Tag - Money

15 Tips to Grow Your Business Online (without A Lot of Money)


Looking to grow your business online without a lot of money? If you are just starting a business, then you cannot afford to waste money. In this article, we will share practical tips on how to grow your business on a small budget. Our goal is to help you compete with the big guys without spending a fortune.

How to grow your business on a shoestring budget

1. Choose The Right Platform for Your Website

The biggest mistake you can make as a small business is choosing the wrong platform to build your website. A wrong platform will not only cost you more money, but it will also limit your business’ growth potential.

We recommend using WordPress. It is the most popular website builder in the market, and it powers over 31% of all websites (including both small and large businesses).

When we say WordPress, we are talking about WordPress.org and not WordPress.com. They are two different platforms, see our article on the difference between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org for more details.

To start a self-hosted WordPress website, you’ll need a domain name AND a web hosting account. Yes, they’re different. Want to learn more? See our explanation: what’s the difference between domain name vs web hosting.

Different hosting companies offer different plans suitable for small to large websites. This ultimately affects the cost of your website.

If you are just getting started, then we recommend using Bluehost. They are one of the largest hosting companies in the world and an officially recommended WordPress hosting provider.

Luckily, they are offering WPBeginner users free domain name and discount on hosting. Basically, you’ll be able to get started for $2.75 per month.

→ Click Here to Claim This Exclusive Bluehost Offer ←

As your business grows, you will likely need more hosting resources. Hopefully, by that time you’ll be making enough money to justify an upgrade.

Once you have a little more money to spend, then you can choose a managed WordPress hosting provider like WP Engine or SiteGround.

2. Choose a Functional Website with Simple Design

Website design

Many beginners believe that their customers will not take their business seriously if they don’t have their website professionally designed.

Getting a professional to custom design your website is expensive, and it’s not needed when you’re just starting out.

You can easily start with a ready-made free or premium WordPress theme for a fraction of a price.

See our expert’s pick of the best WordPress themes for some inspiration.

If none of the above themes suit your need, then you can also use these drag & drop WordPress page builders to create completely custom designs without writing any code.

3. Make it Easier for Users to Contact You

Make it easier to contact

If you want your website to bring you more customers, then you need to add an easy way for visitors to contact you.

The easiest way to do that is by using a contact form on your website.

By default, WordPress doesn’t come with a contact form. Luckily, there are WordPress contact form plugins that can help you easily add a contact form to your site.

We recommend using WPForms Lite. It is the free version of the popular WPForms plugin that’s trusted by over 1 million websites.

Once your business has grown, you can upgrade to WPForms Pro to create more advanced forms like surveys, polls, payment forms, etc.

4. Start Building an Email List from Day 1

Lead generation

Most people who leave your website will never come back again. This means that if you don’t get their email address, then you will have no way to communicate with them in the future.

The most cost-effective way to do this is by building an email list.

Email marketing is the most reliable way to communicate with your website visitors.

You can get started with Constant Contact, they’re the top rated email marketing service provider in our list.

WPBeginner users get a free trial for those who’re just starting out and 20% off, if you upgrade to their paid plan.

For more tips, see our beginner’s guide on how to do lead generation in WordPress like a pro.

5. Get More Organic Traffic From Search Engines

SEO

Search engines like Google are the major source of traffic for most websites on the internet. There are a lot of things you can do to optimize your website for search engines by learning basic SEO.

SEO or search engine optimization is a set of guidelines and techniques that make your website more search engine friendly. It is not too technical and you will be able to do it on your own.

We have published a complete step by step WordPress SEO guide for beginners. We will walk you through the whole process of making your website as SEO friendly as possible.

To get traffic from search engines you’ll need content, which brings us to the next step in this guide.

6. Plan a Content Marketing Strategy

Content strategy

Content marketing is a strategy to create useful and relevant content to attract and build an audience. This allows you to get more targetted traffic from search engines without spending a fortune.

