What are the best online business ideas for 2018?
This is a question I asked myself at the start of the year. I had been looking around for different online businesses for a few months and had dabbled in affiliate marketing a few years ago and got my fingers burned. But everywhere I look I see changes in the way people do business:
- well-known high street stores going out of business
- my local town becoming like a ghost town as traditional shops close down and move online
- the local jobs market changing
- computer and artificial intelligence taking over many traditionally ‘safe’ jobs.
“What is the world coming to?” I asked myself. There must be a way to go with the flow of change rather than rail up against it and bash my head against a metaphorical brick wall. I am not a rookie entrepreneur. I have had businesses before, some which are ongoing and successful and others, such as a retail shop I started with a business partner once, which failed. However, I do not view failure as a bad thing – there were many things I learned running that business, and one of them was, if you don’t move with the times, then the times will move along without you! We tried to move at least part of our business online but without much success. None of us really knew what we were doing and the only outlet that we were aware of at the time, was eBay. SEOs, PPCs, social media were all foreign to us so no wonder we didn’t make it work.
That’s when I came across the platform at Wealthy Affiliate which has transformed by life. It has allowed my the opportunity to become the online writer and entrepreneur I always wanted to be in a legal, exciting way, working at my own pace, from my own front room.
Now my way might not be your way, but what I have laid out below is one way which I do honestly believe has been one of the best decisions of my life so far.
Wealthy Affiliate is a company offering training for online entrepreneurs on:
- how to set up and manage an online business through a website
- it also offers hosting services through SiteRubix, it’s website hosting platform
- how to monetize a site through a variety of different ways, either
- affiliate marketing
- online sales and selling your own products
- it also helps by offering an online community of members ready and willing to help each other out.
I have been a member of this community now for just over a month and in that time, I can tell you what I have achieved and how I have achieved it. I’m proud of what I’ve done and offer this up to anyone as an example of what can be achieved in a short space of time. However, do not be fooled or misled – this has taken work on my part. WA is not a scam and it is not a way of taking your money and giving nothing back. I have received value for money in abundance. But it is a training course primarily, and like anything in life; what you get out, is what you put in, so if you don’t want to work for your online business, then you need to look elsewhere for your success.
So what is my experience?
From the first day, I chose the premium membership because I truly wanted to make an online business work for me and didn’t see the point in not joining and giving it everything. The fee was $19 for the first month and rises to $47 after that. However, when I weighed up the set-up costs of my dance and music shop, which ranged into tens of thousands of pounds, by the time we had paid the rent, rates, initial stock costs and staff, there was no comparison. All legitimate businesses need some kind of investment, be that in time or money. The difference is the split you need. What I have found at Wealthy Affiliate is that you need a little bit of money, and your own time. How much time you put in is up to you. I believe you can succeed but you won’t do that if you are expecting results in a week! All businesses take time to grow and this is no different. And to be brutally honest, if you believe the people who promise you thousands of dollars in a few weeks, then you are probably wishing and chasing a dream that does not exist in reality – those are the scammers who will take your money and run. Wealthy Affiliate is not one of those companies.
So here are my achievements after one month at Wealthy Affiliate:
- I have 2 main sites up and running (one of which is this one). They run under their own domain name with a corresponding email address. Both have been indexed in Google and are climbing the rankings for keywords.
- To date, I have posted 16 pages, 18 posts and have over 80 approved comments (including my replies to comments that other people have left on my sites). This figure grows daily as I add more content and information.
- I have set up an Adsense account, which is currently running on one of my sites and have affiliate links to relevant individual affiliate programs and AdSense too. I also have links for shareasale and clickbank on both sites.
- I have expanded my social networking opportunities by setting up a Google+ account. The advice is to publish all content on that platform too and I have had many “+1s” which is like the FaceBook ‘share’ feature, expanding my audience by leveraging.
- I have a steady flow of traffic which I can verify through Google Analytics and Google Search Console. These tools monitor users to my sites and allow me to see what time of day they are accessed, which country users are from along with data on which pages and posts are doing well.
- I have earned my first money online – albeit small, but I also know this to be an investment in the future, not a get-rich-quick scheme – and it is all the better for it. When we closed our retail shop, we had lost thousands of pounds
My Google Analytics screen print
The 2 sites that I am writing are about my passions:
1. About the law of attraction and how to live the life you really want. On this site, I write about how to improve your life using the law of attraction, positive thinking and NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) techniques. This has been a calling of mine for years now and I have now truly been able to fulfill my dreams and desires of becoming a leading teacher of these principles, through writing this website.
2. My second site is the one you are reading now where I hope to help other people become masters of their own destiny by example, by explaining the steps I have taken along the way to becoming an online entrepreneur. It’s not rocket science; there is no secret. I work hard and I tell people honestly what I’ve done to achieve success…..that’s all.
What else have I learned?
One of the most unexpected benefits of my online journey so far has been making new friends in many different countries and receiving a level of support and encouragement that I have not known in a long while. Now I don’t know if this is true of other online marketing platforms but I can definitely attest to the benefits of joining the Wealthy Affiliate program. The achievements listed below are not compulsory and I have chosen to participate fully in the WA community and I believe this has been to my advantage.
OTHER ACHIEVEMENTS THROUGH WEALTHY AFFILIATES IN ADDITION TO MY MAIN WEBSITES
- I have made many, many new friends through the WA community. There is always a band of positive people to talk to and ask questions of 24/7 from all walks of life and from many countries around the world.
- I try to read as many posts online as possible as it helps me with ideas and tips for my own business.
- The learning possibilities have been exponential here – and not just about setting up your online business – I have learned so much about other subjects in other niches that every day is a joy as I learn something new.
- There are 5 main courses at WA to help you set up your own business. All the things I’ve spoken of so far have been achieved by following the first 3 courses and simply taking the suggested actions.
- I have written 21 blogs on Wealth Affiliate platform itself – this is in addition to the posts on my own sites. At WA, members are encouraged to write blogs and I have found it to be an excellent starting point – a bit like a training ground for bloggers. These blogs are crawled by Google and can bring benefits and links if well-written and ranked well, just like any other good content.
- I have posted 20 questions to my fellow members, all of which have received full and detailed answers from the community over and above the WA training.
- I’ve attended 2 webinars on different relevant content (although for someone in the UK like me, these are at 1am on a Saturday morning!)
- i have tried to help my fellow members by looking at their sites and giving them feedback and I have received many good ideas and suggestions in return. It really is a pay-it-forward ethos and I love it.
So there is my story so far. If you are enthused and interested, then you can find out more about Wealthy Affiliate and join for free to see if what I say is true. You can have many of the benefits of the platform and training to get you started without paying a penny. See below for differences between the free and premium memberships. And then if you decide to later on, you can go premium and allow your business to really take off.
I wish you all the best in your search for an online business. There are billions of people online as you read and the world is changing whether we like it or not. The question is, will you change with it?
All the best to you, whatever you decide.