How I Started a Successful Online Business in Two Weeks

Ever since I said screw the 9-to-5, I put it upon myself to do one thing: create online assets. Well, I’ve been putting this off for a while but I wanted to share how I built a successful online business in two weeks.

Note: Hey! I’m back! My travels went well and I’ll probably write about them soon but for now I want to kick back into Murlu with some great content.

The Much Needed Smack in the Face

derp'd really hard on that one. eh?

A while back I challenged myself to write 1,000 articles in 100 days. Some of you may remember this; I certainly did because I was working full-time and still putting in nearly 10 hours each night to get the job done. It sucked. I was literally holed up in my room for all 100 days just cranking out content.

But it taught me something … I was actually good at writing. In fact, the 100 days gave me the most valuable skill I claim today: building a great work habit.

I can’t begin to tell you how many bloggers are insanely scatterbrained when it comes to blogging and starting an online business. Everyone seems to be shuffling off to work on new projects before they ever get done with the one they were working on. It’s kind of stupid but it’s often not the fault of the blogger. There’s just so much information out there that you get overloaded and sucked into the hype.

Why am I going off on this tangent of building a habit? Well, the thing that smacked me in the face was that I had the skill that I could use for starting an online business sitting in front of me already: writing!

I can’t tell you why I didn’t realize it before; it was so obvious. I was great at creating content, Murlu was taking off, I was busy with creating content for my other sites and it was something I stressed myself in completing every day (hell, I still write about 10 articles a day for all the work I do).

The Beginning of an Idea

what I look like when thinking

So now I had come to the realization that I had a skill that was already making me money (freelance writing) but I wasn’t really putting it into actual implementation for business. I was going to change that.

I began to draw out idea on how I could turn my writing into a business. I didn’t want to offer freelance writing services (coming soon) at the time because I was scared that I didn’t have the track record and I need to get my shit together but I knew I could find an outlet that let me specifically work on the writing end and let the website do the rest.

I settled on the idea of writing private label rights articles. PLR is writing an article once and selling it to multiple people. I saw that the market seemed to suck in terms of quality content and so I set out to change it. I did my research and even had a bit of success selling usage rights on ArticleMe which is one of the main factors for going with PLR.

And then I ran across Peggy Baron’s How to Become a PLR Writer ebook. I usually don’t buy ebooks but I took a look around at what Peggy has done and really liked her work so I ended up buying it and digging through it within the day. I didn’t do everything that was covered in the book but it let me bypass trying to slog through all the articles that try to explain PLR but really just pushes you to their packages and shit.

(By the way, Peggy’s book is really good and I would definitely recommend it if you are thinking about getting into the PLR business or even just wanted to sell freelance articles on your site. It has a lot of detail on setting a system to deliver your articles and finding clients).

The idea was set. I was going to start a PLR business. It was time to create private label rights content. I decided that I was going to get it done as fast as possible. It was going to be another challenge.

From Idea to Conception (as sexy as it sounds)

Let me tell you something: starting a business from scratch is pure hell. It’s a massive amount of work that if you haven’t done it before it’s hard to imagine.

I needed to do a variety of things before I got the business running

  • Setup a website
  • Write 10 packs (10 articles in each) of PLR content
  • Write about 10 blog posts for the PLR blog
  • Create and implement an email list with freebie
  • Write a few promotional posts to get it up and running

That’s not to mention that I also did a bit of blogging here on Murlu (journal style).

So, I’m going to explain this process in a nutshell. I figure this could help you if you need a reference at some time without having to dig through dozens of posts on a single subject.

