Congratulations! If you read the last post, “Stop planning to fail”, then you are on your way to cracking the code to creating your online business success. However, the key word here is online. So having a theme, an idea, or a dream is just the tip of the iceberg. Your “presence” is the next and probably the third most important part of being successful at making money online.
You’ve probably already tried to get up and going on your own by creating a website, or at least a Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest board, or Instagram page. Unfortunately, the internet is not the “Field of Dreams”, if you build it they will not come, on their own anyway. Static presence, marketing, and just plain general appeal are crucial. Just showing up may score you some benefits in the real world, but effort and time are required to get serious results on the web. The good news is there is a simple formula to succeed and once you learn it you can duplicate it over and over with great financial rewards!
There are as many opinions on the value of a domain name as there are online entrepreneurs (and that is a lot). Truthfully, if you have already purchased a domain and it doesn’t reflect your precise theme there is a way to still make it work by creating sub-domains. Don’t get bogged down with Tech-Talk. Below is a one-click solution to how to accomplish this.
There are some rules of thumb when choosing a domain that can really impact its rate of success. First and foremost, write the name out on a piece of paper just as it will be typed into the browser or search bar. I really mean take a piece of paper and a pen or pencil and write out the www.YourDomainName.com. (insert your actual domain name in between the www. and .com). In case you didn’t know website addresses (same with email addresses) are not case sensitive. Some horrible things can happen if you don’t do this. Take for example Kids Exchange for gently used children’s clothing, kidsexchange.com, well look there! An innocent mistake like this can be a death knell for a startup or even get you some unwanted attention from the wrong type of audience.
Next up, draw out your site. Yes again use a piece of paper and a pen/pencil to sketch out how you’d ideally like your site to look. Draw your action buttons and title them, put the drop-down titles under them. Research your competition. The top listed (not the ones with the word or banner ads, advertisement, or sponsored) are ranking well. Check them out. Find images that capture your attention, then enter a description of that image, followed by the word images, into Google, Mozilla, or Internet Explorer address bar at the top of the page. You will find hundreds if not thousands of images to choose from. Simply scroll and copy what excites you and matches your brand, save to a file folder on your computer and you will find you’ve quickly built a library for your sites, pages, and posts. Just make sure they are not copyrighted and available for public use.
Now you are ready to put it all together. First, build your website. Most hosts offer a drag and drop style site builder for free and many of those are great if you take the time to outline it and test it before going live. If you’re not comfortable making your own site there are plenty of affordable options for anything from simply upgraded and custom styles, like WordPress, or as detailed as HTML/XHTML/CSS custom designed sights. There are sites like FourSquare and Wix that offer completely free website builders with FREE hosting, however, they will brand your site with their advertising which helps their SEO, but not yours.
Finally, let’s get social! Today everyone must have a social media presence as well as a web presence not only for marketing your business but to grow your business. The fastest way to succeed is to surround yourself with people who are doing it! This means following and sharing other successful people’s advice on social media. It is the virtual equivalent of rubbing elbows so make sure you craft a profile that encourages other people and companies that would be of value to share and engage with to follow you. Again, build on your theme, but this time think “What would someone who does this be like?” For example, you write children’s books. You’re probably going to want to narrow your interests to those that focus on your fun side. Not that you’re a thrash metal fan who loves MMA Fight Clubs. And for goodness sakes DO NOT use or link your personal page with your business page ever.
You now have a professional presence! But how will they find you?
Read the next blog post!