The Internet Home Business Magazine for Moms & Dads

Ask eMom :: What is the Best Way to Start a Home Business Online?


Ask eMomWendy, I would love to get your opinion on what the best path to web entrepreneurship is. Some people say affiliate marketing, others believe in blogging while some say blogging is no way to earn a living. I’d really like to work for myself and work at home. What options should I be pursuing?

Well, this might not be the answer you want to hear, but there is no one best path to web entrepreneurship, in my opinion - here’s why:

  • Different niches require different marketing strategies
  • Your strengths as a marketer will determine your quickest path to success
  • All paths can fail - and all paths can succeed - it really depends on you

That being said, let me tell you about a friend of mine - he had just signed up for a $1500 internet marketing seminar taught by someone who I knew to be highly UNqualified to teach the course. The course covered basics such as how to get a website set up, build an email list, start a blog, write an eProduct and build joint ventures (all in two days - LOL!!). My friend realized this wasn’t the right course for him and asked me for advice on who could teach him everything he needed to know about internet marketing.

  • My first advice to him was that he didn’t need to drop $1500 on an introductory course when much of that information is available freely online.
  • My second advice to him was that he doesn’t need to know EVERYTHING about internet marketing to make money online. Sure, the more you know, the better your chances, but you have to start somewhere first.

Here’s what I told my friend - no matter what you end up doing (blogging, email marketing, affiliate marketing, or promoting your own products), you will need to know something about affiliate marketing to make money with any of them - so start there.

I told him he would learn more in Rosalind Gardner’s Super Affiliate Handbook for less than $50 than he would ever learn in a crappy internet marketing course taught by someone who had a page rank of “0″ and a non-existent Alexa rank. Most of the material in this book was also covered at Elite Retreat, giving a little more social proof to the fact that that even the most successful affiliate marketers use this same industry knowledge to make millions.

That doesn’t mean that you should only do affiliate marketing - it does mean that the more you know about affiliate marketing, the more successful you will be in any area of internet marketing.

Learning Affiliate Marketing will require that you master:

I’d like to qualify this advice with the following caveat - if you are already an experienced professional in any industry, you would likely have the easiest time making money at home by finding your own clients and getting hired for freelance work. Sometimes non-compete employment agreements will prohibit you from going this route, but in my experience, this is the fastest way to bring in revenue and get established as an entrepreneur. Then, as your business grows, you can add additional revenue streams such as affiliate marketing, blogging, email marketing, or launching your own eProducts.

Additionally, working on any of these things will require basic html knowledge, that you are internet savvy, and that you set up a web site.

So, to answer the initial question in a nutshell, here’s the best way to start a home business online:

  1. Leverage your current skills and contacts into freelance work opportunities
  2. Leverage your current marketing knowledge into your first marketing projects
  3. Learn as much as you can about affiliate marketing, because everything you learn about it will help you to be successful in every online marketing endeavor.

Got a question for eMom? Send it to her!

Share the Love... and the Traffic ;) These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Netscape
  • StumbleUpon
  • Ma.gnolia
  • Reddit
  • Technorati
  • Bumpzee
  • co.mments
add to sk*rt

If you liked this article, please...

Subscribe Via Email Subscribe Via RSS Add to Technorati

Or read these related articles...

  • Shazia Mistry is in the [Shoe]Money!
  • Can We Connect?
  • Inspiration for Online Business Success
  • Set Up a Blog for Free With

  • Discussion

    What do you think? Leave a comment. Alternatively, write a post on your own weblog; this blog accepts trackbacks [trackback url].
    This blog has removed the "nofollow" tags, so each comment counts as an inbound link to your site. Comment Policy


    On June 19th, 2007 at 2:12 pm, Jill said:

    Right On Wendy!

    When people follow their bliss, and pursue what they are passionate about, they usually have more resolve and resilience to overcome those bumps in the road when they arise.

    Also, we spend most of our waking hours at work and life’s too short to invest all of that time begrudginly in endeavors that we don’t enjoy.

