If you have just started an online business, chances are you’ve discovered it’s harder than you first thought. You probably have a website, and maybe it looks like a winner. You have your beautiful graphics. You have all your products strategically situated. Yet, every day, when you check your numbers, nothing is selling. What gives? In all likelihood, you’ve run into one of the top 3 challenges faced by online business owners.
Imagine you have set up a nice boutique shop. Maybe you sell jewelry, picture frames, figurines, etc. You have all your products situated just right so that all those shoppers will see all your wonderful items for sale. The only problem is: No one comes into your store. This is the bricks-and-mortar equivalent of having no traffic to your website. To get buyers to your website, you need traffic. Ideally, you need targeted traffic, meaning you need people coming to your website who are interested in buying what you’re selling. I included Traffic in the #1 spot because it really is the most important. If you have no traffic, it really does not matter what the website looks like or even what you’re selling.
The solution to getting more traffic to your website is the same as the solution to getting more shoppers into your boutique: advertise! On the web, there are many ways you can advertise. Whether you choose free methods, such as blogs or forums, or paid methods, such as pay-per-click (PPC), you need to do it. If no one knows your website is out there, they will not visit it. One thing you need to remember: The more you pay for ads, the more important it is to get targeted traffic. Why is that? If you’re paying for clicks to your website, you want to make sure those clicks convert to sales to at least pay for your ads.
Challenge #2: Making the Sale
You’ve advertised your website. You’ve got people in your store. But none of them are buying. How do you get them to buy? If this were the boutique shop mentioned previously, you might hire effective salespeople and pay them commission. You cannot do that with your website, so you have to have effective sales copy.
Sales copy is what you actually write on your website. It is your saleperson. The most important thing to remember is: Sales copy, not graphics, will make people buy your product. That doesn’t mean ignore things like graphics and layout. Those things can help, but you can have the best looking website on the ‘net, and if you don’t have the effective sales copy to go along with it, all you’ll have is a bunch of visitors coming to look at your awesome website; they just won’t be buying.
So is there one solution to writing effective sales copy? Unfortunately, no. What will work for one product may not work for another. However, the most important thing to remember is that you are not selling features; you’re selling benefits. Your potential customers couldn’t care less what features your product has. If you have not spelled out how their lives will be better if they buy your product, you will not make the sale. Try to put yourself in their minds. What would make you buy if you were in their shoes?
Challenge #3: Networking
Networking is important in any business. It is doubly important if your business is a network marketing business. Everyone tells us we need to network, network, network. But how do you do that online?
Welcome to social networking. Maybe you’re a member of a social network like MySpace or Facebook. Maybe you follow your friends and a few celebrities on Twitter. All of these can be used to network. One recommendation I would like to make: If you’re going to use social networks for making money, use a separate account for your personal and business activities. Your business contacts are not going to be interested in the same things as your personal contacts. I just makes life easier.
There are also social networks out there that exist for the purpose of making money. These are great for networking because virtually everyone there is interested in money-making opportunities. Just be sure to follow their rules. These networks are too valuable to risk being banned.
Online business owners face many challenges. The top three challenges are (1) traffic, (2) making the sale, and (3) networking. I hope I’ve been able to give you a few ideas to help make your website a success.