Thinking of starting an online home based business?” There are five important things you must have in order to take a startup idea and turn it into a home based business that generates money online.

Regardless of whether your business idea involves selling products and services using an eCommerce store or online shopping cart, or whether you are going to start your own TV show on YouTube, there are certain basic requirements that every home business startup must have.

This article will list the most important things you need to start a business online, and provide information and additional resources for you to get started quickly and generating revenue.

Online home based business startup checklist

The Internet provides great opportunity for anyone looking to start a small business from their home office. It can provide marketing opportunities, advertising, sales, information, networking and more.

So what are the most important aspects of starting an online business from home? Before we get to the list, it is important that you do some research into your business idea. If you are still unsure about what business to start, or are looking for ideas, I recommend you read the following before continuing:

1. Domain and Web platform

A domain name is important because it is a bare necessity for any business that wants to appear professional. Don’t send business communications from a gmail or hotmail email address.

Do you have any idea how many spammers there are out there sending “business” emails from gmail and hotmail accounts?

Think about your brand or find a meaningful domain name and purchase it for at least a few years.

Google takes domain age and longevity into account, and spammers often purchase domains for short periods of time, so owning a domain for a long period of time lends your business credibility.

Based on the needs of your business, you will need to select the right Web platform. If you are going to sell products then consider using an online shopping cart. Fortunately, there are plenty of really powerful, easy to implement cart software solution available.

If you don’t need an eCommerce store, use a CMS (Content Management System) or a hosted blog platform like WordPress. The following articles will help you find the right Web platform:

2. Blog

It doesn’t matter what type of small business you are starting – a blog is a compulsory requirement. Blogging is the best way to build up sustained organic search traffic that is the lifeblood of any online venture.

To put things into perspective; the vast majority of all traffic on the Internet originates with search. It is the largest source of traffic, so it is the most important one to compete in. High quality blog content is the best way to gain visibility, PageRank, and appear high up in search engine results.

Blogging effectively takes a bit of time and experience to get right. You can drastically reduce the amount of time it takes to become an effective small business blogger by reading the following articles:

3. SEO basics

Good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can mean the difference between driving plenty of organic search traffic and making money, or failing because there is no traffic and no sales.

Every startup, blogger, and small business webmaster should know enough about SEO basics to get by. In particular, understanding a bit about SEO can help you avoid potential search engine penalties, or fix SEO related problems without having to rely on expensive third party SEO consultants.

If you are not familiar with SEO then I strongly recommend you download and read the following free ebook on small business SEO (no registration or email required):

Small business SEO is a collection of 30+ pages of SEO wisdom for small businesses and bloggers. It is completely up-to-date and provides everything a budding online entrepreneur needs to beat competitors online.

4. Social influence

While search traffic is still king, social media traffic is important. So important that search and social are becoming more closely integrated all the time.

Blog content and SEO can all be greatly enhanced by the inclusion of social sharing. By building a social network and following, you magnify the effectiveness of content and marketing.

Like SEO, social marketing takes a bit of time and practice to learn. The following articles will help you find the right social networks and use them in the right way to start building a social following around your startup business:

5. Analytics

All of the previous points have focused on building traffic by getting the right platform, working to build visibility, trust and authority, and social influence. Building a business online is not an exact science, however, so it is important to measure your results and refine tactics and strategies for driving traffic and growth.

Analytical data, usually from a free analytics tool like Google analytics, can provide insight into how people are find content, how they behave on-site, and where the site is failing or succeeding.

Without analytical data, bloggers and businesses aren’t empowered to make intelligent marketing, SEO, advertising, and social decisions to help drive traffic, engagement and revenue.

Check out the following articles and resources on how to use analytics in order to grow a small business startup:

Have your recently started a home based business online? Have you succeeded in making sales and driving traffic and revenue? Share your thoughts, tips and experiences in the comments or join me on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ to continue the conversation.