider and the tasks you need to implement as you break into this competitive career.
Just remember that your success is dependent upon you taking action. If you continue to sideline yourself in learning mode, you’ll remain stuck as others pass you by. Your audience is waiting for you to cater to their needs, if you’re ready and willing to serve them.
Calculate Your Online Income Needs and Expectations
As you can probably guess, when it comes to different opportunities online, they all have unique income potential. Not only do they vary in terms of how much you can earn, but they also range in how quickly they will pay off for you.
Some business models and niches will have slower growth over time, while others have the ability to pay you quickly. For example, if you were to pursue freelance service providing online, you might get a 50% deposit that very day.
It’s always best to start this type of career when you are not coming from a place of desperation. If you are desperate to pay your bills, such as being at risk to lose your car or home, it’s better to get a job offline to cover your expenses as you build up your online business.
Assuming that you are not in a desperate situation, you can take your time to analyze how much you would like to earn, how fast you need to achieve those goals, and how you want your work week and year to unfold.
The expectations you have to consider are not just financial. If you are in certain business models and arrangements, you may have more pressure and hours to devote then if you were in another business model that allowed for a more relaxed and casual approach.
Some people don’t mind putting in 40 hours or more per week to build their online career. But if you are already working a job and just want to supplement your income, or if you are a senior citizen who is already retired, you may want to work less on your online business.
When you’re thinking about the financial aspect of this career, don’t go by the hyped up income claims that are seen on sales pages. While this type of income is possible, the part about it being a push button, overnight realization is not.
You want to set goals for yourself where you are aiming for your consistent $100 a day income, and grow from there. When done correctly, and when you put in consistent effort into your business, you should see your the profits snowball over the months and years to come.
There are certain drawbacks to different business models. For example, if you pursue a freelance service provider career online, you are trading hours for dollars. At some point, you will hit a ceiling of what the market is willing to pay for your services, and how many hours you have to do the work.
That doesn’t mean you can’t expand into other business models from that point on. But some business models, such as info product creation and affiliate marketing, have no set ceiling on your earnings because every new product or review that you create simply adds an asset to your business that will continue earning for you over time.
Many newbies like to ask questions like, “How much can I earn as an info product creator?” That’s a hard question to answer because there are many factors that go into it.
For example, it will depend on what niche you select, how quickly you create your info products, what type of promotions you engage in, how well you recruit affiliates to promote for you, whether or not they are evergreen, whether you have a funnel of upsells, and more.
It is possible to earn six figures or more from the various business models that you will find that are most common for online entrepreneurs. Even a freelance service provider can easily earn six figures if they are doing it full time.
You might start off earning less in the beginning as you gain momentum securing customers and clients, building your brand, and improving your reach with your target audience.
Make Sure You Have These Four Things It Takes to Succeed
While the income potential and schedule opportunities can be a very attractive lure for many people into the business of online marketing, you still have to make sure you have what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur.
There are four basic or fundamental elements that will help ensure your success. The first is time. It’s not just a matter of whether or not you have the available hours, but if you are capable of managing your time properly.
We will talk about how to devise a schedule that is perfect for your productivity as well as learning and implementing strategies to help build your business later. But in this case, we’re talking about your ability to approach your business in a mature way and eliminate distractions and work even when you don’t necessarily feel like it.
People who come into this business because they are sick of a traditional workplace and being told when to show up and how long to work sometimes go to the extreme opposite in their own business, binge watching shows all day or playing video games and neglecting their responsibilities as an entrepreneur.
Not only do you need to manage your time properly for yourself in order to have a successful business, but you’re taking on the responsibility of guiding a niche audience, and they expect you to show up and serve their needs on a consistent basis.
It doesn’t mean you have to have a set schedule of 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM every day, five days a week. You can still set your own schedule, and work when you want to – as long as you are the kind of person who can make yourself get the work done.
The second thing you need to have is a support system surrounding you. Sometimes, people are all alone and they don’t have a family or friends who are there to boost them up when they are starting this type of endeavor.
And that’s fine. But what you don’t want is to be surrounded by negative voices that are telling you that you don’t have what it takes, balking at your belief in yourself to succeed as an entrepreneur, or generally beating you down when what you really need is support and acknowledgement for your efforts.
Ideally, you want to have an open and honest conversation with your spouse and your children about what it is you will be doing, when you need to be free of distractions, and how they can support you in this business.
If you are surrounded by friends and family who think they’re being well meaning with their constructive criticism, you can always put some distance between yourself and their opinions by simply refusing to discuss it with them.
