How To Start A Successful Online Business In 2020?

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How to start an online business in 2020? This guide explains the exact steps you need to take in order to launch an online business in 2020.
How To Start An Online Business 2020

Do you REALLY want to start an online business in 2020?

You want to know how to start an online business in 2020 but you have no idea where to start. Just like most of us, you want to start an online business with zero investment and low risk. 

But, how do you achieve such feat? Today, I'm sharing my online journey with you, one that I had started since 2004. What you will get in this posts are:

  • My frustrations

    I'm serious when I say that "I understand." I wanted to do more than just a 9 to 5 job. I wanted to live my life and still make a living for my family. Starting an online business helped me grow more than I can ever imagine.

  • Taking the leap of faith

    Starting an online business in 2020 doesn't mean that you can ditch your day job. At least, not yet. It involves planning and strategy to create strong passive income before you can leave your job permanently.

  • Step by step guide in building an online business

    Anyone can start an online business but only the 1% made it to the 'hall of fame.' here, we will discuss some of the common struggles and the important steps you need to grow your online business.

Without further delay, let's start learning.

Table of Contents

Frustration lead me to online business

Frustration In Workplace

Here's my story.

I have a day job and they pay me well. The benefits were good too, and I was able to put food on the table for my family. With the salary I was earning, it was easy to consider that I'm in the highest tier for an employee in my country. I was well making over $100,000 a year (that's approximately $8,333 per month).

I work for years (one company to another) and what grew was just two things—higher position in the company and better salary. Deep inside, I wasn't growing as much as I thought it would.

As a matter of fact, I was dying inside. I spend so much time at work that I neglected my own self and my family. 

You see, I was doing quite okay. As a salaried-employee, I was also working on my side hustle. I did some blogging works, buying/selling domains and some other freelance geeks. A good month could see me cashing out over $15,000 in total income and a normal month would be over $10,000 without fail.

One day, I decided to stop. Stop doing things for others a.k.a. making dreams of others a reality and focus on my OWN dreams.

  • I wanted financial freedom.
  • I wanted to start my own online business.
  • I wanted my online business to grow and succeed.

But it is not easy. It takes a lot of courage to go from easy salary to not easy salary. Being an entrepreneur, there is NO guarantee on how much you can earn each month. There are many low months where I make just $1,000 (which is barely enough for my family to survive).

But as the saying goes, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going."

I made my first financial break 3 years into my online venture. I started doing "online stuffs" in 2004 and in 2007, I was making rather decent income from the Internet.

Starting an online business is not easy

Starting An Online Business In 2020

If you want to start an online business in 2020, hear me out.

You need to trust yourself, in your product/service/program. Your best friends, family members and the ones you really believe in will try to talk you out from starting your own online business.

Well, they do no harm—because they care for you (and they are afraid if you will fail).

The problem is this. If you are NOT taking the leap of faith by starting an online business in 2020, you are not fulfilling yourself.

You may earn a large sum of money and have the best career one could ever imagine. But if you are unfulfilled deep inside, you are a complete failure in life. That's the ULTIMATE failure.

There an important disclaimer right here.

I started not just one online business, but several online businesses. Here are some of them:

  • I started blogging (learn how to start a blog now)
  • I invested and promoted several network marketing programs which I believed in
  • I launched my own freelancing 'agency'
  • I buy and sell domains
  • I invested (heavily) in some ponzi schemes for fast returns (high risk investments)

Looking back, I had a lot on my plate. And until today, my back-then girlfriend (now wife) didn't knew I maxed out all my credit cards hoping for a big break.

I knew I had to take the risk—and I'm willing to go all in to achieve my goals.

Failures, failures and more failures


Were you hoping for some childhood story type of scenario where I found my big break and became a millionaire? No, not even close yet.

I hit the ceiling in my credit score (that's bad, okay) and I nearly went bankrupt (not once, not twice but thrice). Even at the point of giving up, I did not. I continue to grind on for another 2 years.

Hoping between jobs hoping for higher pay while still working on my goals.

In 2007, I had my big break.

The long awaited life-line

Helping Hands In Online Business

One of my blog that I had been on (for over 3 years) started to rank well on Google. Like really well—top spot on Google for a competitive keyword. 

Now, you might be wondering.

  • What did I do?
  • Why am I sharing all this?

The answer is simple. I been through some tough times and I understand how it felt like. In recent years, I had two kids of my own and I gave them the opportunity to explore the world. I'm not hoping for them to be great doctors or lawyers, I want them to be happy.

And in order to achieve that, we need to give them the opportunity to try. With proper guidance, anyone can succeed!

Getting started with online business in 2020

Want To Start An Online Business In 2020

The easiest way to start an online business in 2020 is to define the platform you want to use.

It can be video (YouTube), blogging or freelancing. What matters most is that you are able to sustain and maintain the same 'output' in producing content constantly without fail, without getting bored and more importantly, without burning yourself out.

