Home Web Business Made Easy


Everyone wants to start their own business and become their own boss, but many are not sure how to do it. There are several types of home businesses. Service businesses, selling products, and web based home businesses, just to name a few.

In this article I am going to guide you through the process of starting your own web-based home business. I will try to take some of the mystery out of the process. By following this guideline, you will be up and running in very little time without having made a huge investment.

First, you need to know what your business is going to do. Will it provide a service? Are you planning to sell products? Those are the two general types of web-based home businesses I will be discussing in this article.

If you plan to provide a service, what type of service will you be providing? Will it be provided to people who own websites? Will it be a service that anyone can use or will it be confined to your local area?

Ask similar questions of yourself if you plan to sell a product. Will it be a product you sell and deliver locally, nationwide, or internationally? If you choose worldwide, do you know anything about shipping your product overseas? The same applies to nationwide delivery. Do you know the costs associated with delivering your product everywhere in the nation you live in?

Once you have answered those questions, you will have more of an idea about how your home web business will eventually be shaped.

Next, you will need a domain name. Most people think their company name is the best way to go for a domain name, however, a generic domain name with keywords that are associated to your product or service will serve you much better. You can also register your company name as a domain name and point it to your website, but it is not necessary.

The generic domain name can help you with search engine traffic and can be more memorable. It is only one factor of many that will help you with search engine optimization, but it is a step you should take when getting started. Example: cars.com is a better domain name than ford.com, even though ford spent millions to advertise and brand their name. Even cheapusedcars.com is better because people will search for that.

You need to find a good domain name registrar, not a cheap domain name registrar. Cheap means cheap in the area of domain names. Your domain name is important. Spending $25 per year to registrar that provide more services and quality VS spending $10 or less at a cheap registrar is what we are talking about here. If that extra $15 per year is going to make or break your home business, then maybe you should not start one.

Next, you will need a web hosting service. Again, cheaper is not better. There are good hosting services for $100 per year or even a little less. Anyone that is offering you hosting for less than that should raise a red flag. Choose and pay for your hosting for at least a year, just like you registered your domain name for. If you are going with a monthly plan, you probably aren’t fully committed to your new home business.

Now, you have your domain name and the hosting for your new website, but where is the website and how do I get that? You have several options. You can learn html and build your own. You can use a WYSIWYG editor like FrontPage to build your own website. You can hire someone to build your website for you.

First, we will talk about learning html to build your own website for your home business. There is a learning curve here. This is the best option of the three I mentioned above, but it takes time to learn. You will probably not be up and running in just a few days with this option. In the long run, it will save you a lot of money to learn html and build your own websites. The more websites you have in your portfolio, the more likely you will have at least one that is a big winner. Writing your own code means you can build a new website as often as you want.

Next, building your own home business website with a WYSIWYG editor. (What You See Is What You Get). These editors are similar to making a document. Everything is visual and you do not need to know html. The learning curve for these editors is much less than that of learning to actually code your own website.

However, these websites do have limitations. Since the code for the website is auto-generated, it tends to have mistakes. In addition to that, you have to make sure your hosting has the proper extensions to host your website. FrontPage Extensions is the example if you use the FrontPage WSYIWYG.

This option will get you up and running faster, but you need to hire someone at some point to fix the code for you so the page will always load correctly and optimally. How your website is viewed in different browsers, how fast your website loads, and how your website looks are all design factors that make a difference to your customers, so weigh each option carefully.

Next, hiring a web designer to build your home business website is another option. A professional web designer knows how to give your website the look and feel you want it to have. However, be careful when choosing a web designer. I’ll add some things you need to be aware of here;

1. If they say they will register the domain name for you, say no. Registering a domain name is not technically difficult. Do this yourself. Many web designers register the domain name at the cheapest place they can find then charge you $100 or more per year for the domain name. Then many of them register it in their own name! This will cause you huge problems if you ever decide not to use their services anymore. The domain name should be in your name always.

2. Ask them what program they use to build your website in. If they are going to use FrontPage or Dreamweaver or other WYSIWYG editor, you may as well build your own home business website. If they do not write html from scratch, then they shouldn’t be in the web design business.

3. If they wish to charge you monthly to run your website for you, be careful. Do not sign yearly contracts. Their job is to build you a home business website. Let them stick to just that. Most designers are just designers. They are not search engine gurus, business managers, or anything else. Hire a designer to design and others to do what they are good at.

