Starting an Internet Business
Obviously, you’re here because you want to learn how to start an internet business, and learn how to make money online. If you are a self starter and you read the marketing information here carefully and thoroughly, you will have most of the information you need to start a successful online e-marketing business. Our menu is organized so that if you follow it step-by-step, you should learn how to start an internet business. You’ll also find useful online marketing and internet business links on nearly every page of our site.
You don’t need a lot of money to be successful in internet business, although it is not realistic to expect to do it for free. Even small, home-based internet businesses that can fill a niche can operate successfully and profitably. The number one mistake someone thinking of starting an online business can make is to think too broadly, and/or to try immediately to sell products to other people that teach them how to start an internet business. Ironically, many people with no knowledge whatsoever seem to think that they can teach others how to do what they, themselves, have not accomplished.
The Internet , e-marketing, and e-commerce can make a lot of money for you. You need to have a niche to fill, then design, buy, or represent as an affiliate a product or products to fill that niche.
As we go through this section, we’ll refer you to examples of successful web sites. Every web site reviewed here is successful because they found a niche to fill and found or created products or services to fill that niche!
That said, how does one go about starting a business online?
There are five general types of internet businesses that you can start.
- A portal site or a portal that sells digital products.
- A content web site that is monetized with advertising.
- An e-commerce business that sells a digital product.
- An e-commerce business that ships tangibles to people.
- A business to business and/or service-selling web site.
In addition to the above, you can also start either an affiliate marketing business, or can do network marketing online.In both cases, you can start and run these types of online businesses with or without a website.
For most people, the best place to start is to get some good training in online affiliate marketing, since the skills also apply to Network Marketing online, and to selling your own products or services. You can learn some good affiliate marketing secrets here. Actually, there aren’t any big secrets, but this is something you need to learn.
Seriously … understanding affiliate marketing can be the key to your entire online business success. You’ll learn how to promote a product, and when you have your own product to sell, you’ll know how to train your own affiliates.
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One other type of internet business or web site is called BrochureWare. This is a site that acts as an online catalog for your company or organization, but from which people can’t purchase online. These sites do serve a purpose but have very little to do with running an online business for profit, so we won’t be discussing them.
OK, let’s dive in and see some examples of successful online businesses.
Portal sites which sell digital products
This a very exciting model that requires mostly knowledge and time. A portal site is a site that provides information to people for free, or for a fixed price, and sells digital products to site visitors. You might be asking yourself, how do I create a portal, or do I have what it takes to build a portal site? To build a successful portal you need the following:
- A lot of information to share on a particular subject that people are interested in.
If you have this, then creating a portal site can just be just plain fun and sometimes\
- You need to learn how to build and edit your own web site.
- A product of your own creation, or products you advertise as an affiliate, so that
you can “monetize” (i.e., earn income from) your web site.
One man, in particular, specializes in teaching people how to create and run successful portal sites (he calls them “content sites”, but they are really the same thing, as we use the term). If this type of site interests you, you owe it to yourself to learn about internet business at Sitesell.Com.
This is some of the most solid information you can find on how to run an internet business, and the cost is a fraction of what many other people charge for information that is of lesser quality, and lesser volume. You simply cannot go wrong following Ken Evoy.
The truth is you don’t need a lot of money to build and launch a web site! You can start your first Internet business with an investment as small as a few hundred dollars. Where else in the world can you open a business with world wide exposure for so little? Only on the Internet! Let’s look at an example of a very successful portal site that sells and promotes digital products, while providing a great deal of free information.
The Newbie Club is an example of a great portal site dedicated to helping people who are new to running a business on the Internet. Their web site is not only a portal but they also sell their own digital products to club members and nonmembers. This type of web site, a portal that sells digital products, is becoming more and more common. Most of the products available at the Newbie Club are related to how to use computers and how to use the Internet effectively. Examine the site layout and content. Their design is very deliberate and straight forward. This is a classic, high quality portal site.
Portal sites monetized with advertising.
This type of site is becoming known as a “Virtual Real Estate” site. They come in a variety of formats, but the basic premise is to provide a good deal of content, and links to other sites, so as to attract both search engine spiders and human visitors. You can monetize your website with a variety of contextual text and graphic ads, utilizing Google AdSense, ads from the Yahoo Publisher Network and affiliate links to products at places like Amazon.com and Clickbank. You can also monetize a website with CPA offers (“cost per action” offers).
“Virtual Real Estate” is increasingly popular as people realize the value in diversifying their internet businesses and holdings. I now have more than 20 such sites myself, covering a variety of topics that have nothing to do with internet marketing, and I monetize them with a combination of Adsense and CPA offers, as well as using them for other types of lead generation. By the way, in case you don’t know it, lead generation through CPA is one of the most lucrative and least known mechanisms for making money online. I made the mistake of overlooking it for several years. You owe it to yourself to learn the various ways there are to make money online without direct selling.
The concept is very simple. You build a site that gives free information on a niche topic that people are interested in, draw traffic by publishing a related blog, and by publishing articles in the major article directories, and your money is made from the contextual advertising on the site.
If you run CPA ads, you can earn anywhere from a few dollars on up simply for having your site visitors fill out a form to request free information from your various advertisers. Some offers will pay you if your site visitors submit nothing more than their email address or their zip code. This type of marketing is known as lead generation, since you are, in effect, helping the CPA advertiser to collect leads. The main drawback to this, of course, is that you are giving away your site visitor to the advertiser, although you can overcome this to a great degree by offering some sort of free report or newsletter on your site, so that visitors will become part of your mailing list, too.
