Rabu, 07 Januari 2009

Wanting To Start An Online Business? 6 Important Steps To Get You Started

Due to the need to have a better work-life balance and work from home; or to earn extra cash, a lot of people are now searching for ways to make money online. Today, online businesses are very trendy. Although it is a very appealing concept, a lot of people just do not know where to start.

If you are considering setting up your own business, then this article is for you.

What steps do you need to take to start your own online home based business?

· Identify your reasons and goals. This is an important step which will guide you as you start and develop your online home based business. Why do you want to start an online business? Do you want the business to eventually replace your job's salary, do you just want to earn some extra cash, or you want to buy a new home or car? Write down all the reasons and objects that you want to achieve with your online home based business. It is important that you focus on these goals all the time - they will keep you motivated and focused. Depending on what you enjoy, decide on the online home based business model that suits you. There are so many options, and that is a different topic that warrants an article to cover just that.

· Choose and set up a domain name. Having an online home based business means that you will need to create some presence on the Internet. To do this, you will need a website. Choose an appropriate domain name and get it registered. It is essential for you to note that your domain must reflect your online home based business. This will help you in the long term with your visibility on search words. Ideally, your domain must have your online home based business' key words.

· Select the web host. This is very important - you must choose a web host that has high capacity which will make it easy for your site to be found quickly. The web host must be very reliable; you do not want a server that is down at any time as this would cost you money. Two critical things to look for while assessing the web hosting company to work
with are high reliability and good
customer support.

· Get your website built or build your own website. Your website's design, layout and content will have a strong influence on the success of your online home based business. Your website must be professional, easy to navigate and user friendly. A catchy and interesting headline is a must-have. Your content must be related to what you are offering in your online home based business. Do not put dancing and singing graphics of your website - they can be irritating and confusing to your visitors, they make your website slow to load, and they do not help you with search engines. You will need to constantly improve your website as you develop your online home based business, but these factors outlined above will help you create a good website that will boost your profits.

· Automate your website! This is a very important aspect of your online home based business. If you want to be successful with your online home based business, you must put it on auto-pilot. You will need to use various tools that can help you put your online home based business on autopilot. Use an auto responder and offer an e-zone or e-course from your website. Your visitors will be able to subscribe to your e-zine and you will keep in constant contact with them with your auto responder. You need to build a list of your leads or prospects, and over time, these will become your customers. Also create an automated ordering process so that your visitors can easily buy from your website.

· Plan and implement your marketing strategy! Yes, you now have a great website and great product or service to offer, but without visitors - your online home based business will not succeed. You will need a lot of visitors! The first step is to establish your monthly marketing budget. With that budget, what advertising strategies can you afford? Your options are solo ads in ezines, articles writing and distributing, participating in relevant forums, list building, and free ads or paid advertising, among others. Decide on the selected advertising strategies that you are going to use, perfect them and start promoting your online home based business!

These 6 steps will get you going in your online home based business. To your success!

The Incredible Four: 4 Underestimated But Effective Ways To Really Grow Your Online Business

Have you noticed how some internet marketers seem to easily achieve more success than others in their online businesses? Regardless of how long they have been in business and the type of online business they start, they just become effortlessly successful. These internet marketers simply manage to redefine success in whatever they do!

What is the secret for these successful internet marketers? What unusual strategies and tactics do they use which helps them become very successful?

1) Offering some knowledge or service. Regardless of what your online business is, you will need to find an angle of that business which you can use to offer your knowledge or any other service. Success in internet marketing seems to come to those who offer something - be it expertise knowledge or some service. You become viewed as an expert, you build a lot of trust and good relationship, and you establish your online presence rapidly. The more involved you become in whatever you will be offering, the quicker you build your online presence and business. Think about a way you can offer something - it may be stating a forum, a directory or 'training centre' relating to your online business. Be creative and find out what service you can offer that is related to your business!

2) Really CARE about the customers. This goes a very long way in helping you grow your online business. Although your prospects can bring you some money through checks, be very honest about them with whatever you are selling. Be honest with the customers/prospects - if they told you their situation and needs, and ask you if a product you are offering would suit what they need - tell them truth. Do not just focus on making a sale - focus on actually helping the person. On the other hand, if the prospect is very interest in what you are offering and ask you for more information, take the time to answer any
question they may have as quickly as possible. Once you start to show your customers
that you care, your online business will start growing as more prospects and customers trust you and buy from you.