The third thing you want to make sure that you have before starting this type of journey is the motivation to get you through any slumps that you will experience along the way. This is a career that is filled with moments of indecision, errors, embarrassment, and the other uncomfortable feelings.
You have to be the type of person who can face this type of obstacle and overcome it or get past it so that you can move forward in your quest for success. Every single successful online entrepreneur has had setbacks and failures, even if they don’t openly discuss them online.
And lastly, you need some sort of skills that will allow you to earn money with their business model. There’s no set technical skill that you need, since everything is taught online from my beginner perspective.
But you do need some sort of skill, whether it is written content creation skills, the ability to record videos with or without you on the screen, graphics design skills, research skills, networking skills, brainstorming skills, etc.
The skills you need don’t have to be at any type of professional level where you have to go get a degree or certification. You just need to have the determination and ability to learn how to do something and get good at it.
Choose a Business Model That Will Deliver for Your Goals
The next thing you have to do is choose a business model that is going to deliver for you in terms of the hours you want to work, the type of work that you want to do and enjoy doing, and the income potential it will provide for you.
We’re going to cover several different common business models that are perfect for newbies to get started with. You can start with one and add on different business models as time goes on.
But it’s best not to start with several different ones all at once, because you’ll be spreading your efforts thin and not gaining as much traction. First, let’s talk about becoming a freelance service provider.
This is a popular newbie business model because it allows you to hit the ground running working for other people who already have a successful business. You will be filling a need for them because they don’t have the time or talent to do the work themselves.
You can start your own site as a freelance service provider, but many people prefer to sign up on a site like Fiverr or Upwork and find clients to connect with there. As a freelance service provider, you can work as a virtual assistant doing tasks for the client such as posting to their blog or answering customer service emails.
You can also work as a ghostwriter for the client, creating their blog posts, email autoresponders, info products, and more. Or, you can work as a freelancer who designs graphics and videos for their clients.
If you’re working on a third party site, they will put the money in escrow that will protect both yourself and the client until the work is delivered to the satisfaction of the client. You will create a profile and a portfolio that showcases your talent and abilities and then bid on projects as you see the ones you want to take on.
This is a job that has immediate income potential, and fast growth. However, time will be your primary issue. you have to make sure you adhere to the timeframe that the client has asked for so that you are not late in your deliverables.
Affiliate marketing is another newbie friendly business model. As an affiliate marketer, you don’t have to create anything for anyone other than reviews. You don’t have to go through the process of creating products, you’re simply analyzing products that are already on the market as digital or tangible items, and telling your readers whether or not you feel it’s a smart purchase.
Affiliate marketing is something where you will have snowball income potential. If you are promoting digital products on sites like Warrior Plus or JVZoo, you can get paid more quickly than if you are promoting tangible products on sites like Amazon, where you will have a 60 day delay in your payment.
Info product creators have the ability to rake in a lot of money with their very first launch, when it’s done correctly. This is a business model that is more intimidating to newbies, because they almost feel as if they are too new and unknown to put themselves out there as a niche leader.
However, if you have information that can help people, they don’t care how long you have declared yourself an online entrepreneur. Product creation timing is different for everyone.
Some people can do it in less than a day, and others take months. You also have to think of other elements that are involved in a product launch, such as setting up your sales page, your joint venture (JV) page for affiliates, recruiting the affiliates, creating your listings, and more.
Third party product sellers – such as those who do FBA (Fulfilled By Amazon) and dropshipping – have a gift for researching and finding products that they can buy in bulk and mark up for sale on Amazon, or find being sold by another company and serve as the middleman who takes the money (including a markup) as a dropshipper and then having the company ship it to the customer directly.
Printables designing is a popular online career now. If you have a knack for being artistic and creative, you might want to design and upload printable or digital items to sites like Etsy that people can download and use in their life.
These include things like weight loss trackers, wall art, homeschool worksheets, Party invitations, and more. Etsy isn’t the only place you can sell these. Many people are also selling them on Shopify and elsewhere.
Private label rights sellers have the ability to earn money both with product launches as well as by putting their products on a store that will bring in residual, passive profits. If you are good at creating written content, images, or videos you can put together packs of content that other marketers can use as their own.
The difference between private label rights (PLR) and ghostwriting is that ghostwritten content is only sold to one customer, while PLR is sold to multiple customers, so you can earn more with this type of product.
