How To Start And Grow A Successful Online Business 2021

How To Start And Grow A Successful Online Business (2021)

Discover the most important resources – information, services, and tools – needed to start and grow a successful online business. These resources are grouped into 3 categories – start, build, and market. Each category consists of one or more steps.

Please note that we only recommend information, services, and tools that we have successfully used in our own business. If you’ve got any questions, then feel free to email us at [email protected].

1) Start

When starting a business, there are 2 immediate steps to consider. Choose a cloud software suite. Select a cloud backup service.

a) Cloud Software Suite

What is it?

A collection of cloud computing, productivity, and collaboration tools to run a business.

Why do you need it?

To get an email address, a calendar, and tools to create documents for your business.

Who do we recommend and why?

Google Workspace. Everything you need in one place to get things done. Run your business on a desktop/laptop, tablet, or mobile. Low cost.

b) Cloud Backup Service

What is it?

A type of service that allows individuals and organizations to make a cloud backup of their desktop/laptop.

Why do you need it?

To create a secure and offsite backup of the data on your desktop/laptop.

Who do we recommend and why?

Backblaze.  Unlimited backup for 1 desktop/laptop.    Automated backups that can be restored easily.  Great value for money.

2) Build

There are 5 primary steps to building your website.  Select a domain name registrar.  Choose a web hosting service.  Pick a website theme. Choose a done-for-you, professionally-designed, website.  Select a website compliance service.

There are 3 secondary steps if you plan to build a course website.  Choose a course builder.  Pick a video storage service.  Select a video player.  Even if you are not creating courses, steps 2 and 3 below apply if you plan to deliver videos on your website.

a) Domain Name Registrar

What is it?

A company that manages the reservation of Internet domain names.

Why do you need it?

To get a domain name for your website, e.g. “digitalfreedom.com”.

Who do we recommend and why?

Namecheap. The name says it all. Let us know if you can find anyone cheaper!

b) Web Hosting Service

What is it?

A type of Internet service that allows individuals and organizations to make their website accessible via the World Wide Web.

Why do you need it?

To provide a place for your website to live.

Who we we recommend and why?

Cloudways. Super fast with dedicated resources to serve your website visitors. Includes backups. Build your website in private, then go live. No limit on number of websites.

c) Website Theme

What is it?

The overall look, feel, and style of a website. This includes color scheme, layout, and style elements.

Why do you need it?

To represent your brand and ensure your website visitors have the best possible experience.

Who do we recommend and why?

Kadence for blog, shop, and simple membership and course websites. Fast, lightweight, and customizable. FREE.

d) Done-For-You Website

What is it?

A professionally-designed website enabled by a child theme. Set your brand colors and logo, insert your words and images, and launch your website.

Why do you need it?

To save yourself time by eliminating the creative and technical hurdles of designing a website and to make your business stand out from the crowd.

Who do we recommend and why?

Digital Freedom. Designed from the ground up to be scalable and super fast. Blog websites. Shop websites coming soon!

e) Website Compliance Service

What is it?

A type of service that helps with observing and following all accessibility laws and regulations that apply to a website.

Why do you need it?

To make your website compliant with the laws of the countries in which you operate.

Who do we recommend and why?

iubenda for privacy policy, cookie policy, and cookie consent banner.  Attorney-level compliance.  Simple and quick to generate policies.

WebsitePolicies for disclaimer, terms and conditions, and DMCA policy.  Attorney-drafted legal documents.  Create policies in minutes.

f) Course Builder

What is it?

An education platform for creating and delivering online courses.

Why do you need it?

To help you create and deliver online lessons to your website visitors.

Who do we recommend and why?

LearnDash.  Drag and drop course builder.  Advanced quizzing.  Drip-feed lessons.  Control access to courses, lessons, and quizzes. 

g) Video Storage Service

What is it?

A type of service that allows individuals and organizations to store digital media.

Why do you need it?

To store your digital media, e.g. online course videos.

Who do we recommend and why?

Bunny.  Super low cost.  Storage from only $0.01 per gigabyte per month.  Bandwidth $0.005 per gigabyte transferred.  Minimum cost $1 per month.

h) Video Player

What is it?

A software tool to deliver digital media.

Why do you need it?

To deliver your digital media, e.g. online course videos.

Who do we recommend and why?

Presto Player.  Easy to navigate videos with chapters.  View page content and watch videos at same time.  Integrated with Bunny for low cost video storage.  Settings remembered between watch sessions.

3) Market

There is 1 primary step for marketing your business.  Choose an email marketing service.  If you are using paid advertising, then there is 1 additional recommended step.  Select a funnel builder.

a) CRM Tool (For Email)

What is it?

A customer relationship management (CRM) tool is used by individuals and organizations to manage their interactions with leads and customers.

Why do you need it?

To send emails to your leads and customers.

Who do we recommend and why?

Drip.  Email and SMS.  Dynamic content.  A/B split testing.  Behavior based automations.  Scheduled sending.

b) Funnel Builder

What is it?

A platform for building the web pages used to take a person from initial awareness of a product or service to its purchase.

Why do you need it?

To take your audience on a journey that starts by making them aware of a problem they have and finishes by presenting a solution they can purchase.

Who do we recommend and why?

ConvertriEasy to build pages with no code.  Fully-customizable and ready-made templates.  Super fast funnels for high conversions.

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