3) ALWAYS over-deliver! This is a very important factor if you want to succeed with your online business. Offer quality products and services, and your online business will simply grow tremendously. Offer some good quality gifts to your customers when they order. Also, your products must bring your customers a lot more benefit than the price you sell them for. Customers like getting a good deal - this may be in terms of a low price for the product or some valuable bonuses or gifts after purchase.

4) Maintain a lot of real customer contact on a regular basis. With auto responders and other tools that automate online businesses, it is very easy to treat your prospects just like a list and not as individual people you care about it. Your list is your best asset - show it that you care by keeping in touch and also making some good free offers to them. It pays to send some regular 'non-selling' emails that can also be offering some free tips and ideas. By doing this you build trust - and the prospects will soon be your long term customers for your online business. Your existing customers will bring you repeat business. Setting up and offering a free brainstorming or networking call is also very effective. Again, you create the confidence - your prospects and customers will know there is a person behind the name or the website. Make these calls very helpful by discussing some important topics and answering questions.

In conclusion, if you want to achieve a lot of success with your online business; offer some special expertise or service, care about your customers, always delivery high quality products and services and keep in touch with your customers. These techniques are the reason why successful internet markets have that 'edge' over the rest.

These tools can help you grow your online business with minimal effort. The more you create a good reputation and become viewed as an expert, the more your online business grows.

Think You Know What Makes Customers Happy?

"Think You Know What Makes You Happy?" This headline shouts at you from a new book called "Stumbling on Happiness" by Daniel Gilbert. It's a very thought-provoking look at how we think about happiness. To be happy, there is something we all want. If you're thinking it's money, you're wrong. It's CONTROL! We all want to control what happens to us and go to great lengths to feel "in control."

For online marketers, this brings up the eternal question, "Who is in control, you or the customer?" With the advent of Web 2.0, I think the answer is the customer. Corporate attorneys aside, the customer needs to feel in control of the buying process from start to finish. New technology allows the customer to weigh-in on every aspect of process.

Web 2.0 technology now gives the customer the ability to comment on products and services in a way that was previously impossible. Bloggers impacted the last election and have caused at least one bicycle lock manufacturer millions of dollars. Someone posted a demonstration of a way to break the lock and the manufacturer had to replace them.

Take a look at your website from this "customer control" perspective. Here are five
things I recommend you think about
to get yourself started in the right direction.

1. Marketing message: Is the message clear? Do you use strong benefit copy? In order to feel in control at the beginning of the buying process, customers need to immediately identify how this product will give them something they want.

2. Product/Service information: Do you provide enough visual information, specs, audio and video about the product? Try to make the customer feel like he has the product in his hand and you are explaining its benefits. Don't skimp on this. Whatever makes your product unique and desirable should be detailed.

3. Price: Have you made your case for the price? Understand that if you have positioned your product at a higher price, you need to communicate the quality and customer service that comes along with it.

4. Buying process: Is your shopping cart easy to use? Recruit some non-employees to go through the buying process as your team watches. That's always an eye-opener. You'll see where the 'loss of control' kicks-in.

5. Ongoing communication: After purchasing, a buyer wants to feel in control and glad she made the purchase. "Buyer's remorse" is just a symptom of not feeling 'in control.' Make sure to follow-up with the customer and reinforce her purchase.

Jumat, 19 Desember 2008

Guide To Selling On eBay

Venturing into selling is an adventure that requires risk that can either lead to success or failure. Aside from traditional markets, selling can as well be done through other mediums, which include the fast growing Internet arena.

It was first used for information purposes but was later on utilized for varied reason including buying and selling. The rapid growth of on line marketing paved way to hundreds and thousands of sellers, dealers and manufacturers from various sides and corners of the world that can provide varied products, items and services for all users and consumers all over the world.

Most visited site on the net is the eBay store. It is an online store where you can buy and sell anything that you can ever think of ranging from everyday needs to sprees and whims!

Selling on ebay could be one of your most exciting adventures in the net. Buying and selling are organized into categories. They have sites from various parts and areas of the world with local sites that will suit to the local taste, culture and needs.

You can sell either new or used products so don't throw away those stuffs around your house that you do not want anymore which include antiques, art, baby, boats, books, business and industrial, cars, car parts and accessories, mobile phones, clothing, shoes and accessories, collectibles, computers and networking, crafts, DVDs and movies, entertainment memorabilia, health and beauty, home and garden, jewelry and watches, musical instruments, real estate, specialty services, sporting goods, tickets, toys and hobbies, video games and a lot more!

