Ways to Avoid the Pitfalls of a Failing Internet Business
by Niki Mcelroy
When I first started my Internet business I was wrongly under the impression that if you build it they will come!! I found out quickly that it doesn't work that way. You must advertise (darn it! ).
I had submitted to the search engines, and thought that was good enough. It wasn't, so back to the research board I went. I had a lot to learn, but wasn't sure where to start. I signed up for a lot of stuff. Most of it was empty words that may have been informative, but still left me wondering where to go? Still determined not to put my daughter in day care I pushed on.
I would like to share with you some of the important stuff I learned!
I found out that one of the most effective ways to advertise was through E mail. I still wasn't sure how to get an opt-in subscription news letter started. Though I did find that there was another way to reach individuals by E mail without the risk of SPAM (unsolicited mail that can cause you to loose everything you worked so hard for). They are called Safe Lists! What a great find, I could finally tell some one other than family and friends what I had to offer. Most of them are free (What a foreign advertisement option --- Free!) and are a great way to get the word out about what you have to offer. Click the following link to find a great directory of safe lists that work: a href="http://www.freeandfrugal.com/email.html
I found a lot of other free methods that work well too. Start page exchanges, Page exchanges, banner exchanges, and free classified ads. Click the following link to learn more about these free methods of advertising: http://www.freeandfrugal.com/freeadvertisement.html
Since I was working on a small budget, I did not want to spend if I didn't have to. And of course, neither should you!
I learned that you need to know what your competition has to offer. Then see what you can do to make your site equal or better (strive for better). This part requires some research on your part and will take time.
You will need to offer something your competition doesn't have.
Make your site interactive. A guest book is always a good idea.
Give them a reason to stay, maybe add a chat box.
Give them a reason to come back. Keep your content fresh. Add a daily quote, keep things up to date, and get that imagination out because the possibilities are endless. It quite often seems as though the free resources are as well.
As a helpful tip, you may want to keep in mind that while a flashy Internet site might look impressive, it will most likely not get you repeat visitors. Most sites get so caught up in images that take forever to load that they forget thier content and site layout is what is important. Don't forget to make your web site easy for your visitors to navigate. You may want to consider adding a search option. For a great list of free web resources to help you build your site click: http://wwwfreeandfrugal.com/webmasters.html
Make yourself ligitimate by giving your web site visitors a way to contact you (especially if you have something to sell). Speaking of selling, you'll love this...
I ran across one of my favorite free tools to automate your sales process when I decided to sell. Pay Pal: https://www.paypal.com/refer/pal=9L3JKNTPD456J They offer you secure servers to process orders for free. You pay an extremely small transaction fee that the "Accept Credit Cards Now" services can't beat. They will even pay you to start an account with them.
If your customers don't have a Pay Pal account, they can get one in seconds. An extra added bonus from them is the five dollars you will receive for the customer that just started a new account. They make things so easy anyone can do it! You will be on your way to accepting credit card payments and checks for your services or goods with the click of a button, and no out of pocket expenses. This next tip is the most valuable ....
The most important thing I have learned is to be persistent. Don't give up hope. It may seem a little frustrating at first, but the longer your web site is there the more traffic you will inevitably get.
Word of mouth is still the best form of traffic. The more the word gets out, the more the traffic comes. Tell everyone you know! Don't spend to much money on advertisement until you know what works for your product.
You definitely don't want to go into debt over web site promotion. Keep it free for as long as possible. You will eventually have to spend money, but don't do it until you're making money (well don't spend thousands).
To this day I haven't spent a cent on paying the search engines to list my site (they've done it free). Yet I still run a very successful web site. I still promote and use all the successful free tools that got me started (I did have to upgrade from free servers). I run three great news letters. And have managed to grab a great subscriber base using the above mentioned methods.
Plan on spending time on your advertisement efforts and you won't be disappointed. Most important, save your money until you start making money!
About The Author
Niki Mcelroy is the owner, editor, and webmaster of http://www.freeandfrugal.com/. We currently have two employees and a very busy Internet site. I run a Christian based freebie news letter, a weekly inspirations E zine, and a news letter to help business owners increase there sales, traffic, and subscribers. When you are looking for a job you can operate from the comfort of your home office, remember, if I can do it so can you! If you can't find the job, create it!
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