Are You In a Position to Start an Online
When I first started my online
business, I did everything I
could to save a little money -- I didn't want a domain name,
not even for a mere $35/year (it was expensive back then!),
and I certainly didn't want to pay recurring monthly fees
for a web host.
That was a mistake. What I came to realize was simply
if I wasn't willing to make these small investments -- well,
I just wasn't in the position to be starting a business.
Sometimes the truth hurts!
I came to accept that I could learn from the experiences of
successful online entrepreneurs. From them, I learned
it just doesn't help to try to 'cut corners' on certain
things. So what are some of the things you need to get
started on the 'net?
- Your own domain. At
you can register a domain for a mere $8.95/year.
There is NO excuse not to have your own domain at these
rock- bottom prices! Your own domain will help
your business build credibility -- plus, it's easier to
remember a simple www.yourcompany.com
then something like, www.afreedomain.com/userpages/~yourname/homedir
- Web hosting. Don't skimp
on it, but don't get a whole bunch of features you don't
need, either. Be willing to spend money for a
reliable web host with a great uptime record, one that
can offer you excellent customer service. Start
your research at TopHosts, http://www.tophosts.com/
Visitor only for $0.01. Try our pay per click search engine.
The cheapest on the market.
stats. Knowing who your visitors are, how
they're finding your site, which pages they're viewing
most, etc. will help you to refine your site and your
marketing efforts. Check with your web host first
to see what type of website stats or demographics they
offer with your hosting package. Other options
include the AXS Visitor Tracking System, http://www.xav.com/scripts/axs/
, and WebLog, http://awsd.com/scripts/weblog/index.shtml
Both are currently free.
tracker. An ad tracker will help you to see
which one of your marketing campaigns is giving you the
best results. For example, how much response are
you getting from your ad on a website? How much
interest did your article generate? You can then
focus your efforts on the marketing techniques that are
giving you the results you want -- and dump those that
aren't. 'AdTrackz' is one excellent ad tracker,
and is available from http://buildyourhomebiz.com/rd/adtrackz.html
These excellent tools help to automate customer
follow-ups (you *do* follow up with your prospects,
right?) and other tasks, such as mailing out articles or
reports to visitors who request them. They
typically run about $20/month... but WorkYourLeads
offers unlimited autoresponders for $10/month, http://buildyourhomebiz.com/automate.html
. Other good choices are GetResponse, http://getresponse.com/
, and AWeber, http://www.aweber.com/
hosts. You may already know that capturing
your prospect's email address is the one of the most
important things you can do -- it gives you the ability
to build a credible and trusting business 'relationship'
with them, and you'll be able to market to them
repeatedly. Many Internet businesses offer a
newsletter to keep in touch with their customers.
To deliver your newsletter you can use either an
autoresponder (see above) or a list manager. Two
popular list hosts are Yahoo Groups, http://groups.yahoo.com/,
which is currently free; and Topica, http://www.topica.com/
that free tools aren't necessarily either the best
or worst choice, and they're not guaranteed to be free
forever. Please don't use price as your only criteria.
And finally, don't forget about investing in two more vital
keys to success: education (for example, copywriting
manuals, Internet marketing courses, etc) and marketing.
All of the best tools in the world won't do you any good
unless you can get interested prospects to visit your site
and make a purchase.
The old saying, 'You have to spend money to make money' is
true of businesses everywhere... and that includes the
Internet. Fortunately, starting a business online can
be very affordable, even for the 'average' person.
Angela is the editor of Online Business Basics, a practical
and down-to-earth guide to building an Internet business on
a beginner's budget. See why it's received so many
reviews! Visit http://onlinebusinessbasics.com/article.html
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