How to start an online business for free with Joomla?

How to start an online business for free with Joomla?

As you may know, I've imaginated a program built with Joomla to help the African women to get their financial freedom. This program is still pending because of the COVID but I've decided to share publicaly an example of what can be done.

The first problem is to imagine solutions that can be setup anywhere on the african continent. Not only in the very large cities but also in the small ones.

Read more about my African projects: How can we make it better?

The solution I've imagined here is pretty simple to run because it's only require an Internet access (cyber café). All the others parts of this solution are already existing and are free !

This solution is about creating a blog with Joomla and turn it into a revenue machine with Amazon. Now, I'll explain how you can make it happen.

How to start an online business for free?

There is a nice proverb which describes perfectly the answer to this question: small streams make big rivers.

And it's exactly what this is about. The idea is to generate an online income using Joomla (for the blog) and the Amazon Affiliate Program (for the business part). Oh I don't promise you will make thousands of euros each month but dozens or hundred of euros are completly possible here. What would you say if you could earn hundreds of euros from home?

Joomla, the most powerful CMS

Created 15 years ago and downloaded over 100 millions time, Joomla is the second most used CMS in the world. Available in more than 75 languages, this powerful CMS is maintained by a active international community. If you need help, there are some Joomla users around you, an online forum and some Facebook groups dedicaed to Joomla. With Joomla, you'll never walk alone.

To run your online business, you simply have to register (for free) here: launch.joomla.org and follow the steps. Joomla have everything you need to setup a nice blog and a secure contact form in minutes.

How to setup your Joomla website - AFUJ

Amazon, the benchmark for online business

If you want to start an online business, don't waste your time to build an e-shop from scratch. It's too costly to create and to promote. Fortunately, there are some "ready-to-go" solutions and one of them od proposed by the world leader of e-commerce: Amazon.

For context over the importance of getting involved with an online business, here are 10 facts about Amazon:

  • 9 out of 10 consumers price check a product on Amazon. (source)
  • 2% of Echo owners have purchased a product via Alexa. (source)
  • Amazon sells more than 12 million products. (source)
  • Amazon sells over 1.1 million home improvement products. (source)
  • 95 million people have Amazon Prime memberships in the US. (source)
  • $1.400 is the average spent by Amazon Prime members each year. (source)
  • FBA gives sellers a 30-50% increase in sales. (source)
  • Amazon shipped over 5 billion items worldwide in 2017. (source)
  • More than 50% of all Amazon sales come from third-party sellers. (source)
  • 80% of sellers also sell on other platforms outside of Amazon. (source)

How do the Amazon Affiliates Program work?

To be clear, your online business is simply a blog that links to products for sale on Amazon. You earn commissions on each sale coming from your blog.

The very first step is choosing a niche to write content about on your Joomla blog. Once you have your niche and setup your Amazon affiliate account, you simply look for related products to your niche to write about on your blog.

Step-By-Step Tutorial For Beginners in 2020 - Andy Hafell

You must be very familiar with your niche to write oftenly on it and to create a very strong and reliable connection with your readers. If they trust you, they will be more inclined to visit your Amazon links and buy the products you recommand them. Of course, you'll have to write dozens of blog post to drive a significant traffic.

When your readers click through Amazon linked products added in your blog posts, there is a cookie installed on their web browser. Normally, these kind of affiliate cookies stay active for 30 days, but with Amazon the cookie duration is 90 days. This long cookie duration means if a reader clicks through your blog’s link and purchases anything in 90 days from Amazon, you earn a commission on that item. The logic is that you are sending to Amazon high quality buyers who have already done their research and are ready to make a purchase.

With the average Prime member spending $1,400 per year on Amazon and $350 in the length of your cookie duration, this can be a pretty strong business model if you play it smartly.

Amazon Affiliates Program

Based on my experience, the key of the success is to focus on search engine optimization (SEO) to build up a strong foundation of organic traffic from Google. If you can produce regularly great blog posts to manage this strong organic traffic to your Amazon affiliate site, you will begin to generate steady revenue from commissions. This must be your first goal.

Go further and make more money

When I learned about Amazon affiliate blogs to prepare this article, I was really impressed by the income of some professional bloggers. However, you're not yet professionals and I will now reveal you a secret about the others profitable revenue streams that can be taken advantage of in addition to affiliate commissions on your Joomla blog.

Sponsored articles

Once you’ve get a significant traffic (let's say several hundred visits per month), you’ll start to get inquiries from people in your niche. For example, if you’re writing blog posts about creative hobbies with links to corresponding products on Amazon, people who are selling those products often begin to pick up on bumps in sales and tags on social media.
In my opinion, tagging these sellers on social media when sharing your new articles could be a very good approach to initiate a contact.

Once you’ve made contact with these Amazon sellers, you can begin to publish their sponsored blog posts on your blog. Setting up a relationship directly with sellers is easy and allows you to set up a baseline for monthly regular income. When you’re first starting out with a simple Amazon seller sponsorship, something like 100€ for 4 articles per month in addition to you Amazon commissions could be a good deal.

Display ads

In addition to the sponsored articles published on your Joomla blog and the sales commissions from Amazon, displaying ads is also a great source of online revenue.

To be very honest, Google Adsense is the most famous service about ads but not he best choice here. The ratio revenue/time invested don't worth the money. So, it's better to focus on something smarter and more profitable. In my experience, you can simply sell ad spaces to advertisers that reach you out. For example, if an Amazon seller in your niche is interested in sponsoring blog posts, you can up-sell him/her an additional display ads that you approve of. Once he/she sends you a display ad that doesn’t ruin the aesthetic of your blog, you can add it into your code directly with the Joomla native component Banners. Just be careful to publish only few ads on your website otheriwse your readers could be upset.

How to Use the Banners Component in Joomla - OSTraining

Conclusion

As you can see, this kind of business is extremely easy to start and profitable. If you can find a niche to generate regular monthly revenue with an healthy organic traffic through SEO, don't hesitate and give it a try. Keep in mind that it takes time to drive traffic, you must be patient and very persistence.

And if you're enough lucky to succeed (and I hope the very best for you), you can run several blogs and make more and more money. And why not spend your sponsored post income to pay for hiring writers? Once you have hire a writer to produce your blog posts and articles with links to the Amazon products, you can really scale quickly your business.

Daniel Dubois

Daniel Dubois

Passionné par le Web depuis 2007, Daniel défend la veuve et l'orphelin du web en créant des sites respectueux du W3C. Fort d'une expérience de plusieurs années, il partage ses connaissances dans un état d'esprit open source.
Très impliqué dans la communauté Joomla depuis 2014, il est actif au sein de plusieurs projets, conférencier et fondateur du JUG Breizh.