A Complete Guide To Starting Your Online Business
Out of all the forms of entrepreneurship, nothing comes close to scalability and revenue potential as digital entrepreneurship does.
Digital entrepreneurship means getting your business online to reach more customers, effectively helping your business scale with more than one market of revenue.
If you’re a beginner looking to learn how to become a digital entrepreneur, this will be your definitive guide to help you get started in 2022!
What is Digital Entrepreneurship?
Digital entrepreneurship boils down to creating or putting your business online, either on a website or social media account, selling products or services to people on the internet.
Despite the name, digital entrepreneurs can sell physical products like gym clothes or books through an e-commerce store or dropshipping methods. Digital entrepreneurship can even be as simple as adding a barcode with your menu on each table, creating an Instagram page for your business, or even making YouTube tutorials featuring your product.
Although there are a ton of successful entrepreneurs who created multimillion-dollar businesses with exclusively physical products such as In-N-Out’s Lynsi Snyder, it's hard!
Physical products require raw material, manufacturing, supply chain, and delivery, with all the marketing and customer service added on top. Without tapping into the internet, you’ll also be in charge of selling, marketing, and cashing in each sale yourself too.
For example, Lysni Synder doesn’t even let you order In-N-Out burgers online or even over the phone. Trust me, I’ve tried! Traditional brick-and-mortar businesses, like your mom and pop shops still using physical paper menus, limit themselves by not tapping into the digital world.
Although you don’t need to sell an exclusively digital product, true digital entrepreneurs enjoy the luxury of only having to create their digital products once. After that, customers from anywhere in the world can buy their endlessly scalable products. That’s what we’re going to focus on next!
What are Examples of Digital Entrepreneurship?
Although they have to deal with physical products, by streamlining the process, e-commerce sites allow for digital entrepreneurs to sell their products without ever having to see the physical products themselves.
Spanx’s Sara Blakely or Jamika Martin’s ROSEN great examples of e-commerce businesses. Because they automated the manufacturing and delivery process, their online presence allows them to sell to anyone anywhere in the world with a click of a button.
They not only open their products to everyone through the internet but, because of their online presence, can target local markets but nationwide customers who want their products and can’t physically buy them in-store.
These are your TikTokers and YouTubers of the world. Their main business is focused exclusively on creating content. This can be either in the form of creating weekly videos, daily Instagram posts, or your viral TikTok posts.
Although a few years ago this may have been unimaginable, according to Influencer Marketing Hub, the creator economy has ballooned to 104.2 billion dollars in 2021.
Bloggers have been around since the birth of the internet. And because of their legacy, helped pave the way for digital entrepreneurship. Blogs and the owners who run them focus specifically on writing valuable content that drives readers to their site.
Once they’ve gained a large enough following, they usually monetize their articles with on-page ads, affiliate marketing, selling sponsorships, or even selling their own products.
We’ll go more in-depth with how to monetize all of these digital entrepreneurship ideas later in this article.
Combination of All of The Above
This is the holy grail of digital entrepreneurship. Diversification is key in order to keep your idea from becoming completely reliant on one source of traffic or income.
This is why companies like Google try to create different products every day, like the Google Pixel smartphone or acquire other digital companies like YouTube.
By combining all of these types of digital entrepreneurship, you’ll create a growing library of products for your audience will live while also growing your business.
Websites like Matt Giovanisci’s pool maintenance site, Swim University, are a perfect example of this. His blog is monetized through affiliate links, digital courses, ebooks, and selling his own white-labeled physical pool products, making over $500,000 in 2021.
Of course, building up to this is easier said than done. But hey, it can be done! Digital entrepreneurship can be pretty intersectional with other forms of entrepreneurship, so as long as you have an idea are eager to learn, you can start to become a digital entrepreneur yourself.
How Much Does a Digital Entrepreneur Make?
This number can vary like crazy. Some online business owners report over $40,000 in revenue to over $2,000,000 on the higher end!
