Are,You,Position,Start,Online, DIY Are You In a Position to Start an Online Business?
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When I first started my online business, I did everything Icould 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 feesfor a web host.That was a mistake. What I came to realize was simply thatif 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 ofsuccessful online entrepreneurs. From them, I learned thatit just doesn't help to try to 'cut corners' on certainthings. So what are some of the things you need to getstarted on the 'net? = Your own domain. At GoDaddy, http://www.godaddy.com/ , 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/ . = Website 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. = Ad 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 . = Autoresponders. 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/ . = List 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/ .Note that free tools aren't necessarily either the bestor worst choice, and they're not guaranteed to be freeforever. Please don't use price as your only criteria.And finally, don't forget about investing in two morevital keys to success: education (for example, copywritingmanuals, Internet marketing courses, etc) and marketing.All of the best tools in the world won't do you any goodunless you can get interested prospects to visit your siteand make a purchase.The old saying, 'You have to spend money to make money'is true of businesses everywhere... and that includes theInternet. Fortunately, starting a business online can bevery affordable, even for the 'average' person.