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How To Start An Online Business - Your Business Fairy Godmother

How To Start An Online Business – In A Nutshell

*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see my full disclosure.

Want to learn how to start an online business in 2021 but don’t know where to start?

Find out what you need to know to start an online business in a nutshell. No nuts involved unless you will be selling something with nuts, but that’s on you.

There has never been a better time in history to start an online business.

Statistics show 2.14 billion people are shopping online in 2021, and that number is growing every day.

Business Foundation – A Healthy Mindset

Before you start any business, a healthy mindset is required. In addition, starting any business takes time, and you need a healthy mindset to get you through the process.

It isn’t always easy when you start an online business, but having a great mindset will take you through the lean times.

Start Your Online Business As A Side Hustle

Thinking about how to start an online business, keep your day job. You can start your business as a side hustle.

You won’t have to give up your full-time income when you start an online business as a side hustle.

As your business grows, you can eventually phase out your full-time job and transition to a full-time business without draining your finances.

Pick A Niche & Niche Down

When going over the steps to start an online business, picking a niche is the top list.

When you have a specific niche, it’s much easier to gain customers. However, when you want to serve everyone with your online business, you serve no one.

You are not limited to just one small location when you do business online. The entire world is your marketplace.

Choose a niche and then niche it down even further.

For example, if you are interested in helping people build their credit, you could niche that business down even further by helping young couples raise their credit score to buy their first home.

Helping people raise their credit score is a niche, but helping young couples raise their credit score to buy their first home is niched down even further.

The more niched down your business is, the easier it is to make money.

Choose A Business Name

Choosing a name for your business can be both fun and rewarding.

A business name isn’t something that can’t change in the future, but it’s not easy to do, so choose wisely.

When choosing your business name, be sure it’s memorable. Make sure it tells people a bit about your business and is not confusing.

A great business name is a blessing, and a bad business name can be a curse.

Create A Business Plan

If you really want to learn how to start an online business, start with a business plan.

Business plans are not just for big businesses that want to get investors for their business. Instead, business plans are an online business guide to help you grow and scale your business.

The QuickStart Business Plan Bundle is the blueprint for online business success.

Business Plan Bundle

What you’ll get in the QuickStart Business Plan Bundle:

  • QuickStart Business Plan – Get your business up and running quickly with this customizable business plan. Follow the instructional prompts and get every area of your business ready to make money.
  • Biz Goal Planner – Strategically plan your business goals so that you can knock them out of the park.
  • Branding Board Template – Keep all of your sales, marketing, and products “on brand” with the Branding Board Template for a professional and cohesive appearance.

There are so many steps involved in starting an online business, and a business plan will ensure you don’t miss any of the steps.

A goal without a plan is just a wish. Turn your online business dream into a reality with a solid business plan.

Choose Your Legal Structure

What type of legal structure would you like to have for your business?

There are so many different types of structures that you can use. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all formula, so your legal structure must fit your individual needs.

Research all the legal structures and find the one that works best for you.

Some different legal structures you can use are:

  • Sole Proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • LLC
  • S Corp
  • C Corp
  • Non Profit

Each legal structure comes with different tax responsibilities, and they also have different liability protections in place for the business owners.

You can easily start an online business as a sole proprietorship and change it in the future when you’ve figured out the best legal structure for you and your business.

Create A Brand

Your business isn’t just some words on a website. It’s a brand. Your branding is how your business looks, what it sounds like, its story, and so much more.

Create a beautiful brand that helps your customers fall in love with your business.

Choose A Hosting Provider & Set Up Your Website

When it comes to hosting an online business, I always recommend SiteGround.

What would an online business guide be complete if we didn’t talk about web hosting? You can’t learn how to start an online business without the online part, can you?

Your website is where your business lives online, but there would be no website without a hosting provider.

SiteGround + WordPress + WooCommerce = Easy To Use Online Business.


SiteGround has second to none web hosting. In addition, they have 24/7 live tech support to help you through any problems that may arise. If you don’t have good tech support and your website goes down, your business is closed during normal business hours. If your business is closed, you won’t make any sales, and it’s unprofessional.

Not only that, but you can buy your domain name, get your hosting service, and set up your entire website simply with step-by-step instructions using SiteGround.

SiteGround has made setting up and doing business online a breeze. You can build your website yourself without having any coding skills.

If you don’t want to do any of the tech stuff yourself, SiteGround even recommends trusted developers who can do some things or everything for you.

I personally use SiteGround to host all of my websites. In my opinion, they have really built a superior product over all the other hosting services out there. This is coming from someone who has tried quite a few of the other hosting companies. Nothing else I ever used even came close to SiteGround’s hosting.


WordPress makes up 38 percent of websites, and 63.5% of all content online is hosted by WordPress. That’s huge!

WordPress is industry standard. It’s very versatile, and it’s the platform I use for all of my websites, so I can personally endorse it.

With SiteGround, you can install and manage WordPress right from your dashboard, with no coding necessary.

I love WordPress because you can install a free theme and have your website up in minutes. Then, change the theme template with your own content and branding, and your online business is born.


WooCommerce is perfect for an online business in 2021.

WooCommerce integrates beautifully with SiteGround and WordPress, with one-click installation.

When you use WordPress and WooCommerce, you have your own online shop that you control.

You can open an Etsy Shop or a Shopify Shop, but it’s dangerous because you don’t own your store.

While that may never be a problem, your shop technically could be shut down at any time. It has happened to a few store owners that I know of, and it happened right before Christmas, wiping out all of their holiday revenue.

No one can shut down your store except you because you have total control when you have your own WordPress website.

