Guys, imagine not having to pick out a tie or shave before you go to work. And ladies, wouldn’t it be nice not having to apply makeup in the rear view mirror during rush hour?
Those can be just some of the mundane perks of having an online business; you can start work in the morning wearing pajamas if you feel like it. But there are more substantial rewards: the freedom to set your own work schedule, the self-satisfaction of starting a successful venture, the power to choose your own projects and not have to answer to a boss; and if you do it right, you can own a very lucrative company.
As a partner in Breakaway Solutions, a full-service web development company I launched in 2001, I consult with many entrepreneurs who want to grow their online business. I also operate several ecommerce sites myself, and my background has provided me the background to guide others in everything from marketing approaches to email collection.
Building a Successful Website
I believe there has never been a more opportune time to be an entrepreneur due to advancing technologies, especially for young people who are computer savvy. Building a website these days is relatively easy, but it’s what you do after it’s up and running that takes additional know-how. Don’t be fooled by the adage from that Kevin Costner baseball movie: “If you build it they will come.”
That’s where marketing comes in; and if you can drive people to your site in enough numbers, your chances of monetizing the site to your benefit can increase exponentially.
And marketing a website is intrinsically linked (pun intended) to technology. There is somewhat of a science to running a successful website that includes such things as enabling permalinks, using keywords that improve SEO, optimizing ads in your layout and making contact information prominent. Of course, having highly readable and interesting content is also part of the equation.
One of my peers, Steve Pavlina, has done a good job explaining optimal content with his post How to Build a High-Traffic Web Site (or Blog) and other articles on his site, StevePavlina.com. I like Steve’s approach because, like me, he intertwines business and personal development.
Knowing Your Technology
Understanding your readers and creating engaging content for them is crucial, but that doesn’t excuse the site operator from understanding permalinks, RSS feeds, pinging and other technologies. If you’re a beginner, you might turn to books such as “Building a Web Site for Dummies” or one of the many books available about WordPress, such as the recently published “WordPress Revealed: How to Build a Website, Get Visitors and Make Money (Even for Beginners.”
You should have some rudimentary understanding of the technology required to run a successful website, but if you “just don’t get it,” that shouldn’t be a reason for abandoning your dream. There are also services available that will do the work for you. One of the best is called Site Build It! – a one-stop-shop for creating and building an online business. For an annual fee, Site Build It! will give you all the tools you need to build a site with the potential to generate income. The fee covers the cost of hosting the site, registering a domain name, integrated tools that provide ease for adding content, including a built-in blog, as well as offering RSS feeds. So if you are not a technophile, you can turn those things over to people who are.
Site Build It! is just one company that offers such services and it may be worthwhile checking out several to find which one is best for you.
Of course, no service is going to relieve you of your duties completely. Establishing a money-making website still takes plenty of time and energy; you have to work hard at it just as you would at any other type of business. But isn’t it nice to know there’s help out there if you need it?