“Four Easy Rules for Starting a Successful Online Business”
Rule No. 1. The content that you post on your site will determine your success.
In internet marketing there are four easy rules for starting a successful online business. These come into play once your website is up and running and you are preparing to offer your services to your potential customers.
The days of setting up multiple automatic websites, each based on basic SEO and offering one or two products for sale, are over. If you are going to succeed, you need to avoid the ‘internet marketer’ approach with its quick traffic, easy come, easy go approach and fly-by-night attitude. You need to think like an entrepreneur and forget about the ‘quick buck’. Your goal isn’t tomorrow or even next week…its in five or ten years when your successful online business will still be forging along regardless of changes in the network if you set it up step by step to provide a service to a group of people who need it.
The rumour that SEO is dead and not longer relevant is not correct….its still there and operating but the day of marketing through search engines alone is over. If you are writing your posts with WordPress, then all you need to do is follow the advice of Glen Alsopp in his post “WordPress SEO: The only guide you need”
A website still should be set up to facilitate the crawlers and the rules about readability of posts are more relevant now because your readers are your potential customers and they don’t enjoy seeing the post stuffed with keywords. If you haven’t already downloaded the Search-Engine-Optimization-Starter-Guide, then its time you did. This free document was written in the days when getting your site on the first Search Engine page was the ultimate target and, while the market has changed, the guidelines here are still relevant. They want to read an article that is well written and educational. A more up-to-date article is available on Neil Patels’s site and is certainly the last word on that subject.
A successful entrepreneur Corbett Barr wrote a post “Write Epic Shit” that hit the nail on the head….if your posts are just re-hashed two year old information, you won’t have many visitors. I seriously suggest that you read that post and follow the links in it…it may take you a couple of days but it’ll be well worth it.
Rule No. 2 is Look after your Visitors
I have been hearing different, successful entrepreneurs talking about the length of time it takes them to write a blog post for their sites and it varies between six hours and twenty four plus. Do not set yourself a time limit on a post and then chastise yourself when you haven’t met your deadline. It doesn’t work that way.
Your first action should be to research all the information that has been written about the subject of your post……..yup – drill down and do the job thoroughly.When you are full bottle on the topic, and only then, write up your notes in whatever way you are used to. I list the headings that I want to write about, to form a framework, and then fill in some brief notes on the detail of each.
Lastly I write the post and put in the images/videos that I want to include and then I leave it all until the next day. When I have had enough time to cogitate on what I have written, I read the article again to make sure that I have conveyed everything that I wanted to say. A couple of posts have taken me more than two days to write and review until I was satisfied that I had got it right so don’t try and set time limits for yourself……write epic content.
The second Rule concerns your visitors and readers but before we get to that we have to remember to do some basic SEO. People will not know about you unless they can find you so to start with lets make sure your website is listed on Google. If you haven’t done it, just query Google about your website – for this site I type in “get an exciting business” and run the query. If Google does not know you, then you had better register – look at this page from Smartz.com which explains how to register with the leading search engines manually and follow the instructions. If you have a nice tidy site with an xml map or robot.txt script in the root directory, then the search engines will generally have found you but I’ll discuss that in detail in a post on SEO.
So now visitors to your site will read your post and some may be moved to comment on it. Aside from a period when I thought I had the Akismet plugin operating but didn’t, I have never had an valueless comment. Sure, they were not all complimentary and some were downright critical but they were all valuable as criticism or appreciation of my posts and I tried to answer them all. Consider, this visitor has taken the interest to locate your site and then read what you have written about. Better than that, they were sufficiently moved by your submission to stop and write a comment about it. The least you do is to say thank you for their information that they offer you.
I follow a very successful entrepreneur, Kim Roach on her site Buzzblogger.com and she is amazing in finding the time to answer reader’s comments.
Rule No. 3 is Maintain Your List.
If you were running a small business like a butcher or dressmaker, would you remember the names of clients who’s visited your establishment on several occasions and might you not send them a Christmas card at the appropriate time. It engenders good feelings for all parties and your business benefits from their increased custom. Well the online marketing is not different but the technique of looking after your visitors varies from the physical goods scenario.
If the visitor likes what you have offered them, they may leave a comment which will give you a contact point with them. However, if you offer them a free e-book or other item of interest in exchange for their name and a contact email address, then you have the beginnings of a list and you can, with their permission send them further information by email or other means. This technique has the same purpose as that used in your everyday shop….it can be used to increase your business.
Once you have an established list of visitors to your site that have agreed to your sending them further information, then you must look after them. I use Convertkit as my autoresponder and I have a series of emails that I send out to new visitors to this site who have enjoyed the information that I have submitted to them. Successful online marketeers have lists that run in to the ten’s of thousands and they offer special deals to them when they run a campaign.
Lets put some figures on this. If you have a list of three thousand visitors who like your site and you have been repeatedly asked for information on a particular subject, you write a downloadable e-book about it and market it to your list with the autoresponder. Only three percent of your list purchase that e-book, that is ninety e-books you have sold in that campaign and it is still for sale on your site.
You put the figures on it and work out the hours involved in the exercise.
Rule No. 4 is “Do Not Oversell”
Lastly, do not oversell anything. Occasionally you may come across an online marketer who has stuffed their posts with keywords in a vain attempt to have the search engines rank their website higher. No dice…in fact if you pull a stunt like this nowadays, the search engines cross you off their lists. Similarly, do not bombard your list with emails and offers….it annoys them and they will unsubscribe from your site very quickly. These are your customers and, as in the shop scenario, if you pestered a customer to buy more, they end up walking out. Treat them as you would like to be treated – with courtesy and care and they will follow you.
The same rules apply to your email as it does to your posts…..write fantastic, interesting information and you will be appreciated.
Those are the four basic rules of online marketing. It is a wonderful forum where you have complete control over your success and you will talk to people all over the world. You can work as hard as you want or take it easy and do only a little but your rewards will be measured by the visitors to your site that enjoy the information that you provide them.
I have not touched on advertising in this post but there are many ways of attracting visitor to your site that we will discuss in a post on “Social Media and Other Advertising”. If you have enjoyed this post and learnt something from it or you are critical of it and want some improvement, please leave a comment below and I will respond as quickly as possible.
Talk to you soon