The easiest way to add useful content to your website is by adding a blog. WordPress allows you to add a separate blog page to your website and sort your content into categories and tags.

You need to plan your content strategy by finding out the keywords your users may be looking for. See our guide on how to do keyword research for your blog.

Need ideas on how to use those keywords in your content strategy? Here is a massive list of blog post ideas that you can use on your blog.

Content marketing is a highly effective and proven strategy to market your business on a small budget. To learn more about it, see this guide on how to create an effective content marketing strategy for your business.

7. Make Data-Based Decisions with Google Analytics

Analytics

Many beginners use their best guesses to plan their growth strategy. You don’t need to do that when you can use actual data to make those decisions.

This is where Google Analytics comes in. It allows you to see how many visitors are coming to your site, where they are coming from, and what they do while there.

See our guide on how to install Google Analytics in WordPress for step by step instructions.

Google Analytics comes with a lot of information. Even though it is neatly organized and beautifully presented, it could still be a bit overwhelming for new users.

To make the most out of it, install and activate the MonsterInsights plugin. It is the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress and allows you to easily view your most important traffic reports inside WordPress dashboard. If you run an online store, then MonsterInsights can also help you track WooCommerce customers using Google Analytics.

You can also download the free version of MonsterInsights. It works great but you wouldn’t have access to some of its most advanced features.

8. Leverage Social Media to Drive Traffic

Leverage social media to grow your business

Social media platforms have highly engaged audiences. Facebook alone has 1.47 Billion daily active users, that’s around 18% of all people in the world. Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms also have highly engaged users.

With so many users, social media platforms bring great opportunities for business. You can start by creating your business’s social media profiles and automatically sharing your blog posts.

Next, you would want to make it easier for your users to share your content on social media. For that you will need a social media plugin for WordPress. These plugins add social sharing buttons to your WordPress site.

There are tons of other things that you can do to engage with audiences on social media. The key is to keep your profiles active, grow your following, and bring traffic back to your website.

9. Be an Active Participant in Online Communities

Online communities and forums

Online communities include forums and question-answer websites. These are the places people go to post their questions, socialize, find content, and explore. Top communities on the internet include Reddit, Stack Exchange, Quora, TripAdvisor, and more.

These communities provide you with access to people interested in topics associated with your industry. You can join them for free and invest your time in building authority.

First, you need to find out which communities are more relevant to your business and where your potential customers may go looking for answers or content. For example, if you run a travel website, then you may find TripAdvisor more helpful than other communities.

Don’t spam these forums with links to your website in each post. Build authority by genuinely participating with helpful content, and mention your business or website when it is appropriate.

10. Convert Abandoning Website Visitors into Customers

Conversion optimization

Did you know that more than 70% of people who visit your website will never find it again? It is not your fault, it’s just that the internet is so huge and there are so many websites out there.

Each visitor who leaves your website is a potential customer that you are losing. To grow your business, you need to focus on converting those visitors into paying customers.

This is where OptinMonster comes in. It is the best conversion optimization software in the market, which allows you to convert casual website visitors into loyal customers.

How does it do that?

It comes with a drag and drop campaign builder where you can create different types of campaigns to collect user emails, display special offers, show exit-intent popups, countdown timers, smart popups, slide-in optins, and more.

For more details, see this beginner’s guide on conversion rate optimization.

11. Start an Affiliate Partner Program

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is a referral arrangement in which an online retailer (advertiser) pays commission to a referrer when users purchase a product using their referral link.

If you sell products online, then you can use affiliate marketing to partner up with skilled affiliate marketers. You will pay a sales commission to these marketers for promoting your products and bringing you sales.

You will need an affiliate management system to track referral activity and payout your affiliate partners. Here is our list of best affiliate management and tracking software that you can use.

You can also promote other people’s products or services to make extra money from your content. See our affiliate marketing guide for tips and tools you’ll need to get started.

