Tips to Having a Successful Online Business

Online businesses are flourishing these days. Often they are inexpensive, easy to start and carry much less financial risk than a traditional, storefront business. Here are some of the keys to having a successful online company:

The Website’s the Thing: For an online business, your website is often the first (and sometimes only) part of your business a prospective client will ever see. It is important not only to make it visually appealing, but also make it highly functional. The harder it is for a visitor to find your contact or ordering information, the less likely they will follow through on your desired action. The purpose of your site should go beyond simply informing visitors of your products and services. Your site’s goal should be conversion, or getting visitors to take some sort of action that turns their visit into a sale or relationship. Make sure your company’s contact information is prominent on every page.

Make the information easy to read and follow the eye’s natural flow from left to right and top to bottom. Also, make sure that your brand–or logo–is prominently displayed on every page of your website. Frequently check to make sure that your site functions correctly. If you have a shopping cart, make sure it works all the way through the checkout phase; the same goes for forms, links, customer order histories or any other function your site displays. The easier it is for someone to navigate your site and find products or other important information, the more likely they will be to buy something from you or visit your site again.

Promote Your Website: The more visitors you draw to your site, the greater your chances are for selling your products and services. Since most internet users use search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing to find new products, make sure your site is optimized for search engines (SEO) by including important keywords on your site. Ask yourself this question: what phrases or keywords would I use in a search engine to find my company or others in our industry? Make a list and write them down. Now, use those words frequently on your site to describe your products or in updates and news about your services and company. These can be used simply as text on each page or buried in each page’s code as meta tags. Ask your website’s designer/programmer to help you plant keywords or tags in your site. It’s also important to have a blog on your website. Don’t just write about your company or yourself; write about topics that might interest or attract prospective clients. Be helpful and informative and you might gain new or return visitors to your blog and website. Make sure your blog articles often contain the keywords you wrote down; that way search engines also will find your blog articles and credit your site for using those words frequently. You also might want to explore online advertising. There are many online sellers of pay-per-click advertising, banner ads or other ways to advertise your business online. Some are expensive, but many offer competitive rates or even free trials to check them out.

Customer Service is Essential: Online businesses live and die by the quality of their customer service. If someone has ordered one of your products, make sure that the product is packaged properly and ships in a timely manner. Offer free shipping when you can or free product samples with an order. Be sure to respond to calls, e-mails and any other inquiries as soon as possible and address any problems or complaints promptly. Offering outstanding customer service is as important as the quality of your product. Often it is good customer service that makes customers come back for more.

Make Use of Freebies: Starting any kind of business is tough. Take advantage of any freebies you encounter online. Sometimes a new advertising website will allow you to place an ad on their site for free or for a trial period. Link exchanges with other websites that offer products and services that compliment your company’s products might also help spread the word. Using free social media sites like Twitter, Facebook or MySpace can help inform people of what you have to offer through updates or announcements of new products or even giveaways. You’ll also find many websites online for networking, where you can learn about educational opportunities such as seminars or webinars or meet experienced business owners to learn from. Just as the web seems endless, so are the free or inexpensive opportunities to grow your business via the internet.

These are just a few fundamentals for any online business. For more information and website tips, try an internet search. You’re probably just a few keywords away from unlocking the keys to having a successful business plan. Good luck!

Easiest Way To Advertise Online Business

To become a successful business person we need to work harder, engaging more people and promote your desired business. When it comes to business, online marketing is one of the best way to use nowadays. But did you know that offline marketing can be helpful as well to your online Business?

You have to admit – the online world is CROWDED with marketing messages.

It’s hard to start out and get noticed, and it’s become more difficult every day.

Ironically, some of the older methods have once again become more effective. As everyone else vies for attention online, consider doing something old school, such as…

1: Sending Postcards

When you send an email, it’s easily ignored or deleted. A message on social media carries even less weight.

But a real life, physical piece of mail that lands in their mailbox is something they will take notice of. And postcards are cheaper to mail than letters.

Here’s what to do: Decide on the goal of your postcard – do you want them to join your list? Attend your webinar event? Go to a sales page?

Once you have your goal, use testing to find just the right slant for your offer. A postcard is a relatively small space, so every word and every image has got to pull its own weight. But once you find the magic mailing piece, you can continue to mail it out for months and even years, as long as it remains effective.

