Quantcast

“404 Not Found”:Don’t Let This Be YOU

Get the WebProNews Newsletter:
[ Business]

You’re all fired up and ready to go. Enthusiasm bubbles over – you’re eager to start your online business and want to get going as fast as you can.

Drawn by the promise of quick or easy money, an unlimited market, and the lure of financial independence, starry-eyed enthusiasts jump right into the world of ecommerce …

… And most end up disappearing nearly as quickly. A figure that’s often quoted is that 95% of Internet businesses fail. It’s easy to see when you click on a website link, only to get the dreaded message “404 Not Found” – meaning the web page does not exist. Or when you try to subscribe to a newsletter, only to get your subscribe request returned because the newsletter is no longer published.

Here are a few points to consider when you’re just starting out:

Making money online is NOT quick and easy

Talk to any online business person and you’ll soon find out that it’s definitely not quick and easy (if they say it is, they’re probably lying!). It’s true that the Internet is a vast market and is growing everyday … but you still need to know *how* to tap into that market in order to be successful online.

Don’t join too many money-making opportunities

It’s very easy to become overly enthusiastic – the possibilities on the Internet are huge! But the fact of the matter is simply this: you only have a certain amount of time in a day. You cannot successfully learn to make money with every opportunity. Select one (or at most, two) that you’re confident that you will enjoy, and that you’re willing to put a lot of work into. Concentrate on generating an income for that opportunity before you consider joining others.

TIP: Try not to get caught up in the hype. Many opportunities will make income claims (“You can easily make $5000 a week”). Don’t believe them! No one opportunity is right for everyone … and likewise, no one can tell anyone else how much they can make with the opportunity. This is something only you can determine.

Don’t worry too much about the technical stuff

I’m a big believer in knowing how to write your own HTML. For those who don’t know what HTML is, it’s short for “HyperText Markup Language” – the language used to create web pages. Knowing how to write your own HTML will give you control over your website. Learn enough HTML to get by. The more you practice, the easier it gets. And HTML is a relatively small part of doing business online (the bulk of it is learning the art of Internet marketing)! For the more complicated stuff, you can always hire someone else to do it for you.

TIP: You can find a great, interactive HTML tutorial at: http://www.davesite.com/webstation/html/ .

Be professional

Spell check your website. Check for broken links. Answer your emails promptly. Be courteous. Respond to your visitor’s concerns. In short, provide the best customer service you possibly can – satisfied customers will come back to you and spread the word!

Figure out what you want to do – BEFORE you jump in

Don’t just throw up a website with dozens of banners for a bunch of different affiliate programs. Everyone’s seen sites like these; a few banners for Internet marketing, a couple for finding romance on the web, yet more for getting travel deals …

Figure out what audience you’re targeting and what types of products they’re interested in. THEN you can deal with everything else.

Realize that you will have to spend SOME money

Sure, the Internet’s a cheap way to do business if you compare it to the offline world. But like any other business, you’ll need to make some good investments. But people are people – if there’s something for free, we’ll try it. :-) Free classified ads, for example, are hugely popular. Unfortunately, these free ads are more popular to the people posting them then to the people searching for something.

Be smart. Invest in resources that will help you grow and succeed. Talk to others to get recommendations.

TIP: Join a newsgroup that’s focused on Internet marketing. You’ll find plenty of people with opinions on all types of online marketing. Just remember to be responsible and follow Internet protocol: if the newsgroup does not allow advertising (and most don’t), then please don’t post ads!

Don’t try to learn everything on your own

Plenty of newbies try to learn all about doing business online by themselves … and for a few of them, they eventually succeed – usually after a lot of trial-and- error, wasted time, and wasted money. For most others, though, they end up disappearing off the web because they simply give up.

Free information might seem like a good deal, but when you’re trying to learn, this free information can actually hold you back. First of all, if you get your information from various different websites the information will sometimes contradict each other (“Do banner ads work?” Some people will swear on how effective they are; others will scoff that they are completely useless). Secondly, free information is often incomplete – it’s just a very small part of the whole picture.

Instead, find yourself a good manual. A good manual will actually SAVE you money in the end by teaching you what works and what doesn’t — that way, you won’t end up wasting your hard work or precious dollars on stuff that just doesn’t work. Plus you’ll be able to start producing an income more quickly because you won’t be wasting time on useless tasks.

TIP: A great manual for newbies (or struggling netrepreneurs) is Make Your Site Sell!. Read more at /myss.html.

Track your advertising campaigns

Not all advertising yields the same results. For example, if you place an ad in an several ezines, you should track the number of visitors/sales you get from each ezine. Similarly, you can place different ads in the
same ezine (running in different issues) and track which of your ads work best. This will show you which ads and which ezines are worth your time and money.

TIP: You can track your ad campaign by using The Ultimate Ad Tracker, http://www.cgitoolbox.com/cgi/uat/index.html .

Try out new techniques

Experimentation is the key to growing your online business. If one advertising technique doesn’t work, try another. Even if one *does* work, try to improve it. It’s easy to get lazy and just stay with what seems to work … but for a business on the rapidly-changing Internet marketplace, this is a sure way to doom your business! What works now may not work in the future.

TIP: Make backups of your old ads or web pages. That way, if your new one kills sales, you can always go back to the old way of doing things while you work on something else.

Don’t give up!

Establishing your online business takes time. Newbies will often just give up when they don’t start making an income after a month or two. Continuous learning and a lot of determination are two traits that are required to make money online. If one thing doesn’t work, improve it or try something else. If you give up too soon, you’ll never know what kind of success you could have enjoyed – if you’d only stuck with it a while longer.

Choose to work hard and succeed!

Click here to sign up for FREE B2B newsletters from iEntry

Angela is the editor of Online Business Basics, a practical, down-to-earth guide to building an Internet business on a beginner’s budget. If you enjoyed this article, you’ll love the book! Visit http://www.onlinebusinessbasics.com or request a series of 10 free reports to get you started.

“404 Not Found”:Don’t Let This Be YOU
Comments Off
About Angela Wu
Angela is the editor of Online Business Basics, a practical, down-to-earth guide to building an Internet business on a beginner's budget. If you enjoyed this article, you'll love the book! Visit http://www.onlinebusinessbasics.com or request a series of 10 free reports to get you started. WebProNews Writer
Top Rated White Papers and Resources

Comments are closed.