To do effective business online, there are some crucial requirements, and NO, money is not at the top of this list. Go down the page a distance....
Stick-to-iveness - Self-Discipline,
the ability to make yourself stay in front of the computer doing many little detailed chores. If you take off to do something else as soon as you think of it, you are going to have trouble completing projects, and seeing them through. If you have a great need to chat with someone and tell them every move you're making, you need a suitable partner, because alone you are going to flounder.
If you can discipline yourself to work at it certain hours, and plan for breaks to be with your family, or get out for a walk, etc., then even a gregarious person can do this. When I began I broke my day into three hour segments, and went to do something else in between. After about six months it got easier to stay at the computer for longer spells, and by now I can hardly tear myself away.
Yes, you can work this in while caring for children or shut-ins, but you do need a disciplined mind set that brings you back to the computer and helps you pick up wherever you left off - as soon as you can. You must make up your own schedule, and decide what parts of your life are expendable. Yes, you will have to give up some things to make room for this in your life.
Be Prepared to READ! A lot!
All the information is out there, often on long web pages like this one ~grin~. Learn to find it. Read it. Absorb it and do it! (If you hate to read, I predict your failure...)
Another Source of Income for Quite a While
Many people think that as soon as they've signed up for something, the cash will start rolling in by the end of the week. They are naive! There's a learning curve involved. A steep one. Nor is it fair to the rest of us if you can turn a handsome income over in just a matter of weeks! (There is a natural law that will see to that it doesn't happen).
Some Basic Computer Skills
You can certainly learn these as you go along, but you will operate slower the first few weeks or months if you don't know basic things like;
email etiquette & how to cope with junk and SPAM (unsolicited emails)
how to get the most out of your browser
how to do sufficiently thorough searches online
how to Copy text from one document and Paste it into another
how to protect your computer from viruses, worms, etc.
How to download and install programs
Now, I'm not assuming that you have all that yet. But you should expect to learn them before you will go far with your web business. Don't grow impatient and quit; have the heart of an eager learner. Yes, even from your mistakes.
You may already have tried a web-building kit (read: software) at some free web space site. It was a great way for me to learn some of the basic lingo and elements of creating a web site, and if you already have some experience that way - good for you! But you're going to need to know how to build a proper web site, and how to maintain, and market it. Free sites are disdained by many, and they mark you as naive and ignorant. Just use them for learning.
Do you already have these Web Skills? You'll need them sooner or later.
brainstorm for a good web site theme
how to get a good domain name registered
how to find quality but economical web hosting
how to create a web page from raw html code
and by linking the pages together, a web site
how to copy and paste from one document to another
how to FTP the web pages up to your site
how to set up graphics and invisible tables on a web page
how to create live hyper-text links
how to create suitable meta tags in the hidden head of each page
the differences between various web page languages/scripts,
(i.e. .html, shtml, .php, cgi, asp, xhtml, java scripts, etc.)
By the way, you don't need to know ALL those languages, but since things are always changing on the Net you have to be ready and willing to learn something new. I have got along quite well, and built a number of sites, with nothing more than .html and when I learned to add cgi scripts, and ServerSide Includes, (SS!), I thought I was getting quite advanced!
Then I started discovering that php and xhtml are becoming world-wide standards, and .xml is fast replacing things like PDF for a format to pass documents between many different types of programs and platforms. So I'm always on a fresh learning curve again. The plain html is still functional, but I'm looking for how-tos on Responsive Design, and incorporating what I learn into my web design work. (In fact, in 2020-21 I'm rebuilding all my sites to this format that favours smart phones, but adapts to all formats of electronic devices).
Right now I'm so very glad that I've always been a reader and able to teach myself new things! That is one of the best gifts God ever gave me!
understand the importance of search engines
how to list your site in the SEs and the Directories
How to keep efficient records of your listings (Copy-Pasting again!)
how to track your STATs (visitors, sales, etc.)
Adding AdSense and affiliate links and tracking those
Editing and publishing an ezine
or, nowadays blogs are IN!
Keeping track of downlines, and writing to them
Oh yes, Money too!
Your barest bones expenses will be for;
your internet connection
maybe some software - most of it is free online
your domain registration (under $10/yr for some)
your hosting fees (I've found some as low as $10/year too!)
Once you are organized, and know what you are doing, you might want to pay for some advertising. However, if you follow my example and that of MLSP you can go for years, utilizing many free advertising methods before you reach a point where it is necessary to pay for advertising to increase business.
Bottom line? Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) options can vary depending on where you live, and what services are available, but you can have a home-made web site for about $20 US per year. All the rest is your Time and whatever you contribute in Ideas and Due Diligence!
On this page I've focused on the practical requirements only. You also need to consider what is your passion? What do you care about enough to invest so much work into? For this you need to read the page on Plotting Your Business and through brainstorming your passions and interests.
Ruth Marlene Friesen
The Responsible One
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