On The Low End: -$350
This is essentially every digital entrepreneur when they get started. The cost to create your own website, find a web host, and pay for the domain name comes out to about $350 a year. Without a game plan, this can mean you’ll be out $350. Although a lot of business ideas usually cost money upfront, getting started with digital entrepreneurship and focusing on growing your online presence isn’t as expensive as operating a brick-and-mortar.
You don’t have to worry about a monthly $1000+ rent, physical equipment like a cashier, or even the need to hire employees. You can easily get started by yourself. So if anything, see this as the worst-case scenario in terms of how much you can lose as a digital entrepreneur. Not including your lost time, of course.
The Mid Tier: $100,000+
A lot of bloggers, YouTubers, and content creators fill in this role. They’ve put in the hours to build a dedicated audience in their niche and enjoy a comfortable stream of revenue because of it.
Owners like Matt Giovanisci have focused on creating a lifestyle business. Also known as a business that brings in enough revenue to pay for your personal lifestyle. This means enough to eat, pay rent, travel, and do regular stuff you would do making a comfortable living working a full-time job.
You’ll also see a lot of digital entrepreneurs with full-time jobs who use their expertise to create additional meaningful income. Convertkit’s Creative Director, **Charli Marie, actually breaks down design tools and creates design tutorials for aspiring designers. Because of this, she earned over £41,580 or $56,527.80 from only this side income!
Incredibly, her digital entrepreneurship side income is higher than the average salary in the US!
Her revenue as a creator shows that despite adding more work to her plate, she’s able to enjoy two full-time incomes off her own YouTube channel. Because of this, Marie not only practices her design and problem-solving skills, but she’s also becoming a valuable employee who, through her work as a digital entrepreneur, continues to improve her skillset!
Because of digital entrepreneurship, people like Marie become the definition of an intrapreneur. Someone thinks outside the box and solves problems both inside and outside her full-time career.
Chris Do, an Emmy award-winning designer and digital entrepreneur, highlights in his podcast that because she’s grown her audience, it acts as a safety net in case she loses her job tomorrow. Because she has an audience who feel like they know her, she can reach out to them for freelance engagements and other job opportunities.
High Tier: $1,000,000+
These are the day 1 bloggers. These are the OGs who started their YouTube channels back in 2011. These digital entrepreneurs were building online businesses as teenagers. They experimented, failed, and learned a lot during their start as digital entrepreneurs.
They not only took advantage of the growth of the internet but continue to grow and maintain a committed audience who gave them permission to their attention.
These digital creators either write behind a computer, design on Adobe Photoshop, or speak in front of the camera delivering consistent value every week.
These digital entrepreneurs have scaled so large that they have entire teams working for them.
- video editors
- graphic designers
- web designers
- course creators
- audio engineers
- and the list goes on!
For example, Ali Abdaal breaks down how his own revenue looks after building his YouTube channel and marketing his course to 1 million-plus subscribers. After building an online tutoring service for aspiring doctors in the UK, he decided to share this experience studying in med school on his YouTube channel back in 2017. After 3 years of consistent weekly uploads, he managed to leverage his audience into a digital business making over $1,000,000 through various streams.
Even blogs like Patt Flynn’s site have generated over $1 million dollars in revenue each year.
And you’ll notice how a lot of digital entrepreneurs get to these numbers by diversifying their income streams. We go in-depth on what they are in further down in this article.
Although these numbers are possible due to the massive scale of the internet, it’s important to remember they’re also optional. Some digital entrepreneurs don’t ever want to be this big and for good reason.
It takes a lot more work managing a dedicated team while also investing a lot into growing the business. Not to mention the years of consistency it takes to get to this point. For many digital entrepreneurs, a lifestyle business like the one Matt Giovanisci has is enough.
Regardless, a lot of digital entrepreneurship is about consistency and perseverance. Pat Flynn created his blog back in 2008 and Ali Abdaal was trying to build an online business since he was a teenager. Ultimately, these projects take time but if you have a great idea that you want to grow, then the sky’s the limit.