Here’s the entire process in a shit load of steps:

  • Step 2: Already had hosting with HostGator so I just went ahead and installed WordPress.
  • Step 3: Installed a minimal blog theme so it wouldn’t distract people.
  • Step 5: Setup a page that’s used for the welcome page on the front of the blog.
  • Step 6: Filled in the About Me page and also added FAQ’s, View my Work and more.
  • Step 7: Wrote down 10 categories that I planned to write about.
  • Step 8: Created 10 articles for each category; result was 100 articles.
  • Step 9: Created a READ ME, converted documents to TXT and DOC, zipped them.
  • Step 10: Installed EasyFileShop that let me process payments and deliver packs.
  • Step 11: Made the individual pages for each of the PLR packs.
  • Step 12: Wrote 10 blog posts that would help get the site some search engine traffic. I recommend you check out this great post on writing great blog content if you’re stumped.
  • Step 14: Did a soft launch, published some blog posts, and made some sales.

I ended up making more than a dozen sales within the first few weeks of it being up. While I was on my travels it pulled in some revenue which was great because I was screwed in terms of budget cause Japan is expensive as hell.

The Takeaway (at least read this section)

So, there it was a new business in 2 weeks of hardcore work. I worked nearly 18 hours each day to get the business up and running. I was almost to the point of throwing in the chips by the middle point because it was such a pain in the ass to do that much writing but I stuck with it.

I know this post is a little promotional (hey! Go check out the site eh!) but I’d like to share a few things that I discovered to be really simple to implement that have profound effects on the web:

  • Educate the hell out of people – most people don’t know what PLR is so rather than trying to explain everything by having a super long sales page I made a course which shares how to properly use PLR on the web. The feedback on the course has been phenomenal; not many PLR businesses do this – they sell their packs and then push people along. People may not know what the hell you are selling so teach them how to properly apply it in their lives; plain and simple.
  • Don’t underestimate cross selling – many of the sales I’ve had on PLRArticlesNow hasn’t been for just one pack, many people actually buy three or more at a time. Why? I purposely created ten topics that all work together. I knew that if people were going to buy a pack about blogging than they’re probably going to buy something on SEO or link building. I also used the READ ME as a way to upsell people where I listed related products; much like you’d find on an ecommerce site.
  • Shut up and do work – when you start working on a product or business you really need to just shut up and get to work. No one is going to do the heavy work for you (unless you outsource it of course). Don’t bitch and moan that nothing is getting done if you’re spending all day on Twitter, Facebook, reading blogs and hanging out on forums. Hole yourself up and make sure you get the ‘most valuable actions’ done each and every day no matter what.

Have a goal when you are working on your business. I was thinking about the trip to Japan and Thailand I was about to undertake. I wanted to make sure that I had a functioning asset ready for me while I was traveling that way I could pull in some income to help me get by; I also wanted something to look forward to working on when I got home.

Conclusion

splosionnnnnssss!

I know this is kind of a shit post to work on as the first since getting back from my trip but I think it’s quite appropriate because I’ve noticed that while I’ve been gone a lot of bloggers gave up. I’m not sure why because so many of them had incredible momentum. Maybe they were backed into a corner and didn’t know what to do with their blog? Who knows.

What I can tell you that you will hit a point with your blog that you really can’t go any further unless you get outside your comfort zone. You can’t keep talking about the same, tired topics over and over again. You have to branch out and venture into new ideas. The best way to do this is to take your knowledge of running a blog and apply it to business creation.

You have every skill you need to get a business up and running besides the product. You know how to build the platform, get people hooked on your brand and keep them coming back. Get started on a project even if it isn’t in your immediate niche – get something going else you’re going to hit a wall.

Okay, that’s all I have for you. I’ve spent too much of your time. Now you’ve got to get something going on now. Oh yeah, go check out PLRArticlesNow.com and take a look at the business. Look at how it’s setup and see how simple it would be to create your own online business.

39 Responses to “How I Started a Successful Online Business in Two Weeks”

  1. Peter Joseph
    July 18, 2011 at 4:16 am #

    Do the hard work now, and then outsource it later. Pete Cashmore managed to do 7 articles a day for Mashable, and once it got big, the articles shifted more and more into being written by others. I think that’s the best thing about going into business ventures, once you do the hard yards at first, you can then start working with others, and incorporating their ideas and concepts also for further expansion.

