Starting An Online Business

Every online business has a handful of similar elements in place. Understand what these elements are and you can build whatever type of online presence you want. Think of these things as the foundation. Let me explain how the process works. I have a collection of old boxing magazines dating back to the 1950’s. Most are from the 1970’s through the early 2000’s. If I wanted to sell them online from a website that I own and control, what would the process be?

The first thing I’d do is buy a domain name. Maybe I’d buy “BoxingMagazinesForSale.com.” That name would be an exact fit for what I’m trying to accomplish. Next, I’d secure hosting for my new domain and install WordPress on the site.

So far, so good! I have an idea and I’m building my project layer by layer.

Next, I’d have to pick a theme or design for my website. To do this, I’d probably check out a few sports or boxing related sites. This would help me choose a color scheme and a few possible design elements. I don’t want to get bogged down in any particular phase of this process. In other words, I don’t want to overthink it. I want to create my website and start making sales as soon as possible.

Next, I’d review a few websites that sold magazines. This is important, because I’m going to be selling magazines and I don’t want to reinvent the wheel. Established sites have already tested various layouts, colors, sales text and so forth.

Magazines.com provides an excellent example of how to present magazines and magazine images on a website.

Take a look at the graphic below –

If I didn’t want to make a similar graphic myself, I’d probably pay a designer on the site like fiverr.com to do it for me. You can see in the image above there are three magazines represented in the graphic. This, perhaps, would be the most challenge part of putting the site together.

Let me explain. The magazine itself is like a piece of artwork. I would have to stage an area in the house where I would photograph each of the issues I’d be selling on the website. Long story short, I’d have to photograph the covers of each magazine, crop them, and reduce them to the smaller images I’d be uploading to the website. Once I had my makeshift photography system in place, I’d switch out one magazine for the next and keep on going until I was finished. Then, I’d resize the images and name them to represent the proper issue (month and year).

The final task would be to use a simple shopping cart system (like WooCommerce) to set everything up and connect each issue with a buy button. That would make it easy for people to buy one or more issues and add them to a shopping cart that was connected to PayPal.

That may sound like an oversimplification of the process (it is), but I’m presenting this in such a way that you can follow the thought process that goes into creating a website that makes money. I’d probably catalog my collection by the year and month of each publication. Some would be worth more money than others, obviously.

I already have a PayPal account set up, so taking payments wouldn’t be a problem.

If you’ve never been through a process like this before, you’ll learn a lot from doing so. Once you understand the mechanics of how things work or the underlying blueprint, you can build whatever type of a business site you want. Simply put, if you can see yourself doing something… it’s much easier to put a plan into action sooner than later

I used magazines in my example. The downside of that choice would be, once the magazine collection is gone (whether it’s sold piece by piece or all at once), that’s it. I’d have to replenish the supply. The same principles, however, apply to virtually every type of online business. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling a limited supply of something or an unlimited supply.

I always start with a simple idea and go from there.

I’ve been making a full-time living online now for a number of years. I love the Internet lifestyle. I can set my own hours, work on the road or take the day off if I want to. My overhead is very low and it’s very easy to keep everything in check.

Is building an online business the right move for you? The only way to know for sure is to give it a shot. At worst, it’s a tremendous learning experience and you’ll find out if being an entrepreneur or being in business for yourself is for you or not. You’ll never have to wonder about it again. There’s nothing wrong with that, right? At best – your life will change for the better and you’ll never look back.

Jim Galiano

Jim Galiano is an online consultant and author who began doing business online in 1998. His consulting, marketing and publicity services are focused in the area's of SEO and website publicity. Jim has been interviewed by variety of media sources including the Wall Street Journal and CBS News in New York.

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