Proven techniques for running a successful business online.
Building Your Presence
Your presence on the Internet is about more than just a website.
As the owner/operator of a highly technical business (web hosting), I have learned that there may be nothing more confusing to the average person than the concept of making, managing and mastering a website; even though there seem to be billions of websites – most people struggle with the process of developing one.
But these days, your website is just one part of your web presence. It should probably be your main hub and your place of business - where transactions are processed, an audience is captured and products delivered. But with the advent of social media platforms, your website should also connect to all your Internet properties that help you promote your brand.
As with any industry, website management has its own language which can be confusing to the newcomer. To make matters worse, sometimes we use the lingo inconsistently, as it changes often, making it almost impossible for the “newbie” to jump in and catch up with what everyone else is talking about.
But before we go any further, let’s demystify the technical side first. A website is simply a collection of documents – much like you would have on your computer – that display mostly text and images. These computer documents (files) are stored on a special computer called a web server or web host, in a format that is compatible with applications called web browsers. When people browse the Internet, they can view these documents, provided they know where to look.
The web host's server that stores the website files has a special address called an IP number, which is associated with a specific domain name. When that domain name is typed into the web surfer’s browser, the website being stored on that host is displayed.
There are three basic steps to getting set up with a website:
- Register a Domain Name
- Open a Hosting Account
- Build Your Web Site
- Connect to Your Social Media properties
- Manage Your Content (on-going)
What kind of website you should design is kind of like asking what kind of "building" you should erect. Are you building a skyscraper or an outhouse? A cabin or an office complex. There are almost as many kinds of website as there are physical types of buildings.
But keeping with the kind of space I am in and offer resources for, I'll assume you want a website that captures and audience for the sake of creating revenue and sales.
If that's the case, you are going to need a a basic list of tools to operate and manage your online presence.
- Domain name - This is not only your website address, but should clearly reflect your brand. I use Teknon Domains for mine.
- Web Hosting Account - Where your domain, its website and email will be stored and maintained. Mine is KloudWire.
- Web Design Software/Platform - Most people use WordPress, but it's complicated. I use something called KloudPress which turns WordPress into a much simpler drag-and-drop interface.
- Lead Capture System - This is also known as an auto-responder and will be where your audience names and addresses are stored in a database - ready for you to broadcast to and send followup emails to, I use Aweber, but there are other options.
- Social Media Properties - A lot of these will be dependent on who/where your audience is, but at the very least, you will probably want a Facebook page and/or Facebook Group, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube account/YouTube Channel.
- Google Account - Aside from the need for a YouTube account, Google has too many powerful tools for any Internet Marketer, that you can't really ignore this free set of tools. From Google Analytics for measuring website traffic metrics and demographics to Google Docs, Google Adwords and a plethora of other essentials, this is a must have.
- Payment Processing - Even if you are only promoting affiliate offers that don;t require you to have a merchant or credit card processing system, you'll at least need a way to accept payments online. PayPal is the most obvious choice. If you will be selling your own products and need to accept all major credit cards and global currency, 2CheckOut is a fantastically easy system to utilize and set up.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Greg Hughes started experimenting with marketing on the Internet in February of 1996 and has been making a living online since 2001. Greg has helped tens of thousands of small businesses and entrepreneurs create their online presence and assisted them in setting up successful ventures on the web. Some of his clients are the now famous "gurus" you see making tens of thousands of dollars in monthly revenue online.
His expertise in the technical side of Internet Marketing comes from nearly two decades in the web hosting and web design software industry. In 2009, Greg authored the book The Snowball Factor and has subsequently created countless resources, articles, video training courses including the 5 Step Marketing System, Best Kept Secrets of SEO, How to Zero In On A Hungry Audience, The Fanbase Blueprint and Social Media Blueprint. As the founder of DotComClassroom, Greg provides the resources and training for assisting Internet entrepreneurs with training for creating successful businesses online.
DotComClassroom is a service of
BlackWire Marketing, LLC
1292 High Street
Eugene Oregon 97401