How to Start An Online Business For Free (For Total Beginners!).

I’ve run an online business since 2005 and over the years, have tried different options. Today I’ll show you a free (beginner friendly) way to start and it takes 4 steps.

If you don’t like reading, here’s a video that explains the process (and how I do this):

Now aside from the video I just included, let me say the remainder of this post covers the same kind of stuff the video did, just a heads up 🙂

First, let me explain how I reached success with online business:

This simple way of doing things (the 4 steps) and success with online business didn’t come easy for me. I had to try a lot of different options and go through years worth of learning curves, and lose large sums of money lost in the process. You can read my story about all of these losses in online marketing here, to figure out the following:

And that is if you want to start a truly profitable online business, and start it for free, that these 4 steps were the way to do it and being that I’ve used them over and over, across one online business after another, seeing it work again and again, it’s truly the way to go.

It’s literally a formula. If you follow it, and work hard, you WILL see it work.

how to start an online business for free

I’ll be detailing each step shortly so you’re not left wondering if there’s anything you’re missing. And these 4 steps have helped me create what is known as an affiliate marketing business (a profitable one). And they are also beginner friendly and applicable to the other methods I mentioned above in the video. In fact, I did say they are universally applicable across different online business models out there and this is true. 

Additionally, I will also be providing you a way to start this stuff, for free in case you need help, and that is by offering you awesome training and coaching from myself, coming up and before you think I’m giving you a sales pitch, it’ll also be free.

You’ll see.

Where’s the proof that this works Vitaliy? Here it is:

If you understand the following message, you’re going to do very well…

Like I said it took me years to really understand what I’m about to tell you about the key to success in online business and I want you to approach this with an open mind, because I had my own ideas and misconceptions when I began that actually lagged my progression and results.

And today I still run into people who brainwash themselves or let fakers who pretend to be rich at this business do that to them. Trust me, look at this with an open mind and you will see the following:

  • Faster results in actually getting sales.
  • Less stress and a shorter or even none existent learning curve. 

Let’s get to it:

A breakdown of the 4 steps, starting with #1:

Before any online business can take shape, you need to begin with an idea of what you want to build. Now without experience, 99% people tend to brainstorm things that honestly won’t work. They just “think” they will.

They figure if they make a site and just “sell stuff”, any stuff for that matter, that it’ll take care of itself. Wrong.  

ANY legitimate and successful online businessman (doesn’t matter if they run a physical or online business) will tell you that the key starting point is to…

Here’s the first key: SOLVE a major problem people have (It’s core and my profits in this business shows that solving problems pays).

But I’m going to add to that…

You don’t just want to solve a major problem, you want to solve a major, SPECIFIC problem that people have and you want to actually be passionate about it. Why?

Need examples? I gotcha:

So that concludes the first step, and even though we haven’t actually built anything, believe me, making the right choice for your niche is truly the key component moving forward.

Picking something you don’t like (which 99% of people make the mistake of because they DON’T read stuff like this!) will just result in you failing, quitting and/or just starting over. I was one of the 99% of people who made this mistake and took years to learn my lesson, don’t be like I was!

I’ll help you with step 1 (see training/coaching below), but let’s go into step 2:

Step 1 doesn’t cost you anything, it’s “just” an idea, but what you do after with it, is what can truly make it become something that can help you quit your job and work for yourself like I do.

Now step 2 is also free and it is this:

Well that was easy (and free), so what’s step 3?

The site you make in the earlier step will essentially be “blank” and that’s how all sites start, which is fine.

What exactly will we be doing with this site? Well in essence, it’ll be a blog. Now before I move forward, you may ask me this (I get these questions a lot):

  • Why not an eCommerce site?
  • Why not just put up products on the site?

A blog allows you to make money off your site, for FREE.

eCommerce websites on the other hand require a lot of meticulous work and advertising on different paid networks and that can actually cost you a lot if you’re not experienced. It’s basically just a BIG headache if you’re new, it’s easy to lose money and fail, and those are the basic reasons why I don’t recommend starting with eCommerce.

As for putting up products on the site, well that can either be an eCommerce site which I already explained the cons of, but if you think you can just set up a site, put up a few products for sale and make bank, you’re wrong. 

You need something very important for your site to make bank and that is…TRAFFIC.

And this is where blogging actually becomes one of the most profitable things you can do, here’s how:

You may be wondering if this actually works. It does. My site get’s 100’s of DAILY visitors because I consistently blog about the niche topic I chose.

