6 Steps to an Effective Online Business
Creating and running an effective online business is realistically
comprised of several hundred, rather than 6, but this will serve as a
guide for the direction of your efforts. Contrary to what you may hear
rampantly on the Internet, there is no cookie-cutter, get-rich quick
scheme on the web. Not only is every online business different, what
works for one person or in one month may not work for another person or
in the next month.
The Internet is constantly changing, and the online market is inherently
different this year than it was last year. New technological
improvements occur monthly, and impact the online business environment.
What works for one individual when he is the first to sell a certain
product a certain way may not work just six months later when he has sold
his idea to 40,000 other marketers, and they all begin to promote it.
Traffic generation tactics are significantly different than they were
just a year ago, and hardly resemble profitable strategies three years
These 6 Steps are simply the bare-bones skeleton of what has to happen
for your online business to be successful. They are foundational, and
although the implementation strategies are different today than several
years ago, the basic steps remain the same.
1. Develop or discover a product. You must find a product that meets
today’s needs. A 5 year old product whose resell rights you can buy for
a dollar or get for free probably won’t meet the needs of today’s
consumers. You must be willing to pay for the rights to sell a current ,
useful product, or become an affiliate marketer, where you promote a
popular product, and in exchange are paid a percentage of the income from
2. Determine how the potential customers can view your product and see
a sales presentation. If you develop your own product or purchase the
rights to sell someone else’s, you will need a website. A few tips here:
Rather than accept free web hosting, purchase your own domain name and
pay to have your domain name and web site hosted by a professional web
hosting company with a reputable history. If your free web hosting
company goes bankrupt, they generally take your fledgling business with
3. Once you have your web site up and running, unless you are using an
affiliate program that supplies a sales page, you must develop a sales
script and web copy. Aside from your web hosting decision, this is
probably the most important thing you can do. You may be tempted at
first to write a sales pitch on your own, but unless you already have a
lot of experience in the offline market writing effective sales letters,
you need to, absolutely must, invest in a few courses on web copywriting.
Be willing to spend some money upfront on learning this skill. Too many
marketers try to wing it in this area and after a few months of losing
money online, finally break down and purchase the knowledge to write a
good sales pitch. Do it the other way around—buy the knowledge first,
and start making sales from the beginning. Customers will not buy just
because you have a web site---they buy from the web site that does the
best job of convincing them it has the best product for their need.
4. You must develop a traffic source that works. When you first
begin, you may be on a shoestring, and that is OK. Assuming you have
been willing to spend some money on sales letter writing and a decent web
host, you may be able to skimp in the traffic arena for awhile, if you
have plenty of time. If you do not have money to advertise, nor time to
seek out low cost advertising, you probably shouldn’t be attempting an
online business. If you do choose to go the low-cost route—know two
things up front—the returns are really low and you will spend vast
amounts of time on traffic generation. Once you begin to make sales, you
must invest your income in paid forms of traffic generation. If you do
not, you will run out of enthusiasm for generating the free traffic, and
without reinvesting the income from your first sales into advertising,
you are sure to fail. Good sources of low-cost, but time consuming
traffic are: writing articles and posting them to article directories,
low cost classified ads, and ezine ads. You may see hyped-up ads for
thousands or visitors for a low cost or millions of banner ads for
another reasonable price—both of these methods may have worked 2 years
ago, but they are a sure waste today.
5. Once you begin to get traffic to your online business site, you
must keep detailed records of where the traffic comes from, and what
percentage of visitors from each source are purchasing your product. If
you have visitors that cost you $50 per hundred to come to your web site,
but on average they only purchase $25 per hundred visitors, the income
may feel good, but you are not profitable, and are losing money. By
tracking your expenses on each type of visitor and by tracking your
revenue on the same sources of visitors, you can determine which
campaigns need changes or need to be eliminated and which need to be
increased in intensity.
6. By following this pattern of steps, and by keeping diligent records
(there is plenty of good web site tracking software on the market that
can help you do that), you can develop a profitable online business.
Again, it will not happen overnight, and you will not get rich quick.
However, if you build a solid online business with a solid foundation,
and are willing to spend some money learning how to do it right, you
really can become successful in business online.