How,Set,your,own,Online,Busine DIY How to Set up your own Online Business: 11 FREE or L
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Whoever said you need thousands of dollars to start your own web based business didn't know what they were talkingabout. If you know where to look your business can beon the web for very little money, and in some cases free.1) Free Domain Names: If you want your own domain namelike http://www.sallysshop.com, you may expect to pay anywhere from $10.00 to $30.00 a year to own it. Back when Network Solutions was the only game in town,they charged $70.00 for the first two year period. Now thatothers are allowed to sell domain names, pricing hasbecome quite competitive. Some of the cheaper onesare:http://www.onestop.net $11.00 per yearhttp://www.joker.com $12.00 per yearhttp://www.dotster.com $15.00 per yearBut what if I told you that you get yourdomain absolutely FREE? That's right! Free.I have found a few sites that will registeryour domain at no charge. The catch with most ofthem is that they set themselves up as the administrator,but will transfer ownership of the domain to you aftera set period of time or for a very small fee. Check:http://www.namezero.comhttp://www.domainzero.comhttp://www.namedemo.com2) Free Web Hosting: If you've been thinking of launching a websitebut don't want to pay the $20 to $40.00 a month typically chargedfor hosting it, you don't have to. With a little research,you'll find plenty of places that will host your site free.Before you get too excited let me tell you the drawback:Most free hosts place a banner at the top of your pages forgiving you this courtesy. But believe it or not, I havefound web hosts that won't charge you a dime and won'tforce you to display those pesky banners. Some of themalso will take the banners away for a small yearly feewhich is nothing compared to paying a host monthly.Some of the best ones are:http://www.netfirms.com Requires banners, but you canremove them for $60.00 a year.http://www.crosswinds.net Free hosting, no banners requiredhttp://www.doteasy.com/ Free Domain Hosting, no banners If you sell product and need a shopping cart,check some of these:http://www.gta-tech.comhttp://www.freemerchant.comhttp://www.bigstep.com3) Product or Service to Sell: Let's face it -- if you don'thave something to sell on your website, it won't earn youany money. The best-selling items online seem to beinformation products and software, because they can be paid for and downloaded immediately.If you sell a product, you need to factor in shipping expenses -- both local and international. If you don't have your own product to sell, no problem.Many Internet companies will be happy tohave you sign up and start selling their productsfor them. They get increased sales and you get a commission on everything you sell. Online these arecalled "affiliate" or "associate programs." While mostare free to join, you should resist the temptation tosign up with too many. Stick with one common theme whendeciding on what to sell. In other words, don't resellsoftware and dog biscuits on the same website (unlessyour site is targeted to veterinarians and the softwaredeals with patient records). You need consistency, so pick a theme and stick with it.To find associate programs to join check out:http://www.associateprogams.com Over 2,000 to pick fromhttp://www.associate-it.com Huge directory of programshttp://www.referit.com Many to choose from4) Fax Number: Don't buy a fax machine; now you can getyour own virtual fax number totally free. These onlinecompanies will give you your own fax number that willsend your faxes directly to your email inbox ("e-faxing").If you travel a lot and need to receivefaxes from the office this service is a godsend.Easy to sign up.....and use.http://www.efax.comhttp://www.onebox.comhttp://www.faxwave.com/5) Logo: If you're going to have an online business, youreally should come up with a logo. A logo will help tobrand your company online. After awhile, folks will cometo associate your logo with your products and services. At least, that's the main idea. So what if you can't even draw a stick figure? There are plenty of online siteswhere you can design your logo or absolutely free:http://www.freelogos.comhttp://www.cooltext.comhttp://www.thelogocreator.com Software to purchase to make your own logo from templates6) Refer a Friend: People love recommending good things to their friends and family. So why not give them the chance to tell someone about your website? This is an easy feature to add to your site. Once you sign upwith your chosen service, you paste a few lines of HTML code they give you onto your page and you're done.This is a form of viral marketing, and it works great.http://www.recommend-it.com7) Newsletter/Ezine: If you're going to have a websiteyou must publish an ezine. Yep, sorry, hate to break itto you, but if you want to bring people back to yoursite and remind them of your existence you need to offeran ezine. Luckily, you don't need to set up a tricky listserver; use oneof the free services below.http://www.egroups.com (my personal favorite)http://www.topcia.comhttp://www.listbot.comTo learn more about ezine publishing go to http://www.ezineuniversity.comhttp://www.absoluteezines.comhttp://www.ezine-z.com8) Autoresponders: Remember fax-on-demand?Well, autoresponders work like that but come directly toyour email box instead of your fax machine. You'll findmany uses for them: from listing your products or serviceswith current pricing, to offering back issues of your ezine.You can even use them to set up a scheduled training courseon any topic you choose.You'll find plenty of free autoresponders if you take a look,like:http://www.sendfree.comhttp://www.getresponse.com9) Promotional Items: Once your website is built you'll needa few items on hand to help promote it. a) Press Release- Keep it short & newsworthy, 4 paragraphs topsb) Descriptions of your Site- Long and short for search enginesand directoriesc) Banners- animated & static, 468X60 and maybe a button bannerd) Classified Ads- Write a few short ads, 4 or 5 lines, 60 to 65characters wide to use for online advertising in ezines.e) Signature Lines: write a few good signature lines and usethem on every piece of email that you send out. Try toinclude something free in it.If you'd like all of these things made for you in one neatpackage see:http://www.mcpromotions.com/getreadytomarket.htmBusiness cards can be made for just the cost of shipping athttp://www.vistaprint.com10) Toll Free Number: If you don't want to add another phoneline in your house for your new business, don't! Thereare many companies online who are just waiting to give youyour own toll free phone number. Many of them canbe configured to ring on your land line, or transferred toyour cell phone if you prefer. You can even set the hoursand times you want the calls to transfer to your other phone number, all done seamlessly. Many of these typesof services will also notify you by email when you have a message waiting in your box.http://www.ureach.com The best one online in my opinion11) Ability to Accept Credit Cards; No merchant account,no problem! Let's face it, if you want people to orderfrom your site you need to make it easy for them to payyou and that means accepting online payments. Merchant accounts can be costly to set up, especiallyfor a new Internet business. Good thing there are plenty of third party processors you can use who will take a smallpercentage of each sale in exchange for giving you thisservice:http://www.ibill.com Takes a higher percentage of saleshttp://www.ccnow.com Must be a tangible product not a servicehttp://www.propay.com Low rates, and your email address appearson the customer's cc statement not the processor.http://www.clickbank.com Rates aren't bad and allows you totake out of country payments.Another easy way to accept online payment is PayPalhttp://www.paypal.com Free to register and cheap; aneasy way to send or receive money.So there you have it in a nutshell. Don't put off startingyour online business one more day because you thinkyou can't afford it. You can. By implementing these 11 suggestions into your new business, you'll have a site that not only makesthe sale, but doesn't cost you an arm and a leg to own.