How Do You Become a Digital Entrepreneur?
This is where the fun begins. Digital entrepreneurship may be physically easier than starting your own brick-and-mortar, but you'll need to get used to wearing a lot of hats.
The journey of an entrepreneur usually means having to do a lot of the tasks and learning yourself. But fortunately, we’ve compiled a generous list of skills and resources to help you get started!
Skills You’ll Need and Where to Learn Them:
This is ESSENTIAL. You need to create your own platform to market and host your valuable idea and a website is the easiest way to do it.
I put this before any form of social media or blog sites like Medium where you don’t control your audience.
Without a website, you’re unfortunately at the mercy of whatever algorithm Facebook or TikTok want to put you at. It doesn’t matter if you’re only looking for a place to sell your digital product. You need a website for ANY business idea.
How To Learn How To Build a Website With No Code:
You can build a site SUPER EASY these days. You can drag and drop your design with SquareSpace or create something custom with Webflow:
If you want to challenge your entrepreneurial problem-solving muscle, then you can create your website through WordPress. There’s a larger learning curve when it comes to building your website, but you’ll have complete access to:
- What servers you can use (this can help reduce the cost as you pick the best plan for you)
- You have complete access to a million 3rd party tools and plugins (sites like SquareSpace and Wix are still adding more tools)
- Access to a plethora of themes and website templates to choose from
So if you’re willing to learn, there are entire guides like this How To Build A Blog article from Thomas Frank. The guide goes over every step with pictures to show you how to set up your own website.
If you’re more of a visual learner, then this very coherent video will help you build your own website in just 10 minutes!
The New York Times, the official White House website, and even Mindset & Milestones are all websites built on WordPress! And there are a ton more notable brands using WordPress for their websites. Even Katy Perry’s website is built on WordPress so we really can’t recommend it enough!
We run the site on Siteground for better security and speed but you can sign up with HostGator if you’re looking to host your website at an affordable price.
After you built your site, you need people to find it. You need an audience who cares about your idea as much as you do. This is where search engine optimization, or SEO, comes in.
Despite its scary name, it’s actually pretty straightforward. You simply create articles and content that people are already searching for.
There are a ton of guides but we highly recommend Ahref’s Complete Beginner’s Guides on SEO. They have entire chapters and step-by-step videos to help you become better at writing for the internet.
You can get started with their FREE online course:
How To Write For The Internet (Crash Course)
If you’re solely looking for the essential skills to start growing your digital business idea, then here is what we recommend:
- Do Keyword Research
- Create valuable content
Once you hone your skills at SEO, get an SEO keyword research tool like Ahrefs. This will help you find the topics your audience is already looking for.
For example, if we wanted to write articles on the productivity app Notion, we can type in the word “Notion” into the tool and find keywords that our audience is looking for:
These keyword research tools can get pretty expensive, but Ahrefs has a $7 free trial for you to practice with the tools and gather keywords for your articles.
Unrelated, but Ahrefs lets you create folders for all the keywords you can find that you can download onto an Excel spreadsheet.
Do what you will with that info.
Finally, once you learn how to master On-Page SEO to optimize your keywords for your published articles, you’ll start to notice small yet consistent growth to your site.
NOTE: This will NOT work if your content is basic! And even then, it won’t happen overnight!
SEO is a long and consistent process that compounds over time. Your articles (and hence your website) likely won’t blow up overnight. You need to create valuable and helpful content that gets readers to come back to your digital business.
Take a look at the traffic from the college resource site, The College Lighthouse:
They initially started sharing their posts on Reddit and Instagram only to see short peaks in visits before slowly losing traffic that didn’t lead to growth.
It wasn’t until they started creating content that resonated with their readers that they started to see meaningful growth.
Notice how despite this crazy growth near the end, they experienced almost no traffic for 3 years? You need to be crazy to stick to an idea for that long. But that’s just it. Digital entrepreneurship is no different from regular entrepreneurship.
It requires consistent trial and error. You will have to experiment and figure out what works for your idea. It also requires some heart.
