We’re officially in the digital age, meaning that anything you create right now needs to be ‘online proof’. Your business can be taken to new heights by the power of the internet, but it can also be lost into obscurity. It’s the age of the influencer, meaning that even if you blog or create a website, you’ll need to treat it like a business, know your worth and make sure you’re visible. Learning to start a successful online business starts with what you already know.
With the internet being as huge as it actually is, you’ll need to start by refreshing yourself in all these areas and turn your weaknesses into strengths. We recommend signing up for Skillshare, an online learning community with thousands of cool classes, to learn what you can improve on and help take your business to the next level.
Right now, Skillshare is offering CGD readers two months of premium membership for just $0.99, meaning you can learn all this and more for less than the price of a cup of coffee. You can click here to redeem this deal before it’s gone.
Design a website that catches the eye
Web design can make or break a business. You have just a few seconds to catch someone before they leave your website and go elsewhere. And funnily enough, even if your intentions are amazing, bad design is a killer for online businesses. Don’t fall into the trap of over (or under) designing your website.
If you need some help, take the class Amazing Web Design in 1 Hour: 25 Simple Guidelines For Beautiful Websites. You won’t regret it. Starting with the basics, you will learn all the ingredients you need to create something stunning. From typography to colors and user experience.
Write words that sell
Building an online business, whether it’s a blog or your new empire, needs good copywriting. You need to sell your ideas to potential clients and customers.aAd have them hooked from the minute they reach you, whether you’ve been in business for one year or one day.
Start by learning Copywriting For Startups, taught by Allison Esposito, a writer and marketer in NYC who’s written for Google, Foursquare, Oyster, Skillshare and more. She’ll teach you how to beat writer’s block and become your own editor so that at the end of the course you’ll be left with a landing page that sells who you are and what you do.
Make sure you’re visible
When someone searches for your business, blog, or brand, what are they seeing? Are you on page 1 or page 100? In order to succeed, you need to be on page 1 as often as you can. You do this by optimizing your website for search engines (aka SEO). If you know the basics or aren’t sure you’re using this to your full advantage, don’t worry. It’s not all technical jargon and strategies AND it can take your business to the next level.
Try Introduction to SEO Tactics and Strategy for Entrepreneurs, which will teach you how to build and implement a strategy to improve your rank in search engines.
Build your personal brand through social media
There are so many social media accounts you could be using to promote your business, Instagram and Facebook are just a couple to name. But you need to make sure your branding is solid throughout, that you’re communicating the right message and that you’re doing all you can to get more likes and engagement.
Building Your Online Presence, Personal Branding Through Social Media is the class you need to sign up for. Taught by Kate Arends of Wit and Delight, this class will take some of the pressure off and you’ll even get free downloadable worksheets to help you stay on top of everything.
Captivate your audience with beautiful newsletters
You want to target your audience to come back by advertising offers and content to them constantly. The best way to do this is to capture their emails and deliver something worth opening into their inbox, every week or every day.
Allyson van Houten is the Product Marketing Lead for MailChimp, and she’ll teach you not only how to use MailChimp, but how to design and send incredible email newsletters and how to get them excited to sign up, all in this class.
Don’t forget to redeem two months of premium membership for just $0.99 here!
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