And I don’t pay a penny for this traffic, Google just sends them to my site. $0 costs people, an online businessman’s dream.

You’re welcome to experiment and look up things on Google, especially solutions to problems. I guarantee, that you will find masses of blogs that talk about that problem and even solve it.

And understand this (super, duper important):

Because you are blogging about a niche specific topic, the people who WILL find your site will be people in this niche topic too. You will be getting what we call laser targeted traffic and for money making purposes, there is no better traffic that you can get. This is the one that PAYS.

And guess what? That’s been the whole formula, all along that I’ve been preaching. So let’s finish this up:

The final, 4th step, this is where we make the money.

The main goal of step 4, besides making the money is to keep your niche audience in mind, and you need to consider the following:

What product or service will SOLVE the problem that my niche audience has?

Once you figure that out, you can either sell that yourself or through affiliate marketing offer a perfect product that solves that.

Want actual examples of this 4 step model working? Here you go:

Now you have the steps to start an online business for free (need help?):

In this final section of the article, I want to tell you that besides using this formula over and over again, for years, to make multiple, profitable sites, I’ve been personally helping people with this.

And just as I said earlier, I’m not throwing you some sort of high ticket sales pitch, because there are coaches out there that would charge you a ton of money to teach the stuff I just showed you.

No, this is not happening here.

Here’s how I help people reach success with this stuff:

Can I really do this? A common question I get and here’s the answer:

Yes. 

Some people get intimidated with the thought of creating their own online business, because they’ve never done such a thing before, so I totally understand why there may be hesitations.

But I showed you a free way to start it in this article and I promise you that the Wealthy Affiliate training, the free training that is, will really help become comfortable with this stuff and truly see that you can make this work for yourself.

I’m not promising that this is easy or 100% guaranteed. This business requires hard work, but you’ve got me, the coach, to personally help you there. Join here.

Because you can literally access this training in WA for free without having to commit to anything, I would recommend you try it, because it is truly an amazing opportunity that I once took the risk with, and I am very grateful that I did.

And finally, let me just say that not only is this success possible to achieve through this program, but the opportunities that you will experience upon success are priceless.

I can’t tell you how much freedom comes with this success, but believe me, it’s astonishing…

43 thoughts on “How to Start An Online Business For Free (For Total Beginners!).”

  1. Hi again, after reading your other post about the 7 ways to make money online, I decided to look around your website.   

    I had to laugh about your comment about “fakers who pretend to be rich.”  I get tons of emails from them every day that end up in my spam folder or in my trash. They all want to share their “magic secret”, that won’t be revealed until you give them your credit card information. TRASH…..  

    You are the other hand are offering to help and coach people and to get started for free.   

    I’ve spent years working for a couple of large, well known universities. While it is possible to offer some free educational seminars, it is impossible to educate people for free for any length of time.   

    So, I am glad that Wealthy Affiliate does have a paid membership plan also. Yet, it sounds like the ability to try it out for free gives people a chance to find out if affiliate marketing will be something they are interested in.     

    I am seriously contemplating starting an niche online business like you are talking about. 

    Thanks! 

    • Sondra hi, there is a common misconception that Wealthy Affiliate only teaches affiliate marketing and it is not true. The training is all about niches and monetizing on those niches is up to you. 

      You don’t have to do affiliate marketing, you can sell your own stuff on the same niche site you build.

      Another great option is to use the education within Wealthy Affiliate to help businesses that aren’t yours grow and charge them for consultations or have them pay you to build their sites.

      And if you have your own business that needs to grow online, again, the training in WA is also 100% applicable there too.

  2. This is great advice! It is quite difficult to wrap your mind around picking a niche, but it is as you say. You have to pick an ultra targeted niche topic like in your examples. As a beginner it can be tempting to go too broad with your niche. 

    Putting the work into your own online business is a great way make additional income and even passive income after it is established. I am excited to build up my very own business with this advice.

    Thanks for sharing this!

  3. Hi there!

    How long does it take for your website to be profitable. I have followed all that 4 steps religiously and still have very little traffic. I am about 5 months in to my website and now I am getting frustrated that I do not really make sales. I am not a quitter but does it take longer than that? I am still gonna stick to this and keep trying, hopefully I will see the result soon. 

    • Hi Nuttanee, I’d like to know what you did for the first step an third one. What niche topic did you pick and what sort of blogs have you written for the past 5 months. Usually people who do ONLY blogging for traffic generation have to wait about 6 months before their blogs start to really get traffic from Google.

