8 Steps to Create Your Internet Business

Sometimes we make starting an internet business look so difficult. We uses terms like RSS, blogs, ebooks, DVDs, membership sites, etc. If you listen to every single thing said in the “internet marketing” field you could quickly go insane with everything you’re told to do.

When I started online, we didn’t have any real information about marketing online. Now there’s simply too much information!

It’s easy to fall into paralysis of analysis. You sit there thinking about everything that needs to be done. You buy all the newest products about online business. You attend a few conferences. But you don’t achieve results because you don’t do anything.

Today let’s break it down and make it simple. Here are the eight steps to building an online business.

Step One: Brainstorm Ideas.

What interests you?
What have you accomplished in your past?
What have others told you comes naturally for you?
What have you learned in your career or through your job history that others will pay to know?
What annoys you (if it annoys you it is likely annoying others – find a solution)?

Make a list of every possible idea for creating a business. Don’t judge your ideas yet. Write them all down. Here’s a key principle many people miss. It seems everyone is looking for that big $10,000 or $100,000 a month project. What if instead you concentrate on little $500 to $1,000 a month projects. Put together 10 of these little projects and you have a good online monthly income.

Step Two: Research Keywords in Those Markets.

You can use a paid tool such as Wordtracker or Keyword Discovery. Or you can use a free tool such as SEO Book’s Keyword Suggestion tool.

Look to see just how popular the subjects you brainstormed are. If nobody is looking for the subject, it’s going to be tough to build a business on.

Are people looking for those terms?
How do each of the areas you brainstormed compare to one another?
Are there a large number of potential search terms for you to use?

Step Three: Check the Competition

Two quick places you can check for competition are at Clickbank’s Marketplace and over at Paypal Shops. Don’t be afraid of competition. In fact, I get nervous if there isn’t any competition. It’s highly unlikely I came up with a subject no one has ever thought about before. It’s more likely others have tried and failed at it.

You’re checking to see if others are successfully selling in this market. And you’re also making notes on the competition. Anytime I go into a market I like to find some advantage I have in that marketplace. It may be a better background story. It could be more experience. It could be an easier to follow system. It might be a more specific subject.

Are other people selling successfully in this market?
What can you bring into the market that’s unique in some way?
What’s your advantage?

Step Four: Survey Your Potential Customers

Setup a simple survey using SurveyMonkey or Master Survey. Ask them what their biggest question is about ______ (the subject you’re considering developing a product on).

Sometimes I’ve skipped this step if I really knew the market well. But I’ve always found your job is so much easier if you let your audience tell you what you want.

Think about it this way. Wouldn’t it be easier to create your product if you’ve collected 100 questions your target market wants answers to? You could even hire a ghostwriter to simply research and provide quality answers to those 100 questions. How about writing the sales copy? It’s much easier to write to your target market when they’ve already told you what is most important to them.

You can either run PPC advertising or you can ask on a few forums if people would fill out the survey. As an incentive to get people to fill out the survey, I’ll often offer them the product when it’s finished in ebook or digital form for them to download.

Step Five: Create the Product

I’ve used three product development methods to develop products quickly.

Method #1: Lock yourself away for a couple of days to write the entire product quickly. Fits best if you’re a fast typist or using voice recognition software.
Method #2: Interview several successful authors on that subject. Works best when you’re not really an expert in the market yourself. Use other people’s information.
Method #3: Create a video using Camtasia Studio along with screen captures or a Powerpoint presentation. Highest perceived value, but you have to be comfortable speaking.

No matter which method you choose, having done a survey first is going to make it so much easier to produce the content quickly!

Step Six: Create Your Sales Copy.

I really shouldn’t divide step five and six. They go together. Often you can produce a rough draft or at least an outline of your sales copy BEFORE you produce the product. This will produce better sales copy and will keep you focused on your customer’s desires while developing the product.

It’s often easier to start with a lower cost product for your very first product as the sales copy doesn’t have to be as intense. It’s possible you could even use a short video as a primary element in your selling process (use the AIDA formula on video: attention, interest, desire, and action).

To give you some ideas for creating strong sales copy, review this recent video by Jay Abraham…

The big questions to ask yourself are:

What problems or frustrations does my product solve?
Is there a “hook” or human interest story involving my offer?
Why should someone choose my product over the other available options?
How can I make my offer irresistible?

Step Seven: Set Up Your Website and Secure Ordering

There are a lot of tools out there to help you design your own website. There are even web hosts such as SBI that have website design tools built in. If you want free website design software, check out Nvu. More advanced tools include Frontpage and Dreamweaver.

To setup your ordering system, you can go with Clickbank.com for digital products. Or you can use ordering through a site like Kunaki for CDs and DVDs. You can even package multiple products together using a Paypal/Kunaki script such as the one published by Stephen Lohrenz.

Step Eight: Generate Visitors to Your New Site

Normally I start off in a market by generating visitors through Google Adwords, Yahoo Search, and MSN Adcenter. You can start generating traffic immediately through these to find out if your product is selling or not. If it is converting, then I move over to other strategies…especially focusing on affiliates. One big list owner can spell almost instant success for your new product, but nobody wants to be your guinea pig (so test the offer first).

Then you can expand out to other forms of marketing including articles, ezine advertising, forum participation, blogs, search engine positioning, etc. as your product proves to be profitable.

What’s next? Follow the system again for your next product…

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