4. Do not let them talk you into features you do not need. Just like used car salesmen, they will try to get you to add on a lot of bells and whistles you don’t need.

5. A brochure website is one that is basically designed to just let people know what products or services you provide and to contact you to get more information. Usually, that is a main page, an about page, and a contact page. That shouldn’t cost you more than $500.

6. If you are going to add the ability to buy your product or service by paying for it through your home business website, then it becomes an e-commerce website. Again, watch out for the bells and whistles that the used website salesman tries to sell you. PayPal is a good option when you are first starting out. You can get a PayPal account easily. You can create your own buy buttons and insert them into your website with the code they provide without being an html guru. You can even configure shipping costs and everything else through PayPal for free. They charge small percentages per sale, but the services they provide are worth it. Besides, they have no setup fee or monthly fee like other e-commerce solutions. When your sales volume reaches into thousands of dollars per month, you can look for a better solution, but until then, use PayPal.

7. An old saying among those who make money on the web is “You build the first one for show and the rest for dough”. What that means is this; You will likely be very concerned about the look of your website in the beginning, however design is the LEAST important aspect of your home web business. Many will disagree, but who cares. Let me repeat, design is the LEAST important aspect of your home web based business. A beautiful website with no traffic gets uglier by the day. An ugly website with traffic that makes money gets more beautiful by the dollar. Create a total budget for your home web based business. Spend no more than 30% of that budget on design. Spend the rest on promoting your website, advertising, and other actions that bring you customers. Don’t let some designer talk you into thinking his design is more important than your home business’s success.

Now that you have your domain name, hosting, and website up and running, you now need customers. Where do you get them? I have my website, won’t they just find me now? NO, they won’t.

There are several things you can do to get traffic. Do not fall for all the scams out there that tell you they can send millions of hits to your website for just a small fee. There are a lot of traffic scams. The traffic is usually auto or bot generated traffic and will do you no good in selling your product or service.

You can buy Adwords from Google, MSN (coming soon), or Yahoo. That sends you traffic from people who search for specific keywords. Be careful about bidding on these and set your spending limits low until you see which keywords are paying off for you.

You can purchase links on popular websites that are related to your product or service. Again, start with a small text link and a small budget until you find which of those links are actually sending you traffic that is converting to sales. If one is producing sales, expand on that one. If one is producing nothing, drop it. It’s like running an ad in the newspaper, on TV, or on radio. If it isn’t bringing you business, you get rid of the ad.

You can write articles on topics related to your products or services like the one you are reading now. Your links go into the box below, just like mine here. You submit your articles to article submission websites. They provide it to other webmasters that want to use your article as free content for their website. Each one that picks up your article becomes another link to your website. This is the best method of marketing in my honest opinion.

Posting in related forums and blogs with your home business link in your signature can produce more targeted traffic for your website. More traffic does not mean better. Targeted traffic means much more and converts to sales more often than traffic you might get from unrelated websites, so stay focused on blogs and forums that relate to your topics.

I hope this article has helped you realize what it takes to start your own home business on the web!

Is Working At Home Right For You


If you’ve just begun your search for a work at home job, you probably have a beautiful concept of what working from home is like. You probably imagine yourself waking up whenever you want, sliding your feet into fuzzy slippers and shuffling to the kitchen to get some coffee, then shuffling along to your office to put in another wonderful day at work, then later going to the mailbox to pick up your weekly paycheck of several thousand dollars. I hate to burst your bubble, but it doesn’t work that way. Actually, let me clarify that and say it doesn’t always work that way.

The truth is, working at home is usually a lot harder than working in an office somewhere. Scammers and hyped-up business opportunity ads have given us the belief that working at home is oh-so-easy. We just relax on a tropical beach, then go collect our paychecks. I’m sure you’ve seen ads like that. Those of us who already work at home know better!

Here are some things you should consider before jumping into a work at home job:

How much do you want to earn? – If you want to work for an employer as a telecommuter, be prepared to earn less than you would at a job outside the home. A job that pays $11.00 an hour in the regular workforce might pay $7 or $8 an hour at home. There are exceptions of course. Some jobs, like virtual assisting, web design and graphics, medical transcription and coding and other professional jobs will probably pay more than a simple data entry or customer service job. Many work at home jobs don’t pay hourly either. For data entry work, you might get paid per piece, and for telephone jobs you might get paid per “talk minute” (only those minutes you are actually on the phone with a customer.)