    • Murray Lunn
      July 18, 2011 at 6:24 am #

      That’s what I would like to do Peter. In time, I plan to open an affiliate program for PLRArticlesNow and build up a small sales team (hopefully).

      When you create a great product you get people behind your brand. Just think of how quickly Google+ has taken off already because nearly every website was buzzing about it.

      Your business can do the same. If you give people something amazing they have no other choice than to talk about it with others. This talk becomes a referral and the referral becomes a sale. The process continues.

      But you have to get something up and out there first.

  2. July 18, 2011 at 5:20 am #

    Hi Murray,

    Great to see you back. Even though it is sometime since your last post but i have seen you commenting in Steve’s site.

    What a post to return back in style. Look at all the steps you have done to set up your online business in PLR articles. 18 hours a day is hell lots of time but definitely it’s worth it when you see your business take off.

    You have mentioned an important point. There is so much information we can look for in the blogosphere but it is worthless if we keep on reading and reading. We need to know which can help us and immediately work on it. There is no secret formula to a successful online business. It is just to work hard and work smart.

    • Murray Lunn
      July 18, 2011 at 6:20 am #

      Hi Lye,

      Thanks for the well wishes for being back. It’s a great feeling to get back into the blog here. I’ve been super busy with other projects at this time so Murlu has been pushed back a bit while I work on getting it restructured. I’ve got a really big update on Murlu coming soon but I need to make sure that it’s setup correctly.

      Like you mentioned, there’s no secret formula. The only ‘formula’ that works is hard work. I don’t think a lot of bloggers realize that you really CAN get a lot done in a very short amount of time if you dedicate your time to it.

      If you went ahead and made up a dozen or so posts in the matter of a week you’d have enough content to hold you over for a while as you work on your product or business.

      2 weeks working on any project will pretty much do the trick to get nearly all of it done if you spend all day doing it. It’s going to take an incredible amount of work and focus but I think it’s very possible.

      Just think: if an ebook is around 20,000 words you could be done in less than 2 weeks by writing 2,000 words a day. Hell, this post is nearly 2,000 words and I wrote it in under 1 hour. Of course, some people need to take a bit more time but you can definitely get these major chunks done when you break it down.

      Anyway, thanks for the comment Lye, great to be back and happy that you held in there for the post.

  3. July 18, 2011 at 5:56 am #

    Wow man, that’s some hard work!

    I kind of went through a similar situation where I wrote a ton of content, but my content sucked lol. I’ve taken down quite a few blog posts from my blog and kept the ones I liked after reworking them.

    It took me awhile to develop my voice, but because I did like you and wrote a shit ton of content, I was able to create a killer habit.

    Now it’s so easy to sit down and bang out a few thousand words of pure value content. Well as long as I stick with planning out what I’m gonna write that is.

    Great post man, I’m already a fan of your blog. This is a motivating post, just like your comments are.

    Keep it up bro!
    Chris

    • Murray Lunn
      July 18, 2011 at 6:29 am #

      Thanks Chris and glad to have you here.

      I’ve been thinking about deleting some older posts as well because I think they bring the wrong crowd to the blog. In fact, I think that’s one thing that few bloggers think about.

      Anyway, back on point, the habit you build from blogging is an incredible thing to leverage into work. If you look at it, as I mentioned on your blog, everything you push out is your product. Everything represents your brand. If you take that focus on creating content and aim it at creating a product you’d create it in the same amount of time you would with a dozen or so posts.

      I plan to work on a host of products in the future once I get the structure of Murlu fixed up. The time I have from stepping away from my work has given me almost too much time in some ways because I no longer have that stress or time constraint that I need to get something done.

      However, that’s where the habit comes back around full circle. If I didn’t have the habits that I’ve formed I would probably have quit the blog (and my businesses) a while back.

      Anyway, thanks for the comment Chris and glad that you’re diggin’ the blog.

  4. July 18, 2011 at 6:48 am #

    Thanks for suggesting Easyfileshop. I was thinking of selling some documents on my business site, but a lot of the options I was discovering required me to buy a product or service. Do you pay any kind of commission with Easyfileshop?

