No this isn't an article by Stephen King, but a true synopsis of
what can happen to newbies who want to go in business on the
Net. Misery equates to how much money you spent vs. the amount
you earned. The only thing that differs is the intensity.
Slight Misery - people who invested little or nothing and
received the same in return. They joined AOL, and immediately
found their mailbox was overflowing with spam (junk email). They
read some of the mail and, and believing what they read, bought
into a program for $20. They sat back and waited, and waited,
and waited and nothing happened.
Losing heart, they quit the program and dropped AOL after the
free trial period. They now send their email to Aunt Martha,
which is all they really wanted to do from the "get-go", using a
free ISP such as "World Spy".
More Misery - these people believed many of the offers that
wound up in their mailbox, and bought into a few. They then
started their free advertising campaign. When that didn't pay
off, they started investing in paid advertising. Here a banner,
there a banner, everywhere a banner, banner - they quickly
learned the reality of banner ads. But with no long term
commitment, they folded their tents, cut their losses, and
disappeared into the night.
Real Misery - these are the tenacious ones - they failed at
level one and two, but believed the hype and invested in an
online store. They're like the guy who rented a huge vacant
brick and mortar building, and then started to think about what
he was going to sell. After an awful lot of work and many bucks
later, they found out that just having a store isn't the key to
success on the Internet.
So what's the scoop? Is everyone doomed to failure?
Of course not - there are a lot of people making money on the
web. But you have to find your "niche". Unless you have very
"deep pockets", like anything, you have to know what you are
If your area of expertise is ornithology, why not consider a web
site for bird watchers. With some timely articles that are
updated on a regular basis, and a store where you sell items of
interest, you just might attract a following.
Does that mean you immediately commit to a store and get a
merchant account so your customers can pay for their orders -
NO. Start your web site, and advertise it heavily. One of the
better bets is ezines and newsletters that target the audience
you wish to reach. Try to build a following on your website -
consider your own newsletter.
If you are able to get a respectable number of visitors to your
web site, or subscribers to your newsletter, you just might have
a shot at your online store succeeding. Remember, "Content is
King". If you provide good content, you will have return
visitors. Return visitors are potential future customers.
Offer freebies, run contests, have guest columnists contribute;
these all enhance your site. But forget some of the hype you
will run across. This does not happen overnight. Once
established, will you make money while you sleep - you betcha.
Like any business, you will need a war chest. How much? If
you're going to be selling a product, you'll need an inventory.
But don't be like the person who bought into Equinox (see
http://www.mlmwatch.org/06FTC/Equinox/equinoxftc1.html) who has
$5,000 worth of junk in their garage they can't sell.
Look for a distributor who will sell in small lots. Sure they
will charge a bit more, and you will earn a bit less, but you're
not in over your head. If the product moves, you can then afford
to buy larger lots at a lower price.
You should then know pretty quickly if it is going to work. If
it is positive at that point, move to your next level. Open your
online store, get merchant status so you can accept credit
cards, and move forward.
Above all, use "due diligence" in any venture you take, and you
just might avoid the "misery" of failure.
About the author:
Bob publishes the free weekly "Your Business" Newsletter Visit
his Web Site at http://adv-marketing.com/business to subscribe.