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How to start an online business – the straight truth

Want to start an online business? We'll show you how to generate a business idea, get traffic to your site, sell online (w/out being sleazy) and much more.

Ramit Sethi

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Alright, today is the beginning of an entirely new chapter of IWT. I’m ready to finally talk about the #1 REQUESTED IWT TOPIC OF ALL TIME.

What did I create that let me…

  • Share my experiences and the things I LOVE with the world, on my terms (being authentic and never watering myself down)
  • Live a FUN lifestyle where I can travel, meet amazing people, and tell ridiculous stories/jokes (since I have no boss)
  • Explore all kinds of interests, not just locking myself into 1 job with 1 job description
  • A flexible schedule and the freedom to do this AUTOMATICALLY, since I’ve built systems that help people and generate income (even when I’m sleeping)
  • And while helping people, I can build a rich life to fund the lifestyle I want, like having apartments in SF and NYC, taking last-minute weekend vacations, and paying off my parents’ debt

In this post I’ll cover:

1. The truth about starting an online business

2. How to build something FUN

3. What I’m going to cover in the next 10 blog posts on online business

Let’s jump in.

How to start an Online Business – 3 things you need to know

It’s funny because for years, I’ve told you I didn’t want to teach you about online business. And in the next few blog posts, I’ll explain why now is the time to share this.

But as usual, we won’t be following the typical “expert” advice out there.

We’re not going to pray to the passive income gods and sell a $17 ebook and wait 9 months to earn $15.39. (If you want, I’ll share real stories of the passive income crowd — and how much they really earn — that will blow your mind.)

Bonus: if you just can’t wait to get started check out my Ultimate Guide to Starting an Online Business

And we’re not going to be sitting around a fire singing hymns and looking to heaven for inspiration and motivation. You know, things that make us feel good but actually don’t create a solid, profitable online business.

We ARE going to learn the exact system I’ve used to start a successful online business — one that lets you take what’s inside of you and share it with the world, including:

  • How to generate an idea that will pay (using the deep psychological frameworks I’ve developed to launch successful product after successful product)
  • Advanced strategies for getting traffic
  • Proven online business models (and the truth about which popular models you should actually avoid)
  • How to sell online without being sleazy, even if you’re not a “natural” at sales
  • The exact systems to set up so your business works for you (and not the other way around)
  • Never-before-shared conversion secrets I discovered and perfected in the IWT lab

How do you know this stuff works?

BECAUSE YOU’RE READING THIS BLOG POST RIGHT NOW!

Who else gets you to read 5-page-long posts with jokes about Asians and crazy things my mom says? Who else maintains an internal testing library with hundreds of tested results?

That’s right. Your Surrogate Asian Father, Ramit.

And finally, after years of testing, I’ve come up with a way to teach it to you.

And I’ll show you how you can get results like this:

IWT Online Business Growth

Our revenue and product growth over the last few years.
Behind those are much deeper systems I’ve never shared.
But now I will.

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1. The truth about starting an online business

In the next few blog posts, I’ll be sharing REAL SALES NUMBERS, including actual conversion rates from IWT. Nobody outside of my small team has ever seen these before.

But you will.

Why? Because I want to show you the truth about starting a successful online business. Unlike the unscrupulous marketers whose entire business is creating ebooks about creating ebooks, I’ve spent years teaching core topics of personal finance, careers, negotiation, and psychology.

And quietly, along the way, I’ve been building a business that gives away 98% of my material free…but still allows me to build premium products and charge premium prices. Why do students keep coming back? Why do they buy at a rate 1,235% higher than prospects?

I’ll share how I do it — and how you can, too.

2. How to build something FUN

When you crack the code of starting an online business, you can take what you love, bottle it up, and share it with the world — automatically — for years to come.

This isn’t drudgery. Imagine a life built around doing what you love.

LOOK AT MY FACE!!!

dancelarge

The only known photo in existence of me dancing.
(Btw, this was taken over a 3-day weekend where my business automatically generated tens of thousands of dollars. Yeah, I’ll show you how. If you’re good.)

.

There’s no substitute for the joy of sharing your passions with the world.

Here, look what I mean.

This is a behind-the-scenes video of the Oscars. You’ll see the director giving second-by-second instructions as Cuba Gooding Jr. gave his famous speech.

What do you notice?

HE LOVES WHAT HE’S DOING!!

This guy is a true master at his craft. And all the work, all the passion, all the years he’s put into this, the amazing team supporting him — they come to a crescendo at this moment. He’s truly in the zone.

Think about how it would feel to have the respect of your friends, your parents, your girlfriend/boyfriend, even complete strangers, when you launch something and get your first email: “Wow, this is amazing. Thank you for creating it.” And you see that they cared enough to actually pull out their wallet and pay you for something you created for the world.

paymentcropped3

This $690 payment came while I was eating a late lunch on Friday.
My systems handled the marketing, sales, even customer support. All automatically.

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It’s the difference between being a CONSUMER and a PRODUCER.

It’s the difference between reacting to what life throws at you versus actively building the life you want to live.

A lot of us are ready to make that change. We’re willing to put the work in if it means we’ll get a result from it. Not a couple pennies, or a pat on the back, but REAL results.

You can. It’s not a pipe dream. It’s possible, and I’ve been quietly documenting how to do it for 10 years. Now it’s time to share that playbook with you.

3. What I’m going to cover in the next 10 blog posts on online business

We’re going to move fast and cover a lot. And along the way, I’m going to ask you some tough questions.

For example, a lot of you claim you want to start an online business. So why haven’t you? Anyone can talk about what they “want” to do. Are you serious or are you just waiting for “some day”?

Oh, you wanted me to comfort you while stroking your hair and singing you a bedtime song? Maybe I’m projecting with the stroking hair thing, but do you see me posting inspirational quote boards? I didn’t think so.

We move fast and we move aggressively. If you don’t like that, sorry, but I refuse to pander to the lowest common denominator and give you BS advice that makes you feel good (but produces no measurable results).

If you choose to keep reading this blog, here’s what you’ll learn:

  • The best tactics on going from zero to launch. I’ll share the data-driven insights of how we go from NO IDEA to a profitable idea…then package it up into a mouth-watering offering…then sell in a transparent, authentic way. What technology do we use? How do you take a $97 ebook and generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue?
  • Automatic systems. Then do it again and again…month after month….automatically? How do you know when to hustle vs. when to build systems? How do you build traffic and sales that don’t depend on you being in front of your computer 24/7?
  • Mental barriers to starting an online business. Why do so many of us dream about starting an online business — even reading Seth Godin and Lifehacker — but we haven’t done it yet? Is it possible there’s more holding us back than just wondering what blog software to use and where to find an idea? What would happen if we could master our inner psychology?

For now, we’re going to cover the thorny issues of starting a business. Where do you come up with an idea? How do you get people to actually visit your website? Why would anyone pay attention to you when there are hundreds of other competitors? And once you find that idea, how do you package it and price it and systematically market it in a way that sells once, twice, and for years to come?

I mentioned this won’t be a cakewalk. In exchange for me sharing these numbers, conversion tactics, and frameworks with you, I’m going to make you work.

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