Building your Website

EcommerceWhen building your own website there are a few things to consider. If you know nothing about web design, you will need to pay someone to design it exactly the way you want. Make sure you use a reputable source so you are not wasting your money. Be very picky about choosing your domain name. Make sure it is short, sweet and memorable. One popular site you can visit to check what domains are available is http://www.whois.sc This is also a good site to see who owns a particular domain you are interested. If the owner is not using the domain, you can offer to purchase it from them.

Probably one of the most important factors in an internet company is choosing a very good web host. If your web site goes down, you are completely out of business. When searching for a web host company make sure they have secure server capabilities, fast servers, lots of space, unrestricted CGI access, SSH and FTP access, web-based administration, access to raw server logs, full email services, power and daily server backups, and no minimum contracts. You may want to test their technical support and see if they offer services, scripts, and software. Inquire about their downtime and how long they have been in business. Make sure you are not being charged for the extra services.

When a customer visits your website, you want them to see professionalism, knowledge and fast connections. If your visitors notice advertisements from your free or low cost web host server they will perceive your site to be unprofessional and very small time. Slow connection speeds will definitely lose customers and cost you much money. So, choose your web host server carefully and you will be well on your way to creating a website that will attract all types of visitors.

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The Automated Sales Machine

Did you know that the Internet reaches a worldwide audience and is available 24 hours a day?

 

For this reason more and more potential customers are turning to the Internet for a variety of reasons including researching products and services and making purchases. As more and more consumers turn to the Internet for these reasons, it is important for businesses to establish an online presence.

 

This is so important because failure to do so may result in their competitors gaining an edge over them in competing for sales. While it is important for business to begin Internet marketing campaigns it is also important for these same businesses to realize basic advertising principles still exist and they can’t neglect these principles. Most importantly those who advertise online have to be aware of who their target audience is and how to reach this audience.

 

As with any marketing campaign, business owners should do some market research before they launch their Internet marketing campaign.

Ideally this will involve hiring a research consultant with a great deal of experience in conducting and evaluating this type of market research.

 

The results of this research should determine the basic demographical information for the target audience. The results should also include information on how to reach this target audience. A business that can’t afford to hire a consultant to conduct this market research should still make an effort to obtain this information on their own.

 

This can be done through informal polls of current clients. This information may not be as comprehensive as the information obtained in a more formal study but it can still provide a great deal of insight into the best way to reach the target audience.

 

Once this information is obtained, it is important to tailor the Internet marketing campaign to appeal to the target audience. There are a number of different variables which can be modified to ensure the right message is reaching the right people in a manner they can understand and in which they can relate.

 

Some of the ways in which an Internet marketing campaign can be tailored in this way include the aesthetics of your website or advertisements, the wording of your copy and the use of more advanced design features such as audio and visual or interactive tools.

 

The aesthetic appeal of a website can greatly contribute to how the website is viewed by the members of the target audience. A website which is designed to attract the attention of an older generation with more conservative tastes should include muted colors, clean design and conservative graphics.

 

This will help to ensure the target audience enjoys the website. On the other hand if you are looking to appeal to a younger audience with more liberal viewpoints you might chose to design the website with bold colors, eye catching graphics and creative design features.

 

The copy you include on your website should also take your target audience into consideration. Consider the examples of a conservative and a liberal audience listed above to create a better understanding of how the copy on your website can appeal to the target audience. When marketing to a more conservative audience, the copy should be tailored to use formal language and use facts to back up viewpoints.

 

However, when you are marketing to a more liberal audience or a younger audience you can consider using less formal language which is likely to appeal to the target audience. You can also focus more on emotion to express viewpoints.

 

Finally, when a website is created for the purposes of Internet marketing it is important for the design of the website to appeal to the target audience. You may wish to include audio and video clips on your website but these clips should appeal to the target audience.

 

For example if your website sells skateboards you might consider incorporating audio clips from punk rock bands as opposed to country music bands. There may be some skateboarders who enjoy country music but in general punk rock music more closely represents the skating culture. Keeping these details in mind is very important for Internet marketing.

