An Internet sales business is one of the few avenues open to the average person that wants to generate substantial revenue starting with little or no money. That's not to say that you will not have to work to make good money on the Internet or that it is a "get rich quick" proposition. On the contrary you will have to put in temporary time and effort to create a successful Internet sales business. The key is knowing what to do so you do not waste any of your precious time or money.
Here are the steps you'll need to take to start your successful Internet business. In many cases those new to Internet marketing miss some of these steps and are thus doomed to failure or struggling for little return on their investment.
Step 1 to Start an Internet Sales Business – Market Research
This step to starting your business is much the same as if you were starting any business, on line or off. You have to be sure there is a viable market for the products or services you're offering. If the market does not exist, is too small, or just as important, does not want to pay for your wares, you'll have trouble making a profit. Thankfully, doing market research on the Internet is a reliably easy process.
Step 2 to Start an Internet Sales Business – Business Strategy Development
After you've determined the durability of your market, you'll need to choose a successful strategy to make money there. You have several choices; develop your own product, sell products as an affiliate of another company, or start your own storefront and sell products. If you start an online store front, you will have to determine weather you'll be using a fulfillment company / drop shipper for your warehousing and order fulfillment, or weather you'll be doing that in house.
Most Internet marketers with online storefronts choose to use fulfillment companies. This keeps their overhead low and controls their costs. It also allows them access to a wider variety of products. The profit margin is lower by a few percentage points this way, but the lower profit is usually more than compensated for by the other benefits.
Step 3 to Start an Internet Sales Business
Step 3 is to create your online presence. You'll need to choose a domain name, a web hosting company, and either create a website or have one created for you. If you're going to begin using a blog, or start one soon after you start your online venture, you can use one of the free services such as Blogger. If you're at all serious about your business you should register your own domain name. This gives you much greater control and the benefit of your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.
If you use one of the free services, you do not own the domain name and then have little control over it. It's analogous to starting your business on leased land. You can make money, but since you do not own the land, if you decide to sell you'll get far less for your business, and the landlord can decide to not renew your lease for any reason they see fit, and you can say nothing. Much of the effort you put into getting traffic through your doors will be wasted. It is the same thing if you do not own your domain name on line but even worse because you have no long term lease to protect you.
When you create your website or blog, you'll want to make sure it is search engine friendly. That will help your site turn up in the results for searches related to your business, which will be an integral part of the next step to starting your business.
Step 4 to Start an Internet Sales Business
The next step you'll need to take is driving targeted traffic to your web presence. After all without traffic, or more specifically targeted traffic, you'll have trouble making any sales. You have three general options to generating traffic; you can buy traffic, borrow it from other web sites and blogs using link placement, or get it for "free" through search engine results. To get the greatest success you'll want to use all three methods, although there are many examples of people running successful Internet businesses using only or two of these.
Buying traffic entails using some sort of paid advertising. In most cases this means pay per click (PPC) ads, where you pay for the ad only when someone clicks on the link to your web site. This is great because you only pay when your ad is actually generating traffic, but you can spend huge amounts of money if you either overbid for your clicks or get a large number of clicks. Careful analysis is required to determine how much revenue a click is worth to you, and then how much you should pay. Keep in mind this will vary greatly depending upon the source of traffic.
The other source of paid traffic is from banner ads or paid text link ads. This is a technique where you pay to place a banner or text link on someone else's website that has the kind of visitors you're looking to attract to your site. The advantage here is that you can tightly control your costs because you know exactly what you'll pay for the ads. The disadvantage is that you may be paying for no traffic if the ad fails to perform, or under procedures.
Borrowing traffic can be very powerful, due to the rise of so called "web 2.0" sites such as digg, mixx, stumbleupon, youtube, propeller, and facebook. These allow you to leverage the huge amount of visits these sites receive to create a traffic stream of your own. The techniques required to maximize your success with these sites are varied and there have been books written on them. Needless to say, you should put in the required time need to master them.
You can start your own Internet sales business. Many people just like you have started successful businesses online and are now reaping the benefits. You can make enough to help pay the bills or you can go far beyond your current income, however much it is. Here's to success in your Internet venture.