12 Things To Know Before Starting An Online Business

Module 1.05

There is a whole lot of content out there on the internet about Internet Marketing, things to know before starting an online business, making your first blog, SEO optimization, etc.

Some websites and blogs I’ve seen have been able to set out this broad topic out ok, whereas others are all over the place.

I applied something I’ve learned during putting this Module together – I used mind mapping to help layout these different sub-topics in a logical manner.

12 Things to Know Before Starting an Online Business

  1. Types of Internet Marketing
  2. Come up with a Business Plan
  3. Niche Selection – Know How to Pick the Right Product or Service
  4. Types of Online Content
  5. Business and Domain Name Selection
  6. Keywords Research Tools and Search Intent
  7. How To Build a Website
  8. A Brief Overview of SEO – Search Engine Optimization
  9. Content Promotion & Marketing Tactics
  10. Monetization – When should you start trying to make money online?
  11. Most Used Digital Marketing Acronyms and Abbreviations

Check out the infographic I put together below covering the 12 Things to Know Before Starting an Online Business.

Infographic of 12 Things to Know Before Starting an Online Business - NucoTech Online
Infographic of 12 Things to Know Before Starting an Online Business – NucoTech Online

If you want to check out more detail on a specific one, just click on the link in the Table of Contents below to jump straight to that section.

1. Types of Internet Marketing

  1. Social media marketing
  2. Influencer marketing
  3. Affiliate marketing
  4. Email marketing
  5. Content marketing
  6. Search engine optimization (SEO)
  7. Paid advertising

More details on each of these on Oberlo.

2. Come up with a Business Plan

  1. Start with a service and then move towards a product
  2. Set controllable and measurable goals
  3. I’ll be releasing another Module later with details on my Business Plan which may help you with yours

3. Niche Selection – Picking the Right Product or Service

How do you pick the right niche?

I’ll dive into this in more detail in an upcoming Module.

Below are a few considerations to keep in mind for picking the right niche:

  1. Essentially there are two types of products:
    1. Digital Products
    2. Physical Products

Both product types can contain Information Products. For example, a book can be a physical product and a digital product (eBook).

Unless you are selling your own products, then you’ll probably be using affiliate marketing to make money online (at least to start with).

These are some good articles on this:

  1. Who is your customer / audience? Focus on their wants and needs
  2. Understand the market
  3. I think Ian Pribyl covers this topic quite well in his book “From Nothing
    1. He mentions basically if you choose a niche that is an interest or hobby, you’ll likely spend a lot of time studying.
    2. A lot more work will be required to produce content as you’ll need to continuously build knowledge to provide value.
    3. A quick way that Ian describes being able to know you’ve selected the right niche is by being able to quickly identify 50 different articles you could write about that niche. Then if you can dig into each one, you have a good niche.
  1. Use brainstorming and mind mapping
    1. Google for some ideas and keywords
    2. You can simply use a notepad or a spreadsheet (Google or Excel) to note down all your keyword ideas for your niche product or service
    3. Answer the Public is a great website for helping with stemming from keywords – it is a “keyword tool that visualizes search questions and suggested autocomplete searches in an image called a search cloud” – Acquisio
    4. Keyword Generators & Keyword Research Tools – more on this a little further down
    5. Keywords Search Intent – more on this a little further down