This is why it’s so important to learn how to start digital entrepreneurship with a proper footing.
As a digital entrepreneur, your job is to solve problems no one else is solving. And it won’t be easy. And that’s a good thing! Because if it was, everyone would already be doing it. Your idea is valuable because it takes effort to bring solutions to the world.
So strive to be the expert in your niche and you will see the rewards digital entrepreneurship can offer.
This may seem easy. You probably went to school for at least 12 years being forced to finish your paper at the last minute for your high school English class. However, that’s just it.
You only learned how to write for a classroom.
When creating a digital business you’re going to have to write for two audiences:
- The people whose problems you’re trying to solve
- The Google Robots reading and ranking your articles
Thankfully for us, the Google Robots are working overtime to become as human as possible. But unfortunately for us, we have to write for human beings.
This is real life with real people who think being claustrophobic means you’re afraid of Santa Claus. No seriously, in the US “54% of adults between the ages of 16 and 74 years old—lack proficiency in literacy,” where the average reading level is below a sixth-grade level.
So don’t get fancy with your words.
You’re going to have to learn to write with your own voice in a way that best resonates with your audience. Once you figure that out, you’ll need to combine this with SEO best practices as you continue to grow your digital business idea.
According to Salary.com, the data analysts can make from $67,000 to $88,000 a year. The most experienced senior data analysts can make as much as $200,000.
Why? Because there’s a lot of value in understanding data and it’s no different for digital entrepreneurship.
Wait! Before you click off this article, I’m not saying you need to know how to read complex graphs like you’re Trinity from the Matrix.
All I’m saying is it’s really helpful to learn some basics of data analysis. If you know that 10 is bigger than 1 then that’s all you really need. This simple understanding will help you figure out how many visitors are visiting your website and tell you what pages and products your visitors are interested in.
The Tools You’ll Need:
You’re going to need to learn how to understand these tools in order to figure out what your audience is looking for.
You’ll need to install:
- Google Analytics
- Google Search Console
Google Analytics will help you find out which pages your audience is finding you on. This can give you an idea of what’s resonating with your writers and also on Google. This can help you identify which articles are the best articles to either elaborate on, create social media posts for, or even repurpose into a video.
Google Search Console will give you info on what pages Google is serving to other people when they search for the terms and keywords your website is showing up for.
Yea it looks scary and complicated but I believe in you and you got this! This can give you insight into what people are searching and what keywords Google thinks your site should be showing up for. This can help you focus on what your niche wants and allows you to create better content to serve them better.
You’ll get an idea of how many impressions your pages are getting. Better yet, these indicators will let you see what your potential growth may look like and what posts to prioritize on your content calendar.
Remember how we said earlier that you should avoid only building your audience on social media amounts like Instagram. If you’re new to digital entrepreneurship then let me be the first to tell you to start growing your email list yesterday!
Generating visitors and traffic directly to your site is incredibly rewarding, but unfortunately, just like with social media, you don’t own that traffic. Google does. This means that despite getting visitors to your site, you still need to convert those visitors to subscribers.
Imagine someone visiting your site for the first time. If they don’t become a subscriber you may never see them again. This means they’ll never know about any of your other amazing articles and products again. Without subscribers, the chances your idea gets shared drop to almost zero. Unless you capture them into an email list.
Remember, your audience is your biggest asset when trying to become a digital entrepreneur. Email lists allow you to continue to have access to an audience who gave you permission to their attention.
This means that even if your website shuts down, TikTok shadowbans your account, or YouTube decides to remove your videos because you added in your favorite Lady Gaga song, you still have access to your audience.
How An Email List Saved This Digital Entrepreneur's Business:
Digital entrepreneur and SPI CEO, Pat Flynn, couldn’t log in to his site.
“Everyone who came to the site got an error screen, and the only way I could communicate with my audience was through my email list.” - Pat Flynn after his SPI website crashed.
