Tip 1 – Sell only one product or product line on a specific website
- Pretty much every successful internet marketer will tell you that one of the biggest, if not the biggest, mistake people make in starting an online business is selling dis-similar products on the same website
- Selling only one product or one product line will allow targeted marketing
- Selling only one product or one product line will prevent you from being dragged down in search engines rankings. If you sell items that do not make sense with each other, they will not make sense to the search engines either, and this will bury your site in the search engine listings.
- Selling only one product or one product line allows you to build a customer base to which you can continue to market. You will know they have a specific need, and if you provide them a quality product at a fair price, they will continue to come back to you.
- The average internet shopper comes online to buy a specific item, they do not come online to fill their shopping cart with stuff they can buy down the street at Wal-Mart (not that there’s anything wrong with Wal-Mart, that’s where I buy a lot of my pet food – great prices on the premium non-veterinary brands)
Think about what you look for when you come online… is it for a generic birdhouse you could buy at Wal-Mart, or is it for a unique item you cant find in your hometown or that is too much of a hassle or too expensive to buy where you live? I will use my book buying habits as an example. I live in a metropolitan area with about a half million other people. We have the Barnes & Nobles and B. Dalton’s and Borders stores lining the city streets, but most of the books in which I am interested need to be ordered and are not kept stocked in a regular bookstore. I can order them by going down to Borders and telling them what I want, then go back and pick it up when it arrives 3 days later. Or I can just go over to Amazon.com, or a specialty bookstore online (abe.com is my favorite directory for hard to find books) and order it to be shipped straight to my house.
How to find that product
Tip 2 – Research
- Find a market that has a problem, then solve that problem for the market
- In other words – Identify the market and the problem FIRST – then choose the solution (your product/service)
- Research the product that you are selling
- Is it a niche product?
- Ideally find a solution that you can monopolize, but that is not necessary to create success online
- What do your competitors do?
- What do you offer that stands out from the rest?
Tip 3 – Dropship
- If you end up selling a physical product, this is my favorite business method
- Costs you little or nothing up-front
- You do not have to worry about shipping & stocking (or returns sometimes)
- You simply sell the product, collect the money and then tell the distributor where to send it
Tip 4 – Become involved in an affiliate program
This is the next big marketing venture that is flourishing on the internet. What this means is that a big website pays people to drive business to it’s website. In return, the affiliate makes a commission off of the purchases made by the the person they referred. It costs the big website nothing unless a sale is made, and it allows them to have hundreds, even thousands of people going around online doing their advertising. It allows the affiliate to make an income without ever having to worry about product orders or running the overall business. This type of program ends up being a win-win proposition for both entities.
Also – do not pay to join an affiliate program. Those type-at-home sites that you see promoted everywhere are basically just affiliate programs you pay to join. You can join legitimate affiliate programs where your income potential is much higher and you join for free.
Here is an affiliate program you can join for free and earn up to $165 per sale, and you continue to earn residual income for every purchase that customer ever makes – even if it takes them 3 years to make that first purchase. This program also allows you to sign up affiliates under you and have them advertise and earn you a commission for their work. It is by far one of the best affiliate program in which I am personally involved.
Tip 5 – Sell Information
This goes hand in hand with Tip #8 where you give something away for free. Find a topic with which you are familiar, or one in which you have an interest – write an informational article and sell it online. This is pure income. It costs you nothing to produce, it costs you nothing to ship. It is downloaded instantly as soon as your buyer pays for it online.
When building your website
Whether you decide to use an internet marketing expert, or build your own web presence, here are some keys you must make sure you use in your website:
Tip 6 – Have your own domain name
- Absolutely do not have your site hosted on a free site
- Free sites are sometimes even refused inclusion in search engines
- Free sites look cheap, like you do not really care about your business
- Having your own domain name looks more professional and lets your buyers know that you are serious about providing them valuable information or a valuable service/product.
- The domain name does not need to be perfect, but it needs to show that you are serious enough about your business to get one for yourself.
- Domain names can be bought for $20 a year or less, there is no excuse to not have your own name.
Tip 7 – Allow online ordering
- You must be able to accept credit cards
- Get a merchant account or at least PayPal/Stormpay/2checkout, etc – some way of accepting credit cards online
- Approximately 80% of internet sales are done by credit card
- Using credit cards allows your customer to have fraud protection from their credit card company
Tip 8 – Free – Use the word “FREE”
- Free sells
- Give something away free
- Free Shipping/Handling
- Free e-book, newsletter, tips for growing tomatoes, tips for keeping stains from setting in carpet – whatever may be of value for your customers – this costs you basically nothing and allows you to continue to follow up with your customers
Tip 9 – Keyword phrase
You must select a keyword phrase and place it in the title and then mention it 4 times in your opening paragraph. This is a trigger for many search engines and something that must be present if you want your site to move up in search engine rankings. Develop this keyword phrase based on the research you did in Tip number 2.
