Starting an Online Business? Get Free Help

Are you thinking about starting an online business? Most people get frustrated and give up on the idea because the information out there is overwhelming and confusing. It's like an endless rabbit trail of "join this" and "buy that".

If you have no idea where to start, or you're pulling your hair out with all of the dead ends you are coming up with in your research - dont feel bad. You're not alone.

It's unfortunate there isnt more straightforward advice or free help out there, or that it isnt easier to find, because starting an online business is the absolute best thing you can do. I know because I have been working from home for more than 10 years now, and the opportunity online is just getting better every year...

If you're sincerely interested in starting an online business yourself, meaning you're not just looking and truly want to start making money online, I'm going to give you the opportunity of a lifetime: legitimate free help.

No tricks. No cost. No rabbit trails.

Think carefully about what you need to know most, and post your question for me in the comment box below. I will select the best questions, and answer them in full in a new post here on ClickNewz. If your question is chosen, I will email you with the link to that post.

Just to be sure you dont miss any of the posts in this series, scroll up and subscribe to ClickNewz by email - you'll see the blue box in the right sidebar towards the top of this page (it says "sign me up!"). That will send you an email on Monday mornings, with the newest entries here at ClickNewz.

This Q&A will benefit us both - and everyone else who is searching for answers. As it stands now, most websites you come across when you search "starting an online business" are cluttered with confusing advertisements and trying to sell you something you dont even know if you need.

My goal is to grow my readership, and to reach more people that want to begin working from home. I do that by writing helpful tips, sharing creative ideas and talking about legitimate opportunities to make money online.

I am successful at it already, being in my 12th year of working from home as I write this. I have a number of websites that I manage from my home office, while being home with and for my family at the same time. I've helped thousands of others achieve the same success through my blog, forum and weekly newsletter.

Along the way, I've heard hundreds of stories from people who got sucked into bad deals or lost thousands of dollars in online scams. Knowing what I know, and having such a positive experience with internet business, it really bothers me that this still happens.

The problem is the information that comes up when people search. I already rank #1 on Google for "learn internet marketing" and "starting a free online business", and one of my goals is to continue to reach people through popular keyword phrases on the major search engines.

If I can put accurate, helpful information in front of the people that are searching for it, that will keep more people from wasting valuable time - or worse: their hard-earned money.

If you would like to help, link to this post. You can put a link on your website, blog about it, put the link in your signature file at discussion forums, mention it in a MySpace bulletin, share it with your friends, etc. The more people that link to this post, the better it will rank in the search engines. Which means more people will find this post, instead of a possible scam or tons of ads.

Here is the link to use:

Thank you for that - together we can make the web a better resource 😀

I look forward to getting your question about starting an online business, and helping you by giving you some real straight-up answers & advice. All you have to do is type your question in the Leave a Comment box below...

Next, see: Starting A Home Business? Read this...


p.s. Next you may want to see Starting a Free Online Business, also here on ClickNewz. Leave your question below, then scroll up and subscribe by email, then check out that link. That will give you a good start 😉

About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...more»


  1. Hola Lynn,

    It's a two part question:
    1. What is the correct way to write up a business plan? What are some free tools available to automate your business?

    2. Where on the web can you find the right people to outsource work to?

    The second question for me is due to having a short attention span, not that I'm ADD, and being bored easily with doing the same repetitive steps over and over.


  2. Ciao Lynn,
    my name is Nicola and i live in Italy.

    To me, the most unanswered question is: how to apply for internet marketing ideas, strategies, to-do-plans, etc. HERE in my country?

    There is a real "gap" between the rules that governs internet marketing for the us market vs the italian market...

    To make an example, using tools like Google Keywords Suggestion Tool, Google Insight, WordTracker, KeywordDiscovery to FIND A GOOD NICHE to start with, those tools are almost useless on my own language.

    Also, affiliate networks like CJ, Share-A-Sale or ClickBank they offer products for the english-native-speaking people, moreover most of the times "real products" are not shipped internationally...

    So, to me this is the most important question to answer before to start: how to apply for an online business OUTSIDE the USA?