    It’s great to see you active again with your writing. I kept wondering what ever happened to you… figured the Yakuza got to you or something. ;)

    • Murray Lunn
      July 18, 2011 at 8:23 am #

      Hey James,

      Glad you like the resource. In time, I plan to upgrade to 1ShoppingCart but the fact that EasyFileShop is free and gets the job done I’m perfectly happy with that. It’s bare minimum but a great starting point if you want to sell on your site and no, you don’t have to do a commission to them :)

      Oh man, you should see the Yakuza. You can immediately spot them because they have a totally different vibe around them. They blend in but you can just tell.

      Oddly enough, the Yakuza is actually really awesome. They aren’t really like how movies and shows portray them (obviously). They’re actually very community oriented it’s just that they also do some shady things with higher end businesses. They won’t mess with a normal person; they really only get shady if someone within the organization or who they’re working with really messes with them. In a lot of ways, they’re modern samurai.

      Anyway, it’s glad to be back and seeing you here James. Got some big stuff in the works that I know you’ll like. You’ll need to update me on what you’ve got going on :)

  5. July 18, 2011 at 8:22 am #

    Hey Murlu: It’s been a long time since I’ve been to your blog. I’m glad you updated us, because I was beginning to think you disappeared. I’m glad I saw your comment over at the blogging bookshelf. I always love your writing and what you have to say. I believe people should really just shut up and get to work. The people really succeeding aren’t the people talking about what their doing, but rather making things happen behind the scenes.
    You really are a great writer to crank out articles like you do, and it’s inspiring. I work hard on improving on my writing daily. The best way I do that is by finding my perfect working place, and getting to work.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Thanks again!

    God bless,
    William Veasley

    • Murray Lunn
      July 18, 2011 at 8:32 am #

      Hey William,

      Thanks for the words and comment. It’s great to be back.

      I think people have gotten this notion that if they don’t update their blog then it’s the end of the world. You can easily get by with one post a week if it’s really, really powerful.

      Hell, my traffic dipped maybe 20% during the 2 month hiatus but it’s already back up. I’ve been working on some big projects since I’ve been absent and quite honestly: if I got back right into the old habits than I wouldn’t have got the jump-start on the things I’m currently working on.

      My suggestion, as you seem to be doing, is to write something every day even if you don’t use anything with it. Go outside your comfort zone and do something completely opposite of what you talk about on your blog. Use those web skills to explore something that you can take and talk about on your blog. Think of it like research even if it doesn’t fail because remember: there’s no failure, only lessons learned.

      • William Tha Great
        July 18, 2011 at 5:28 pm #

        Murray: I’m not sure why I called you Murlu in the last comment (laugh out loud). My bad I was really sleep, but I was still up putting in work.

        You can absolutely get by with writing one article a week if it’s good content usually over 1,500 words. That’s what I was doing early on and using my spare time to write as many powerful guest post as I could. It was working out great, but then some life event hit and I started slacking on the guest writing.

        That alone was giving my articles a lot of promotion, and because the article where 1,500+ words they grabbed a lot of attention. Even though I was only updating once a week my visitors were returning regularly.

        In my experience writing is a groove. Once you get yourself focused in get in that habit you can write for days, but once you start slacking o man. It’s hard to get yourself back into that groove and get that pen moving.

        Great tip man, and I will get my research going. ( : As you said, “there’s no failure, only lessons learned.”

        God bless,
        William Veasley

        • Murray Lunn
          July 19, 2011 at 12:57 am #

          Awesome to hear William.

          I mentioned a while back that every blog post needs some time for it to really do its thing. Think of your writing as your product; you wouldn’t release a new product every other day if you were a business because you’d confuse the hell out of your customers.

          Well, your blog readers ARE your customers. You have to sell them on that one idea with each post but you also have to respect their time and resources. You can’t hammer people with information because they never have the time to take action.

          Much better to get at them once, twice, maaaaybe three times a week at most (as long as the content is intertwined) rather than hopping subject to subject just to fill the latest trend, ya know?

