Start an Internet Business from Home: Small Secrets That Make It Easy

Start an Internet Business from Home: Small Secrets That Make It Easy

Start an Internet Business from Home: Small Secrets That Make It Easy

Internet businesses are easy to start if you decide not to do everything yourself. Outsourcing technical work at inexpensive rates is the secret. The right service providers can make your work a breeze.

Many of us are tempted to start an Internet business from home. The convenience of working from home and being our own bosses is very alluring, but we may hesitate thinking about the technicalities and know how required to do so. Another thought that may keep us, is the cost involved.

Well, be pleasantly surprised to know that all your doubts are ill founded and internet business is none of the above things! You might ask: do you have to be a computer expert? How can you make a website? And the answer is: you do not need either special skills or loads of money to start out on your own online business. All you need is a computer and an internet connection.

The most important part is to design a website and launch it online for others to see. This is what we commonly call web hosting. A computer or server is connected 24/7 to the internet and hosts your website for others to visit whenever they want.

This requires a lot of technical know how and you need to be highly skilled and dedicate long hours to accomplish this. It naturally makes no sense to do this on your own, so what do you do? All you need to do is find a good web host who will do all this for you for a small monthly fee. They will take care of all the technical stuff.

You can easily find a web host who fits your budget. There are lots of inexpensive web hosts available who will help you out. They will charge a very nominal monthly fee and host your WebPages for the world to see all the time. A good host will rarely if ever have a technical breakdown.

Choose from the many web hosts available. Expensive doesn’t really mean high quality and very inexpensive may turn out more expensive (due to repeated failures) in the long run. You want to find a web host that doesn’t cost much and yet does not compromise on the basic services required to keep your website floating.

Inexpensive hosts can provide you with excellent services though they may not be able to give you premium stuff. The minimum you need is an efficient and friendly customer support service and that your WebPages are available all the time.

Your host should let you change or update your content whenever you wish to do so. All the links to and from it should be working properly. If you have interactive features on your page it should work without a hitch. This is the most important feature as it is your link to your potential customers or clients. Blog platforms can prove very reliable for this feature.

Your customers can now reach you easily, but can you respond to them promptly? You need good autoresponder software to reach out to your customers even when you are not around. This software ensures that every visitor who leaves a query will receive a courteous mail almost immediately, acknowledging their interest. You can easily follow them up with customized replies.

A few right steps will kick start your online business without any hassles.…

How One Internet Business Owner Gained Mega Media Exposure By Helping Others Online

How One Internet Business Owner Gained Mega Media Exposure By Helping Others Online

How One Internet Business Owner Gained Mega Media Exposure By Helping Others Online

If you’re looking for a real story of inspiration that will jump start you into taking action to grow your business, Chris Hanisco’s story and these 4 success tips based on her lessons learned are something you won’t want to miss.

Chris’s internet presence launched her specialty dips company from her kitchen to a feature on ABC World News, to the pages of Family Circle and Diet and Nutrition Magazine.

She’s been a guest on Start Up Nation radio, been featured in numerous magazines and newspapers, and managed to grow a successful company almost completely on her own.

Chris Hanisco, home-based business owner and founder of the Dippy Chick Company, started her company less than 2 years ago with only $1500 that she says she “definitely could have used for other things.”

“I wish I could say that it started with a grand vision” she says, “But I didn’t. Things just sort of came together.” Though in talking with her about her journey between then and now, there were some significant decisions that paved the road to her success.

The story begins like many success stories—with an entrepreneurial spirit and a catalyst that caused her to jump in to her venture with two feet rather than just testing the waters.When she learned she was pregnant with her second child, she didn’t want to continue as a real estate agent and left to pursue her own business full time.

Having been to numerous craft shows and seeing the success of other packaged food items, she decided to develop a series of packaged vegetable and chip dips to sell online and at shows.

With a baby on the way and only a small sum left over from her final real estate commission check, she had to build a profitable and sustainable business quickly.When working with an extremely limited budget, decisions about where to spend money can make or break a fledgling business.

