10 Steps to Creating an Online Business | Rebecca Livermore | Skillshare

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10 Steps to Creating an Online Business

teacher avatar Rebecca Livermore, Microsoft Office for Creatives

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Step 1: Determine Your WHY


    • 3.

      Step 2 Choose a Profitable Niche


    • 4.

      Step 3: Start a Blog


    • 5.

      Step 4: Grow One Social Media Channel


    • 6.

      Step 5: Build an Email List


    • 7.

      Step 6: Make Products and Services Available


    • 8.

      Step 7: Set up Payment Processing


    • 9.

      Step 8 Set up Product Delivery


    • 10.

      Step 9: Set up Systems


    • 11.

      Step 10: Build a Team


    • 12.

      Your Project


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About This Class

Digging Deeper

Since this class is an overview of the 10 steps to building an online business, be sure to check out the following classes for more information on some of the steps. 

Determine Your Why

How to Discover and Achieve the WHY for Your Blog and Business

Start a Blog

Start Your First WordPress Blog | Step-by-Step for Beginning Bloggers

What to Do Once You've Started Your Blog

Blog Post Idea Generation: 30+ Ways to Come Up with Ideas for Your Blog

How to Write the Best Blog Post Titles

How to Create Blog and Social Media Images in PowerPoint

5 Secrets to Developing the Blogging Habit

Build a Team

An Online Entrepreneur's Guide to Building a Virtual Team

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Rebecca Livermore

Microsoft Office for Creatives


Hi, I'm Rebecca Livermore, also known as The Office Creative. I'm a bestselling author, blogger, and the owner of Professional Content Creation. I've been a freelance writer since 1993 and have served as a content manager for top bloggers such as Michael Hyatt, Amy Porterfield, and Marcus Sheridan.

I've always loved PowerPoint, but it wasn't until a couple of years ago that I began to discover the many ways to use PowerPoint to create content. I use it for everything from blog and social media images, lead magnets, low content books, printables, videos, digital planners, and more. The more I use PowerPoint, the more amazed I am by the many types of content you can create with this one powerful tool.