          Glad to see that you’re really striving to hit a home run. Keep at it man!

  6. July 18, 2011 at 11:55 am #

    Great article about setting up a business, Murray, and I hope the success continues with PLR Articles. I will watch it with great interest. I admire your work ethic about writing content. It must have made you a better faster writer. All the best.

    • Murray Lunn
      July 19, 2011 at 12:57 am #

      Thanks Rob. I certainly learned a lot that I’m going to be bring back here to Murlu. I’ve got some big plans that I think you’ll really like. Something to take the industry to the next level. Stay tuned :)

  7. Allison Duncan
    July 18, 2011 at 12:10 pm #

    Very interesting concept that I definitely want to look into. I’ve been looking to find ways to monetize my site, and your idea of article packs really sounds like a great plan.

    • Murray Lunn
      July 19, 2011 at 12:58 am #

      Glad you got value out of it Allison :)

  8. July 18, 2011 at 12:22 pm #

    Welcome back dude! While I don’t think I will ever “quit” writing altogether, I have definitely stepped into a different direction with my work. Since moving I have picked up more clients than I can handle doing anything from simple WP installs, email marketing templates (Aweber), Facebook pages, and even a few new designs and complete redesigns….. several local businesses have become aware of my services and have been calling like crazy!

    I lost interest in what I was writing about…. I may get back to it one day, probably after summer and another trip to FL for some golf!

    • Murray Lunn
      July 19, 2011 at 1:01 am #

      Niiiiiiiice man.

      In a lot of ways, think of what blogging has done for you: you learned a shitload of skills that let you bridge into a full business model for local clients.

      It takes balls to reach out to the local businesses. We all have these skills and people are willing to pay big bucks to get their website up and running.

      Hell, just today I responded to someone that was looking for a WP setup. It’s no biggie because we’re all used to it so it’s like second nature. It’s taking that leap to jump into the venture.

      You’ve got it going on. That’s what others need to do as well.

  9. Alex
    July 18, 2011 at 4:14 pm #

    A-Bloody-Men.

    TO ALL OF IT!
    Seriously Murray – I sat here nodding in agreement to every word and now my neck hurts.

    You’re killing it man (one article at a time) and I love it!
    Talk soon my friend

    • Murray Lunn
      July 19, 2011 at 1:03 am #

      Hey Alex,

      Good to hear from ya my WHAM cover band playing, dingo hunting road warrior.

      I think it’s time that we all stepped up our game and really got shit going. No more just writing to people to entertain them but learning valuable skills and applying them in actual ventures.

      You’ve got your business going on; you’ve got your blog backing it up. If you would have just stuck to blogging I woulda slapped ya because you obviously know how to sell your services. Glad you took that leap yo.

      Now it’s time for everyone else to as well.

  10. Bo
    July 19, 2011 at 6:44 am #

    Welcome back! We’ve missed you! Can’t wait for you to incorporate your travel experience with this blog! Oops I mean business.

    • Murray Lunn
      July 19, 2011 at 7:28 am #

      Thanks Bo,

      I actually did create a travel blog but it was really hard to focus on it because I was having too much fun time traveling. I’m going to do a post on the travel when I get some time, maybe toward the end of the weekend since it will be a little off-beat. Other than that, it’s great to be back :)

  11. July 19, 2011 at 2:15 pm #

    Wow, I was really impressed about the success in the online business in just 2 weeks of you. A nice tutorials for newbie, who want to become a success online business like you. I’m sure that to get success in any thing, we need to hard work, so, this is the first and simple thing to get what you want. Thanks for share your experience.

    • Murray Lunn
      July 19, 2011 at 10:17 pm #

      Thanks for swinging by Trung. Glad the post could give you a bit of insight from my end. Do you have any business plans of your own?

      • Trung Nguyen
        July 20, 2011 at 9:14 am #

        Yes, I have a new plan for my online business, It will be take a long time to get my goals, Thanks for your experience, It help me so much.

