The most important part of building your business lies in the creation of a business plan. Thus, allowing you to treat your online ventures as you would treat a "real time business." A business plan will also help to keep you focused since there are a tremendous amount of opportunities available to you as an adult webmaster. Sometimes the number of opportunities can be overwhelming. A solid business plan will guide you to success while helping to keep you focused.
While you are in the process of creating your business plan, you had better make sure that you have a basic understanding of HTML and computers in general. Take time to stop by your local book store and pick up some decent reference material which will save you some time in the long run.
The next type of shopping you will need to do is for a host. This is probably the most important decision that you will face in the beginning stages of your business. You do not want to pick a provider with an unlimited pricing structure since they are counting on the majority of their customers not transferring what they are paying for, or they are bottlenecking your pipe to the Internet. Neither of these things are any good; after all, if people cannot get to your site or are spending too much time loading the page, you will lose that surfer. If you do not see this happening now, either your site isn't getting enough traffic yet, or your provider has not filled up the particular server that you are on. However, give them about three months, and you will be having problems.
Your next purchase should be that of content. You can NOT simply download images off of free sites to use on your own site and claim that these pictures are "public-domain." There is NO such thing anymore! You need to spend some time surfing for content deals. If you look in the right places, you can find a good CD with 1,000 or more images for $100.
While we are on the topic, let's take a brief look at Web Ethics. There are numerous incidents that in the real world would end up in the court room, but here in the Net world, people simply dismiss as being fair. Some of the biggest examples include theft, slander, and cheating. Just because we work online does not excuse us from basic ethics and standards. Many people online rely upon the fact that there is never a face-to-face confrontation, to become more blatant. Sometimes we tend to forget that there is a REAL person behind the keyboard... A person that is working very hard to provide for their family or for themselves. We tend to think of each other only as a "handle" or a post on a message board.
Once you seem to have all of your ducks lined up, it is time to do some research...
Research is one of the most important parts of developing a new business. There are numerous and diverse things that you need to know about running an online business. You need to have a basic understanding of the various types of traffic, including TGP, link lists, Search Engines, and directories. The next thing that you must research are the sponsors that you plan to use. Take the time to traverse their tours. The more that you know about what you are selling, the better your sales pitch to a prospective customer will be. Take some time to click on banners, get caught in circle jerks, click anywhere and look everywhere. Learn what the various companies are doing, and why they are doing it. You should also research the content providers that you are planning on using in the same way.
Once you have gathered together enough information it is time to make a plan of action. What type of site will you build first? How are you going to make money? This is a very important question that can have a different answer each day. The online market moves at a considerably more aggressive rate than the "real world" market does. Therefore, you have to be ready all the time to grasp a new idea or service and shift your advertisement as needed. This is something that you will have to get comfortable with. Remember that diversification in your income is also an important issue. That is why you need to do almost everything, and use almost every form of sponsor payout, in order to make your business profitable. Take the time to test drive a sponsor on your site and compare the results to other programs that you have tried. Keep in mind, you do need to provide a good flow of traffic for any test/comparison. Simply sending 500 hits to a program is NOT an accurate measure of performance.
Any good research also involved some reading. You need to take the time to read the boards, articles, newsletters, archived chats, tutorials... anything and everything. At this point you should also begin networking. Talk to people online, attend trade shows and events, and make it a point to go to online chats and shows. Once you begin making money, you also need to begin investing it in retirement accounts, different business ventures and various securities that would be beneficial.
Once you begin making money, you also need to begin investing it in retirement accounts, different business ventures and various securities that would be beneficial. You may also want to retain a lawyer and an accountant that will help you establish your business financial portfolio. Learn about the benefits of being a small business, self-employed or a corporation from someone that knows the laws in your area. The cost that you invest here is nothing when compared to the possible disaster of not being prepared for the unexpected. You should also purchase health insurance, life insurance, damage insurance etc. Learn what your options are and choose the option that is the most practical choice for you and your business. You don't ever want to catch yourself saying "I wish I had gotten insurance before this tragedy happened." Take the time now to secure the future for both you and your family.
You should also keep this article handy and look at it as your sales come in. It will provide a good guidepost which will help you to re-evaluate your business often. As you learn more about what you're doing you will be able to set more realistic goals and figure out what it takes to meet those goals.
In the end, if you treat your business like a business you can and will make money. After all, that is what the purpose of a business is, to make money. Treat your's right and it will make money for you! Good luck!