steps.jpgIn truth, having a web-based business isn’t difficult.

What’s difficult is getting really clear about who you are, what you do and who you do it for. The problem is, there are tons of approaches for doing this which sometimes leads to confusion. Do I need to write a business plan? What about vision? Etc. The questions are many, but the answer are endless.

Of course, once you’ve answered the questions about your business, you have to ask a whole other series of questions around marketing. What system? What mediums? How best to reach our target audience? Etc. This can lead to even greater confusion, frustration and waste of time and money than the business development quesitons.

This whole process can be really big. That’s why I’m always looking for ways to simplify it. Because, really, developing and growing a business isn’t as hard as we make it. Basically, we need to create a compelling service – one that solves a problem that people need solved. Then, we put our service in front of the people who have the problem. That’s really it.

So it’s really very simple – especially with the internet.

That’s why I was excited when I found Matt Cutts‘ 3-step process to building up a really good site (read: business). Take a watch:

Matt Cutt’s 3-Step Process

  1. Create a compelling service – spend the time to create something people can love.
  2. Start a blog – get links and engage in conversation.
  3. Smart marketing – SEO and have something interesting to say.

Pretty simple, right?

So if I was taking Matt’s 3 steps and putting them in my language, I’d say:

  1. Create a service, you love, that solves a problem that needs solving. What are you good at? What do you love? What is the need? Bring these three questions together and you’re on your way.
  2. Start a blog – and learn how to use it. First write, and write often. Join in the conversation on other blogs immediately. Learn about linking and link often. And really learn how to use one of the social networking sites. You can get to the others later.
  3. Get the word out and be authentic – Matt says if you use WordPress, much of your SEO is handled for you already. I’d say 80%. The other 20% is in the details. So worry less about SEO in the beginning and more about the quality of your content. And have something interesting to say – but say it in your way. Be a real person because it’s people that people want to do business with.

So if it’s this easy, why don’t more of us do it? What gets in the way? And why do we make it so difficult?

What do you think?

(note: image, Joe Walking Up The Steps from on Flickr)

Reader Interactions


  1. Michigan SEO - Terry Reeves says

    Considering my business is SEO, it can be hard for me to sometimes define who my market is. My services can be used by any business on the Internet but I find certain sized businesses are looking for something a little different when they research SEO’s and Search Marketing services.

    I have chosen to concentrate on the largest market for me which is small business. Unfortunately, these businesses also tend to know the least about SEO and everything involved. So, much of my “work” involves education, which is something I enjoy doing.

    Teaching someone something is a great deal more satisfying than just selling a service. Teaching requires the development of a relationship which can pay dividends well into the future.

  2. Dawud Miracle says

    I would agree. I get far more from teaching my clients than anything else I do for them. And it’s the relationship that drives that.

    With the advent of the internet, I look at niche marketing differently. Rather than thinking in demographics and even psychographics, I think in problem/solution. In other words, you can think of your target market as being anyone whose SEO problems you can solve. It lets the people come to you who you can help – regardless of where you find them.

  3. communicatrix says

    The “why not”, I think, can be summed up by two things:

    First, we get hung up on one area or another, depending on what our weaknesses/strengths are. I have no problem blogging or talking about cool stuff b/c it comes to me easily and I love it. I’m HORRIBLE at figuring out what thing it is I have to sell b/c I was born without the business gene.

    Second, while it’s a great list, it’s really compacted. For GTDers, these are projects that would be comprised of tons of sub-projects and even more actions.

    I guess it boils down to this: simple ain’t easy. Most of us need a lot of help at some phase/step. Plus, let’s face it, life is constantly intruding, so keeping one’s eyes on the prize, as it were, can be difficult. Again, help helps here.

    Fortunately, my 2008 paradigm–Help is everywhere/so ask for it, dumbass–is proving useful here!

  4. April Groves says


    I completely agree…but, I’ll tell you… When I present the blogging idea to people I know, the writing aspect scares most of them to death. I hear “But I can’t write” more times than I can count. My best counsel is for them to try writing the way they talk. It goes right to the heart of authentic. But, if you have other coaching suggestions to this block, I’d be all ears.

  5. Dawud Miracle says

    It’s compacted on purpose. I think if we begin with a simple structure, it opens the door for us to even begin asking the question. Then, once we’re in, we can take on the details of having a business.

    Yet so many people get ahead of themselves here. Figure out what you love, what you’re good at and how it can serve people – moreover, how it can solve a problem they face. We all have that capability. We all do something well that can help others. That’s the foundation of business. But it begins with knowing yourself.

    But can they talk? Can they communicate? Do enjoy it? Well, writing is little different than talking. I’m writing just as I would speak to you directly if we were on the phone right now. If you can talk, you can write.

    Everyone can write! It’s just we have to get out of the standards forced upon us during our education. That’s when most of us were told we couldn’t write. My teachers said that in junior high – and look at me now.

    But that’s where blogging is different. Blogging is about your individual way of communicating. It’s not about perfect sentence structure and beautiful prose. I write pretty average, if you ask me. Yet I know that I can communicate. So I focus on that.

    People just need to get over an unrealistic fear that was given to them. It’s not theirs – at least not until they believe it about themselves. And the great thing about belief is that it can be changed.