4. Types of Online Content

  1. Blogs
  2. Videos
  3. Books / eBooks
  4. Audiobooks
  5. Webinars
  6. Podcasts
  7. Online courses

5. Business and Domain Name Selection

  1. Some criteria to consider:
    1. Keep it short
    2. Make it unique
    3. Make it memorable
    4. Use keywords
    5. Make it easy to type and pronounce
    6. Research it
    7. Use alliteration
    8. Make it phonetic
    9. Avoid numbers and hyphens
    10. Choose a two-syllable name
    11. Use an appropriate domain name extension – preferably .com followed closely by .org and .net
  2. Below are a few articles that dive more into the details:
    1. Your brand and domain name are some of the best SEO hacks.
    2. 10 tips for choosing the perfect domain name
    3. How to Choose a Domain Name
    4. 8 Smart Tips For Choosing A Winning Domain Name
    5. 13 Strategies to Use If Your Domain Name Isn’t Available
    6. How to Choose a Domain Name
  3. Logo – do you even need one?
    1. I think you do. It doesn’t need to be anything complicated. Keep it simple and follow some basic design practice guidelines such as those in the below listed articles:
      1. How to Design a Blog Logo in 5 Easy Steps
      2. Why a fancy logo is a waste of time and money (and what you need instead)
    2. Alternatively, you could hire someone through UpWork
  4. Domain name registration can be done through the likes of NameCheap, GoDaddy, BlueHost to name a few
    1. My recommendation is to always get domain privacy (either find a plan that includes it or purchase it) – this is to protect your name, phone number, email, and physical address, etc. (avoiding potential spam and/or identity theft)
    2. Namecheap calls this “WhoisGuard Privacy Protection” – they now offer this free forever!
  5. Hosting – is like a server or computer, it is where all the files for your website live.
    1. Shared vs dedicated hosting. If you’re just starting up a new online business. Dedicated is months or years away, don’t worry about it for now. Basically, with dedicated hosting you’re paying for your own dedicated server – typically meaning you’ll get much faster website loading speeds amongst other advantages (but in my opinion, these are not worth it when starting out)
    2. SSL encryption – get this – more on this in #7

6. Keywords Research Tools and Search Intent

  1. I will cover Keyword Research and Search Intent in more detail in a later Module, but the below gives you an idea of this area and some useful links.
  2. Note that keywords can be a single word or phrase.
  3. Do your keyword research first, then create content around those keywords.
  4. There are free and paid Keyword Research Tools available. To keep in line with my Business Plan (which I’ll be releasing in a later Module), I’ve currently only used free ones, so I’ve only listed some of my favorite free ones so far:
    1. Answer the Public – Free (limited daily searches)
    2. Keyword.io – Free
    3. Ubersuggest by Neil Patel – Free but limited use and number of searches
    4. Keywords Everywhere – Free but limited use. Integrates with a web browser and provides ‘Related Keywords’ and ‘People Also Search For’ suggestions
    5. WhatsMySERP / WMS Everywhere – Similar to Keywords Everywhere, but also shows the Search Volume, for free!
    6. Google Keyword Planner – You can set up for free without having to provide a credit card, just follow this guide here on Ahrefs! Also, it’s worth noting, the ‘Competition’ for keywords you search for is for Paid Competition, so ignore it if you are wanting to know Organic/Free Competition (when initially starting out, you should first be building up traffic organically)
    7. Google Trends – uses graphs to compare the search volume of different queries over time
Google Trends online business example
  1. Optinmoster has a great article on content marketing, which includes information about Types of Keywords and Search Intent, which I’ve summarized below.
    1. Types of Keywords:
      1. Short Keywords – broad topic, concepts, or group of items – e.g., “shoes” (~1.5mil Search Volume as of writing this Module)
      2. Medium Keywords – these can be 2 or 3 words long and narrow down a concept further – e.g., “hiking shoes” (~60,500 Search Volume as of writing this Module)
      3. Long-tail Keywords – these are longer, more specific phrases – e.g., “men’s waterproof hiking shoes” (~2,400 Search Volume as of writing this Module)
    2. Types of Search Intent:
      1. Navigational – searching for a specific site
      2. Informational – trying to get the answer to a question
      3. Investigational – narrowing down pre-purchase options
      4. Transactional – searchers are ready to buy

Both Ahrefs and Wordstream have some more specific articles that go into some more details about Search Intent if you’d like to read more about it.

Key locations where you can use keywords in your content:

  1. Title of your page
  2. SEO title of your content or page (may be different to actual Title on your content or page)
  3. Metta description of your content
  4. Throughout the body of your content
  5. In links to that piece of content (on another website, social media updates, any link that points back to your content or page)

 How long will it take to start seeing a reasonable amount of traffic?

