How To Start An Online Business For Dummies.

If you have been looking for a method to start making money with your own online business, or have tried a few things, I’m sure you’ll agree that there are more advertised ways to make money online than you can shake a stick at. Problem is, they can’t all be right?

I was a pretty big dummy when I first started on my quest to build an online business. I tried more push-button systems, this method, that method, and spent thousands on mostly junk!

What I finally learned after several wasted years, was that there is one tried and true method that does work. And I’ll be passing this information to you on how to start an online business for dummies.

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: By clicking the affiliate links on this page I may earn a small commission from Wealthy Affiliate (at no cost to you). Should you use these links, I appreciate your support! Click here for the full disclosure.

Can anyone start an online business?

monkey looking at self in mirror

The answer to that is Absolutely! You don’t need to be a rocket scientist or technical guru to start an online business. In fact, you can start your business with something as simple as a Free Website and a PayPal account.

Today, creating online business websites can be done without having any technical knowledge on the subject at all. You only need to know what your website is going to be about. There is a free website creation tool called WordPress that allows you to create a custom website with the push of a button in many cases.

What is the best online business to start?

big question mark written on chalkboard

So, what are we talking about when we refer to an online business? There are many different types of businesses online. Website design, consulting, specialized services, and many more. We’re talking about how to start an online business for dummies, so I’m sure you’ll agree when I say we want to start an online business that doesn’t require specialized talents and products.

We want something that has:

  • No products
  • No inventory
  • No capital investment
  • No employees
  • And well frankly, no startup costs

That’s a pretty tall order. But with Affiliate Marketing we can meet these requirements. Essentially you will sell someone else’s product or service as an affiliate, and earn a commission from each sale. There are nearly 600 Million products out there you can sell.

What do you need to get started?

assorted tools lying on table

To get started with Affiliate Marketing you’ll need the following.

#1 Niche Market: The first thing you’re going to need is niche to market products to. A niche is a group of people who have a special need or problem which requires a unique product(s) to fit their needs. There are Millions of niches out there. In fact, you could take something as simple as Shoes and find a niche within it. For example, Hunting Boots, or Shoes for Foot Disorders. See my article on Niche Examples Here.

#2 Choose a Domain Name: A domain is your online real estate. It is where your website resides. They typically only cost around $15/yr. You want to choose a domain name that ends in .com, .net, or .org. Your name should correspond to your niche, but should be as short as possible, and do not include characters such as “-“. It should be all together, no spaces. For our Shoe niche above, it could be something like Be sure to have a couple of other options available if your primary is already taken.

#3 Web Hosting: Web hosting is a service provider such as Hostgator or Bluehost which will provide you a domain and website hosting. Web hosting provides the WordPress platform that you will use to create your website.

#4 Website: Now that you have web hosting and a domain, you’ll want to create a WordPress website for your niche.

Your website should include:

  • Site Name: Your unique brand.
  • Logo: Create a logo for your brand. WordPress themes will allow you to add a logo that will show up on the header of your site with your site name. There is a free online program called Canva that you can use to create a logo.
  • About Me Page: A page that describes your site’s purpose, and some information about yourself.
  • Privacy Policy: You can find examples of these on Google.
  • Affiliate Disclosure: You can find examples of this on Google as well.
  • Content: Or articles in the form of Posts. Articles can be Product Reviews and other useful information for your niches readers.

#5 Products: Finally, you need a product(s) to market to your niche. A solution to whatever their problem is, or whatever they are looking for. Today, many companies, including manufacturers and distributors have Affiliate Programs. So find the products you that satisfy your niche’s requirements and sign up as an Affiliate. It costs nothing to become an affiliate for most products. If you find that you are required to pay to become an affiliate I would not attempt to market that product.

There are many places you can sell products from: Amazon, Commission Junction, Shareasale, Clickbank, and many more. One important note: Before signing up as an Affiliate, make sure you already have your domain, and website setup. You’ll to have your basic website design created, and some initial content. This is because you need to provide your website details when signing up to most affiliate programs.

