Back to the Basics: How to Successfully Start an Online Business
by Diane Hughes
As someone who has been running a full-time
Internet business for years, I often have to remind myself that there are
thousands of business "newbies" who are just starting out. As I get farther
and farther into the realm of online business, I find that the basics for
starting your own business still hold true.
If you begin with a solid
foundation, you increase your chances of success. With that in mind, Iíd like
to share some of those truths with you now in an effort to help you get
started on the right foot.
Build a Professionally Designed Web
One of the biggest mistakes startups make is to save money by
creating a Web site themselves. Unless you are graphically talented and have
a good deal of experience with Web design, I would not recommend
Your Web site is ALL that your site visitors have to base their
decisions on. Your siteís design simply must give your visitor a sense of
professionalism, trust, security, and ease. A "homemade" looking site screams
"Iím a startup business who has no money and may go out of business at
any minute!" You donít want to portray that type of image.
canít afford to hire a pro to design your site, that leaves you with one of
two choices. First, wait and save some more money. Or wait and learn to do it
Yes, You DO Need To Know at Least a Little
Whether you have someone else design your site or you do
it yourself, youíll need to have a good knowledge of HTML basics. No...
you donít need to be able to write full-blown code in HTML, but you DO need
to be able to make changes to your site, load scripts, and handle several
other minor administrative details.
HTML basics are very easy to
learn. Once you get a handle on this language, youíll be in a much better
position to save time and money when it comes to keeping your Web
site fresh and up-to-date.
Content Is King
The saying may
be out of date, but the principle is definitely still accurate. People come
to the Internet for information. Buyers need to be convinced in order
to purchase. Search engines rank your site based primarily on the words on
the pages. The whole virtual world revolves around content.
sound like a broken record, but if you arenít able to write compelling copy
that persuades your visitors to take action, you would be better off waiting
to launch your site. Just as with Web design, you have two choices.
First, wait and save some money in order to pay a professional copywriter.
Or take the time to learn to do it yourself properly.
Never Use a
Free Web hosting companies trade you space on their
servers for pop-up ads on your site. In many cases, the host uses several
pop-up ads. How annoyed do YOU get when you visit a site and seven or eight
pop-up or pop-under windows launch? Then donít put your customers through
that same aggravation.
There are a multitude of hosts now that charge
reasonable rates. No pop-ups, lots of features, and good service,
too. Use one of those as opposed to the freebie hosts.
Search Engine Listings
Search engines (such as Google and AOL) can be
an exceptional way to drive traffic to your site. By incorporating just a
few "rules of the game," you can rank quite highly in most engines. It will
be VERY worth your while to learn about search engine optimization
basics. This can be an ongoing source of qualified traffic for you for
years to come.
Above all, donít rush! The Internet isnít going
anywhere. Those who hurry to throw a site up quickly find themselves with
all sorts of problems. If you take your time and get a decent "Internet
business education" before you launch your site, youíll bypass many of the
struggles most startups have. Youíll also increase your chances of success
and find that profits come much more easily than you thought!
Choosing A Business Model For Your Online Business
Whether you already have an online business or would like to start one, developing a business model is a must. A business model spells out how you are going to generate revenue from your business.
Mini Site or Content-based Web Site?
Are you in a dilemma whether to create a mini site or a content-based web site for your new product or service?
Is a mini site with a few pages enough or should you spend more time and create a content-based web site which contains many pages?
The 6 Basic Rules of E-Commerce
How can you expect people to buy your product, if you don't tell them about it??
The importance of having your own domain name
This article tells you why you need to have your own domain name in order to get a high ranking in the search engines and to provide credibility with your customers.
Copyright 2004 Diane Hughes
FREE Report: Amazingly Simple (Yet Super
Powerful) Ways To Skyrocket Your Sales And Build Your Business Into A
Tower of Profits! ==>> http://madmarketer.com/diane