The first thing you have to remember about the Internet is that you don’t have to be perfect to start making progress with Internet marketing. You just have to have a solid niche, an online presence to expose that niche, and traffic that is targeted to your chosen demographic. That means that, as much as a fancy, colorful, and perfect website is nice to have, it’s not as important as your marketing. Instead of spending thousands of dollars putting up a very complex site, think in terms of simple, fast sites that you can put up quickly and many at a time if necessary. Until you know which niche is going to be profitable for you, you may want to experiment with several sites at once that are quickly put together, don’t cost much to host or maintain, and can easily be dumped should they prove to be losers. The following elements are the basic mistakes beginners make when setting up an online presence.
YOUR NOT-SO-HOT NICHE
Hitch your passion to a profitable niche, and your chances of success increase dramatically. Do a little research before you even pick a domain name to decide what niche you want to target. This way, even before one piece of HTML code is installed onto your website, you have a good idea of how much success to reasonably expect and to avoid the losers before you spend too much time on them. Once you pick a topic or niche of interest to you, you can check out the competition just by entering search terms related to your niche on Google. Look at some of these sites, and then check them out on quantcast.com. It will give you an idea of the demographics of the site and whether they can attract sufficient eyeballs to reasonably market the niche. Pay attention to the types of products and services that appeal to that demographic. Think how you can market to the same niche, while putting your own unique twist to it. Once you have a few possibilities, start to see what domain names are available to the market.
YOUR MANGLED DOMAIN NAME
Pick a descriptive top-level domain name that is easy to remember, flies off the tongue, and isn’t easy to misspell. Avoid hyphens and other odd characters if you can, as these are very hard for people to remember. Make it all one word. Go to GoDaddy.com and see if the domain name is available. You may have trouble with getting one- and two-word domains, as these have mostly been sold out. However, a three-word domain is still a pretty good choice and you can get these very cheaply through online domain name registrars. Pick a few good domain names that are representative of your niches and get a package to host your website too.
EXPENSIVE AND FEATURE-LESS HOSTING
There are multiple Web hosts out there that offer packages for a basic website with limited e-commerce, and they step up to include that service too. While you’re learning how to do this whole website thing, it is better for you to grab a package that puts up a website pretty quickly without too much of a learning curve on your part. You can do that by setting up a blog, which anyone can do, using WordPress.org. Hosting sites like Dreamhost.com will give you instant installations of the most popular website packages without having to learn a single line of code. Pay upfront for one year, and you avoid extra charges, including setup fees, in some cases. This way, you won’t be billed on a monthly basis, and if the website fails, you can simply let it expire and move on to a more profitable one.
COMPLICATED WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT
If you’re still stumped about what to do to get a website up and need a little HTML training, why not get someone to show you? There’s no reason you have to go it alone for this entire process, and what you don’t know, you should hire out. The idea is to get as many of these basic sites up as you can reasonably manage and leave them somewhat basic until you know whether you can drive enough traffic to them to make them profitable. Don’t worry if they don’t look perfect; just get them up quickly. If you’re worried about looks, just check out Twitter. It has got one of the most basic and ugliest interfaces around, yet there are millions of users on this site. You do want your site to look professional, but not so perfect that you spend a fortune getting it there. Keep it simple, put them up quickly, and get it done fast.
NOT UPDATING FREQUENTLY ENOUGH
Once it is up, you need to update the content fairly frequently to keep people coming back to your site. If you only update once a month, people will quickly forget to check back with you, and you will lose traffic instead of gaining it. If you get writer’s block and just don’t update the content on your site, you risk the chance of letting your site go stale. You can hire ghostwriters to add content to your blogs and websites for a small fee.
NOT USING SEO
Learn what you can about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This way, when you hire someone to write content, it can include SEO techniques to make it search engine friendly by adding keywords that attract visitors to your site and that make you money. This is the very first step to optimizing your site so that it becomes not only popular, but a moneymaker. Without a plan to make money from the site, it will never be a success in Internet marketing.