When you start a business on the internet, you definitely need one of two resources:
If you have money but no time, you can use this money to hire contractors / employees who are swapping their time for pay.
If you have time but no money, you will have to create this money by the strength of your work.
Most entrepreneurs who start on the web have more time than money. It was also my case at first. Here we will start from the premise that you start without budget but that you have free time.
The main challenge
When you start an e-business, like any other biz, your biggest challenge is to start generating cash flow . The problem of the novice e-entrepreneur is most often around the acquisition of customers.
Indeed, you can easily create a website today. With platforms such as WordPress, the technique is rarely a problem.
On the other hand, the e-entrepreneur who starts out must struggle to find prospects and convince them to become clients.
Finding my first customers was my biggest challenge when I started on the internet with a small site that sold an ebook. Nobody knew that I existed and I had to find ways to make myself known … knowing that I did not have a budget com ‘.
When novice marketers release their first website, they expect to make sales as soon as their website is launched. Yet it takes months or even years to successfully attract enough qualified traffic without a budget .
Trained and “free” traffic
What I did with my first website is to look for all possible ways to promote it and generate traffic without investing.
I started working on my natural referencing:
- submission to major influential directories such as Yahoo and DMOZ (less relevant strategy nowadays).
- Search related sites to do link exchanges.
- Writing articles for sites with targeted traffic and a good ranking in google.
- Research relevant keywords to write articles that can bring me qualified traffic.
- Optimizing my site for SEO
From that moment, I received more and more qualified visitors via Google.
I also thought about all the other ways to find prospects without investing:
- Contact journalists dealing with my topic (I have obtained some very good press articles).
- Active participation on the biggest forum of my theme to make me a “name” and make my site known.
- Writing articles for up to other influential websites / blogs of my topic
- etc …
Today, platforms that did not exist at the time I started, are also excellent sources of free traffic: Facebook, Twitter, digg-like such as Scoopeo, etc …
So, for someone who starts on the web with no budget but time, the solutions exist …
The priority when you start is to focus on acquiring traffic. And all the sources listed above will help you bring qualified traffic to your site at a lower cost.
Another important point when you start on the web: do not spend the first income obtained through your acquisition of low-cost traffic; instead reinvest them in future projects.
Put this virtuous circle in motion. It’s fundamental!
Whenever one of my sites starts walking and generating cash flow , I reinvest the profit in a new site. And each successful site allows me to create others, a little more ambitious … and on which I have less work, since I can afford to outsource / delegate certain tasks.
When the first successes come, instead of telling you: “I have money, I can flambé and live the famous internet lifestyle “, keep in mind this strategy of reinvestment of profits.
Ultimately, when you have enough profitable sites and enough cashflow to free you time (by hiring or outsourcing), it will be time to enjoy!