Online business is probably the fastest growing market on the planet. With over 34 million web pages out there and more being created every day it seems like an almost hopeless prospect for the solo home business owner to achieve any sort of success. Think of the competition…….right? Well, almost.
For those of us that have been raised in a world where a small business owner works like a dog to keep their creation from going bankrupt it seems almost unfathomable to even think of competing with the “big” companies. If you’ve ever known anyone that owns a business think back to the first few years of their entrepreneurial venture. You’ve probably never seen anyone so tired/overworked/stressed/worried in your life. This is what most people think of when someone mentions “starting your own business”.
The beauty of the modern online business is that practically everything can be automated. This is not to say that there is no work involved in starting a business on the internet. The difference from business twenty years ago and business today is astounding! If you plan your online business well you can accomplish in minutes what just twenty years ago would have taken hours, if not days.
Lets run through some of the options available to you to make your online experience less stressful and time consuming. Let’s find out how to work Smarter, not Harder.
First things first……. We have to build a website.
This alone scares many people. “I don’t know HTML” or “I can’t afford to have a page built for me” are things I hear all the time when talking to people about online business. Let’s get something straight…… you DO NOT need to know how to program better than the top site designers at E-Bay in order to make a web page. I know many people with minimal HTML knowledge that have done exceedingly well in online business.
There are many template systems out there that make building a completely functional web page as easy as copy and paste. One I frequently recommend is the Powersite System (http://powersitesystem.com). It’s simple and effective and lets the new business owner focus on adding content, not scanning endless lines of code or constantly uploading your updated page to the server from a desktop program.
You’ll need to pick key words for your site which can easily be accomplished with websites like Wordtracker. Pick key words that will get you some traffic but aren’t going to be impossible to get your site ranked. More on this……..
Then you need to find a domain name www.value-name.com works just fine and is cheap. Look for a domain name that contains your key words and is fairly easy to remember, the shorter the better for simplicity. (ie: avoid picking www.This-is-My-Business-Site-and-You-Should-Look-at-It12345.com)
Next Step…… Adding Content / Products
If your page is going to be informational there are many great article services out there. Here are a few…..
If you are going to sell actual products you’ll probably want to look into working with a dropshipper (unless you have a big garage to store all the products you will be selling) There are many out there. Here is one I’ve heard great things about…..
And then…… Exchanging Links
The best way to move up in the search engines (to gain traffic) is to have many related pages linking to yours. Link exchange websites like Link Partners are a great way to find sites to exchange relevant links with. Much of this can be automated to save you time and effort……. all you have to do is approve links you want and decline the ones you don’t.
You can also do a search in a few of the major search engines for your selected keywords……. the sites that pop up at the top of the search are the ones you would ideally like to exchange links with to boost your rankings.
Last one…….. Get an Auto Responder
This is a service that will send automatic e-mail messages for you at pre-programmed times that you select. Set one up to send out occasional information about your site to your members, use it to keep in touch with your customers, get feedback about your site to help you improve….. etc. You won’t actually NEED this feature until you are getting heavy traffic to your site, but it’s a handy time saving tool for busy webmasters.
That’s basically it! Rinse and Repeat.
Of course there’s always more things that you might like to try to improve your business but those are the basics. Try new things and track the results. See what works for your site and go from there. The secret to online business is to jump in and get wet…… do SOMETHING and work on improving things from there…… one step at a time.