12. Utilize Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Pay-per-click

Contrary to popular belief, you can run Pay-Per-Click advertising campaigns on a small budget. With programs like Google AdWords and Facebook Ads, you can set your own pricing, target keywords, audience, and more.

In fact, Google AdWords even offers free advertising credits to new advertisers. Bluehost, a trusted WordPress hosting company also offers free Google AdWords credits with their hosting plans.

You can use these credits to experiment with PPC advertising and get some paid traffic to your website for free.

13. Use Social Proof to Win Customers

Social proof numbers

Social Proof is a psychological phenomenon where people conform to the actions of others under the assumption that those actions are reflective of the correct behavior.

Marketers use this phenomenon by showing their customers that other people already trust a product or business. This is done by sharing their statistics, or subscriber counts, customer testimonials, and more.

Here is a list of clever ways to use social proof on your website to increase conversions.

14. Effectively Use FOMO to Boost Sales and Conversions

Using countdown timer as FOMO technique

FOMO or ‘fear of missing out’ is a psychological term used to describe anxiety about missing out on something exciting and trendy.

As a business, you can take advantage of this human behavior and use it to boost sales and conversions. Basically, you need to build anxiety by adding scarcity to your offers. Here is a great example from Booking.com using scarcity to build anxiety.

Using scarcity to create FOMO

For detailed instructions, see our article on how to use how to use FOMO on your WordPress site.

15. Improve Your Website’s Speed and Performance

Studies show that from 2000 to 2016, the average human attention span has dropped from 12 seconds to 7 seconds.

As a website owner, this means that you have very little time to show users what you have to offer and convince them to stay on your website.

Another study found out that a 1 second delay in page load time can lead to a 7% loss in conversions, 11% fewer page views, and a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction.

Strangeloop case study

This means that you need to optimize your website to make sure that it is fast and performs well even under high traffic.

Follow the instructions in our step by step guide to improve WordPress speed and performance for beginners. This guide includes all the tips we use on our very high traffic websites for reliable speed and performance.

We hope this article helped you learn how to grow your business on a shoestring budget. You may also want to see our expert pick of the most useful tools to manage and grow your website.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post 15 Tips to Grow Your Business Online (without A Lot of Money) appeared first on WPBeginner.





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WPBeginner Income – How Much Money Does WPBeginner Make?


Since I started WPBeginner (almost 10 years ago), one of the most asked questions I get from readers is how much money does WPBeginner make? Some of you might think that I’m making this up, but I’m not. If you were to search WPBeginner in Google, you’ll notice that one of the top related search keyword is “wpbeginner income”.

WPBeginner Income

Now I know that several popular bloggers share detailed income reports, and some of them have even built their brand around that. I have had several readers tell me that I would be more popular if I shared the WPBeginner income report, but honestly I am not interested in having readers like me because of how much money WPBeginner make.

I want our readers to like and follow WPBeginner for the quality of content that we publish.

But since the question about WPBeginner income keeps coming up, I want to take some time and answer it in the best way possible without compromising my personal core values.

I believe that success and failure are both temporary conditions, and it’s important to stay humble at all times. This is why I have never shared any WPBeginner income reports.

I feel bloggers that share income reports are “showing off”, but that’s just my opinion.

I definitely understand that a lot of users who’re just starting a blog find these blogging income reports inspirational.

However I feel that sharing WPBeginner’s income would not be helpful to our readers because it’s hard to relate to it.

Why?

Because WPBeginner is not a typical blogging business. We don’t just make money by selling ads or affiliate links. As a matter of fact, you can’t even buy an ad on WPBeginner. Majority of the affiliate products that we recommend are the ones that we use ourselves.

So how does WPBeginner really make money?

We make money by selling our suite of software and WordPress plugins including: OptinMonster, MonsterInsights, WPForms, SeedProd, etc.

Our plugins are currently running on over 8 million websites.

