Your Recipe For Online Success

By: Darren Power

Your perfect online business will be made up of just a handful of ingredients. They will be your revenue ingredients and your traffic ingredients.

Your challenge is to mix them up in the best way to suit your business needs and your niche in order to gain maximum profit.

Assuming your niche has already been determined by looking for a hungry crowd that you can put your site in the way of, the next step in planning your online business will be to choose your income ingredients.

When it comes down to it there are three basic ways that you can earn money with your own website.

  1. You could create your own product that you sell to visitors. This might be an e-book, a video or audio course or maybe some kind of a membership service. Or maybe it’s a hard product, by that I mean something that you can touch and that you have to physically ship to your customers.
  2. You could sell other people's products either by buying resale rights to a product or by joining affiliate programs and promoting other people's products for commission.
  3. You could sell advertising on your site and earn revenue this way. This may be by selling space on your site but more likely would be by showing Adsense or similar ads.

Probably you will want to do all of the above.

The third step will be to determine how you will get traffic. You have a few choices in this regard and below I have detailed six sources of traffic that you can use for your site. As with the income ingredients above, top marketers use all of them.

  1. Search engine optimisation (SEO). SEO is the art of getting free traffic by being listed highly in search engines. if you can get on the first page at Google for a popular search term then you'll get traffic and plenty of it. The process can be slow but is certainly worthwhile.
  2. Paid advertising. Most popularly this would be pay per click advertising through Adwords or Overture or one of the many other pay per click search engines. But it could be pay for inclusion, banner advertising or sponsor ads in E-zines.
  3. Free advertising. The best way to get free advertising other than your search engine listings is to write articles. Articles like this one your reading will be added to other people's websites and can be submitted to article directories. Everywhere your article is placed there will also be a link to your site.
  4. Affiliates. If you have a product then you should operate your own affiliate programme. That way others can promote your product in return for a commission and in order to do that they will have to send their visitors to your site.
  5. Joint ventures. A joint venture is like a customised affiliate arrangement whereby another site owner promotes your product to their list or on their site in return for commission. A joint venture differs from an affiliate offer in that it will be a custom or personalised arrangement negotiated between the parties.
  6. Repeat visits. The two main ways of getting repeat visits to your site are to have interesting content or to invite people to return via a newsletter or other email that you send to previous visitors. You will of course need to have a reason for these visitors to return. Which brings us back to fresh content, but it could be a special offer or bonus. Obviously in order to send an e-mail you need to collect the visitors email address the first time that they visit your site.

These then are your basic ingredients. What you need is the right recipe that mixes them all up into the perfect business for you.

Copyright 2004 Darren Power

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