    Live Your Dreams,

    Jill :)

    On June 19th, 2007 at 2:24 pm, derek said:

    As someone that has considered various seminars to try and get up to speed on things I really appreciate this post. You really can learn most of the skills by searching the free resources available online.

    In addition it is always nice to find places like this site that offer a pseudo-mentor through learning from your experiences and sharing.

    On June 19th, 2007 at 2:26 pm, Neena said:

    Thanks Wendy. I will have to check out
    Rosalind Gardner’s handbook. I have not yet explored many affiliate opportunities but I think that is the next step for me.

    On June 19th, 2007 at 4:37 pm, Saul said:

    Your site is great. Filled to the brim with interesting information. Have you checked out the upcoming Postiecon coference in Las Vegas. Where people like you are talking about how to make the best out of your blogs. Just thought you might find it interesting to check out.

    Thanks for the great info.

    On June 19th, 2007 at 6:32 pm, Jeri said:

    Thanks for the great input.

    How do you balance it - especially in the getting started days - months - years? In my case I juggle family - full time job - professional development training, reading, research, etc. - blogging & associated technical development and marketing - and somewhere in there, a shred of self-care or two. And maybe even a 7-hour night of sleep once in a blue moon.

    Do you have any recommendations for a complementary ‘portfolio approach’ where you meld multiple part time endeavors - freelancing, blogging, teaching, consulting, etc, and still stay sane?

    On June 19th, 2007 at 7:25 pm, Des Walsh said:

    Great reply, Wendy. Taking your point on the nonsense of expecting to learn everything in two days, people wanting to do business online (as in people wanting to do business offline) need to face and accept the fact that some of the answers are only going to come when they know the questions, and some of the questions are only going to emerge through action. Which means not the action of spending $1500, but the consistent, daily action known by that word some people don’t like (so I won’t spell it out lest I give offence) - w@%k.

    On June 19th, 2007 at 9:11 pm, Todd Jordan said:

    Your summary hits the nail on the head. I think too many people leave doing something they love to do something for the money and are never quite happy.

    One of my greatest joys is helping people, especially helping them to succeed or get through challenges. In my paying job that manifests as a programmer analyst.

    So being techy and helpful works out.

    Thanks for the advice!

    On June 19th, 2007 at 10:17 pm, Mara said:

    I have been looking for this information for quite some time. Thank you so much for your straight forward answer. The advice is right on target. That being said, I think I have some learning to do. :)


    On June 20th, 2007 at 11:19 am, Kelly King Anderson said:

    Hey there, I’d like to add that besides figuring out affiliate marketing, etc. online and what you’re passionate about but what NICHE you can fill and be “the best in the world at” that is under-served that you could excel in, that combined with a good internet strategy sounds like a good combo…Seth Godin’s new book, The Dip is all about that. For example if everyone is offering graphic design, why not offer graphic design services for real estate companies…etc. ;)

    On June 20th, 2007 at 12:58 pm, Adam Kayce : Monk At Work said:

    Wow… this is a really, solid post, Wendy. I’ve been at this for a while, and I learned tons. (great question, too, to whoever asked it)

    I have to admit I find it tough, though, as someone who’s solidly in the “following their bliss” category, and still waiting for the success to arrive. It makes the route of the do-what’s-boring-as-heck-but-makes-the-bucks appeal quite a bit, even though my heart shudders at the thought.

    By the way, I just finished your “10 Days to a Better Blog” course, and it was really solid as well.

    Mentions on other sites...

    1. Thoughts and Questions About Pursuing Your Passions » Derek Semmler dot com on June 19th, 2007 at 5:05 pm
    2. Working at Home on the Internet on June 24th, 2007 at 5:27 am
    3. Shoestring Smarts | Getting Started with Pay Per Click Search Engine Marketing on August 7th, 2007 at 4:34 am

    Leave a Reply

    If you liked this article, take more To Go...


    Subscribe to Daily Posts Via Email
    Sign Up for the Weekly Email Newsletter
    I'll never sell or rent your info. Period.
    Subscribe Via an RSS Reader