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Take Care of the Internet Business Preliminaries After You've Developed Your Business Philosophy and Before Anything Else.

It is absolutely critical that you build a strong foundation for your venture before trying to build the rest of the structure.  Internet business preliminaries are vital to your success.  Understand more fully what you are getting into.  The success of your website or blog likely depends on it.

Internet Business Preliminaries: Understand the Internet Internet Business Preliminaries Internet

I believe the best way for a new entrepreneur (and most experienced ones) to start a new business is on the internet.  If the new venture is a bricks-and-mortar type establishment, then they definitely need some sort of internet presence to support their physical business.

When starting an internet business, you must understand the internet.  Not understanding what drives the internet would be like a medical doctor trying to operate on a patient without understanding human anatomy.  Failure is likely.

Before reading further, I recommend you click the link and see how I answer the question, "Why start an online business?"  The link should open in a new window or tab.  Then continue reading to understand more fully.

Internet Business Preliminaries: Information     Internet Business Preliminaries Information

Information drives the internet.  Most people use the internet primarily as a searching tool.  They want information.  So, if you want to be plugged into the internet, give the people what they want!  Give them the information they are seeking.  If you have ever desperately wanted to find information on the internet, you know how much of a service it really is to provide people with the information they want.

Internet Business Preliminaries: Niche-Driven     Internet Business Preliminaries Niche

The closest thing to an informational Wal-mart online is probably Wikipedia.  It takes millions of people to make something like that work.  It is a rarity on the internet.  The way that most people make successful business run online is through specialization into a specific niche.


The most successful individual model for online businesses is this: pick a niche and devote your website or blog to it.  Have sub-pages devoted to addressing narrower and more refined topics that are still related to the broader, overall niche topic. 


This approach sets an individual up as an authority within the niche.  Providing reliable/expert information that really helps and serves people develops trust.  When trust is developed, a willingness to buy is cultivated in the people who read your content.  Your Business Philosophy should drive this.  People buy from those they trust.  They resist sales efforts from everyone else.


A word of warning: beware of people selling you programs or information guaranteed to make you a billion bucks.  If it was truly that easy, they'd do it and make billions themselves.  In any field, you are going to have competition from the experts.  That is why it is important to specialize into a niche in which you already have expertise or can attain it.  Be wary of business miracle promises, particularly if a price tag is attached.  Ask yourself why the person promising miracles isn't putting into action his own prescriptions.  Ask yourself this: "If what is being promoted is really that lucrative, why isn't the promoter doing it himself instead of advertising it?"


There will be at least some competition in virtually every niche.  When getting your information, look for sources that practice what they preach and don't promise that which is unattainable for the majority of people.

Internet Business Preliminaries: Technologies     Internet Business Preliminaries Tech

Fortunately, you can get up and running with an internet business knowing little more than how to type.  But, eventually, you are going to need to understand web technologies.  If you are a total novice, don't despair.  This site will give you a tremendous foundation and allow you to get started on the road to success without being an expert at everything you will need to eventually understand.  This site will introduce you to most (if not all) of what you need to be familiar with.


Again, there are tools available that let you be successful with minimal technological knowledge.  I even recommend some of them.  But, the more you "live" online, the more familiar with web technologies you should become.  The technologies you will likely end up understanding, at least in part, as you develop in your understanding of online processes are: the various blog publishing software platforms, RSS feeds & feed aggregators, pings, backlinks (aka trackbacks), search engines and how to optimize your content to make them happy, traffic generation, blog carnivals (help generate traffic for new sites/blogs), Google page rank, using social bookmarking, monetization strategies, advertising on the internet, using traffic statistics, etc.


If you are going to offer downloadable products like ebooks, reports, or manuals, you will find yourself in the world of e-commerce.  You'll learn about shopping carts, SSL connections and preventing fraudulent transactions.  Digital delivery, copywriting, and online databases will also likely be part of your knowledge base at some point in the future as well.  Overwhelmed at the list?  Don't be!


Being clueless about a lot of the aforementioned things is natural.  I'm still clueless about a lot of web technologies.  Being clueless just means you get to do some learning.  Not understanding what you are doing can be a barrier to success (of course!).  This site will help you learn and point you to the tools you need to minimize the risk of failure, even if you aren't yet confident in your knowledge or abilities.  Don't give up.  Keep working.  Keep learning.  You'll find help here, every step of the way.  

Internet Business Preliminaries: Balance     Internet Business Preliminaries Balance

It is important to know that you will have to learn to balance all the demands for success.  Each aspect of profiting from an online business carries with it demands.  Balancing these is a crucial preliminary skill that you need to develop to see the greatest returns from your online business.


For example, you need to understand search engine optimization in order to get traffic to your website/blog.  But, if you design your site just for the search engines, it won't appeal to real people and, consequently, won't be an effective avenue of service to your visitors.  If your internet venture doesn't provide the visitors with the information, products, or services they want and need, it doesn't do much good to get them there.  They aren't going to be happy with you for wasting their time.  Just about every web technology is linked to all the rest in some way.  You need to learn how balance each of them to fully realize your online business potential.


You have to balance and cater to the demands each entity or technology places on your website or blog.  The search engines demand things.  People who visit your site demand things.  People who link to your site (and thus make the search engines like you) often demand things.  Your affiliate relationships will impact your website/blog.  New technologies are developed all the time that place overt or covert demands on you and your site.  Balancing all of these is one of the trickiest aspects of creating a successful online business.  Understand that you'll almost certainly be doing a balancing act.


For example, consider the title of this page.  I picked it to appease the search engines so that they would send traffic for a particular keyword (the title) to this page.  In order to get people here, it had to be an accurate reflection of the content of the page.  It also was chosen based on competition.  It also should grab the attention of visitors and clue them in to what the content is actually about.  Plus, it should provide context for contextual ads (if you use them), accurately reflect an aspect of the overall theme or motif of the website or blog, and encourage people to link to the webpage.  All of these things should combine to offer a legitimate and beneficial service to each and every visitor that happens by!

Internet Business Preliminaries: Conclusion     Internet Business Preliminaries Conclusion

The material on this page alone may have your head spinning.  Even after all this, it is important to understand that you don't have to be a wizard of all things web in order to succeed.  You simply have to understand the basics.  Wikipedia articles and Google searches will almost always provide the information you need.  Use them!


You don't have to understand all the inner workings of WHY they work, only how to make them work for you.  In other words, you just need functional knowledge of the technology, not comprehensive knowledge.


Even if you don't think you can learn these things, you can still make it work.  Just get the help you need.  See our Recommended Resources section to help you get where you want to go.


Moving on!  Once you've gotten the internet business preliminaries out of the way, it is time to pick your niche.  Click the link to Find a Niche Idea.   



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