There is a proven sequence of steps you can follow to guarantee your success when you're starting a small trade online. I've seen thousands of people start and grow successful businesses by doing the following:
1. Find a need and fill it.
2. Write copy that sells.
3. Design and build an easy-to-use website.
4. Use search engines to drive traffic to your site.
5. Establish an expert reputation for yourself.
6. Follow up with your customers and subscribers with e-mail.
Anyone, from newbie to seasoned online industrialist, can benefit from this process in learning how to start a business online.
Step 1: Find a need and fill it
Most people who are just preliminary out make the mistake of looking for a product first, and a market second.
To boost your chances of victory, start with a market. The trick is to get a group of people who are searching for a answer to a difficulty, but not finding many results. The internet makes this kind of market research easy:
· Visit online forums to notice what questions people raise and what troubles they're trying to solve.
· Do keyword research to find keywords that a lot of people are searching, but for which not many sites are competing.
· Check out your potential competitors by visiting their sites and taking note of what they're doing to fill the order. Then you can apply what you've learned and make a product for a market that previously exists--and do it better than the competition.
Step 2: Write copy that sells
There's a proven sales copy formula that takes visitors through the selling process from the moment they arrive to the moment they make a purchase:
1. Arouse interest with a compelling headline.
2. Describe the problem your product solves.
3. Establish your credibility as a solver of this problem.
4. Add testimonials from people who have used your product.
5. Talk about the product and how it benefits the user.
6. Make an offer.
7. Make a strong guarantee.
8. Create urgency.
9. Ask for the sale.
Throughout your copy, you need to focus on how your product or service is uniquely able solve people's problems or make their lives better. Think like a customer and ask "What's in it for me?"
Step 3: Design and build your website
Once you've got your market and invention, and you've nail down your selling procedure, now you're ready for your corporate web design. Remember to keep it plain. You have less than five seconds to capture someone's attention--otherwise they're gone, never to be seen again. Some essential tips to keep in mind:
· Choose one or two basic fonts on a white background.
· Make your navigation plain and easy, and the same on every page.
· Only apply graphics, audio or video if they develop your message.
· contain an opt-in offer so you can collect e-mail addresses.
· Build it simple to buy--no more than two clicks between potential customer and checkout.
· Your website is your online storefront, so build it customer-friendly.
Step 4: Use search engines to drive targeted buyers to your site
Pay-per-click advertising is the easiest method to get traffic to a new site. It has two advantages over coming up for the shift to come to you organically. First, PPC ads show up on the search pages immediately, and second, PPC ads allow you to test different keywords, as well as headlines, prices and advertising approaches. Not only do you get immediate traffic, but you can also use PPC ads to discover your greatest, highest-converting keywords. Then you can divide out the keywords throughout your site in your copy and code, which will help your rankings in the normal search results.
Step 5: Establish an expert reputation for yourself
People use the internet to discover information. Offer that information for free to additional sites, and you'll see additional traffic and improved search engine rankings. The secret is to always include a link to your site with each tidbit of information.
· Give away free, professional content. make articles, videos or any other content that people will find helpful. Distribute that content through online article directories or social media sites.
· Include "send to a friend" links on important content on your website.
· Become an active professional in industry forums and social networking sites where your target market hangs out.
You'll achieve new readers. But even better, every site that posts your content will link back to yours. Search engines love links from related sites and will reward you in the rankings.
Step 6: Use the control of e-mail marketing to rotate visitors into buyers.
When you build an opt-in list, you're creating one of the most valuable assets of your online company. Your clientele and subscribers have given you authorization to send them e-mail. That means:
· You're giving them a little they've asked for.
· You're increasing life span relationships with them.
· The reply is 100 percent assessable.
· E-mail marketing is cheaper and more effective than print, TV or radio because it's highly targeted.
Anyone who visits your site and opts in to your directory is a very warm lead. And there's no healthier tool than e-mail for following up with those leads.
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