If you would have told me I’d be writing a blog post about how to grow your online business a few years ago, I would have thought you were crazy. When I started school at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition (IHN) in 2013, I had no idea how much my life was about to change. To say that this school changed the trajectory of my life is not an understatement.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only share products and services I have personally used and love. Disclosure here.
How it All Started:
Prior to registering for school I went through life with no real purpose or goal as to what I wanted to do. I went to a job I felt no passion for and earning that paycheque felt like torture. The thing is, so many people do this and I get it, not everyone needs to or can do something about it depending on their circumstances. Some people are fine working a job they don’t love and maybe they have something on the side that they do love doing. But for me, I felt lost for a long time. I felt like everyone around me had their lives figured out and I didn’t know why I struggled so much with my career.
So at age 29, I enrolled for school to learn more about holistic nutrition. I enjoyed cooking and creating healthy meals but beyond that I didn’t know that much about health and wellness. But IHN changed my life. If you want to read more about my journey into holistic nutrition check out part one over here!
How Much It Changed My Life:
Of course, I didn’t realize how much it changed my life until now, five years later, when I can look back and see it. If I didn’t go back to school, I never would have started my blog, my business and truthfully, I would’t be who I am today. I wouldn’t have made the relationships I did with friends that understand me better than some of my longtime friends.
How to grow your online business:
But as much as my life changed (and is still evolving), there are definitely some programs and tools that helped grow my online business. I wanted to share the things that I recommend because I know it can be scary when you start your own biz. I can still remember the day I graduated, I felt so inspired to just get started. But, I was so unsure of how to start and felt really overwhelmed with ALL THE THINGS I needed to do. I didn’t have any help in terms of financial support, or even just family members to look up to. No one in my family had ever run their own business and truthfully a lot of them didn’t understand why I was leaving a secure job to pursue something entirely different. So I had to learn all on my own how to run a business and also generate an income. Because a business without income isn’t a business, it’s a hobby.
If you want to know how to grow your online business, here are the programs and tools I recommend!
If You Want to Build the Business of Your Dreams:
It is HARD and confusing when you are just starting out in any business. If you are like myself and in the health and wellness world, then this program from Joy McCarthy is definitely for you. If you are into holistic nutrition, chances are you know who Joy of Joyous Health is. She is one of the biggest names in the industry with two (soon to be three) books under her belt. And she is actually just as sweet in person as she is online. But more than that, she is a boss! And with the launch of her program- The Joyous Health Business Program, she is showing you how to create the business of your dreams. This 12-week online course is ideal for those looking to gain practical knowledge about how to start their business.
If I am being completely honest, I wish Joy had this program out when I first started my biz. It would have saved me a lot of time and money had I completed her program. I love that she offers implementation weeks where you are to put into practice what you learned. Plus you get live weekly coaching calls with Joy where you can share your progress, wins and get much needed guidance. That sense of community is truly what you need when you are starting an online business, because trust me it can be really lonely all on your own.
If you are blogging and want to learn more about Pinterest:
If you want to learn how to grow your online business and you aren’t using Pinterest, I am going to ask WHY?! I know, Instagram is all the rage and it seems so easy to put all your eggs in the Instagram basket, but I am afraid to tell you- it’s kind of a waste of time. Sure, I love Instagram as much as the next blogger, but truth- it doesn’t bring in anywhere near as much traffic as Pinterest does. LIKE, not even close!
If you are like me and not sure how to use Pinterest to your advantage, it is a good idea to learn more about it. You can of course try and figure it out on your own, or take some free courses. But if you want to learn from one of the best in the Pinterest game, trust me, check out Melyssa Griffin’s Pinfinite Growth course. This online course will walk you through how to up-level your Pinterest game, create pins that covert and bring in a shit ton more traffic to your site.
My Pinterest Stats
Before starting Pinfinite Growth my stats looked like this:
April 2018: 116 followers and according to Google Analytics I had 63 sessions from Pinterest in the previous 28 days.
As of April 2019: over 670 followers, and according to Google Analytics I now have over 1,300 sessions from Pinterest in the past 28 days. And my monthly views on Pinterest have reached over 700k.
It is by far the number one source of traffic from ANY type of social media platform combined, although, Pinterest is a search engine not social media. The price on the course isn’t cheap, I know, but in my opinion, it is 100% worth it. I have seen my website traffic double and that is due in large part to implementing a Pinterest strategy.
If you want to kill it at Pinterest and Pin on Autopilot:
If you are serious about Pinterest and want to pin on autopilot and have everything scheduled accordingly, and trust me, you do. Then having a program like Tailwind is a game changer. Tailwind ensures that your pins are scheduled during the best time for your audience. It is 1000% worth the price, I wouldn’t be able to pin as much as I do if I didn’t have Tailwind. Tailwind is also more than just a tool to schedule your pins, it also offers in-depth analytics so that you can see which pins are performing well. It is also an official Pinterest partner meaning that it is not a third party app, so you don’t need to worry about it crashing, or causing issues.
You can try it for free to start (that is what I did) and I know you will be hooked after that. This is the only platform I pay for in regards to a scheduler and it is worth every penny. Plus you have access to Tailwind Tribes, a powerful way to share your own pins (grow your online business) and share others. Pinterest is after all, all about sharing.
If you are blogging and want to learn more about affiliate marketing:
When I first learned about affiliate marketing, I thought it sounded a little sleazy and I didn’t want to come off as someone who would sell anything to anyone just to make a dollar. I registered for Amazon affiliates and I’d slap on an affiliate link in a post and thought “ok, I’ll just wait and see what happens…” and you know what, nothing happened. Unless you have A LOT of pageviews, Amazon isn’t really paying out very much. I wondered what I was doing wrong and thought affiliate marketing just wasn’t for me.
The Affiliate Marketing Course
Then I found Michelle Schroeder-Gardner’s blog and was blown away with her transparency surrounding how she was KILLING it in the blogging game and the affiliate world. I started following her and purchased her program in May 2018. After completing her program, I learned how to make affiliate marketing work for me. I learned that there was way more to affiliate marketing than just slapping a link on my page. And after completing her course, I made over $1,000 in one month! I was blown away because all I did was share something I believed in and because of the cost of the program, the two sales that came from my link, I earned $1,000. Now, not every month had me earning that type of affiliate income. But I learned how to make affiliate marketing work for me and I can honestly say, the price of this course is definitely worth it. In fact I made back the money I put in after one month.
If you want to learn how to make affiliate marketing work for you and learn from someone who is making over $50,000 in affiliate income per month, check out Michelle’s course. I HIGHLY recommend it! In terms of monetary value, affiliate marketing is a great way to learn how to grow your online business.
If you want to kill it at Email Marketing:
An email list is one of the most valuable resources you can have. Building it takes time and effort but it is essential if you have an online business and it is something you own, unlike Instagram or other social media sites. Seriously, if Instagram were to disappear tomorrow, how can you get in touch with people that follow you?! If you want to start with the basics, you could use Mailchimp. Personally, I found there were limitations to using Mailchimp and so I only used it in the very beginning and then I upgraded to a paid program. For the first two years, I used Aweber. It served me well for the most part, however I switched last year to ConvertKit and I find it much more user friendly and intuitive. The customer support I have received from them has also been amazing. It was a learning curve when I first made the switch, but I soon got the hang of CovertKit and I am very happy with them. The features on CovertKit such as tagging and segments really helps to differentiate those on your list and helps you understand your readers. Check out ConvertKit here!
On my blog I do share affiliate links, however, I will never use an affiliate program or link to products unless I truly love the brand. I can never be paid for a positive review and do not collect a commission on any item I do not whole-heartedly love and support.
I hope this post has shown you how to grow your online business using some effective tools. Of course, you don’t need to (nor should you) invest in these at the same time. They are here as a resource and I used them over the years to help grow my online business.
If you have any questions about anything, let me know in the comments! What have you found to be helpful in growing your online business?