Do I Start?
Anyone trying to make money or start
a home-based business on the Internet faces a bewildering array of contradictary
On the one hand, you see advertisements
promising you ridiculous sums of money for doing practically no work.
On the other hand, you hear of big
name dot-coms dropping like flies. They have millions of dollars, talented programmers,
graphic designers and marketers, and yet....
But occassionally, you do read of
small online ventures that makes it big, or earns good income.
My opinion is that you just have
to decide for yourself what's right for you.
Keep in mind that there are many
reasons for failure or success.
The following are the usual steps
taken to build a successful online business. It is by no means the only way,
or the best way, but quite typical of what is needed to be done.
If you are an absolute newbie to
the internet, or if most of your time on the net has been spent emailing, chatting
or gaming, it may be better for you to spend just a bit of time moving around
the Internet and exploring the nooks and cranies.
Of course, I am not asking that you
become an expert on the Internet.
If you can be as good as your 10-year-old,
I think that should be good enough. :)
and Revenue Model
You have to decide on the theme of
your site. Try to pick something that you are interested in and know something
about. It is so much easier to work hard if the site is about something you
are truly passionate about.
If possible, try to go for a low
At the same time, you must also consider
your revenue model, or how you are going to make money from the site.
You just have
to register a domain name. A site without its own domain name looks unprofessional.
It looks like you are a here-today-gone-tomorrow type of site.
I would really think twice before
buying or trusting such a site.
Besides, if your web host goes out
of business, a lot of your promotion efforts will be wasted.
You could get a domain name and link
it to a free web host.
But if you are serious about your
business, I highly advise that you pay for your web hosting.
You will get better service, guaranteed
uptime and other features. You can probably even resell your web space.
A simple website can be programmed
"ommph". There may also be some server side interfaces like ssi and
You can probably handle a site like
that without too much trouble. Besides, practically all the code that you require
is available for free on the net. The trick is just to customise it for your
use and to make sure that it is troublefree.
A more complicated website, on the
other hand, with shopping carts, web-based email, message boards, chat rooms
and other special features is a whole programming project in itself. Unless
you have programming experience, be prepared to spend a few thousand dollars
to purchase or develop the software needed.
On top of the functionality of the
site, you will still have to be concerned about navigation - you want your user
to be able to easily move around your site - and asethetics.
Learn about optimizing your pages
for the search engines and submit them.
You can also use those services that
will submit to thousands or more search engines, directories and ffa pages at
one go. Just make sure you get a throwaway email address and that you do not
submit to the major engines in this way.
This is where the real work begins.
Too many good sites are languishing in cyber limbo because of poor or wrong
This is where a lot of people go
With the wealth of resources on the
net promising one click submission to thousands or even millions of sites, promotion
on the net must be a breeze.
Imagine being able to "blast"
your ad out to millions of pages on the web for free, or for a nominal fee.
And it only takes a few minutes of your time! In fact, if you were to just spend
15 minutes each day using such services, you'd be raking in big fat profits
in no time at all. Maybe in a month or two, you may even make enough to retire!
If you have spent any time at all
promoting on the Internet, you'd know that the actual reality is very, very
Internet promotion resources vary
vastly in their effectiveness. General rule of thumb is that if it seems too
good to be true, it probably is.
in the Bahamas
Once you have done all that you can
probably retire in the Bahamas, right?
If you are lucky, maybe.
But you probably will not earn enough
from your first site to retire. However, if the site is well done, you probably
will be earning a good income from the site, compared to the amount of time
spent in maintaining the site.
You can then move on to your second
Believe me, it gets easier. And after
a few sites, you may actually be able to retire in the Bahamas!
See you there!
PS I'll be the one in the Hawaiian
shirt, with a bubbly brunnette by my side. I have already bought my Hawaiian
shirt but still working on the brunnette part. ;)
I hope I have given you an idea of
what an online business is all about.
Browse the "Articles" section
for a more in depth understanding of online businesses.
The "Tools" section is
a good selection of marketing resources.
I have also compiled an excellent
selection of links under the "Resources" section for everything you
will need in starting an online business.
An "expanded" version of
this site is available for free here.
I would highly recommend that you
get yourself a copy of the Make
Your Site Sell. It is probably one of the best ebooks about selling on the
web. You can get a free trial copy here.
Take your time and browse through
the site. I hope to provide enough information to help you decide if you want
to start an online business, give you an idea of what it will be like and help
you succeed should you decide to start one.
Why Do Most People Fail?
Why Should I Start A Business On The Web?
Can Anybody Do It?
How Do I Start?