By Terry Dean
This article is quite a bit different from our usual publication. Instead of showing you how to succeed, today I am going to show you how to fail.
Below are seven recipes for the surefire failure of your web site. I will show you how to cure each of these faulty recipes underneath each listing.
Once you know the steps that cause failure, you can avoid them.
Failure Recipe #1: Sell Something You Don't Understand.
Do you want to know one of my pet peeves? It is when someone comes to me asking how they should sell the new book they wrote on "Internet marketing."
My question is...If they wrote the book on it, why are they asking for my advice?
This is a Surefire recipe for Internet failure...You shouldn't be trying to sell something you don't know, understand, and aren't an expert in.
In other words, don't sell an Internet marketing product if you haven't made money in Internet marketing.
Don't jump on a business opportunity just because someone you know is promoting it. Find something that you love. Then, build a business out of that.
If you love gardening, then find a way to develop a web site and product around that. If you love mountain bikes, then create a web site about that.
If you are always on the golf course, then create a theme out of that. Review golf courses and golf clubs. Sell golf videos on your site. Joint Venture with a travel company and offer golf getaways.
The most successful online sites are not in the "business opportunity" field. They are special interest sites built around specific themes.
Failure Recipe #2: Don't Add Your Personality.
Don't try to compete with corporate sites with your little $100 domain. They have the huge advertising budget to overcome their site mistakes, but you don't. You must use your secret weapon...YOU.
Many people are ashamed to do this, but you absolutely have to add a little bit of you into your web sites. Your visitors are not looking for another corporate site. They are looking for real solutions to their problems, and they want them to come from a real human being.
Include your name on your site. Give your phone number and personal email address. Tell them facts about why they should listen to you. What experiences or credibility do you have in the field?
When you write something for your site, let it include your personality. Include your opinions. In other words, be interesting to the people who visit you.
Failure Recipe #3: Ignore Your Traffic Stats.
Where does most of your traffic come from? Ask that question of 90% of the webmasters out there, and they will just give you a blank look. They have no idea where their traffic comes from.
This is a serious mistake and one you will have to correct if you have any ambitions for your site at all. Virtually every hosting company you could possibly purchase your site from comes with some type of tracking features. If you don't know what your hosting company currently offers, ask them.
Examine your stats to find out where your traffic is coming from. What search engines do they use to find you? What keywords did they use? Who else is linking to you?
Which pages do they visit first? Which section of your web site do they go to the most after they visit the front page? These are the types of questions your traffic stats should be telling you.
Once you have a chance to look at them, increase promotion in whatever areas are working. If you notice that you are getting a lot of hits from a specific search engine, increase your promotion on that engine. If you receive most of your hits through links on other sites, then work more on creating links.
If you notice your traffic surges every time an ezine publishes one of your articles, then send out more articles for ezines to use. Keep on doing whatever is currently working for you! Cancel the rest.
Failure Recipe #4: Don't Collect Email Addresses.
Sites which only have one shot to sell their visitors are eventually going to fail. You have to create a sales system where you can follow up on them again and again.
The best way to do this is to create your own ezine. You could also offer a special series of reports which are sent out to your prospects by email every couple of days or every week. Either method will increase your web site sales and increase your profits.
Think about it this way. If you can't get a prospect to commit to you by giving you their email address, then there is no way you can sell something to that prospect. So, focus on collecting the email address when someone visits your site.
Offer your ezine (or your special series of reports) on every page your of site. Give free ebook bonuses for subscribing. Offer other incentives for subscribing. Build the list and at the same time make your first product offer to them. So, you are still doing a sales presentation, but you get to follow-up at the same time.
I will venture to say that your actual web site serves two primary purposes. It is there to give you the basic credibility so that they subscribe to your email publication, and it is there to help you take online orders. For most businesses, those are the two most effective purposes of the entire site!
Failure Recipe #5: Sell Shoddy Products.
If you are out to fail, then sell some shoddy products. It used to be said that if one customer had a bad experience they would tell 10 of their friends about it. Now, with the global efficiency of the Internet, instead of them just telling their friends, they may tell thousands of people about it.
When you sell a really good product, the news gets around. When you sell a poor product, the news gets around even faster.
So, make sure any product you sell is your best work. Figure out a way to add additional bonuses to it. Give the customer more than they expected. You have to "WOW" them.
Give them faster shipping then they expected. Purchase reprint rights to someone else's product to throw in as a bonus. Call them up and ask them if they need anything else. Go beyond the call of duty and your name will begin to become well known around the Internet.
Failure Recipe #6: Build It and Sit on It.
The phrase "Build It and They Will Come" is a great statement to use in a movie, but it doesn't work on the web. Too many webmasters spend thousands of dollars building a web site, and then they sit on it. They don't do anything with it.
If you want traffic, then you have to go out and get the traffic. There are two commodities that you can use to build traffic to your site:
#1: You can spend money building traffic through offline advertising, banner ads, ezine ads, and the like.
#2: You can spend time writing articles to submit to ezines, participating in forums, exchanging links, etc.
Spending your time is actually more productive in 90% of cases then spending your money, but either way it does cost you something. If you want traffic, you have to advertise.
Failure Recipe #7: Do What Everyone Else is Doing.
Most Internet marketing methods only work until everyone knows about them. Innovations only last so long on the web. For example, it used to be really easy to get top positions on the search engines. Now, you really have to work to get those positions because every market has thousands of competitors who know the secrets to search engine marketing.
You have to do something a little bit wild and unique to build your traffic bases in most cases. You have to come up with your own ideas and not just rely on what a few select gurus are telling you.
If a guru tells a method for building traffic, then you can rest assured that thousands of marketers will soon be using that exact method for building traffic. Although the method will still work, it won't work as well as when it was first invented because of the increased competition.
Learn to use your mind...and then success in your business will follow.
Your Online Business Needs More Work
To succeed in the online world, a substantial effort, dedication, patience and perseverance are required in order to reap the rewards in the long run.
Below are ten important points to consider if you are serious about making your online business success a reality.
Plan Your Web Site for Profits
Most businesses fail to plan for online success. Knowing your purpose, audience, and uniqueness are the first steps to developing a successful web site.
Is Your Product Suitable for the 'Net?
Nothing can guarantee the success of a business. However, careful thought and research can help you to build a thriving online business.
Most Online Businesses Do Not Offer What Consumers Demand
Sure, there's lots of stuff for sale on the Web. And a consumer who knows exactly what they need and where
to find it, may find buying on the Web convenient. But for the vast majority of
consumers, the Web is too difficult to use. For one thing, required information is not available.