Shortcuts to a Successful
Article by: Dr. Kevin Nunley
The Internet is a great equalizer giving opportunity to anyone willing to roll up their sleeves and go to work. But how do you build your own online empire when you're already busy with job and family?
Here are seven tried-and-true shortcuts to get your online business up and profitable in record time.
1. Those snazzy corporate web sites now cost one million dollars and more. Customers expect your site to look almost as good.
Professional designers spend years and thousands of dollars purchasing the right programs and learning how to use them. You can skip the learning curve by using a good template-based web design system.
JustWebIt.com and others offer free systems you can use online to build your site. Simply type your headlines into the supplied boxes, add your copy, pull up the right graphics, and list your product prices.
For a more advanced look that makes you look like you spent thousands on designers, try NetStudio. Get the free download at NetStudio.com. I'm about as graphics challenged as anyone and I was able to churn out a killer web page in 15 minutes.
2. Skip the shopping cart and go with a good third-party credit card processor or one of the new generation of all-in-one solutions. A number of firms like ibill.com and ccnow.com give you an online order form, process your customer's credit cards, and deposit the funds into your bank account. They charge healthy percentages, but it's a no-cost way to start taking cards.
Goemerchant.com has a one click "buy-me" system that lets you easily link their shopping cart to any product or service on your site.
Watch for hidden merchant account fees. Especially be wary of credit card companies that say your shopping cart can be tied into their system with simple programming. One "simple" system turned out to be so complicated we had to hire two professional programmers for three days to hook it up.
3. Buying visitors for your web site can be very expensive. Advertising and marketing costs mount quickly. You can get thousands of visitors free by building attractive features into your site. Offer free software, free articles, or a free 7 lesson course via email.
Think from the beginning how you can make your site attractive to search engines. Keep your site's theme narrow and well-focused. When prospects type a word that describes you into a search engine, your site will be far more likely to come up if your copy revolves around that search topic.
4. Offer a service with plenty of profit built in. Think of something you, or someone you hire, can do to help businesses. The lion's share of commerce on the Internet consists of products and services sold to businesses.
A good service can cost you very little to deliver and it can command a high price.
5. Create your own in-house email list. Spam is ineffective and often illegal. It's a much better idea to offer a newsletter or monthly update packed with helpful information your customers will appreciate. They will respond by saving your email, printing it off, and forwarding it to associates.
Cut the time of producing and sending your newsletter with the no-cost Ezine Builder at e-zinez.com. Onelist.com and Topica.com offer free list management services that can save you hours each week.
6. Get help writing your web site copy. Effective copy can make a huge difference in how many people buy from your web site. One major company had us tweak their copy and sales doubled immediately.
Having a professional writer do all your copy will probably be too expensive. Instead, write your copy yourself and have a professional writer fix it up. It may take no more than an hour of their time.
7. Become an expert on something. Experts are in constant demand. Everyone wants to buy from an expert. Becoming known as an authority is probably easier than you realize.
Spend time at your local library reading up on a subject your customers care about. Use search engines to find more information online. Jot down the things you learn and spin them into short articles. Use your own words.
These seven simple shortcuts are the mortar behind many successful Internet businesses. Use them to smartly cut costs and speed your path to success.
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