And his email list saved his business from losing touch with his audience. Because he spent time growing his list, he was able to keep his audience up to date, share his podcast and YouTube videos, and keep his business up and running.
How To Grow Your Email List
If you lost your website or Instagram account tomorrow, would you still be able to reach your audience? No?
Well then start building your email list now! Pat Flynn has an incredibly easy-to-understand Email Marketing Guide to get you started. He even has a video series showing you the steps to get you started today!
And while you’re here you should consider signing up for the Mindset & Milestones newsletter.
You can also get free access to our Free Resources to help jumpstart your journey as a digital entrepreneur.
You can do all of these correctly but they will never work unless you create something.
Gone are the days of trying to make the most amazing product behind closed doors. Companies don’t have many business secrets to hide and you don’t have the luxury of sitting on millions of dollars; you have to create something.
In entrepreneurship, the name of the game is trying and failing.
As Girls Who Code CEO, Reshma Saujani, said, “no one even takes you seriously unless you’ve had 2 failed startups,” and the same is true for digital entrepreneurship.
You have to think of the idea, you have to build the site, write the articles, post the videos, and just start. If you keep hiding behind the curtain waiting for you to finish the perfect article—you’ll never grow.
If you have an idea or created a solution that solves someone’s problems then make it. It’s doing the world a disservice keeping your amazing idea to yourself.
It doesn’t matter if you:
- Created an ebook teaching students how to getter grades
- Built an online course showing people how to draw hyper-realistic Takis
- Or created a bunch of articles to help people become better entrepreneurs
You have to get started. So if you're struggling to come up with your own idea or need help launching your new digital business, Mindset & Milestones offers an intro entrepreneurship course to help you get started!
The Two Most Important Lessons in Digital Entrepreneurship
You need to do two things to be a successful digital entrepreneur:
- Create EPIC Stuff
- Understand that What You Produce Does Have to Benefit People
It’s important to understand that whether you have an e-commerce business selling candles or a consulting service for pet owners, creating amazing content that resonates with your audience can help your business grow. And understand that what you produce does benefit people.
As an entrepreneur, you’ll doubt yourself. You’ll be afraid to expose what you created because it means exposing yourself to criticism and haters.
But there’s something to be said about creating something to help others and to put it out for the world to have.
Incredibly, digital entrepreneurs expose themselves to the opportunity to help more people than any other form of business or physical entrepreneurship. The internet makes it easy for a kid from California to help solve a problem for a kid in Hong Kong.
The journey is long and grueling but take pride in the fact that you’ll be creating something others can use to solve their problems.
The 6 Revenue Streams for a Digital Entrepreneur
Diversification is the name of the game when pursuing any type of digital entrepreneurship. Because the products don’t need storage, materials, or intense testing you can create digital products much faster than other businesses. This means you can scale these products or services quickly while also creating multiple revenue streams in the process.
Not only will this help grow your idea but keep prevent you from relying exclusively on one source of income.
Below we listed the 6 main ways you can start making money as a digital entrepreneur.
This is the easiest way to get started gaining revenue as a digital entrepreneur.
These are often links you see to products or services you already recommend. The most common one you’ll see is Amazon affiliates links, where people recommend products from the Amazon store in order to receive a commission of sales.
This is easy to set up. All you need to do is apply to an affiliate program and start recommending products. The most important part about this revenue stream is to recommend products you actually believe in.
Say you have a backpack niche website where you recommend backpacks to college students. If you make a top ten list of backpacks you recommend for school, be sure to recommend products you either use or have done extensive research on. No one wants to buy a backpack with 1000 one-star reviews.
Although this is the easiest one to start, you’ll notice the commissions are really low, hovering around 1% to 10% for purchases on Amazon. Some programs, like Convertkit’s email marketing tool, offer a crazy 30% commission.
So although this is a great way to start generating revenue from your digital business’ online traffic, you should start to brainstorm ideas for your own digital (or even physical) products.
