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3 Simple Steps to Starting an Online Business

I read an article about affiliate marketing by Newspapergrl. Janet interviewed Teresa Tao, a 2007 Commission Junction Horizon Award winner and affiliate marketer of They talked about 3 simple steps to start up an on-line business. My question is, “Is starting an online business as easy as 1, 2, 3?” If you are in the process of starting your first online business, these 3 basic steps will help you lay a solid foundation. You will need that solid foundation if you plan to survive when “the rains [come] down and the floods [come] up.” (too many nursery rhymes with our little ones)

1. Focus on one market or marketing strategy then build upon it. This is so important. If you haven’t read the article about industry focus before, here’s the most important part:

Focus on the smallest possible problem you can solve that will potentially be useful. One of the biggest problems many new companies make is trying to do too many things at once. This makes life really difficult and can impede our progress. Focusing on a small niche has so many advantages: with much less work you can be the best at what you do. Small things almost always turn out to be much bigger when you zoom in.

My recommendation here is to focus on an industry you are interested in, something you will enjoy working on day to day, week to week, FOREVER!

Create a list of hobbies, interests, things you have some knowledge about or at least would love to do research on and become knowledgeable about. Keep options open but don’t go so far out there that you get lost in all your ideas. One of my favorite quotes is “What would you do if you knew you wouldn’t fail?” Ask yourself this question as you create your focus list.

2. Educate yourself constantly. As many of you know, I was mentored by one of the best in the SEO business. He laid the entire opportunity out there for me, taught me more than I could really handle, and then said “Good luck – go to work” (or something like that). I feel it’s what I did with Mat’s knowledge during but mostly after my initial mentoring that has helped me see the results I’ve seen to date. From using all the resources available to me at Prosper, to reading blog after blog about on-line marketing and SEO, to finally just taking a step in the dark and doing what I was taught, the education has been ongoing.

What you’ll find with an internet business is that the job is never “finished”. There will always be something new and exciting out there, a new strategy, more competitors, changes in what Google looks for, etc. If you expect running a business to be a walk in the park, you can probably expect to be one of the statistics of a business that throws in the towel after not seeing the immediate results they’d hoped for. As Mark Twain said, “The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work.” (Any of you ever heard that before 🙂 )

3. Persevere with a positive attitude. My wife and I’s first date was to the movie “Remember the Titans”. One of the lines that still sticks out from that movie is “Attitude reflect leadership – Captain!” Self motivation, confidence and mindset are all components of a positive attitude.

It’s sad to say, but after having worked with so many clients from all over the world with different backgrounds, experience levels, and internet knowledge, I can almost tell after the first or second meeting if they are really going to achieve a lot with their business. Knowledge and internet understanding have nothing to do with it – it’s ATTITUDE! “If you think you can or you think you can’t – you are RIGHT!” What an over-stated cliche but it’s true! My favorite thing is when a client who may be somewhere in between positive and pessimistic decides to make a decision to not look back and just go for it. Abraham Lincoln stated: “That some achieve great success, is proof to all that others can achieve it as well.” Why not YOU?

So, how are you going to implement these basic steps to on-line success? It’s all about the basics really…

12 replies on “3 Simple Steps to Starting an Online Business”

Oh boy, these are great motivators to continue onward and upward achieving the goal of being a self sufficient Internet business owner. Of course, I want to see that my efforts are producing results, but it is easy to get depressed and throw in the towel when those results are not yet visible. Forging ahead, not looking back, and staying positive are concepts that I am remaining focused on.

It’s kind of like mountain biking. When I first started I was falling all over the place, getting banged up and watching other riders pass me by. Now, after 12 years of cycling in the desert, I hardly ever crash and am usually the guy passing other riders by. I still have accidents or unforeseen problems on the trail, but those are just more reminders of how far I have come and to be aware of complacency.

I feel so strongly that what I am doing is good for others, good for me and good for the planet that I will continue building my ark whether or not it looks like a flood is coming.

Great comment Cliff. I’m proud of the great progress you are making. I sometimes associate building an online business, or any business for that matter, to a baby learning to walk. My little 8 month old recently started to crawl and has also started pulling her self up to stand. Before we know it (or really want it to happen) she’ll be running all over the place and we’ll be trying to track her down.

New websites seem to work the same way: at first they take a little while to get going and start being seen. But, as you’re persistent and keep working, visitors and sales start to come; then they come more, then they come so much that you’re not sure how to handle all of them. This is a great problem to have in my opinion.

Keep up the great work and thanks for your comment.

Thank you Nate for these great motivational tips. As Cliff mentionned, it is easy to get discouraged as you meet roadblocks, and haven’t seen the results we expected for ourself yet. Your “Success Journal” strategy will definately help me focusing on the positive things I have achieved so far, while facing my next challenges. I will have to make it a priority, and I am confident it will bring great results.

I also agree that you need to truly believe you will achieve success in order for success to come your way. Once again, the Success Journal will help me in those moments where I have a hard time believing and visualising my great future successes.

Thank you for reminding me about the most important aspects of starting an online business. It provides a template to go by and a goal to aim for.
I’m not sure at this point if my focus is narrow enough, but hopefully as I get into my business, I’ll be able to fine tune it. Thanks again!

Don Holt

You know some times when you here someone speaking and what they are saying seems like they are talking to you and you alone. Or after listening or hearing what was said, you say “Thats what I needed to here”
Bingo on the post Nate Thank you


Nate, This was a very good message. I told my new wife just yesterday that this is not a pie in the sky overnight thing I am pursuing, bur something that is being taught in a way that will be lasting. I do not feel I have a narrow enough niche to get started properly, but I am learning every day how to make it work, thanks.

focus , persistence, and a positive attitude are the keys to success in any thing you are trying to accomplish in life.It’s easy to get overwhelmed with new info but nothing can stop you if you keep trying. Everyone who has already accomplished what you have set out to do, started at the same point.Too many people quit just at the point when they would have had success had they taken one more step.I intend not to be one of them and quite honestly with the coaching I have recieved the journey has been quite easy. Thank you Nate!

This is GREAT information. So on point and appropriate. I am in the process of launching my first internet based business and this blog has provided me the basics I will use as my foundation for success.


Thanks for the reminder. Just need to get focused and get it done. This will be my ” go to” article when I need some motivation and a good ole snap back to reality- STAY THE COURSE

And I know you can do it Bernie! Staying the Course is a main reason many businesses probably fail in their first year – they drift off course and get caught up or lose focus. Keep the questions coming!

your words of guidiance and instructions surely give a great urge and encouragement even to the depressed and confused it lets the fearfull stop for a moment take a very deep breath and realize” hey” where there’s life there’s hope where there’s hope there’s got to be determination to suceed and with such an encouragement it sure brings a very great motivational force that wheels us to the ever desired success.It is said that he who wants to be wise must walk with and adopt the principles of the wise as instructed to succeed i’m gonna stick to your guides and would trust that so many would heed to your very resourceful Ideas. Thanks you’re a very great motivator and help to me a newbaby to this online business.

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