Archive for December 26th, 2009|Daily archive page

Plan YourIntenet Sucess – Part 4 – Pass your First Test


Part 4. Pass your First Test

By now, you have a business idea and you’ve done your research on keywords.  You have a sense of who your competition is and you may even feel good about what you know. This means you are ready to move to the next step.

However, before you continue, you MUST ask yourself a few questions:

a) Is this a really solid idea? Put your plan down for a full day (or even two) and then pick it up and re-read your notes, research, etc. Does it still make sense?  Does it feel like it is missing something? Be thorough.

b) Are the keywords that you found well-searched and is the cost reasonable considering your potential margins?  If you are going to build a Web site that offers electronics to your visitors, and you intend to get your money from commissions that you will get as a publisher, you may be up for a big disappointment. With a commission of one to three percent and an average purchase of $75, do the math. You’ll need a bundle of customers and keywords will cost you a fortune. There is no way you’ll make it.

This is a huge topic – one that is specific to your business – which we’ll cover in greater detail in Volume 2. However, you must have a sound plan, something that has enough margins built-in to make it profitable.

c) Is your competition the type of company or entity that you can take on? If you are trying to go after a market that is cornered by Apple, for example, you better have a unique product and lots of resources.

If all checks out positively, then I suggest that you go over all the details once more and make sure that you eliminate any elements of wishful thinking.

Finally, I would suggest that you take the time to write a short pitch (a couple of paragraphs) about your plan for your business and present it to someone who has never heard it before. If you need to explain what it is you just presented to them then, in all probability, your idea is not clear and you need to go back to the drawing board.

Alternatively, if your idea is understood, then listen to any questions that are asked and do not dismiss any criticism, no matter how trivial or “uneducated” they may seem. I’ve seen too many people, including myself, make this mistake and pay dearly for it.

In conclusion, do as much research and get as much feedback as you can. Remember that this is by far the least expensive (and often free aspect of putting together a business), so take advantage of it as much as you can.

The complete manuscript is available at http://www.jtouboul.com

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Plan Your Internet Success – Part 3 – Research Your Competition and Learn


3. Research your Competition and Learn

The best and easiest way to do this is search through Google, Bing, and Yahoo! or via directories for competitors using the keywords that you found. Take a look at the companies listed on the first two pages, including those found in the sponsor boxes. Review what they do well and not so well, including the “look and feel,” presentation, style, content, navigation, etc.  Make a checklist of what to do to improve or what not to do when you come across competitors that are not doing it right. Print out the pages of the ones that you find interesting and make notes that will help you remember why you liked the pages or what you did not like.

See how they rank by using services like Quantcast (http://www.quantcast.com/) to measure their success on the Net. If you are checking ranking with Alexa, be very careful since Alexa can be skewed very easily and may not reflect reality.

Another simple way to do this is to input the company’s URL on Google or Yahoo! and check the number of links they show; remember, the more, the better. Keep these links in mind for later and make a note of the sites that have the most. These Web sites may be businesses with which you may want to have your own links as you get established.

Resources: Search:

http://www.Google.com

http://www.Bing.com

http://www.Yahoo.com

Resources – Business:

http://www.hoovers.com/free/

http://www.ryze.com/postaddprocess.php

http://www.corptech.com/

http://www.digitallook.com/

http://online.wsj.com/public/page/news-small-business-marketing.html

Finally, never underestimate your competition, especially on the Internet. You have no idea what their resources may be and how well they can reach their target audience, no matter how trivial their copy, or how poor their Web site may look to you.

The complete manuscript is available at http://www.jtouboul.com