Programmatic Ads (The YouTube Ads You Have to Wait 5 Seconds to Skip)
These are the ads you get before you watch nearly any YouTube video. You know the ads asking you to sign up for Grammarly, build your website with Squarespace, or how you can make “King Kong sized dollar signs” when you see an empty mall lot. Yeah, the ads you have to wait 5 seconds to skip.
These can generate a nice sum of revenue per thousand views. However, you have to meet YouTube’s monetizations minimums.
However, just like affiliate marketing, the revenue can vary and usually will only make a smaller portion of your digital business’ revenue. Not to mention, programmatic ads vary from channel to channel.
For example, a channel talking about personal finance may make $10 for every 1000 views while a college education website will make $1 for every thousand views
Again you’re likely better off having this revenue stream as a supplement to your revenue rather than the main source of it.
This can vary from the type of digital business you have. Because digital entrepreneurship is so versatile, we’ll cover the basics quickly.
Essentially, this is when companies reach out to have access to your audience and pitch their product or services to them.
This can mean embedding their ad into one of your YouTube videos, creating a sponsored post where write an article about their product or creating an Instagram post shouting the company out.
Because sponsored content can reflect on your company brand, it’s important you don’t pick sponsors your audience wouldn't want to hear from in the first place.
Imagine you watch a TikToker who focuses on wardrobe tips and suddenly you see a sponsored video of them talking about how much they love Cometer coffee. Although someone in their audience might like coffee, the creator might be better off getting sponsored by H&M and talking about their new summer lineup.
By vetting your sponsors and picking relevant sponsors for your content, you’ll continue to stay true to the brand your audience is familiar with and improve sales and conversions for the sponsor. This is incredibly valuable not only for your brand but also helps improve your chances of getting sponsored again.
Selling Your Own Digital Products
Creating your own product is the epitome of digital entrepreneurship. This is the culmination of your idea serving your audience and niche.
Digital products can come in many forms including:
- Video Courses
- Written Courses
- Google Doc Templates
- Microsoft Excel Sheets
- Notion Templates
- SAS products
- PDF worksheets
- and More
The products simply need to do one of two things:
- Add convenience
- Solve a problem
All of the above need to be products that people find valuable and are willing to part from their hard-earned dollars.
The biggest benefit is the incredible margins and scalability digital products have. You can develop and create a product once and sell it essentially forever with little-to-no additional costs to you. The big problem is convincing people to buy.
Because digital products lack a tangible quality, people are less likely to part with money from a website they found on searching on Google. This means a lot of trust needs to be built.
Trust can be created by showing off customer testimonials or video demos of how the product will improve their lives. Trust can also be established by creating a lot of value upfront for free. This can look like this:
- Articles related to your industry (i.e a Taco Shop writing How-To tutorials on How to Fold a Burrito)
- Videos related to your industry (i.e. a Personal Finance Advisor making Budget Tutorials)
- Creating free eBooks or PDFs to establish authority (i.e. an Entrepreneurial education website offering free PDFs to help teachers teach their kids entrepreneurship in class)
- A weekly podcast interviews experts in your industry (i.e. She Did It Her Way Podcast)
- Tiktok posts with helpful knowledge on personal finance (i.e. FirstGenMentor)
The list goes on and really is only limited to your entrepreneurial creativity.
Ultimately, create value and establish trust and you should see some promising results during your digital entrepreneurial journey.
Selling Your Own Physical Products
Physical products have a lot of benefits going for them. They can generate real revenue quickly, can benefit from third-party deliveries such as Fulfillment by Amazon, and can solve real-life problems.
Tide pods clean the clothes we wear, Coca Cola tastes amazing, and magnetic lashes are SO HELPFUL.
However, real products have thinner margins than digital products.
First, there’s developing the product, testing it, then testing it out with real people, then creating it again until it’s ready to hit the market. And that's before making the large inventory order which, many times, you’ll need to pay upfront.
Up to this point, we were about $30,000 into the process. This includes all the prototypes we ordered, and the help we received from our friends at Prouduct. It includes the provisional application for a patent, the branding work, and web-related things. - Pat Flynn on creating his Switch Pod camera gimbal.
