Over the past few years, we’ve had the privilege of interviewing, creating content and collaborating with literally hundreds of successful entrepreneurs from all over the world. Whether for blog posts, YouTube videos, and even online courses that we’ve created, these entrepreneurs have generously shared their insights to help our community of entrepreneurs and online course creators succeed.
Arianna is a co-founder of The Huffington Post, author of the recent New York Times best-seller The Sleep Revolution and recently stepped down as Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post to pursue her new wellness startup, Thrive Global, which will offer wellness trainings and workshops on stress reduction. Here's her business advice for entrepreneurs who want to start a business for the first time:
This is one of those online marketing tips that should be a given but some businesses still don’t have a Google My Business account. When you search for your favorite restaurant on Google there’s a bunch of information that comes up on the right hand side of the search results page. It displays the businesses’ address, phone number, hours of operation, photos, questions and answers, and even customer reviews.
If you are a software developer of course the internet is your strongest marketing platform. There is a large market for software on the internet. All you need to do is to look for a task in the IT world and then build a software to help simplify the task. For example; you can develop a software that will help people manage their clientele base (CRM software), you can develop software that will help people manage their payrolls, accounts, online files et al.
For example, many HubSpot customers will use Excel for exporting and supplementing data from their HubSpot account. It’s through advanced and personalized lead generation, qualification and nurturing that they can then funnel the right visitors to their marketing automation software. How can you go outside of your product’s direct niche to find related topics and pain points your audience cares about?
If you’re a skilled worker in a specific niche, like marketing, design, or software development, there are specialty marketplaces that cater just to you. These are amazing places to make money online as you know that the people visiting them are looking specifically for the skills you have. Check out places like 99Designs or Dribbble for designers, Cloudpeeps for marketing and SEO professionals, and TopTal, Crew, or Gigster for high-level software developers. Once you've built up your development skills, you can begin building a brand for yourself as a higher-value consultant and start charging brands for larger projects like implementing an entire WordPress security overhaul or migrating a website from http to https.
Working hard is important, and you might not have the chance to rest every day when you first start out, but it is important to know when you are overworked. Many people who buy from youth businesses do so because of the youthful component of what they do, a component built on energy and a fascination with everything they are learning. That energy and fascination can burn out very quickly if you are not well rested and ready to go. This is not to say that you should slack off, but that you should know when you are at a limit and celebrate progress when it occurs.
Blogging is something that requires patience, persistence and discipline. It may mean writing everyday for over a year before you really start to see any money from it. There are exceptions to the rule, but from my dealings with other bloggers, it seems to be pretty common to spend one or even two years building your blog, your brand and your authority, before making any serious amount of money.
Find a profitable niche. Starting with your interests, write down as many niche ideas as you can. Think about topics people might search online. Ideas include passions (like surfing or body building), fears (like spiders or speaking in front of crowds) and problems (like getting out of debt). Do keyword research to see it others are interested in the topic. Find out if a domain name is available that matches the keyword 100 percent. 
If you’re looking for digital marketing blogs written on the forefront of the search engine industry, look to the leading-edge editorial team over at Search Engine Land. SEO and search marketing news breaks so incredibly fast, it’s amazing how Marketing Land’s sister publication keeps up with the volume and pace. Every Google algorithm update, every important change to how we calculate SEO ranking is delivered in an elegant and user-friendly news hub. Founded by search industry leaders Danny Sullivan and Chris Sherman, Search Engine Land also delivers their must-read news in one of the best digital marketing email newsletters you can sign up for.
4. Locate your downloads folder and clean it out regularly. Whenever you download something from the internet it will be saved in your “downloads” folder. Many people don’t know that and they can never find what they’re trying to download. So they end up downloading 50 copies of the same file unaware that they are all being saved to their computer.
When it comes to organic search keywords, there is sheer value at the top. Considering that roughly 40 percent of people click on the first search results and that the first page accounts for some 91 percent of the search share, appear organically at the top of Google's Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) is something that is lusted and longed for by the world's foremost online marketers.
And in the new economy you can achieve financial independence on your own terms. You have the power to be as successful, perhaps even wealthy, as you want to be. This is a key insight for any entrepreneur, and a driving force in my own life. Owning my destiny, particularly my financial destiny, is scary at times — but it’s also empowering. Use the fear to power yourself to new heights.
Online reviews rank in search engines, thus helping your business to rank higher as well. Online customers tend to choose those products and services that were reviewed by other buyers, which grows the reliability of your brand automatically. Reviews can also encourage the web users to take a specific action, like placing an order or checking out details about your offerings.
Research other listings in your city on AirBnB and see what the going rate is for a place like yours. You could also just rent out a private room as well or even a bed in a shared room. In fact, that's how AirBnB got its start. However, you might find it hard in the beginning without reviews, but as long as you take really good care of your guests and provide a lot of value, the reviews will eventually come rolling in.
That's one of the coolest digital marketing ideas to use social media in your online strategy. Gone are the days when social media was used just for fun. Social media platforms have become the indispensable elements of the online marketing strategies of the majority of the modern-day brands. By means of social media channels, you can connect, chat, and stream your daily activities right from your smartphones. Using social media channels, you can keep in touch with your customer 24/7, which provide you with the endless opportunities for your own business.
If you offer freelance services or have a physical services business, then creating a blog is a must. On your blog, you can write about the services you offer and how they will benefit your clients. Importantly you can add a ‘Services’ page, outlining the services you provide, what they include, and any other important information potential clients may need. This is an effective way to promote your services, generate leads, and increase your revenue.
This is the last yet not the least effective online marketing tip on this list. Using Google maps you can grow your business visibility to a great degree. In the digital age, businesses are being found straight from the screens of smartphones. Simply type in the name of your brand in Google search, and you will be provided with a map that reveals how to find the best route to the necessary location
Canva’s blog started out as a hub for graphic design ideas and advice, but it has since evolved into an all-inclusive branding, social media, marketing, and design blog. As you can imagine, Canva takes visuals and design to the next level with their content, so it’s easy and enticing to consume. A great read for anyone looking to fine-tune their branding, design, and visual content knowledge.
Okay, it can be rather difficult to make a living solely from this but it’s a great place to start if you’re planning to build your own mystery shoppers’ army. Customer experience is one of the biggest obsessions of online and offline retailers, so there’s great potential here! Take a look at some of the existing platforms like Mystery Shopper and Secret Shopping.