How to Start An Online Business in India and Make Money in 6 Months

All you need is a computer, internet connection, a website and a curious mind to learn new skills.

If you are looking for income from blogging then start your own blog on WordPress.

Select an !dea for your online business

select an Idea

The hard part of the business is finding a profitable business idea. In most of the cases, you never know if your business will be profitable unless you start something.

That’s what I recommend people. Take your first step and you will learn more about doing business (online or offline).

If you have already figured out some idea for your business then quickly move to the next step. If you are still confused, read my 100 online business ideas in India article which I prepared after a lot of research. 

What I have learned so far about online businesses is that you will definitely make money if you keep trying. 

#1. Promotion and Marketing Strategy

Don’t get too deep into business planning. Think big but act small in initial days of your business.

Make a plan for just 6 months with a goal of getting your first paying customer. I don’t know what kind of business you are planning, but my advice will work for any kind of online business.

Your success will depend on how well you are executing a small plan rather than making big plans with a little execution.

As I said, make plans but don’t spend too much time in planning.

Do something, fail/success, learn from failure/success, make better plans, execute more.

There is no business in the world that works without marketing. You can not afford to hire a great marketer if you are on a tight budget.

Even if you have a good budget (from you hard earned money), a good marketer will not join you just for the money. He will need a security of the job, a good team to work with, and other resources that you may not be able to offer.

It will be better if you can learn basics of digital marketing and slowly build your business.

You have to think about getting customers online. You can get customers who are searching on google (through SEO), discussing on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest) and in discussion groups (Reddit, Quora, Facebook Groups)

Who are reading your articles?

Probably your mom and friends who care about you.

The difficult thing in any online business is to get users to your website.

Make a solid promotion strategy. Start promoting your articles as you publish your article.

As I explained in my previous article on content strategy, there are only two ways of getting traffic to your website.

Social Media

Google Search Engine Optimization will take few months but social media can start sending you traffic immediately. You have to divide your time between writing articles and promoting on social media.

You might have created accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Instagram but there are 100+ social media that help you bring free traffic to your website.

Social media is also tricky. You will not start getting traffic from social media from the first day.

You should follow my community participation strategy to build your social media. 

There are many forums and discussion groups on the internet. You should start participating in group discussions. Don’t spam in the groups but add genuine value even without mentioning about your articles. You can put link of your work only when relevant to the discussion.

Here are some resources for your reference.

  1. Facebook Groups
  2. LinkedIn Groups
  3. Quora
  4. Reddit
  5. Niche forums in your industry

You can find more discussion groups related to your industry. If you don’t find, let me know, I can try finding something for you.

As I said earlier, groups are not meant for spamming (unfortunately, most of the people do spam in the name of promotion).

You have to participate in discussion forums with intention of helping people. You will find opportunities by default to promote your articles.

Don’t just share your article links and disappear from the discussion. You know what happens in that case? The admin of high engagement groups will ban you from the group. After few days you will remain part of spammy groups only. Then you will complain that my strategy is not working for you.

It worked for me, and it will work for you only if you participate in groups with good intentions of adding value to the discussions.

Google Search Engine

There is a lot to learn about getting ranked in google but let’s touch the base, the basics of SEO.

Trust me, anyone can do basics of SEO even when you never heard of search engine optimization. I know you hate to do technical work but you don’t even have money to hire an SEO expert at the initial stage of your business.

You have to start getting some revenue before thinking about outsourcing your SEO work.

There are hundreds of websites and guides on SEO but you don’t have time to read’em all. Just follow the basics in my next two articles, that should be sufficient for your next 2-3 month’s SEO if you are just starting up.

Onpage SEO

Onpage SEO is very easy and you can do yourself at no cost at all. There are certain basic things that you need to be careful about making your articles search engine friendly.

You will have to figure out some keywords on which you want to rank, then make your article aligned with keywords.

Don’t stuff your articles with keywords, that used to be the practice earlier but now google penalizes website ranking if someone stuff articles with keywords.

I will tell you the precise techniques that you should implement in your articles for better SEO results.

Offpage SEO

Offpage SEO is tough and you may have to spend some money to get ranking. Google gives higher points to websites that gets references from other websites (links back to your website).