  1. This is something I’ve asked myself when starting from scratch. There are lots of blogs, articles, and people out there that claim they see results in a ridiculously short amount of time, some others I think are more realistic.
  2. I think if you do everything right, you’re probably looking at around 6-12months before seeing a reasonable amount of traffic and can then start looking at monetization
  3. I’m challenging myself to try to do it in less time than that. It will require learning fast, working smart, and continuously improving.
  4. Ahrefs conducted a study, where they tested 2 million random keywords and pulled data on the Top 10 ranking pages. I think starting from scratch with no Domain Authority / Rating, the key to generating more traffic faster is by using Long Tail Keywords with Low Search Volume and Low Organic Competition. This should mean you see results in 2-6months (starting ranking in Top 10), assuming other aspects of your website are done right (SEO, quality content, backlinks, content promotion, etc.).
  5. This roughly lines up with Winston’s experience, where Non-Competitive Keywords for a new site take approximately 1-4+ months to make it to page 1 rankings.

7. How to Build a Website

  1. Website builders – WordPress, Wix, Shopify
    1. Why use WordPress – If you’re like me and starting out with a blog and want some flexibility, then WordPress is the way to go. It’s open-source so it’s free (you still must pay for a Domain Name and Hosting). As of May 2020, Kinsta reports about 15% of the top websites and about 35% of all websites in the world use WordPress.
    2. Why use Wix – If you’re only setting up a very basic blog, then maybe Wix would be suitable to use (my sister created a website using Wix for her grazing tables business she set up – basically to showcase photos, events and provide some contact information)
    3. Why use Shopify – I’ve used this before when helping my mother out with her swimwear, it’s quite good to use if setting up an online store and you’ve got your own digital or physical product already to sell – but you probably already want some sort of social media following as a bit of a kick start.
    4. Some useful articles below that might help you decide:
      1. WordPress vs Wix
      2. WordPress vs Shopify
      3. WordPress vs WordPress.com – basically WordPress.com is the paid version of WordPress. WordPress.com is more like Wix (easier for the user that just wants to drag and drop etc.), but I don’t think has as much flexibility as WordPress
    5. There are many others out there but the above ones I am more familiar with.
  2. Make your website mobile-friendly
    1. 57% of all web traffic is done on mobile devices
    2. Studio98 outline some other compelling reasons for ensuring your website is mobile-friendly.
  3. SSL Encryption – why it’s important.
    1. An article by SSL Renewals outlines some key points as to why you should use SSL Encryption on your website (you’re silly if you don’t!)
      1. Protects data (both you and your customers)
      2. Affirms your identity
      3. Improves Search Engine Ranking
      4. Improves customer trust
      5. Google made SSL Mandatory in 2018 – don’t have it and it’ll warn users away from your website for not being secure
  4. Tracking and Analytics
    1. There are many tracking and analytics tools you can set up and use on your website.
    2. These generally are not difficult to set up but starting out you should at minimum set up Google Analytics – it’s FREE.
    3. If you’re using WordPress for your website, check out this guide on How to Install Google Analytics in WordPress for Beginners.
    4. For easy setup and connecting WordPress to your Google Analytics account, you can use MonsterInsights (install the free plugin by searching for this in the WordPress plugins).
    5. I also recommend installing the Pretty Links free plugin – so make sure you properly integrate MonsterInsights with Pretty Links. Note that the paid version allows you to automatically at a “Base Slug Prefix” when creating a new link and tracking it – however, you can just remember to include this “Base Slug Prefix” when creating new links using Pretty Links – see below example. For minimal work and effort, I’ve kept mine as short as possible. Using ‘/a/’ for tracking any affiliate links and ‘/o/’ for tracking any non-affiliate or standard outbound links.
MonsterInsights WordPress affiliate links plugin
Pretty Links WordPress Plugin to make affiliate links look better
  1. The reason you should set tracking up from the very start is to have some data coming in to see how your website is performing and when traffic increases.
