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What's the Best Way to Start an Online Business?

There's no one way, but you have plenty of options

by Wendy Piersall :: eMom  |  14232 views  |  5 comments  |        Rate this now! 

What is the best path to web entrepreneurship?

Well, this might not be the answer you want to hear, but there is no one best path to web entrepreneurship, in my opinion. Here’s why:

Different niches require different marketing strategies. Your strengths as a marketer will determine your quickest path to success. All paths can fail -- and all paths can succeed -- it really depends on you.

That said, let me tell you about a friend of mine. He had just signed up for a $1,500 internet marketing seminar taught by someone who I knew to be highly UNqualified to teach the course. The course covered basics such as how to get a website set up, build an email list, start a blog, write an eProduct, and build joint ventures (all in two days!). My friend realized this wasn’t the right course for him and asked me for advice on who could teach him everything he needed to know about internet marketing.

My first piece of advice to him was that he didn’t need to drop $1,500 on an introductory course when much of that information is available freely online. My second piece of advice was that he doesn’t need to know EVERYTHING about internet marketing to make money online. Sure, the more you know, the better your chances, but you have to start somewhere first.

Here’s what I told my friend: No matter what you end up doing (blogging, email marketing, affiliate marketing, or promoting your own products), you will need to know something about affiliate marketing to make money with any of them. So, start there.

I told him he would learn more in Rosalind Gardner’s Super Affiliate Handbook for less than $50 than he would ever learn in a crappy internet marketing course taught by someone who had a page rank of “0″ and a non-existent Alexa rank. Most of the material in this book was also covered at Elite Retreat, giving a little more social proof to the fact that that even the most successful affiliate marketers use this same industry knowledge to make millions.

That doesn’t mean that you should only do affiliate marketing. It does mean that the more you know about affiliate marketing, the more successful you will be in any area of internet marketing.

Learning Affiliate Marketing will require that you master: Selling through web copy and targeting visitors accurately; driving traffic via Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay Per Click search marketing (PPC), and through other means (Social Media, etc.); analyzing your web stats to understand your site visitors needs more accurately; how to choose the best affiliate offers that your site visitors will be most likely to buy/use and have the highest Return on Investment (ROI).

About the Author

Wendy Piersall is the CEO and Founder of eMoms at Home, the home business magazine for moms and dads at

Read more by Wendy Piersall :: eMom

5 comments so far...

  • Thanks, I started an online business with my sister recently and it's been hard getting people to the site...we hear that over and over. But it's fun to learn this with my sister and the business is starting to grow. If you have any suggestions on where we can learn more about driving traffic to a site, I'd love to get your advice.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by bPattee on 23rd June 2008

  • Great article... I've been in this business for a few months and it was rough in the beginning but now I'm learning and things are starting to get a little more easier... still alot to go though.. There's always something new to learn

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Gabriel on 6th June 2008

  • I love to hear other women use terms like SEO, PPC and Affiliate Marketing. It is about time!

    I enjoyed the article very much. Visited the blog as well...will be frequenting it often. thank you for the value.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Patricia Kagwiria Makhulo on 27th April 2008

  • There is a local success story in my town of Flower Mound, TX, in Monta Fleming--founder of

    In 2004 she began her online business and it is growing strong today.

    What would you say is the biggest drawback to having an online business?

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Monta Fleming on 23rd April 2008

  • Thank you! I started a website last year, and I'm still learning, you gave me some great things to check into!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by on 25th March 2008