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"Qualities Of Net Success..."

By Chris Small

What are the elements of a successful Internet presence? And how much will they cost me? These are the two most commonly asked questions from people just starting out. Following is a rough guide and some general prices.

1) Your own unique Domain name.

This means www.nameofyourchoice.com. Yes if at all possible, shorter is better, but more importantly make sure that the domain name that you choose is descriptive of your site and/or easy to remember. Try to make it distinctive and easy to remember.

Cost to register the name with InterNic $70 for the first two years - $35/year thereafter. Now you can register through the World Deal Center for a fraction of that. Click Here for the details.

Cost for Domain hosting There are several options here depending on what you want to achieve. It is possible to get domain hosting for free (as long as you don't mind other ads all over your site and no customer service) You could also find yourself in the situation of paying out hundreds of dollars per month for a major hosting package.

My recommendation is to go with an affordable full service host. When you're starting out you will definitely discover challenges and questions - having a customer service staff at your beck and call can be a real life saver. Expect to spend between $15 to $30 per month for a good host.

 2) A professional looking layout and design of your pages - that is consistent throughout your site.

That critical first impression is accentuated on the Web. In real life, you can present several facets of yourself. If you're a little weak in one area you can often compensate in another. A smile can overcome many inadequacies. On the click, click web, you only get one crack at it so you had better be good or your visitor is gone, and you can't phone them up for a second interview.

It is not necessary (or even advisable) to display dazzling graphics and special effects in a business web site. Would you go to a job interview dressed in a bright orange bikini shorts with a loud Hawaiian shirt, and a flashing neon light on your head, humming a tune to a Madonna song? Of course not! So don't do that with your web site either.

Keep it clean, polished and on a professional level. Be the "Man from Glad". The cost for a professional webmaster to design your site can range from $35 a page to as much as several hundred per page. A complete site design can cost in the range of $2,000 to $6,000 depending on the features that you implement. You can also opt to do some or all of it yourself.

 3) Let the people know that you exist.

We all know about the millions of people that are out there surfing the web. Many of them looking for a product or service such as yours. The opportunity is incredible. BUT - They won't come to your site, unless you call them.

Get the word out. Register with the Search Engines, Buy (or swap) some banner space, invest in some ads in the ezines (one of the most cost effective methods), do some off-line promotion, offer the visitor something of value, etc..

Generally Search Engine submissions are free, but if you wish to have a top 20 listing (there's not much point in being listed at #1221) you will have to hire a professional placement company. You should wait until you are firmly established before spending the several hundred dollars that these people will demand.

The cost for much of your promotions can be very low or even FREE. However at some point you will probably find that it is necessary to spend a few dollars to get exposed to your ideal market. For example many low circulation ezine ad spots can be bought for as little as five dollars each.

One word of caution though, DO NOT SPAM PEOPLE! The results could be much worse than the greedy list brokers will ever tell you.

4) Give people a reason to come back.

Studies have shown that we usually need an average of seven impressions before we decide to make the purchase. That does not bode well for reaching the casual surfer who happens across your site as they are looking at scores of others.

You need to install Traffic Generators on your site. Some examples are: Free software, Free ads, Valuable information that is not available elsewhere, Free opportunities,   Free Reminders Service, Free downloads, Free Post Cards, etc..

The MOST effective and useful way of staying in touch with your visitors is by encouraging them to sign up for your ezine or newsletter. This way they will see your words over and over again, and you have an opportunity to establish a relationship with them. Please note: an ezine is a service that YOU provide to your visitors. You need to give them a reason to start subscribing and you must also keep giving them a reason to stay subscribed.

The cost to implement many of the "Traffic Generators" is quite low. In many cases you can invest some time and set them up for free yourself. The ezine will require a list server - $100 - $300. You should be able to recover the initial cost very quickly by selling ads to other related web sites.

These are admittedly very general suggestions. You will need to do some detailed research before investing your hard earned money. It is a very good idea to visit your favorite search engine and investigate several companies who offer these services before you jump in.

I would be glad to offer my own personal recommendations to you as well. Just send me an email with your questions. You can send me email at: webmaster@worldealcenter.com. Until next time...

 

Chris Small is a cyber entrepreneur and host of several
successful websites. If you would like to read more articles
like this by Chris go to www.worlddealcenter.com/reports

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