How to Start An Internet Marketing Campaign

Starting an Internet marketing campaign is only the first step in the battle. Sure it is a good idea to start an Internet marketing campaign if members of your target audience are likely to use the Internet to research or purchase the products you sell or the services you offer but these marketing efforts may turn out to be a complete waste of time if you are not diligent about evaluating the response to your Internet marketing.

 

This means each time you implement a change to your marketing strategy; you should evaluate the results of the change to determine whether or not it generated a greater profit for you. This is important because it can help you determine what is working and what isn’t working for you.

 

Evaluating the response of your Internet marketing can be done in a number of different ways. Customer surveys and embedded HTML code are two of the most popular methods of evaluating the effectiveness of an Internet marketing campaign. Customer surveys can be as simple or as complex as you like depending on the amount of feedback you would like to receive.

 

However, one of the most effective ways to find out how well your different marketing tactics are working is to include a question asking the consumer where they first learned about your products or services.

This is important because if you find a great deal of your customers is learning about your products or services through a particular venue, it is a good indication this method of advertising is working quite well for you.

 

Embedding code into your advertisements for the purpose of receiving feedback is also a popular method of evaluating the response to your Internet marketing strategies. Advertisements can be coded so the business owner receives feedback each time an Internet user clicks through a particular advertisement. This is useful for letting the business owner know which of his advertisements are attracting the most attention.

 

If the business owner is using two different designs for his advertisements he may discover one design is attracting more attention than others and may make the decision to convert all of the advertisements to a more effective style.

 

Similarly a business owner who is running the same advertisement on several different websites may discover he is receiving more traffic from one website than others. He may also discover some websites are not attracting much attention at all. This would give the business owner an indication of which advertisements to cancel and which ones to keep running.

 

Finally, the response to an Internet marketing campaign can be evaluated by carefully reviewing website traffic statistics after implementing changes to the marketing strategy.

 

This information is useful because an unusual spike in the amount of website traffic immediately after implementing a stage of the marketing campaign can provide positive feedback that the change was well received by potential customers.

 

While this method of evaluating the response for any Internet marketing campaign can be effective it is important to note implementing multiple changes at once will make it difficult to determine which changes were the most effective. Therefore if you plan to use website traffic as feedback for how well your marketing strategy is working it is important to only implement one major change at a time so they can each be evaluated separately.

eBiz Basics

Internet marketing for beginners is somewhat of an oxymoron. This is because while in theory the concepts behind Internet marketing might be quite simple, executing effective strategies can be extremely difficult.

 

In fact it can even be tough for those who have experience in the world of Internet marketing. With this in mind, this newsletter will attempt to explain the concept of Internet marketing for beginners and will outline some basic strategies which can help you as a business owner to launch your own Internet marketing business.

 

We will cover concepts such as creating a website, placing banner ads, sending out e-newsletters, orchestrating an email marketing campaign and optimizing your website for search engines.

 

One of the most basic steps for starting an Internet marketing business is to create a website. If you don’t have a website or have a poorly designed website you should consider creating or re-designing one to adequately market your products and or services.

 

If you don’t have experience in web design, there are a number of software packages which make it simple for those with no design experience to create a functional website. However, hiring a web designer is worthwhile because they can work to create a website which is attractive, functional and suitable to your products and series.

They can also help you include more advanced features on your website.

 

Banner ads are another popular option for advertising your business on the Internet. Banner ads are advertisements which typically appear along the top of a website but it may also include smaller ads in other locations. Banner ads typically include graphics and text which entice Internet users to click on the advertisement. Once a user clicks on the ad, they are directed to your website. This type of advertising can be very effective when care is taken to place the advertisements on high traffic websites which attract an audience who may have an interest in your products.

 

Sending out e-newsletters often referred to as e-zines can also be a part of an effective Internet marketing strategy. These are essentially emails which may contain a variety of information including informative articles, useful quizzes, relevant advertising or any other information which is deemed worthwhile for the recipients.

 

The importance of these newsletters is that they can be used as marketing tools which are not viewed by the recipients as an advertisement. One way to do this is to incorporate links or other soft sale approaches into the copy of the e-newsletters. However, care should be taken to keep these references minimal so the e-newsletter isn’t viewed as spam.

 

Email marketing campaigns can be another successful aspect of an Internet marketing campaign. Email marketing essentially involves sending out emails to a group of individuals who may be interested in your products and services. Care should be taken in sending out these emails to avoid sending emails which are unsolicited and will be viewed as spam.

