Peak SBC, LLC  

 

 

The SBC Home Business Newsletter

presented by the Peak Small Business Center

 

 

November 16, 2002

Table of Contents

 

Welcome

Quote of the Week

Administration

Featured Resource - THE INTERNET PUBLIC LIBRARY

Staff Article - SEVEN STEPS TO STARTING A REAL BUSINESS ONLINE - STEPS 1 AND 2
Guest Article -  SEVEN DEADLY INTERNET MARKETING MYTHS FOR NEWBIES
Parting Comments

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Welcome

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Quote of the Week

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.

- General George S. Patton, Jr.


Administration

If you have any specific questions or issues you would like for us to address in upcoming issues, please let us know by sending an email to mailto:cary@peakconsultinginc.com
 


Featured Resource

THE INTERNET PUBLIC LIBRARY

This is a terrific reference source provided by the University of Michigan School of Information. There are links to every type of reference you can imagine, and a whole bunch you'd never think of! Check it out today!

http://www.ipl.org/


Staff Article

SEVEN STEPS TO STARTING A REAL BUSINESS ONLINE - STEPS 1 and 2
by: Cary Christian


"The Biggest Gurus on the Web are Backing This One!"

"Flood Your PayPal Account with Multiple $20 INSTANTLY!!!"

"12 Million Hits for Free!!"

"Email 1,000,000 per month!"

"$10,000 a Month in 60 Days! We do all the work!"

I know you've seen all these subject lines before and a thousand others like them. I have an important question for you and it's very important that you answer it to yourself honestly.

Are you sick of all this BS yet?

If you've been marketing for any length of time at all, you know these lines are BS. Puh-leeeeze! If you're not ready to admit this type of stuff is garbage, you're not ready to move on to a real business yet.

On the other hand, if you're well aware of all the scams, cons and lies out there waiting to take your money and you'd prefer to move on to something productive that builds value, you're at the right place at the right time.

As you might have guessed, I'm not going to tell you how to get rich overnight. There IS no way to get rich overnight other than winning the lottery or through inheritance. The Internet is a powerful medium, but it's not THAT powerful.

What I AM going to do is tell you how to get your business up and running in the right direction and on the road to building real value. A REAL business.

It takes time to do it right. You have to decide right here and now that you're going to be patient enough to resist the urge to go for the quick buck and the get rich quick schemes. You CAN do this. Simply commit yourself to taking one step each day toward your goals, no matter how small that step might be. Those who succeed in business are DOERS not dreamers.

The time it will take you to actually work through these steps depends on how complex your business will be, the types of products you plan to offer and how much of this work you can do on your own without outside help. So let's stop dreaming and start doing!

STEP 1

We've already done step 1! If you're still with me, you understand that most of the stuff you see online is not a real business and you've made a commitment to follow through and take the steps necessary to realize your dreams. Congratulations!

STEP 2 - ASSESS YOURSELF

1. Assess Your Personality

What type of individual are you? What are your likes and dislikes? Are you disciplined and self-motivated or are you going to have to fight yourself each day to do the things you need to do? Have you attempted entrepreneurial activities before? How did it go?

Running your own business is a difficult task. It will require much of you in terms of time commitment. It will require you to learn how to interact well with customers and, possibly, vendors. Do you enjoy interacting with people you don't know personally or are you more introverted?

KNOW THYSELF!

Regardless of your specific personality type, you CAN succeed in an online business. The only requirement is that you understand what makes you tick and plan to work within the confines of your own personality traits.

2. Inventory Your Skills, Interests and Experience.

We are all a product of our upbringing, our education and our life experiences. Throughout the process of growing up we have developed interests that are uniquely our own. It is critically important that you match your interests, skills and experience with the business you are going to run.

If you hate gardening, why would you open a gardening business? If you have no interest in web hosting, why would you become an affiliate of a web hosting company? It doesn't matter if you have the opportunity to get involved with the most fantastic money maker ever if the subject matter of the business is of no interest to you. You'd fail. Miserably!

It's simple really. Whether you decide to build your business on products or affiliate programs, go with what you like and what you know. If you love what you do, you will ultimately achieve success. If you hate what you do, you're never going anywhere.

