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Timing is everything when it comes to building a business on the web. If you think that you can build a viable business in six months or less then you are mistaken. However, if you are patient and systematic, and willing to learn from your own experiences and from the wisdom of others, then you have every chance of being successful in your Internet activities.  Here are six lessons that I have learned in the course of building an Internet based business; perhaps they may be helpful to you!

1. Allow yourself a reasonable time to build your business:

I think that everyone really hopes that the day following the publication of their web page, they will find e-mails with orders for their products or services. Unfortunately it doesn’t usually happen so fast. It takes time for search engines to index your
pages. If you are in an exceptionally competitive field, you will also have to build up your website, with valuable content and strengthen it with high quality links from other sites in order to rise to a good position in the search engines. How long does
this process take? If you are very efficient it could be within six months, but I would say that it is better to plan on one year as your “building period.”

2. Stick to the fundamentals

Don’t try to trick the search engines or your customers. In the past, and probably even now, some people tried to fool the search engines through doorway pages, invisible keywords and other shaky procedures. These methods cannot bring long term success. So, build a solid web site, one that truthfully presents your goods
or services, and promote it in a conventional manner through proper search engine optimization, offline promotion in your printed materials, articles in online forums and newsletters, press releases, etc. If you have a good product or service and explain it properly emphasizing the benefits that it can bring to your web visitors, and promote it in a solid way, you will be in a good position to reap the rewards for your hard work.

3. Study and learn as much as you can

It is not possible for everyone to grasp all the technicalities of web design and promotion, but it is possible to get a broad overview of how it all works.  Sign up for good online newsletters, visit forums and websites where other webmasters ask
questions and offer advice. If you are in a particular niche market, see if there is a newsletter especially catering to your needs. Over the years I have learned a lot from the LE Digest , originally called Link Exchange Digest. Other good sources of
information are Site Pro News and Web Pro News.  If you have some money to spare then you can purchase e-books and printed books on marketing, web marketing and web design. Sometimes just one or two good ideas in a newsletter or an e-book can make a big difference. So, keep on studying and keep on learning

4. Monitor your traffic

When you become successful you will know it by the orders and inquiries that come in your daily e-mail. Until that time, you should pay close attention to your web logs or the web site analysis information that many web hosts provide.  Pay particular attention to where your visitors are coming from; that is, what are the referring pages that they visited before entering your site. And pay particular attention to the keywords that they used to find you. If you have some money to invest, then you can also experiment with pay per click listings with or other providers. Note which keywords bring you the best results, then optimize your pages for these proven keywords.

5. Make necessary changes to your website

Based on what you have learned, you may have to redesign your web site, rewrite the copy or work on the details of optimization. This may take time or may require additional expenditure, but it could be the step that brings you to success, so don�t be afraid to  rethink or redo your website. If you can do it by yourself or
through your in-house team, then go ahead with that. If you need outside help, then hire the best people you can according to your budget.

6. Be optimistic and don’t quit too soon

“It ain’t over till its over,” said the baseball player and sage, Yogi Berra. His words are especially true on the Internet, where conditions change every bit as fast as they do in the world of sports. Just when you think that your efforts have not produced anything, you may find your site popping up at the top of all the search engines, and orders coming into your in-box. So, hang in there and do not give up until you have really utilized your resources properly. If you truly have something good to offer, and if you have worked hard to promote it, the chances are that
your efforts will be crowned with success.

This Web Marketing article was written by Donald Nelson on 3/22/2005

Donald Nelson is a web developer, editor and social worker. He has been working on the Internet since 1995, and is currently the director of A1-Optimization (, a firm providing low cost search engine optimization, submission and web promotion services.