    Thanks - Nicola

  3. As a follower of Thirty Day Challenge, I am familiar with the idea of building a network of "satellite" and blog posts around one's central site (in my case,, which is a WPD blog I have created to raise the internet profile of my sister's Tarot activities).

    What I am interested in is developing a strategy for doing this properly. I want to get people to tarotcardmeanings and thus, hopefully, from there to Amazon to buy my sister's product. To do that I have setup mini-sites and "feeds" on, for example, Squidoo and have posted articles to Ezine. But mindful of the fact that duplicate content can get you blacklisted, I probably do not spread the net nearly wide enough (and, as a result, am probably missing out on potential traffic).

    If you were setting up a network of satellite sites around a central money-page, which services would you use and in what order of importance and how would you go about posting new content to these so as to get the widest coverage, but without falling foul of the duplicate content prohibition.

    Sorry this is such a long post but if the issue were easy, I would have been able to describe it more quickly. If the question is not clear, please contact me at the email above.

  4. Hi Lynn

    I have been blogging for a couple of years now on Blogger but I would like to use wordpress as it seems to be more professional looking and flexible in presentation. Can you help me get on the right track to getting set up on WordPress?...Thanks.

    I am signing up for your newsletter and I allready follow you on Twitter and have your IMTW podcast in my Google Reader.

    Smiles :o)


  5. Hello!

    André here.

    It`s like you say, it`s easy to get information overload when you first is starting out. But you need to focus on one or maximum two things to start with. It`s important to stay with your plan and don`t jump into hype after hype.

    Start with setting up a 30-60-and a 90 day plan of attack. Once you do that you should break it down to weekly and daily goals. When you do that and stick with your daily tasks, you will discover you are 100% more efficent than you normally is.

    Great site you`ve got here Lynn.

    All the best,
    André T.

  6. Thank you Andre and I agree with you- but the problem I hear most is that people arent sure what tasks to do or what goals to have. So the purpose of this post is to answer those initial questions to help them find a starting point that can actually lead them in the right direction.

    Most of us learned the hard way. My goal here is to help people avoid that step (the wasted time & learning curve) when starting an online business.

  7. Well, the learning curve you cannot go without I think. It`s an ongoing learning curve. But I`m totally agree with you, starting an online business without any knowledge is like doing a puzzle blindfolded.

    However failing is a big part of our online success. It`s impossibile to avoid it. But you need to recover quickly.

    Like a chinesee proverb says:
    Failure lied Not In Falling Down, Failure Lies in Not Getting Up"

    To map out a plan a great tool is,.

    Start with your ultimate goal for the next 60 days, and work your way backwards from there. Break every task.

    Here`s how to map out a plan: E.g. Launch Ebook -> Warm Up JV`s -> Get JV`s -> Outsource sales letter -> Outsource eBook and website design -> Write Ebook -> Research eBook -> Idea.

    -And work out your plan from the idea.

    That`s the way to do it 🙂

    All the best,
    André T.

  8. Hi Lynn!

    I have an idea for a website I would like to create, but I don't know how to create the website (lack of tech knowledge). I am considering outsourcing it, but I wonder about confidentiality. How do I prevent the outsourcer from implementing for themselves what I'm hiring them to create for me?

    Should I just go through the growing pains of learning how to create a website myself? If so, where do I start?

    Thank you for all that you do for everyone else!!


  9. Bill Costello says

    Hi Lynn,
    Like some others I have 2 questions:
    1. When just starting an online business, do you think a good approach is to go into affiliate marketing and then develop some products in your own niche?
    2. If you had just sold your electronics business yesterday and we just about to get started in an online business, but you have all the knowledge that you now have about online businesses, what specifically would you do?