We all have something of value within us. There are things we know and things we know how to do that other people are willing to pay for. Look deep into your past and find those marketable skills and interests.

3. Decide What Type of Business You Want to Run

There are many different types of online businesses you can choose from. There are membership sites, content sites, sites that sell physical products, sites that sell digital products, sites that sell services, and many variations in between.

What type of site fits your personality, interests, skills and experience? What type of site would you enjoy running? Answer these questions only after you have fully performed the evaluations we discussed in items 1 and 2, above.

Some types of sites are more difficult and more time consuming to run than others. Are you interested in starting your own business to gain more free time (in addition to making more money, of course)? If you were to choose a membership site, you should be aware that such a site requires a lot of work to keep the content interesting and fresh for the members. If you like to write and interact online, however, you won't mind the work.

Want to sell products but don't want to manage inventory? Investigate drop shipping. You can automate the process to the point that all you have to do is market your site.

Take some real quality time considering Step 2. It's important. The conclusions you reach here will have a tremendous impact on the rest of the process, so don't shortcut it. Next week, we'll move on to your markets, your products and your competition.


Copyright (c) 2002


Guest Article

SEVEN DEADLY INTERNET MARKETING MYTHS FOR NEWBIES
By Azam Corry


Are you a new web marketer setting out to make your fortune online? Don't be like so many others and succumb to these pervasive Internet Marketing myths that will waste your time, drain your energy and empty your pockets!

1. The Internet Is A Path To Quick Riches. You Can Make "Easy Money" For Doing Almost Nothing.

I've never really understood why people believe this. I can only assume that it's because for many the Internet represents their first taste of self-employment. But just like any other business, the fact is it takes hard work and persistence to reach the point where you can actually make a living online. There's no short cut to success.

Which wealthy Internet entrepreneurs achieved their success overnight? They all worked long and hard to get where they are.  Likewise you can expect to spend months or years working harder than you have ever done before, with longer hours and for less pay, before you finally "make it." Until you reach that point, easy money is a 9-5 job that leaves your thoughts as quickly as you exit the building!

2. You Don't Need Any Money To Build A Successful Internet Business - You Can Get Everything You Need For Free.

For most, starting an Internet business IS much cheaper than starting a traditional off-line one. But you still need to spend some money. Domain names, web hosts, learning materials and possibly a certain amount of software are all essentials that need to be paid for.

And of course there's advertising costs, although it's fair to say that there are a number of free advertising options that can and do bring results. But nothing brings faster profits than ezine advertising or pay-per-click search engines.

Just like anywhere else, generally speaking, you get what you pay for. The less cash you spend the harder and longer you'll have to work before you see results.

3. Submitting Your Website To Thousands Of Search Engines Will Bring You Hordes Of Visitors.

For a start, there aren't thousands of search engines to submit to. The bulk of the services or software claiming to do this for you include submissions to hundreds of FFA and classified ad pages.

But even IF there were thousands of search engines, the vast majority of searches are conducted on only a handful of important sites. These are the only places you need to be listed. You could have top rankings in many of the less popular search engines but still get almost zero traffic from them.

4. Meta Tags Are The Secret To Getting Your Page A Good Ranking In The Search Engines.

A couple of years ago this was at least half true. But today most search engines give these tags very little weight at all in terms of ranking pages.

Google - which is arguably the most important search engine to be listed in at the moment - doesn't use the Description meta tag, and along with FAST, it completely ignores the Keyword meta tag.

In fact, it appears that amongst the majors, meta tags only count towards ranking in Inktomi powered search engines, and even then it's only a minor component in amongst all the other factors taken into consideration.

I'm not saying you should ignore these tags altogether, as every little bit helps (in the search engines that use them that is).  The point is, that's all they help - a little bit.

5. Posting To Thousands Of FFA Pages Brings Visitors And Boosts The Link Popularity Of Your Site, Increasing Search Engine Rankings.

First of all, very few people actually LOOK at FFA pages. They go there to post THEIR links, not to look at yours. Secondly, the majority of submissions are from auto-submitters, meaning the person never sees the page at all.

