The possibilities of the internet truly are endless, so it’s no surprise, so many businesses begin online. The modern day ‘yellow pages’ is faster, more efficient, user-friendly and generates higher results than any business directory before it. Making it almost impossible to create a target audience if you’re not on the internet. Seriously though? If you’re not on the internet do you or your business even exist. It is so important that your business is not just on the internet but has a well-established online presence too. It’s always a challenge to build an online ecommerce business from scratch, it can be intimidating trying to follow the hundreds of steps, paths and choices out there to get to the finish line. Let alone reach the finish line while generating traffic and sales. It can be simple, if you want it to be, it doesn’t have to cause paralysis, be overly complicated, cost lots of money or take lots of time. Whether you’re an existing business or your brand new to the world of digital there are a few steps that should be followed in order to achieve success.

Brainstorm | Establish your Niche | Define Your Target Market

All good idea’s stem from the drawing board, an effective mind map or a detailed plan. Brainstorming is an important step that shouldn’t be missed, you can never have too much research or know too much around the structure and developments of your own business. Knowledge is power. You need to have a thorough understanding of the digital market and how you wish to fit into it. First you need to look at what the market is currently offering and see if the product or service you wish to offer is significantly different from what is out there. Offering something that is in demand from your target audience and something that is different from what your competitors are currently selling is vital to the success of your company and should be thought about properly. Formulate a well thought out and thorough business plan that will generate profit and prosperity and get ready for your next step. Next is to identify and understand your target market utilizing your knowledge to best personalize what it is that your target audience wants and figure out a way to make what you’re offering even more desirable to them.

Design & Market | Consider Different Marketing Channels

Once you have decided on a target market and a product/service, it’s time to start the actual creation of your online storefront. You can hire a web designer who will talk you through this process. However, if you are tech savvy, you will be able to start off your build and design without the help of a professional.

Easy to Use Website

The first step is choosing a CMS, a content management software; this is your storefront a place where everything and anything about your business belongs. Software like WordPress and Joomla are most popular. Once you have picked the right CMS for you it’s time to design your layout; the trick is to keep your design simplistic, efficient and consistent. There must be an overall design aesthetic that runs through the various pages of the website as well as the same navigation system throughout. This not only make your site look and feel professional but it draws the attention of the consumer to the page as it is user-friendly. You don’t want your website to be overwhelmingly busy you want your customer to have a positive experience, one that will hopefully generate a sale. Having an active theme and navigation enhances your company’s brand and objectives. Media elements should be used sparingly and only if they are going to emphasize a point of the message.

Create Good Content

There is no point in having this amazing, well thought out website with a great user experience if nobody experiences it. Growing an audience is vital to your company’s online presence survival.

Hopefully, you have picked a product or service that you know is in high demand and that you can already generate some traffic through your website. In a world where we are constantly bombarded with information, it’s important that your business’s information is unique, relevant and resonates. You must make sure that your content is not only authentic and provides your audience with valuable information that they can resonate with but ensure that your content also covers a variety of different mediums.

  1. Create authentic content. Like this article which provides businesses with ideas for corporate gifting. The article is both relevant to the ecommerce website, is well-researched and informative, and can help close sales.

  2. Write copy that sells.

  3. Create strong social profiles on the various social media platforms.

  4. Cross promote your business across all social profiles.

  5. Use brand imagery and authentic media – media is a huge content generator, with infographics, GIFs and social platforms like Instagram and snap chat image content is at its highest shareability generating content that reaches wider audiences.

  6. Guest post – websites that have great authority on Google offers the opportunity for extensive exposure and can potentially get you millions of potential lead and sales. Writing for these top blogs/businesses will build your company authority on the internet, grow your social media presence, drive more traffic to your homepage and ultimately generate more sales.

  7. Having a blog is also a great way to keep your customers updated on the latest information surrounding your business. It also drives more traffic to your website as your content covers a wider variety of information surrounding your business. It allows you to engage with your target audience, keep up to date on their feedback, criticism and reviews, this also allows you to build a network of people interested or connected to your industry. A blog can also help you to learn more about your business and stay up to date on how it’s viewed as well as potential breakthroughs in your specific field.

Utilize Digital Marketing

Utilize an agency or in-house team to help with your online authority and business ranking. To create organic rankings and traffic to your website. SEO is a must have step in the development of your online business and without your SEO team’s knowledge and power your potential to succeed in the content heavy world of the web is much more difficult than it may seem. SEO brings about transparent result to all businesses showing its importance and authority in the online sector.

Consistency

Consistency is your website’s best friend and without each other neither can function. It’s important that your site never lie dormant and there is constant updates, changes, and strong presence coming from your websites at all time. With so much information being filtered to us every day it is imperative that your information gets out there. You need to show your customers that you are here, easy to find and ready to help.

Motivation to Monetize | Different marketing Channels

The internet gives us the advantage to reach more people, for longer hours, all over the world as well as a chance to increase our profits. It’s important that you have planned your website around the opportunity to generate money. You need to have put together a content plan that aligns with a promotion schedule, plan what products and services you will be offering to your customer and used your exposure to sell premium offerings.

  1. Affiliated marketing, although this isn’t an instant way to make money it is a long-term strategy for online earnings.

  2. Google sees you as an authority by providing good quality information to your visitors.

  3. Membership programs offer recurring income from the same loyal customers.

  4. Networking with other industry leaders to share insights and capture international audiences.

  5. Consultation services, quick and easy way to make money is through advice given either online, in email or person.

Refine & Launch | Establish a Ways of Evaluation

It’s important to remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your website, it’s all about trial and error and figuring out what is going to be easiest for you to manage and for your clients to understand. Once you have a plan implemented, study what works and what doesn’t and make changes. The internet is dynamic and is forever adapting and changing. Use it to your advantage and be ready to come up with new solutions to every problem. By the time you have hit around 1000 ‘true fans’ customers the business is the right place for growth and is ready to be launched. As it now has a solid foundation to implement new changes, promotions and deals.

Starting a new business is never easy especially not online where there is so much content and competition being filtered every day. Having a successful online business take a tremendous amount of dedication, time, focus and persistence. It is hard and frustrating, but the lifestyle of true freedom and the increased profit it creates are priceless.

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