The Internet allows many of us an opportunity at success that we may otherwise never have had. There are countless ways to make money online but there is a lot to learn as well. Unfortunately many of us will fail because we just get lost in all the information and aspects of running an online business. Below are some quick tips to give you a head start on your way to success.
Build Relationships – Take the time to establish a connection with your potential customers. People need to know and trust you before they will buy from you.
Get More Involved with Social Media – Using social media is a great way to connect with people and start building the relationship. Choose a few good social sites and start participating and sharing information, resources, etc. Don’t spread yourself too thin.
Write Guest Posts and Articles – Content is very important for your marketing campaign. Write blog posts and submit them to various blogs that target your business idea. For instance, if you sell furniture, you don’t want to post on blogs that teach people how to paint. You want targeted traffic — so go where people looking for furniture would go.
Build Backlinks – Backlinks can help get you a higher ranking in the search engines as well as getting you more direct traffic. Be sure to watch where you get your link posted. The search engines go by the rule, “guilty by association,” so stick with quality sites with no “questionable” content.
Publish a Newsletter – Newsletters are a good way to form relationships with people so they will buy from you. Offer quality information, interaction and be consistent. Try adding a little fun as well. A trivia game or something similar with a prize for the winner can work well.
Optimize Your SEO – Research keywords, write good headlines and titles, read up on SEO and optimize your site for those search engine spiders.
Use Google Analytics – Using Google Analytics is a good way to study your traffic. Learn where they come from, when they come, how long they stay, which pages make them leave, etc. All this information will help you maximize your site’s effectiveness.
Call-to-Action – Order Now, Sign-Up Here, Click Here, Call Now… these are all calls to action. Be sure yours is prominent and really urges your visitor to take action. Colorful well-designed buttons can make your call-to-action much more effective.
Exit Ads – Exit ads or floating ads or ads with other similar names can grab your visitor at the last minute. Make sure the offer in the ad will compel them to sign-up or follow the call-to-action. In that last second as they are leaving your site, you have one last chance to capture them.
Offer Incentives – Sometimes people just need a reason to get them to take action. Offering a free gift or valuable information can get them to sign-up or take the next step.
Answer E-mail Inquiries Promptly – I have e-mailed so many online businesses and never received an answer. This always baffles me. How can you expect to run a business if you ignore inquiries, comments and feedback. ALWAYS answer e-mails as quickly as possible. This immediately builds up the person’s confidence and trust in you.
Use Surveys – Surveys are a great way to find out what your visitors think of your site, your offers, products, services, etc. This gives you crucial information and lets you know what changes, if any need to be made.
Interact with Your Visitors – Allow people to comment on your site or have some type of form for people to leave messages. Answer these messages or comments promptly and encourage others to post as well. Interaction is a key to building relationships.
Don’t Forget the Follow-Up – Once you have made the initial contact with a person, be sure to follow up in a reasonable time. Follow-ups can reignite the person’s interest in your business and can increase sales dramatically.
Joint Ventures – Contact other blog owners, online merchants with complementary businesses and see how you can help each other by cross-promoting. Do an ad swap, post each other’s content, etc. The possibilities are endless.
Build a Community – Start a networking group and build a community of people who could benefit from your expertise or business. This is a very effective method of building relationships.
Toot Your Own Horn – Don’t be shy about advertising your accomplishments. By doing this, you will show your visitors/readers you know what you are talking about and their confidence and trust in you will skyrocket.
Brand Yourself – Branding yourself means creating a memorable and unique image, name or symbol that will instantly make people think of you and your business. Define your brand, create a logo, create your message with an effective tagline and get started branding yourself.
Network Offline – You can market offline for your online business. Join business groups, attend networking events, participate in community events and donate to local events. These are all great ways to spread the word about your online business.
Listen to Your Customers – Whether your customers have positive or negative things to say, you must listen to them and take them seriously. Take any necessary action to rectify the situation. Let your customers know that what they say is very important to you.
Simple and User-Friendly – Be sure your site has a clean simple design. Make it easy for people to find their way around. Do not add a lot of flashy ads, music or other distracting items.
Always Be Updating – Be sure to add fresh content to your site regularly. Always check your site for dead links, outdated ads, etc. Update your design when necessary. Keep your site fresh and alive.
Video Marketing – Well-made videos can do a lot for your business. Capture your audience’s attention in the first few seconds so they continue to watch. Make the video short and to the point. Use visuals for more effect. Talk with clarity and don’t try to impress people with big words.
Hold Contests and Other Events – Contests, networking events, online parties, etc., are good ways to draw people to your site. Announce your events through your social media and offer points or incentives for people who share your posts to their friends and followers.
Provide Ongoing Support – Always provide support to your customers. Once they make the purchase and the money is paid, they might still need you if they have questions or concerns. Do not abandon them once you get their money.
Contact Information – Please offer your contact information in an easy-to-find place on your site. Not letting people know how to contact you is a grave mistake and could lose you tons of potential customers.
Opt-In Forms – Place opt-in forms in various prominent places on your website. Be sure to offer incentives for people to sign up for your mailing list.
Affiliate Programs – Adding a few good affiliate programs to your website can help you earn extra money to help make your business a success. Clickbank is a good place to start and there are many others as well. Try searching for affiliate program directories to help you find more options.
Do Not Give Up – Giving up is one of the reasons so many online businesses fail. People get frustrated and decide to quit. Becoming a success takes great commitment and you have to give it time. It will not happen in a week or a month. Be persistent and do not give up.
Starting and building a successful online business can be done but take the time to research and do your homework. There are a lot of scammers out there who prey on people’s desire for success. I have heard many stories of this happening, with me included. Be careful and be successful.