The dream of making money on the Internet is quickly becoming a reality for people around the world. Years ago, if you wanted to start an online business, you would likely need to know how to design a website, understand the process of search engine rankings and also have a lot of money to spend on product, marketing and also hiring employees and building a team around you.
That was the past, and this is now. It’s now easier than ever to get started with an online business of your own. One of the fastest and most effective ways to start making money online while also building a business in the process is through the use of selling online courses or digital products based around an expertise or skill you can offer to others.
More often than not, an individual with just a couple hundred dollars could actually get their own website or online course selling online within just a few days. That is exactly what we are going to be looking at in this resource guide.
Not only will you learn about different products and digital items that could be sold online, you could also start making money off your expertise in the process. This method is currently working for millions of individuals and entrepreneurs around the world, so there is no excuse why it can’t work for you as well.
#1 Find the Right Product to Sell
Before you get started with an online business, you should have a really good idea on what it is you are going to sell and how you are going to get it in the hands of your target audience. Two of the most common ways to sell online is through drop shipping or by simply creating a digital product, such as an ebook, an online course, or even a membership site.
Dropshipping is a common attraction because of the many benefits it offers, like not needing to carry inventory and keeping costs low, but when it comes to marketing and competition, this is where it can get a bit nasty. While drop shipping will work extremely well for many, there is a big learning curve when it comes to the marketing and finances of such a business.
Another common method for selling online is to create and sell a digital product or an online course that you can offer to your audience. The benefit here isn’t just that you won’t have to hold any inventory or product, it’s also that it’s extremely easy to set up and you’re going to have a very high profit margin since there isn’t any product you need to actually buy.
With both of these business ideas now in mind, you should consider which one might be best for you. If you have any type of expertise or skill that could be packaged up and sold to an audience, it’s probably a better option to go with a digital product or creating an online course that you could market to your audience. This is especially true if you already have a website, a blog, or a social media following.
Take a look at any of these top marketers and entrepreneurs to follow and you will immediately notice that none of them are pushing products that aren’t their own. These guys are at a level where they can create products and services of their own, by also leveraging their brand and reach in the process. However, don’t get discouraged—you don’t need to be Gary Vaynerchuk and have a following of millions to find success with selling online.
The next two key points of this article are going to focus mostly on creating and selling a digital product or online marketing course while also showing how you can effectively get your business up and running and then promote it to the masses.
#2 Find the Right Platform for Your Site
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, the days of needing to have any technical design skills or business experience are gone. Thanks to the use of drag and drop site builders and out of the box business solutions, there is no longer a need the understand the basics of HTML, deal with messy coding when building your site design, invest in paid marketing, or even hiring a team to help you with the process.
One such platform that has been gaining a lot of attention lately is Kajabi. This drag-and-drop platform has made it easy for individuals to simply go live with whatever it is they are passionate about or have an expertise in while also being able to turn it into a digital product or online course that can instantly be sold online. The process of creating an online store is as simple as coming up with a digital product or course that you know will provide value to an audience then just getting it all packaged up and ready for sales online.
When it comes to starting anything new in life—especially a new business—it means a lot to see real examples of what has worked for others. Seeing success stories of regular people who have been able to change their lives through an online business is also a great testimonial in itself.
If you need to see an example of how effective the business of selling your expertise and digital products online has been, look no further than Kajabi Heroes. Here you will find stories from everyday individuals who have successfully gone live with a store of their own and have already done their first $1,000 in sales. The great thing about this section of their site is that it not only shows the profiles and picture behind each person and their store but also their personal story and how it can relate with other individuals around the world.
In short, if these individuals with no technical or business experience can find success online, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to do the same.
#3 Know How to Scale and Reach Your Audience
Now that we’ve covered the basics of how to find a winning product and deciding on the best way to create and sell a product online, we now need to walk through some of the best ways to scale and grow your reach to turn existing audiences into customers.
Anyone can create an online store and go live with digital products to sell, but if you don’t get those products and services in front of the right audiences, then your store will likely just sit there. This is something we have seen with plenty of Shopify stores, as the ecommerce craze continues to grow. Frankly, the knowledge and marketing behind making them successful usually isn’t there.
This is the dark side of online business and e-commerce that many people don’t want to talk about. However, when it’s a digital product or course of your own, the approach and mentality behind it all are quite different.
In short, you are the product.
If you take a look at this online course business reference guide from Neil Patel, it will actually walk through the process of how to set up an online store and then prepare the user for different options when promoting and marketing their online store. However, one of my favorite highlights from the guide is when he talks about Robert Percival, who was able to create a digital product and ultimately generate over six-figures in sales from it.
As noted in the article:
Here are the three biggest tips Rob would give new entrepreneurs, like you, about replicating his massive success with online courses (via Business Insider):
- Figure out what topics are in demand by looking at which courses are selling well already,
- Make sure your version stands out among the crowd—“The feedback with the web development course was that it was fun, not going into a load of detail about server info they don’t need, but focusing on what they need and building stuff.”
- And finally, tackle a big topic.
These are all key points that we should already know and focus on already. However, they should also be looked at from not just the eyes of the product/course creator, but also from the students and customers as well. These are the underlying factors of success.
When it comes time to promote your online store or course, keep Rob’s advice in mind while also considering the following marketing methods:
- Social media makes it extremely easy to connect with individuals who share the same interests
- Guest blogging allows experts and site owners to create and share content on other sites, which already have exposure to large audiences
- Facebook Groups are always looking for new contributors and experts to help others on whatever the core focus of the group might be
- Paid advertising through Google Adwords and Facebook Ads allows for not just targeting based off keywords, but also demographics, interests, and even remarketing as well
Knowing all of this, it’s quite easy to get your online store up and running. Once you do so, there are more than enough resources and guides out there to help you with the promotion process, using any of the recommended methods above, many of which are free.
As you find success with your online store and better understand who your customer and target audience is, you can then start implementing more paid options and quickly scale your online business to that next level.
Enough dreaming about making money online and having a business of your own. Now is the time to take action, and maybe your story will be one that continues to inspire others to take action for years to come.
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Zac Johnson is an online influencer in the world of blogging and affiliate marketing. He has more than 20 years of online experience and has helped millions generate more money online.