  4. I must say that your results are awesome Vitaliy. I can see that you are a much more experienced affiliate marketer than me. I’ve been in the affiliate marketing business for over a year and my website is one year old and I recently started seeing some results. 

    My question for you is how much traffic do we need to start earning decent money from Amazon? I heard that Amazon conversion rates are too low.

    • It’s not the conversion rates that are low Daniel, it’s the commission rates and yes, Amazon does have very small ones, so if you promote their higher priced items, you can make more, even from a small commission (see this).

      As for conversions in general, you need to set up a site based on these 4 steps I outlined and then run a suitable promotion on the site. It doesn’t have to come from Amazon, but if it does, at least make sure your niche will want it, then it will convert well.

  5. Hi Vitaliy,

    I want to start a business. I want to start up with baby products like diapers and wet tissues. That is my first idea. My second idea is maybe I can sell baby clothes in a range of 3-5 years.

    Can I buy from one online site and sell it on another?
    How is it possible and what factors I must take into account?

    I have a very vague idea about how to develop a website and how to promote it. I want to start small for now with quite a limited capital.

    • Well it sounds like you’d really benefit from Wealthy Affiliate because it would help you get all of those things and ideas sorted out for a VERY cheap price. It sounds like you’re very new to this stuff, so you probably haven’t heard about things like affiliate marketing. Allow me to explain and I think this will help filter and add more ambition to your ideas:

      Selling baby products isn’t a bad idea at all, but I would say this type of idea would be more applicable to an eCommerce online business. I practice affiliate marketing where I blog to sell stuff, not through an eStore. And this is where the question about you buying from online stores comes into play…

      You CAN buy from wholesellers like Aliexpress, but an easier route would be to promote products as an affiliate, that’s literally free and there’s less hassle in the sense that you don’t need to buy products at all. Anyway, I would check out Wealthy Affiliate for starters so it’ll help you see how the business works.

  6. May I ask how do you do research for writing good quality content for products you do not know much yet? Thanks. By the way, I like and hope you abide by the concept of honest money making. Honesty is such an important virtue, as a person doing marketing or otherwise.

  7. Greetings Vitaliy –

    The work you have done on this site is excellent. Well done! I am very much inspired by all that you have done here and for your honesty. I so happen to also be a Wealthy Affiliate member. I joined WA last March 2017 as a Premium member after a very long search and many life lessons along the way joining several scam sites prior to finding WA.

    My thought, at that time, was that I would purchase the annual membership and start building my online business over the next year. I have done some of the training at WA and had even started working on 2 websites and have finally made the choice to actively get working on my websites again. Your site here has given me motivation to proceed.

    I do know that the WA program works for anyone and will work for me as it has worked for you. All it takes is a consistent effort and choice for success.

    Thank you, Vitaliy, for choosing success and for your part in helping make our online world a better place!

    Kind regards,

    Ken

    • Hi Ken, thank you very much! I am glad this site is pushing you forward with your business in WA! I actually did a new review of it recently and updated my tips on how to best go about being there. I would really recommend checking it out for further ways you can add to this new ambition you have and I certainly hope to hear your success story soon!

  8. I’ve worked in the online industry for many years (17 years), mainly in the creation of sites for small to medium businesses. In my spare time I also made some small interest niche websites and link portals (because that was still a thing back then) as well as my own blog system.

    I simply added Adsense to them, but never really made much of a buck out of that. Often wondered how to make money and how to gain more traffic, so hence I searched for stuff.

    Even back then there was a lot of stuff unclear about how to rank on search engines (altavista, yahoo, yandex – google didn’t exist) and a lot of blackhat stuff I wanted to stay away from.

    This was before the existence of the WA platform as it is now. A year ago I found and joined the WA platform and am more than happy to learn about all the ins and outs on affiliate marketing and generally on how to monetize your website. I figured that I was right all those years about the black hat vs white hat stuff and so I never really damaged any reputation on my sites.

    To get back on track, it is really crazy how easy one can make a website these days. Back then I programmed every page by myself. At first just with plain HTML and later on with the use of programming languages such as ASP, ColdFusion and PHP (PHP is used for WordPress).

    I still produce websites and proof of concept stuff with those languages on a separate server. But all my niche sites are now running at Wealthy Affiliate. That site is more useful than just learning about marketing, you can also host your websites with excellent protection, backup and support.