Here’s where the power of Chris’s choices begin to pave the way for her success.She put some of the money went toward things like web hosting, packaging, and ingredients to create her initial product line inventory.However, most of her money went toward obtaining a state license for her facility that is not even required in her state of New Hampshire.Regardless, Chris felt that this quality measure was instrumental for success.

Success Tip #1: Be fanatical about quality

Though The Dippy Chick Company is an online retailer, Chris knew that she was going to have to get out into the community to begin making sales quickly.For most of her first year in business, Chris spent weekdays creating product, and almost every weekend at craft shows.

Being face to face with shoppers at craft shows led to a critical turning point. She thought that “it might be fun” to experiment with a new, more artistic label, and a humorous name. “I was just having fun with it,” she says. At the next show, she noticed that browsers tended to gravitate toward the sillier packaging and expressed a great deal of excitement over that particular dip mix.

This enticed her to replace more of the original bland labels with more whimsical artwork and add funny names like “CrabbyOleBeach,” “Don’t Squat with Your Spurs On,” and “Atomic Wedgie Veggie.” The funnier the packaging, the more people raved.

Had she not gotten out into the community and seen how people reacted to her products first hand, she could have missed this critical element.Had her business only been online she would have missed this golden opportunity to learn from pure customer reaction.Though analytics tools can certainly aid an online business in identifying successful products, new business often don’t have large enough amounts of traffic to paint a full picture.In the end, even the best analytics software can’t compare with live, genuine customer feedback.

Success Tip #2: Test your product or service on real people

The lighthearted humor and down-to-earth tones of packaging are also reflected on The Dippy Chick website.You won’t find stuffy corporate logos here or photos of executives forcing canned smiles.

Instead you’ll be introduced to Chris and her family through photos.You’ll find out that her and her two sons have Celiac disease, a type of gluten intolerance.She calls herself dippy and talks about how her husband and their friends would eat dip while playing board games into the wee hours of the night.Just about everything on her site is a fun read because of the high-spirited, fun-loving tone.

She learned about the power of personal photos during her career in real estate. Instead of a Glamour Shots pose, she used a candid photo of herself and her son. She wanted to convey to people that she was a person just like them—a parent, interested in schools and safe neighborhoods, not just another person who could sell them a house. People responded well to this more personal approach that helped her to stand out from the crowd and sell homes.

The decision not to try and hide behind a website that made her look bigger than she actually was would become another critical factor in her success.When the press did begin to find her through various channels, it was personal nature of the site that caused them to want to interview her.

Journalists are always looking for the personal angle behind a story. People make interesting stories, not businesses. Chris has been featured ABC World News with Charlie Gibson, Start Up Nation radio, The Rockingham News, and WCCM AM 1490. Once they found her site, journalists knew they would have a winning interview and story because of Chris’s decision to be candid with her personality and her story on the website.

Success Tip #3: Don’t be afraid to reveal the people and the story behind the business

Getting a business off the ground is tough work—especially when you’re running the show solo.Though Chris has a wonderfully supportive husband, he works a full time job as well.With 2 kids and a craft show almost every weekend, this leaves little time for one woman to maintain a website, create packaging, purchase supplies, balance the books, ship orders, and produce the product.

Being an entrepreneur can be overwhelming, scary, and lonely at times, especially in the early days when you really don’t know if anyone even notices your efforts.In order to keep the momentum, Chris talked with other business owners in online forums like Startup Nation, Switchboard, and Momprenuer.This would lead to another critical turning point—one that would introduce her business to millions of people.

Chris visited various message boards to share genuine experiences with others in the community by contributing valuable information and helping others find solutions to problems.Meanwhile, someone at ABC was searching these message boards for interview leads for an upcoming show on mothers who were also entrepreneurs.One night she received a call from ABC, and several weeks later there was a film crew at her house.