You get a link-backs when someone mentions your website’s url in their article. More link backs mean more authority of your website in the eyes of google. The more you get links from big authority website, the more you get benefits of offpage SEO.

That’s it for the basics of promotion of your business.

Start getting traffic from social media & communities.  

#2. Make money from your online business

Let’s jump straight to money talk without much introduction.

There are several ways to monetize your online business once you have some audience.

Adsense (Display Advertisements)

People frequently asked me this question, “when should I start putting ads on my website”?

I experimented with Ads on my website and earned 5 rupees per click but I felt that Ads were annoying for my audience. I did not want to spoil the reading experience of my readers so I removed the ads from my website. You can still make good money by displaying Ads on your website. 

The number of clicks will depend on your audience and what you are writing. There is no minimum audience required to start advertising on your website but I suggest you to wait till you start hitting 10,000 per month traffic on your website.

Affiliate Marketing

A little better way of making money through your online business is by promoting products through affiliate marketing.

You signup with affiliate programs from a marketplace like vCommision & AdmitAd where you can find companies in your niche which want to promote their products. You will get a unique link to put on your website. When someone clicks on that link and buy any product, you make some money as commission.

Recently I have seen people abusing affiliate marketing by promoting any product that makes them money. Personally, I prefer to recommend products that I trust and use myself.

Basically, I do not over-promote anything, I just share my personal experience with products that I trust. My readers decide what is good for them by reading my honest reviews.

Sell physical products 

You can start selling your own products on your website when you make a brand in the market. Don’t just start selling something, online buying habits of people have been changed over time.

For buying anything online, people search products on Amazon and Flipkart (Both my favorite e-stores because of their customer service).

If you want to sell your own branded products online then you have to gain the trust of your audience. You should not directly sell products that people can easily buy from e-com marketplaces at a discounted price.

Rather, you can start selling products that are difficult to find online. For example, a mom blogger Hema started a parenting blog ‘My Little Moppet”  to share her parenting experience with moms but now she started selling organic products for children. A lot of moms prefer to buy from Hema not because the products are cheap but because they can trust Hema than an unknown seller/brand on Amazon.

Sell digital products 

Trust me, people have started buying digital products online. Americans are buying digital products like ebooks, songs, templates and guides for so many years, but recently Indians also started buying products online.

On my second online business startupkarma.co, I have sold email templates for writing better emails to influencers and mentors. I am also writing an ebook on content marketing that I am planning to sell online.

You can sell anything that helps people. Digital products are going to be very successful business models in India.

Sell online courses

You will get a lot of confidence when someone buys your little ebook and then write back a thank you note.

You can write more e-books to share your expertise with your audience. Slowly your content will become an end-to-end online course.

For example, I can write my first e-book on ‘validating startup idea’, the second e-book on ‘growth hacking’, next book on ‘raising funding’ and so on.

Then I can compile my e-books into an online course for startup founders. I can distribute a basic course for free and charge genuine amount for an advanced course.  

We can record good videos to compose a video course.

You don’t have to be a teacher to teach online. You can make a good income by selling online courses through your website when you have established an authority in your domain.

Don’t worry about technicalities of making online courses. A lot of platforms can help you make courses in an easy way (like GumRoad and Teachable)

Make Money through Consulting 

My consulting charges are 5000 rupees per hour and people pay for it. 

It’s another way of helping people and earning money through your online consulting business.

I am a software engineer by education and worked in IT industry for more than 7 years. I have less than 3 years of experience in online marketing but I am still able to help people in my new field.(and they pay gladly for my consulting services)

If I can do it, you can also do it.

You have to invest time in improving your skills by reading books & relevant blogs in your new domain. You have to build credibility among your audience. You have to win the trust of your audience.

Nothing is impossible. The difficult thing is taking the first step. The next difficult step is to stick with your decision and building a business out of your passion.

Make a software product

The monetization methods can not end without mentioning my favorite and most recommended way of making money through a product startup.

I failed at my first startup because we created a product without involving our customers into the product development.

Yeah, your customers are the best people to design and develop your software product. That’s a secret of validating your product idea even before actually making your product.

Don’t repeat my mistakes.

Start a website/blog/forum much before your launch a product.