I'm constantly learning new ways to use PowerPoint and other Micro... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Intro: If you're like many people that want to start an online business, you may feel overwhelmed with all of the steps that are needed to do so. Should you start an email list in a blogged? Yes. How about selling products or services again? Yes, but the struggle comes in with weird start and the proper order in which to do things. So the purpose of this class is very simple. It's to lay out the steps you need to take so that you'll have a big picture view of what you need to do. Then, in the description of the class, I've included links for going deeper in the various steps. My recommendation for how to use this class is to watch the class through in its entirety and then take additional classes in the areas where you need more information. If you follow this process before you know it, you'll be well on your way to building the online business of your dreams. So what are you waiting for? Let's go ahead and dive in 2. Step 1: Determine Your WHY: Step one. Determine your why it's important to have a strong Y for starting a business. While making money is one motivation for any business in and of itself, it's not enough having a strong Why, in addition to money is important for a few reasons. First off, making money with the business takes time. And while you're in the lean season, if you don't have a deeper why at the foundation, you'll give up. In addition to that, at some point, money loses its luster. Your why should get to the heart of what you want to accomplish as a result of your business. For me, it's freedom and a way to provide and care for my family, for example, all soon leave to spend two months with my 86 year old mom. Having the type of business that I have gives me the freedom toe work ahead on things and also gives me the freedom to travel. I can work super intensely on something. Then in a different season, such as this time with my mom can work less in addition to motivating you, knowing your why helps you know which opportunities to say yes to and which opportunities to turn down. For instance, in one season of my business, I wanted to use business income to pay off some personal debt. The deeper reason for that had to do with my big picture reason being freedom, Knowing how paying off debt would give me more freedom, I took on some demanding client work for a season, as it provided me with income I needed to pay off the debt. Now, as I prepare to go visit my mom, freedom is shaped differently than when I wanted to pay off debt. Freedom now means being ableto unplug and work very part time for a couple of months, knowing that I turned down some client work so that I can instead work ahead on things like skill share classes. And by the way, I have a whole skill share class on knowing the why for your blogging business. So be sure to check that out. I'll leave a link to it in the description for this class. Now let's move on to how to find a profitable niche 3. Step 2 Choose a Profitable Niche: step to find a profitable niche. Your niche should fit with your passions, interest and experience. Perhaps you've heard that if you do what you're passionate about, the money will follow. And while there's some truth to that, the products you create or the services you offer have to be something people want and are willing to pay for. Don't fear competition. When I first started my blawg, I felt overwhelmed by the thought of competition. Now you do have to be aware of what competitors are out there. But rather than seeing competition as a scary thing, see it as a good thing. The deal is, if other people are making money on something, it means that people are willing to pay for it. So it's actually counterproductive if you see a niche where there's nobody, if that's the case, most likely there's no money to be made there. So don't worry about competition. Another key thing to remember is that your blawg products and services need to meet a felt need. So what I want you to do now is refer back to the first step, your Why So, for instance, with this class, the felt need is the desire to make money online, and there are deeper needs fears and so on that feed into that. So refer back to the wide that I talked about in the first video. And again, if you haven't already done so, take my class on that topic. If what you do feeds into peoples, why they'll be more likely to be drawn to it and want what you have to offer. Digging deeper. So finding a profitable niche is a big topic and such an important one. So to help you out with that, I am leaving a link to some classes here and skill share on this topic. So be sure to check out the description for some of the best classes here on skill share on finding a niche. 4. Step 3: Start a Blog: Step three started Blawg. You're blawg is your home base for your online business. It's where you'll build the know like and trust factor with your fans and customers. Blogging is also a great way to establish your expertise. It's one thing to tell people you're an expert, and it's quite another thing to show them in a non pushy non sales. The way and generally speaking, in most of your block post, you won't overtly sell things. Now this doesn't mean that you'll never link toe one of your products or mention your services. And from time to time you'll use your blood to promote something new. For instance, I may use my Blawg to announce the publication of a new book. It's totally fine to do that, but on your blawg make the majority of your content focused on providing helpful content that people can benefit from whether or not they buy anything. Now, if the thought of adding one more thing to your to do list overwhelms you, please know that unless your business is heavily Blawg based, you don't have to blawg like a crazy person. You can write samedi block post to provide a solid Foundation and then update your blawg with less detailed content once a week, or even less often if that's what works for you. The main thing that you want to do is put out some content that will help you to be found in Google and other search is and also give you an opportunity to demonstrate your expertise. If you haven't yet started a blawg or website even be sure to check out my class on how to start your first WordPress blawg in it, I share why I believe that WordPress is the blogging platform of choice. The difference between hosted and self hosted blog's and the basics and setting up your block and getting started with your first post and more. And by the way, whether you're just getting started with blogging or are a blogging pro, be sure to check out my other blogging classes on skill share. I've left a link to them in the description of this class 5. Step 4: Grow One Social Media Channel: Step four grow one social media channel. So I've talked about blogging overwhelmed, but at least for me personally, social media is at times even more overwhelming. The struggle that I have with social media is that it requires regular interaction, which can be rather overwhelming in the midst of everything else going on in life in business. So I've learned that one of the best ways to beat social media overwhelmed is to initially focus on just one social media platform. Once you get the hang up one platform and have a decent following there, you can add new platforms. The platform that's right for you depends on your own preferences as well as your specific product or service. For instance, if your product or service is very visual than Pinterest is a good platform. If your primary audience is business, people linked in may be the best fit etcetera. Also, one big thing that I want to mention about social media is that social media isn't necessarily the best place to sell things. For instance, people go to Facebook to hang out and have fun. So rather than using social media to hit people over the head with your products or services use it to build relationships. In fact, some of my most