Despite the current climate of dot-com cynicism, the internet is still an effective platform to launch a successful business. Renowned internet marketing specialist Corey Rudl lets you in on five rules that will make your website effective and profitable.
Rule #1: Focus on a well-defined niche market
Rather than trying to dominate a huge, general market like pet owners or car owners, narrow your focus to a targeted niche, like dog owners or women interested in learning about automotive maintenance and repair.
The truth is, running two or three websites that each target a specific niche market is the easiest way to make money on the internet. Everyone is looking for the ‘big money’ makers, so all too often niche markets are ignored. Yet this is how I have made most of my money online!
Find a niche market. Figure out what they want. Develop the product. Offer it to them. Automate the business. Start another one and diversify. That’s it. Sounds too easy to be worth millions, right? Wrong! There is a LOT of money to be made this way.
Rule #2: Develop a strong Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
If you have a lot of competitors in your specific industry, then you need to develop your own USP. You need to emphasise what makes you better than your competition. Explain to your customers exactly how and why they’ll benefit from doing business with you as opposed to someone else. For example…
• Your product/service might cost less than others.
• You offer a better guarantee than anyone else.
• You provide special knowledge or advice that is not available anywhere else.
• You offer special incentives that no one else does.
• Your customer service is better than your competition’s.
Whatever your angle, the bottom line when promoting your product or service is to emphasise what makes you special or unique. Find an obvious void in the marketplace and fill it! Adjust your company or product to meet a specific need and then specialise, specialise, specialise!
Rule #3: Spend your advertising dollars wisely
Once you have defined your market and developed your USP, figuring out who you’re advertising to and where they hang out online suddenly becomes much easier. This means that you can strategically place your ads where they’ll pull the most targeted potential customers.
Rule #4: Have a well-developed business plan that includes a clear definition of how you plan to profit
Plan to profit. That probably seems obvious. Unfortunately, too many people get caught up in some kind of plan or scheme and don’t take the time to research, test and plan exactly how they’re going to make their money. An idea is NOT a business plan. It’s just that… an idea. It becomes a plan when you’ve researched it, defined your market, figured out exactly how you’re going to market yourself and planned to profit within a set period of time.
Rule #5: Model success
Obviously, there are a lot of steps involved in building a profitable e-business. You need a strategically designed website, you need a quality product or service, you need killer sales copy, you need a flawless sales process… and you need a cutting-edge marketing campaign designed to blow your competitors right out of the water!
That’s why you’ll be far better off – and way ahead of your competition – if you take the time to educate yourself. Why reinvent the wheel when you can learn from someone who has been there, spent the cash, researched the techniques and made the mistakes for you?