And a big reason for the popularity of our plugins is the marketing power of WPBeginner. Although, we don’t sell any plugins directly on WPBeginner website, the longstanding goodwill that we have earned in the community has helped us build independent brands for each of our plugins.

Aside from that, we also have investment stakes in various other WordPress-focused companies through our WPBeginner Growth Accelerator fund which includes MemberPress, Pretty Links, Formidable Forms, and Affiliate Royale.

So What is WPBeginner’s Income?

WPBeginner Blogging Income Report

The best way to think about WPBeginner income is to look at everything this blog has helped me build. With everything combined, WPBeginner blog has helped build a strong 8-figure annual business.

If I were to use the “blogging industry lingo”, then I would be an eight-figure blogger, but I don’t like this label (more on this below).

Since “eight-figure blogger” is not a commonly used term, some of you might be wondering what does that really mean?

You may have seen bloggers labeling themselves as “six-figure bloggers” or “seven-figure bloggers”.

In a true sense, these labels are defined as:

  • Six-figure – annual income over $100,000 USD
  • Seven-figure – annual income over $1,000,000 USD
  • Eight-figure – annual income over $10,000,000 USD

When I first started blogging, it was my dream to join what I thought was a “cool-kids” club. But as I progressed in my blogging journey, I began to really dislike this label.

Why?

Because I saw so many spammers and “wanna-be online experts” misusing the label to trick new users into buying their bulls**t make money online / get-rich-quick courses or mentorship programs.

Below are some examples of people misusing the label to trick beginners:

  • I have seen bloggers use the label six-figure blogger because their blog got over 100,000 visitors that year (not revenue).
  • I have seen “wanna-be experts” use the label seven-figure blogger because they worked for a larger company that made over million dollars online, and they’re taking credit for that (basically lying).
  • I have seen folks combine their earnings over 8 – 10 years to call themselves six or seven-figure bloggers. This is a commonly used technique in MLM / pyramid scheme programs.
  • I have seen some bloggers who make six figures, but it’s in a different currency (so not entirely accurate if you’re looking for USD).

Basically if you’re just starting out, please be very cautious when you notice someone labeling themselves six-figure or seven-figure bloggers.

If this person is selling you a course that will supposedly help you replicate their success, then 99.9% of the time it’s a scam. Don’t waste your time or money.

There are no shortcuts to making money online.

It takes a lot of work, and you have to treat your website like an actual business. Yes, it is a REAL job.

As long as you’re willing to do the leg work, I think you can make money blogging. Here are some articles that can help:

Final Thoughts on WPBeginner Income Report

If you came here looking for the exact WPBeginner income amount, then I am sorry to disappoint you.

The truth is questions like “how much money WPBeginner makes right now” or “how much did WPBeginner make two years ago” are meaningless.

Knowing how much money another blogger / entrepreneur makes is NOT going to help you succeed.

Think about it, we all know the net worth of Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, etc. Knowing their income does not help us become billionaires.

However understanding and focusing on the right metrics will definitely help you set smarter goals which as a result will help you succeed in your online venture.

If you’re just starting your blog / online business, then do not obsess over other blogger’s income. It will make you anxious and unhappy. Focus on your work and keep on moving forward.

The most important part is to really love what you do.

When I first started WPBeginner (almost a decade ago), it didn’t make much money. I simply enjoyed helping people do more with WordPress.

Our goal at WPBeginner is to provide cutting-edge helpful WordPress tutorials that are easy to understand for small businesses, bloggers, and non-techy WordPress website owners.

And to this day, that has been our #1 priority. I think staying true to our values has helped us grow WPBeginner into the largest unofficial WordPress resource site in the world.

I want to thank you for your continued support of WPBeginner, and I look forward to providing even more helpful WordPress tutorials and products to help you grow your business.

If you liked this article and want to follow my entrepreneurial journey, then please consider following me on Twitter (for business insights) and Instagram (for fun travel photos).

Also please consider subscribing to the WPBeginner YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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