Thirdly, FFA pages have a maximum of 20-100 links, and as each new link is added, yours will move further down the list until it drops off. Because they are constantly bombarded with submissions, your link will only appear for a very short time (sometimes less than an hour or so).

And if you needed a fourth reason, here it is: most of the people using FFA sites are on a very tight budget. Even if someone see's your link AND clicks on it, the chances of them actually buying something from you are remote.

Now lets look at link popularity. IF, in the unlikely event that a search engine spider happened to crawl all the sites you posted to within the very small window of time your link is there, you might expect to get a nice boost in link popularity.

But you'd be wrong.

Targeted links from popular, quality sites are far more important than quantity. And most search engines view FFA pages as worthless content that's often used to try and falsely inflate link popularity.

I'm not sure exactly what Google's policy is, but you'll find very few FFA pages in their index. Inktomi and FAST on the other hand have stated they consider the use of FFA pages a spam technique. Depending on the number of pages your link is found on, they may either demote your site in the index, or ban it altogether!

6. All You Need Is Traffic. The More Traffic You Have, The More Money You Will Make.

Believing this to be so, people waste a lot of time and money getting useless "hits" to their websites. What you need is:

i) Quality traffic.
That means real people actually clicking through to your site and spending at least a couple of minutes looking around. Visitors that have arrived of their own free will with an open mind.

Not people that have been transported through some automated system, who have no desire to see your site, but are there simply to rack up some points, credits or whatever for themselves.

You may say "Well, they might see something they like and make a purchase or at least sign up for my ezine." And your right.  Something like one in every several thousand might!

ii) Targeted traffic.
You want people genuinely interested in exactly the same topic your web page addresses. Visitors who would consider buying what you offer, and are likely to sign up for your ezine or newsletter even if they don't buy immediately.

Random, untargeted traffic just wastes your resources and distorts your conversion ratios. You might be worrying about your sales copy, when in fact your site would do a great job if you sent it the right visitors!

7. Putting Affiliate Links And Banners On Your Site Will Make You Lots Of Money.

The affiliate managers make it sound so easy don't they? All you have to do is sign up for free, put some links and banners on your site, and watch the cash roll in. Sadly, unless your site is already pulling a lot of traffic you'll make next to nothing this way.

Say your new site is getting 3000 unique visitors a month (not "hits" - a figure which also includes requests for graphics and other page components).

Now imagine one in ten visitors clicks on one of your affiliate links. That means 300 visitors a month click through to an affiliate sales page (that's 10% - you'll need quality traffic and good editorial to get a figure like this. For most banner ads you can expect less than a 1% clickthrough rate).

Let's say 5% of them make a purchase (again, that's a good conversion rate, somewhere in the region of 0.5% - 2% is more common, with factors such as the targeting of the link, the level of interest you generate, and the quality of the sales letter all playing a part).

So you've got 15 orders. Most commission payments are in the order of $10 to $20. At $10 per sale, you made a massive $150 for the entire month. At $20, that doubles to a staggering $300! And these are optimistic figures.

The truth is that without a popular site, to see any real income from affiliate programs you have to be PROACTIVE.

That means using ezine ads, pay-per-click search engines, your own list and other means to aggressively thrust your affiliate products in front of your target market. And you want to incorporate a means of collecting email addresses in whatever promotion you do so you can market a related product to these prospects later.

The ideal solution for newbies looking for affiliate income is to design a small and tightly focused niche site on a topic you enjoy, and centered around a handful of subtly promoted programs. These sites can quickly achieve good rankings that bring quality traffic and sales, especially if you use automated tools like this: http://www.NowSell.com/go/to.cgi?l=ar.sb

--------------------------------

2002 Azam Corry. "Do it Better. Do it Faster. Do it Right!"

Online since 1998, Azam Corry can help you succeed. No-Bull
Marketing Help, Tools & Resources: http://NowSell.com/?7dimm
eBooks & Reprint Rights Packages: http://eBookSaver.com/?7dimm

==> Subscribe to Azam's Biz Bits Marketing eZine and get a hot
selling ebook plus other gifts FREE! mailto:BizBits@NowSell.com


Parting Comments

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