When I was new to Internet Marketing I had no real understanding of what a domain or hosting were, not to mention what kind of website I should establish, and the most important must have tools and resources.
You may be surprised to know that you only need a few basic things to get started and should not invest in the whole caboose before you are actually making some money (and reinvesting it in your business).
Way back when I was in the military, when in basic training all I got was a Kit Bag. This bag is the home of all your belongings, you carry it with you everywhere you go. Let’s just say you want to keep it light… So if you are just starting an online business, all you need is: The Internet Marketing Kit Bag.
Your Internet Start Up Kit Bag Break Down
What Do You Really Need to Get Started Online?
- You need a good idea or at least your personal spin on an already successful idea!
- You need a platform for people to find you on – Get a Website / Blog going.
- You need to have a monetization model – have some way to make money with your site.
It seems simple right? So why do so many people get this wrong?
Let’s start with the physical aspects of your online business: Your platform.
To get a website going you will need a few physical purchases. You will also need to prepare some of the start up content for your website.
4 Physical Components Every Online Business Must Buy
1. Your Domain
For this you need to start with a Domain name. Many people ask me whether they really need to buy a domain or can they just use a free site to get started. After all you can get a Blogger blog, Weebly site or even a free WordPress.com site without having to buy a domain name.
While you can certainly get your feet wet with a free website platform I strongly suggest buying our own domain and owning your own website.
Your website is a major business asset; I would not recommend leaving one of the most important assets your business has in the hands of someone else.
There are many places you can get a domain name. My preferred choice is Go Daddy, not only because of their Smoking Hot Savings but also because of their excellent customer support which at some point you may need! You can also use Namecheap.com if you prefer, they also rock.
The most important thing about your domain name is that it is easy to remember. You do NOT have to worry about keywords when selecting your domain name. Getting .com domains are still your best bet for a commercial website…
Your hosting account is basically the house where all your website files reside. If you buy an account on a shared hosting server you will have neighbors, where as if you purchase a dedicated server all to yourself you will be the king of the hill.
If you are just getting started I recommend getting the baby package from Hostgator.
There are many places where you can host your site. You may think that you should host your site with the same company you buy your domain name from, though I do not recommend this at all; that is just too much power and risk to place in one company. Since I get my domains at GoDaddy I like to host my sites with Hostgator. They are very reliable, support almost any feature you will want for your website in future and have 24/7 customer support. There are many other reliable hosts out there as well.
The main factors to look at a website hosting provider are – Includes CPANEL access, 24/7 customer support.
And I know that when you are just getting started, building your own website can be scary, but again, do not skip this step! If you need help getting your website set up I can help simply contact me for an affordable quote.
3. WordPress Theme
Installing WordPress is 100% free. In fact if you choose a host with CPANEL access you can easily install it yourself with just a few clicks.
WordPress is not the only blogging and website platform you can use. Many people simply code HTML websites or use other platforms such as Joomla.
I strongly recommend using WordPress for your website Content Management System (CMS). Firstly WordPress is widely used and therefore there are many add on solutions for websites built on WordPress. Secondly, WordPress sites are built in a way that naturally works well with getting attention online and basic SEO.
The wrapper for your site and the built-in functions have to do with the WordPress Theme you select. There are many free themes you can use, however when it comes to your business I recommend going with a premium theme. Premium themes are not free, they have customer support and usually contain more commerce oriented functionality.
There are premium themes built specifically for e-Commerce, Video, SEO and more, See my favorite choices for WordPress themes here
4. Auto Responder – Newsletter Infrastructure
One of the best ways to grow your online business is to collect leads on your website and mail out either a newsletter or your choice of content to your subscriber list. For this you will need an Auto-responder provider.
Your email list is a huge asset to your business! I strongly recommend using Aweber. Their emails get delivered, their system is simple to use and is cross compatible with other online commerce programs such as Pay Pal and more.
There are a few basics you need to be aware of when setting up your email auto-responder system. For one you will need to comply with the CAN SPAM Act. Contact me to help you set up your auto responder system!
Duru -Is That All?
The above list is the very basic infrastructure to set up an online presence. Of course you will also need a payment processor to accept funds and something to sell! The rest is just decoration…..
In my next article I will go deeper into the basic content you will need for your basic Internet Start up Kit Bag.
So be sure to bookmark this site and return.
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