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Starting an Online Business from Zero

I started off 2020 by taking a leap and starting an online business.

I spent half of 2019 researching and learning.  I focused on instructional design, learning theory, elearning, and running a small business, online and offline. I’m still scared.

I do have a pretty good idea of what I’m doing. I’ve read countless blog posts, listened to hundreds of podcasts, and put in a lot of groundwork before I made the decision to leap. I figured as long as I’m guinea-pigging on myself, I might as well share what’s happening with you. You can learn from my mistakes and my successes and maybe you might want to take the leap yourself.

Why do I think I Can Succeed in an Online Business?

I have some experience with blogging and email lists. I started a blog in 2008 for freelance writers for the education market on blogspot. I was searching for jobs every day for myself and finding things that didn’t quite fit my niche but would have been great for some of the other freelancers I knew. The niche-specific jobs were so hard to find, that I didn’t want to just let them float back into the ether. I started posting what I found on the blog and set up a Feedburner RSS feed.

At that time, I was a part of a Yahoo group for children’s writers. I posted my new blog link to that group and crossed my fingers. Several group members subscribed and started sharing the site on different groups that I wasn’t a part of. It was beautiful to watch that list grow and see where traffic was coming from. I started ranking high on Google searches and the blog still ranks on page two today.  It’s on page one in Bing search. 😊

In 2014, I moved to an official (now defunct) site, and MailChimp and more people subscribed. (Warning: It looks like that domain has been taken over by not-so-great folks. I don’t recommend clicking on it. You can see a web archive of it if you like.)

But I wasn’t freelancing anymore. That made it difficult to keep blogging about something I was no longer interested in. A longtime member took over the site and has since moved it. And I kept working my day job.

Setting Up My Business Website

Today is January 2. This is my first blog post of the year. I plan to post at least twice per week sharing my experiences and other bits I think others on the same journey might find useful.

Yesterday, I registered the domain and set up a Siteground website. LauraCoulter was taken and the V helps set me apart. Today, I finished making it look okay and posted this. (Note: I use affiliate links. This means if you purchase something from clicking through my link, I earn a small commission at no cost to you.)

I say it looks okay because it is a work in progress. All the reading and listening I’ve been doing say the same thing. Get it done and get it out there. Not ‘Get it perfect and get it out there’. Perfect never happens. I’ll improve as I go.  

My Plan for 2020

My word for 2020 is DETERMINED. I am determined to stick with it. I am determined to succeed. I am determined to replace my day job income by being my own boss.

I plan to blog as I learn more about starting and growing an online business. I plan to create at least two online courses this year and market them successfully through my email list, website, and social media. I plan to grow my email list exponentially. There will be multiple blog posts on each of these topics as I set them up, use them, and debrief.

I’d love to have you join me on this journey. Join my email list and never miss a post or an insider email.

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