Successful online business ideas

​Hey all, Em here today.

Recently we’ve shared some tools to get you started with building a website, and how to successful online business ideasfind great search terms to get people viewing your website.

We’ve  briefly touched on finding successful online business ideas, so today I want to cover this in a bit more detail. This will really help you drill down into that fantastic idea that you can then turn into a profitable website.

We’re going to look at the three key components to online success.


#1: Find your niche

We touched on this in our beginner’s guide to websites post, but I can’t emphasize enough how important this part of the process is, so let’s take another look in a bit more detail.

Find a broad topic

The first part of finding your niche is getting an idea of what sort of category your website might fit into. Do you really like food? Awesome. Let’s start there. Or perhaps you enjoy watching golf. Again, awesome. You could start there.

At this stage, you’re wanting to find an area that you enjoy and that you are going to be happy spending LOTS of time researching and writing about. It is crucial that you feel comfortable and happy writing lots about your topic, because you’re going to be spending a lot of time with it.

Many people get this bit wrong. They choose a topic purely based on the fact they think it will make them money. Don’t do that. You’ll hate writing your website and end up abandoning it.

Drill into your topic to find your exact niche

Now you’ve found your topic, you need to get specific. Why? Let’s use the food example.

You like food (who doesn’t?!), and you want to write a website all about food. What happens when you Google food, or see what your website competition is like? You’re gonna find thousands of results. Your food website will get lost in the crowd.

If you make your site about one type of food, or one aspect of food, you’d have a lot better chances of people finding your website.

You might decide “hey, food is too broad. I really like chicken”. This would be a good start to defining your niche. Maybe your interest in food is going to make you the proud owner of a website about simple chicken recipes.

You could write tons of recipes, do book reviews, talk about organic chicken, free range chicken, etc etc etc! Hopefully this shows you how one seemingly narrow idea (chicken recipes) can become a whole website.

See how we’ve taken a broad topic, picked one aspect, then narrowed that down again? That is how you come up with your exact niche.


#2: Write your awesome website

Okay. You have a solid idea for your website, you’ve watched the video on building your website and you’re ready to write. Here are my five top tips for making your website awesome.

  • Use headers. Like you see in our posts, break your content up into small chunks with headers and white space.
  • Use pictures. People are visual creatures, they like pictures. Use them! If you’re unsure where to find great images for free, here’s a video to help you out:

successful online business ideas

  • Make sure your content is helpful. If people trust your advice and like what you’re saying, they’re going to stop by your site more often, tell their friends… and Google will like it a whole lot more too. Helping people should be your primary focus.
  • Don’t clutter it with ads and banners. We’re gonna talk about how to monetize your site in just one moment. But don’t be that person that fills your site with ads in the hope people will click them. They will create a distraction and people won’t like it. Focus on writing good, helpful content first.
  • Write regularly. Google wants to see that you’re contributing lots of great content, as do your repeat website visitors. Some people post on their websites every day, others once or twice per week. There is a lot of debate about how much is best, so I suggest you figure out a schedule that works for you and stick to it. Now you can see why it’s important to love what you’re writing about!


successful online business ideas#3: Monetize your site

Before you even think about doing this, make sure you have your site all set up, with at least some great blog posts. It is only once you’re posting regularly and seeing traffic that you should think about making money from your site.

I’ve got a list of ways you can make money from your site here, and we’ll cover each of them in their own detailed blog post another time. You need to focus on setting up your site, then come back and check how to monetize it, please!

  • Affiliate marketing
  • Ads on your website (like we said, not too many)
  • Selling information products (like an Ebook or a video training course)
  • Creating a members only part of your website
  • Selling physical products

There will be more. This is a basic list to get you started. You might use one of these ideas, you might use all of them. It is up to you, and your website to find the best fit.


So there you have it. A three step process to a successful online business, with some great ideas to help you out. Get started today, you’ve got nothing to lose and a debt-free future to gain :)


Happy downsizing,



image by SEOPlanter, CC 2.0,


  • Ben Clardy

    You have a great amount of good solid info here that can be implemented to boost the results of anyone’s website that is looking to make money online. Please keep writing, and I’ll keep checking back to see what new content you are putting out. Great stuff. Keep it up!

    • Andy

      Thanks Ben,

      It makes us feel all warm and fuzzy when people enjoy what we write, we appreciate you taking the time to drop us a note.

      We’ll definitely be keeping on writing, especially with such nice encouragement :)

  • Fidel

    Beautiful article on how to start an online really went deeper to explain what it all entails. You did very well in elaborating more on each of the stages involved with online business.

