Tips for Becoming an Online Entrepreneur: Working as an Online Publisher
Today’s “I Want to Be” Series features Susan Osborne, mom to 4 year old Jake. Before launching her own business, She Builds a Business, she was a production manager for cable television shows on HGTV and Discovery. Find out how to connect with Susan at the end of this article.
How long have you had your business?
I launched SBAB officially in October 2012.
What led you to pursue it?
I have a real passion for entrepreneurialism. I’m also a chronic learner of all things web design, internet marketing, social media and accounting. I have a lot of friends who come to me for help on these various topics, so I decide to create a platform so I could help many new women entrepreneurs who are struggling with the same issues. I’m a renaissance soul, so I love pulling all of this information together in one tidy place! In addition, I’ve always had the dream of owning an online magazine, so SBAB fits the bill for me.
Are you full time or part time? If part-time, do you anticipate switching to full time?
Right now I am part-time, but I do plan to be full time in the near future.
How do you market your business?
I market SBAB through guest posting on other blogs, social media and word-of-mouth. I send a weekly tool to my list of subscribers, and I think they really appreciate that, so word spreads, which is really great.
What is your favorite part of the business?
My favorite part of running SBAB is helping other women accomplish their dream. Sometimes it’s the little things that can stop women from moving forward in their business pursuit. Something that may seem simple to one person might be a major stumbling block for another. My goal is for SBAB to remove those stumbling blocks and to give women entrepreneurs some support.
I’m starting to hear from people on my list who find the tools helpful, and I just love that.
What one question do you get most from people about your business?
I think marketing is always a hot button. How do you get subscribers? How do you get traffic? Blogging and growing a website and list is simple, yet very hard. It takes commitment, consistency and continually offering good value to your readers.
While that sounds simple, it’s often hard to do. I struggled with websites I’ve had in the past because the commitment wasn’t there. SBAB plays to my interests and strengths, so it’s been a bit easier for me to grow. It’s still a very young site, but I’ve made great strides simply because I care about the topic and I deliver good value to my readers.
What one myth or misconception do you want to dispel about the work you do?
I honestly have had to fight my own “gremlins” here. I think we often sabotage ourselves. My gremlins used to tell me that running a blog or website isn’t a “real” job and couldn’t possibly be a real money maker. I worried about what my relatives with stable jobs would think of me actually being successful at running my own website, and I think subconsciously I would weaken my efforts. Crazy what we do to ourselves to ruin our dreams.
But that’s simply not true. If you treat it as a business and have the right mindset and business model, then running a website can be a real business with very real income potential. Who cares what anyone else things about that.
I’ve overcome this thanks to lots of prayer and faith, but it takes strength. You have to believe in what you do.
What advice do you have for others who want to get into a similar opportunity?
There are a lot of “experts” in the internet marketing, blogging world that tell you how you need to do things. That used to overwhelm me and keep me thinking small because I felt I had do things a certain way.
For example, I am a renaissance soul, a scanner – I like to learn about a lot of different things. I had a coach tell me that I needed to hone in on ONE thing and be really good at that. Makes sense. But when I tried to do that, I squirmed and became very anxious at the thought of being an expert in a very narrow area. It just wasn’t me.
I finally decided that wasn’t what I wanted to do, and I created a full-blown magazine style website with lots of different topics. It works for me and hopefully for my audience. I’m able to commit to this model because it fits ME. It may not fit you, and that’s fine.
Play to your strengths – and make sure there is a need and want for what you are offering. Be uniquely YOU. Don’t get hung up in what other people are doing. I used to do that, and it honestly held me back for a long time. Don’t do it – be the wonderfully, quirky, unusual, beautiful you. Your audience will appreciate it, and you’ll thrive. Listen to your gut.
What is the first step?
GET STARTED. It’s that simple. You can only learn and absorb information for so long. At some point you need to sit down and write that first article or create that first product. Just take action and then adjust as you go. It will never be perfect.
What websites or books do you recommend for tips?
I love Carrie Wilkerson’s Barefoot Executive book. I’ve read it three times. I also follow Marie Forleo, Derek Halpirn (SocialTriggers.com) and Pat Flynn at SmartPassiveIncome.com.
To learn more about Susan, stop by her website, SheBuildsABusiness.com. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.