    Thank you,
    Bill Costello

  10. Bill Costello says

    Oops, the "we" in previous post Q2 should have been "were"

  11. Chuck Morgan says

    How about a list of people that YOU trust Lynn? Like maybe the top 5 or 10 people that won't steer your readers wrong. It seems the list of internet marketers is endless, confusing, and they all sound like they have the perfect way or tool. I'm ok paying for information or materials that have good value and that I can use, but I would like to avoid wasting time and money.
    I think IM is on the verge of another explosion with the condition of the economy. That's why I'm here and taking your advice. I subscribe to The Net Effect because of your recommendation and it has helped tremendously. Expensive, but worth every penny. I own 5 out of 10 spots on each of the first 3 pages of Google for my keywords. I would probably buy most anything you recommend as a result, because you don't try to sell me anything and seem to avoid a lot of pitfalls because of your many years in this. It would be wise to follow those one trusts, who have done what we want to do.
    I like Willie Crawford for example. Seems like a straight shooter, responded personally when I had a question and I consequently purchased a product from one of his affiliates. A good example, like you, of working the net, but still offering customer service.
    So, my trusted list...
    1. Lynn Terry
    2. The Net Effect
    3. Willie Crawford
    You could fill in the rest with your trusted list. That would be a big help.

  12. Rebecca Chellappah says

    It is really great that you are helping others a lot with your questions and so, Lynn and I have to admit that when I saw the title of this topic, I felt that you are professional in this field and willing to help others.

    I do have a suggestion for you, Lynn, that is, to collect as much responses as possible from people from all various walks of life. And then with each group of people, each would have a different thinking and mindset of what they want out of getting an online business.

    And with you being an expert in this field, you can easily (and probably outsource) put all the knowledge and experience (loads of it) to put starting a business online to suit each different mindset and groups of people. That way, not only do you get to help as much people as possible with your experience, you also get to gain a lot from both selling and helping each other people sincerely towards their own thinking.

    Thank you for putting up such a post and helping others.

    P.S. I think the amount of responses and sorting of responses would be overkill, outsourcing *might* help.

  13. Your forum is also a great way to get free help for your business!

  14. Hello Lynn,

    Great offer for the New Year. You are reaching out to interested internet entrepreneurs for Free while many Super Affiliates and Internet Marketers are currently launching their own products to make money on the internet. While these marketers are reputable and successful, it’s overwhelming to the newbie’s looking to begin an internet business.

    Ok, my question. Is there a product or source for the newbie’s to go and learn how to begin generating positive income on the internet? This product really needs to start from ‘A’ and end with ‘Z’. I am looking for a true step by step process that someone can teach themselves and then start generating income when taking action for what they learned.
    Maybe this isn’t possible, I have found some good products by successful internet marketers however it required buying other products to accomplish the implementation process. For example, a product walks you through PPC but it doesn’t walk you through Landing pages, which appears to be an important part of PPC and affiliate marketing.

    Thanks again for this post.


  15. walethia Aquil says

    Hi Lynn, I have many uestions, so I will link to the blog post. One questions I would like an answer too is this, how do you use bookmarking sites, to connect?

  16. Hi, Lynn:

    What are the necessary steps one should take to build a successful internet marketing businesss? What pieces are necessary to pull it all together and create a solid foundation for your business?

    Thanks, for all your help and invaluable tips and advice in 2008, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!


  17. Howard Moorey says

    Thanks for the opportunity to get involved Lynn!
    I think it is high time that the feminine approach takes charge of the internet, and beyond!

    What is/are YOUR recommended routes to research for a new Info Product? Just Search Engines?

    Thanks again - look forward to this resource building up over the next weeks and months.

  18. Peter Trapanese says

    Hi Lynn:

    I am so looking forward to your new topic here! I am sure it will be of great help to us all.

    Thanks for your forward thinking...


  19. Being new to the internet marketing world I would have to say my main question is how do I make my first dollar online?
    From that I would like to know what would be an action plan for creating a sustainable income like you have over the last 12 years.
    Thanks for the post and great reading.

  20. Hi Lynn,

    Thank you as always for all of your help - you are a true inspiration!

    My question is: how do I go about finding a niche? I have read and studied and know the steps to take AFTER I settle on a niche but am finding it difficult to find a niche as I do not have any particular talents or passions! I have also read about different steps to take to find a niche but so far nothing has appeared as viable.


