Welcome to the first and most exciting step of making money online; selecting your startup idea. Since you have looked for- and found this page, chances are you have been walking around with ideas for some time but a) don't know how to proceed, b) hesitate if your idea is the right one, c) don't know which of your ideas is best or d) have no idea yet and need some help to get started. So let's get to it.
I have come across many people looking to start their online business. Some had the issue of having ten ideas and not knowing which one to pursue (or worse; tried to pursue them all), and some had absolutely no idea at all. Before we seek out ways to generate ideas, let's take a look at different types of startup ideas:
- The passionate or knowledgeable
Starting a business because you know more about it than anyone else, or because you are endlessly passionate about the topic.
- The problem solver
Starting a business because you see a problem that people experience and you can offer the solution to it.
- The profit seeker
Seeing an opportunity that so far, nobody else is pursuing well.
So how do I generate ideas?
I can't generate ideas for you (and most likely you have plenty ideas already), but to give you a few hints:
- Write down the ideas you have in mind already.
- Talk to friends, colleagues and anyone you know can inspire you.
- Attend TEDx talks or similar events near you.
- Think about the things you are passionate about.
- Look at what entrepreneurs do who inspire you.
- Think about problems you experience in every day life.
- Seek ways to combine your knowledge/passion to solve every day problems.
Every Friday afternoon at work I am struggling, counting down the hours for the weekend to begin. So, I listen to electronic music to help me through. I decided to start a website named BeatsFriday where I help others to beat their last boring hours of the week. I offer them fresh music and a countdown clock to the weekend.Phil, beatsfriday.com
When I was young, I sailed across the ocean together with my father. One of the best experiences of my life, and I'm doing it again! On my website, I write about my journey to inspire others.Joris, sailacrosstheocean.com
Selecting your startup idea
Creating the list of ideas was probably not that difficult, right? Forcing yourself to pick one and actually getting started will be much more challenging. Let's have a look at the criteria you should use to select that one final idea:
- Time to Market
How much time and effort is required to start with an idea? For your first attempt at making money online it will be wise to select an idea that can be set up in a matter of days, 2 weeks max.
- Money making potential
Most would put this point at #1, because this is what it's all about right? Well, I have seen so many people fail to ever launch an idea that to me, it is much more important to select an idea that can be realized relatively quickly. Having said that, the potential of making money is of course important. The potential of money making has much to do with two factors: how many visitors can you attract with this idea, and how much will every visitor be worth? Advertisements for life insurance are worth a lot of money, whereas advertisements for a HDMI cable will be worth much less. The topic you select dictates the potential type of advertisements/affiliates/etc. Thinking ahead, in terms of how you will be able to monetize your startup, is crucial.
How fierce is the competition for your idea? Are you targeting a niche, or a mass market? In a mass market, you will need to beat much bigger websites that have been around for years. Not only do they have a network they can rely on, they probably have hundreds of incoming links to their homepage, meaning Google will likely display them far above you in the search results. If you target a niche you have a much bigger chance of establishing yourself and attracting quality visitors. Unless you have a big marketing budget and a lot of experience, you seriously want to target a niche.
- Will it last?
Will the idea you have keep you interested and motivated? Will you be able to work on this for hours and days in a row? I promise you, it will be hard work to make money online, so you need to be motivated, and this has a lot to do with what you are spending your time and effort on!
Most people fail in this very first step of selecting an idea, mostly because they hesitate about their idea or lose focus and continue bringing up new ideas. At a certain point, you need to stick with an idea and take the steps needed to realize it. Focus!Oscar, starttomonetize.com
Idea selected, what's next?
You have put your ideas to the test and finally arrived at one worth pursuing.
Congratulations! It is time to think about a name, domain-name and hosting.