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ONLINE BUSINESS HELP

Back to the Basics
By: Developer Shed
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    2003-12-22

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    Back to the Basics
    by Diane Hughes

    As someone who has been running a full-time Internet business for
    years, I often have to remind myself that there are thousands of
    business "newbies" who are just starting out. As I get farther
    and farther into the realm of online business, I find that the
    basics for starting your own business still hold true.

    If you begin with a solid foundation, you increase your chances
    of success. With that in mind, Iíd like to share some of those
    truths with you now in an effort to help you get started on the
    right foot.


    Build a Professionally Designed Web Site

    One of the biggest mistakes startups make is to save money
    by creating a Web site themselves. Unless you are graphically
    talented and have a good deal of experience with Web design,
    I would not recommend this.

    Your Web site is ALL that your site visitors have to base their
    decisions on. Your siteís design simply must give your visitor
    a sense of professionalism, trust, security, and ease.
    A "homemade" looking site screams "Iím a startup business
    who has no money and may go out of business at any minute!"
    You donít want to portray that type of image.

    If you canít afford to hire a pro to design your site, that
    leaves you with one of two choices. First, wait and save some
    more money. Or wait and learn to do it yourself properly.

    Yes, You DO Need To Know at Least a Little HTML...

    Whether you have someone else design your site or you do it
    yourself, youíll need to have a good knowledge of HTML basics.
    No... you donít need to be able to write full-blown code in
    HTML, but you DO need to be able to make changes to your site,
    load scripts, and handle several other minor administrative
    details.

    HTML basics are very easy to learn. Once you get a handle on
    this language, youíll be in a much better position to save time
    and money when it comes to keeping your Web site fresh and
    up-to-date.


    Content Is King

    The saying may be out of date, but the principle is definitely
    still accurate. People come to the Internet for information.
    Buyers need to be convinced in order to purchase. Search engines
    rank your site based primarily on the words on the pages.
    The whole virtual world revolves around content.

    Not to sound like a broken record, but if you arenít able to
    write compelling copy that persuades your visitors to take action,
    you would be better off waiting to launch your site. Just as with
    Web design, you have two choices. First, wait and save some money
    in order to pay a professional copywriter. Or take the time to
    learn to do it yourself properly.


    Never Use a Free Host

    Free Web hosting companies trade you space on their servers for
    pop-up ads on your site. In many cases, the host uses several
    pop-up ads. How annoyed do YOU get when you visit a site and
    seven or eight pop-up or pop-under windows launch? Then donít
    put your customers through that same aggravation.

    There are a multitude of hosts now that charge less than $10 per
    month. No pop-ups, lots of features, and good service, too.
    Use one of those as opposed to the freebie hosts.


    Pursue Free Search Engine Listings

    Search engines (such as Google and AOL) can be an exceptional way
    to drive traffic to your site. By incorporating just a few "rules
    of the game," you can rank quite highly in most engines.
    It will be VERY worth your while to learn about search engine
    optimization basics. This can be an ongoing source of qualified
    traffic for you for years to come.

    Above all, donít rush! The Internet isnít going anywhere.
    Those who hurry to throw a site up quickly find themselves with
    all sorts of problems. If you take your time and get a decent
    "Internet business education" before you launch your site,
    youíll bypass many of the struggles most startups have. Youíll
    also increase your chances of success and find that profits
    come much more easily than you thought!
    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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