In the next paragraph, I'm going to show you exactly how to start an online business in 2020 through blogging.

If you prefer freelancing, you should read this guide instead: How I made $3k+ a month with Upwork without much experience {and investment)?

Start An Online Blog With A Niche

Find Your Blog Niche

Most bloggers start a blog by registering a domain and getting a web hosting plan. While those are critical, they shouldn't be the top priority.

Instead, focus on finding the right NICHE for your online business.

My definition of niche is simply finding a topic that you are deeply interested in (one that you don't mind losing your sleep over).

Here's a little about me:

  • I like going for holidays
  • I like spending time with my family
  • I love making money online
  • I love having fun with paintball
  • I love WordPress and web development stuffs

I like a lot of things, but am only passionate on a few items in life. The above lead me to launch this blog, (for make money tips), (for my passion in painballing) and (for WordPress related matters).

As a co-founder who manages my own digital marketing agency, managing three blogs (not included my company blog), I have a lot on my plate.

Yes, I sleep about 5 hours each day and I had absolutely no problem with that. As a matter of fact, I enjoyed crafting actionable blog posts like this one all the time.

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

Passion drives you (far and wide)

There is no denial that passion is required for you to be successful in your online business in 2020.

Working on your passion will help you grow your business especially when you are starting a business from scratch.

How to start an online business with blogging?

Blogging Online Business 2020

Once you had define your niche, you start by thinking about starting a blog. I know there are many influencers bloggers and brands who say that you need to find a profitable niche.

But that's wrong.

Every niche can be monetized and every niche is marketable. The amount of money you can earn from that given niche depends deeply in your skill in persuasion.

So, let's get started by (yes!) starting a blog.

1. Get A Domain Name

Get a dot com or dot net, and get over it. Do not overthink.

One of the biggest mistakes we made is by thinking what's good and what could be better.

Even worst, we change our minds more than three times at the check out page (when choosing a domain name). This shit happens.

If you really need some help choosing a domain name, here are some great ways to choose a domain name.

2. Get A Reliable Web Hosting

Reliable Web Hosting For Online Business 2020

A good web hosting goes a long way. Having a reliable web hosting company is like working with the right electrical company that powers your house. Without electric, there will be no lights, heater and security alarm.

A reliable web hosting company offers:

If you are on a tight budget and just starting out with your online business, going with BlueHost makes it really easy for you. With 1-click WordPress installation and excellent pricing (as low as $2.49 per month with free domain and SSL certificate), this is definitely a steal. You can also click here to find the best BlueHost discount.

3. Install A WordPress Theme

Install WordPress Theme For Online Business

Next, it is time to decorate your WordPress site. A WordPress theme is like clothes to your body.

There are many free WordPress themes that you can download including my personal favorite, Astra Theme.

4. Install WordPress Plugins

Install WordPress Plugins For Online Business

Next up, choosing the right WordPress plugin functionality to install into your database.

Plugins are meant to help you achieve specific goals in WordPress without you needing to hard code your site. This means that you can spend more time creating content that sells, instead of focusing on web development which you might not be good in.

Here is a list of WordPress plugins that you need to use (to make your online business a success):

The most important plugin of all?

WordPress visual builder, of course! With a visual builder, you don't have to spend hours trying to learn coding such as HTML, CSS and JaveScript (of course, you can learn it for free here). All you need is to select an element and drop it to the spot you wanted.

Here's what I mean.

Thrive Architect vs Divi Front End Editing

Using WordPress builder plugin such as Thrive Architect (above), you can easily change and customize the layout based on your choice—without coding skills. You can take a look at Thrive Architect or reading this post, Best WordPress Visual Builders for Beginners to discover another 4 awesome WordPress builder plugins.

5. Publish Great Content

Great Content For Online Business 2020

Last but not least, you heard before that content is king. If you want to start an online business in 2020 with blogging, you need to constantly craft/publish great content.

The two keywords to focus are "constant" and "great."

Publishing daily content isn't enough in today's challenging world. You need to have great content and with quality content, you can easily build some level of authority.

Publishing quality content helps you to build a strong fan base and authority in your niche.

6. Learn And Implement Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing Online Business Ideas 2020

Last but not least, monetize your WordPress blog by working with affiliate companies. 

Affiliate marketing is a process where you get paid for every referral you make.

There are many ways to start this form of business and you can refer to this guide to learn more about affiliate marketing.

Starting An Online Business In 2020 With Blogging

Before I end, I want you to know that starting an online business in 2020, especially with blogging is very doable.

Build a right strategy and grow your online business from there.

Reginald Chan

Reginald Chan

A meticulous entrepreneur by nature, Reginald is a sought-after success coach, digital marketing consultant and TEDx speaker from Asia. Currently, he teaches others how to make money online for free.