 

One way to do this is to only send out the emails to users who have requested inclusion on an email mailing list. Another way to do this is to provide value in the emails as opposed to just including advertisements. This can be done by offering relevant advice in your emails and other useful information which may be of interest to the recipients of the email.

 

Finally, optimizing your website for search engines is a critical aspect of an Internet marketing business. Search engines rank websites according to quality and relevance for particular search terms. Many Internet users appreciate the effort by search engines and use these search engines to find the best websites on a particular subject. This means the Internet users are likely to only visit websites which rank well with search engines.

 

Therefore if your website isn’t high ranking, you are not likely to generate a great deal of traffic from Internet users who use search engines to find relevant websites. Top ranking websites are likely to obtain the most traffic from search engines and all websites falling on the first page of the search engine results will likely enjoy some degree of success in improving their traffic.

Is an eBusiness right for you?

In this issue we are going to talk about whether or not Internet marketing will work for you?

 

This is an extremely difficult question to answer because there are so many complex factors involved. Specifically they techniques you employ in your Internet marketing campaign as well as the execution of these techniques can determine whether or not Internet marketing will work for your business. Additionally, the likelihood of your target audience using the Internet and responding to your marketing efforts should also be considered into the equation. This article will outline the potential for success in an Internet marketing campaign.

 

Before making the decision to embark on any Internet marketing campaign you should carefully consider your target audience. The Internet is used widely around the world but whether or not members of your target audience are likely to utilize the Internet to research or purchase the products or services you sell isn’t guaranteed. This is significant because investing a great deal of time, effort and money into Internet marketing when your target audience isn’t likely to respond to these efforts isn’t worthwhile.

 

Conducting market research can do a great deal to help you determine whether or not you should invest in an Internet marketing campaign for your business. This step is very important because it will give you a good indication of whether or not you should even begin marketing your business on the Internet. Hiring a firm specializing in market research is recommended because they can conduct this research quickly and efficiently and will likely gain a great deal of valuable information as a result of their research efforts. If they determine your business can benefit from an Internet marketing campaign, it is time to start thinking about how you want to advertise your business online.

 

Again, seeking the help of professionals can be an extremely worthwhile investment. If you are not well versed in the industry of Internet marketing, hiring a firm with a great deal of expertise in this industry can be very helpful. They can assist you by consulting with you to determine which marketing strategies will be most effective, designing advertisements for your campaign, helping you to orchestrate your Internet marketing campaign and evaluating the results of marketing efforts to determine which strategies are working and which are not.

 

The potential for success with an Internet marketing campaign is virtually limitless. The success you enjoy is only limited by your ability to promote your products and services and execute effective marketing strategies. Some of the marketing strategies you may wish to employ may include optimizing your website for relevant search terms, placing links to your website judiciously on the Internet, writing and publishing e- newsletters and utilizing affiliates to promote your website.

 

Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most important aspects of any Internet marketing campaign. SEO is so important because it dictates the ranking of your website on popular search engines. Internet users value these results and are not likely to seek out websites which don’t rank well with search engines. Conversely, high ranking websites can enjoy a great deal of increased website traffic as a result of these rankings.

 

Inbound links to your website are also important in Internet marketing.

Inbound links are links on other websites which direct users to your website. These links are important in an Internet marketing campaign.

First of all many search engines factor inbound links into their ranking algorithms which means inbound links can result in higher search engines rankings. Also, these links can be used directly by website users to access your website. This means you can gain traffic directly from these links.

 

Another way to enjoy a successful Internet marketing campaign is to orchestrate an affiliate marketing campaign. Affiliates are essentially website owners who place a banner ad on their website to direct traffic to your website. Typically, affiliates are only compensated when the advertisement on their website produces a desired effect such as enticing the users to click through the advertisement, resulting in a sale or resulting in another action such as filling out a survey or registering with your website. Affiliate marketing can not only be highly effective but it is also cost effective because you only pay the affiliates when they produce results.

10 Keys That Every Home Based Business Owner Should Implement For Success

1) Attitude–

One very important factor in running a business is your attitude towards it. You should treat your business like a business.

