To start and operate an Internet business you may need to follow these steps:
Choose and Research a Niche Market For A Product or Service
A niche market is one that you may have expertise in from your work, hobby, travel, etc., experience. If you come up with a product that anyone can buy in a grocery store or a hardware store, you are NOT in a niche market. If you know all about the breeding of moles and you write an ebook on the subject, you ARE in a niche market.
A niche market can be targeted. For example, I give a free table away on resolving defects during the manufacturing of ceramics. I know the market world-wide so I can hit it, not that it does me much good, but it does help those who need help with ceramic manufacturing problems.
My table is so good that nobody buys the ebook that I wrote on the subject. That is called "putting yourself out of business," but my friends like the table and I am not going to charge for it because what would I do with the money anyway? Besides, ceramic people are used to getting free information from me. I was a college professor and editor of an international trade magazine plus I write articles on the subject.
Let's hope your niche market will be more profitable.
Choose a Business Plan and Profit Model
An Internet business is a business. It must be run like a business. The Internet marketers that I know have worked very hard to develop their business. Despite that some of them brag that their business is humming along while they are sipping lemonade on the beach, the business does not hum along without their continued hard work. Yes, some things are automated. Some chores they farmed out. But they must know what is going on with the market, their competitors, and their own products.
Your business, no matter how simple and small, should start with a business plan. Simply stated, it is your road map to success. You may want to buy a book on how to write a business plan. I suggest that you contact your local government or bank and tell them you want to start a business and that you would like some help. You WILL get it.
In simple terms, the business plan states what your business is, what your products are, how the products will be created, how and to whom the products will be marketed, how the products will be retired and replaced with new products, the cost of each operation, the risk, the potential profits, and whatever else you think is important to success.
So start with a business plan even if it is just a bunch of pages in a loose leaf binder. The business plan is not static. You need to rewrite it from time to time. In industry, I wrote business plans for five or ten years ahead. The business plan leads to a schedule of task that need to be completed. Start at the top of your list and move on!
Write Sales Copy And Price Your Product
In Internet marketing your are often selling an ebook, a printed book, or product. You must sell the benefits of your product and not the content. For example, you are selling a book on raising pumpkins. You can not sell the fact that your book has 213 pages and has an orange cover. You can sell the fact that you will be able to GROW THE BIGGEST PUMPKINS IN THE WORLD!
To learn to write is not a major requirement in sales copy writing. Being able to tell your story is. Therefore, write your story and have your sister edit it before you put it on your web page. I suggest you read sales pitches on Internet sites to see what others are doing. Notice how they you color, font, graphics, pics, and testimonials to sell their products.
Should you hire a professional to write your copy? Not this early in the game.
To see what your product should sell for, you need to test market. A higher price or a lower price may bring in higher profits.
Ebooks are easy to market. That is why they are so popular. That is why so many of them ore free. You put the book in .pdf form on your server (your word processor will convert it for you—maybe). You set up a PayPal® or other link. When the customer pays, he is taken to your file for copying or downloading. That's it. You look in your ®account and there is the dough. I look in my PayPal® account and find nothing.
Giving away ebooks is a good way to collect name at your web site. To get the ebook a visitor may be required to give his or her first name and email address. Some insist on a telephone number. I never get those ebooks. I hate people calling me during Wheel of Fortune.
Choose and Register a Domain Name, Choose a Web Host, Design Your Site, Accept Orders, Automate Service Chores Using Autoresponders, Etc.
How to perform the above chores is out of the scope of this article but there is some information on my business website. Briefly, your domain name should contain what are called keywords. Note that my business domain contains, "Internet", "Business", "Tool", and "Center."
Hosting can be free or paid. Your ISP may let you put your web page on their server. There are many html editors available to prepare your web pages. However, you can convert a WordPerfect® or Word® document to html and upload it to your server. You will need to FTP your pages to your site. Free programs are available.
Simple codes from PayPal® and other Internet banks will let you accept credit cards and other forms of payment. There are other options here.
You need to collect names of visitors with their email address so that you can hound them later with your autoresponders.
Search Engines, Pay-per-click (PPC), Keywords, Spiders, Search Engine Ratings
You will need to establish your self by listing your web site URl on the major search engines like Google®, Yahoo®, and MSN (which recently changed their name).
Use the meta tags in your html. Make sure your title has key words, that your description really describes your page and also has keywords, and that your meta tag for keywords has only keywords that are included in the information on your site.
Don't repeat your keywords in the meta tags. If you repeat them more than once, the web spiders might blow their web and your site with it.
PPC or Pay-Per-Click is an important way to make money on the Internet but I find it far to complex.
Nothing ever seem to work for me. The competition for keywords is terrific.
The reason I have problems is that I am in several very competitive markets and my competitors are better than I am.
If you picked a true niche market, you will not have this problem. I look for good keywords using WordTracker®. You can try it for free by clicking on the link at my business site.
Obtain Cheap and Free Traffic
There are lots of sites that offer free traffic to your site by sending your ad to websites, opt-in list, directories, etc. I've learned over the years that free or too cheap traffic or even very high priced traffic can be worthless.
It does kill time.
Buying ads on specific newsletters can be profitable. There are many ebooks on the Internet for free that will tell you how to use newsletter advertising.
I've learned over the years that print classified ads bring sales to Internet sites. If you search my article list here at EzineArticles.com you will find the article.
Generate an Opt-in List for Increased Sales, Use a Newsletter, and Use Email Promotion
Email is the preferred way for the gurus to make money. That is why you need to collect names and email addresses. Your autoresponders can continue to sale those on your list or to simply send them your newsletter or ezine. Aweber makes it easy. You can try it free from my business site.
Use Back-end Promotion and Follow-up and Up-sell Offers
You have probably noticed that when you buy a product on the Internet that you are often given another offer that you can't refuge. Well, I usually refuse these offers but I know I will get the offer again if I change my mind. that is calles an up-sell offer.
Some times you will get a follow-up offer by email.
Using up-sell and follow-up offers can make you money.
Use New Strategies To Bring Traffic To Your Site
If you lie down on the job in your Internet business, you will just fade away like an old soldier. You must keep up-to-date on what is going one. You've got to be smart about your business. That is why some of those uneducated, former vagrants are now rich. They are smart about their business.
I could be so lucky!
copyright©J2007 John T. Jones, Ph.D. (Taylor Jones the Hack Writer)
John T. Jones, Ph.D. (email@example.com), a retired college professor and business executive, Former editor of an international engineering magazine. To learn more about Wealthy Affiliate University go to his info site. If you desire a flagpole to Fly Old Glory, go to the business site.
More info: http://www.InternetBusinessToolCenter.com
Business web site: http://www.AAAFlagpoles.com