Australia’s top digital disruptors reveal their secrets for launching and growing an online business.

  • Dozens of case studies from success stories such as Uber, Thankyou, Vinomofo and Booktopia
  • Learn to use a 5-step process to build your own online business

About the book: How to Build an Online Business

You’ve got a crazy idea, a fledgling business or a hobby that could be so much more. You want to take it online to become a money-making success, but how do you actually do it?

In How to Build an Online Business, best-selling author and digital marketing specialist Bernadette Schwerdt reveals the inside tips and tricks used by Australia’s top online entrepreneurs to create their multi-million dollar businesses. This is your ultimate playbook for joining the tech-led revolution.

In five easy-to-follow steps you’ll learn how to:

  • develop the entrepreneurial mindset needed to turn your passion, hobby or side hustle into an online business
  • create a minimum viable product (MVP) that attracts attention and generates instant income
  • source web developers, designers and other key suppliers for a fraction of the usual cost
  • use content, social influencers and SEO to drive traffic and generate sales
  • write, pitch, persuade and present like a professional to attract investors, customers and high-quality strategic partners.

The 5-step process

Features of How to Build an Online Business

5 steps

Who's included in the book:


  • Tony NashBooktopia
  • Andre EikmeierVinomofo
  • David RohrsheimUber
  • Jane LuShowpo
  • Matt BarrieFreelancer
  • Adrian FittolaniEnvato
  • Melanie PerkinsCanva
  • Jules LundTRIBE
  • Kate MorrisAdore Beauty
  • Darren RowseProblogger, Digital Photography School
  • Daniel and Justine FlynnThankyou Group
  • John WinningAppliancesOnline
  • Shaun O’BrienSelby Acoustics
  • Paul GreenbergDealsDirect & NORA
  • Sandy AbramWholesome Hub
  • Simon GriffithsWho Gives A Crap
  • Mark BevanJoust
  • Morgan ColemanVets on Call
  • Nik Merkovic and Alex TomicHiSmile
  • Lucy Glade-WrightHunting for George
  • Lucy MathiesonBake Play Smile
  • Anna WhitehouseMother Pukka


  • Karen Eckeckfactor PR
  • Jocelyne SimpsonIDoMyOwnPR
  • Toby TremayneMagic Industries
  • Adam FranklinBluewire Media
  • Jim StewartStewArt Media
  • Meri HarliFat Cake Media
  • Phil LeahyRetail Global
  • Lyndal HarrisPodcast VA
  • Kevin BlochCiSCO

About the Author:

Bernadette Schwerdt is the author of the best-selling book Secrets of Online Entrepreneurs and the executive producer of the video series of the same name as featured on The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald websites. She is the founder of the Australian School of Copywriting, a judge with the Online Retailers Industry Awards (the ORIAS) and a keynote speaker and advisor to Australia's top corporations in the areas of digital marketing, communications and innovation.


Delighted to have been able to provide a little input in this book. Well done Bernadette Schwerdt, an easy and informative read!

Jane Huxley, Pandora Radio 


First and foremost, Bernadette Schwerdt is a story-teller. She's a great writer. Most business books are the literally equivalent of porridge. They're healthy for you but drudgery to read. That's not the case with Online Secrets. It's packed wisdom, anecdotes and distills the insights of market leaders into one resource. But, better than that, it's a real page turner. I consumed this book like it was a fine meal. (And I plan to give away a few copies to aspiring online entrepreneurs too. It's that good.)

James Tuckerman, Anthill Online 


Bernadette's business experience shows in her writing style and how she's presented the info, including the topics she has chosen. It is refreshing to read a business book that gets to the point and is very real world focused. Well worth getting.

David Lennon, Business Coach 


It's eloquent, sharp and funny. This author is infectiously passionate about her subject and has a keen sense of curiosity. It's well-structured and packed with anecdotes, real life examples and experience from those 'making it happen' online. If only all business books were this engaging to read.

Emmaj, Wellington NZ 


As the host of Fairfax TV's Business Talk Show, Bernadette Schwerdt has been in a unique position to capture the best practices from some of the most successful Australian entrepreneurs. She conveyed them in a very approachable how-to guide. I would highly recommend this book as a must read for any aspiring entrepreneur across the globe. If you have an idea, want to start a technology company, read Bernadette's book first. It will save you lots of time and frustrations and help you learn from the best.

Maciej Kranz, San Jose, California, US 


I thoroughly enjoyed this book; it's a great journey into the minds of some of our country's great self-made business people and how they've succeeded in a massively changing marketplace. A lot of books provide inspiration on starting an online business: this is one of the first books I've read that both inspires AND educates.

The Hawk, Melbourne 


I loved the tips, the well thought out flow of 'how to' and how inspired I felt after reading it!

She wrote the book she wanted to read, NSW 


Inspiring read with easy, practical ideas. Even made me LOL! It gets you off your chair thinking about ideas to start your own online business. Anyone can do it!

Helen, Melbourne 


This is a fascinating and insightful book bursting with relevant and practical information. Whether you already have an online business or are contemplating developing an online business, the diversity of entrepreneurs sharing their experiences and tips will help guide you on your way. The author, Bernadette Schwerdt, has done a wonderful job in conveying these local success stories in an easy-to-read manner - it is an excellent resource/instruction book written in an entertaining way. Highly recommended!

Ros Turffrey, Brisbane 


I loved this book. So easy to read, great stories of inspirational people, and funny too! I'll definitely be giving this to my teenage daughter because without entrepreneurial skills, they will struggle to find jobs in the digital era. I highly recommend this book to all parent of teenagers.

Ralphy13, Adelaide 


A must for anyone contemplating an online business. The entrepreneurs Bernadette has interviewed offer a wealth of information that you'd normally pay a lot of money to receive.

Ed, Melbourne 


This is a great book full of useful hints and tips, it’s well written easy to understand and best of all is funny. Yep humour and information in a quick easy read format. Buy it online today.

Rum, Melbourne 

Your free resources:

Here are the free resources mentioned throughout How to Build an Online Business.

  • pg 36 – Dollar Shave Club irreverent 90-second videoclip that went viral: Dollar Shave Club
  • pg 38 – How the application of Augmented Reality Works: here
  • pg 72 – Dropbox’s famous MVP, 3-minute video offering storage space for sharing the link: here
  • pg 87 – Bernadette’s TEDx talk, ‘How to bumble your way to success’: here
  • pg 186 – Bernadette’s Podcasts here
  • pg 199 – Baxter Blue’s media release example: Baxter blue media release

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