You have an incredible product or service that you believe can be of great interest to others. How do you get others interested? You use the internet! To start an internet business, there are specific steps that need to be taken. The web is full of ideas for the novice and it can be overwhelming. The following will assist you in the basis of how to create your own online business.
- Research. With the advent of the World Wide Web, the opportunities for creating an internet business have skyrocketed! Consider your area of interest and do the research of what is already out there. What will make your company different? What services will you offer? Is there already an overabundance of companies providing the same service? (Otherwise known as market analysis)
- Marketing plan? Include not only your own information, but your closest competitors also. What sets you apart from others? What is your budget? Do you have a mission plan? What is guiding you and your company? What do you want to achieve from this business?
People inadvertently jump into creating an online business without doing the legwork to make it successful. This is still a business and you will want to create a business plan, consider how you will advertise your product or service and above all, plan on how much time and money you can legitimately put into it. Often, people start their internet business while still working in their “real” job and their energy goes elsewhere. This can be a set up for failure. Treat your internet business as you would any other business opportunity and give it the time it deserves to be successful.
- Create and register a domain name. As of June 4, 2012 there were a total of 140,545,649 registered domain names for the following files: .com, .net, .org, info, .biz and .us. That same day reported that 106,441 were deleted, meaning the end of 106, 441 dreams. There are multiples places to do this and you want to register someplace legitimate. You will want something that signifies your business and services. Create something that means something to you, as the CEO. Avoid names that are complicated and difficult to remember. This will be the web address for your business; you will want to make it easy for people to find you.
- Build a website. For the novice, this can be intimidating. There are a multitude of places to guide you through this process. Fortunately there are thousands of people willing to help with this in addition to software created for the internet business newbie. Again, consider your product, service and audience and create something that stands out while being visually appealing to others. A template can be a great place to start, however you will not want your website to look exactly like your competitors. Allow some creativity and keep it user friendly. Again, if this is not your comfort area, allow a professional to do this for you.
- Get people interested in your website! You want traffic! Consider Search Engine Optimization traffic….core product is imperative….high quality writing and content, insert quality links, optimize the pages ( this means to select one or two keywords and play upon them…use the keywords in your title, description, links, and image titles).
You have two options: complete the research on how to do this or hire someone to do it for you. If you are a self-starter and have done your research, you will utilize your SEO, blogs and count on referrals from others. This method requires continual updating of your material as you want the search engines to seek out your content. You will also depend on back-links, which again, requires referrals from other professionals, rather in forums, blogs or social media. Utilize direct mail options if you have a working list of customers you want to attract. Make sure to register your site at Google, Yahoo, and Bing and if you are also creating a blog, get listed in the major blog directories.
If you do not have the time or the inclination, you can pay someone to do this for you. They will utilize email, “Banner advertising” or pay per click. This method allows for a more personalized advertisement and can be geared toward potential customers that have already expressed in interest in your type of services/products. You need traffic…without it you will fail.
- Understand social media. Google, Facebook and Twitter are “the Big Three” according to Suzanne Arthur in Entrepreneur and they make are part of the “Social Platform”. This platform also includes LinkedIn and bloggers and called Social Media Optimization. The goal of SMO is to go viral and increase your followers. With a free account, you can set up a Facebook page and begin Twittering about your new online business. If you have videos, consider utilizing YouTube. If you have images, use Flickr. Make connections between all of your social accounts.
SEM or social engine media refers to all types of marketing through the use of search engines. It utilizes search engine optimization and advertising both to create a higher ranking.
- Incorporate Brand Tracking Queries. This will follow who looks for you on Google, Twitter and Backtype.
- Affiliate marketing, where you are promoting another service or product and receiving a commission. Essentially you are selling a product or service for someone else and receiving a commission for each sale. If you can tie this into your website, this may be an option worth exploring. Find other services or products that you can tie into your website ad sign up as an affiliate. As you promote their link, people become aware of their product and when they purchase directly from your website, you will get money! Another option is to write reviews on products/services that you are already promoting for your affiliates. People are always looking for reviews of new discoveries and this will also increase traffic to your site.
- Create Google alerts. While there may be some false information, it will cost you nothing and provide you some valuable feedback regarding who is mentioning your site and how often.
- Consider being a guest blogger for those who share your interests. It will increase your credibility and offer additional exposure.
- Utilize content that will be easily accessed via mobile or tab.
- How will you accept payments? Credit cards? Personal checks? PayPal?
- Also, you will need to explore shipping options if you are providing a product.
- Offer subscriptions and email signups. This will help you build a hardcopy of those who are interested in your website. Offer potential client’s something of value when they sign up.
Remember that quality content is critical for your site to be successful. You can do all of the above, however if your content is not well written, your site will not be successful. If you are not comfortable writing your own content, consider using a free articles website. You can find related material at no cost. Remember to keep your content updated and current. You want to be engaging and refreshing. Above all, you want your readers to recommend you to others and to return to your site.