Unlike traditional affiliate marketing, you don’t need to “pitch” the product to your site visitors, nor do they need to buy anything, for you to make money. You earn simply by referring them to another site where they fill out a form voluntarily, and become a “lead” for that advertiser. This is one of the simplest ways of making money online.
If you’ve studied this model, I’m sure by now you realize that this site, Emarketingman.Com, is also a content portal site. The information here is free, and many of the links you’ll find here for suggested and recommended products are affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission when you purchase the product through my link. I also run another “content” portal that teaches you how to start an internet business
E-commerce site that sells digital products
This is becoming a very common approach to selling on the internet. Imagine having a downloadable digital product, like an e-book or software program, that can be sold online. All you have to do is find the market that needs this product, create the product, set up your web site and start raking in the money. Yeah, right! This isn’t all that difficult, but neither is it as simple as some people make it sound.
Let’s take a look at some high quality digital products and two web sites that are great examples of how to sell digital products. Notice the big difference in web site style and presentation, by comparison to a “content” site.
Blogging-Bonanza.Com is the sales mini-site for my newest digital product, which is a guide to using blogs and RSS for internet marketing.
This type of web site consists primarily of what is known as a “sales letter”, and is often referred to as a mini-site, since it contains only a few pages, primarily the sales copy, and the ordering page. The sole purpose of this site is to move you to purchase the product. You will notice that the design is very different from the design of the typical portal or “content” site. The entire web site is automated, including the pages for purchasing and downloading the ebook, and entering the private area of the site.
An e-commerce site that ships tangibles
This is probably the most common platform that people use to start an online business, and depending on how it is done, can be very easy, or one of the most difficult ways to start an internet business. Most people find the concept easier to relate to, because they are accustomed to buying and selling tangible products in the offline world, and most people have bought something over the internet. There are thousands of large businesses using this standard e-commerce model.
An increasingly popular variation on this model is to sell drop-shipped productseither through a direct-sales web site, such as a Yahoo store, or by using online auction sites such as E-Bay. For many people, this is a simple and lucrative e-commerce model, and the number of people making at least a part-time income just with Ebay is approaching one million!
A business to business web site
In a nutshell, a “B2B” web site offers a product or service that other online business owners need and use. It could be an ezine directory, traffic generation, accounting services, autoresponders, or countless other things. In a sense, this is a very shrewd business move, since your target market is not the general public, but other business owners. You know they have money to spend, and you know they need your product, and you know where to find them. By doing internet business “B2B”, you’ve solved many of the dilemmas faced by people trying to start an internet business.
Let’s take a quick look at several of these business to business web sites.
If you’re going to sell anything from your website, you need some way to take payments. You can simply use Paypal, of course, and do all of your own fulfillment manually, or you can “hire” software to do it for you. I offer a complete internet business package in my comprehensive online shopping cart which also includes multiple autoresponders.
Another service that many internet business owners need, especially if they intend to do any aggressive e-marketing using permission e-mail, is an autoresponder. You can get autoresponders included in my own online shopping cart, or you can go with another of the major providers of autoresponder service.
The Internet continues to spawn more and more services geared to helping other Internet business owners succeed. If you want your web site to be seen by web surfers, you need to understand what key words or phrases people are using on the search engines to find your type of product or service. Wordtracker has created an affordable service that allows you to research the optimum key words and key word phrases to use for your page title and your key phrases. This is another great example of an internet business selling services.
If you, like most people, have the desire, but no idea where to start, you have a couple of choices. One is to take up either Affiliate Marketing or online Network Marketing, and represent someone else’s product for a commission. Most people doing this don’t make a great deal of money, but those who are dedicated have a shot at the elite, that 5% or so of who become “Super Affiliates” or “Network Superstars” and do extremely well.
Affiliate Marketing can also provide a great second income stream, if you already have a web site and can pick up some products to represent as an Affiliate. Your goal, of course, is to find products that complement rather than compete with or contradict the theme of your existing web site.
Regardless of whether you’re an internet business “newbie” or a web site owner looking for additional income, you can find tons of products to represent at two of the biggest affiliate marketing portals, Clickbank and also
A more lucrative way to start internet business is to develop and sell your own info-products. In the long run, this is a better approach to starting an online business, because you own and control the product, and instead of competing with hundreds or even thousands of other affiliates, you are only competing against other similar products.
If you’re going to create your own products, though, you really need to do some research, and find an internet business niche. It’s been said that “the riches are in the niches”, and it’s absolutely true. However, don’t make the common mistake of creating a product that YOU think is cool, and then trying to create a market for it. Instead, find a niche that is already popular, and create a product that is already in demand.
For that matter, you don’t even need to have a product to sell to have a profitable niche business. More and more people are catching on to the fact that having a quality “content site” can be a significant source of revenue, from affiliate links that you can post on the site, and from things like google adsense revenue. Click the banner below to learn how.
Well, we’ve covered a lot of territory already. Now it’s time to start thinking aboutweb site design.
Before you do, though, you might want to check out our
recommended internet business and e-marketing e-books. I’m a firm believer in the old adage that “knowledge is power”, and I personally think that a few dollars spent on a couple of good references will pay off in the long run.
You may also want to visit our sister site to learn more. Start Internet Business Today.com has even more free information about how to start an internet business. And don’t forget, if you’re planning on selling a product, you will need an autoresponder and shopping cart