    Sure. Without a doubt. And if you find what really moves your heart, I see it as a labor of love. Hard work – definitely.

  6. lei says

    Thank you for the information. It is simple yet precise. You are right, one needs to create a buzz about his product to let it be known to the public.

  7. Dawud Miracle says

    Dining Room,
    I think you’re right. Yet if you ‘get it right’ it’s that much easier to market yourself. Much of marketing success comes from clarity around who you are, what you do and who you do it for.

  8. Home Recording says

    I think that the main reason why most blogs stay as non starters, even when they have got them up and about, is the amount of time that it takes, if you are serious about it. Most bloggers keep one foot in a job and the other in a blog hoping that the latter will eventually get them off the job. I do not think that this is a workable proposition, unless you are willing to sacrifice a lot of family and sleep time,which in any case is counterproductive for good quality blogging.

    The trick is in taking the plunge. And that Dawood, takes a lot of courage. The known enemy is a better proposition than an unknown friend!

  9. Dawud Miracle says

    Absolutely. You’d be amazed how many people I know who spend lots of time and money creating a website then never put the further effort into using it to grow their business. It doesn’t have to be that way, does it?

    Home Recording,
    True. And I’m not just talking about probloggers, though. I don’t consider myself a problogger, for instance.

    I’m a business owner who blogs to promote my services (and soon, perhaps, products). And my blog has created tons of business. The key is to find your focus, your passion, and get started. And for some that will mean staying in a job while they build their business. Others already own business and are getting into blogging. So I think it depends on the need and the approach.

  10. Rob says

    Thanks for sharing this info.

    I don’t think Matt said anything ground-breaking, but for a start-up company having limited funds a wordpress blog is definitely a step in the right direction.

    I do think it needs taming slightly though with pagination/duplicate content problems. That said an seo plugin can deal with most of this, along with a well written robots.txt file.

  11. Dawud Miracle says

    Couldn’t agree more. What Matt said isn’t ground-breaking…unless you have a business and aren’t doing it. Business will forever be about visioning, planning and execution. The web and social media are just the latest vehicle.

  12. Admission Essay says

    Developing your own web based business is easy but I believe the main drive in making it successful is yourself – do you want a webbased business whereby you’ll spent countless of hours behind the computer screen?

    I chose yes 🙂

  13. Dawud Miracle says

    I think everything comes down to a choice. And the choice most often is do I want to do what it takes to be successful.

    Sure, that’s part of marketing.

  14. Megan says

    Great Article on Web Based Business. Internet Business are getting much more reconization as being a viable solution to earning money. The read is easy and comprohesive for people to understand that may just be heading into looking at starting a home business

    Great Read I will be returning


  15. Dawud Miracle says

    Thanks. Having worked on the web for more than a decade, I find that the web is quite mature for developing and growing business. There’s much more potential still to be tapped.

  16. Dev's, Business web hosting says

    Well i guess you need more than 3 steps to start a good online business 😀 Here’s some of the stuff Matt Missed,

    1. A good domain name
    2. A good web host
    3. A good shopping cart
    4. A good online payment processor
    5. And a good business plan

    Cheers everyone 😀

  17. Pocket Pc Phones says

    I think those three steps are a good starting point. I think I would throw good research in there somewhere for good measure because there is nothing worse then someone who has a lot to say but don’t know what they are talking about.

  18. Michigan SEO Solutions says

    The first step to a successful online business is to create a well optimized website. This can be done through search engine optimization. You want your business to appear near the top of Google’s search results. If people cannot find your site how are they going to buy anything from it? A well optimized site will bring you qualified traffic and a jump start to your online business.

  19. PerfectMoney says

    In my opinion the first step to be successful blogging is to know “what are you passion Into “then link it to the center of the crowd online community.Social bookmarks probably fair for this and if that isnt usefull enough ,you could try Link building with having research first to your niche with google trends or keywords country and at the end, use long tail keywords as your future preferences to read what topic you should write at the future

  20. Shopping says

    Nice post…The steps to create a web based business is clear and interesting…It is welcomed by all because it is one of the biggest social media now…It is the great way to attract customers….

  21. Søgemaskineoptimering says

    Nice to know. I am trying and focusing on these three steps. But of course there are a lot more to do. Thanks for a nice post!

  22. David Jenyns says

    Hi Dawud,

    In my opinion the first step to create a web based business is to start with appropriate keyword research based on your chosen niche or business. You can use tools like Market Samurai and the Free Google Keyword tool. Then using one of these tools, identify ten to twenty keywords then proceed and do some on page optimization to your website.

    Next is to look for keywords that are driving traffic to your website or blog using Google Analytics. Look for keywords that are on page one but not yet in position number one. Then use these words as you start working on your link building activities.

    Last is to is do some analyze a specific keyword you want to rank for, also to find if it is a they’re high converting keyword.

    Overall, what matters is how we monitor and keep track of our online activities as we further promote our web based business. This will help us to fine tune our online strategies to create a successful web based business.


  23. Electrician Leeds says

    Hi, really very nice steps are presented by you here regarding to create web based business. I’m very grateful to you for these tips. These tips would help me also because I’m also planning to create my own web based business.


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