Seed your audience through online promotions and search engine optimization.

Build your product and make money from your online business. If your product is not monetizable in the initial days, then you have to raise money from the venture capitalist. A lot of startups are raising money from investors these days.

Don’t worry about the investor’s money. Just focus on your customers and build an awesome product.

#3. Managing Your Company in a Smart Way

I shared my experience about running my own business as a legal entity. You can decide how you want to run your business.

Since I love financial hacks, you can expect some money saving tips on managing your company in this article.

I lost a hell lot of money in my first startup. I learned that the real startup is inside you, not in the papers.

You don’t have to incorporate private limited company until absolutely necessary. It’s a costly affair to manage a private limited company, starting from incorporation to dissolution. You have to pay around 30,000 rupees for incorporation and minimum 10,000 rupees per year for maintenance.

Read my interview in Economic Times on the painful process of managing a private limited company.

Economics-Times-Interview

Private Limited Company is advisable in following scenarios

  1. When you have to raise money from venture capitalists
  2. When you have more than 2 partners with unequal ownership in company
  3. When you have a lot of money to waste and don’t worry about saving bucks (we were in this category)

For a single founder, the most cost effective way of running a business is Proprietorship Company.

For two co-founders, incorporate a partnership company. Legally, the same can work with more than two partner founders but conflicts happen quite often in startups. Founders leave companies in between and it becomes difficult to manage ownership of the company in those scenarios.  

Write everything on paper in terms of percentage of ownership, who owns the right of final decision, what will happen if one co-founder left the company in between.

61 thoughts on “How to Start An Online Business in India and Make Money in 6 Months”

  1. Hi Sir,

    I am a tutor/trainer for Engineering subjects.

    I have vision to have a website and sell courses online to students across INDIA in specific and World in general.
    Can you please tell if I need comply any legal terms such as registration with any government department or so…or take any license. I am confused. Please help with a piece of advice.

    Regards

    Reply
  2. Hello Sir,
    Great Ideas and nice Article.Thanks a lot. I love about cooking recipes. So how can I start with? I am not on any of the social media platform and I do not have any experience.
    So would appreciate, if you can give guidance.
    Thanks & Regards
    chandrasekharan

    Reply
    • Hey Chandrasekharan,
      Why don’t you start a blog and guide other people with your cooking skills? Later on, you can create a YouTube channel as well on cooking and both platforms (Blog and Youtube channel) will help you grow your audience and online income.

      Reply
  3. Great resource. My question is if someone wants to start a blog about a niche he is not much familiar with but has basic understanding then is it prudent to work on that niche. Like learning as well as blogging ?

    Reply
  4. A very eye opening article. I’m in college and want to start a small online marketing consultancy business. My question is if I can start right away with my clients or if I need to get some permit or permission from the government before doing so. I don’t want to be in trouble with taxes etc.

    Reply
  5. Great article. Frankly, it’s not an easy task to start any kind of business. You always need an experienced advice before starting up. When my friend was about to start his business, the first thing he did, was consulting an experienced business consultant. The platform he used was Quikconsult, which connects seekers to experienced consultants from different domains via chat & mail. The consultant helped him understand basic procedures, subsidy rules & other business know-how. Moreover, the fee he charged was unbelievably low. Consultants not only make this complicated process easy but also share invaluable advice to help you grow. Keep up the good work.

    Reply
  6. I want to develop website to start online ecommerce business in textile garments. Cud u suggest me some good developers for the same. Thnx

    Reply
  7. Nice article. I am person with no experience in online business. I want to start a classified website like olx, but for some specific area. Please help me with feedback if this is a good idea and how I can increase the traffic. Which are the leading website developers in mumbai where I can develop a full fledged website.

    Please send reply to my e mail address.

    Reply
    • Online Consultancy Business means finding clients… right?

      and providing them at least 10x value of what they pay.

      Get your first client and learn by doing.. (Hint: Don’t kill your business by expecting a lot of money in the initial days)

      Reply
  8. Sir,
    I read all details, I like your curiosity about our community. I need your help on how to make our own blog and online writing works. Currently I am having my email id only and too much aware of online work till. So, help me how to I start my work…

    Reply
  9. Nowadays, there are several ways through which you can make money online easily. If you really want to know them, then you must visit Tradebulls which is an online platform and can assist you through the process.

