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How to Succeed With Your Online Business: Start with These 17 Free Resources

Wondering how to succeed with your online business — but feeling a bit overwhelmed as you build it?

Truth is, there’s Too Much Information out there. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, welcome to the club.

Overwhelmed dog

You’re in very good company.

C’mon in and stay a while, my friend.

Because right here on this page, I’ve gathered some of my top (free!) resources in one place. No need to click around the entire internet.

If you need online business tips and tricks, you’ve just found a whole page of them — complete with a free quiz that will clarify your best next steps, free worksheets, two free workshops, and more.

All in all, there are more than 17 free online business resources on this page, divided into the categories below.

Ready to find how to succeed with your online business — without feeling overwhelmed?

How to succeed with your online business (faster than I did)

I moved from offline to online business in 2010.

It took me longer than it should have to build BIG Brand System to where it is today.

I want to help you get there faster!

My Plan & Grow BIG approach will do just that.

Plan & Grow BIG shares an important truth: Online business are built in stages. There are four stages of business growth.

When you pinpoint the business-building stage you’re in now, you can reduce your to-do list by 75%!

And when you focus only on the milestones and mindset issues for the stage you’re in today, you’ll make progress much, much faster.

Plus (bonus!) you’ll feel a whole lot less overwhelmed in the process.

Before you dig in to the resources below, please do Step 1: Take the Focus Finder quiz.

It’s a fast, fun quiz that will help you pinpoint your business stage by answering a few quick questions.

Ready? Let’s do this.

In this article:

Start here:

  • Take the Focus Finder quiz
  • Grab the Free Online Business Success Roadmap
  • Watch the free online business workshop: How to Build Your Online Business with “Relaxed Focus”

PLAN Stage Milestones:

  • Get to know your ideal customer
  • Plan an online business you’ll love
  • Find the best domain name
  • Fit your visual brand on a sticky note
  • Free visual marketing workshop: How to Use Visual Marketing to Get Attention — and Customers

BUILD Stage Milestones:

  • Create a minimum viable website in less than a week
  • Begin creating content on your website
  • Learn the perfect length for your blog posts
  • Format your content for maximum readability

IMPLEMENT Stage Milestones:

  • Build your email list: The “fast” and “slow” ways
  • Use this product strategy
  • Create a money-making online offer

GROW Stage Milestones:

  • Create high-converting sales pages
  • Explore the BIG Brand System Content Collections

Start here so you can harness the power of Plan & Grow BIG

Say goodbye to that feeling of overwhelm that washes over you every time you need yet another piece of content, read about another “must-have” tool, or discover there’s (yet another) “must-do” tactic you need to master.

Instead, get to know exactly what stage of business growth you’re in now. Start using Plan & Grow BIG as you build your online business.

It all starts with a five-minute quiz …

How to succeed with your online business — start by learning your growth stage using the Focus Finder quiz

Take the Focus Finder quiz

The Focus Finder quiz takes just a few minutes and when you’re done, you’ll know which online business building stage you’re in.

Right now, you’re in one of only four stages.

When you know which stage you’re in, you can reduce the size of your to-do list by 75%!

Click to take the Focus Finder quiz today

Get a simple, step-by-step roadmap to building an online business you’ll love

Great news:

Get an overview of all the stages in the Plan & Grow BIG approach to online business building.

It’s the perfect place to begin. You’ll have a framework you can use as you start, build, and grow your profitable online business.

Get my free Online Business Success Roadmap for an easy-to-follow checklist that will introduce you to Plan & Grow BIG and will guide you on your online business journey.

Watch the free workshop, How to Build Your Online Business with “Relaxed Focus”

It’s time to ditch the confusion and start down a path toward success that’s less stressful. 

Get a new outlook on building your online business when you register to watch my free online business workshop, How to Build Your Online Business with “Relaxed Focus.”

You’ll learn how to succeed with your online business using a method that keeps you focused and making progress. Here’s what you’ll discover:

  • The four critical stages every online business owner must master in order to succeed
  • How working with “relaxed focus” will help you get your business built faster — and with less stress
  • The 5 most-common online business building mistakes — and how you can avoid them

Register to watch How to Build Your Online Business with “Relaxed Focus”

Get help in the PLAN stage

In the PLAN stage, you’ll focus on understanding your ideal customer so you can build a business that serves them. Based on that understanding, you’ll begin to build your brand.

Read on for resources that will help you in the PLAN stage.

How to create your ideal customer profile (with examples and free worksheet)

Get to know your ideal customer

When you truly understand the kind of person you want to attract to your online business, everything gets easier.

You build a brand that resonates with them. You publish the kind of content they search for. You create products and services they need (and are willing to pay for).

Don’t skip this step! The article below contains a free worksheet and plenty of examples that will help you identify and get to know the people you want to reach online.

Read Wake Up! Create an Eye-opening Ideal Customer Profile Today [Free Worksheet]

How to succeed with your online business? Plan an online business you’ll love to own and run …

Running your business doesn’t happen in a vacuum — it happens in the middle of your life.

How can you create a business you love to run because it fits your life perfectly?

Read How to Build the Perfect Online Business for Your Current Life

Woman searching for a domain name for her online business.

Find the best domain name for your online business

Your online business “lives” at a URL — and that URL is so important! It’s hard to see in the early days just how often you’re going to share that domain name over the years.

It’s important to find a domain name that’s short, easy to spell, and memorable.

Read How to Search for a Domain Name That Grows Your New Online Business for more tips on this important PLAN stage step.