  2. Heatmaps are also another great tracking and analytics tool to understand how users are interacting with your web pages.
    1. Wpbeginner provides a list of the best heatmap tools and plugins for your WordPress site. Ultimately, the one I suggest when starting out is Hotspots Analytics as it’s probably the best free one out there (although has not been updated for over 4years). The next best free heatmap plugin I think is Aurora Heatmap – over 10k active installs, has a free option/plan, with the option to pay for upgrades.
    2. If you’re a bit further down the track and want something a bit more advanced, then Crazy Egg Heatmap is probably the best paid Heatmap tool on the market – but it doesn’t align with my Business Plan of keeping startup costs as low as possible.
  1. User Experience (UX) – this is an important consideration when building a website, if a user isn’t having a good experience using your website, then they’ll leave and might not come back! Check out this great article for some best practices for UX for web projects: 7 UX Principles for Creating a Great Website.
  2. Website Design
    1. WordPress free theme – you want a professional-looking and responsive design to maximize effective content marketing. My recommendation is the free Sparkling theme.
    2. Font and typography – typography affects conversions so it’s important to use the right one. Rather than research for hours upon hours what’s the best to use, or do A/B split testing, etc., why not copy one of the best content markets out there (80/20 rule!)? Using Google Chrome Inspect elements on any blog post Neilpatel.com, the below is what I found:
      1. Font: Geomanist (if not available on readers device, then fallback to Helvetica, if that’s not available then Arial). You can purchase a commercial license of Geomanist, or if like me you’re wanting to keep all your initial costs as low as possible use what’s available in WordPress. I decided to use Open Sans for all headings and paragraph text. Alternatively, you could also use Neue Helvetica (an improvement in legibility over Helvetica) – If the font is not available on the user’s system, then it tries Helvetica, if that’s not available then uses Arial, etc.
Font options with Helvetica Neue etc selected
    1. H1 heading
      1. Font size: 36px
      2. Color: #26282D
      3. Margin: 10px 0px 30px
      4. Padding: 32px 0px 0px
      5. Contrast: 14.75
      6. **Note: Neil does not number this heading
      7. You should only have 1x H1 heading per web page to tell Google this is your page title for SEO!
    2. H2 heading
      1. Font size: 24px
      2. Color: #26282D
      3. Margin: 0px 0px 30px
      4. Padding: 40px 0px 0px
      5. Contrast: 14.75
      6. **Note: Neil does not number this heading
    3. H3 & H4 headings – It doesn’t appear that Neil uses these much or at all, he probably has good reason but at this stage, I won’t investigate this much more for now. For my content, I may want to use these, so I’ll be using the below.
    4. H3 heading
      1. Font size: 20px
      2. Color: #26282D
      3. Margin: 0px 0px 30px
      4. Padding: 30px 0px 0px
      5. Contrast: 14.75
    5. H4 heading
      1. Font size: 18px
      2. Color: #26282D
      3. Margin: 0px 0px 30px
      4. Padding: 20px 0px 0px
      5. Contrast: 14.75
    6. Breadcrumbs – Blog site map / location (just under title / H1). See How to implement Yoast SEO breadcrumbs
      1. Font size: 12px
      2. Color: #7B8086
      3. Margin: 0px 0px 43px
      4. Padding: –
      5. Contrast: 3.98
    7. Paragraphs – ‘<p>’ for body text content
      1. Font size: 18px
      2. Color: #26282D
      3. Margin: 0px 0px 30px
      4. Padding: –
      5. Contrast: 14.75
      6. **Note: heading is not numbered!
    8. Lists – ‘<li>’ for listed content
      1. Font size: 18px
      2. Color: #26282D
      3. Margin: 0px 0px 15px
      4. Padding: –
      5. Contrast: 14.75
    9. Blockquote – ‘<blockquote>’ for quoted content
      1. Font size: 18px
      2. Color: #26282D **putting inside blockquote → make darker
      3. Margin: 0px 0px 30px
      4. Padding: 45px 35px
      5. Contrast: 14.75
    10. Images
      1. Align center
      2. Full size
      3. Lazy loaded (loaded as user scrolls to image location)
    11. Body Page
      1. Background color: #FFFFFF (white)
      2. Margin: 43px 0px 0px
      3. Padding: 88px 0px 0px
    12. Some other tips from Neil Patel are:
      1. A larger font size is better (hence he uses 18px Geomanist for his body text)
      2. Dark text on light background
      3. Avoid justification

