Author: Dan Farrell
"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
Find a niche market that you have some experience or interest in. You will be more motivated to research, creat and market a web site and determine the optimum promotional strategy if you have a 'passion' for the subject.
For instance, say you are a musician or have interest in musical instruments, Next, you need to scope out the demand and competition on the internet. You can find this out in many ways, one is to go to http//www.altavista.com or http//www.google.com and do a search which will give you the number of pages of competition listed. As of this date, 'musical instruments turned up 2,460,000 web sites! But 'used musical instruments' only 848,000.
As far as demand, go to http//www.overture.com and do a search for the number of times musical instruments (68,294 searches) or used musical instruments (2,094 searches) was requested. Much more demand for the more general term, 'musical instruments than 'used musical instruments' but also much more competition. You might even want to reduce your keyword phrases to more of a 'niche' market, such as Homemade musical instruments or discount musical instrument.
Now that you have decided on the product(s) you want to sell online, you need to establish a web site and/or ezine/newsletter. Decide on a domain name. This is a very important task as search engines place some importance on the name relating to what the sites theme is. You can do a search to determine whether your chosen name is available at most domain name registrar sites. They call it a whois search. You will need a web host. Make sure you get the features you need such as bandwidth, POP email accounts, autoresponders, and totalcapacity.
You can do a whois search, register your domain name and start building a web site immediately. Host4Profit also offer some instant businesses you can start selling when you sign up. It is affordable and their services are excellent.
Designing the site can be done using some excellent html editors, such as Frontpage, (you can get Frontpage Express for free with Internet Explorer or Netscape) or Hotdog, http//www.sausagetools.com (they have a shareware program for 30 days). I use both and though they have a learning curve, (some frustration and exasperation -), you will have designed a first class, professional looking site.
You might want to create a mini-website or a micro-website. These are 1-2 page with Good content and 1-3 keyword or keyword phrase focused. I highly recommend an Excellent ebook on creating microsites that the author was able to get a top 10 listing with Google in as little as 3 days!
If you decide to spend the bucks for a web designer, and there are a lot that will offer cheap rates, make sure you look at their portfolio before giving them you business. And put it in writing with the price and agreed upon terms (time, pages and content). I recommend if you do your own site, to consider having a professional-looking logo done. It really gives your pages a serious, professional look and uniformity. I have used Got Logos, http//www.gotlogos.com, they only charge $25 and do a great job.
You can get much more in-depth information on how to make online, by taking the Affiliate Masters Course. [email protected] It is a wonderful, 6-day email course that takes you step by step in building a new business.
And it's free! I have been using Site Build It! an absolutely incredible way to build a web site that is soooo much easier than Frontpage or any other html editor. This in the MOST ingenious software on the 'net'! It practically does it for you.
There are too many benefits to list but believe me it continues to stun me with its ability to take the most tedious, monotonous tasks and do them automatically. No, you still have to think -)