    Reply
  10. People are becoming more and more tech-savvy so they need a platform to promote their business not only for their clients but also for running their business.they do need some knowledge about the prospect of the legal business.you provide that platform which is a good thing.

    Reply
  11. Hi Pardeep, Jeevan Aggarwal here, out of an idea of my son Aryan Kansal, studying mobile computing in UPES, Dehradun, I am starting a website
    Talkitindia.com, giving consultation on mental health issues, I want to cater every person needed, from labour, illiterate to even top CEO’s, your expertise are welcomed professionally

    Reply
  12. I have published 4-5 articles on my wordpress blog but cant find “Reading” option under settings.
    What are the possible ways to get it or where i am doing wrong?
    p.s. i am using free subscription of wordpress and not purchased any domain name.

    Reply
  13. Dear Pradeep Sir,

    The article is really inspiring and way you wrote the article is impeccable I also want to start a blog but doesn’t have any prior experience of writing so as a mentor I need your assistance for the same.

    Regards,
    Shubham

    Reply
  14. Dear Pardeep sir,

    I m new to your site and interested in starting a consulting business on line to help the people. Will u pls guide me how to start a legal consulting business. Hoping for the best.

    Reply
    • Consulting business is very simple. In starting you can receive payments in your personal account. Setup any legal entity when you start hiring a team. In short, you can start consulting without any paperwork.

      Reply
  15. Thanks Pardeep Sir. This was a very refreshing and realistic view about the online business. I am passionate about sports and want to open a blog but due to lack of experience in writing content,I decided to make a blog via blogger which is for free and try to make myself a better writer. After a month or so, I am planning to buy domain via wordpress and going live. Is my thought process correct and after I start,would need your help Sir.
    Thank you.

    Reply
  16. Hi Pardeep,

    It’s been a great guidance from you for a person like me. I have tried many times to generate parallel earnings but failed to do so. Things I tried but failed are listed below:

    a. “Earn Money Online” – I tried many things but actually ended up loosing money by investing in high speed internet with bigger data plan or paying subscription fees to get data entry jobs. In actual never earned a single penny out of it. I tried this particular option since I was studying engineering (2005).
    b. Started website designing business in 2011. Got very little success, but couldn’t continue as I had to rely heavily on other people to design website for my customers. It really didn’t work out as I couldn’t hire the developer for full time.
    c. Started a service oriented business in Jan 2013 but due to lack of vision and several other bad decisions, had to move away from that. This time I had some stake holders in my business who forced me to incorporate my business under MCA as Private Ltd. company. But after 3 months only we had to shutdown as the services we started offering were difficult to digest in our small town.

    I want to earn online/start online business and for that I might need your guidance up to certain extent. Hope you will help me out if I get stuck at some stage following your steps.

    One question: What are the consequences if we don’t wind up a Private Limited Company? Actually the company I registered under MCA is not winded up in pen paper.

    Best Regards,
    Milan

    Reply
    • You must wind up a private limited company otherwise you have to maintain the accounting. There is some regular reporting that CA must file with MCA.

      We have to spend 10K just to close the pvt ltd entity.

      Reply
  17. Pradeep, your article about blog writing is motivating and its well written. I always feel that good article needs finest english and impressive cum apt wording. Can you please share some tips or the ground work you did initially for improving this. Thanks.

