As newcomers to the Internet, many people are hot to tap into
the internet riches that so many other people are enjoying. But,
there is a learning curve that must be negotiated to get from
desire to dollars.
Newbies often start their online endeavors using free promotional
tools. Here is the first lesson in the learning curve. Freebies
will suck up all of your energy and provide little or no gain.
"Money cannot be earned by a business person who is unwilling
to spend money."
The second lesson needs to be learned before the first dollar
is ever spent. "The secret to success with any business is to
earn more money than what you spend." Don't go rushing out with
a fool's plan and just start blowing money. Spending money does
not always equal making money.
The things you definitely will need to spend money on is a
domain name, a webhost to support your site, and a method for
accepting online payments.
UNDERSTANDING PAYMENT SYSTEMS
Merchant Accounts are the banking method of using credit cards
for secured payment processing. They expensive to set up and
An alternative to setting up a merchant account is to use Paypal
( http://thephantomwriters.com/recommendpp ) as a payment
processor. To use Paypal as a payment processor you must either
register a bank account or register a credit card with Paypal.
Then you need to set up your actual payment page so that your
customers can make their purchase online from your website.
Merchant account users should also seriously consider using
Paypal as an secondary payment method. This enables the seller
to reach buyers who do not own credit cards.
Having the ability to collect payment via credit card, through a
merchant account service or Paypal, is "absolutely essential" to
any person who desires to do business online. If your customers
cannot pay with their credit card, you can rest assured that you
will have few if any customers to service.
Spend conservatively. "Don't spend money unless you know the
value of what you will receive in return."
To be successful online, you must:
- have a product or service to sell.
- have a website designed to sell your product or service.
- have a payment method in place.
- develop successful advertising.
"Choose a business model you will enjoy." You don't want to
invest several years into developing a business you cannot
stand to work.
If you are seeking products to sell, then check out the
Drop-Shippers Wholesale Directory (
http://thePhantomWriters.com/dsd ). Drop Shippers enable you
to sell their products at whatever profit margin you desire,
and they handle the shipping to your customers.
"Target your offerings to a specific niche." Do not make the
mistake of trying to be another Wal-Mart. Trust me, you cannot
beat their prices. And, online businesses who attempt to supply
everything to everyone usually fail.
Define your business to a very targeted niche, then become the
top resource destination for that niche to gain repeat visitors.
"Most businesses survive and succeed based on repeat business
from repeat customers." Repeat customers are cheaper to acquire
and keep. And, if people really like your business, they will
refer their friends to you.
"Customers are more interested in receiving the best value than
getting the absolute lowest cost." The extra few dollars they
will pay you can deliver them more value than the value
delivered by the site offering the same products and services
for less money.
"A good website designer cannot and should not be expected to
be a great copywriter, and vice versa."
Website designers specialize in creating the visual presentation
of a program and how to put those visual elements into the HTML
coding. A good website designer will also make certain that the
site offers a very easy to navigate format.
Copywriters specialize in the written word. Your copywriter is
the person whose skill will actually sell your products and
Don't be afraid to spend money to have a professional designer
build your visual presentation. And more importantly, don't be
afraid to spend your money to hire a professional copywriter
with a solid track record to build your sales presentation for
For copywriting, I recommend Dan Lok at Quick Turn Marketing,
Inc. ( http://www.quickturnmarketing.com/help_me_out.html )
"Find effective ways to advertise your business by running small
campaigns and tracking your results." When you find advertising
resources that continually produce profitable results, keep
going back to that well until the well goes dry.
"Never underestimate the value of good customer service."
Fast service and quick fulfillment will go a long way to help
build a good reputation for you with your customers. Use your
post-payment page to educate your customers about all of the
aspects of their purchase they will be interested in knowing.
Tell your customers exactly when and how they can expect to
receive their product or service.
Additionally, create a special email account that only your
customers will use. Otherwise you run the risk of losing
important communications. When your customers contact you,
strive to reply to all messages within 24 hours.
"Keep learning, but beware of false prophets."
Before spending a dime on any program, search of your favorite
search engine to see what others think of the program you are
considering. Discount the advice of people who are profiting
from their recommendations. Then measure the positive comments
against the negative comments on a program. This analysis is
important for determining the real value of any program.
"Good information serves no real value to you if you never use
If you buy a program, make certain that you read the information
and use what you have purchased to your benefit. The ball is in
your court. We can provide you the most valuable information
available for you to use, but if you don't use it, then you
might as well have spent your time doing something else that
would have provided you with Real Value.
By understanding and implementing these twelve lessons in your
online business model, your overall chances of business success
are greatly improved. There are a lot of us out here who have
turned our online businesses into real profit generators, and
you can do it too. Read this article again if you need to do
so. And remember our bonus lesson thirteen that can be summed
up in seven words, "Follow through in all that you do."