There is so much craze about starting online businesses these days. And that is good. You need to, however, know certain things and apply them well to succeed in it.
The idea of starting online businesses has come to stay. If you have not started benefiting from this already, it is time to jump in. Many people have asked me what online businesses they should start. I will tell you what I always tell them in case you have the same question. Any business you fancy doing or that you are already doing. Just “move it online”. I will dedicate another post to this someday.
Today, I want to share with you the 10 golden rules to succeed in starting online businesses.
1. Create Quality Content
As a Media Executive, I understand the popular saying that “content is king.” This is true for internet business as well. So, ensure you are blogging actively on your eCommerce or online business website. I presently own 4 online businesses and they ALL get customers through search engines. The reason is that I do not downplay on creating and posting quality content on the sites.
2. Keyword research every week
The internet is so large. People’s behaviours are changing every day. The way they searched for what they needed yesterday is likely going to be different from the way they will search today. The internet is changing everyone including you and I. So, do not use obsolete keywords in your strategy. One of the ways I ensure that my websites stay relevant is to keep challenging the integrity of the keywords I work with. And I do this almost every week.
3. Sell rapid selling goods
If your online business is built around products, then you are definitely stocking. As you include stuff in your inventory, be alert to remove goods that don’t sell fast and promote those that sell faster. You will need to check if they sell fast in other websites before taking this action.
If what you do is render a service, you also want to streamline your service offering around what is in higher demand on your website. Promote it vigorously and be known for it.
4. Study the competition
Make a list of your competitors and group them into “High Threat”, “Average Threat” and “Low Threat”. There are various factors to consider while
Make a list of your competitors and group them into “High Threat”, “Average Threat” and “Low Threat”. There are various factors to consider while categorising the threat level of your competitors. No time to go into all of that now. But the reason you need to study the competition is to be able to
- Study what they should be doing that they are not doing and take advantage of that,
- Study what they are doing, steal it, enhance it and deploy it for your business,
- Learn your advantage over them and take giant steps to ensure they remain behind you in that advantage.
5. Look into Product-centric/Product-centric SEO
At the time one is starting online businesses the logical thing to do is to find a way to promote the website. At the initial time, you are ensuring that the site can rank generally. At a point, you need to start optimizing your site for each product or service category. That is super-tedious especially if you do not have many people working for you. But it will pay off in the long run.
6. Be Serious About Social following
Social media is still a very cool way to promote your business and build quality links to your website. So, hire someone (maybe on Fiver) to create profiles for your business on up to 70 social media sites. Promote your links in all of them. Then engage people in as many as you can. HootSuite can make that a little easier for you.
7. Specialize so you can stand out
There are many giant eCommerce sites these days. How will yours survive? They have millions of dollars earmarked for advertising and PR. All you have is passion and a few hundred dollars. Sorry, they have won already. But wait….! You can create your own success through what PR experts, Al and Laura Ries call Divergence. I call it specialization. Rather than sell the products they sell, you should pick only a category. Instead of being an eCommerce site that sells everything, be one that sells only books, for instance.
Even though the business is online, you are dealing with real people and real products. So, ensure handling and delivery are well taken care of. Hire right. Have a good working condition. Manage time well. Learn every day. Money should be handled very delicately. EVERY CENT that comes in should go to the bank. Have decent accounting records. Outsource as many things as you can and face the core – running the business.
9. Build a list
Keep building a list. I don’t need to write much about this. Let’s just say online entrepreneurs who have a larger email list usually make more money than those who do not. Of course, that is “all things being equal.”
This is one of the best ways to promote your site on the internet these days. So create videos and upload them on YouTube and on your website. This too will improve your SEO within a short while.
So, with these golden rules, I think starting online businesses will become easier for you. Your chances of survival and success will also be very high!
Do you need help?
If these concepts are strange to you, you need help. And I am willing to help you. I have an event coming up soon. I intend to teach practical Digital Marketing to 20 entrepreneurs in Lagos, Nigeria. Send me a message to indicate your interest.
Kindly leave a comment below.