Do you need benefits? – The majority of work at home jobs do not provide benefits like health insurance or life insurance. Again, there are exceptions.

Taxes – There are companies that will hire you as an actual “employee” and they will take taxes out of your pay. But some will only hire you as an “independent contractor,” and you are responsible for paying your own taxes.

Work availability – If you are hired as an independent contractor, it’s important to understand that your employer is not obligated to provide any work for you. Most companies have busy seasons and slow seasons. During a busy season, you might be working 40-50 hours a week, and then the slow season arrives and suddenly you’re fighting to get even 10 hours of work per week. If your income is especially important to your household, definitely keep that in mind. However, many people choose to work more than one job at a time. If one slows down, they simply start working more for the other.

How motivated are you? – If you are the type of person who usually needs a kick in the rear to get moving, working at home will be very hard on you. You have to be extremely disciplined to sit down at the computer, log in and actually WORK each day. There are so many distractions in the home that will pull you away from work if you let them. You have to be very focused and set a schedule for yourself, just like you would at a job outside the home.

Do you mind solitude? – Working at home can be lonely. If you thrive on social interaction, working alone can be difficult to adjust to. However, you can ease this by spending time with friends frequently, or joining some online groups to chat with like minded people.

Flexibility – Some employers require you to work a specific set schedule, while others might be more flexible, allowing you to choose your own hours. Give some thought to which type of schedule would work best for you. When I first decided to work at home, I made the mistake of choosing a job that had a rigid schedule, and I hated it! I had forgotten that that was one of the things I disliked about working outside the home – living by someone else’s schedule. Think about how you work best, and choose accordingly.

Childcare – So many mothers want to work at home so they can raise their own children, rather than sending them to a daycare. However, working at home with small children underfoot is no easy task! It’s not impossible, and it depends greatly on the ages of your children and what type of work you are doing at home. If you work a telephone job, most employers will require a very quiet background, which is impossible if you have small children. You also can’t stop working every few minutes to entertain the kids, unless you want to put in a very long day at the computer to make up for all the interruptions. There are certainly things you can do to make it easier, like have a neighborhood teenager come in for a few hours to watch your children while you work, or work only when your spouse is home and can keep an eye on the kids.

Choosing work that fulfills you – This is SO important! Right now you’re probably thinking, “I don’t care what type of work I do, as long as it brings in a paycheck.” I guarantee that attitude won’t last long. Like I said, you will need to be extremely self-motivated and self-disciplined to work at home, and your job will be a lot easier if you actually like what you do! Think about the type of person you are, and the type of work that suits you best. Are you creative and free-spirited, or nose-to-the-grindstone efficient? Give some thought to your “vision” of working at home, and try to find a job (or business) that will complement that.

Do you even want a “job?” – When some people decide they want to “work at home,” they don’t want a regular J-O-B at all. What they want is the freedom to set their own schedule and do work they love. It’s certainly possible to find those qualities in a job, but it can be difficult. If this describes you, consider starting your own business instead, focusing on your existing talents and abilities. I think many people shy away from this idea because it seems so overwhelming. But people do this every day! It’s not hard at all. If you don’t know much about business but have an interest, start learning! There are so many great resources on the internet today. If you’re still not sure what type of work at home is best for you, get out a pad of paper and a pen. Write this sentence along the top of the page: I want to work at home because . . . and then write down as many endings to that sentence as you can think of. If most of your answers have to do with freedom and passionate, fulfilling work, a “job” might not be the best thing for you.

Regardless of what type of work you decide on, understand that working at home can be difficult and challenging. But for most of us who do it, it is also wonderful. Personally, I wouldn’t trade it for anything! And once you find the right job or business, you will probably feel the same.

If this article has given you the impression that working at home might not be for you, remember that you can change if you want it badly enough. If you’re not very motivated, work on that. Give yourself little challenges every day and strengthen your level of self-discipline. If you need health benefits, keep searching for a job that provides them, or research other possibilities like affordable health insurance for the self-employed. If your resolve is strong enough, you can make it happen! Never give up on your dreams.

« Previous PageNext Page »