  21. I love the idea that alot of internet marketers do where they find products they like (or dont like), pop up a site & write a review on them with an affiliate link. I know you have done this too.
    What I want to now is where you get your traffic. Ive heard Willie Crawford talk about how he can get a new site on the 1st page of google within a few days. How? There has to be something I'm missing. Ive had a site up for 12 years & it still goes back & forth on the SERPs.

  22. CrystalsQuest says

    My biggest question is:

    If you're starting out part time while your day job pays the bills, how long will it REALLY take (how many months/years, at how many hours a week) to get your business up to the point where you can go full time on it without stressing about paying the bills and losing lifestyle?

    As corollary to this, what are the critical skills you need to master to get your business to this point? If you can include links to good online learning sites for each of these that would be great.

  23. Hi Lynn,

    Biggest struggles:

    1.How to write good content for a web site?

    2. How does one decide where to focus his or her attention does one do affiliate marketing that focuses on getting others into affiliate marketing, does one focus on a information site that sells products as an affiliate, does one focus on drop shipping.

    There is so much information and it is very overwhelming, just when I think it is clicking I get side tracked again.

    Thanks for your great site and information.


  24. Hi Lynn,

    I'd like to see a post for the ultimate noob, a real from-the-ground-up how-to. Because that noob is probably me 😉


  25. Lynn, is it possible for a newbie in internet marketing to make a business of over $3000 a month consistently? Currently with a small amount of $100 per month.

    How can I go about doing it? After my intial success, I am swamped by various resources on the internet and however, have not gone on any direction to make a consistent amount of money online.

    Having various uncluttered knowledge about SEO, content, mini-sites, and backlinks is all good, how to place them all together to make a passive income model? Does it take consistent effort, trials and errors before success can be found? Or does it take a good guide to do so? Would the private brainstorming forum be a good place for discussions on making a passive income model website up first?

    Could you help a newbie to make a steady income online?


  26. 1. I could use help with sequencing tasks and actions. Discussion of what indicators that should drive tasks (ie. when to write more content vs. link building).
    2. I have a website that is just starting to make money, how do we get it to make "real" money?

  27. Hi Lynn,

    This is such a fantastic thing you are doing!

    As someone who has been around the block a few times myself, there is one burning question that I have always thought was left out of the books.

    If I am new to the Internet, and I have been buying all the books written by the "experts", how do I build this list they keep talking about selling to?

    Personally, I have started over again after taking a few years off. I have not started to re-build my list, but I know enough about what I'm doing to get my list built. But a total newbie would be lost! At least that has always been my thought of the!

  28. You certainly seem to have opened the floodgates here! Looking forward to seeing how you deal with all this - although there does seem to be something of a common thread about what steps one should take and in what order - which ones are important and which ones less so.

  29. Hi Lynn and Thank you,

    I want to take my website to the next level--that is, I would like to form joint ventures. I'm told that is where the real money is.
    Problem is, I don't really know whom to approach or how I would offer a jv being that I sell other people's products.

    I started ecommerce in 2006 and once my very expensive coaching program was over I have been going at it alone. SSWT has been a help, but I really wonder how much I can benefit as most of the posters there seem pretty advanced, as far as code, squeeze pages, lists, etc.

    As I am tech challenged, attempts to do things such as the Fast Cash Strategy and Newbie Easy Income Strategy have left me spending weeks of my time getting nowhere fast as well as feeling mighty frustrated. (Ask Christie or Stacy at Static Blogging, they can attest to this fact!)

    The one thing I have is my website. Any suggestions on jv's or other things you think I could do to make more money online would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you!
    🙂 Lisa

  30. I already know the facts of starting a website since I have one. I totally on my own started which is a part of which is a website I am a webmaster on along with a friend who is the creator of the website.

    I guess what I want to know is if I will be able to make real money off of these both websites and if so then how? What should I do to make this happen or is this not a good topic to have a website on that will make me money? Alicia Keys Media has been open a month and I've made around $2. Making $2 in a month is not going to sustain me. What should I do to make more money? Do I need to make a website on a totally different topic? Or are there things I can do with these 2 websites already?

  31. How much content do you need to create for a new niche website before you publish it? I want to publish my website but I want to make sure it has enough substance. Ten articles, 100? Or do you just bite the bullet and then work on it as you go?