Message boards are an ideal place for media scouts because posts reveal a lot about how a person might react in an interview.The person at ABC found her through an introduction post on one of the message boards, visited her site, liked her personality, and called her for the show.

Success Tip #4: Be active on community message boards – offer genuine advice and become part of the community.

At the time of our interview, The Dippy Chick Company hadn’t even reached its second year anniversary.Chris is still in awe about her success and is the first to admit that it did not begin as a grand vision.Things just fell into place as she made decisions that were in line with her ideals and her personality.

Dippy Chick dips are sold in 60 stores across the country. If there isn’t a store in your area, pick up a few of these amazing dips on the Dippy Chick website and support a fellow entrepreneur!…

Christmas Wishlist: 5 Gift Ideas for Internet Geeks

Christmas Wishlist: 5 Gift Ideas for Internet Geeks

Christmas Wishlist: 5 Gift Ideas for Internet Geeks

Stumped for last-minute gift ideas for your Internet-addicted friends and family members? The following are 5 ideas that can’t fail.

5 Gift Ideas for Internet Geeks

  1. Apparel– Fashionably Geek has some great t-shirts, clothing and other goodies to help social media and Internet nerds accessorize their wardrobe.
  2. iPad– Now available from Verizon (as well as AT&T), the iPad is a great device for people who are always on the go or who travel a lot and want to stay connected to the rest of the world without squinting at a tiny screen. [starting at $500]
  3. Eye-Fi– Many of you probably haven’t heard of the Eye-Fi, and that’s ok. Available online or at your local Best Buy, the Eye-Fi is the first wireless memory card that looks, stores media and fits into most cameras similar to an SDHC card. Even more awesome is the fact that the Eye-Fi card has built-in Wi-Fi that uses your wireless network to easily transfer photos and videos [starting at $50]
  4. Google TV– Available through Sony or Logitech, Google TV is similar to regular television in that it operates from a set-top box using a form of Google’s Android OS. It’s social + TV combined. Best of all, beginning in 2011, Android will become available for purchase, making Google TV an awesome gadget to have your hands on (if your a social media addict that is…). [starting at $300]
  5. Livescribe Echo Smartpen– Don’t be fooled; this is no ordinary pen. The Livescribe Echo Smartpen features a microphone in the tip, built-in speaker, 400-800 hours of recorded audio storage (4GB or 8GB model), audio jack, micro-USB connector and an OLED high contrast display, to name a few. This pen is a definite must-have. [starting at $170]

Internet Marketing – Should it be any different?

Internet Marketing - Should it be any different?

Internet Marketing - Should it be any different?

When the Yellow Pages (Phone Book) charges a business hundreds if not thousands per month to run a 12 month ad that the business is locked in to, do they guarantee in writing a certain ROI? I don’t think so.

What about Direct Mail through something like Money Mailer that usually costs about $500 for 10,000 addresses. Again, I don’t think so.

What about a newspaper ad that may cost $500, $1,000, $2,000 or more for 1 ad depending on the city and the size of the ad. Again, I say… I don’t think so.

So what’s up with people concerning Internet Marketing? Is there a guarantee that the phone will ring from it? No, it’s marketing. It’s advertising. There are lots and lots of variables…consistency…budget…the client…etc.

Marketing and advertising should give a higher ROI than the investment, but that is not always the case. In our Internet Marketing Business, the clients who get the biggest ROI are the ones that let us do what we were hired to do and trust our expertise in the field. These clients are usually very happy. The clients who are not happy are the controlling ones that often expect next day results. O.K., realistically not next day just the day after.

Two simple case studies…Both in the same field but one targets men and the other targets women. That’s why we worked with both at the same time.

Client 1: Knows exactly what the business is about
Client 2: Doesn’t have a clear business focus

Client 1: Approves our work fast
Client 2: Continuously revises copy

Client 1: Has a phone number that rings to a live person during business hours
Client 2: Phone number is a cell phone that doesn’t get reception at their office

I could go on and on. Needless to say,client # 2 decided that since their phone wasn’t ringing from the internet that they’d no longer use our services. We think it’s best if they find another marketing company.

Share your thoughts below……

Have We Become Too Internet Dependent?

Have We Become Too Internet Dependent?

Have We Become Too Internet Dependent?

Yesterday, my boyfriend and I were having a friendly banter over some obscure celebrity fact in which he proclaimed, “Don’t make me take this to the Internet!” And truth be told, it made me realize how incredibly dependent we have become on the Internet, almost treating everything we read on it as fact. Scary.

Since its inception, the Internet has quickly developed into this vast resource upon which we send and receive endless amounts of information. Now, my profession is centered almost entirely around using the Internet, but just for kicks- I decided that it would be fun to see how often I use the Internet on any given day for things that are non-work related. Below is a sampling of a typical day:

A Day in the Life of an Internet Junkie

  • Wake up and check weather online
  • check email (s)
  • check Facebook
  • check Twitter & TweetDeck
  • begin work- but first check and respond to any emails
  • During breaks, check email again
  • correspond w/ various friends and/or co-workers via AIM or Yahoo Instant Messenger
  • periodically check news
  • check blog feeds for anything new
  • log into Facebook & play Tetris for a bit
  • check weather for tomorrow
  • maybe watch the latest episode of the Simpsons or Family Guy online
  • look up recipes for dinner
  • maybe watch a movie on YouTube

Ridiculous isn’t it? These are just some of the inane things that I do online, but I’m am sure that I am not the only one out there. Half the time, when my boyfriend walks in the door, he’ll head straight for the computer. An avid classical guitarist, I’ll look over and notice him surfing the net in search of sheet music or watching YouTube videos of famous classical guitarists. Other times, he’s looking at Wikipedia, checking his email accounts or watching the Simpsons.

How the Internet Plays a Role in Business Today

Enough about our personal obsessions with the Internet; now the question becomes: “Are businesses too dependent?” When asked this question, I don’t think that it’s a matter of businesses becoming too dependent on the Internet. Rather, I think that the methods for marketing have changed to where the Internet is simply more appealing to a wider consumer base. If you take a look at people like my boyfriend and I, statistics show that the majority of households have at least one computer and that increasing numbers of people spend their free time surfing online. So, what better way to reach consumers than where they spend the most time?

What do you think about the Internet? How does it affect your personal life? Do you think that businesses will continue to benefit from Internet growth?…

If it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it

If it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it

If it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it

Quite a few times lately I’ve seen postings on various search engine forums, and I’ve gotten questions from prospective clients, wondering if they should change their page file names, or worse, their domain name, to be more “keyword-rich.” For some reason, the myth of the “keyword-rich URL” refuses to die.

If your site is already indexed in the search engines — and even more if it ranks well for any phrases you’d like to rank well for — you’re simply shooting yourself in the foot to change your URLs, especially if you’re doing it because you think there’s some kind of magical benefit to having keywords in the URL.

Any time you change your file names, you’re looking at a minimum of a month or two (possibly longer) of reduced rankings, perhaps even dropping out of the index entirely for a time, while the search engines spider your new pages and figure out the impact of the changes. And that’s even if you redirect all the old URLs to the new.

If you make the huge mistake of changing your actual domain name, you are potentially looking at up to a year before your new domain ranks as well in Google as your established domain did — if the site ever recovers fully.

And for what?

If there is any benefit to a keyworded URL (and no one has been able to prove conclusively there is), it’s very, very slight at best. Many say the only potential benefit would occur if someone happened to link to you using your actual page URL as the anchor text of their link (which often does not happen). Is it worth it to see a 20%, 30% or greater drop in business for a few weeks — or potentially a near-total loss of search engine traffic for a period of months — to gain an immeasurably small — and quite likely nonexistent — boost in the search engines?

I would say no. That’s really throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

Don’t toss away all the work you’ve put in. Starting over is hard to do (and unnecessary in almost every case). Keep your URLs — just make the pages associated with them better.…