How to Start an Online Business


How to Start an Online Business



Want to start an online business or start a new blog, but not sure where to begin? By improving technology, including excellent online tools and lower costs, there has never been an easier time to put your business online and start earning money online. Whether you want to make extra money or really change your income with an online business, you can quickly and easily get your idea off the field, build a web presence, start driving traffic to your website and generate sales in a short time.

With that word, let's look at 10 simple steps you can take to get up and running successfully online business quickly and easily.

1. Know Your Market

One of the biggest keys to success with an online business is knowing the market you want to get in.

" What are their greatest desires and needs? Where do they spend their time online and how can you get there? What are the exact words and emotional hot buttons you want to handle with them?"

The better you get to know your market, the more successful you will achieve with the right message and offer the right products and services to them. You do not need to be an expert in your market and you can learn as you follow: but it's good to have the knowledge of the market you want as the foundation. If not, you should have a strong interest in learning more about the market you are about to enter.

Either way, you would be better off getting started with a proven and profitable market niche than trying to reinvent the wheel.

If there is already a lot of market competition it's a good sign that there is a potential profit. While most people will shy away from competitive markets, experienced marketers know that a competitive market is where the money is.

2. Register your Domain Name

So you have decided on the niche market you want to enter.

The first step after that is to register a domain name for your new online venture. Your domain name is your unique address on the interne. This is your intellectual property, such as a patent or a trademark. There are many domain name registries online where you can purchase your domain.

Some registrars even offer "free" domains with hosting plans or other purchases. One such company is Bluehost Web Hosting, which offers free domain names with the purchase of a hosting account. While many are legitimate, be sure to confirm that the domain is registered on your behalf. If the domain is registered in the name of the registrant then it may be difficult, if not impossible, to switch to another hosting company without losing your domain.

Also, if you switch your website to another company, you definitely want to make sure that you actually purchase a domain name and are registered on your behalf and not owned by the company you work for.

Two very popular domain name registrars are GoDaddy.com and Namecheap.com.

Here are some other options for registering your domain name.

When registering your domain name there are two common ways to go. If you prefer personal branding then you can go by your name, or some kind of variation of your name is taken. For example, you can register JohnDoe.com if your name is John Doe. If JohnDoe.com is already taken, they can go with something like JohnDoeLifeCoach.com if you happen to be a life coach.

Another common way is to register a descriptive domain name of the product or service you offer to the market. A great example is FreeCreditReport.com. It's pretty clear from its own name exactly what it looks like. Try to avoid a "cute and creative" name that does not really explain to the market what your value proposition is.

3. Find a Web Host

A web host is a company that will basically "rent" your space on their servers to host your site. These companies usually offer domain registrations and it is often easier to have both with the same company - although many people will buy their domain with one company and host it with another company.

Basically, your web host is where you'll upload web pages, pictures, videos, etc. Web host features such as storage capacity, uptime percentage, domain-based email and server security should be important to consider when evaluating web hosts. In addition, the ability to host blogs, provide response forms, marketing tools, and tools for e-commerce are important criteria to consider when choosing your web host.

Another thing to consider, perhaps most importantly, is accessible 24/7 customer support. Some popular web hosts include:

� Bluehost
� Come on father
� NameCheap
� Hostgator
� iPage

Generally, most web hosts offer the same services, features, and benefits; and all generally cost about the same amount. Although I strongly believe in supporting local businesses, this is one area where you'd better go with a big company that can offer 24/7 support if there's a problem.

4. Designing Your Website

It's not as difficult as it sounds. You have two options for creating a site:

� Create the site itself
� Hire a designer to create it for you

There are at least three options for creating your own site.

� Many hosting companies offer free website building tools.
� WordPress is a popular free blogging platform - both for stand-alone websites and blogs. This is a very simple installation, with many hosting companies installing tools just for WordPress. You do not need many years of learning and a thick manual to use this software. There are thousands of WordPress templates that you can find to further customize your site.
� Another option is to use a high-end program like Dreamweaver by Adobe that will do everything you need but has a pretty steep learning curve. One of the training manuals for Dreamweaver is 1000 pages thick.

Hiring a professional designer may be a simpler option. This is not necessarily expensive. There are several websites where you can find professional freelancers including CraigsList.com, UpWork.com, and Fiverr.com. You might even consider hiring a local high school or college student for a bargain. In addition to visual design work, you should give significant thought to the content of your site.