Tip 10 – You must have links
If you do not have at least 30 external links on your page, you will be buried in the search engines. Reciprocally, you will need at least 30 links to your page in order to show up anywhere up in the search listings – having your own affiliate program can provide immense help in this area. The fact is, if you do not show up in the first 2-3 pages in results of a search engine, most people are not going to find your site. (If you use overture or findwhat you can end up at the top of the first page for your selected market within a matter of days – shortcut to the top)
Once your website has been built:
The key is to market to your specific audience. You could have 10,000 visitors come to your site that sells fishing lures, but if those people do not want to buy fishing lures, you are not going to make a single sale. You must market to the people who are wanting to buy fishing lures. This sounds simple but look around at all the websites that are selling “hits” and “visits” and promise targeted marketing to nothing more than broad categories – and these sites make good money. Why? Because most people do not understand how to market online effectively!
Most people start a business on the internet and look at it as a gamble. It should not be a gamble. There is a way that you can know that you will be successful on the internet. Over 94% of small businesses online are currently losing money. Dont let that scare you. Just think, if so many people are doing it wrong, your market to which you can do it right is huge! Placing your product in front of your targeted market is the only way that you can be assured of your online success. You can know that you will succeed.
Tip 11 – Market to the targeted market in search engines
- Overture (formerly goto.com) pay-per-click search engine that allows you to bid on keywords – this is the way you can be #1 on Yahoo in a couple of days. Overture has contracted with some of the largest search engines and directories (Yahoo, MSN, Lycos…) to provide top of the list results for keywords. They then sell those keywords to you, so you can be the number one search result on Yahoo for literally 10 cents. Overture has an excellent keyword tool that allows you to see what people have typed into search engines in the past month – this way you can find out exactly which words on which to bid.
- Findwhat.com is a pay-per-click that has a large search engine market (dogpile, ) but costs less than Overture. At this time they are still selling clicks for .01 cent. In September 2003 this cost will increased to .05 cents, but if you buy your bids before that time, you can lock in a lower price.
- Roar/Pageseeker.com 3rd largest pay-per-click
- Google WordAds – the small ads to the right side of the search results – allows for very targeted, inexpensive marketing
Tip 12 – Use vertical portals
- Vertical portals are an inch wide but a mile deep
- This is where your target market can be found
- Vertical portal are entrypoints to the internet where a specific subject is the main focus – they are like a “Yahoo” for a certain subject, like fishing, dogs or needlepoint
- In vertical portals you can utilize newgroups, targeted ads, speciality search engines/directories and many other outreaches:
- Newsgroups – become active, choose groups where ads aren’t allowed, then put url (uniform resource locator – loosely meaning your domain name) in your signature line
- Inexpensive banner/website/newsletter ads to the targeted market
- Free classified ads – available everywhere, use ads that are on specialty sites. If you sell hunting knives, place classified ads on hunting and fishing websites.
- Paid classified ads – are a low cost option that may produce even higher results.
- Newsletters – paid or free. Write an article for a newletter, or start your own newsletter to get that targeted market.
- Specialty search engines – if you sell dog food, get listed in doginfo.com – find the search engines and directories that your target market uses
Tip 13 – Do not use a search engine submission service – except for…
- Search engine submitters often harm your search engine ranking more than they help
- This article by Corey Rudl explains why search engine submitters can hurt your business and why he endorses only one submission product (and for a long time he didn’t endorse any… until he saw this one)
Tip 14 – Market where your customers are, but your competitors are not
- If you sell hunting knives on a website, look for where else your customers also would be going
- Do people that go hunting drive trucks? Yes, many of them. Then go to a truck directory and add your link or take out an inexpensive banner ad (just an example that is off the top of my head)
- Do people that buy hunting knives always hunt? Do people that buy hunting knives buy them as gifts for their boyfriends, husbands or fathers? Then go where those people are – a man’s gift guide for example.
- Be careful though – Do not waste marketing efforts at an audience that will have no interest in the product/service
Do Not Limit Yourself
Tip 15 – Multiple Streams of Income
This is a phrase you will hear over and over from successful internet marketers. What this simply means is that you will have several different ways to make money on the internet. One stream of income could be selling stuffed animals on auction sites, another could be selling car wax on a specific site targeted directly at that market, another could be selling fishing lures on a site targeted towards fisherman, and another site could be simply linking to your affiliate pages (but DO NOT put 25 of those links on your front page – you might look like you’re trying to make a fast buck and haven’t really researched the quality of the product you are promoting).
Thanks for showing your initiative to create success online by choosing to read this far on the page! Has this article been all-inclusive? No, but it gives you a good start. Does it cover everything you’ll need to know to do business online? It covers many of the major points, but there are other guides out there that go really in depth. The one name that keeps popping up in all of my searches for online business information is Corey Rudl. He has actually been around the internet even longer than me. I have seen some of his products and they look good. If you would like to spend the money on them they will help you immensely. I say this for one reason… his name pops up EVERYWHERE. Which means that what he is doing works. He has built his system so that he does not do much of his own marketing anymore, he has it automated and has other people to do it for him. I will explain that more later when I write about affiliates. When you have a chance, take the time to look at some of his material:
Insider Secrets to Marketing Your Business on the InternetThe Insider Secrets to Marketing Your Business on the Internet – Learn from the best. The author of this site, Corey Rudl gets over 1.8 million visitors to his websites monthly, does 6.6 million dollars in sales online each year (yes, that is $6,600,000), and personally makes hundreds of thousands of dollars from his online businesses… all from his one small office. So listen to what he has to say as he knows what he is talking about when it comes to starting and promoting a business on the Internet.