A couple of days ago, I was speaking to a friend of mine who asked me what were the critical resources that anyone needed, if they were trying to earn an income on the Internet – and were new to this activity. He meant, of course, excluding the obvious requirements of a computer and Internet connection!
I thought that this was an interesting question, not least because there are so many resources available, some of them free and others that you need to pay for. Well, if I was distilling the resources I need into five of the most important – then I would say:
1. Google Account
To all intents and purposes Google rules the world – at least, it cannot be ignored if you are operating on the Internet and therefore it is best to be on its side! So, a Google account is important and along with it will come all of Google’s tools including: Google Analytics (for showing you how your sites are performing), Google Alerts (allowing you to keep in contact with what is happening in your marketplace, Google Adsense (a way of monetising your site) and Google Adwords (paid advertising for your site/products/services), Google + (for relationship marketing)…
2. Domain purchase
Needless to say, you need to be able to create domain names and there are a load of companies supplying this service. However, I tend to use Go-Daddy, which I find easy to use and effective. However, if I want to try and pick up an aged domain (see the benefits of doing this in The Laptop Entrepreneur) then I go for Snapnames.
There are hundreds of companies supplying Hosting for web sites with a bewildering array of different packages. However, what is important to me is that not only is the Hosting as cheap as possible but that it provides for a free download of WordPress (see below). So, I use Hostgator and have their Baby package which provides Hosting for an unlimited number of web sites at only $9.85 a month.
The Laptop Entrepreneur: the book that shows you how to make money on-line
4. Web site format.
I am a devotee of WordPress and their Suffusion option. This is free, incredibly effective, powerful and (very important) user-friendly. Constantly updated, Suffusion is state of the art and has a whole range of Plug Ins that makes it versatile and ideal for anyone starting out – together with many time-served and successful Internet professionals. Once you get your ‘head around’ how to set a WordPress site up (easy, thank Heavens) you will be able to put up a 5 page web site within minutes – although it obviously takes much longer to populate the site with content!
5. Market Research
Barely a day goes by during which I have not used Market Samurai, a piece of software that is worth every cent of its price. It has an excellent keyword research facility that allows you to investigate your potential marketplace and see whether there really is any viable traffic for your desired business, as well as allowing you to investigate the strength of any competition (and why they are strong or weak). Amongst other facilities it has a tracking facility, so that you can see what a particular web page is doing and a monetization resource. Market Samurai also has superb training and support videos which are invaluable and for which you would probably pay a fortune for on their own. It is a really great package and, for me, invaluable.
Of course, there are loads more resources (thousands of them!) – but, if you are starting out then the ones above are useful in providing you with a basic, workable and user-friendly foundation that will get you going without becoming overwhelmed….
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