Posted Friday, October 1, 2004
A few of the Internet gurus say that you can make money on the Internet without a web site. They say just use autoresponders and safelist advertising. And there may be a few doing this successfully.
However, the vast majority of people making a living on the Internet have their own web site. It is much harder to build a long-term business without having a web site hosted on your own domain
A website should be considered a home base so to speak. It is your online store location and the base of operations for everything else that you do online.
Let's think about the different online advertising methods. Some of the main ones are search engines, banner advertising, ezine advertising, newsgroup/mailing list participation, and classified advertising. I know that doesn't cover everything, but It is the major source of advertising online. Think about each of those advertising methods.
Search engines are the #1 traffic generator on the web right now and they absolutely require that you have a website. Many online experts estimate 95% of your traffic could come from search engines. You are leaving out 95% of your business by not being able to take advantage of search engines...
You may think that just getting a free server such as FreeYellow or Angelfire might take care of this problem, but it doesn't. Both of the above mentioned web hosts are being blocked out of some of the search engines such as Infoseek. You can still place them on most of the search engines, but registering web pages from them is becoming extremely difficult.
With banner advertising you have to have a website, both for free banner exchanges and for paid banner advertising.
With ezine advertising, you can use an autoresponder, but your response rate goes up when you include both an autoresponder and a website in the classified ad. The same rules go for classified advertising. You should have both an email address and website in your ads for maximum effectiveness.
When participating in online discussion, the best form of advertising is the signature file. This gives you space for a short 4 - 5 line ad for yourself. The best approach is to tell them your name, phone, email, and website address along with a basic idea of what you do. Your website address needs to be there so that they can go somewhere to find out more information immediately.
In all of these advertising forms, a website or domain is absolutely essential to your success. I personally favor a domain for many reasons...
Name Recognition - It is much easier for people to remember a name like (http://www.yourdomain.com) than (http://www.freesite.com/members2/somename/)
Stability - Having your own domain gives an image of more stability to people when they see it. It appears that you will be around for a while.
Secure Ordering - In most cases you cannot get orders online through a website because there are no secure ordering options.
Growth - It will be much easier to grow when you own your own domain. If you have just a website and you run out of space or you start having trouble with your host, you are stuck. If you leave, all of the traffic you built will be going to Freesite, not your new domain. If you own your own domain, if you move everything comes with you to your new host.
Selling Multiple Products - This hooks up with the above, but it needs to be mentioned again. A domain is perfect for adding more products to and selling more items. You spend money and/or time to get traffic to your site. You need to make sure you are taking advantage of it as much as possible by offering multiple products and/or services.
All of these benefits are extremely important to making your online marketing a success. I honestly think everyone should purchase a domain up front in their online marketing and then start driving traffic to it immediately, instead of wasting their time and money by losing their traffic that they worked so hard for when they upgrade later.
Many people are starting their Internet business with a very small budget. Many are doing it with $100 or less. I recently started a new website, getting it up and running for less then $100. Want to know how I did it?
I will use my new site to drive traffic to my three other websites, offer some affiliate and network marketing programs, and some new products that I will be adding.
Here's how I got the site up and running. First I went to (http://www.godaddy.com). I had some ideas for what I wanted my new domain name to be. Godaddy has a tool where you enter in your desired domain name and it tells you if the name is available. If it is not available it will recommend some similar names that might interest you.
I kept working the tool until I found that The-Home-Business-Center.com was available. My wife and I both liked it and feel that it matches what we plan to do with the site. It cost us just $8.95 to buy the domain name for a year.
When you pick your domain name, try to get one ending in .com instead of one ending in .biz, .net, or one of the other endings.
Since our other three sites were already hosted by Host4Profits, it was not hard to decide what hosting service to use. They will host additional domain names for just $5 each per month. A pretty good deal. You can check them out at (http://www.host4profit.com/cgi-bin/home.cgi?33851).
Next I went to a site hosted by Stone Evans. He will make a free site for you, usually within 24 hours of your sending him your details. He calls them Plug-In Profit Sites.
The site will come with five different streams of income built into it. The five income streams are from free affiliate and network marketing programs, which you need to join before you send him your information. I was already a member of four of the programs.
Host4Profit, our hosting company, is one of the five affiliate programs that Stone will put on the site for you. This one is a must join, as Stone requires that the site he makes for you be hosted by Host4Profit.
I sent him my information and also requested GoDaddy to transfer the domain at the same time. Stone waited to start work on my site until the transfer was completed. I had my new site the day after I notified him that the transfer was done.
And I like the site. It looks great and works with no problems. He actually made two versions for me, one with pop ups and one without pop ups. Some traffic exchanges don't allow pop ups.
To see my new site go to (http://www.the-home-business-center.com). If you want more information on what Stone will do for you click on the Plug-In Profit Site banner near the top of the page.
Stone has also written a free ebook called 30 Days to Online Success. At the very bottom of my site is a banner for Stones book. Click on the link to download it.
Stone actually set up the whole site and had it running when he sent me the email saying it was up. I was able to view the working site immediately. It worked beautifully.
One of the things that I especially liked is that he let me have the source code. I can easily access the code and modify it. So far I have added the banner to the bottom for the free 30 Days to Success ebook and added a link to a page where people can read the articles that I have published.
Now, a person on a low budget will be able to get a website and start producing traffic to it for under $100.
All in all, the very first thing you should do when marketing online is to setup your own domain. It's your home base. The Plug-in Profit site method discussed above is a low cost option for doing so. Everyone can take this opportunity to develop an effective online marketing campaign instead of throwing time and money down a marketing black hole because they lack a home base.
About the Author
Albin Dittli has been writing software for the network marketing industry for 12 years and marketing on the Internet for over two years. Please visit his web site at (http://www.The-Home-Business-Center.com). You can subscribe to his free ezine, eBiz Marketing Tips, by sending an email to email@example.com