Youve Found Your Guru, Now What?
In my last article, "Follow That Guru", I told you about the one (1) simple technique I used when starting my home business, "A Name".
Now everyone wants to know what to do next. OK, here it goes.
You've found your Guru, and you know what kind of home business you want to start. Your next step is to get a website.
Now, there is a lot involved in launching a website. That's not as easy as it sounds. Sure, it's not "Rocket Science" or anything like that, but it will take you a while to get it started.
When I got to this point, I had no idea that a professional website would cost so much. As I researched all the different Web Designing Companies, the prices ranged between $899 and $1500 to get a website built.
I was on a VERY tight budget, and could not afford to spend that much money, so I decided to go BACK to the place where it all began. The Forums.
First, do a search on Google for "Web Designer Forums". It will bring up a list of about 26,000,000 search results. The best ones are on the first 5-6 pages so take you time and go through each one checking to see if they have a place to post for "Help Wanted" or "Freelance Opportunities, or something to that effect.
There are a lot of Web Designers that are looking for exposure and want to build up their portfolio. Most of which will design you a website for free in exchange for having their logo on your site. You just have to go about it the right way.
They will be doing you a big service for nothing. So offer them a little more than just having their logo on your site. Give them some free advertising by allowing them to put a banner on your home page, and/or offer them a percentage of the profits. Whatever the two of you agree on is up to you.
Next, start looking for a "domain name". Come up with a name that will be easy for your customer to remember. Let's say, you're starting a "doggie treat" business. The name of your business is "Fidos Bark-O-Ruff-it Treats". Now, "fidosbarkofuffittreats.com" would be a very hard name for the customers to remember, but "fidostreats.com" would be perfect. Keep your domain names as short and as close to the point as possible. Go to www.nameboy.com to check the availability of your domain name. If you are having trouble coming up with one, just put in a couple of keywords relevant to your website like, "bark, ruff, treats, dog, etc, and it will give you a list of domain names that you can choose from.
Then, once you have your domain name, you need to register it and get a hosting company for your site. In most cases, you can register your domain name with your hosting company, so be sure to do that before you sign up.
Now there are free hosting sites out there, but if I were you, I wouldn't go with any of those. I'm not saying that they are bad, but if you're like I was and didn't know what I was doing in the beginning, you'll want a hosting package that will offer the most support. You can get a good hosting package for about $5 a month. I use www.dot5hosting.com
Take a look at this hosting company and see if it would meet your needs. If not, do a Google search for "Hosting", and you will be sure to find a good one that is in your budget.
OK, now you're on your way. You have your website, your domain name, and your hosting package. The next thing you have to do is find content for your site.
For you to get noticed by the Search Engines, your site must be "content rich", which means that you need to have a lot of valuable information for your visitors to read and see. Say you're still in the "doggie treat" business. Articles with information on dogs are a must. Find all the information you can on dogs, dog food, dog toys etc. You can even go to other websites that offer dog products, and look at the kind of information they have, and how their website is laid out. This will give you an idea of the type of information you need to make your site successful.
You can do a poll in the "dog lovers" forums, asking dog owners what kinds of treats their dogs like. Then add the results to your website.
Be creative. The more creative you are, the more likely you are to get more visitors. Offer something that no other "dog" website offers.
Remember, the key to traffic is INFORMATION.
Another way to get traffic is to trade links with other sites like your own. There are many "linking programs" out there, but the two I use are www.linkmetro.com and www.linkmarket.com All you have to do is to sign up and enter some keywords about your website, and you'll begin getting offers from others website owners that would like to link to your site. It's that easy.
Now you know what you need to do next. Just don't forget about the person that got you started. Your Guru. They are there to help you in every step of the process of building your online business. Keep asking them for their advice. You are not only building an online business, your building a relationship too.
©2005 Lavonda Thigpen, All Rights Reserved
Lavonda Thigpen worked in Advertising for 15 years. She got tired of working for someone else so she "Fired the Boss" and "Hired her Family", and never looked back. She had always wanted to own her own business, and work from home. She started the website http://www.ez2workathome.com in order to help people that were wanting to start a home based business. If you're looking for a way to start your own home business, go to her site for more information, articles, links, e-books and products to find what's right for you.
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