    When I started out on WA, I started with two sites that ended up not being my thing. The sites are still there, but are not actively updated. Maybe I will return to them over time. I picked up an old domain of mine and started a new blog on that in April and that one is showing some results I can be proud of.

    I am simply loving to build onwards on the site and I love WA.

    Steven

    • Hi Steven, great to hear about your vast experiences in this industry, you’re been doing this for longer than I have, but your experience mainly in making websites for people is even more in demand today and I am certain you can make a lot continuing in that fashion.

      Since you are part of Wealthy Affiliate, I would recommend the webinars that are hosted by one of our most successful marketers Jay, he does a lot of work on building sites for clients, how much to charge, ect…, just something I’ve personally found very useful.

      In any case, I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying WA and using their services!

  9. Hi I am getting started with my online business and already I am messing up badly. You see I wanted to make money so bad that I wound up spending money, first I joined the Wealthy Affiliate program for a year, got a website and I thought I had a good idea for a niche (baby monitors), but I found that was a mistake because I really don’t know anything about baby monitors and don’t really have a interest in them what so ever. And to make matters worse I got a website and named it around that niche, mistake #1. I’m not going to go through all my mistakes except to say I wound up with three websites and none of them are not doing anything and the kicker is this all happened in the last three months. So yes I need some good help.

    Thank you,

    Ron

    • Hi Ron, let me offer clarity the current predicament you’re in as I’ve personally experienced the exact same thing when I started and tell you that there’s hope and you can still make it.

      1) Firstly, you have correctly addressed one of the biggest mistakes people make and that is choosing a niche you don’t know a thing about nor have interest in and being that you did this 3 times, it is already something you should not repeat a 4th time.

      Solution: Keep your existing websites, but “forget” about them for now. Tell me a few things about niche topics you love and completely forget about any profit potential they have, because I think this is what you were chasing initially. Once you give me a list, I can provide you with some ideas on where to go from there so your next niche site will be a successful and profitable one.

      2) I believe one thing you did not address, which I clearly saw is that you were in a hurry, a big one at that. You made 3 sites in a span of 3 months and I can already assume that you didn’t put a lot of work in them, not just because you weren’t interested in the topics, but because you were in a hurry and believed that if you just put them up, they’d be fine.

      This is not how online businesses become successful and you do need to invest a lot of time in them.

      Solution: Once I help you choose a niche you like from the suggestion above, you have to dedicate yourself to building that site, there’s just no other “easy” answer to this.

      3) You said you were in Wealthy Affiliate, and for an entire year. Yet I believe that because you were in a hurry, you didn’t actually complete the training, skipped a bunch of it and didn’t fully put in all of the tasks they list for people to complete in order to grow and have a great business.

      Solution: You need to go back to the Wealthy Affiliate training, AFTER you choose the niche topic you like, and re-do it, making sure you do not skip a single lesson and fully invest in the training. You’re only cheating yourself if you do not do this and the only way you can redeem the mistakes you made with your previous websites and money lost is to commit to a site you like and the training inside WA that will show you how to make that site successful.

      You have to forget the mistakes you made and if nothing else, use them as a lesson to not make them again. Do not rush. Do not pick a topic you do not like and focus on building the online business the way Wealthy Affiliate instructs, believe me, the result, if you do this honestly, will be one that will make you very happy because that’s exactly how I reached success.

      I hope this advice I gave you will help you restart the right way and that the next time you write to me (after telling me your niche topics/interests) will one of success and happiness.

      And finally, do not let the past mistakes you made with your websites keep you down, it happens to most people. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve had unsuccessful websites and projects and it was honestly because I made the exact same mistakes you did and by doing the exact same things I just suggested to you, was I able to make a full time living.

  10. Hello I don’t have a comment, But a REALLY BIG favor to ask you! Can you please help me. I just joined ipas2 and I’m so scared that i will FAIL. Everyone on the internet to me are such liars. I’ve tried so many of there BS. Sorry. I really need help. I have to make money ASAP or I am going to be homeless. Please help?

    Thanks
    Konstance Fortune

    • Hello Konstance, iPas2 I think is part of Empower Network and I don’t like that program. I would stay away from it because they will ask you to invest a lot more money if you sign up. And since you already said that’s a problem, don’t do it.

      I would also not recommend you go around looking for programs like these if your situation is as dire as you say. Any program, good or bad (well good) will not get you fast results.

