This is an article reboot of sorts... I am cleaning house here at DSM and relocating some of the great articles I have found to this blog. Here is one of them:
Starting an Online Business
Starting a online business requires an investment of your time and a willingness to acquire the necessary knowledge.
I receive lots of questions about starting a home based business.
Many are along the lines of "How do I get started making money online? What should I sell that will make the most money? How do I get more traffic... more sales?"
Then there's the occasional question about stuffing envelopes from home.
First things first...
~ The Bottomless Money Pit
Envelope stuffing isn't a work-at-home business. It's a bottomless pit that sucks in people's hard earned money.
Don't throw your money into the pit. You can't buy a business for $29.95.
In fact, the Federal Trade Commission recently leveled charges against 77 different work-at-home operations in 17 states. A good portion of those charged were envelope stuffing operations.
~ Working At Home Is.... Work
Working at home requires an investment. Not so much an investment of money, but an investment of time.
Certainly, you'll need some money. Money buys the building blocks. But you don't necessarily need to invest lots in the beginning. In fact, you can start an online business with very little.
But you absolutely must invest your time.
When you first begin thinking about a home-based business, the initial excitement and giggles are very intoxicating.
After that wears off it begins to dawn on you...
Man, this home business gig is work!
Yes, it is work. Learning how to be proficient in any business takes work. With a little fortitude and stamina though, you begin see how all the dots connect together. As the dots connect the money flows.
~ Plant Your Flag
Truly, what you discover is that things get easier as your base of knowledge grows. The dots merge into a larger picture. You can accomplish more in less time and money flows in as a result.
Personally, I have a tendency to get really focused on a task to the exclusion of everything else. I pour everything into it until I've mastered it. One dot at a time. Plant my flag. Move on.
Where do you want to plant your flag first?
There is no other way than to first choose a path that you feel passionate about. Choose with the heart first and the money is more likely to follow.
~ Getting Started
Once you've got an idea, how do you get started?
For an online home business your best bet is to start small. For as little as $1 per month you can get a site going with Hostica.com. That's a bargain.
Once you've got a site, how do you turn blank pages into a viable website? How do you get orders? How do you build traffic? So many "how-do" questions!
Yanik Silver and Jim Edwards put out a great ebook at 33DayToOnlineProfits.com that tackles these questions. It's a guide for businesses wanting to get started online. It takes you through the specific steps of startup on a 33 day timetable.
~ Create Great Copy
Learning how to write great sales copy for your site and promotional materials is a business must. You need to attract sales with compelling headlines and dazzling offers.
This is important. You're just spinning your wheels and setting yourself up for disappointment if don't create a site that targets your visitors in specific ways.
Marlon Sander's has a great system available from AmazingFormula.com. This is a good resource to learn the skills of writing compelling headlines and sales copy. With his 14 step formula, you can pump out great sales copy just like a pro.
If you want to really turn up the heat try Joe Sugarman's techniques. You can get his guidebook at PsychologicalTriggers.com. You'll learn the triggers that cause people to enter a buying mode and increase the response you want from people.
~ Optimize Your Site For The Search Engines
Now optimize your site so people will find you when they search online and submit your pages to the major search engines. A good chunk of the traffic I receive each day comes through search engines. And it doesn't cost me anything.
A good way to start learning how to build a search engine friendly site is with Mike Grehan's marvelous book at http://www.homebiztools.com/sem.htm. It has the knowledge you need to get your site ranked high in the engines.
There you are. A few islands of knowledge you can explore. And you don't have to lick a single envelope.
Now go plant your flag.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Brett Krkosska is a freelance writer and syndicated columnist. He is the owner and founder of http://www.homebiztools.com/index.htm, an online resource for small/home-based business ideas and creative success strategies. For a fresh perspective on today's business issues, you can subscribe to Brett's ezine at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org