Selling through eBay is an advantage since you can stay away from the difficulties of traditional selling which may involve laborious registration. With eBay however, registration to sell the product, item or service that you desire can be done without much hassle and difficulties.

Here are some guides before selling on eBay:

· Research would surely help a lot.

Know what is hot together with the latest trends and needs that call for a specific product or service.

You can also have a study of the local
culture of a certain country to have access to the particular tastes and preferences of the would-be users, buyers and customers of your products and services. Roaming the net for similar items that are sold successfully can be used as guides as to what you will sell.

· For advertisements use keywords that are commonly typed in by the searchers and buyers for your page to be indexed on the top pages of the search engines. You can insert buzzwords that can attract buyers and thus induce them to buy.

Advertising strategies can be similarly done with the traditional manner. You can use printed materials to promote the site or url of your page or you can also link with other sites for more visitors and users. They may not be buyers but they can refer or recommend the products or services that you offer to their friends, families or buddies in the Internet world.

· Be sure to include important details to the product that you sell.

Give the description and features together with the prices, manner of payment or shipping charge. A photo can either make or unmake the product. Taking a picture that will show the stand outside or features of the product is a great help to promote and achieve more sales.

For eBay, the first picture that you add is free so you will have a big bonus on the expenses that you have to spend.

Choose the category that will suit your product so as to facilitate easy access and selection. The titles must be well chosen for your ad since the words you use are the ones that induce the readers or buyers to further go on with the products that you have listed. Be sure that it will arouse and sustain the interest of the buyers and readers.

· The manner of payment and shipping can be preferably done through PayPal for easy and secure online payment.

The shipping and cost can depend upon the location of the buyer. Make sure that you put in the right pieces of information and details before listing your page.

Remember, planning ahead and preparing before you sell online or in eBay is needed. You have to come up with a strategy on how to get into the heart of selling so as to ensure success in the risk that you have taken.

Don't Be Afraid to Expose Your Site

How do the top agents in Hollywood get the stars that they represent noticed? Exposure, they make them go to all the awards, charity events. Do you thing that those stars want to do the talk show circuit every time one of their movies hits the big screen. No way but they need the exposure. The internet is no different. In order to get sales or contacts you need to expose you content (site or articles) to as many things as possible. Below are way's to improve exposure on your site. Remember I said ways to and not the only ways to.

Adwords and AdSense Pay Per Click (ppc) Post to forums and BLOGS! Buy ad space Affiliates Webrings or "Cliques." Provide free resources Send e-mail newsletters and created your own opt in newsletter.

Does your site read well? What the heck are you talking about you ask. When you are ask this question it means, if I go to your site and start reading your content will I want to stay for a while to read more of your content or am I just going to click the back button with a confused look on my face because I just don't get what you are saying. It's important that the text flows well.

There are all kinds of strategies about Keyword Density. This means simply how many
search words are mentioned on your page. For example if your site is about no money
down real estate your Target Keyword should be "no money down Real Estate". This phrase should be mentioned within your pages at least 3-8% of the total text that is on that page. This is how a search engine can tell what your site's content and how to index you in a search.

Keyword Density defined: the ratio of the number of occurrences of a particular keyword or phrase to the total number of words in a page.

Keyword density is important since search engines use this information to categorize a site's theme, and to determine which terms this site is relevant to the perfect keyword density will help archive higher search engine positions. Keyword density needs to be balanced correctly (too low and you will not get the optimum benefit, too high and your page might get flagged for 'keyword-spamming').

Keyword density is the ratio of a keyword or key phrases to the total number of words on that page. It is one of the most critical aspects of successful search engine optimization. To improve your search engine ranking potential, your keyword density must be just right. To calculate your keyword density, divide the total number of words on your page by the number of times your primary keyword or key phrase appears. Keyword density is critical when outlining the keyword portion of your search engine optimization strategy.

You DO Have Time for an Online Business

Almost everyone needs or wants more money coming in, and with this desire most would like to start some sort of extra income-producing project. The trouble is, not many of these people seem able to fit "a second job" into their time schedules.

It's true that most people are busy, but extra time for some sort of home-based extra income-producing project can almost always be found. It may mean giving up or changing a few of your favorite pastimes - such as having a couple of beers with the guys or watching TV - but if you score big with your extra income project, you will have all the time you want for doing whatever you want to do.

The first thing to do is to sit down with pencil and paper and list your daily schedule. What time do you wake up? Then step-by-step, list everything you do each day. Most people will find that they have about three hours each day that can be utilized in a more constructive or efficient manner. As we've noted above, you may have to give up the time you waste in your local pub or a few television programs you watch, but it will be worth it in the long run.