  32. Where does one even get an idea for an online business. It's obvious to see all the benefits of working from home, extra income, etc.. but, where can one get help coming up with an idea?

  33. Lynn,
    Thanks for all of your help - you are really an inspiration.
    I have a couple of websites up along with a blog for each, I'm having trouble generating traffic and I seem to follow all of those bunnie trails that your talking about. I was about to unsubscribe from most of the Guru's email lists since I end up following their rabbit trails, and try to get focused on getting traffic to my PLR and Affiliate products sites. I'm also having trouble finding a niche that I know enough about although I've been in business for a long time I feel like the "jack of all trades, master of none"... Have you ever known that person who really works hard, studies and reads alot, but no matter how hard they try they never seem to go beyond their circumstances - thats me. I use some of those circumstances to drive me on, like my mother in law who doesn't believe in me, my boss who cut my wages because he doesn't think I'm worth what he was paying me, and several others. I BELIEVE I'm on the right track but can't seem to get through the wall. How long did it take you to get on your feet???
    Thanks Lynn - I think you are the genuine article and I can tell that you really care about people... ml

  34. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  35. Hi Lynn:

    You are truly a breath of fresh air when it comes to IM. Can we start from ground zero. I know I want to start a home business and the internet seems like a viable option. How do you research the ways there are to make a living online? Thanks for what you do for all of us,


  36. My question is how do you know how long to stick with a niche. Providing one is posting fresh content daily, When do you know to move on to something else.

  37. Hi Lynn,

    I was just about to email you with a question of my own, which I hoped you would turn into a blog post, knowing that you usually answer one person's question in front of everybody to help as many people as possible at once. Then, I found this thread, so...

    Picking a business model... this has me going round and round. Affiliate marketing, blogging, product creation, on and on.

    Is there a business model which doesn't require social marketing, article marketing, satellite sites, web 2.0, podcasting, video, etc?

    I don't want to be known. I don't want to be famous. I don't want to spend hours on Twitter. I don't want to spend all day working on something I get technically frustrated doing poorly. I don't want to have to write continuously about something I have no knowledge or passion about.

    When it comes to blogging, I'm in a course that teaches each little step about how to do niche blogging, with the idea of building 40 or 50 of them which bring in a few hundred dollars a month each. The idea being to learn how to do one, then replicate, then do periodic 'maintenance' on each one, which I assume means to write another post. This, to me, seems like drudgery and an organizational nightmare. I'm barely into this course and it's not costing me much, but truly the only reason I'm staying in it is to get the education to build the first one and see what happens with it, but already, I cannot for the life of me see down the road how I can do 40 or 50 of them.

    On the other hand, the person I'm watching lately that speaks mostly to my soul about blogging as a business is Yaro Starek. His business model is more doable for my life, I believe. He doesn't post every day, he posts about something he's involved in and loves, he builds a list and creates products to sell to them and runs a membership program (which I wouldn't care to do) and also affiliates for other people's products. "Conversion blogging", I think he calls it. I'm wondering if that can be done in a niche other than the 'newbie wants to make money' niche. The only thing I could possibly see writing about continuously is my life, my family, my principals, my opinions. Can I take a personal blog and do 'conversion blogging'?

    What about product creation? Between PLR materials and outsourcing, I can see producing products to sell in a JV kind of way. If a person (me) were to pursue this line could they avoid all the social marketing and strictly contain their efforts to building relationships with other people with lists of their own?

    Anybody reading this can tell, I'm sure, that part of my problem is 'taking action', but I don't want to learn every single detail of how to do every single thing. I want to pick a model I can keep up with and decide what my strengths are and what I hate to do and get someone else to do that... someone who enjoys doing that for money. (Which reminds me, just what can one expect from a VA, and are they all different insofar as what they provide?) I want to run a business, not a drudge factory. I want to make a decent living on my own terms and look forward to each day knowing that whatever content I put up is something I believe in and care about and maybe, just maybe, will lift someone else up and make their day and contribute to their lives.

