Welcome to My iBusiness Guru.Com
Establishing a business presence on the Internet can be a cost effective and financially rewarding way to reach new customers, sell more products, and interact with your existing customers. Your website can be the hub of your business or it can be an extension of your offline business.
It's not as easy as some people would have you believe. An Internet business is not a path to overnight millions. It requires hard work and know how.
This site aims to become the go to resource for Internet business. We intend to cover everything from registering a domain to website marketing and selling online.
General Small Business Help
If you are interested in starting a new Internet business or expanding your existing business to include a web presence, here are some resources for gettting started.
- Startup Nation - Solid advice for starting a business from the ground up.
- The Small Business - A small business blog with a number of good articles covering a variety of topics important to small business owners.
- Internet Business Ideas - If you're not sure what you'd like to do, but you know you want to be your own boss and start an Internet business, check out these ideas for online businesses you can start and run at home.
Choosing and Registering a Domain
Your domain is your website address. It's how customers will find you online. It's your brand. You want to at least register your company name. You might want to register product names as well. Go with the .com extension, but consider registering the .net and .org versions as well to avoid brand confusion. Short is better than long. More tips and resources for picking a domain and registering it:
Finding the Right Web Host
In order to get your website online you need a hosting provider to host it. Web hosts provide storage space and Internet connectivity, for your website. Here are some great hosting resources:
- Host Gator - Solid, affordable host for those just starting out. Excellent support and great customer service.
- Web Hosting Talk - Forum dedicated to discussing web hosting issues and reviewing hosts. Check out the Wehhosting Offers section for great discounts and hosting deals. I found a great deal for hosting this site in the forums.
Creating Your Website
Once you find the perfect domain and have arranged for hosting, you can start thinking about your website design. You can do it yourself if you have the skills required or you can hire a web designer. You also have to consider how the site will be managed. Will you need to update your website often, rarely, or somewhere in between? You may want a content management system, a shopping cart system, or you might just want static HTML pages with info about your services. The type of business you run will largely determine what type of website you need.
- WordPress - Free open source blogging and content management application. The most widely used blogging platform. Many companies use to manage their web presence or as their blog software. Thousands of free templates, tutorials, plugins, and other resources are available if you need help.
- eLance - Find a freelance web designer online. You can hire someone to design a logo, create your site, or implement a full blown ecommerce solution here.
- 99 Designs - A way to get your site designed via crowdsourcing. You basically hold a design contest on 99 Designs. Designers submit their entries. You pick the one you like. The whole thing can be done in a week starting at $599.
- Moon Fruit - If you want to build your own website, but don't have the background to do it from scratch have a look at MoonFruit. You can build a pretty decent site or shop without writing any code.
The Internet has changed the way consumers behave and the way business is done. It's easier than ever for you to find prospects and interact with your customers. Consumers share information, experiences, and post reviews of the products and services they buy. Building a website is not enough, though. You need people to find it. You need to engage your site visitors. You need to offer what your target audience is looking for. The Internet offers many ways to do all of that.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The goal of SEO is to increase your website's visibility in the search engines in order to increase traffic to your site. When a user types a word or phrase related to your product or service into a search engine like Google or Bing, ideally your website would appear in the top 10 results. There are many factors that influence your rankings and best practices you should follow in order to rank high. Visit the following resources to learn more about optimizing your website for search engines.
- The Beginner's Guide to SEO - Comprehensive yet easy to understand guide to search engine optimization. This is THE starting point for learning about SEO. SEO Moz also offers a number of tools and applications for researching your competition and managing your seo campaigns.
Email makes it easy to stay in touch with your existing customers and demonstrate value to potential customers. There's more to it than just emailing offers and sales material, however. Most successful email marketers manage to build trust and rapport with their target audience rather than constantly trying to sell them something. Here are some tips for email marketing:
- Small Business Email Marketing - A good overview of the benefits of email marketing for small businesses.
- Selling Via Email - Selling through email is a slippery slope. These guidelines will help you sell through email effectively without alienating or angering your target audience.