How To Create A Successful Business Online: Experts Roundup!
Starting a blog or business online can be a great idea to earn a side income, or even a full time salary every month! After all, this is how YourParkingSpace was created. Our co-founders realised that it was very difficult to find parking spaces near train stations, and the rest is history!
This kind of project can be scary, but also very exciting. What we know for sure is that you'll learn a lot if you try to create your own business online.
So, are you ready to come up with an idea, publish a brand new website and maybe create a new product that we've all been waiting for?
You're still not sure? Read what our panel of experts have to say about creating a successful blog or business online. Some of them earn several thousand pounds per month with their project, up to several millions! They'll give you plenty of ideas to get started.
**Would you like to participate in this roundup? Send me an email: gregory (at) yourparkingspace.co.uk
How to create a successful online business?
#1 I was an early adopter when it came to blogging
I was able to be successful with A Luxury Travel Blog because I was an early adopter when it came to blogging, starting the site in 2005. I already worked in internet marketing for the tourist industry (and have done so since the Web began in the 1990s), so when blogging came along, it was a natural progression for me to start a travel blog.
My primary interests lay in luxury travel - and there were no other blogs like that at the time - so again, I benefited from doing something different to what else was out there. Receiving a few prestigious awards early on also helped raise my profile. The blog is primarily monetised through paid campaigns and sponsored content.
My wife Brittany and I started our personal finance blog The Savvy Couple as a side hustle to help us pay off our student loans. I quickly saw the potential in running our online business and after nine months quit my job to run our site full-time. After the second year of owning our site, we started making over $10,000/month through ads, affiliate marketing, and sponsorships.
This allowed us to pay off our remaining $25,000 in student loans in less than 5 months. At the three year mark, Brittany was able to quit her teaching job and join me full-time on running our business.
-Kelan & Brittany Kline, thesavvycouple.com
#3 I built my authority online
I’ve written about lifestyle topics such as travel, parenting, money, and food. I started blogging 7 years ago, after I lost 123 lbs and people wanted to know how. Now, the majority of my income comes from sponsored posts, holding retreats, and coaching/consulting.
I get to work with brands like TripAdvisor, Expedia, and Amazon. This authority has allowed me to be a guest expert on other websites and be seen in huge publications like Forbes and USA Today. I even landed a staff writer position with FitSmallBusiness because of the expertise I’ve gained through my own blogging business.
-Kathy Haan, Idyllicpursuit.com
#4 Our niche website became very successful
I run a niche website that helps local boat rental and charter companies get more customers. As the leading source of online information for boat rentals and charters in our area, businesses list their watersports activities with my company and we send them online bookings.
-Heather Thomas, Destinvacationboatrentals.com
#5 I opened up e-commerce on my website
-Natalie Setareh, Nataliesetareh.com
#6 I started my website as a way to connect with other parents
#7 I never expected to make money with this project... Up until now
-Jarie Bolander, Thedailymba.com
#8 I wanted to help my readers cook at home
Since launching Garlic Delight, I've been approached for freelance writing and web design opportunities. These money-making opportunities arose because people saw the content I was making and they wanted me to produce articles and build websites for them. Freelancing has helped me refine my writing and marketing skills and become a better business owner.
-Anna Rider, Garlicdelight.com
#9 I wanted to change my life
I launched Brunette on Demand (Brondema) back in 2017. After my mom passed away in 2016, I was stuck in limbo for a long time. I wasn't happy with my life and where I was heading professionally. The 9 to 5 office hours were slowly taking the better of me, thus, I decided to quit my job. A year later I launched my blog. It wasn't until late 2018, though, when I started earning profit from 'Brondema'.
I mainly rely on affiliate marketing and sponsored posts. Most of my traffic comes organically, so I need to write interesting and helpful SEO-optimised articles to rank successfully. Staying on the 1st page in search engines is hard work and if you can't beat the competition, your website won't become successful. Yet, if you are determined to put in the efforts and time into developing your blog, eventually it will pay off!
- Mariya Zafirova, Brunette on demand
#10 My goal? Doing a better job than my competitors
My business is Valet Maids, a Dallas based residential cleaning company. Our website ValetMaids.com is the main way in which clients are able to find and interact with the business. Clients are able to see pricing, book their appointments and make any changes as necessary. This sets us apart from some of our competitors who require customers to call for a quote or even some require in person quoting.
I realized that I wanted to create a cleaning company that was easy to book and didn’t require making a phone call. I started this project by researching website building and scheduling tools before launching the website. Clients appreciate being able to do everything online, but we also have live customer support as well.
