Since starting my home based Internet business back in 1997, I have learned many lessons along the way. These lessons have played a major role in my success, and I'd like to share them with you.
Collecting your visitors' email addresses should be one of your top priorities.
Start collecting email addresses the moment you put your site up. Developing a list of targeted potential customers is an absolute must.
Although publishing an ezine is usually the best route to go, it is not a necessity. You can use your list to send out web site updates, product updates, or whatever you'd like.
Your web site can either make or break you.
A professional looking web site will play a major role in your success. If you aren't secure in your abilities to design a professional looking site, you will be much better off hiring a professional.
Lesson # 3
If you want to make a lot of money, you must create a niche.
A niche fills a specific customer need.
People want products and services that fulfill a specific personal need. If you are the first to fulfill the need, you'll reap the rewards.
Lesson # 4
Generating web site traffic takes a lot of time and effort.
The key to generating a lot of traffic to your site is getting your link on as many sites as possible. Sure, listing your site with the Search Engines is your first step; however, you must not solely rely on Search Engines to bring you traffic.
My two biggest traffic generators are as follows:
Affiliate Program - Having your own affiliate program is one of the best ways to get hundreds, even thousands of links to your web site.
Providing a Free Product or Service - Providing your visitors with a free product or service is a great way to drive traffic to your site.
For example, I offer a free article syndication service. This service provides free content for web sites branded with a link to my site.
Lesson # 5
Selling your own products and services is much more profitable than marketing affiliate programs.
Some of the top Internet sellers include:
- Private sites
- Internet services
Lesson # 6
People do not like to be sold. You will be far more successful if you have a sincere desire to assist your potential customers. This can be accomplished by writing informative articles, courses, tutorials, or even providing advice within discussion forums in your area of expertise.
Trust plays a major role on the Internet. You must build your credibility with your target audience.
Lesson # 7
Automation can save you hours of valuable time. Although there are certain areas of business that must be personally dealt with, there are many areas that can be completely automated:
- List management
- Customer follow-up
- Welcome messages
- Thank you messages
- Order processing
- Order fulfillment
- Order confirmation
This can be accomplished using autoresponders, scripts and software programs.
Lesson # 8
Organization is an essential part of developing a successful home based business:
- Create a daily work schedule for an organized approach to each day.
- Use an email program that will filter your messages into specific folders.
- Organize your computer folders and files for quick and easy access.
- Create a "Frequently Asked Questions" page to lessen support requests.
- Create templates for frequently used messages.
- Create a page (residing on your computer) that contains a list of affiliate programs you're promoting. Include your log-in information and hyperlinks for easy access.
Lesson # 9
Customer satisfaction and support should be your top priority.
Lesson # 10
You have to spend money to make money. You must be willing to invest in your Internet business including:
- Internet Access
- Domain Name
- Web Hosting
- Education (books, courses, etc.)
Lesson # 11 (I know, there were only supposed to be ten, but this one is important...)
SPAM is a four letter word and will be treated as such.
Although this list is far from complete, these lessons should provide you with some basic guidelines to assist you in developing a successful online business.
Copyright © Shelley Lowery
About the Author
Shelley Lowery is the author of the acclaimed web design course, Web Design Mastery. http://www.webdesignmastery.com