Figuring out how to create an online business can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be.

Many entrepreneurs spend their time coming up with an idea, bringing that idea to life, and creating a brand around their newly formulated product or service. They then spend a large amount of time and money marketing their idea to position themselves as a trustworthy supplier to their target audience.

If you choose this method it can be difficult, expensive and time-consuming. It also requires a lot of trial and error to find a market who is truly interested in your product.

Create an Online Business the Smart Way

Thankfully, there is a better way (especially if you are a coach or consultant). What if I told you that you can find your target market before you even create your product?  No matter what you’re selling, building an audience is always easier than marketing a product after you’ve created it.

Content Marketing Institute’s founder Joe Pulizzi said it well in this Forbes interview,

“The idea is that if you build your audience first, you’ll be able to sell them almost anything. Instead of starting up the traditional way, we think there’s a better way to do it.”

And he was right. By creating content first and building an audience around it, Pulizzi launched CMI’s revenue from $4.3 million to more than $10 million in just two years.

Start a Blog, Create an Audience

Sharing useful content on your blog is a highly efficient and cost-effective way to build an audience who is genuinely interested in what you’re selling before you even begin to sell it.

What are the biggest perks of a content-first approach to starting an online business? When you use this approach, you can:

  1. Begin building your audience before the product or service is available
  2. Look at statistics from your blog to understand what people want and give them more of it
  3. Offer your audience freebies and take their email address in return
  4. Ask your followers directly how they think you can help them and voila! You have a product with an audience ready to buy it.
  5. Earn a commission by promoting and/or selling other people’s products if you don’t have any of your own just yet

Build Your Online Business Around Your Audience

Creating a blog and sharing your expertise will build your audience over time and give you the business advantage of knowing what your audience already wants. When you write blog posts, go live on Facebook, make YouTube videos or webinars for your audience, you are creating a natural ecosystem of people who are interested in what you have to offer.