- Dawna Boone, Valetmaids.com
#11 I wanted to help other millennials beat student debt
- Brian Meiggs, Millennialguide.com/online-jobs/
#12 My website helps me showcase my digital marketing skills
After designing and selling maternity and nursing clothes, I decided to switch paths and move into digital marketing. I’d learned so much about social media management, email marketing and blog writing as an online business owner so I realized I could help other entrepreneurs improve their digital marketing.
I make money with my site because it’s a great example of the kind of web design I do. Plus, my opt-in brings in new email subscribers and my online scheduling app is integrated to bring in new business opportunities.
#13 I try to bring joy, creativity, and organization into my customers homes
My name is Jennifer Slezia, I am the owner and creator of Journals to Freedom Printables. I run my small business online. I create and sell printables that aim to bring joy, creativity, and organization into my customers homes.
Journals to Freedom began because I started designing my own lists to help me manage my busy life and preserve my mental clarity and I needed an alternative solution to the massive amount of post-it notes scattered about that looked as disorganized as my brain felt. It didn't take long for me to realize that my lists and journals could help other people organize and simplify their lives, also. This is the freedom that I hope my printables bring to the lives of my customers.
- Jen Slezia, Journalstofreedom.com
#14 I turned my hobby into a full time job
I started my blog as a hobby when I was in university and I wanted somewhere I could write about my other interests. When I made the decision to take my blog from a hobby to a full time job, I had to make sure I was organised. I have a to-do list which I update daily to ensure I’m keeping on top of things.
I also have a spreadsheet where I keep track of my earnings and expenses. I monetise my blog through affiliate links, sponsored posts and adverts. Keeping on top of SEO is important and I do a weekly broken link scan to make sure everything is in order.
-Hayley Warren, Strangeness & Charm
#15 My online business gave me so much freedom and flexibility
#16 I had a strong interest in finance blogs
My name is Julie Cheung and I started creating my own finance blog when I first became a freelance link builder around 6 years ago. As I worked predominantly with financial clients at the time and seeing how others have managed to set up successful finance blogs it felt like the right move to set up my own, especially having a personal interest in saving money and investing.
I spend time on keyword research to ensure that the topics on my blog is relevant, will interest readers and also to capture the right organic traffic. As I had built up a network of finance bloggers I was able to conduct outreach and guest post on other sites to help build up my blog authority. Over time, I was able to monetise my blog through affiliate marketing, ads and sponsored posts.
-Julie Cheung, Financegirl.co.uk
#17 I was one of the first UK bloggers
Blogging was a fairly new thing when I started nearly 9 years ago. I love photography and hunting out vintage and second items and had been following people who did this on their blogs but I chose to share my images and bargains on twitter. I decided I had more to say than the 140 characters and joined that still small group of UK bloggers and set up my own blog. I think I was blogging for around 2-3 years before I started to be approached by brands to do reviews and to write for them on their sites as well as my blog.
My business grew gradually and naturally, but it wasn’t long before I was working full time on my blog and the sites of brands writing and photographing. I don’t do traditional sidebar advertising and affiliate links to earn money as it’s not for me. I really do love my job, even when I am stressed and super busy as its always varied and interesting, I can’t imagine doing anything else.
#18 I created my blog to improve my writing skills... it developed into a full time job
I started my blog back in 2013 while working for a well-known building society in the UK in their digital marketing department. I decided to start writing a blog as a way to help me improve my writing skills as I thought this was a weakness of mine at the time. I never thought it would be something I could make money out of, let alone turn into my full time job 2 years later. One day I started to get a few enquiries about hosting blog posts for other companies and being offered free products to test and review on my blog...and it kind of went from there.
It went pretty quickly from earning £400 a month to more than what I was earning in my 'proper' job so I decided to quit and see what I could really do with it when working on it full time. I love the freedom working for myself has offered me and the many doors that have opened up to me along with it. My income comes from a few different channels - placing content on my blog for other companies, hosting giveaways, social media promotion, managing social media accounts for other companies, sourcing and placing links for companies...etc.
#19 I created a digital marketing agency
I set BW Marketing - a digital marketing agency - up around 18 months ago, and the obvious first port of call was to create a website. We found that while referrals were helping us grow, our website wasn't. Which resulted in us looking back at what people wanted when they visited our website: a simple introduction to digital marketing.
The result was adding two key features to our website - a prompt that let people book a call in with myself at a time to suit them (which naturally feels less sales-y), and the ability to create an instant review of their website without any sales pitch. 6 months on, we've generated on average 2 leads per day through the website, and gained 10 retained clients directly through the website.