important time on social media is spent in Facebook groups with like minded people to the world as a whole. It may seem that I'm not even on social that much, and yet I use it a lot to grow my business in a targeted way through relationships. Another thing that I want to encourage you to do is to think outside the box. When it comes to social media, for example, you may not consider skill shared to be a social media site, and to a large degree, that's true. But it does have a lot of social media elements to it, such as the ability to start discussions and responded discussions that other people are started, leave reviews, upload projects and so on. Now, if you're a teacher on skill share and you interact with other teachers on scale share and support them in what they do on the platform, they too will likely support you. If you don't teach, you can still use skill share in a social way, such as by participating in discussions, uploading projects and so on in class is related to your niche. You can do the same thing on YouTube by commenting on YouTube videos in your niche, and you can also do it on blog's by commenting on blog's. I share these eggs with you not to give you more to do then you already have, but rather to get you thinking differently about what it means to be on social media. The key thing is to find a platform where you can focus on building relationships and be consistent on that platform. Once you're comfortable there, if you have the time to do so, branch out to other platforms. The key thing is to not spread yourself too thin, because if you spread yourself too thin, you won't really have a solid presence anywhere. Or perhaps you will have a solid presence on multiple platforms. But be so busy spending time on social media that you don't devote enough time to actually building your business. So again, pick one social media platform to start, build some solid relationships there and then branch out as you can tow other platforms 6. Step 5: Build an Email List: Step five set up an email list. It's been said that the money's in the list. It's also been said that if you don't have an email list, you don't have a business. While that may be overstating it a bit, it is important to start building your email list from day one. And by the way, if you hear rumors that email is dead, don't believe them. If you're like me and most other people on the planet, you check your email multiple times a day every day. Also, while social media is a great way to get information out there regarding your products and services, you have very little control over social media. For example, I remember the early days of Facebook, where the idea was that you could use social media to promote your business for free. Then, lo and behold, Facebook got into a pay to play model where, unless you pay to promote your post, very few people see them now. My purpose here is not to say whether or not that's good, but rather to point out that none of us own any of the social media platforms out there. But we do own our email list going into a lot of detail regarding the how of setting up an email list is beyond the scope of this class. But the basic steps that you'll take our number one sign up for an email service provider I personally use and recommend get response that a Weber is also good. If you have no budget whatsoever, then you can start with male chimp, which is free. I will say that I do believe that get response is, in my opinion, the most robust option at a low cost, and it can grow with you as your business grows. But regardless of what you choose, the main thing is to sign up for either get response a Weber or mail chimp right away. Even if you don't feel like you have much reason for a list yet, number to set up at least one opt in form. You may be unfamiliar with the term opt in form, but trust me if you're online at all, which you obviously are. Since you're taking this class you've seen and no doubt, put in your name and email address into a form at least once in exchange for something such as a free PdF Number three. That brings me to my next point, and that is to create some type of freebie known as a lead magnet. As the name implies, a lead magnet is a way to attract Leeds. It's what gets people to give up their name and email address or, at the very least, their email address. I recommend starting with something small and easy to create that can quickly yield results . For example, you may offer a three page PdF that provides action steps to accomplish something or solve a problem specific to your target audience. Number four. Email your list. So here's the funny thing. Sometimes people make the mistake of building an email list and then never communicate with the people on their list. If you do that, when you finally do communicate with people they don't remember signing up for your email list, have no clue who you are and unsubscribe or even worse, mark, your email is spam. The bottom line is that the whole point of building an email list is to communicate with people, and the most effective way to do so is having a regular schedule for sending email to your list 7. Step 6: Make Products and Services Available: Step six make products and services available as an online entrepreneur, one of the most important things you can do, and one of the quickest ways to make income is to start offering products and services sooner rather than later. If you're just getting started, don't feel that you have to wait before you start selling. Now it's true that you want to build trust with people first. And as I mentioned in Step three, your blogging is one of the best places to do that. But just because you're in the trust building stage, it doesn't mean that you can't put up with services page or review a product that you recommend and are an affiliate For. Speaking of affiliates, one of the easiest ways to start making money online is with affiliate products. The reason for this is because rather than taking the time and spending the money on creating your own products, you can promote a product that someone else has created and get a commission for doing so. In case you're unfamiliar with affiliate products. Essentially, the way they work is that you recommend the product to others, and when they quick on one of your links to purchase it, you get credit for it. The key thing to remember with affiliate products is to be honest about the products you promote and only promote things you yourself personally use. When you recommend the products. Be honest about both the pros and the cons of the product. You can use your blawg email list, social media and so on to share about the products with others. For instance, here's a block post that I wrote comparing lead pages with optimized press. I had been elite pages user, and while it's a good program for various reasons, I decided to change to optimize press. I shared about that in this block post, and I also shared the pros and cons of each option in the Post that link to optimize press using my affiliate Link. The Post took me about an hour to write, and to date I've made around $600 on that single post, and it continues to earn income. I've also created an email marketing learning center where I include videos and blood post that show how to use my email provider of choice. Get response. The great thing about that one is that people pay for the service either monthly or annually, so it's recurring income. I also have pages that link to my books on Amazon that provide information on my services and so on. The bottom line is, if you don't have products and services for sale, you make no money. I know that's a no brainer, but as you plan out your website and blawg think about how you're going to monetize your blawg and make sure and incorporate monetization options into your blawg. 