Title: The 10 Commandments of Online Business Word Count: 617 Summary: There are (at least) 10 absolute musts for anyone who desires to run a successful online home-based business. Keywords: home business, home based business, online business, internet business Article Body: 1. Thou Shalt Not Pursue A Free Lunch: Chances are, you will not get rich quick. Deal with it. Don't waste your time convincing yourself or listening to others who tell you differently. Hard work and perseverance will not fail you. 2. Thy Products Must Solve A Prospect's Problem: We humans are greedy creatures most times. We want comfort, ease, peace of mind, and a plethora of other self indulgencies. Put yourself in the customer's shoes and ask "What's in it for me?". If your ads or products do not clearly spell this out, and tell the customer how you will give him what he desires, most times you will not make the sale. 3. Thou Shalt Educate Thyself: Read, Read, Read. Observe other successful people in your field. What are they doing? Read some more. 4. Thou Shalt Budget For Advertising: Free advertising is an oxymoron. The only people reading free ads are the ones who are placing them there, and all they're looking for is their own ad, not yours. Instead, learn all you can about your target audience, and find them. Whether it is through pay-per-click advertising using highly targeted keywords, eZine ads, banners on related sites, etc. Don't go after the general public. Go after people who are looking for your type of product or service. Allow a certain monthly expense for advertising and stick to it. 5. Thou Shalt Track Thyne Advertising: You made a sale! Congrats! How did the customer find you? If you have 10 different ads on 10 different sites, how on earth will you know which one(s) are working? View your server logs to see where the users came from. Create unique URLs to use in each ad. For example: http://www.yourdomain.com?ad1 http://www.yourdomain.com?ad2 etc. Just add the ? and ad number to the end of the URL you post along with each ad. Change the number for each one & for goodness sake, write them down somewhere! StatCounter.com offers a great free service that will assist you in tracking your visitors. 6. Thou Shalt Tweak: Familiarize yourself with the term "split-run". A split run is where you take 2 ads and send them out simultaneously and measure the results to see which ad pulled more clicks and sales. You take the better of the 2 ads and create another one. Run a split-test again with your best ad & your new ad. The winner moves on to the next round. Repeat this process often. 7. Honor Thy Mailing List: Your current and previous customers are an incredible source of revenue for you. It's a shame that many online business owners neglect this each and every day. Stay in touch with your prospects by sending an email or printed newsletter or flyer. Offer them special discounts and loyalty bonuses. If you forget them, they will surely forget you. 8. Thou Shalt Not Be Hindered By Failure: You will fail. Period. Dust yourself off & get back on the horse. It is part of your education. Learn from it and move forward. 9. Thou Shalt Duplicate What Works: Commandment number six goes hand-in-hand with this one. The wonderful thing about doing business online is the ease at which you can scale-up your operation. If you find something that works, do it again, and again. Reach a larger audience. If you've found a successful niche as an affiliate with a mini-site, set up 25 more sites. 10. Thou Shalt Reward Thyself: You need some time away from the computer. Go outside. Go shopping. Visit friends. Buy yourself a new toy. Read something non-technical, fiction maybe. You've earned the right to treat yourself. Make it a habit or it will become a resentment.