Efficient time management boils down to planning what you're going to do, and then doing it without backtracking. Start by making a list of the things you want to do tomorrow, each evening before you go to bed. Schedule your trips to the store or wherever to coincide with the other things you have to do, and with your trips to or from work. Organize your trips to take care of as many things as possible while you're out of the house. Take stock of the time you spend standing around shooting the breeze - especially the time you spend on the telephone - and eliminate all that isn't necessary.

Whatever chores you have to do at home, set aside a specific time to do them, and a specific amount of time to devote to them. For instance, just one hour a day devoted to yard work would probably make your property the envy of all your neighbors. Don't try to do a week's work in one big flurry. Whether it's painting your house, fixing leaky faucets, or mowing your lawn and trimming your shrubs, do a part of it, or one particular
job each day, and you'll be amazed at
your progress.

Take care of all your mail the day you receive it. Don't let those bills and letters pile up on you. If you're unable to pay a bill immediately, file it in a special place that's visible, and note on the envelope the date you intend to pay it. Answer your letters the same day you get them.

The important thing is to think of time as your most valuable asset, because it is. So organize! Decide what you have to do, and what you want to do. From there, it's just a matter of arranging priorities.

Once you start listing and planning what you want to do, and then carry out your plans, you'll find plenty of "extra time" for handling virtually any kind of home-based income-producing project. People in general may not like routines or schedules, but without some sort of plan as to what is supposed to be done, the world would be mired in mass confusion

The secret of all financially successful people is simply that they are organized and do not waste time. Think about it. Review your own activities, and then see if you can't find a couple of extra hours in each day for more constructive accomplishments.

When you begin planning, and then when you really become involved in an extra in come-producing endeavor, you should work it exactly as you have organized your regular day-to-day activities - on a time-efficient basis. Do what has to be done immediately. Don't try to get done in an hour something that's realistically going to take a week. Plan out on paper what you have to do - what you want to do - and when you are going to do it. Then get right on each project without procrastination.

Finally, and above all else, when you're organizing your time and your business, be sure to set aside some time for relaxation. Be sure to schedule time when you and your spouse can be together. You must not involve yourself in anything to an extent that you exclude other people - particularly your loved ones - from your life.

Taking stock of the time you waste each day, and from there, reorganizing your activities is what it's all about. It's a matter of becoming more efficient in the use of your time. It's really easy to do, and you will not only accomplish a lot more, you will also find greater fulfillment in your life.

Minggu, 07 Desember 2008

Make Your Site Look Like Champagne But With A Ginger Ale Budget...

Here's a big step that people really over complicate. They are trying to do a Spielberg production because they feel that the glossier the better. Well you couldn't be more wrong if you tried. This is where KISS (Keep it simple Stupid) comes into play.

Graphic design and Look & Feel are not as important as most people think. It's amazing to think how much money people spend on graphics and how little they spend on the words (content).

If you happen to be one of those folks who think that a Hollywood production is essential for Net success, go take a look at Google's site or Ebay's site and then come back to me. You may have heard of those two companies because they have been fairly successful so far and with 99% of their site being text interface.

So don't be awed by the huge budgets of big companies who put up incredibly splashy sites. It's wordr that win (or lose!) at the end of the day, not graphics.

Graphics are not essential because people are not looking for graphics. Like I always say, put yourself in the shoes or your customer. What are you looking for on the net?
Right.... info. Never be awed by graphics. Just win with words.

Your Look and Feel needs to be consistent with the overall theme of your site. You do want to gain confidence by offering a crisp presentation. Stay away from tons of colors and flying centipedes.

To get a good example of how design can influence viewers' moods, pick up a fashion magazine and scan through the ads. Whether the tone is blatantly obvious (for example, a Victoria Secrets ad = you will be sexy) or subtle (a Ralph Lauren ad = you will be calm and successful), all of these companies have chosen styles that match the mood with the product that they are trying to sell.

Note how the various companies use color, fonts, and images to try to bring across their message to you their want viewer. Some will make you feel tough, sexy, innocent, independent, guilty, successful, etc. These are all basic emotions that they are using to get a single desired result...The Sale (the same as what you are trying to do).

But keep it simple. You want to be Mr. or Mrs. simplicity. Beginners always fall for the flashy approach instead of the more boring simple well written pages.

Always remember to stay focused on the overall theme of your site content, and the impression that you want to make on your visitors.