    Well, maybe all this would have been better suited to an email after all. I apologize to all of you for ranting, but heck, maybe that's what I do best after all. Hey, can I make money online doing that? Now, maybe there's a blog right there... "GripesRus".com

    And to all a good night,

  38. Hi Lynn,
    Your are interesting indeed.I have spent hard earned money on online business start oppurtunities to no effect. I ended up LOST! I want to start with having my website first and then pick up but still it appears complex with so many marketers coming up to you with even strange concepts. Lynn,how do i actually run an online business from a start point?

  39. I am technology newbie though not in every word of it, i want to begin an online business this january starting with having a website (that is if you think it is important) and market propelled products,i know about this terms cos i read them on all of make money schemes i had purchased in the past but they seem to take me no where. I got info about you and your website and i am convinced .want you get me and alot others like me out there.

  40. Mike Gomez says

    Online business takes time and patience, a lot of people go into it thinking it's easy and will make money at once.

  41. Mike Murphy says

    Hi Lynn,

    I would think finding a hot market full of buyers would be step one.

    I'd like to know how to do that really well. If it fit in well with my be it but that isn't 100% necessary.

    Just because someone is super passionate about yak shaving it doesn't mean they should build a business around it.

    If market research shows that 9,000,000 people are searching Google for "yak shaving" each month and there are zero competing sites....go for it right?

  42. Hi Lynn
    Being new to the internet marketing world I would have to say my main question is how do I make my first dollar online?
    From that I would like to know what would be an action plan for creating a sustainable income like you have over the last 12 years.
    Thanks for the post and great reading.

    Any help will be very much appreciated
    Thanks so much

  43. I've been reading Clicknewz and Rosalind Gardner's ebook and I get really pumped up. Then I try doing all the keyword research and see if there is a market there that I can break into and it looks like there isn't a viable business model for anything I'm interested in. It's not like I'm into weird stuff - digital photography products, jigsaw puzzles, geneaology, things to help families take care of elderly parents... I guess I just don't understand when the keyword analysis says there is or isn't a market.


  44. Good Evening, I appreciate the info on your site. I'd really like to get started working ASAP, and have wanted to for years, however, I have NO clue where to begin, I don't know what type of business to start, or how to be an affiliate- nada! If you could just offer some guidance as to what types of things I can do and HOW, I'm more than willing to put in the time and effort.
    Thank you!

  45. i just launched an article directory, i would really like it to succeed, what is the best way to seek out article writers and get them to join and start posting articles?

  46. Steven St. Germain says

    Hey I would like to actually talk to you on the phone or in a chat if at all possible. Im 22 year old and super motivated to start my own business. Ive tried all the "get rich quick" things online and like usual "if its too good to be true..." well you know the rest. I am knowledgeable when it comes to technology and computer. I am ready to start my own business because I know I CAN DO IT..but I would love if you would give me some 1 on 1 guidance.

    Thanks, steven

  47. How do I decide what type of business to start? Should I choose something I love or something that is in demand?

  48. Hi Lynn,

    I agree with the idea of sign up for this, buy this, and so on. You can usually tell the people who are actually selling something of value - they do two things, usually tell you what they are selling you (rather than a fancy named product) and give you a sample of it, or some other useful free information, that is valuable by itself (much as you are doing here!)
    I actually sign up to a lot of the stuff, as it often gives me ideas for what to look into. I used to sit through a lot of it, now there is a time limit - if I am sat there for more than a minute and are none the wiser, I close and unsubscribe. They lost me.
    I think that the biggest thing with internet marketing is to make a start - for example buy a hosting plan, and a domain name, and make a start. You might get it wrong, but will learn alot along the way.
    My biggest challenge is to find the time - I need to outsource to get the volume of work done, but without the traffic, there's no income. Catch - 22. How do I get the articles, and get the backlinks, and still have time to sleep?! Good articles are one thing, but people knowing that they are there is another. I guess it just takes time, and we're a bunch of people these days who want everything to work immediately!

    I will most certainly have questions once I've worked through some of the sites I'm putting together, and will definitely come back and ask questions of you.

  49. i really need to get started with this online business my monthly salary is very poor. what do i need to do to get stated.

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