Starting An Online Business Checklist

Starting An Online Business ChecklistIf you have decided that you would like to earn money online but don’t know where to begin, I have created a Starting an Online Business Checklist that you can use as a guideline to get your business off the ground.



Creating a successful online business takes a lot of planning and commitment but if a person is up to the challenge, the rewards are worth the time and effort.

This checklist is specifically aimed at the person who would like to use blogging or article writing as the means for their business. Saying that, this checklist can be adapted to any other online business. My checklist is only a general guideline. I encourage you to adapt this checklist to your own specific business needs.

Let us get started.

Number One – Choose Your Niche

The first thing that you need to do is identify where you want your online presence to be. Ideally it should be in an area that you have quite a bit of knowledge in. If it is in an area that you are not an expert in, be prepared to be spending many hours researching so that you do become an expert in that field. Not having a lot of knowledge in a particular area should not be a barrier but be aware of the extra work involved.

Once you know the area where you want your online presence to be, the next step will be to narrow down the chosen area even more. For instance, say you want to blog about fashion. Now fashion is a very broad area so it is better to narrow down your area of expertise even further. You could narrow your expertise down to childrens’ fashion. That is still enough of a broad topic to write thousands of articles on. You may still want to narrow that down even further and make your area of expertise on childrens’ figure skating fashion. This is called your niche.

Don’t ever think that a niche that you choose would be too small to have enough traffic coming to your website. There are literally billions of people online and you will always have enough traffic for your niche provided you take the proper steps to have the people that are interested in your particular niche find your website.

Number Two – Choose Your Domain Name

Once you have identified your niche, think about a domain name that would give someone a clue as to what your website would be about. This is not a hard and fast rule however. If you take a look at the domain name of my website here, it would not give a person an indication about what I write about right away but it does give a clue about who I am.

Once you decide on your domain name, check to see if that domain name is able to be purchased. If it is, just make a note of it but don’t purchase it yet. There is one more step you need to do before you start spending money on your business.

Number Three – Select Your Web Platform

The next step is to select a web platform to create your website with. The most popular platforms out there are Joomla, Wix and WordPress. All of those platforms are excellent to work with and it is basically a personal choice of which one to choose. I personally use WordPress for all my websites because it integrates well with my Wealthy Affiliate web tools.

I encourage you to spend some time exploring the different web platforms and see which web platform works for you. It is totally a personal choice and you will need to be comfortable with the website building platform that you use because you will be spending many hours working with that web platform’s “back office.”

Number Four – Buy Your Domain Name

Once you decide on your web platform, the next step is to buy your domain name. Some web platforms have hosting sites and you can purchase a yearly domain at a reasonable cost.

Number Five – Set Up The Framework

Now comes the fun part, setting up the basic framework of your website. You get to chose a general theme which is basically the general overall look of your website. There are literally thousands of themes to choose from and so when you choose, think about whether you want a lot of pictures on your website or do you want to add a lot of written content.

A word about written content. For the best visitor experience, I strongly suggest black text on a white background. It is easier on a visitors eyes and studies have shown that visitors will stay longer on your website with the black text on a white background.

Number Six – Your First Two Posts

The first two pages that you create should be on your privacy policy and an “About Me” page. Visitors will feel a bit more comfortable visiting a site when they know a bit about the website owner and that the owner takes privacy seriously.

Number Seven – Keyword Research

Before you publish your first official blog post or article, you will need to spend some time in doing some keyword research. By doing thorough keyword research, you will know what people are looking for in your chosen niche and you then have the advantage of creating quality articles that your audience are looking for. Wealthy Affiliate gives a reader good training on correct keyword research. To read about my complete Wealthy Affiliate review Click Here.

Number Eight – Start Writing Articles

After getting approximately 10 keywords or keyword phrases that you can use as a starting point for your articles, you then start writing your articles or blog posts. Use one keyword phrase per article. By the time you use all 10 keywords, you will have 10 articles written. This is an excellent start to your website. Add your articles one by one as you complete them. Ensure that your spelling and grammar are excellent and make sure that you add some pictures to your posts for interest.

Once your website has been indexed, you should start to see traffic trickle in if you have done your keyword research correctly. It takes approximately 6 months before a typical website starts to notice adequate traffic. The more articles you publish, the more traffic will come to your website. Aim to publish anywhere between 2 – 3 articles a week to see optimum growth.

Number Nine – Monetize Your Website

Start to monetize your website as you write your articles. Proper ways to monetize your website is another topic in itself. I would encourage you to do some research in this area. There is one thing I will say in regard to monetization. When you write your articles, never try to sell to the visitor. The visitor’s main purpose is to gather information from your article. The moment a website owner focuses on selling instead of providing information, he or she loses visitors and income.

Number Ten – Analyze Your Traffic

Once your website is established and you have a steady amount of traffic coming in, analyze your traffic through a program such as Google Analytics. See which articles are getting the most traffic and analyze those high traffic pages. Make note of how your high traffic page is set up and the topic you are discussing. By analyzing what attracts your visitors, you can write further articles giving your visitors more information around that particular topic. This in turn will attract even more visitors.


Your Checklist Is Complete

I hope that I have given you enough information to get you started on your personal online business checklist. There are many, many things that an online marketer has to know and I have just scratched the surface here. If there are any topics that you would like to see me talk about in the future, please feel free to leave a comment below.



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Ramona is an entrepreneur, blogger and affiliate marketer. She is also a proud member of the Baby Boomer Generation. When she is not blogging, you will find Ramona either gardening or quilting.

2 Replies to “Starting An Online Business Checklist”

  1. Hello Ramona,

    Awesome article and perfect for beginners like myself! I am very interested in creating a supplemental income, but lack the knowledge to do it.

    How long do you think it would take to actually earn a decent living with a brand new online business?

    Thanks again for the checklist!

    Kind Regards,

    1. Hi Eric:

      In my experience, it typically takes approximately three months of consistent effort in content building, visitor engagement, website building and website improvements (improving your website after you evaluate your traffic sources) before a new online business starts to get noticed.

      At the six month mark, you should notice regular unique traffic flowing in. At the one year mark is where a new online business can be viable as a source of income as your website becomes an expert in its niche.

      This approximate timeline is based on traffic received through passive and free traffic when you use the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques. There are other ways to increase the traffic to your website quicker but this requires an outlay of cash and my thoughts on this is that it is better to create a good foundation for your website and brand before you even entertain the idea of paying for ads.

      I hope I have answered your question.


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