Starting an Online Business Guide

22 Nov Starting an Online Business Guide

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Millions of people dream of starting their own online business, whether the reason is to have more free time, no boss, more money or all of these.

Starting an online business however is not easy and will take a lot of work, here we run through some of the basics to get you set on the road to financial freedom.

The Beginning Of Your Dream

So you have started the long road to online success, you have packed in your boring 9-5 and are now looking to start a venture which you will enjoy and hopefully make money with.

Deciding what sort of online business you want to start is half the challenge, this will take a lot of research and a lot of thought. You will need to find an area that isn’t hugely saturated and it is usually a good idea to start something that you will enjoy. 

An online shop is a huge favourite, many people love to start online stores selling products which they are interested in, this is a great idea as if it is a topic you enjoy yourself then you are likely to work harder on it.

If you are skilled in a certain area you could offer a service, or you could come up with a business that is entirely unique and become the next “youtube” like site.

Whatever you decide on though there must be a well researched and thought out plan of what the business will be, who is it aimed at and what is it offering?

Getting Your Web Hosting And Domain Name

So you know what business you will be running, the next step is to try to get a website, but first you will need to purchase web hosting and a domain name.

The domain name is usually very cheap and is the address of your site such as http://www.yoursite.com. When deciding on a name you need to use the company name that you will have come up with, so if you are to have a clothing accessories site and you called it jewels, then an example of your domain name could be jewelsaccessories.com. You need to keep the domain name fairly short so that it can be easily remembered.

The web hosting is a little bit more expensive but shopping around you can find some good offers, the hosting is basically the space where all the files of your website will be stored, so when someone enters your domain name into their website browser it will identify the hosting attached to this domain name and bring up the relevant files, e.g. the homepage.

Usually the domain name and hosting are bought from the same company although it is possible to buy them from separate companies.

If you are going to be running a shop (ecommerce) then it may be a good idea to purchase a shopping cart with your hosting package, these are generally easy to use if you have some computer knowledge although if you get your website professionally designed then you could get the designer to install it for you.

Also if you are thinking of getting your website designer by a designer then look into them as they may well also set up your hosting and domain name for you.

The Website

If you know how to create a website to a good standard then you could create one yourself, if you are not so skilled however and bearing in mind your site will need to look professional to make money then you should look into hiring a   web   design  firm.

They will then create the website for you and put your shopping cart (if you have one) on your website, most design companies will also design you a logo which will make your company stand out from your competitors.

You should have a good think about how you want the site to look, what are the aims of having a site? You will need to be clear with the designer so they can create you a website that you will love.

Most  web   design  firms will also maintain your website if you would like them to, however it may be worth finding out the basics of website design and how to maintain your website and shopping cart incase you would like to maintain it yourself.

Website Promotion

Now you have a website that is able to sell goods and allow customers to purchase and shop around, but how do you get the customers to your site.

This is where SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and website promotion come in, SEO is the task of getting your website ranked well in Google and the other search engines, for most online businesses having their website ranked well is the most important aspect of an online presence.

SEO is a large range of tasks which website designers will usually also do for you, you could find out some yourself as well.

Promoting your website will include advertising online and offline, submitting articles to websites and adding your website to all sort of directories along with link building strategies.

All of these topics are vast and so need to be researched heavily if you intend to do some yourself, website promotion and SEO take time and is a never ending process which you will need to continue to do for as long as your site is live in order to keep content fresh and get visits to your website.

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