Anyone can start an online business, but making it profitable is a whole other ball game. If you were to ask a group of web entrepreneurs what the secret is to their success, you'd get many different responses, but you would find a common thread running through their answers --comprising these simple online "commandments":
1) Thou shalt make sure your site gets submitted and listed with all the major Search Engines.
Some are still free and some will cost you a few bucks. Before you submit, it's important that you make your pages "search engine friendly" and optimize them foryour most important key phrase. Do include key phrases in your title tags and in the first 250 words of text on the page. You'll find a nice submission list here ....http://tinyurl.com/c4pb
2) Thy Website Design must be clean.
OK, this is important; first impressions do count... especially online. If you can't create a good looking and professional website, please outsource it to someone who can. Nothing will kill your sales faster than a site that looks like it was put together by a ten-year-old. Check out these great articles for pointers:http://tinyurl.com/c4ph
3) Thou shalt write compelling Website Copy.
I can't tell you how many times I've heard someone say, "my site gets traffic, but no one is buying." Converting browsers to buyers is tied to your ability to write good ad copy that pulls a reader in and makes him or her take the action you want. You can read a few good books and take a stab at it yourself, or source it out to an expert like Michael Fortin of http://SuccessDoctor.com . At the very least, sign up for his newsletter -- it's good stuff.
4) Thou may need to Pay Per Click.
The search engine game has changed much over the last five years, since the advent of the PPC's. Today they are an important part of any website search engine strategy. The basic two you need to use are Overture and Google Ad Words. There are other smaller ones, but these two major players will give you more bang for your buck, as they have relationships with almost all the other search engines to supply sponsored listings. For more information check out: http://PayPerClickSearchEngines.com
5) Thou must Advertise thy presence.
Do nothing and you'll get nothing. You need to advertise online and off to bring in the traffic your website needs. Participate in Forums, buy ezine ads, create and send out press releases, swap links with other related sites. If you don't get your URL out there,no one else will. For ideas check out: http://www.promotionworld.com/
6) Thou shalt take Electronic Payments.
If you're selling a product or service online you need to be able to take payments electronically. At the minimum, you should have a PayPal account: http://PayPal.com. If you need to take credit cards you'll need a merchant account or an account with http://Clickbank.com. People like payment options; give them as many as you can and you'll enjoy enjoy increased sales.
7) Thou shalt engage in Email Marketing.
Email is the #1 means of communicating online and a great way to market your site. You can reach thousands of potential customers by advertising in targeted newsletters for pennies on the dollar. Just make sure you are dealing with a reputable ezine publisher and not some guy "selling lists" from the inside pocket of his jacket. Good resources are:
8) Thy Online Education is a Continuing Process.
The online world is a constantly changing environment, and what works for you today may not do so tomorrow. Make sure you read relevant publications and keep up with what's new and "hot" in your industry. If you can't keep up with technology, it'll leave you in the dust. Read..Read...Read....and you'll be surprised at what you'll learn.
9) Thou Shalt Network.
This is important to any business, online or off. As much as the Internet has grown, there is still a close sense of community with established players. Make sure you make friends with other entrepreneurs every chance you get. Find out who they are, you'll learn a lot from watching their moves. Be helpful and courteous when you can and someday they'll return the favor. One of the best forums online for finding out who the "experts" are is http://www.ablake.net/forum/
10) Thou Shalt Answer Your Email.
I know this sounds like a "no-brainer," but I'm afraid it's not. If someone sends you an email, do your best to reply to it within 24 hours. Nothing will turn potential customers off faster than a lack of response to their needs and questions. Take care of your business promptly and people will love you for it. Use autoresponders where you can for automatic sending of ezine samples, ad rates, FAQ's and more. A good free one is http://www.getresponse.com/
By following these 10 commandments you'll shine online and you'll become the type of entrepreneur that others will want to do business with. These unwritten rules are there for a reason, follow them and you too will be successful online!
Merle http://www.EzineAdAuction.com "Where some of the BEST Deals in Ezine Advertising are Made" Buy & Sell Ezine Ads in a live auction setting! Publishers sell off your excess inventory and Buyers pick up some Fantastic bargains. Free E-book on how to write "glowing" ezine ads.....Download Now at http://www.ezineadauction.com/ebooks/greatezineads.pdf
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