Know the lifetime value of your customer. This will help you determine what kind of conversion rate you need with your postcard mailers to be in profit.

Send the postcards yourself, or use a postcard mailing service. Simply Google “postcard mailing service” and you’ll find a company to match your needs.

2: Sending Lumpy Mail

What’s the best way to get your mailing piece to stand out? Make it lumpy.

If you’ve ever received a non-profit solicitation for a donation, you probably know what we’re talking about.They send pennies, pens, calendars, packs of greeting cards and all sorts of things to get you to open their envelope. And of course once you have their free gift, the law of reciprocity kicks in and you want to send them something back.

For our purposes, think of something unusual and cost effective, such as…

· A pebble (because of the rocky time they’ve had, or the rocky time ahead if they don’t get your product)

· Seed packets (to ‘grow’ their business, grow their profits, etc.)

· A compass (so they can find their way)

· A thumb drive loaded with your promotional materials

· Worry stones (because they’re up at night, worrying about their business or how to pay the bills)

· Poker chips (because they shouldn’t gamble on other products or providers)

· Aspirin in a packet to ease their pain

· A paper wallet because you’ll show them how to fill it with money

· A sand timer for when they’re running out of time

· And so forth.

Again, there are services to help you accomplish this. For example, is a good starting point.

3: Print Ads

The trick here is to make your ad look like an article in the magazine or newspaper you’re advertising in. Let’s say you’re advertising in a magazine – get an issue and see how their articles are formatted. Two columns? Three? What font do they use? What about picture placement?

Write your ad as more of an advertorial than a regular ad. You might have to put the words, “Paid advertisement” at the top of your ad, but it will still convert better than if your ad looks like an ad.

Have a great headline and use lots of sub-headlines to keep the reader on the page.

Have a strong call to action for an irresistible offer. The offer should be so good people simply cannot resist it, whatever it is.

4: Get a local column

This is an excellent technique for local business consultants. If you live in a small to medium sized city, your local newspaper might be thrilled if you would volunteer your services to write them a column each week on a topic that interests their readers.

If not, you might consider taking out a weekly ad and making it look like a column. In some respects, this is actually preferable to writing the column for free, since you’ll have more control over your topics.

Be very helpful in what you write. Only the last line or two should promote your business. The bulk of your column should be helpful information that people can use.

This will set you up as the authority and the person people turn to when they need your services.

5: Birthday cards

Here’s something that used to be common and no longer is, which is why it will make you stand out from the crowd of marketers like a beacon on a hill. Send REAL birthday cards through the mail to your best customers.

You might collect their birthday (Month and day, not year) when they check out. You might even tell them WHY you’re collecting it. Let them know it’s optional, but you’d really like to remember them on their birthday.

Most people will be eager share their birth date with you. Or you can hop on Facebook and discover their birthday there if they have it listed.

If you don’t want to send the cards yourself, use a service such as, or the

Now then – a person might interact with a few hundred people and companies online over the course of a year. But odds are you will be the only one who remembers their birthday. That makes you pretty special.

You might include an offer of a free birthday gift in your card, too. Perhaps a video you recorded for their birthday (you can use the same one for everyone) and a download link for a free product.

Guaranteed they will be opening your emails and following you closely on social media after that.

5.75: How to send a birthday card on Facebook – okay, this is obviously online, but I wanted to include it because many of our readers won’t want to send actual cards (although we HIGHLY recommend it!)

Here’s how to send an electronic card through Facebook:

Go to the Birthday Card Maker app on Facebook by typing in “birthday card app” on the search bar.

Click “Okay” for the app to access your basic profile information.

You’ll see a calendar with pictures of your friends and dates of their birthdays. Choose which friend to send a card to.

Click “send a birthday card.”

Pick out the theme of your card.

Post the card to your friend’s wall by clicking the “Send this Card” link on the card itself.

Note: If you have a lot of Facebook fans, you might want to outsource this task.

When it comes to things like investing and marketing, doing the opposite of what most people are doing is often the winning course. Now that everyone else is online, be sure to look for offline opportunities to win the hearts, minds and wallets of your customers.