Choose Your Products

When you are learning how to start an online business, you need something to sell.

Choose niched products that your customer will want, need and use. For example, do you want to have physical products you ship, or do you want digital products that customers can download?

You may even want to sell a service for an online business in 2021.

Start A Blog

Every business needs a blog, and blogs can even be online businesses. A blog is a great addition if you want to know how to start an online business.

A blog is a perfect way to bring traffic to your online business. Your business needs customers. While you can pay to get them to your website, SEO or search engine optimization works perfectly with a blog bringing your customers right to you for free.

Blog about the products in your business, and you will have a greater chance of coming up in search results allowing people to find you to make more money with your online business.

Need help with your blog? Check out The Blogging Workbook Bundle.

What you’ll get in the Blogging Workbook Bundle:

  • Unleash Your Niche – Find your blogging niche to have something that you are excited to blog about that attracts your ideal customers.
  • The Lead Magnet Formula – Create a winning lead magnet workbook that converts your website visitors into subscribers, because let’s face it, the money is in the list.
  • Blog Post Content Outline – Write optimized blog posts to help you make more money with your online business.

Reserve Your Social Media Handles

You don’t have to be on every single social media platform, but reserve your social media handles on as many as you can as soon as possible.

If you don’t reserve your name, someone else may take it. In the future, you can decide on which social media platforms you will be active on.

By looking into your name on social media, you may find your business name is already in use. The sooner you figure that out, the better.

Create An Email List & Use An Awesome Lead Magnet

When you learn how to start an online business, you need to create an email list and use an awesome lead magnet.

The money is in the list. Every online business needs an email list full of warm leads to build a thriving online business.

How do you get subscribers to your email list? By using an awesome lead magnet.

What’s a lead magnet?

A lead magnet is a free piece of content or strategy to get customers subscribed to your email list.

An email list is paramount to a healthy online business.

Need a lead magnet? Check out the Lead Magnet Formula for a lead magnet workbook that converts your website visitors into subscribers.

You want your subscribers to open your emails once they get onto your list, so send them out valuable emails to inform and educate them about what your products can do to help them.

A healthy email list is one that you nurture with a give and take relationship. Give them value, and they will buy from you.

Start An Online Business Without A Website

Want to know how to start an online business with just an email list and a lead magnet? By using ConvertKit! You can use ConvertKit and sell directly from there even if you don’t have a website. Yes, it’s true!

ConvertKit is an awesome email list management system I have to include in this online business guide. They have a free version for up to 1000 subscribers, and their paid version is even better.

What Products Can I Sell From ConvertKit?

You can sell anything from ConvertKit that can be delivered as a digital download. For example, courses, subscriptions like a paid newsletter, ebooks, templates, PDFs, and anything else that you can think of can be delivered in a digital format.

You can still use ConvertKit to sell your digital products right to your email list, even if you have a website.

Get A Business Coach

If you want to learn exactly how to start an online business with what we learned here and so much more, check out my course Business In A Bundle.

With Business In A Bundle, you will learn how to start an online business step-by-step so that you can create the online business of your dreams.

From inception to fruition, we cover all the steps involved to learn how to start an online business that really lights you up. If you really want the VIP experience, you can add personalized one-to-one coaching in addition to the course, with yours truly, Deanna Castro – Your Business Fairy Godmother.

So there you have it, what you need to know about how to start an online business in 2021.

Any questions or comments? Please leave them below. I’d love to hear from you.

How To Finally Start An Online Business In 2021
Your Business Fairy Godmother with wand and text that says Want To Start An Online Business
Want to start an online business in 2021?

7 thoughts on “How To Start An Online Business – In A Nutshell”

  1. Okay, where was this post back when I was starting my business!?? Seriously so helpful. I wish I had read something like this before getting started on my journey. It was such a trial and error kind of experience. It was hard to decide where to start and to know what all needed to go into my online business. I love how you broke all of the steps down and included some much-needed recourses. Thank you!

    1. Hi Lyssa! I’m so glad you enjoy this post. All that trial and error right?!? I remember how overwhelming it was when I first started my online business, there are so many things to do, and I was going from here to there and everywhere and I felt like everything took forever! I wanted to make it easier for everyone else starting out, so they have a roadmap. 🙂
      Deanna Castro recently posted…How To Start An Online Business – In A NutshellMy Profile

  2. Hi Deanna,

    Thank you for this awesome guide. 🙂 I am not really a social person so I haven’t thought of reserving my social media handles yet – but who knows about the future! I’ll work out reserving my Tiktok because that seems to get better traction for some people compared to YouTube.

    Also, now that you mentioned it, I think it’s a good “side income” too. You look for famous sites and see what social media they are missing. Then you get the social media handle. They might buy it from you in the future. 🙂 LOL.

    1. Hi Pitin!

      Thank you so much for your comment. Yes definitely reserve that Tiktok because you could really blow up on there, it’s like YouTube was years ago. It’s definitely the hottest growing social media platform right now.

      I’m not the most social (media) person either, I’m more of a long-form content kind of gal, but it really does help you grow, so I focus mostly on one or two and just have my name reserved on the rest.
      Deanna Castro recently posted…How To Start An Online Business – In A NutshellMy Profile

  3. Starting an online business can be a great way to supplement your income and have more control over your work schedule. By starting a side hustle, you can make extra money while you continue to pursue your main career goals. There are a number of online business models that you can use to get started, so find the one that fits your personality and skillset best. With a little planning and effort, you can start your own online business and have some extra cash flow in your pocket.

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*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you purchase any of the products at no additional cost to you.
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