How I Started My Own Online Business From Scratch (Part 1)

Part 1 of 2

First off, thanks for taking the time to check out this article. I’d like to talk a bit about the actual steps I’ve taken to start my own online business and act as a sort of model you can mimic to save you a lot of time.

(You can find part 2 here)

I’ve tried to break the article into steps so you can scan it and dig further into the sections that are particularly interesting for you!

Part one of this overview focuses on these steps:

  1. Subscribe to training to save on DIY time
  2. Find something I’m passionate about
  3. Get a domain and website hosting
  4. Get an email for that domain

What pushed me to finally try to start my online business

Can I be really honest with you about something? When I first started with building an online business, I had no idea what I was doing. I have a background in software engineering which I think has helped me in a lot of ways, but I do NOT have a background in business.

If you are reading this, I would bet this isn’t the first time you’ve thought about building an online business. You may have even taken a few preliminary steps towards it, but haven’t really followed through.

I get it. I was EXACTLY the same way.

It always just seemed either a) too complicated or b) would require me to be one of those people who work 26 hours a day (even though there’s only 24).

Being a dad of 5 kids each under 7 years old, I wasn’t willing to lose my family to workaholism.

But what I eventually saw is that all business really is is a systematic way of exchanging goods and services. “You have something I value, and I’ll give you this thing you value in exchange for it.”

Well, when I looked at things that way, it became really simple. Seeing how straightforward difficult things are at a high level makes them easier to swallow.

I saw that building a profitable online business

  • Is made up of easy to understand steps (or milestones)
  • The difficult problems are easy to break down
  • Can build around something I’m passionate about
  • Can be build a little piece at a time
  • Can be AUTOMATED

THIS WAS THE THING I SAW THAT HELD ME BACK: I always believed that if I have a business, I’d basically have to obsess about it for the next 10 years minimum. I get bored with things after 3 months sometimes!

I was hooked. Here’s what I did next.

1. Subscribe to training to save on DIY time

When I was a 14 guitar player, I didn’t want guitar lessons (trust me, there’s a point to this). If I wanted to be someone like Jimi Hendrix and feel that sort of satisfaction, I was going to have to be “self taught”.

The result of that way of thinking was years of delayed progress because I didn’t have a teacher that could help guide me to my musical goals.

When I finally got a teacher, my skill level LITERALLY skyrocketed. They were able to show me exactly the techniques and skills I needed to have to play the music I was passionate about quickly.

When it comes to something like your online business, find someone you trust or a training program that’s reputable.

Having a guitar teacher taught me that if I want to make faster progress, I needed to find a guide to show me what to work on.

When I was looking for a program (or person) that could help me, I needed something that was comprehensive, easy to understand, affordable, produced results, and didn’t feel like a scam. 

I found lots of options out there, but I ended up going with this program called the “All In Package” by The Six Figure Mentors because of their focus on education, success stories, centralized resources, I could get my money back if they weren’t helpful, and they have fantastic human support.

Whoever you go with, make sure you understand what YOUR needs are and that whatever or whoever you go with can meet them.

Summary: Building an online business is ABSOLUTELY something you can DIY, but if you want to save yourself time figuring out a lot on your own, a guide will save you a lot of time.

I could talk a lot more about this, but for now, on to the next step.

2. Find something I’m passionate about

I’m not sure why, but this was always the hardest part about “figuring out what I want to do”.

How do I pick something? What if it’s not the right thing?

Let me help you find the answer for you RIGHT NOW. Answer this question honestly, and you’ll know where you should start:

What is something I could talk about with someone for hours at a time?

Bam. There you have it! 🎉 🎉 🎉 🎉 🎉 🎉

That is EXACTLY what you should start building your content around. I don’t care if you just really appreciate the references in The Addams Family Values, there is a niche of people who would LOVE to subscribe to a site focused around that.

Don’t try to find something that will appeal to everyone. As the saying goes, “If you’re marketing to everyone, you’re marketing to no one.”

Keep your content focused on a niche, and it will do well.

3. Get a domain and website hosting

OK, these really are TWO DIFFERENT THINGS.

Domain: the URL of your site people will use to view your content (like shaneprovost.com).

Hosting: the service that will actually “house” where your website will live

I have an article dedicated to going into this stuff more in depth, but just know that your domain name is like an address that POINTS to where you host your site.

The good news is that many services exist that offer hosting services and domain sales on the same platform, so you don’t have to configure anything!

If you already own a domain, you can simply point it to where you are hosting your site (if it’s separate) and be good to go! Services who offer both services will typically handle this automatically.

4. Get an email for that domain

It’s very important that folks interested in your brand can get a hold of you, so you’ll need to create an email that can make that possible.

We’ll go into the details of setting up and configuring your business email in another article, but if you have purchased a domain, you have the ability to associate an email address with it.

Very quickly, some options you have to get that started is to 

  1. Look to see if the service you bought the domain from also offers hosting services, and if so, see if they have any packages that bundle in an email service with it. Be careful though, sometimes these little add-ons can get pricey.
  2. Leverage a straightforward, minimal service such as GSuite

In Summary

Thanks again for making it this far! I genuinely hope it’s helped you get a clear overview of the steps I actually took to get my online brand going.

This may seem like a lot, but if you were focused, you literally could have these first 4 steps done in an hour or less.

If you devote a small amount of time each day to this, you’ll be amazed how far along you’ll be in a few weeks, and probably within a month or two you could already have your site live and getting traffic!

As always, reach out to me with any questions you may have!

This is the first of two articles. In part two we discuss the next steps

  1. Create a user avatar
  2. Build a simple website around my user avatar
  3. Create content that gives value to my user avatar (and add HELPFUL affiliate links)
  4. Automate email communication
  5. Drive traffic to my site

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