8. A Brief Overview of SEO – Search Engine Optimization

  1. I will cover this in more detail in a later Module, but the below gives you an idea of this area and some useful links.
  2. What is SEO
    1. Moz explains this in their overview of What is SEO article: “SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.”
    2. They also have a Beginner’s Guide to SEO which breaks down into Chapters that make it easier to follow.
    3. Neil Patel also covers at length in his article SEO Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide.
    4. SEO is one of the most cost-effective marketing techniques
      1. 51% of marketers rate email marketing as their most effective channel, followed closely by SEO marketing at 45%. The total for just those two marketing techniques is 96% – if you’re like me with limited time, you can see these are going to be to ones I’m focusing on to start with! (80/20 rule!)
      2. Below are some detailed articles specifically on SEO marketing strategies (worth looking at more carefully at a later stage):
        1. How to Create an Effective SEO Strategy In 2020
        2. How to Create an SEO Strategy for 2020
        3. 19 Advanced SEO Techniques That’ll Double Your Search Traffic
      3. I won’t bore you with more statics here but if you’re interested, you can check out some more Marketing Statics here:
        1. The Ultimate List of Marketing Statistics for 2020
        2. The Marketing Management + Strategy Statistics You Need to Know in 2019
  3. SERPs – Search Engine Results Pages
    1. What are SERPs? Backlinko explains this nicely as “Search Engine Results Pages (also known as “SERPs” or “SERP”) are Google’s response to a user’s search query. SERPs tend to include organic search results, paid Google Ads results, Featured Snippets, Knowledge Graphs, and video results.”
  4. Why is ranking at the Top of Google important?
    1. Did you know that 75% of Internet users never scroll past the first page of search results?
    2. More than 67% of all clicks on SERPs go to the top five listings (according to a 2014 study from Advanced Web Rankings).
    3. The first 3 results get about 60% of the clickthrough rate!
      1. First result: 36.4% clickthrough rate
      2. Second result: 12.5% clickthrough rate
      3. Third result: 9.5% clickthrough rate
  5. Search Volume and Competition
    1. The Search Volume (SV) is the number of searches the keyword has per month. This can either be an Organic/Free Competition or Paid Competition.
    2. Starting out you want to target gaining as much organic/free traffic as possible. About 70% of searches are from organic traffic!
  6. Page Authority (PA)
    1. This is a score that predicts how well a specific page will rank on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). The score ranges from one to 100, with higher scores being those that have a greater ability to rank.
  7. Domain Authority (DA)
    1. This is a score that predicts how well a website will rank on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). The score ranges from one to 100, with higher scores being those that have a greater ability to rank.
  8. Canonicalization issues to be aware of
    1. If you have a page that lists out all your content (blog posts for example) so users can scroll through a see a list and overview of all your blogs (title and meta description included) – then unless you set this up correctly, you may hinder your ability to rank.
    2. The reason for this is that search engines are crawling and ranking both your actual blog page, as well as the duplicate content in the page that is listing out all your content (which may be blogs or videos, etc.).
    3. To avoid this, you simply need to use a small piece of code to tell the search engines not to index the duplicated content.
    4. Neil explains how to avoid this in How to Deal With Duplicate Content Issues. If you’re using WordPress, install the Yoast SEO plugin and this is made very easy to fix, in Neil’s article scroll down (or use CTRL+F) to find “Method 3: Set up 301 redirects” – instructions with screenshot are just above that!
  9. Is length a strength for SEO in blog posts?
    1. Google’s John Mueller on Word Count for SEO basically said that length or word count doesn’t necessarily affect rank. Write enough content to cover the topic well (but don’t go off on side topics / rants).
    2. Starting off, it’s probably best to aim for 1500-2500 words so that you are not spending heaps of time on each post. You want to see which ones work and which ones don’t. You can always edit to update and add more later. Yes, I know, I should take my own advice – which I probably should move forward. My selected ‘niche’ is quite broad, but this aligns with my Business Plan (which I will release in a later Module). Also, on the contrary, the likes of Neil Patel (dominating in the internet marketing space), has several articles covering why longer, focused, high-quality content is the way to go, here are a few:
      1. How Long Should Your Blog Articles Be? (With Word Counts for Every Industry)
      2. Why 3,000+ Word Blog Posts Get More Traffic (A Data-Driven Answer)
      3. Is Longer Really Better? How Focused and Comprehensive Content Ranks Better
  10. HTML table of contents and Anchor Text
    1. SEMrush covers this in detail. Essentially it is as it sounds. The purpose is to improve User Experience (UX), but it can also improve your rankings if done correctly.
    2. Using anchor text allows users to click a link (in a table of contents or through the content) to jump to a particular section they are interested in. Similarly, another website can link directly to your web page and the anchored text location.
  11. Links – Internal, External, and Backlinks
    1. Internal links are a link that points to another page on the same website / domain.
    2. External links are a link that points to another website/domain that the one that the link is on. External links are more influential than internal links.
    3. Backlinks – typically the more backlinks (external links back to your website/domain), the higher Authority your Domain and Page will build. The quantity and quality of the referring domains have an impact on this. According to a study Ahrefs did, the #1 rank in Google has almost 4x more backlinks than positions #2-#10.
  12. WordPress speed optimization
    1. Check out How to speed up and optimize a WordPress website by Namecheap

