The best thing I ever did for my business is “learn the basics” of running a business from home online. When I say learn the basics I mean basic skills that really go along way for saving you money in the long run. When I first started out online I really knew nothing when it came to do with setting things up on the back end. I paid a fortune to a web designer to set up my first site “Barefoot Bella” and the Blog that compliments it the “Barefoot Bella Blog“–and don’t get me wrong they are beautiful and work great. In the end it was worth it because it got me started in business and it has been very successful. But now that I know what I know now I would have probably done things differently and would be a lot further ahead in the game because I would have saved a ton of money.
I am not discouraging you from outsourcing things because lets face it we can’t all do everything ourselves– there is only so many hours in the day and if you want to be a true entrepreneur than you will definately want to outsource certain things so you can focus on building your business. But I do highly encourage you in the beginning to learn the basics–so at least when you do get to a point where it makes since to outsource you know what to look for and expect from the quality of work you will be paying for.
So back to the basics. There are a few key things that you must absolutely understand before starting out online and I will just give you a basic list to get you started.
- Pick a profitable niche—researching and deciding which niche to go into is important to get right from the beginning because lets face it the whole reason you are in business is to make money and if no one is interested in what you are selling than you will have a hard time making any money from it.
- Research and pick the right keywords to promote your site so people will be able to find you online. You can have the best site in the world but if no one can find you it will be worthless to them and you
- Pick a domain name that relates to your keywords and niche(I recommend www.GoDaddy.com for buying domains). If you are selling dog biscuits pick a name like dogbiscuits.com not one like fidosfood.com. The closer your domain name is to your keywords and niche the more likely someone will be able to find your site.
- Find a good hosting company. There are some great hosting companies out there that are inexpensive and have all the capabilities you will need to start out and grow your business when you are ready to expand. My recommended hosting company is HostGator. It is pretty inexpensive and gives you unlimited ways to expand.
- Learn to set up your own blog. I paid for my first two blogs to be set up by someone else and they turned out great–but then I read this FREE report on how to set up my own blog and was absolutely amazed at how simple it was. I set up a blog in about an hour and also learned a skill that I can offer other businesses that are looking for that service.
- Learn to set up your own website to sell products–or find an affordable company to do it for you. Nowadays you can have a website set up and ready to sell pretty easily at a really affordable price. There are even some programs with ready made templates and easy instructions to walk you through the whole process. So before you go to a web design company and pay a fortune for them to do it all for you–do your research–you may find that all you need is just a simple way to get your product out there and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to do it. But don’t get me wrong there are definately times when hiring someone to design your site makes since but just make sure you do your research to find what will work best for your individual project and what makes since for your budget.
- Learn the basics of search engine optimization. When you are posting to your blog or adding products to your site to sell make sure you do it in a way that is search engine friendly–it will really do wonders for your rankings and help to get you more traffic to your site if done correctly.
- Find a good autoresponder service plan and start building a list. I recommend Aweber. The best thing I ever did for my business is start building a list of customers interested in my products. Building a relationship with your customers is the best way to get repeat customers because you earn their trust by being reliable and resourceful in the area that they are interested in.
- Learn the basics of driving quality traffic to your site. If no one visits your site no one can buy from you–so one of the most important things you can learn is how to get traffic and make sure it is quality traffic. You really only want people who are interested in what you have to offer to visit your site because they are the people who will become your customers. So find people interested in your niche and get them to your site. Some basic ways of doing that would be to visit forums related to your niche and get involved in the conversations, use web 2.0 sites to find people interested in your niche, advertise in areas that you know people in your niche visit.
There are many other aspects of running an online business from home but the items listed above are the core basic skills that are a must when it comes to starting out on the right foot and continuing on your road to success. I will be adding some resources soon to help you learn these basic skills. Or if you would like to subscribe to our email list you can receive free tips for building your online business right to your email in box on a weekly basis.