  11. I was a purchasing manager for over twenty years, then a security manager for the past 12 years, I and a partner attempted an offline business that failed. I just need to know that the information that you are providing is legit, I’m tired of working for businesses that care very little, if at all for their employees, and am seriously interested in running a profitable online business from home.

    • It is Sean. I can tell you that you already have the skills from your prior experience in managing to do this, but you’ll find that these skills will come in handy most when you already have the business working for you and you might need to outsource some of the work like content creation. Either way, it’s all legit if you follow the right advice. Look into Wealthy Affiliate as I recommended and they’ll show you what it takes to run the online business you want.

  12. Your website although somewhat “plain” psshhh…is so honest and true to the reviews. People like you are so needed online due to all the scams that are out there. I want to personally thank you for helping many people realize such scams by your reviews. My fiance’ and I become WA members recently, it’s a great platform. There are others as well of course, but this one seems to be one of the best if not the best. Keep up the great work!

    • Yep. In WA, the subject of taxes is covered. Let me save you the browsing. Here is the link to a WA tutorial on taxes. You can also sign up for a free starter account there.

      Personally, I registered with an S-Corp when my online business picked up. That will probably be the best thing you can do if you decide to get started. Then whenever I make money through whatever online means, I just add the total, subtract my expenses and pay the taxes on what’s left. Taxes will vary based on where you are located, but it’s nowhere near as complicated as having an offline business. Hope this helps.

  13. Sometimes I can’t believe how easy it is to make a website these days. And then I get mad. Because I once paid $1000 for someone to set up a WordPress site for me. Once I knew I could do it so easily, and for little to no cost, I got SO angry. I felt ripped off! But, you live and you learn. I prefer the cheap and easy route now. Great post!

    • I hear ya on that Christina. Even though paying $1,000+ used to be the norm, what’s unfortunate is that there’s still people charging that much for website creation. It’s downright theft if you ask me.

  14. The thing I noticed about all these online skills is that once you do them once, it’s incredibly easy to do it again and again. The real hard work here is consistently creating content in order to build up traffic and make sales (eventually). Sound easy? Try doing it for the 100th time! This is why it’s very important to go with a topic that interests you, instead of just a “money maker.” They all make money if you do it right (which you will if you stick with it long enough).

    • There’s certainly a lot of truth to what you say Chip. Everyone who is getting started in this industry should do so from an area they can relate to. When I first began doing this, I had prior experience in health & fitness and chose to follow that path. It allowed me to be more comfortable in building websites and connecting with people.

  15. Great post, and it makes so much sense, I mean, how much you have to pay the state, or country you’re living at for them to let you have your business? Then get to materials, labor, repairs, customer service, the list goes on and on! It is really much easier having an online business than an offline one. Great post!
    Raúl

    • Yeah Raul, I did mention there’s very little red tape, but it’s not something I went in-depth into. When it comes to online business vs offline, there are some major perks, many of which you already mentioned. It’s something that’s very difficult for people to understand who have never been in this business.

  16. It’s crazy how easy it is to make a website these days. Most of the work is just getting motivated enough to create content that people want to read!

    I guess there’s lots of work with learning what you need to do to actually make money from the site, but you mentioned training bit. I would say that with a website, some training, a good niche, a good affiliate program, and just a little bit of hard work, anyone can have a profitable online business.

    There are literally millions of profitable niches out there that are too ‘small’ for the big guys to care. There’s definitely plenty of profits for everyone if you just take the time to look.

    • I’d like to add to that Nathaniell. There are indeed millions of tiny niches out there, but in spite of their size, they can end up making businesses 6 and even 7 figure incomes if they properly utilize online marketing methods. This is a reality that I’ve personally come to understand throughout my 8 years in this industry. And the beauty of it all is that anyone, anywhere can start an online business, even if they don’t already own one and make their mark!

      • I want to create a website that people can easily get access to for news and information of all sorts but I don’t know how to go about it. Please I need help.

        • Hi Metomi, this is a pretty big project. News sites in general require a lot of writers to be working on it daily, producing multiple articles. I would not throw this idea out, but I would adjust it and here’s how:

          You should consider making a news site on a specific topic. Not general news around the world, but perhaps a news site on a controversial topic.

          I would also make a YouTube channel and create videos there. News sites are gravitating to YouTube and making a lot of good content there and you’d get faster traffic from this.

          Of course, you should join Wealthy Affiliate to help you understand these things. That’s how I would approach your goal.

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