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5 Steps To Getting Started With An Internet Business

Jun 13, 2008
The following steps are those that I've come up with based on my experience coaching a number of students. These are relatively generic, but have application for most businesses. Let's look a bit more in depth into each of these in this article.

1. Choosing a category.

I've heard so much about how you should always select a product that you are "passionate" about or that you know a lot about. I agree with this for the most part, but if you're passionate about underwater basket weaving, you may have a tough time making any money on the internet.

So, I usually do a combination of things that I'm interested in, but at the same time, things that have a good revenue potential. I'm interested in making money and helping people, so within that category there are a lot of potential products and services I could offer through a website.

Start by making a list of things you're interested in. This may include your favorite TV shows, music, books, occupations, hobbies, or anything else that you find interesting or captivating. The reason that I would go for something from within a list of interests is because if I'm interested in the topic, I'm much more likely to stick with it. I'm not as inclined to stick with something that bores me. In fact, for me, those types of boring projects become a chore that I dread.

2. Pick your product.

Once you have a list of categories that you're interested start putting together a list of possible products you could promote or services you could promote from within each of those categories. Physical products are easy to promote as an affiliate but may require some significant overhead if you have a minimum purchase as a reseller buying wholesale. You may consider dropshipping as well assuming you decide to do a physical product. Make sure you're competitive with your pricing.

I like the concept of services and for the most part, I go after services that typically involved working with individuals which I really enjoy. You'll need to evaluate what it is you want out of an internet business opportunity and then go from there. If you don't have a specific list of what you want out of a business, start with what you know for sure you absolutely don't want. If you don't have space or don't want to deal with shipping, don't be a reseller with a physical good you've purchased from a wholesaler. If you don't want to deal with credit card transactions or any customer service at all, go for affiliate marketing. There are any number of options for products or services.

3. Method of selling

Will you be selling from your own website? or will you be selling on a site like eBay or Amazon.com? You need to have a good idea of what type of method you'll be using to sell your products. If the pricing is right for a physical good or even a service (through eBay), then you should consider eBay or Amazon as a very valid method of generating sales because there is already traffic visiting these websites. If you have a service or product that doesn't do as well on eBay or Amazon, go for your own website. For the long-term plan, you should have a website in addition to eBay or Amazon, but either of those two sources are great for getting started.

Your own website will have the distinct disadvantage of having to get traffic there. If nobody knows about or ever gets to your website, you'll have an impossible time selling anything. I work with students that still think that having a website automatically means they'll make money... SURPRISE!!! it doesn't work that way.

4. Promotion

Will you be promoting via search engine optimization? What are your keywords that you'll be going for? How much control do you have over the content of your website? Can you create a website from scratch or do you have a site builder of some type (wordpress)?

You may consider also pay-per-click as a great option for getting traffic to your site. It may have some serious costs associated with it, so be careful getting into something like pay-per-click. Even then, this is the most immediate method of testing a market and getting traffic.

Blogging, podcasting, web 2.0, social networking are also options for starting to get traffic back to your site.

5. Testing

Once you start getting traffic to your site, that traffic needs to convert into sales or else you're simply paying for bandwidth. Consider some of the tools available for testing that traffic including Google's split test option available within Adwords. (note: you don't have to pay for adwords to be able to use their split-tester, but you will need to have an adwords acct)

If you're running an information based website, you may consider any number of relevant offers from which you'll find out the offers that work and those that don't. A typical standby for advertising is, sadly enough, weight loss. You're not very specific on targeting assuming you have a website about your favorite Sci-Fi show, but considering over half of all Americans are overweight, you'll have a pretty decent outcome with that type of ad. Just look at ads on sites like cnn.com or youtube.com or even within your gmail account. Often there will be a weight loss ad even though it has nothing to do with the content on the page.

Get started today and scale it up as you get more time and can start budgeting money as well towards things like marketing. Internet business is a great way for entrepreneurs to get projects started and can result in a massive change of lifestyle that can liberate you from your full time job. Take it one step at a time and use the internet to help you. The internet knows everything, you just have to know how to ask it!
About the Author
Brian Armstrong is a full time internet business coach and actively promotes internet business opportunities on his site www.FirstOneThere.com. Brian promotes his own internet business opportunity as a solution for people to be able to replace their full time income.
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