9. Generate More Traffic: Content Promotion & Marketing Tactics

Once you start having some organic traffic coming in from the quality content you have created, using Long-tail Keyword with Low Search Volume Keywords with Low Competition, then you can start looking into options for Content Promotion & Marketing Tactics.

This is also where the Tracking & Analytics data (which you should be recording from the start), can be used to help determine what is working well and what isn’t. Whatever is working well, do more of it!

Content Promotion Techniques:

  1. Guest blogging
  2. Gated content
  3. Content repurposing
  4. Content curation
  5. FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out
  6. Urgency
  7. Geomarketing

Check out Content Promotion Techniques on Optinmonster for a good breakdown and details of the above techniques.

Check out Robbie’s monster 12,000 words guide with 41 actionable tactics on how to promote your blog.

Also, some other key areas to consider are:

  1. On-page SEO and Off-page SEO
  2. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). Hubspot provides a good list of CRO Marketing Strategies that you can try, summarized below:
    1. Create text-based CTAs within blog posts
    2. Add lead flows on your blog
    3. Run tests on your landing pages – i.e. A/B split testing (try a different version of landing pages to see which one works better)
    4. Help leads to immediately become a marketing-qualified lead
    5. Build workflows to enable your team
    6. Add messages to high-converting web pages
    7. Optimize high-performing blog posts
    8. Leverage retargeting to re-engage website visitors
  3. Sales and Conversion Funnels – Crazy Egg has an article that explains this well.
  4. Lead magnets – usually this is offering something for free in return for a user providing their email address.
  5. Exit-intent pop-ups – Sleeknote has an article that details 9 Intelligent Ways to Use Exit-Intent Campaigns (The Right Way).
  6. Using a page-specific lead magnet or exit intent pop-up typically results in a higher probability of success than a site-wide lead magnet or exit intent pop-up.

