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You have decided to start up a digital business. You have seen that you can make some good money online through multiple income streams, such as Etsy, e-commerce, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and affiliate marketing.

You may have realised just how flexible working for yourself can be, so you have gone ahead and bought a domain name and a website, sorted out some software and you are ready and itching to go.

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However, it is a little bit more complicated than that. Yes, by having those basics in place, you might get a few sales and click-throughs, but to be properly successful, you need a good understanding of not only marketing and sales, but how the internet works in general. Here, we are going to look at just a few things that you need to know about.

A woman working on her laptop.

Data Protection

Laws have really tightened up around data protection, especially in Europe, with the introduction of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) in May 2018. Many high-profile businesses, such as Facebook and British Airways, and even countries and governments have been caught up in data breaching scandals, and it has not done anything good for their reputations. Knowing how to handle data securely, and not keeping any personal or financial information that is not relevant to your business operations is essential.

Internet Security

A lot of data protection breaches are caused by a lack of knowledge of internet security. Everyone should have some basic security knowledge and anti-virus and phishing software on their computers or devices, but if you are handling people’s personal information and financial details, it is even more critical.

You may be interested in reading my post on how to legally protect your blog.


From the GDPR mentioned above and related laws to disclosure and paying taxes, you should know the basic legalities around your particular field of business. For example, if you decide to take part in affiliate marketing on your website, you need to make sure that these are disclosed and clear to anyone on your site. If you employ anyone, you need to make sure that you are following the rules when it comes to paying them, taxes and workers’ rights.

Search Engine Optimisation

Search engine optimisation or SEO as it is more commonly known is a vital part of marketing an online business, and without it, you are unlikely to be successful. It is a lot less complicated than it sounds – it is based on the keywords that will attract people to your website, and making sure that your site is easy to navigate and user-friendly.

If you can get SEO right, you can rank highly in Google searches and bring more traffic to your site. There are plenty of tutorials online to help you get to grips with SEO if you don’t want to spend any additional money, but if not, you can pay the professionals to sort it for you.

By putting these tips into practice, you will be giving your business the best possible start on the road to success.

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