There are certain things that every internet marketer needs before they can start building their business.
The first thing you’ll need is web hosting – a place to store your websites and files online.
Now there ARE free hosting solutions out there but I wouldn’t really recommend them because they are often slow and place unwanted adverts onto your websites. You also have to place consideration on reliability. Many free sites are known to go down more often and result in lost customers.
The good news however is that even paid hosting is extremely cheap. Simple hosting packages can be picked up for less than $10 a month – and they’ll probably give you most of the things you need.
Look out for a hosting provider that uses C-Panel. Don’t worry too much about the technicalities of this – it’s simply a control panel which makes installing things on your website as simple as clicking a few buttons.
There are lots of different hosting providers out there and different people will recommend different solutions. Hostgator is one of the most well known and is popular amongst internet marketers. Another is GoDaddy.
The next you’ll need is a simple FTP program such as FileZilla (http://filezilla-project.org/)
FTP sounds complicated – but it’s just a simple program that allows you to upload webpages and files to your webspace.
A Web Page Editor
You’ll need this to create and edit web pages and templates. A free HTML editor such as Kompozer will suffice, or if you have Microsoft FrontPage already installed on your computer then that will be fine too.
Building a mailing list is a pretty important part of any online business.
To build one you’ll need something called an Autoresponder. Essentially this is a tool that collects peoples email addresses (ie. Sign ups on your website), stores their details and then allows you to send those people emails (both one off emails and automated emails). Most autoresponders also allow you to collect statistics (e.g. the number people who have opened one of your email messages).
There are many autoresponder providers out there, but some of the most popular include Aweber, GetResponse and Infusionsoft.
It doesn’t really matter which you use. Each has advantages and drawbacks – so it’s really up to you to do your research. I use Aweber but that’s just my personal preference. But whatever, you DO need one if you want to build a list (and you really should)
Any website requires a domain name (e.g. .com or .co.uk)
There are many people you can buy domain names from pretty cheaply – for example NameCheap or GoDaddy.
It’s also important to track your stats on your websites. The ability to see how many people land on your pages in a particular time period, together with other information such as how they found you, how long they stay for, which world region they are visiting from etc is all great information that can really help you to make better marketing decisions.
This is a free tool that allows you to test different versions of a web page against each other and improve your conversion rates.
When you think about it, even a tiny increase in conversions can have a massive impact on the success of your business. Let’s imagine you have an eBook for sale and the sales page converts at 6% (that is, on average, for every 100 people who visit your sales page, 6 of them will actually buy the product). Now imagine you create a different version of the sales page and want to test it against the original. You run it through Google Optimizer and you find that the new page converts at 8% rather than 6%. If your sales page received then 1000 visitors you would make 20 extra sales compared to the original. If your eBook sold for $9, that would be an extra $180 generated in revenue for doing absolutely nothing more than creating a new version of the page and testing it against the original.
Obviously you could create a page and find that the original converts better than the second version – but I hope that this demonstrates to you why testing is so important.