I know it sounds cliché, but it takes money to make money. It is the same for starting a business with a storefront or an online business. The difference being that it can be less expensive to build an online business rather than a storefront business.
With a storefront business, you need a building (buy or lease), signage, shelving, merchandise, inventory, employees, payment resources (for buying and selling) and advertising. The list goes on and on. One nice thing is that people can actually see your store and if in a good location will get a lot of walk in traffic and along with some advertising, good products, prices and customer service, you could do quite well once you get it running.
Now what about an online store? You build yourself a nice web site but nobody can see it or know that it is there. That is one of the biggest challenges on the web today. How to get people to your online store – traffic?
There have been hundreds of books and e-books written on this subject – impossible to cover it all in one article but here are a few tips to give you food for thought.
Before starting any advertising campaigns you need to be sure and have the right products. Who is your competition and are your products priced right in the first place. Think about the big boys, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Target, Staples, Amazon etc..
All of those (except for Amazon) already had a store front with their name brand built up so coming up with a web site was just an extension of their store front.
Now Amazon had no storefront. You can’t walk into an Amazon store because they do not have one. They started out online and it took them years to become profitable. The big difference between them and you is that they had a solid plan, time, and money to invest and advertise until they moved their business in to the profit zone.
You can do the same but remember it is going to take time, patience and money to get your online business zooming along. You are going to need an advertising budget – period!
You will need to set aside each month a certain amount of money that you are willing to spend on advertising and it must be for the long term. Consistency each month over the long term can possibly get your the results you need.
Start out small and build. On your site use google ad sense. They will place ads on your web site and you can receive small commission for people that click on those ads. Also invest money each month on PPC(pay per click) advertising.
This is a way where you put ads on other web sites and each time someone clicks on your ad your pay a certain amount. Set up a monthly advertising budget for this because it can get rather expensive.
Search out other web sites that are selling products (different than yours) and work out a trade link agreement with them. This is where you will put some links or ads about their site on your site and they will do the same.
Pay someone or do it yourself, but go to blogs that are similar to what you are selling and post a comment that is relevant and include a link back to your web site. Also submit your web site to search engines.
Research and read as much information as possible on advertising and traffic building. Remember that this will take time, patience and money. Your long-term goal is to get your web site making you money instead of costing you money.
Tax write offs are nice, but making money is better.