When it comes to online business, there is no cookie-cutter plan. Every business is different, every target market is different, every business owner’s goal is different. However, there are certain steps every business must follow to ensure online business success.
- Content Creation – Content refers to the information you will share on your website or blog. This may be product or service descriptions, blog posts, video or audio. When creating your content focus on the features and their benefits to your visitor. Use “you” and “your” statements, as opposed to “me” or “we.” Your visitor is interested in how the information you are sharing relates to them, not how amazing you and your business are.
- Online Visibility – The more visible you are online the more people will be able to find you initially, and over time start recognizing your brand with repeated exposure. You can become more visible through having a website or blog and utilizing social networking. Set up accounts related to your site on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and industry-related forums.
- Traffic Generation – In order to get people to your site to purchase the products or services you are promoting, you need to generate traffic. This can be done through article marketing, social marketing, guest blogging, forum and email signatures, and referral networks. The more external links you have online directing people to your site the better. You may also chose to run advertising or Pay Per Click campaigns if they are relevant to your business.
- List Building – Once people get to your site, you want to keep them coming back. The most effective form of list building is through email marketing. Set up an opt-in box on your site to collect emails from interested parties. This will allow you to repeatedly communicate with those that are already interested in your business as opposed to constantly chasing down new customers. Give away free information or a special discount to those that subscribe to your newsletter. List building may also include those that follow you on Twitter or like your Facebook page.
- Product Creation – At the end of the day, you want to keep 100% of the profit generated from people that purchase through your site. This cannot be done by solely promoting other people’s products. Eventually, you will want to create your own product. This may be an eBook, training videos, an audio library or a membership site providing ongoing support.
All of these steps to online business success can be modified to fit your individual needs. Adjust methods within the steps to relate to your chosen industry.