What's Important When Creating an Online Business?

My Top 3 tips on creating an online business are:
  • Plan first
  • Choose the Right Tools
  • Think about your customer not about your Sales

This section is all about choosing the right tools. We have dealt with the other 2 in the Planning section.

The tools you should choose should match your skills level. If you are a beginner with little or no experience, I recommend SBI . It has all the tools you need, is easy to use and is well supported. It does many mundane tasks so you are free to develop your business.

If you know some html or a package such as Dreamweaver, you can still use the SBI package. You are not tied down to their templates.

Whatever you decide, read Day 6 of the Action Guide. If you are not using the package, follow the guidance but apply it to the tools you have bought. Below you will find some additional information to help you and I have listed some alternative suppliers I have found.

Writing Great Content for People and Spiders

The good news is that writing great content is a skill which can be learned.

I highly recommend you read the free ebook Make Your Content Presell. (When you get to the page, scroll down to the bottom and click "Start reading MYCPS Today")

Supplementary You may find my document template helpful as a starting point. It guides you through the process of writing a webpage which satisfies both Spiders and People.

Images

Using images in your web pages makes them more interesting and can enhance your message.

With SBI, you simply upload your image to the Graphic Library using the easy to follow instructions. When you want to use the image, you do so using the Graphic Block. The alignment option is easy to use but you sometimes get unexpected results. Experiment a bit! Always remember to complete the "Alt" section. This allows you to add text to describe your picture. You should use the keyword for the page here.

Using images can be very tricky. Supplementary I have a few tips and ideas I have used.

Additional HTML Codes

You will likely find you need to know a little html to enhance your pages - simple things like adding Bold or changing the font colour. Supplementary I have a list of the common codes I use. It is very easy to find more.

A great resource is www.w3schools.com.

Another great resource is http://www.hypergurl.com

If all else fails, go to Google and type "html code" followed by the thing you want to do. For example "html code bold" of you wanted to see how to use bold.

Hosting

To start creating an online business, you will need web hosting. Hosting is included in the SBI package. If you choose another supplier, you will need a little more technical knowledge.

A web hosting company allows you to store your website internet files on their special server so that anyone can see them. These companies make a charge for you to use their server. You cannot do this yourself without the required expertise.

Making a Webpage

So how do you go about making the web pages? This can be a lot easier than you might think as there are many suppliers, such as SBI, who try to make it as easy as possible.

You have 3 main options.

1. Use Online Software and Templates

This is the method used by SBI. They provide an easy to use "blockbuilder" to create web pages fast. What's more they also give you templates to ensure a consistent look and feel. By the way, in December 2010, the templates are being expanded. This is one of the reasons I recommend it, especially to beginners.

Supplementary There are other web based companies who make creating an online business really easy. They often provide a package of hosting, domain name registration and other services.

I have also used www.easily.co.uk. A Google search will reveal many more.

Do your research - make sure the service fits your skill level and fully check out what is being offered. The cheapest or the one with the best headline is not always the best.

2. Create and Upload HTML Files

At its most basic level, you can create your pages by making html files. If you are a beginner, I don't recommend this as there is a lot to learn. If you want to learn, I can recommend this fantastic html tutorial.

You can also use an html editor. This makes it easier to use the html codes. This website was created using Arachnopilia - a free piece of software.

3. Desktop Software - What You See is What You Get (WYSIWYG)

There is software which lets you create your web page on your computer as it will appear online. When you save the file it converts what you created into html code. For example, Microsoft Frontpage or Macromedia Dreamweaver. These packages can be expensive.

File Transfer Protocol (ftp)

For Numbers 2 and 3 above, you need to transfer the files from your computer to the web server. The accepted way is to use ftp software.

This is often included in the hosting package. Not surprisingly, it is included with SBI. In fact, the ftp part of the package does a lot more than just allow you to transfer files. It also checks the html is correct and makes sure you have uploaded all the support files. This is the only package I know that does this.

If you do need ftp software you can search on the internet for this software. I have used www.ipswitch.com (not free) and www.filezilla.com (free).

This Section and the Action Guide are just the beginning of creating an online business website.

The subject itself is VAST and can become very technical. More technical than you need to be if this is your first venture.

My recommendation is to start with SBI. When you have finished your first online business, you will know SO much more. You can then think about expanding your knowledge and getting more technical if that's the kind of person you are.

Or, why not just start another site and go through the same easy process.