This is very important whether you work your business full-time, or part-time. A very close friend of mine, who is also a colleague, is a mother of 4 who works her home business around her family. In this case, she has put her family first, and at the same time, still been able to develop her business. She works part-time, but she has a full-time attitude. To put it another way, if you have a lacking attitude, you’ll have a lacking income. However, if you have a business attitude, you’ll have a business income.

Keeping your attitude in mind while running your business is one of the first steps to ensuring your success.

Being successful working part-time on your business, or working full-time, is more than achievable. However in saying that, it is highly unlikely that working in your “spare time” will achieve you success.

2) The Environment In Which You Work–

Keeping with the attitude principles discussed above, it is necessary to remember that while you are working from home, you should make sure that you have a space to call your own; your own “business at home” office, free from distractions.

Keep the theme going with a comfortable office chair, and a well laid-out and organized desk. Stationery supplies will also be of assistance, so be sure to include the following in your “home office”:

– Pens
– Highlighter
– Hole Punch
– Stapler
– Sticky Tape
– Note Book(s)
– A system which will enable you to easily and efficiently store your physical files and documents.
– Ring Binders
– Manila Folders

Do you have a fast internet connection? If not, consider the use of a broadband internet connection. Anything you do will take a certain amount of time, and your time is a very valuable asset. Faster internet means you will have more time for other things.

3) Schedule–

Dividing up your spare time between your business, your family, or your “significant others” will require a carefully planned schedule. Just like office hours in which you would work, when you allocate time for work, make sure that you work during this time. Equally important is to make sure you have time for other commitments – time with your family, exercising, education, and leisure time are all equally important factors in your life. Its also a good idea to keep in mind why you are doing what you are doing. For example, if you are starting your home business to spend more time with your family, you don’t want your work time consuming valuable family time.

With a home business, the only “boss” you have is yourself and your schedule. Lets say for instance that you are working during your allocated work time, and you have unexpected visitors, or people calling you. You have to make a choice; are you really committed to running your own business? Are you committed to business success? Your choices in these types of situations will govern whether or not you have a “business attitude”, or a “hobby attitude”.

However, you may need to adjust the way you make your choices. This is especially true in a family environment. In this instance, it may be necessary to discuss with your partner and/or children an agreed period of time which is classed as business time, in which you will not be interrupted. It may also help to print or write down this schedule and place it somewhere prominent so as to inform all family members of your work schedule.

4) Describing Your Business–

Make sure that when asked about your business, you are able to describe it concisely; a strong and powerful one or two sentence about your business that someone can repeat easily about describing your business to others. A company slogan or “tag line” can also be invaluable for promoting your business; take the time to create a unique and memorable tag line or slogan.

5) Knowledge Of Your Services Or Products–

You now have your product and your service in which you sell, whether or not you actually use your product or service you sell, it is a wise decision to make sure that your knowledge of your product or service is intimate and well-founded. For instance, if you sell eBooks, then ensure you know the content and the value in which it holds; if you sell software, ensure that you know how it works, “inside and out”. In doing so, your reputation will develop as someone who provides quality information about a product or service, and because of this knowledge, you yourself can become a preferred supplier.

However, it may not always be practical to use certain products (as an example, a man may choose to sell wedding dresses), in which case the seller wouldn’t be a product or service user, though in saying that, the seller can still have extensive knowledge of the product or services benefits and features.

6) Administration–

It is essential to implement good record keeping practices.

This can include tasks such as consulting a tax advisor who can advise you on the best and most optimal way to set up and store your financial records, as well as which records need to be kept. In addition, your advisor could also recommend record keeping systems which can help you in achieving a more efficient and simpler means of organizing this aspect of your business.

You may also be told advice on the most effective arrangements and set ups for your banking necessities. In doing so, you will most likely be advised to seek out separate bank accounts for your business.

If you use various logins, passwords, and usernames, it would be a wise decision to keep track and store this various information.

The tools and methods in which you track these are varied; from a simple paper notebook to free and commercial software.

7) Protection For Your Computer–

Your computer houses all your important business data, and is also the lifeline of your business dealings. In saying this, it is vital that you protect your computer.

Pieces of software such as virus scanners, personal firewalls, anti-spyware and adware, and even an email scanner, should all be implemented to help with the protection of your computer.