10. Monetization – When should you start trying to make money online?

  1. My recommendation is once you’ve started generating traffic (100+/day to website) – but keep monetization in mind as you’re putting together content – for example, can you easily add in affiliate links later? (i.e., swap out a standard link to a book on Amazon, to an Amazon Affiliate link)
  2. Why not focus on monetization from the start? Shouldn’t you be trying to make money online from the get-go? Well, if you’re like me and you’re working full-time and only can squeeze in 15-20hrs a week to build your online business, then you need to apply the 80/20 rule. Focus first on creating great content, then once you’ve got some reasonable traffic, you can start implementing efforts for monetization. This is something I picked up from reading the book From Nothing by Ian Pribyl, if you skimmed over it, you can check out my summary earlier in this article by clicking here.
  3. Once you’ve created some content and set up your Website Tracking & Analytics, you should be able to start seeing what is working well and what isn’t and use this to adjust the content you are creating to improve on results.
  4. Affiliate marketing – you make a commission by promoting someone else’s product or service.
    1. Some examples of products or services that you could have Affiliate links for:
      1. Books / eBooks / Audiobooks
      2. Programs, software, or tools
      3. Physical products
      4. Services et
    2. Stefan provides a nice overview of affiliate marketing in his YouTube video Affiliate Marketing For Beginners (EXPLAINED IN PLAIN ENGLISH!)
    3. One-time vs recurring commissions – Tommy provides a good article on this on seoclerks.com
    4. Affiliate Marketing vs Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)

11. Blogs – What you need to know about starting your first blog

  1. Neil Patel has several great articles about blogging, I especially like the ones about Beginner Mistakes and starting a Blog From Scratch. Below are all the ones I would recommend reading (or at least skimming through to start with)
    1. The Ultimate Guide to Writing Blog Posts That Rank in Google’s Top 10
    2. 11 Beginner Mistakes That Cripple Blogs in Their First Year
    3. How to Start a Blog That Generates $3817 a Month in 2020
    4. Blogging Principles: If I Had to Start a Blog From Scratch, I Would…
    5. How to Become a Better Blog Writer in 30 Days
    6. How to Start a WordPress Blog
    7. How to Inspire Your First Time Blog Visitors to Trust You
    8. 7 Things First Time Bloggers can do to Create Industry Leading Content
  2. Writing in a notepad, Microsoft Word, or WordPress directly
    1. As part of my Business Plan, I’m preparing the first 5 Modules before setting up my website.
    2. Ian advised in his book “From Nothing” to use a simple Word Pad or Note Pad app instead of Microsoft Word. The reason for this is Microsoft Word has a bunch of formatting that doesn’t copy across well into HTML (when copying across to WordPress for example). Despite this advice, I’ve decided to start with using Microsoft Word.
    3. If you’ve already set up a website, WordPress does have a desktop app that allows you to write directly into your online account.
    4. Microsoft Word does offer the ability to post directly to your website blog, however, you need your website up and running to do this. Microsoft has provided step by step instructions on how to do this.
    5. WordPress also does have the ability to copy and paste from Microsoft Word in WordPress with a specialized button (some formatting may be lost), and you can also paste plain text.
    6. Once I’ve posted my first for Modules (blog posts), I’m sure I’ll determine the most efficient method for myself, and I’ll share this with you!
  3. Collapsible content SEO – Does collapsing content impact Google SEO signals? Is it good or bad to do for SEO?
    1. These are some valid concerns to have. Should you hide (collapse) some content for a (potentially) better User Experience, or leave it unhidden?
    2. My take on this, for now, is that Google use to ignore hidden (collapsed) content because it wasn’t that useful (2015-2016). However, now appears they are starting to include this content in SEO because it provides for a better User Experience (UX) on mobile devices, according to both Topfloor and Search Commander.
    3. Neil Patel has put together yet another detailed article on this – Google’s New Algorithm in 2021 will include an update to implement a new score/ranking for User Experience (UX).
  4. Updating old blog posts – is it worth it?
    1. Google has a ‘freshness’ score – this is one of the reasons why it may be worth considering updating older content.
    2. Below are some articles worth reading on this:
      1. What to Do with Your Old Blog Posts
      2. How to Republish Old Blog Posts – and Why You’ll Want to
      3. Increasing SEO Traffic by Updating and “Thickening” Your Old Blog Posts
      4. Should you keep old content?
      5. Safe or Risky SEO: How Dangerous Is It REALLY to Change Your Article Dates?
  5. Adding Images and Videos to your blogs
    1. All your blog posts should have images (photos, graphics, charts, infographics). Check out 11 Best Practices for Including Images in Your Blog Posts.
    2. If you’re just starting out with your blog, I wouldn’t recommend adding videos until later down the track (especially if you have limited time for generating content). However, when it comes to that stage, I would recommend checking out this article: Is it Time to Add Video Marketing to Your Content Marketing?
    3. Royalty-Free Images – I think royalty-free images offer most ‘Bang for Buck’ if you can find some good ones relevant to your content. Below are some top royalty-free images and graphics websites:
      1. Pixabay
      2. Unsplash
      3. Burst by Shopify
    4. Graphs and Charts – If you’ve got some simple data to display, you could probably put together a quick chart yourself with any of these tools:
      1. Microsoft Excel
      2. Google Sheets (free)
      3. Google Charts (interactive charts – free!)
      4. Online Charts (free)
      5. Canva Graph Maker (free but limited – still has 8,000+ free templates!)
    5. Infographics – Infographics are one of the best ways to explain a complicated concept or topic.
      1. Here’s How to Perfectly Optimize Your Infographic for SEO
      2. There are several tools out there you can use to create your own infographics. Below are a few, I’ve used Canva and that’s the one I most recommend.
        1. Canva – free plan available which will take you far. Option to buy premium templates, icons, images, and more
        2. Adobe Spark – free (I don’t like the limited color pallet and themes – Canva you can pick any color you want for almost any element!)
        3. DesignCap – free but must pay for upgrades / nicer templates / graphics
        4. Piktochart
        5. Venngage

