Readers' Corner

Steps to Start an Online Publishing Business

Online publishing is big business; it’s only natural that you’d want a piece of the pie. Creating content on the internet can generate income and give you a personal platform to showcase your writing work.

The digital publishing market is worth over $41 billion and is growing fast. Learning how to do it successfully in order to create a sustainable business is a challenge, and we’re here to help.

We’ve got the five steps you need to take to create your online publishing empire.

Choose your niche and business model

What are you going to publish content about? This is a big decision that needs to be made at the very beginning – it’ll dictate everything from your URL to your branding and everything that comes next.

It’s a good idea to stick to what you know. Look at what you can build expertise in and what you might already be known for. A baking influencer on Instagram is probably going to choose to publish content about baking, for example.

The way you will make money is also vital to pin down. You can monetize your online publishing with:

  • Affiliate links selling products linked to your niche;
  • Ads served on your content to your site visitors;
  • Your own products, merchandise, and online courses.

Choose your technology

There are lots of different options when it comes to the technology your online publishing company will use. Get the foundations right, and your business will be scalable and sustainable.

You need to choose where to build your website, with some of the most popular options are:

  • WordPress;
  • Squarespace;
  • Wix.

Having a site built from scratch is also an option, but this will come with high maintenance costs.

Other technology you need to consider include payment processing so you can collect and bill for payments, a VPN application to keep your online business secure, and a customer management tool.

You next need to create your website with all the tools you’ll need to start making money.

Each of these sites can be used by beginners – if you’re prepared to learn – or you can pay someone to create your online publishing site and even show you how to maintain it in the long run.

Identify your audience

Your customers are the most important part of your business – this is how you make money, after all!

Create a customer avatar by asking yourself questions like:

  • Who will be interested in the content I publish?
  • What products and services are they interested in?
  • Where do I find my ideal customer? Instagram, LinkedIn, search engines?
  • What problems can I solve for my customers with my content?

The more you know about the people you will sell or advertise to, the easier it will be to find them and connect with them on a valuable level.

Launch your site

After you’ve got your bases covered, it’s time to get out there and tell the world about what you’re doing. It can be super scary to put yourself out there but it’ll be very rewarding, too.

You need to tell your audience what you’re doing and why your content is going to solve their problems. Reach out to your audience through the social media channels they use and offer valuable content.

You can also run paid adverts for your online publishing business to bring in a wider audience. This can include adverts on social media and through ad networks like Google. It can be tricky to get right but the returns you see should be clear.

Grow your team

By the time your site is launched, you’ll have recognized how big a job it is to run an online publishing company.

It’s ok to need help, especially in areas that you may not be an expert in. Consider hiring a virtual assistant, a social media manager, or a media buyer to free your time to do what you’re great at in your business.

As you grow your team, make sure you build out solid processes to keep on top of the way things work. Using a project management tool and setting up a strong communication tool from the beginning will mean your business can grow without too many pain points.

Launching an online publishing business

It takes courage and conviction to start an online publishing business. Give yourself a solid beginning by planning exactly what you want to do and, importantly, how it will generate your income.

Get the technology right from the beginning, connect with people who need what you’re selling, and you’ll be well on your way to growing a business with a team to support you.

Develop a Marketing Strategy

Once your online publishing business is up and running, it’s important to have a solid marketing plan in place to help you reach your target audience. Some key elements of a successful marketing strategy for an online publishing business might include:

  • Creating a social media presence on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to engage with readers and promote your content. Utilize social media platforms, particularly Instagram marketing tools for promotion.
  • Running targeted advertising campaigns on social media or search engines to reach new audiences.
  • Building an email list to stay in touch with your subscribers and promote new releases or content.
  • Participating in virtual events like webinars, podcasts, or online book clubs to connect with potential readers and build your brand.
  • Collaborating with influencers or other publishers to expand your reach and network.

By developing a comprehensive marketing strategy, you can increase your visibility, build your brand, and grow your online publishing business over time.


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