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Eight Ebusiness Essentials
April 3, 2000

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' WEBSITE101: READING LIST
Reaching Great Minds Online
April 3, 2000 Issue #38
Mike Valentine, Editor, learn@website101.com

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"WEBSITE101: READING LIST".

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IN THIS ISSUE
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=> Sponsor Ad: Vstore
=> Feature article: Eight E-Business Essentials
=> Our Guest Column: There Is No Magic Wand!
=> HOT TIP! Ten Books in the space of One!
=> Classifieds
=> Subscribe/Unsubscribe information


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Eight e-Business Essentials
by Mike Banks Valentine

The success factors applying directly to ecommerce are multi-
faceted, but can be refined into eight jewels for e-business
assuming you have a product or service that people want/need.

1) Attractive, easy to navigate web site.

Don't "do-it-yourself" unless you are very good with design!
Web savvy surfers may accept a do-it-yourself look with canned
graphics and static pages from hobby sites, but never from a
business site. Professional logos, graphics and high quality
web specific writing are expected of any real business online,
as well as quick load times and consistent, understandable
navigation.

2) Crystal clear communication of your benefits.

You must communicate to your visitor immediate, concise
benefits of doing business with you. If they are confused by
your web site and don't understand what it is you offer them,
they are gone in less than thirty seconds. Can you make their
life easier? Can you make them happier, more productive or
successful? Tell them on the first screen-full. Quick, stop
them before they click!

3) Build customer relations with newsletters, forums,
frequent buyer reward programs, special discounts or referral
rewards for existing clients/customers.

What can you offer them that makes your site one they care
about? Most web sites offer "something for nothing" in the
form of content. That is CONTENT related to your business.
That is why so many sites provide articles, advice, e-books,
software downloads and other related goodies. You will never
achieve online success if you offer no understandable perks.

4) Multiple forms of online, immediate payment options.

Accept credit cards, check by fax or online checks, approval
methods in real-time while the customer is at your site and
ready to buy. The most common way to lose a buyer is to make
them fill out and print a form to be mailed in. You must
accept payment online. They'll want it NOW, or not at all.

5) Search engine optimization and submission.

Showing up in the top 50 results for your search phrase
keywords is the only way to attract significant traffic to
your site outside of spending substantial sums advertising,
marketing and promotional efforts. Optimization software is
available for effective optimization help.

6) Effective online marketing and promotion.

This includes getting other complimentary sites to link to
your site and is a standard marketing task online. As much
as half of your web visitors may find you through links at
other web sites. This is definately NOT through Free-For-All
(FFA) links pages, but "recommended" links from other site
owners at high traffic web sites.

Use a "signature line" on your e-mails and regularly visit
online chats, forums and bulletin boards with useful
comments questions or advice in your area of expertise, this
earns you respect and makes people aware of your services.

7) Immediate response and follow-up to e-mail contact.

The immediacy of the web makes people expect quick responses
to all queries. If they can't find the answer at your FAQ
(Frequently Asked Questions) page, you must be prepared to
answer e-mail queries within 24 hours or less.

8) Networking and Joint Venture relationships with
complimentary online businesses.

Take a look at online business sites for the "Our Partners"
link. You will see that most effective businesses work with
other online companies that can offer complimentary services
or products. This is common practice on the web.

The above are far from complete, but each are very important
factors critical to e-business success.

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Mike Banks Valentine operates several web businesses including
http://www.website101.com a small business internet tutorial
teaching the basic techniques of growing your company online.
A free "Short Course" is available by autoresponder by sending
a request to website101@smartbotpro.net. He writes for
several online publications and can be contacted directly at:
<a href="mailto:learn@website101.com">Learn@WebSite101.com</a>



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For the Last Time ... There Is No Magic Wand!

By Elena Fawkner

"I'm looking for a program that will make me enough money
so that I can quit my job. I need about $2,000 a week. I have
to give a month's notice at work. Will I be making that with
your program by then?"

"I just lost my job and I need to make a lot of money fast to
pay off my debts. How quickly can I make $35,000?"

"I'm new to the internet. Can I really make $200 a day with
your program?"

These are real extracts from three emails I received this week.
This week was no different from any other week. My
respective responses to the above three were "no", "not" and
"yes, eventually" (to paraphrase). To each, I sent a lengthy
response explaining what they should realistically expect to
generate from each of the programs in question. I didn't hear
back from any of them. No doubt they've given up or have
moved on to someone who will tell them what they want to hear.

I've lost count of the number of conversations like this I've
had over the past months. Too many. I'm sick of the
sound of my own voice, saying the same thing, over and
over. So, this article is a summary of all of the advice I
keep giving over and over and is my response in advance to
all future queries that fit the "how soon can I get rich" mold.


1. There Is No Such Thing As Get Rich Quick

You will NOT make $50,000 in 60 days. You will probably
not make $50,000 in 600 days. If you are very new to
the internet you will be doing VERY well to make $500 in
60 days. But you probably won't even have worked out what
you want to do before then anyway. Some people don't
EVER make enough money to cover their webhosting and
ISP fees.


2. Your Computer Is Not An ATM, Nor Is Your Letterbox

Your computer is not a money-spitting machine. It is a
tool for conducting your business. Your business is something
you create with your own hard work and ingenuity using the
tools you have at your disposal and your own natural talent.
Your business, if your hard work pays off, will generate income
for you but cash will never spew forth from the CD ROM drive.

Your letterbox is not an ATM either. You will not go to your
mailbox tomorrow morning and find a stack of cash in
there either. I don't care WHAT you've heard.


3. You Have To Work Every Day

You will NOT make money while you sleep. If you make
hay while the sun shines you may wake many days later to
find orders in your mailbox. But those orders have come from
your haymaking efforts, not by some process of osmosis
while you were sleeping.


4. You Have to Sow Before You Can Reap

You cannot reap what you have not sown. You will NOT
receive orders for your you-beaut internet rags to riches
widget by slapping up a webpage with a link to your credit
card processor. You must invest real time and real
effort into creating a real product that people are interested
in acquiring and then you must let real people know that
it exists.

This is seriously hard work. A self-replicating website
and a few classified ads in half a dozen ezines does not
equal real time and real effort and, often, it doesn't equal
a real product either.


5. You Have to Create Your Own Website

Affiliate programs are a good way to get your feet wet
with internet marketing. But they won't make you
any serious money until you create your own website
with quality content that draws targeted traffic.


6. You Have to Create Your Own Product(s)

Even when you have created your own website with
quality content that draws targeted traffic, your income
from affiliate programs will be limited. The lion's share
of the profits is going to the owner of the affiliate
program. You are working on commission.

To make serious money on the internet, you need to
develop your own product or service and keep the lion's
share of the profit. Then YOU can set up your OWN
affiliate program and get everyone else to sell it for you
for a commission.


7. You Have To Run Your Business As A Business

Your internet business is a business. It is not a hobby
(unless you aren't making any money, THEN it's a
hobby). So run it as a business. That means being
professional and customer-oriented. It means exercising
good business judgement and it means expecting to
be around this time next year.


8. You Will Be Dealing With Real, Live People

When you receive orders or emails, they will be sent by
people, not machines. Respond accordingly.


9. Don't Give Up Your Day Job ... Yet

It will take you a long time, probably many months,
before you will be earning from your online business what
you are currently earning in your job. So, if you're making
$2,000 a week in your job, you won't be giving it up any
time soon.


10. You Will Have To Be Patient

On the internet, the time moves as fast as it does anywhere
else. No faster. When you start a business offline, it takes
time, many months usually, before the business starts to take
off. It is the same on the internet. The only thing that's fast
on the internet is the websurfer's index finger on the mouse
button. Making money is as slow online as it is offline.


11. You Will Have to Persevere

There will be times when you feel like you're just not getting
anywhere. You will feel like quitting then. Most do, in fact.
Don't be one of them.


12. If You Use Unscrupulous Tactics You Will FAIL

Some people decide that the real world does not apply to
them and that they can get rich without investing time or effort.
These people tell everyone whatever they want to hear to make
a sale.

These same people buy bulk email and harvesting software
so they can go around gathering up all the email addresses
they can find to send their sales message to. These people
figure if only one percent of these 100,000 names respond
that's a good return. They are wrong. What happens is
they get bombarded with hate mail and shut down by their ISP.
Their business is snuffed out in an instant.


13. There is no magic wand


Get it? Got it? Good!


=====

Elena Fawkner is editor of the award-winning A Home-Based
Business Online ... practical ideas, resources and strategies
for your home-based or online business.
http://www.fawkner.com/subscribe.html


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Copyright 2000 Mike Valentine

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  June 9, 2001