    This is a very educative post and i am sure lots of people will get educated by this post. continue to keep up the good work

  • Chris

    Some great tips here – especially on the website side of things! I agree that cluttering your site can lead to low numbers of people staying on your page – it’s just too much at times.
    What tool do you use to find your niche options or keywords? That tend to be the section that often gets me stuck!

    • Andy

      Thanks Chris, we aim to be as helpful as possible.

      Keywords were something we really struggled with and didn’t understand properly for ages, no matter how much research we did. The tool that finally made it easy for us is Jaaxy, it provides easy to digest information and makes finding a keyword or niche really easy. For people stuck on finding a niche idea for their website, we always point them towards Wealthy Affiliate: the training is second to none and should provide all the clarity and direction needed.

  • Sonja Bell

    I can’t wait to read your section on monetizing a site. I’ve been trying to add affiliate links to mine through clickbank, but haven’t had much success with it yet. Thanks for the info! Very helpful for this beginner! Also, how many ads would you say is too many ads for a site?

    • Em

      Hi Sonja,

      That is a great question, and you’d probably get different answers from a few different people, so I’m going to give you my personal opinion.

      Personally, I can’t STAND ads that flash, move, or trick you into clicking on something you don’t want to. I also can’t stand ads in the middle of articles so we don’t use any of those things on our site. These ads tend to come from adsense, and they can work for some people, but Andy and I have decided never to use adsense on our site.

      We prefer to just have a couple of links to stuff we really like in our side bar. For example, on our front page, there is a banner for Wealthy Affiliate, because it is our absolute top recommendation and the ad isn’t annoying, so it is a good fit for our website.

      I guess that’s the key really: what do you think is a good fit for your website? Will the ad really annoy your readers, or is it something helpful? Steer clear of anything you think might even possibly be annoying because it will hurt your site and hurt your money making potential!

  • marcelg

    Hello Emily,

    I am also working very hard on making some websites turn into an online business for me. It has been a lot of work but at this point I have a few websites up and running.

    I have found some niches that work well for me and that I enjoy working in. I think this plays a huge role in success.

    I’ve started having some dollars and cents trickle in and I’m looking forward to studying more to learn how to make it increase 1000 times! What is your best tip for increasing your profits once you start having money trickle in?

    • Em

      Hi Marcel,

      Good on you for taking the plunge and starting your own online business!

      You mention you’ve got a few websites up and running: I have also done this, but my number one tip for you to maximise your profits would be to focus on just one of them and make it the best it can be. I had too many ideas for too many sites, got them all up, then found it overwhelming knowing what to concentrate on.

      I’d suggest you choose the site that

      – you feel you can write the most about or enjoy writing the most

      – is getting traffic

      – is starting to make you money

      Once you’ve increased your profits with that one, you can go back to some of your other ones and do the same thing. Good luck :)

  • Edmund

    Hi Em!

    I am looking for Online Business Ideas and your article has provided me with great tips I can follow and implement.

    I liked how you explained how to find our exact niche by starting from a broad topic and narrow it down. I understand it better now.

    I will get down to brainstorm my exact niche right away! Thanks again!

  • Alex

    Hello there,

    This is a great post!

    I have just started blogging and thought of monetizing it. I am glad that I read this article here. I always thought I could clutter advertisement banners everywhere around the site to maximize the earning, I didn’t know that it is a big no no. I also heard that it can be penalized by search engine too. Is that true?

    I am coming back for more information for sure, especially on the “site monetizing” part. Good job!

  • Neil

    Thank You for the online business ideas for earning an income. :)

    Finding a niche is something I’ve always struggled with because I just can’t get it right. It’s either way too broad or too tight, that I run out of ideas.

    So I appreciate the help for drilling into my niche. I’m really Thankful for the website guidance too. I think there are a lot of people who tend to go overboard with their sites, suing too many banners, etc. I guess when website owners follow your advice and actually provide value instead of focusing on the selling, they can become a success.

    I think monetizing is important, since it brings in an online income, lol. But people need to monetize their sites is tasteful manners.


  • Darren

    You make the process of starting an online business sound so simple. Is it really this simple?

    I’d love to start something where I can make a consistent income online and not have to get up each morning and trudge off to work. I don’t like working for someone else. I’d rather have my own business, preferably online.

    I really like the sound of the members only part of a website, as it sounds like a good way to generate revenue month after month.

  • Nikos

    You offer some great tips here for anyone looking to start an online business.
    Many people try to monetize their websites right from the start. I believe that is very important not to do that immediately but many people just can’t wait.
    It’s great you mentioned that. I think it’s one of the most common mistakes.

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