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Online Business

Soft Innovations Make Business Work

The biggest thing to realize about running an online business is that rarely anyone has a super new wonderful idea that has not been done before. Usually soft innovations are what make the most successful business ideas.

Important Business Fundamentals

  • Landscape evaluation: Is there a market that is interested in what I am trying to do? Is this market already saturated? It is far easier to make what people want than to get people to want what you make.
  • Brand: For most people branding will be the decisive element that will create success. A lack of brand usually can be equates to certain failure.
  • Unique value proposition: What you offer that is different than your competition?
  • Usability: How easy is it for people to find what they want?
  • Copywriting: How good are the words, are they focused on the user?
  • Customer conversion rate: Customer conversion rate is extremely important. If your site can not convert then nothing else matters.

Building Your Own Site

Before you decide to build a business you should first see if you like web design and pick an area you are an expert in. Not everyone is going to be a great web designer and it may save you a decent amount to start off with a default Blogger template or hire a designer. Web design can usually be bought rather cheaply.

Many web editors offer free trials, I recommend using Dreamweaver MX. 1st page is a completely free web editor for those who can not afford Dreamweaver. There are also many free hosts that place banners or popups on your site to pay hosting costs. For starters you may want to try out their services, but eventually you will want to shift to your own domain if you find you like the internet.

Money Making Opportunities

If you do not have any product to sell then you can make money a variety of different ways.

  • Contextual advertising: Google AdSense places contextually relevant ads (usually) next to your content.
  • Affiliate programs: affiliate programs pay you commission for selling other products.
  • Dropshipping: dropshipping programs allow you to appear as the seller of the goods without actually handling the goods. You can create transactions without many of the other business worries associated with coordinating supply and demand.
  • Search: you can pair with a third party search provider to make money off of searches from your website.
  • Bad Ideas: some people use banner exchanges and exit popup windows. I feel both of these methods are rather intrusive and recommend neither. Popups eat away at the relationship you are trying to build with your user, and most people ignore banners..

Other Businesses Tips:

  • High quality host for your site. If your site is down you loose that traffic and frustrate your end users, who may never come back.
  • Contact Info: easy for people to contact you. You should also have an about us & contact us page.
  • Compelling copy: good copywriting is what sells products.
  • Privacy Policy: let's people know you are a real and serious business. Free privacy policy generator.
  • FAQ's: Answer common questions your site users may have.
  • Payment Gateways: Make sure you use a high quality payment gateway and shopping card. If you use third party order processing / checkout systems (such as ClickBank or PayPal) you may want to give people multiple payment options.

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Today is 12/01/21 . This file was last modified on 05/11/13