8) Obtaining A Domain Name–

For any home-based, online business, it is more than just essential to have a domain name for your business, it is vital. There are many domain registrar companies out there. Take your pick.

9) Processing Of Your Payments–

Any online business will need to the ability to accept payments. Payment processors such as PayPal, 2Checkout, and Clickbank, all offer multiple ways to accept payment, including the ability to accept credit card payments online.

As an online business just starting out, this is the most effective, efficient, and economical way to get started in accepting online payments. As your business starts to grow and develop, it may be necessary to look into obtaining your own merchant account for transactions.

Also, it may be worth while taking into account other forms of currency online, such as eGold.

10) Email Accounts–

The more professional and trusted your online home business appears, the more likely your customers are going to do business with you. One of the most easiest and simplest ways to do this, is to use an associated email account. After obtaining your own domain, it is possible to create your very own associated email account.

Final Comments–

In finishing, I’d like to leave you with the following comments regarding the running and owning of your internet business. Conduct your business ethically, ensure that your customers receive the best service, and be proud to put your name to the products and/or services that you sell, and you will soon seen the fruits of your efforts. Taking into account this last statement, and the above 10 key points, you’ll find yourself on track to developing a trusted, professional, and sustainable long term internet business.

3 Essential Boundaries for Mom Entrepreneurs and Their Husbands

In the beginning, I thought it was going to be a breeze when my husband, Terry, joined me working full-time in my business. If anyone could do it, we could! We already had a healthy relationship built on trust and respect. We communicated well. We both strongly believed in what we were doing. We understood the need to help each other with the children, keeping the house, and with the business. We planned to allow for fluctuations in income to keep stresses over money to a minimum. Yet I still wasn’t prepared.

For anyone considering working with your spouse, here are 3 Essential Boundaries for Entrepreneurial Couples to help to ease your transition:

1. Clarify expectations for work/home.
Nothing can prepare you for the blurring of boundaries and turf that occur as you transition into working together. When you join together with your spouse, most likely, both of you have experienced success throughout your careers, and have developed your own working style. Suddenly you have a whole new dynamic in your relationship with your spouse you must learn to work through. I always knew that we had different gifts and talents: Terry is very techie and he loves to write, and I am a people person who is an administrative whiz. Even though I should have probably seen it coming, I was still surprised at the difference in our work styles. I multi-task all day long, and he prefers to work on one project at a time. Just like being newlyweds all over again, we had to put some effort into getting to know each other on a whole new level to be able to work well together.

Beth Butler, creator of the Boca Beth Program has some helpful tips for clarifying expectations with your spouse. “I make us lunch each day and we try to talk about BOCA BETH items that are pressing. It’s our time to reconnect – he works from home for the wine company he represents and I work from home sharing my passion for second language learning with young children. A funny mix, but it works! We talk about what each of us has planned the next day so there are no surprises – and I use that time to ask for his help. I can’t expect him to guess what I need so I have learned to be very specific.”

2. Schedule time for love.
Most entrepreneurial couples complain they have less time together than before. It is possible to work beside your spouse in the same office all day long and barely speak on a personal level. How difficult is it to turn off your cell phone and talk a walk with your love? It is imperative to make it a point to schedule time for your relationship so that the business does not overtake it. Terry and I plan ahead to sneak away for lunch or to take a break at Starbucks. We have found if we don’t take the time to schedule in these lunch or coffee dates, then they are less likely to happen as we work to meet deadlines or get a project done. We haven’t yet been able to master scheduling “regular dates”, but its next on our list of priorities in order to help keep our close relationship.

3. Schedule time for yourself.
It can be a shock when you suddenly have so much time with your spouse. In your previous life, they left at 7 AM and came home at 6 PM, and then you discussed your day during dinner. Now you spend most (if not all) of the day with them, and during dinner, there is nothing new to discuss. Where is the time for you? Karyn Fagan, Founder of Team Women, tells “We both have hobbies that we love outside of the house so we have that important away time.”

Terry and I certainly have a long way to go as an Entrepreneurial Couple, but we have made it through our entrepreneurial “honeymoon” period. Each day, we work together to reach our goals and dreams. We understand when we help each other we will reach our dreams sooner, so we help each wherever its needed!