You know information is valuable.
You know the Internet is a profitable venue for marketing information.
You think you may have a great idea or maybe even a product... Now what?
If you've done your research, you already have the right tools to start your online business. Namely, you know how to make a website (or if you don't know how you know that you can learn how to do it easily or that you can hire someone else to do it for you) and you understand the mechanics of selling your product online (like signing up with a payment processor and getting visitors to go to your site).
But maybe you're afraid to start.
There's nothing wrong with being wary; in fact, it's good business sense to know what you're getting into. A common statistic thrown around is that 9 out of 10 new businesses will fail within the first year. But knowing that doesn't mean it's time to quit before you even start. You have a product and therefore you have a target market; it's useful, even necessary, and most certainly comforting to your beginner's brain to do your own research and due diligence.
One method of practicing your business before actually doing it alone is to become an affiliate. Using an affiliate program to enter a new market allows you to test out your ideas and hone them with the ultimate goal of creating and promoting your own product. (In summary, for you beginners out there, affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission off of purchases made by visitors who arrived at that particular product's site by clicking on a link on your webpage).
An advantage of affiliate marketing is that your only concern is driving visitors to their site; the affiliate program will worry about having the perfect product, providing customer service, and delivering the product. Affiliate programs may even provide you with banners or free e-books and techniques showing you how to promote them. This will provide a good learning ground for you so that you can garner ideas for eventually promoting your own product.
Find some affiliate programs related to your particular idea or product. The research you'll derive from joining an affiliate program will be the real benefit. By setting up a website or a few websites testing out your various ideas and promoting these ideas, you can then sit back and see what happens. Hopefully, you'll start making money.
Then you can see which products are really selling and what marketing techniques are working. As you work on improving your website for the products that are selling, you're laying the groundwork for selling your own product. You can then feel more comfortable about your own venture using the successful techniques you learned through this "practice" attempt.
And maybe starting your own business won't look as scary.