    Reply
  18. Oh ! What’s a motivating and compelling article.Thank you so much for writing in such a systematic and easy to implement manner.
    Introducing myself, I’m Rajendra from Pune (migrated from Delhi 4-yrs back) and can brand me as a social entrepreneur and a victim of bad decisions taken in distressed time.Actually I was speraheading a very successful small urban MFI (Micro-Finance Institution) working in Paharganj & Sadar Bazar Slums of Delhi till 2010-11 when dark clouds & bad press surrounded this sector due to regulatory uncertainty and turbulences and we decided to close the whole opeartions after hard to survive against big MFIs like SKS,Ujjivan and choking of funds from Banks. After that I tried to do NGO activities but my heart lies there only and this led to take decision of shifting my base to Pune (though a very lovely place but facing language difficulty) along with disposing even my home and investing in land in Maharashtra. In Pune I tried to do share trading, taking enrollment in Masters Course in CSR , Social Work and even secured that Degree. In Pune I tried to start NGO activities, Micro-Finance activities but in vain due to long lists of reasons. Now when I see the present scene of Micro-Finance Sector after RBI’s Policy Clarity I’m repenting my decision and now it’s not possible to start that activity from scratch in such place where there’s language barrier and can’t even thought of shifting to Delhi when my both daughters and wife settled here and enjoying but in this journey I’m feeling lonely and hapless.
    Now a days ,since 6-months, I’m thinking of starting a startup in the field which I’m passionate about but before I’m trying to secure my family with strong financial rings and in this midst of emotions really given me a ray of hope and really inspired me to do something extra for regular cash flow till my startup commence,move and strengthen.
    I’m naive in present technology and also want to start my venture with bare minimum capital. I also want to try my luck on creating my Blog and earning through it but I’m very introvert and shy person but very much determined and love to read,travel,music,spending time with kids and see everything in simple black & white.
    I hope you’ll handhold me in creating,running and later generating some cash flow from it (though I’ll love if it give more which enable me to spend time in places like Goa without blinking my eye) .

    Again thanks for writing such a motivating article and engaged in noble cause of helping others because this is the only cause which gives blessings and rewards for seven generations.

    Regards.

    Rajendra

    Reply
    • Hey Rajendra, I would surely help you growing your online business. You have to take the first step.

      Your comment is almost like an article. I think you can write great articles on your blog. Please start that.

      Let me know wherever you need my help.

      Reply
  19. Thanks Pardeep for the valuable information you shared. I have been planning to start something my own however never get a start. Like you said you spent 7 years and then started what you wanted to do. Its has got same with me, I wanted to do something for a larger group of society in Financial Field and started selling Insurance however not satisfied with my performance. I am still searching the way I can do what I love to do and hope I will definitely start the Online Business with my interested idea the way you have explained. I might need your advice while working on the same.

    Reply
  20. Hello Sir,
    Its helpful article .
    I have started gathering data for content of my blog(not publishing). I want to know which is better way to go ahead with website /blog by building your own or use wordpress. I have website building skills (average) but less time for coding, so which way is better to go with(considering cost and time). One should learn about SEO skills in advance?

    Reply
      • Thank you Sir,
        Is it OK if i use images from “Google images” within my article or blog, may be link to any you tube video? How much money earned by average website or how much traffic needed to do make it earn sufficient?

        Reply
  21. I don’t know how it’s like in India but in the USA I find pretty easy to start a business online. I am a freelancer and I manage pretty well with money. I think the most difficult part is when you decide to start and see the paperwork you have to get done. After that I think it’s easier. As you said, you need to have a clear idea, otherwise it’s n wonder it doesn’t work. The WordPress, SEO, and other marketing knowledge you’ll master after some trial and error. I encourage everyone to start small and then develop their business

    Reply
  22. Hello,
    I am a 45 years old unmarried person studied BE(Electrical&Electronics),subjects are pending.Dropped Out.Throughout my life I was facing financial problem as well as no backup for my education from less educated non cooperative minded family members.Next I have achieved a LPG distributionship(Proprietor of a LPG door delivery firm) of INDIAN OIL CORPORATION LTD.in a compitative selection. There also it is delayed for commissioning. I struggled against the same CORPORATION for 6 years to provide the loan facilities mentioned at the time of selection.Now it is 10th years running with trouble.It is like a corporation controled business.I have to pay all the expenses/ salaries of this firm using commission money after sale. Using rented building,building owners raising rent,vehicle loan,few scam workers,not sufficient customers,other financially assisted persons blackmail etc. Now I am more than Rs.50lakh negative. I am fed up with these as well as my family members. It is not of my interested work also. To overcome my financial needs that what I have tried became noneconomical.
    Most of the time I have been using Internet in my own personal time. I have been reading Physics & Mathematics ,thinking & trying to do something as a hobby. Sometimes continuously 5 hours,full day or full night. In between I am searching for earning over online. I found your site is very well worked one. Now considering my mental status please recommend & explain me how can I start a convenient online earning.
    With regards SUKUMAR

    Reply

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