Influencers and social content creators have emerged as some of the biggest earners when it comes to online entrepreneurs. You don’t have to be a model or famous to be an influencer or social content creator.
All you need is the ability to share good information about a niche topic, and develop a loyal following that wants to hear about it. Influencers and social content creators make money from the platforms’ content creator funds, where they pay you for the number of followers and views that you have whenever you create new content – as well as from brand deals and direct payments from their followers who appreciate their content.
Bloggers have many different ways to make money. While some bloggers take on a specific business model like affiliate marketing, you can add advertising in the mix and earn money whenever someone clicks on an ad that is strategically placed on your blog using a service like Google AdSense.
Carve Out Regular Time for Learning and Implementing Strategies
Earlier, we talked about time management and the ability to devote yourself to your business without allowing distractions or a lazy mindset to infiltrate your efforts and put an end to your success early on.
Now we’re going to get into what you need to devote your time to. Later, we’ll talk about your actual productivity tasks. But for now, let’s talk about investing some time into learning and implementing new strategies.
This is one thing many newbies fail to account for. There is a steep learning curve when you become an online entrepreneur because you are the only person that is doing all of the tasks in your business.
Not only do you have to account for all of the technical things you have to learn, such as launching your own website and building the pages on it or running and operating your email autoresponder system, but you also have to spend time learning how to use various online tools that you may use as well as learning about your niche.
There are also numerous strategies that are constantly emerging that you need to spend time absorbing and testing in your own business. For example, when short form video exploded on TikTok and elsewhere, people had to learn how to cram enough information into less than 30 seconds and have an impact on their business.
Or, Google may come up with a new SEO update that threatens to bury your site in the search engine results pages (SERPs), and you will have to learn what it is they want you to do or change and then implement those measures on your website.
Not everyone has the same amount of time to devote to their business each day. If you are in this full time, you may want to devote an entire hour each day just to learning this type of information.
But even if you don’t have as much time, you need to spend at least 10 minutes per day immersing yourself in the learning process so that you can stay ahead of the curve and beat the competition who is not going to the effort of staying informed.
Take time to learn new strategies, master the tools that are available to you online (not just use the basic features), and engage in deep dive research of your niche so that you can be the kind of cutting edge leader that people turn to for information.
Some people even schedule time in their day to study motivation and confidence building strategies. This type of success and leadership information can push you to the next level of earners if you do it consistently, and it can even be done by listening to an audiobook while you’re multitasking – working out or mowing the lawn, for example.
Pinpoint a Profitable Niche You Can Successfully Lead
The next step in your journey as an online entrepreneur is to pick a niche that will be profitable and that you can lead successfully. Many people prioritize the profit potential of a niche above all other factors. Online marketing for beginners is comprised of many aspects, not just making money.
While this is an important aspect of the niche you choose, remember it’s not the only one. For example, car insurance is a popular niche for ad revenue, but you may have zero interest in writing content about it.
You want to select a niche that you will not only know a lot about or have fun learning about, but feel comfortable sharing your insight with a hungry audience. Many people pick a niche that is rooted in some sort of hobby or interest that they have, or experience that they have gained in another career.
There are many newbies who fret too much about whether or not a niche is saturated with competition. This is really not as much of a concern as you may believe it is. There is plenty of room for new competitors in any niche.
All niche topics have a large number of long tail keywords that you can use to break into the search engine results pages. There’s also the fact that consumers like to follow many different people for a topic, and not just one or two people.
Try to select something that you will want to be in for many years to come. Online marketing for beginners can be something you already have experience and knowledge about, or something you are very excited to learn and share with others.
Some of the most popular topics for online entrepreneurs include things like weight loss, health, success, stress relief, anti aging, pets, cooking, fashion, home decor, lawn and garden, and more.
Your main decision when finding a niche is going to be how broad or how narrow you want it to be. For example, if you want to be in the health niche, you don’t want to target health as an entirety.
You might decide that you want to go into the diabetes niche or heart health niche instead. Drill down until you feel like you have a niche that is big enough for you to succeed in, but small enough that you won’t have a hard time ever ranking your site for any information.
In terms of profitability, it will depend on what business model you choose. You can select niches that give you potential for affiliate promotions, info product creations, PLR, printables and more. Online marketing for beginners will be the most exciting adventure of your life, I promise.
I’m author, publisher, and entrepreneur Connie Ragen Green and would love to connect with you. If you are new to the world of online entrepreneurship please check out my comprehensive training on how to set up Funnels That Click and learn how to gain an unfair advantage when it comes to building a lucrative online business.