8. Step 7: Set up Payment Processing: Step seven set up payment processing. Obviously, in order to make money online, you have to have a way to get paid. The good news is that there are many simple and easy to use solutions out there that don't cost a ton of cash. In fact, the two most popular ones don't charge a monthly fee, and instead take just a percentage of each sale. That's great for people just starting out, because it's nice to keep your expenses as low as possible when first getting started, the two that I recommend, starting with our PayPal and stripe with both paper Alan stripe. The fees are 2.9% plus 30 cents for each transaction as an example when someone purchases a $10 product that PayPal fees are 29 cents plus the 30 cent base rate for a total of 59 cents. If you have a $25 product, the fees would be roughly a dollar two cents, and the fees on $100 coaching call would be $3.20. Obviously, the higher the price of the product or service, the higher the fees. Well, this is kind of a bummer. It's just part of the cost of doing business and not something to be upset about. The good news is that you can indeed keep track of your fees and write them off on your taxes as your business grows. Other options, such as authorized dot net maybe a better option for you. The reason I don't recommend it when first starting out is because there's a monthly fee. Associate it with some of these other options, and that can be hard to swallow when you aren't yet bringing an income. I do want to say just one other thing on PayPal, and that is to make sure that you sign up for a papal business account so that you'll be able to accept credit card payments from within the paper. How business account options. One of them is called payments standard, and that is the one to start with because it allows you to accept payment via credit cards but has no monthly fee 9. Step 8 Set up Product Delivery: Step eight set up product delivery. After you've set up payment options, you'll need to create some products or services to sell and then deliver those products or services to your customers. There are multiple ways to deliver products to your customers in papal. At the most basic level, you can set it up so that after the customer pays, they're directed to a page on your website that provides more information about the next steps to set this up, you goto profile than my selling tools and then website preferences within website preferences you put in the Web page, you are l. You want people to be redirected to On that page, you can set up a download link to the product or a link to a page where the customer fills out information for a coaching call, etcetera. Now, the biggest problem with this is that you can't set it up for multiple products if you have just one product or service you offered. This is fine, but not such a good option for people with multiple products or service offerings. So this could be okay for you to start with just to get going, because it's super easy to set up, but then, as your business grows, you'll need to do something else. With that in mind, I recommend one of the following options for a simple digital product delivery. I've used the East or plug in, and I've also used Gum Road now using the East or plug in. You can accept payment via PayPal stripe and many other options as well, and there is good documentation on how to set everything up at the current time. This plug in has a one time fee of 49 95 in addition to that, you'll be charged the fees from pay PAL stripe or whatever payment processor you use. The other option. I've used his gum road, and I actually find it Gum Road to be easier to use than the East or plug in. The cost for gum Road is $10 per month, plus 3.5% and a 30 cent charge for each item purchased With Gum Road, you can set everything up from selling digital products to memberships, payment plans and more. Now, with both the east or plug in and with gum road, you can set up coupon codes and give people the option to pay what they want rather than having a set price for products. Now, Shopify is another popular option for selling and delivering products. At first glance, the lowest cost for Shopify is $29 per month, plus 2.9% plus 30 cents for each product sold. However, if you scroll down the price and page, you'll see there is also a Shopify light option that cost $9 per month plus fees. The biggest difference with Shopify light that cost $9 per month plus fees and the one that's $29 per month plus fees is that with the $9 per month option, you can sell on social media in person or on an existing website. What is meant by existing website is that you have to set it up on your own website rather than using a Shopify storefront. Now I personally don't see this as a negative thing, since you need to have a Web site Anyway. There are many other options available out there, but to keep overwhelmed down, I'd start with either the East or plug in Gum Road or Shopify 10. Step 9: Set up Systems: Step nine Create systems systems are step by step instructions for anything you do regularly for your business. For instance, you may have a checklist that needs to be followed each time you publish a block post, send a newsletter or package of product. For example, here's a screen grab of one of the systems that I created for taking one of my books that I formatted for Kendall and formatting it for print. The key thing to keep in mind with this is that you want to document literally every step of the process. Now I'll be honest. Documenting processes or systems takes time, and it's not necessarily the most fun to dio. But in the long run, systems actually save time because you don't have to stop and think about what needs to be done. You simply follow the checklist and do one step after another. In addition to saving time systems, improved quality control because they ensure that you remember each step of the process for whatever it is you dio. For example, if you have a system set up for writing block post, you'll always remember to add in certain S e o elements, which helped the post be found in Google search. Without the system, you may forget that step and then your post won't perform a swell. You can document your systems using a paid service such a sweet process or a free service such as Google Drive or one drive in addition to it, helping you be more efficient and improving the quality of your own work. The systems you create can be provided to team members, which makes training easier and ensures that whoever does the task remembers to do all the important elements of the task. 11. Step 10: Build a Team: Step 10. Build a team now, bootstrapping. It is all well and good, but there comes a time when you'll need help if you want your business to grow some good places to start our fiver for very small projects and up work for one off projects that are more complex. I won't go into a lot of detail here on why and how to build a team because I have an entire skill share class on that topic, so be sure to check that out. I provided a link for it in the description of this class. In the meantime, I'll leave you with the African proverb that sums it up. Well, if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. The interesting thing about this is that I believe that while it takes time to build and train a team in the long run, you'll actually go farther faster if you have the help of a team. So while you may not be ready for a team right now, plan to start outsourcing some of your task as soon as possible and grow that more and more as time goes on 12. Your Project: as your project for this class, you'll determine where you are in this process and share it with the rest of us. For instance, if you've decided on a niche but haven't started a block yet, you'll indicate your on step three. Start a block if you've done some of the steps, but perhaps skip some list of steps you've taken and the ones you still need to work on. And don't forget to check out the supplemental classes linked Teoh in the description for the areas where you need more information. And by the way, if you enjoy this class, I'd really appreciate it. If you give it a thumbs up. I wish you the best in your business endeavors.