I’m sure you’ve thought about it… and honestly working from home or creating income for yourself through social media is no longer uncommon. In fact, many people today work online, and even more dream of making it a reality for themselves. With some many opportunities available, how could you not launch an online business of your own? Make a career blogging, sell products with an e-commerce store, or become a freelance writer, graphic designer… or find what works for you – all without leaving the comfort of your house or getting fully dressed for the day.

Sounds easy, right? Not so fast. While it is simple to make a little extra cash online, to actually build a sustainable and profitable income through your online business, takes some work. 

Like with most things though, what you put in is what you get out.

If you’ve already tried your hand at starting an online business and haven’t experienced the success you expected, maybe it’s time to do something different. Instead of giving up or scaling back, why not give your business the jumpstart it needs! Or if your just getting started, this mini-guide is just for you. 

Here are a few tips to point you in the right direction.

Switch it Up

If you’re doing something that isn’t producing results, don’t be afraid to switch it up!

One of the biggest mistakes people make in online business is doing the same things, with no result and wondering why it’s not working. If your stats or sales aren’t increasing, you need to try something different.

For example: If you’re sending out pitch letters to editors, for your freelance writing business, and you keep getting rejection notices, it’s time to research how to improve your pitch letter.

Get Your SEO Right

No matter how great you believe your idea to be, people won’t magically stumble upon your content or products. In the beginning, a lot of your viewers and customers will come from social media and digital marketing campaigns. But, as you start to grow, you’ll want to be easily discovered by search engines. That means that you have to give attention to your websites search engine optimization.  

Start with the basics. Add alt text and titles to all images posted to your site using keywords that are relevant to your content. Use subtitles in blog posts and always include meta descriptions. Sound like I’m speaking a foreign language? That just means you need to spend some time learning this new subject. SEO can be complicated and is ever-changing, so do your research. Grab an in-depth guide or find an online course to help you better understand SEO and make the changes needed to drive traffic to your site.

Photo Quality Matters

You want to make sure that you are producing images and graphics that attract the attention of your target market. It’s also important not to have to spend money hiring a photographer to do it for you. Most people skim content, only stopping when something catches their attention. Good photos help your products stand out. Invest in a good camera or learn how to optimize the settings on your smartphone camera. If your business is product specific you’ll also want to invest in props. For example, if you sell wigs, you’ll want to find mannequin heads for sale or if you create printables, you’ll want desk accessories for flat-lay photos.

Social Media is King

If you haven’t already, secure your social media real estate – yes, even on platforms that you don’t intend to use just yet. You want your social media profile name for your business to be consistent across all platforms. Your social media presence is a way for you to present your brand to the world. You’ll want to build a strong following, engage with your audience and then convert your followers into customers.

Collaboration is your Friend

One of the best ways to increase traffic, appeal to a broader audience and make new connections is through collaboration. Work with bloggers and other business owners on collaborative projects to help each other out. Many people shy away from collaboration because they see other entrepreneurs as their competition – when most of the time you’ll both benefit from the joint venture.

Consider this:  If you offer a service, partner with an influencer on a product giveaway. If you’re a blogger, guest blog for a fellow blogger in the same niche.


Strategize & Plan

The simplest of all the steps but often the most overlooked. Take some time to really dig deep into what your business goals are for the coming year. Think about what you want to accomplish and the steps that it may take for you to get there. Sometimes all you need is a little focus and personal reflection to get your online business on track, profitable and growing. 

*this is a contributor written post