This can be incredibly risky for businesses that don’t have the budgets or infrastructure to sell a real product. For this reason, many digital businesses looking to sell their first physical product try white-labeling a product instead.
This means using the product from one business or manufacturer and putting your own label on it.
Have you ever had a friend who calls themselves a designer because they added a patch on a TV shirt and cut the tag with the actual label on it? Well, imagine if instead, they replace the tag with their own branded tag instead.
That’s essentially white-labeling and it’s more common than you think. According to Statista, white-label and private label brands (AKA brands that put their brand on third-party manufactured products) make up 20% of all consumer goods in US retail.
💡 Third-Party Manufacturers essentially allow other brands to put their brand label on the products they already make on a massive scale. A great example would be a Third-Party Manufacturer that makes white cotton t-shirts and Nike putting their Nike checkmark on them.
So if you decide to expand your digital entrepreneur business to your “own” physical products, trying out e-commerce with a white-labeled product may be the easiest way to get started with your first physical product.
Once you’ve generated a significant enough audience where other people or businesses start to notice, you’ll start to receive inquiries. As a digital entrepreneur, you can decide whether you want to trade your time and expertise for money.
Websites like MedSchoolInsiders have made this the main part of their revenue stream. They create videos and articles that garner thousands of views and generated almost a million subscribers. With their audience, they offer private 1-on-1 medical school application advising which they sell for thousands of dollars.
Although most people imagine digital entrepreneurship as an automated revenue-generating machine, digital entrepreneurs can quickly generate revenue by selling their time to their growing audience from anywhere in the world.
Although many entrepreneurs may dream to separate themselves from their business, this revenue stream can quickly become the most lucrative as you’ll be able to set the value of your time. The beauty of entrepreneurship is you can set the price for what your time is worth.
The 7th Stream of Income You Should Avoid at All Costs: Ads
Now you might be tempted to add ads to your website to begin generating revenue from the traffic you’re generating. But here are 4 reasons why you shouldn’t:
1. You will need an enormous amount of monthly visitors to generate any type of meaningful income.
Ads work on a CPM, or clicks per milli, meaning you will need to get thousands of visits to your website to generate any type of income.
So if a website publisher charges $2.00 CPM, that means an advertiser must pay $2.00 for every 1,000 impressions of their ad.
This means that even if you have 100,000 people visiting your site every month, you’ll only make $200 a month from ads.
Yeah, it’s rough.
2. It looks tacky
Have you ever opened a Forbes article just to get bombarded with pop-ups, sidebar ads, and a video ad playing as you try to read an article on entrepreneurship? Like Forbes, please just let me read the article!
If it’s not fun for you to press “X” on all these ads then why would you want your own website’s visitors to have to go through that too?
3. It slows down your website and hurts traffic
Ads suck on your website. They make everything load slower, they add extra bloat, and make people like me immediately want to click off. And now that Google is using site speed as a ranking factor, this slowness will actually hurt how many people will get to see your website.
Meaning fewer people come to see your work. That’s a no for me dawg.
4. Many people have ad blocker on anyways
I use adblocker. It makes my online experience a whole lot better. If you’re on chrome I recommend AdBlockerPlus.
Essentially, your audience may not see the ads you added to your site anyways so why not focus on prioritizing your own products instead?
These are my reasons. Of course, there are examples of online media companies who have been successful with ads like Cracked.com and Roasty Coffee, but personally, I don’t believe it’s worth the downsides.
However, you’re the digital entrepreneur with the idea. The decision is ultimately up to you.
How to Create Your First Digital Products
In order to create a digital product, you first need to figure out what your entrepreneurial idea is. Without direction, your career as a digital entrepreneur will be pretty short-lived. Without a solid idea that you’re passionate enough to develop, you’ll find yourself struggling to grow.
Thankfully, we have a whole course focused on helping you create a launch-ready business.
So if you’re trying to give digital entrepreneurship your best shot, we recommend starting with lesson one from our curriculum.
