A Blueprint for Building A Successful Online Business

If you’re serious about finding what works for you – personally, in your online business… there are a few things you have to think about and realize first.

First, you have to find the right audience for your product. All traffic is not created equal and you want to make sure a better percentage of the traffic coming to your site are the people who are genuinely interested in your kind of product or services. Think about it from the other side of the spectrum. How many websites have you been to once that you’ve never revisited again? A lot, right? How many websites have you visited more than 5 times? Only the ones you were really interested it. Now think about this as a business owner or website owner. What can you do to attract the people who want what you have?

How can you get these same people to return to your site on a regular or semi-regular basis? Now, switch positions again and become a web “surfer” in your thinking. What do the sites that you visit regularly or semi-regularly do or have that makes you return? Now, you’re starting to think like someone who can be successful with their Internet marketing efforts.

Now, let’s move on a little further. If you’re in the food industry (for example), invest a little time visiting cooking and fine dining forums. If you’re going to be involved in social network sites such as Facebook, make sure you join the groups that reflect your niche. Hey, it’s great to talk to and meet new people… but don’t lose sight of your marketing goals.

When I started www.TheBoxingMagazine.com, I was already a member of boxing forums throughout the Internet. Getting traffic was a breeze. Within 8-months, the traffic had quadrupled. Now, it’s true that I did use a few insider marketing tricks here and there, but that didn’t build the foundation of the site. My previously existing connections through the forums did.

Back in 1998 I published a lot of little eBook publications. Once again, I used the same blueprint of visiting and participating in marketing forums. Within a year, I had a targeted list of people who were INTERESTED in just about everything I published.

Was it easy? Well, yes and no. I did spend about an hour or two a day in those forums. It didn’t seem like work because I was talking to people who shared the same interests as me. When you hate doing something, maybe you need to consider another line of work. No matter what you do, there will always be certain elements you may not exactly care for. But that goes for anything in life.

When I had pets, I hated walking them in the rain and bad weather. I hated cleaning up after them. But I loved them because they were nice animals who were always happy to see me – unless there was a rolled up newspaper in my hand.

Pricing Your Products

You should always have at least two price-points for your products and services. Lower priced products and services can be used to bring people to the table. Once they’re there, if they “like what you’re serving,” they’ll be more apt to spend the money on the higher priced products.

Selling strictly cheap stuff isn’t going to pay for much of anything for you. A simple example is Pizza. My friend who is an accountant in Jersey once told me, “Jim, I have a few clients who own pizza joints… and you know what? You’ve gotta sell a lot of pizza to make any money.”

There’s nothing worse than working hard and having nothing to show for it. That’s the whole purpose of being in business for yourself – so you can avoid that scenario altogether!

On the other hand, if people are not familiar with what you have to offer, they may not be willing to part with hundreds or thousands of dollars without “testing the waters” first.

Putting A FACE to Your Business

Sooner or later, everyone needs to add a little “Personality” to their business. I don’t care if it’s online or offline. Personality sells. That’s where the old saying, “It’s not what you know, but who you know,” comes from. If people like you, they’ll do business with you. It can be your personal style… or perhaps you’re entertaining in some way.

It could be something as simple as making people laugh and having them enjoy your company. All of this puts “a face” to your business. Colonel Harland Sanders became the face of his Kentucky Fried Chicken business. Dave Thomas became the face of Wendy’s. Donald Trump doesn’t even own or run most of his old companies anymore, but the board keeps him on because he (his personality) connects with the general public. The list can go on and on in this area. Big or small, you can still come across as personal in all of your marketing, publicity and promotion efforts. I remember the original Arthur Perdue. He was so bland and dry; he made people laugh without trying when he was on TV talking about his chicken. When you ate Arthur’s chicken, you weren’t just eating any chicken, you were eating a well-fed, Perdue chicken!

I’ve worked with many different business types over the years and have found that – no matter what the business or what the niche; the simplest marketing plans seem to work the best. The less moving parts, the better.

Trial and error are a part of just about everything we do in life. To some extent, the same holds true with business. It’s true that we’re in the midst of trying times, financially speaking as both a nation… and as a world. People are still spending money; they’re just spending less of it which brings me to the last point…

Creating Value

I have a webmaster program that includes SEO marketing, webhosting, email marketing and some other “goodies” thrown in there that starts at $60 a month. It’s one of my best-selling services because it provides a total solution for my clients.

First, they don’t have to pay someone to be a webmaster on their books. They get an hour’s worth of free updates each month. Then, they get a mass mailing system that’s included with their site. They also get a press release sending service (for publicity throughout the state of Florida – or the rest of the USA if they need it). On top of it all, I’m their resident consultant that they can call, talk to and bounce ideas off of.

In your business, you have to know what people want before you can provide it for them. You have to make adjustments. People are willing to pay for products and services that are problem solvers. When they can clearly see the benefits that come from doing business with your company, that’s the blueprint for Internet success. Obvious you can see them, because you know and are acutely aware of the finer details of what you have to offer. The question is – is everyone else seeing what you’re seeing?

If not, then you must continue to change and adjust until they do!

Jim Galiano

Jim Galiano is an online consultant and author who began doing business online in 1998. His consulting, marketing and publicity services are focused in the area's of SEO and website publicity. Jim has been interviewed by variety of media sources including the Wall Street Journal and CBS News in New York.

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22 thoughts on “A Blueprint for Building A Successful Online Business”

  1. Jim, I have to say – as a client, you are the most efficient, savvy Internet marketer I’ve ever seen in my life. You really do make things happen.

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