Again, it is important that if you switch your website design, you actually buy and own both the domain name and hosting account; the web designer simply designs your website.

If you are not an expert in technology or do not have the time or patience to learn how to build your website then you better outsource to pro so you can focus on important things like product creation, marketing, and promotion. , and other high-value activities.

5. Accept Online Payments

Days of printing and submitting of order forms, or check deliveries are long overdue. It's very important that you have the ability to receive payments and process transactions directly on your site. This allows customers to act impulsively and get immediate satisfaction. Accepting Online Payments:

� PayPal.com
� Stripe..com 

Shopping Carts:

� 1ShoppingCart.com
� Infusionsoft.com
� Samcart.com

Be sure to check out the required features and requirements. The minimum monthly fee can affect a beginner's business. It's best to choose a capable service provider that allows growth, so you can get started with basic services and low cost and increase when volume increases. Most people will start with less-rich solutions at low cost when getting started; then upgrade to a more robust shopping cart solution as their business grows.

Unless you are an e-commerce store with hundreds or thousands of products, you may be able to avoid more complex shopping cart solutions and use simple payment processors to make payments online. Many people will initially start by using methods like PayPal to accept payments online, so as their business grows it will add a more feature rich shopping / check out system.

6. Determine the Product Delivery Method

Depending on the type of your product, your shipping method can range from highly downloadable product or online service to more complex. For downloadable products, consider electronic fulfillment companies such as E-junkie.com or Clickbank.com

If you have not already done so, you should seriously consider promoting digital information products as an affiliate.

7. Get Traffic to Your Website

Even the most cutting-edge designs and stunning new products are worthless if they are buried under millions of other websites. To generate online sales you have to redirect a large amount of website traffic. Consider the basic methods for promoting your new site:

� Sign up with three major search engines (Google, Bing, and Yahoo)
� Put your blog in the main blog directory
� Content marketing, video marketing, and podcasting
� Online Advertising: Google PPC, Twitter ads, and Facebook ads
� Live submissions (print, not email)
� Offline marketing (billboards, company vehicles, stationary, print ads, promotional products)

While there are several ways to drive traffic to your website, you do not want to be burdened by all the options. Focus on some of the initial methods, maximize this traffic source, and then continue adding more ways to drive massive traffic to your website.

If you have a budget, start with a free method to drive traffic to your website. Once you start making a profit, you want to reinvest pay methods to drive traffic (such as pay-per-click ads) because the paid method is much faster and scalable than the general free method.

8. Publish Email Newsletter

Capturing the email addresses of your site visitors is vital to the growth of any online business. However, a large and growing list is only valuable when useful and relevant information is sent regularly to these individuals. The purpose of email lists is to turn prospects into clients and clients into regular customers and ambassadors for your company/product.

Try to keep regular contact with your email list, send an email at least once a week with updates, information, or some kind of offer.

A great email marketing service provider is AWeber.com. 
The best way to get people to subscribe to your list is by offering some kind of valuable free offer. This could be a free report, white paper, or a discount/coupon code. This type of offer works better than regular 'newsletter subscription' deals.

It's very important that you apply to email marketing strategies to your business because email marketing is still the highest ROI activity you can use to market and sell your products online.

9. Track Growth

Easy tools are available that let you see who clicks where and when. Many web hosting companies offer traffic analysis tools. Google Analytics is a free tool - tracking, among other things:

� Popular pages
� Traffic sources
� Popular keywords
� Click location

This report can be customized with a large number of variables including date ranges, page views, and length of time on the site.

Another thing you may want to consider tracking is how many people open your email and clicked the link back to your website. While visitor traffic provides an interesting size, what you're actually looking for is a transaction. Whether you are selling a product or service, success is measured in sales.

It's important that you track and analyze these key metrics on your site; If not, how will you know what works, what does not work, and what do you need to do to improve conversions?

10. Other Business Considerations

In addition to specific online considerations, you should consider:

� Taxation
� Banking
� Licensing and trademarks
� The legal business structure
� Business location
� Warehousing products
� Accounting
� Legal issues, among others

Notice: this item is listed last. Though important, you do not 'want to let these things hold you back. The idea is to choose your market, get a domain name, build your website, and start earning as quickly as possible and complete the details along the way!

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