        • Murray Lunn
          July 20, 2011 at 11:31 am #

          Awesome to hear Trung. Make sure you execute them and don’t spend too much time dillying around on social media :P . Action!

  12. July 19, 2011 at 11:08 pm #

    Hey Murray,

    Welcome back. I’ve missed your enthusiastic, action-packed, inspiring posts.

    And many thanks for the shoutout. :)

    Peggy

    • Murray Lunn
      July 20, 2011 at 11:33 am #

      No no no, thank youuuuu Peggy. You lit that fire under my ass that I needed to get my things going. The site has been doing great and it’s actually quite interesting because we are in competition with one another in some ways but at the same time we aren’t. We’re both trying to rock it which is what really makes it great because I know we’re bringing the quality goods to the industry.

      Glad to have ya here and glad to be back. I got that fire back in me to do some damage with the blog :)

  13. Sire
    July 22, 2011 at 9:26 am #

    That is pretty bloody amazing Murray. Most people couldn’t do what you did, I know there is no way that I could even complete a fraction of what you did. Man, by the sounds of it you are so good at writing content that you could easily fit in a guest post a day. Heck, by the time you finish your name would be on everyone’s lips, not to mention the amount of links linking to your latest business. That would make for great PR.

    • Murray Lunn
      July 23, 2011 at 4:26 am #

      I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately Sire.

      Since I’ve been able to step back from my work a few months ago I’ve found myself with a lot of time. The way I work is always dividing up my days into just five main actions that need to be done. I have a system to my approach to things to make sure I do them efficient; this opens up a lot of free time which I may be putting toward guest posting from here on out. Maybe push for one (or two!) guest posts a day! Time management is one of the most important skills, in my opinion, that every blogger should possess.

      • July 23, 2011 at 2:11 pm #

        Yep, time management is very important if you want to get a lot of things done. Without it you just seem to wander around not doing anything only to find that the day has passed and you didn’t really get anything done.

  14. Matthew Needham
    July 27, 2011 at 8:36 am #

    Firstly Murray, glad to see you back. I put in a lot of effort on my site, but over a few months, and it’s only when you see how much work you did in two weeks that you realise how much needs to be done to get an online business up and running.

    Great job you’ve done and very neat and useful checklist for someone to replicate.

    Hope you had a great time, your photos look awesome!

    Matthew

    • Murray Lunn
      July 27, 2011 at 10:14 pm #

      Thanks Matthew,

      I really doubt that a two week thing is really enough for every business but I think its a great example of what can be done when you set your mind to a venture. It’s going to take a lot more work on the site to expand it over time but for the most part it does have its foundation now. Just think, anyone that puts that amount of time toward a product could totally have something done. I managed to write nearly 60k words in the 2 weeks, get a site up, promote it and make sales; that could be the exact amount of time to create an ebook!

      Anyway, glad to see you here, thanks for swinging by and leaving a comment :)

  15. July 27, 2011 at 7:09 pm #

    Two Weeks is a very short duration. :) it tooks 2 years for me to feel myself that i have started a business and in mycase its different ofcourse. anyhow.. very nice read i had. Cheers.

    Robin

    • Murray Lunn
      July 27, 2011 at 10:15 pm #

      Awesome Robin :)

      Take what you’ve learned over those two years and try entering a new venture; I’m sure you’ll be able to get something started in a fraction of the time because you know the process that it takes to get something up and running – just figure out a business model and its product then get to work :)

  16. Cristian Balau
    August 18, 2011 at 5:38 pm #

    So let me understand, your creating and selling articles on your own website? By the way I love it, especially the design, clean and simple but also good navigation. Also, the articles are very cheap if you ask me, so its also a great deal for potential customers. Keep it up!

    • Murray Lunn
      August 25, 2011 at 11:23 am #

      Indeed Christian.

      The reception of the website has been very good and I’m constantly making improvements of it not just through adding more products but by educating people as well (which seems to be uncommon among a lot of PLR websites). Thanks for the encouragement buddy :)

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