- Chris Bardsley, Bw.marketing
#20 Working on a project I'm passionate about has made a huge difference for me
#21 My business idea came from life challenges
I started this business after I was faced with the challenge of putting my grandmother into assisted living. I found the process to be very confusing and difficult and many of the questions I had were not readily answered online.
We now publish numerous resources targeted at caregivers and seniors who are transitioning into assisted living and other types of senior housing. We make money primarily by referring consumers in need of housing to our network of advisers. We also occasionally sell advertising for products that we think will be useful for our audience.
- Ryan Patterson, Senioradvice.com
#22 Explore multiple revenue streams to maximise income
I founded three businesses: Marquet-Media.com, FemFounder.co, and Deftmagazine.com. Marquet Media is a branding and PR firm based in New York City and offers various marketing services to emerging brands that need to build brand awareness.
FemFounder is a digital business magazine that offers guidance to online business owners who need help generating more traffic, conversions, and revenue. This site generates revenue through its digital products and advertising. Deft magazine is a luxury women's fashion magazine that generates revenue through advertising.
- Kristin Marquet, Marquet-media.com
#23 I created both a blog and a freelance writing business
- Yaz Purnell, Thewalletmoth.com
#24 I decided to get in shape... the rest is history!
My name is Evan and I'm a blogger from Atlanta, GA. I got started in blogging when I decided to buckle down and finally get in shape at 30 years old — along the way, I decided to write about what I was learning as a total beginner.
#25 I tried to find different ways to earn a side income
#26 Travel was my inspiration
#27 I created 3 websites and write for other blogs too
-Alicia Butler, webcontentcreation.com
#28 My idea? A virtual assistant website
I run a Virtual Assistant website based in the UK (virtalent.com), which I started with zero capital as a recent university grad. The company now has over 40 team members and is still growing very quickly, something we've achieved through SEO and word-of-mouth referrals alone.
We match small business owners with a VA at Virtalent. We pay the VA a fee for their time, and clients pay us for our services on a monthly subscription.
-Sam Wilson, Virtalent.com
#29 I thoroughly researched my niche
I started my website a few years ago in a very deliberate way. It wasn’t a passion project where I just tried to “figure it out.” I ignored the advice that says - just take massive action.
Instead, I thoroughly researched my niche, identified gaps in the market, did keyword research, and deliberately ranked those articles in the search engines by building great content for humans and search engines.
It produces income now through selling a subscription software and affiliate partnerships with other related but non competing products in our space.
- Daniel Ndukwu, Founder of KyLeads.com
#30 I was taking notes
-Peter Koch, Dollarsanity.com
#31 I became a full-time blogger by accident
In all honesty, I became a full-time blogger by accident. I started my first blog on website Lylia Rose as a business blog. It was originally an ecommerce store that sold jewellery and fashion accessories. I started the blog to add more content to my website with the aim of attracting more visitors and sales, however I loved blogging so started to write about lifestyle topics and the blog quickly took over!
After three years I realised I could make money from the blog itself and started accepting sponsored blog posts and paid brand collaborations. Within six months of monetizing my blog I was making a full-time living and took the plunge into full-time self-employment. That was three years ago and I haven’t looked back. In fact, I’ve since set up two more blogs at Healthy Vix and Travel Vixta so now I have three money making blogs.
My blogs make me money through ads, affiliate links, sponsored blog posts, brand reviews and hosting giveaways. There are lots of ways to monetize a blog and I use several of them on all my blogs.
-Victoria Sully, Lyliarose.com
#32 You never know where blogging might take you!
I started up my blog as somewhere to simply share my opinion on the world of finance and self employment. After a couple of years it had grown to something I knew I needed to take more seriously and soon it was making money.
Adding some personal dad stories into the mix gave me a three pronged approach to the website. Collaborations with other businesses who want to get the word out about their services are my most preferred way of making money. I also have a photography YouTube channel where I share behind the scenes video of photography adventures so occasionally these areas all overlap.
I'd encourage anyone who fancies blogging to give it a go, you never know where it might take you!
- Joseph Seager, Thriftychap.com
#33 Quality content is the most important
- Kim, Ablackbirdsepiphany.co.uk
#34 Publish a non fiction ebook on Amazon
Make money by writing a nonfiction ebook and publish it on Amazon. If you don’t know what to write about, look at your resume for ideas. I’m a career salesperson so I wrote about sales and combined it with my love of dogs- Everything I learned about sales I learned from my dog.
Write your book in Google Docs and publish it with Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).
- Julie. Check out this and other Side Hustle ideas at thesidehustlejourney.com