#6 Traffic: Traffic comes in the form of visitors to your website. Free traffic will come from your content. Your articles and their keywords. Other traffic can come from social media posts on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and other social media sites. By learning to use Keywords properly you can generate a lot of traffic to your site. It takes some time, but hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day. See my article on how to use keywords for more information.

#7 Regular Posts: Once you’ve started to create content on your website you will want to continue to do this consistently. Get in the habit of making regular posts each week. As you do this your website will gain authority in Google, Yahoo, and Bing, and your website will begin to show up on page one and get traffic.

Once get your first website producing sales, you can start a new one on a different niche, and start growing your business, and diversify.

How much will it cost?

dollar bills planted in the ground

Pretty much, you can do nearly all the above steps for free except for web hosting.

If you would like to jump-start your business efforts check out Wealthy Affiliate. They offer a 100% Free Startup Account that includes 10 free training lessons, two free websites hosted on Site-Rubix, and more. No Credit Card Needed!

Wrapping up

Learning how to start an online business for dummies is actually pretty straight forward. Once you know what’s required it breaks down into easily mastered steps. Anyone who has the desire and willingness to do a little work can accomplish great things. Keep your target in your sights, and don’t give up.

“Just remember, you can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets.”

-Arnold Schwarzenegger

Please leave your comments and questions below. I will be happy to answer them.

To Your Awesome Success,


8 thoughts on “How To Start An Online Business For Dummies.”

  1. Affiliate marketing sounds like a really low risk way to get into online business. I like that there is no stock or anything to worry about, you just set up a website. You make it sound easy. Is it really that easy?

    Also, you mention that you can set up your site for free except for hosting. Can you please give me some examples of how much different web hosting packages cost? Thank you.

    • Hi Emily.  Yes, setting up a website with WordPress is very easy. There are many free themes, and plugins for just about everything, even ecommerce. As for hosting. You want WordPress hosting which runs around $25/mo. The best deal in my opinion is Wealthy Affiliate which includes WordPress hosting and fixed price domains. It’s Free to start with 2 free websites and includes all the support and training you need to be successful.

  2. I think anyone can benefit from having an online business, who doesn’t need or want some extra income.

    Wealthy Affiliates is great to get started with affiliate marketing, they have lessons and lots of community help, can’t go wrong for free either.

    Thanks for mentioning Commission Junction, I have not heard of them before, I will have to check them out and see what that program is about.

    • Thanks Anita for the comment. Commission Junction has been around a long time and used by many companies. Even GoDaddy uses CJ now to handle their affiliate program. You’ll find much higher quality programs at CJ vs Clickbank.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing, the article on key words is very helpful for me, I have heard a lot about this but was not really sure on how to use them or even what they really help with. I am now a lot more clearer. I like the idea of creating a ‘niche’ as you say, about something you are passionate about this seems like it could be a lot of fun, if you decide on the right area. My only question is around the affiliate disclosure you mention, I would love to read more about this,could you write an article about his or provide us with some information? I will book mark the page and come back, I really want to give this a try!! Thank you.

    • Hello. Thanks for the comment. And yes I can do an article on that. I’ll let you know when it’s published. Thanks again.

  4. I would certainly agree that anyone could start an online business. I guess the biggest factor is how bad they want to, because the information is out there. I think most people’s problem is either that they’re afraid of getting scammed and don’t think they can tell the difference between a scam and a legitimate opportunity. For others, it might seem like too much trouble to learn, which explains why they stick to those ordinary jobs they love to hate. But as you pointed out, you don’t need products of your own or even employees for affiliate marketing. I’ve been doing it for a couple years and I think I’ve learned so much more about how to make money since doing this than I ever did going to school.

    • I agree. I think my grandkids would do much better learning this type of business rather than counting on getting a job after college.  Not to diss college, I think there a certain types of people we need, like physicists, doctors, etc. But so many other jobs are being lost to automation and online purchasing.


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