12. Most Commonly Used Digital Marketing Acronyms and Abbreviations

The below is not an exhaustive list.

These are just some more commonly used digital marketing acronyms and abbreviations that I’ve used and seen.

Common SEO Acronyms

  • SEO = Search Engine Optimization
  • SEM = Search Engine Marketing
  • SERP = Search Engine Results Page (Google’s 1st page of results)
  • SV = Search Volume
  • PA = Page Authority or PR = Page Rating
  • DA = Domain Authority or DR = Domain Rating
  • KW = Keyword (this may be a single word or a phrase)
  • SD = Keyword SEO difficulty (also can be “KD”)
  • UX = User Experience
  • CTR = Click Through Rate
  • CTA = Call to Action
  • BR = Bounce Rate
  • ROI = Return on Investment (not in the paid list, because your investment could be your time!)

Common Cost-Related SEO Acronyms

  • PD = Paid Difficulty
  • CPC = Cost Per Click
  • PPC = Pay Per Click
  • CPL = Cost Per Lead
  • CPA = Cost Per Acquisition
  • CR = Conversion Rate
  • CRO = Conversion Rate Optimization

Acronym References

Final Thoughts on Starting an Online Business

There’s a lot to know on how to start an online business, and there’s a whole lot of information out there on it.

There’s way more than what I’ve detailed above, but these are the areas I believe are some of the most important to have a basic understanding of before starting an online business.

I think a balance between gaining information and knowledge through both books and online sources is the best approach.

If you haven’t already, check out my module The Best Books for Starting an Online Business.

You could read or watch all the content in the world but unless you take action then you won’t go anywhere!

Once you think you have enough information to get started, then make a plan and execute it!

Working full-time and trying to start an online business at the same time is hard work.

If you’ve only got a limited amount of time (like me) each week, you need to be able to learn fast.

Try to break up into smaller, more manageable chunks and apply the 80/20 rule wherever possible.

Check out more useful tips in How to Learn Anything Faster.

Want to know when our next Module is released? Sign up below:

If any of the information here has helped you or been useful, please let me know in the comments!


As part of Module 1, I’ll also be running through the below:


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