Why is Digital Entrepreneurship Important?
If you’re trying to learn how to create an idea and scale it by yourself, digital entrepreneurship will be your biggest teacher. Because of the structure of digital entrepreneurship, you’ll need to learn how to create the online business yourself or learn who to hire to help you bring your idea to fruition.
Time management and continuous learning will be your biggest asset and in turn, your biggest avenue of personal growth.
Even if your idea fails, the attempt and learning make for a great case study. These become learning experiences you can personally add to your resume or even reflect on for your next big idea.
Not to mention, the self-starting ambitious attitude is valuable trait employers are looking for in their potential candidates, giving you a great talking point for your next job interview.
For Your Growing Digital Business
You may already have an e-commerce site selling Star Wars action figures to kids with Facebook ads. Digital entrepreneurship helps you maintain a mindset of what’s next. Because Facebook can raise its ad prices tomorrow and your business may not be able to cushion the blow.
By keeping an open and curious mind found in any entrepreneurial mindset, you’ll be able to not only solve these kinds of crazy business problems but also find creative ways to grow your business. This can be incorporating video into your marketing strategy, learning photography to replace stock images, or coming up with a better sales funnel through your email list.
Just because your business is working today, doesn’t mean it’ll continue to make a profit tomorrow. By keeping up with the competition and expanding your offering into other digital mediums, you can grow your audience, and expand your ideas.
For Your Established Brick-And-Mortar Business
Even if you already have a physical Brick-And-Mortar Business, expanding into digital entrepreneurship can help you reach a larger client base to sell your products or expertise to.
For example, say you’re a taco shop with no presence online. Your tacos may be the rave of your fans but how else can potential clients hear about you outside a newspaper column or word of mouth?
By getting your business online, you create digital real estate where prospective customers can find you. By establishing a local directory like Google My Business and Yelp you can:
- Start collecting reviews
- Upload images from your business
- Show videos demonstrating your products or services
- And building an online brand available to anyone searching for your offering
In the case of a taco shop, being on Yelp or showing up on Google when someone searches “tacos near me” is essential for maintaining any type of business in this digital age.
For the same reasons we listed above, creating a website can further establish authority and even create faster access to the services you offer to the customers who are ready to buy what you’re selling.
For our taco shop example, you can create a website that:
- Call-to-actions to “Call In Your Order”
- Buy online products like digital recipes
- Add them to your email list to keep them updated on your business
- Or user-first software to help your clients order from your menu online
For Digital Entrepreneurs Trying To Learn More
Here’s a list of free resources to help you practice digital entrepreneurship.
5 Free Business Terms Worksheet
25 Business Tools To Start Your Idea
Free Entrepreneurial Activity Book for Kids
TLDR; Main Takeaways
2) Revenue and Income for Digital Entrepreneurs varies wildly but the sky’s the limit
3) You’ll need to learn or hire people who can do web design, SEO, writing, use analytic tools, email marketing, and create valuable ideas
4) Understand You 6 Important Revenue Streams (7 if you include ads)
5) Learn how To Create Digital or Physical Products automated with your digital business
6) Digital entrepreneurship is a skill and mindset that people, online businesses, and brick-and-mortar businesses can benefit from.
Why We Wrote This Article
Oftentimes, starting any entrepreneurial journey can be challenging, especially when technology is involved. Whether it’s learning about web design to writing SEO-optimized articles, it can be hard just to get started.
Unfortunately, these barriers often discourage girls and women from even starting their own digital entrepreneurship journeys. These in-depth articles are meant to demystify the entrepreneurial process for women to get started developing their ideas and solutions with the world.
In this case, digital entrepreneurship can be daunting without a proper outline to explain each of the concepts. Our goals are to support all marginalized entrepreneurs and uplift female founders. If you know any examples from woman entrepreneurs that would make this article better, feel free to contact us below.
We encourage and accept any opportunity to uplift female voices and improve the disparity in entrepreneurship.