Decide on your visual brand and use a sticky note to keep it consistent

You don’t need to build an elaborate visual brand in the PLAN stage. You just need to select a basic color palette and some brand fonts. If you need help with these steps, visit the Branding & Design Collection — it’s chock-full of my best branding posts.

Once you have your basic branding decisions made, the next step is to use those visual elements over and over in everything you create to represent your brand.

You don’t need a multi-page branding guide! Keep it simple and visible, and you’ll be more likely to use your brand elements.

Read How to Fit a Powerful Brand Style Guide on a 3-Inch Sticky Note

Watch the free workshop, How to Use Visual Marketing to Get Attention — and Customers

One of the smartest things you can do in the PLAN stage is to begin using visual marketing to draw attention to your ideas, your website, and your content.

Learn how it works when you register to watch my free visual marketing workshop, How to Use Visual Marketing to Get Attention — and Customers

BUILD your website and your content

Once you’ve got your business name and basic brand in place, it’s time to start building.

What will you build? Your website, your content, and your offers.

To start, you need a website. It’s the home base for your business!

One important concept to grasp is that your website is never “done.” It will always evolve as you get to know your prospects and customers; add content; share new ideas.

Start with a basic website — what I call a “minimum viable website.” Once that’s in place, you can begin filling it with content.

Create a minimum viable website in less than a week

Your basic website needs just a few pages in place before you publish it.

Don’t overcomplicate this!

The article below will show you how to set up and publish those pages: You’ll go from no website to published website in less than a week.

Read How to Publish an Amazing Minimum Viable Website in a Week

How to write website content, even if you're a beginner

Begin creating content on your website

There’s nothing like a completely blank slate to make you sweat, right?

I’m happy to say I have a very easy-to-follow process that you can use to start creating your website content. It works whether you’re creating written, audio, or video content!

Learn the process in the article below.

Read The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Starting Your Website Content

A new way to think about the best blog post length

Learn the perfect length for your blog posts

There’s no “perfect” length to use for your content.

But there’s a guideline you can follow. It takes search engine optimization into account — and it takes you the content creator into account as well.

Read A New Way to Think About the Best Blog Post Length

Content formatting examples and tips

Format your content for maximum readability

I’ve been a publication designer for more than 30 years. These days, most of the publication design I do happens on the web.

Formatting content for screen readability is quite different than formatting content for print.

Adding subheads, bulleted lists, block quotes, and images will help keep your site visitors on your content page, eagerly consuming what you’ve worked so hard to create for them.

It’s worth spending a few extra minutes to format your content so it’s easy to read.

Learn how to do it when you read 6 Quick Content Formatting Tips That Will Energize Your Page

Here’s how to IMPLEMENT your offers

The IMPLEMENT stage is focused on getting your offers out into the world.

It’s daunting!

But it’s easier when you have built an audience of people to make your offer to. The best place to gather that audience is on an email list. With the right product strategy in place, you can create a money-making online offer that grows your business.

See the resources below for help.

How to build an email list with the "Drip-Drip" and "Flood" methods

Build your email list: The “fast” and “slow” ways

There are lots of ways to build your email list and most of them either bring in a steady drip of new prospects, or they invite a flood of new subscribers all at once.

Ideally, you use both techniques simultaneously.

Learn how in How to Build an Email List: The Fast and Slow Methods

Build a money-making online offer when you embrace iteration — just like a cook

Create a money-making online offer

One of the most important skills you’ll master as an online business builder is the ability to iterate and adapt. You’ll begin to see your big wins and your big failures as nothing more than data.

This data will help point you in the right direction — and the more often you collect data on what your audience wants, the faster you’ll discover what you can create that they’ll love and want to buy.

Read How to Build a Money-Making Online Offer

Leverage your success in the GROW stage

You’ll know you’ve entered the GROW stage when you have created an offer that generates consistent income.

The beauty of predictable income is that it helps you feel confident about investing some of it back in your business.

This, my friend, is where you really start to GROW.

But what’s next? Should you add offers? Read on for resources that will help you in the GROW stage.

Create a simple product strategy to avoid burnout in your online business

Use this product strategy for sustainable growth

Should you create a single “signature” product, or create multiple solutions that meet the needs of your ideal customer?

Either way can work. The best strategy for you will depend on a few factors.

Learn more when you read Stop Burnout Before It Starts with This Simple Product Strategy that Grows Your Business

Get the recipe: Here's how to write a sales page

Create high-converting sales pages

To get to the GROW stage, you have to master sales pages. They’re how you put your offer in front of your ideal customer.

There’s a five-step recipe that will help you as you put together your own pages or supervise a copywriter/designer as they craft a sales page for your latest offer.

Read Start Making More Sales: Remember This 5-Step Recipe for High-Converting Sales Pages

Explore the BIG Brand System Content Collections

This article was originally published on December 19, 2018, and has been completely updated with content from 2019.

But this site goes back all the way to 2010!

To make it easier to find what you need when you’re searching for how to succeed with your online business, I created Content Collections for my two most-important topic categories — Branding and Online Business.

If you need more help, I recommend you explore:

How to Succeed With Your Online Business: Start with These 17 Free Resources
Pamela Wilson

Pamela Wilson

Pamela Wilson is an online educator, author, keynote speaker, and the founder of BIG Brand System. Read reviews of the tools used to run this site and business.

Pamela Wilson

I want to help you take the next step. Pick your free workshop topic and let’s do this!

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