The Internet has opened a whole New World of opportunity for all of us. With the vast amount of information available at your fingertips, it has never been easier to communicate your message to the world.
A web site will enable you to create your own home on the World Wide Web. Your home may be as simple or dynamic as you'd like and is only limited by your imagination.
Although designing a great web site is an important part of developing a successful online business, it is only one small part of an overall plan.
Although many new Internet entrepreneurs believe that all they need to do to make money online is to put up a web site, that couldn't be further from the truth.
The truth is developing a successful Internet business takes a great deal of time, thought and effort. It takes a sincere commitment, a lot of patience, and a lot of personal drive.
There are a lot of lessons that must be learned, and a lot of failures that must be endured. However, if you're truly passionate about your business and success, it will happen - - you will succeed.
A major factor in determining your success is the amount of time you take to educate yourself. Please don't take this point lightly, as it can literally mean the difference between your success and failure.
Sure, learning HTML is an important part of designing a successful web site; however, it is only one small part. You must first develop a strategic plan and design your web site accordingly.
Prior to designing your web site, here are some questions to assist you in developing your strategy:
* Who is your target audience?
* What is your most wanted response?
* What products and/or services will you offer?
* Will you sell affiliate products and/or services?
* What type of design will you use?
* Will you design your site or hire a professional?
* How will your site be navigated?
* How will your site be optimized?
* What type of graphics will your site use?
* Where will you obtain your graphics?
* What graphic formats will you use?
* What fonts will you use?
* How will you design your site for different screen sizes?
* How will you design your site for different web browsers?
* How will you optimize your pages for the Search Engines?
* How will you make your web pages load quickly?
* What type of content will your site offer?
* Where will the content come from?
* How will you gain your visitors' trust?
* How will you build your credibility?
* Will you write your own sales copy or hire a copywriter?
* How will you accept payment through your site?
* How will you process your orders?
* How will you deliver your products or services?
* How will you collect your customers' information and store it within a database?
* How will you automate portions of your business?
* Where will you find the scripts you need?
* Will you need to hire a professional to write your scripts?
* Will you edit and install your own scripts or hire a professional?
* What kind of computer software will you need?
* Where will you find the software?
* How will you decide on a domain name?
* How will you register a domain name?
* How will you host your web site?
* How will you upload your files to your server?
* Should your files be uploaded in binary or ASCII mode?
* What should you look for in a quality web host?
* Will you publish an ezine?
* How will you collect email addresses?
* How will you send out mailings?
* How will you drive traffic to your web site?
* How will you advertise your products and services?
* How will you test your advertising?
* Will you offer an affiliate program?
* How will you run your affiliate program?
* How will you market and promote your web site, products and/or services?
Although this list of questions is far from complete, it will give you a basic idea of exactly what is involved in developing a successful web site. As you can see, there is much more to take into consideration than just learning HTML. You must look at the entire picture and design your web site accordingly. Plan your work then work your plan.
Above all else, you must be willing to invest in your business -- not only monetarily, but also your time. Although there is a lot of free information available online to assist you, keep in mind...you get what you pay for.
The great thing is you don't have to reinvent the wheel. There are many successful Internet entrepreneurs that have been where you are right now. Subscribe to their publications -- listen to their advice -- purchase their products. If you begin by following in the footsteps of successful Internet entrepreneurs, you will eventually begin making your own paths and find your own success.
(Continued in part two)
Copyright © Shelley Lowery 2003.
About the Author:
Shelley Lowery is the author of the highly acclaimed ebook series, Web Design Mastery -- An eight volume (500+ pages) in-depth guide to professional web design. Web Design Mastery is being hailed as the "Bible" for professional web design. http://www.webdesignmastery.com