Starting an online business is not as easy as you think. It’s not enough to sign up as an affiliate and set up a blog to sell a merchant’s product and hope that you will make millions if you market it well.
So, what does it take to set up a successful online business? Here’s a small guide that can help:
Do Some Research
Research: The foundation of every online business is laid by research. A business becomes successful because it helps solve common problems. Google solved the search problem, Facebook solved the seamless communication problem, Skype facilitated online telephony for free, LinkedIn helped professionals connect, etc.
So, what problem are you going to solve? Think about it and find out how many other websites are engaged in solving the same problem. Then, if you feel that if you can differ from these businesses by offering a stronger product at an affordable rate, then start believing in your idea and go for it.
For example, the economy is in a recession now and homes are getting foreclosed – so you can think about starting an investment website that invites global investors to buy foreclosed homes for cheap. Then, America’s population is getting overweight. One estimate says all Americans will be overweight by 2048.
So, you can brainstorm a business idea that helps people remain slim and trim. There are many niches that are open for business – all you have to do is get creative, subscribe to a few financial dailies and figure out what’s causing the demand.
Then, choose a name for your business such as Wedding Bands Northern Ireland. Keep a simple and short name and preferably include some keywords in the business name. To research keywords in your business niche, go to the Google Planner.
Build Yourself A Website
Build a website: Sounds simple, but there are many factors that should be considered. Aside from using a strong, keyword-rich domain name, here’s how you must approach your website building program:
Sign up with a reliable and highly-rated web host who’s up 99.9% of the time and can equip you with the necessary tools. For example, you’d like to update content often without relying on outside help, then the web host must equip you with an intuitive CMS (Content Management System) like WordPress, etc.
Read up on web host reviews and test the web host before signing up. Check this site for reviews: http://www.webhostingreviews.com.
The content on your website must be well-written and it must entice the customer to buy the product. Just like singingadvisor.com. Hire an expert freelance copywriter to write your content.
You must hire a designer-programmer to build your website. A graphic designer who’s well-versed in programming can create a robust website. Check if your designer-programmer knows onsite SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tactics. If he doesn’t, then hire one who knows, or get an onsite SEO pro to build in search-engine friendly tags into your site. You can get one and affordable web design in Belfast from LetsBuzzMedia.com
If you’re selling an affiliate product, then you don’t need a shopping cart or payment terminal. However, if you’re selling your own product, then hire a shopping cart (your web host will provide you with one), and hook up with a payment terminal (your web host will be affiliated with several).
On the subject of affiliates – are you planning to sell products on a commission? If yes, then after setting up your website, register on an affiliate network like CJ.com or LinkShare.com and select a product you’re confident of selling.
Do Some Online Marketing To Get Your Site Found
Online Marketing: You’re done with the easy bit – here comes the tough task. Here’s a quick to-do task list that will help you market your website:
Submit your site to all search engines and web directories (DMOZ.org is important).
Also learn to drive at a driving school in Belfast such as www.drivinglessonsbelfast.co.uk. You need to be able to drive to your clients at their business premises to sell them your services.
Register your site with online facilities that can help people locate your business on a map – for example, Google Places. You can get your Google Places done for you using these Social Media Services or SEO experts in Belfast.
Get press releases written regularly (say, once a month, or when you introduce new products) and submit these to Press Release directories. Your press releases must be written by an expert to draw attention. Just imagine the volume of traffic you’ll receive if the press release is picked up for publication in a high-traffic site or newsletter!
Get articles written by a professional content company like Need-an-article.com and distribute these to article directories. Do not forget to include a link to your website in the signature. Article marketing helps you build links and increase your Google PageRank so long your content is well-written and makes sense to the search engines. A good example of this is Safetan sunbed hire.
Start a video channel on YouTube. YouTube belongs to Google and if you upload helpful, how-to videos, your website can go straight up to Google Page #1. vi. Submit your product and helpful article and video links to social bookmarking sites like Del.icio.us, StumbleUpon and Digg (there are many other bookmarking sites).
Create effective pages on social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ and upload a well-written company profile on these. Use these websites for giving away promocodes to customers and for gathering their feedback.
Start a helpful newsletter and make people sign up for it. Communicate regularly with the people who sign up and send them special offers and let them know what’s happening. Your web host should provide you with email marketing software. If he doesn’t, sign up with ConstantContact.com or VerticalResponse.com.
Become a member of a relevant association and pull out its member’s list for free. Introduce yourself to them by email and send them special offers.
Invite people to become your affiliates. You have to pay money to an affiliate network like CJ.com or LinkShare.com if you want people to sell your products on commission basis. xi. Answer questions and post helpful information on forums and blogs along with a link back to your website. This will help you get traffic as well as a higher Google PageRank.
You can release PPC (Pay-Per-Click) ads on Google to draw in paying customers. There are many PPC professionals for hire who do not cost much. Try and work with them. The steps above will get your online business rolling, which is very important, and represents the first stage in the life of an online business. You will see traffic trickle to your website, but you must not be disheartened. If you stay true to your product, customers and online marketing efforts, and if your product is useful and affordable, you will get buyers just like this Belfast skip hire website. You must persevere and keep going at it to become a successful online business person.