By Mark Williams
Creating a successful internet home based business is not as hard as you might think.
An online business is not much different than an offline business, other than the fact that it is cheaper to operate due to low overhead. Another big plus is you can run it from your home in your underwear if you like.
To run a successful business online or off you need a plan or a blueprint for success. I am going to share with you a simple 5 step guide that will allow anyone to establish a successful internet home based business. These 5 keys are essential to winning the internet game. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! There are a ton of crooks out there that are trying to take your money with “get rich quick” promises. Let me tell you from personal experience it just does not happen, unless you hit the lottery or a rich relative dies.
Let’s get started building your internet home based business empire, shall we?
This is vital to any business and an internet business is NO different. If you already have a product or service then you are one step ahead of the game. If you do not have a product then think about the things that you have an interest or a passion for. It is always easier to market items that you have an interest in. If you have some ideas then it is time for some keyword research. For you internet “newbies”, keywords are the words that people use to search for items and information over the internet.
You can use a free tool from Overture at inventory.overture.com – notice that there is NO http or www in that URL. This handy little tool will tell us how many times a keyword has been searched for on the web in the last month. I am an example person so I will give you one. If you are interested in “health and fitness”, then type that into the Overture keyword search tool and it will show you all the other related keywords for “health and fitness” and tell you how many times they have been searched for in one month.
Preferably, you want a keyword that is highly searched for because that means it is in demand. The only drawback to that is it could also be a highly competitive market. What we want to look for are keywords that are heavily searched for, but have very little competition. How many times a keyword is searched for is equal to the demand factor in a supply and demand ratio.
So next you need to go to Google and do some more research. Don’t you just love research! After you have pulled up Google, type your main keyword into the search box and find out how many results you get for that keyword. You can equate this number to supply factor in our supply and demand ratio.
The higher the supply (search results=number of competing sites) compared to demand (the number of times a keyword is searched for) the harder it is going to be to become successful in that market. That does not mean that is can’t be done it is just going to be tougher. Ideally we want a lower ratio of competing sites vs. keyword search results.
2. KEYWORD DEVELOPMENT
After you have decided on a niche, it is time to build a set of keywords. Let me be straight forward here, the most important thing you will EVER do for your internet home based business is build a set of relevant and targeted keywords. Keywords are how people will find you on the internet. Over time you will want to have an arsenal of around 1000 keywords established for your niche. In the beginning, approximately 100 will be sufficient to start.
You will need to think of every imaginable keyword or phrase that someone would type into the search engines to look for the products or services that you are selling. Use the Overture Keyword Search Tool to see how many times those keywords have been searched for. Use misspellings and abbreviations for your keywords as well. Not everyone is a perfect speller!
I can’t stress the importance of keyword development enough. I know it is the most boring part of starting an internet business but it will be the cornerstone of it. If you slack off on this you will be setting your business up to fail, simple as that!
3. CREATE A WEBSITE
If you are going to be marketing goods and services on the internet, then you need a website. I know there are some programs on the web that say you can make money selling this or that by using Pay Per Click Advertising. They’re right, you can, but you can sell a whole lot more if you have your own site!
That does not mean that you have to build a huge, expensive web site, but you do need a site. Not just any kind of site, your site needs to be a content rich-information super site. People get on the internet looking for information! So if they want information, what should you give them? I hope you answered information, because if you didn’t we need to start all over. After you have found your niche and built your keyword list, it is time to develop a theme for your site.
When you develop your site, you need to keep in mind the people that will be coming to your site. You want to provide an atmosphere that will keep them coming back. The goal is to provide as much relevant content and free information as possible to attract visitors that will become repeat visitors. They need to feel like they are being provided a great service and that your site can be used as a reference for their hobby, career, or lifestyle.
Back to an example, if your site sells health food; don’t just have ads for health food products on your web pages! Fill your pages with articles about health food and the importance of a healthy diet. You might want to have a section on physical fitness. Write or find product reviews on health foods and supplements so customers can compare and get educated on products.
If they view your site as a resource they WILL come back time and time again. They will begin to look at you as an expert and trusted partner and will buy the products you recommend. They will tell their friends and family about how they found this great site that has all of this powerful information about health, health foods, and supplements. The key is to provide relevant content and then intertwine your products into that content. You want to make a soft sale and not come off like a pushy salesperson.
The key to remember here is that you can sell more with your own site and make the site a content – rich information highway. Content is King on the internet, it always has been and always will be.
Kill’em with content.
4. FIND AFFILIATE PRODUCTS THAT COMPLIMENT YOUR OWN.
Now that you have your website up and running and are selling a few of your own products, it is time to diversify. There are literally thousands of affiliate programs offered on the internet today. All of the big boys have them; Amazon, Blockbuster Video, Overstock, and even Bass Pro Shop. For those of you who don’t know what an affiliate program is, it is nothing more than promoting other peoples’ products and services. You get paid if your promotion turns into a sale! Pretty simple stuff really.
What you need to do is find some affiliate products that are relevant to your niche and offer them on your site as well. There are two really good reasons for this. The first is that it will increase your sales and help make you more profitable. Second, it will help diversify your portfolio, so to speak, by providing other avenues of income. When one product starts to slide you have other income sources to fill the void.
To put it bluntly, all of your eggs are not in one basket!
You can find affiliate programs at sites like http://www.cj.com and http://www.clickbank.com. They are affiliate networks and work as a middle man between the company and their affiliates. They help put potential affiliates looking for products to promote together with companies that need products promoted.
Weaving in relevant affiliate products can boost your profit and help diversify your income streams.
5. PROMOTE, PROMOTE, AND PROMOTE SOME MORE
The last key to a successful internet home based business is promotion. There is not a business around online or off that can survive without promotion. Let me dispel the myth that you can build a web site and put it on the internet and that magically thousands of people will begin going to it. It does not happen so don’t expect it to!
There are tons of ways to advertise your website too much for me to discuss it in great detail in this article. Below are some ways that I generate traffic to my web site that I am sure will work for you.
– Pay Per Click Advertising – The quickest and most predictable way to generate
traffic to your site.
– Articles – Write articles pertaining to your niche and submit them to article directories and ezine publishers. This is a great way to establish your reputation and get targeted traffic. Another plus with articles is that it can help you get incoming links to your site; the search engines love incoming links.
– Linking Strategies – Reciprocal linking plays a huge role in page rank with the search engines, especially Google. Reciprocal links can also be a great way to get traffic from other sites that are similar to yours in content.
– Ezines – Advertising in Ezines are an excellent way to get your website in front of a large, captive audience.
– Forums – Getting involved in forums that are related to your niche is another cheap and effective form of advertising.
– Develop Your Own Opt-in List – The money on the internet is still in the list. It will be very important that you develop your own list of willing people to send information to. You never want to spam, but those people that willingly provide you their emails to be sent a newsletter or other free promotional materials are invaluable to your online success.
This simple 5 step guideline is the same one that I have used to create more than one successful website. I am certain that it will work for you too. Just remember that building a successful internet home based business takes a solid plan that is well thought out. Each of these 5 keys are vital to your profitability and by implementing them effectively you will be successful.
Creating your own internet home based business can be gratifying and profitable. Good luck on the journey!
About the author:
Mark Williams has researched and reviewed hundreds of internet home based businesses. He is a fulltime online marketer that can help you find a work at home opportunity. Visit his site for home business ideas: