My blog has moved! Redirecting…

You should be automatically redirected. If not, visit and update your bookmarks.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Starting an E-Biz - Part 2: Choosing Domain Names and Hosting

Blogtrepreneur has moved! Please check out the new site at If you are a subscriber to Blogtrepreneur feeds or newsletter you will not experience any changes!

Welcome back fellow Blogtrepreneurs to the 2nd part in my series of How To Start Your Own E-Business. In the previous issue, we looked at How To Plan Your E-Biz.

In order to start any type of business online, you need to have a website, or a "virtual address" where potential customers can come and visit you to find out more about your product. The domain name of any company is their online address, and it is this address which needs to be just as appealing or recognised by others who may buy your products.
The key to success in choosing a domain name is to firstly always buy a .com name. In most cases, especially with common terms or niches, your desired domain name will already have been bought buy someone else. If this is the case, try and contact the owner to see if they are willing to give up the domain name for a set amount of money.
If this fails, then .net or .org extensions are the next best. Finally if these names are taken to, then there are 100s of TLD's that are of course less popular. Extensions such as .us or lack credibility in my opinion, however, it can appeal to customers from the same country.

To register a domain name, I personally prefer, they are friendly, their customer support is pretty good and their services online are easy to use. Pricing for a .com name at the moment is only £8.89 per year, but that price can only decrease over time. For a cheaper solution are a breathtaking £1.99 per year, a bargain!

Once you have registered your "virtual address", you now need a "virtual residence" where you can place all your information regarding your business in one place, a holding place for your articles, pictures and videos. When it comes to hosting, there are a few factors which you should consider: firstly, how reliable are your hosting service? Hosts should have an up-time of at least 95%. Also check to make sure that the host offers 24/7 phone support, not an automated service. Finally make sure to check how much bandwidth you are offered. Bandwidth is basically the number of visitors that are able to visit your site.

Personally, for my mum's site I used Frozen Webhost, which came recommended by a friend. Their customer support is second to none and their pricing is very competitive: 10 GB Bandwidth, 1000MB disk, Unlimited emails, Unlimited MySqls (for forums and blogs) is only $5 per month.

Once you have secured your domain name and hosting it is time to start designing your site, and it is this subject that we will be focusing on in the next issue of How To Start Your Own E-Biz.

Kepp it Up!!!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Starting an E-Biz - Part 1: Planning your business

Blogtrepreneur has moved! Please check out the new site at If you are a subscriber to Blogtrepreneur feeds or newsletter you will not experience any changes!

Welcome to my four part series on How To Start Your Own E-Business. In these series of articles I will cover Planning your Business, Securing a Domain Name and Hosting, Site Design and Content and Marketing your E-Site.

So, let's focus on Planning your first E-Business. To start any business, especially an online, I would recommend focusing on what you enjoy doing. It might be playing golf, knitting, reading books or cooking. To be an entrepreneur in this field, you need to be genuinely interested in what you are selling, otherwise, you may lose interest and that will result in a loss of sales and money.
Now, using this category (eg. golf), jot down some rough ideas on the type of golf-related item or information that you could use for your site. Don't get me wrong. Information can sell just as well as a physical golf product, things like Ebooks have become famous for their ease in creation and for their cheap manufacture and shipping. However, you will still need a website in order to sell your final product.

Once you have a few ideas, for example golf tees and balls, try and think of a way in which you can stand yourself out from the crowd. If you search for golf tees on Google, there are hundreds if not thousands of small or large businesses hoping to make it big by selling these tees. However, they are faced with too much competition, resulting in lower sales prices, and lower profits. If you can come up with a novel concept or an idea which has little competition then you could be onto a winner. I came up with the great idea of selling personalized golf balls and tees. Although there is competition, this is limited, allowing me to make a good profit on my items.

Planning your website before creating it, will also help you focus your goals, and avoid useless information on the site. I recommend making a site flow, i.e. draw a simple page which shows links, and navigation around the site, no images or content, merely the site frame.

Once you have planned your site's navigation then things such as layout, colour schemes and content will be easier to add, however we will cover this topic and other more thoroughly in my next articles.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

What's New on Google Adsense?

I thought that I should just update what's going on in the world of Adsense.
The Adsense staff have now added a single page "Make an Adsense Code" for all the Adsense veterans amongst us. I think this was because they received a large number of complaints from the more experienced Adsense users.
AdSense have also introduced a referral program for AdWords so now you can earn $20 for referring a new advertiser to the program (once they spend their first $100).
Although I myself have not had much success with Adsense or any other referral programs from this particular blog, I do have some more ideas in the pipeline so that I can get my first $100 cheque!!!
Anyway, keep blogging away!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Selling Niche Products

I regularly hear from Internet entrepreneurs (such as Robbin Tungett and blogger Yaro Starak), that selling Niche products is the key to success.
But what is a niche product to start with?
A niche is a category, not one of those diverse categories such as "sport" or "films", but a more defined and generally speaking, a niche which appeals to less people. A few examples of this could be "dog food" or "wallets" or "car exhausts".

According to a wide variety of sources, it is niche products that can cause repeat buying (i.e. buying multiple items from the same person), and an increase in sales. Also, another advantage is less competition from similar sellers.

Let me take a real life example from what I have been selling on eBay recently. Every month I acquire too much contact lens solution, and so I decided to research this on eBay. I listed an item of this solution, and the item attracted bids and sold at around £5. Since then, every contact lens solution I have listed has attracted bidders, and there are at any one time only 20-30 items online at a time = less competition!

I would recommend to anyone to start researching a niche product which they can sell on eBay or on their website. Start by going to to research an item. Then go to eBay to find the potential profit on an item (use completed listings function to help), and then finally, search on google to find any competition from other websites.

To your success...

Thursday, April 06, 2006

How To Make Money on the Internet - Part 3: Affiliates

In previous posts I have covered various money making sites and opportunities for example Part 1: eBay and Part 2: Google Adsense.
However, for many people, it has been the use of affiliate links on websites which have provided the largest percentage of all website revenue. So I'll try and explain the major points surrounding such a vast topic.

What is an affiliate scheme?
You have a website and want to make money, so you enroll yourself in an affiliate or associate scheme. Let's take for example. In return for signing up, Amazon asks you to place a piece of html on your site, which enables their ads to be seen on your site. Then every time one of your visitors click on the Amazon link, and buy a product from Amazon, you get commission from that sale. These percentages range from 5% to 7.5% of the product price. Amazon then sends you a cheque or money can be sent by Direct Debit (why can't Adsense have this?!).

The amount of money you can make through Affiliates like this are endless, and all of the thousands of schemes out there offer you different commission fees, so shop around for the best payers.

Affiliate Optimization Tips...
Although I do not use any affiliate schemes on my Blogger site (as it does not allow me to do so), I have read articles from other bloggers on how to benefit the most from placing associate ads on your site:

1) Place affiliate ads that are relevant to your website genre/content: If like me, you are running a Business and Entrepreneurial site, with loads of information about how to make money, you don't want ads around your pages showing products for Table Tennis or Horseriding. Target your audience. Put yourself in their position. What would I buy if I was an entrepreneur? Maybe a book or guide showing how you can use Adsense to its full potential. Amazon has loads of books like this on their site, so place ads that show hese books, and you are likely to see more sales.

2) Blend the ads in with your site: Many people still seem to insist that you should make your ads stand out from the general theme of your site. However, I find that whenever I stumble upon a site using an affiliate, I am put off by contrasting colours. Try to use the same colours for your ads as your site, as this will make the products look more personal and professional.

I have only touched on a few points here, but please get in touch if you feel I have left something big out of my list. To finish, I'll give you the top Affiliate Schemes which have had the most success with other bloggers and entrepreneurs:

Commission Junction
SixApart (creators of TypePad)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Use a Simple Style Guide when writing for your Blog

I recently have been fortunate to have an article written for me by Craig McGinty, a freelance journalist who runs a number of websites including
He is a firm believer that entrepreneurs and small firms can use blog-style websites to boost their business.

"IF you are looking to make your website work hard for you and boost your business then it needs to look professional, he writes.The design and style is something that you most probably take a lot of time over, but what about the words themselves?

It is important that your articles look as one, that readers are not confused by the appearance of the words on the screen and that your audience are comfortable reading what you write. That is where a simple style guide comes in which is a number of rules that your articles will stick to when you are writing them.

If you look at a newspaper you will see that opening paragraphs will often start with the first word in capitals, dates will be in the same format and the use of certain characters will be banned.To give you a quick idea of the style-guide I use, it’s not written down it’s just in my head, here are some of the rules I stick to:

* Every story I write opens with the first word in capitals, check the first paragraph of this article. If you start with the word ‘I’ then capitalise the next word as well.

* Keep sentences short and snappy, don’t use exclamation marks or capitals mid-sentence unless it’s an abbreviation and understand how apostrophes work.

* Stick to the same way of writing dates, I use September 6, 2005 and for the time I use am and pm, but if you are more comfortable with the 24 hour clock use this instead.

* When you write a number if it is between zero and ten spell it out (just like I’ve done) and anything above, for example 17, use the actual number.

One of the benefits you get from sticking to a style guide is more time, as you are not wondering how something should be written.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Misspell search for eBay

Every one wants to find a real bargain on eBay. But sometimes with the amount of competition from other buyers on the net, getting a good price just isn't possible.

However, while I was surfing the other day, I discovered that many people when listing their mp3 player for example, spell the title of it wrong (either by accident or because they don't know). So for example they might list the auction as "Ipood 4gb blak mp3 playar". As a result when people search for a black ipod player, their item won't show up and voila, no bids.

That's where the Misspell tool at comes into handy. You type in the correct spelling of Ipod, and it comes out with loads of other alternatives that people may have used in their listing. And because only a few people know about this tool, you could be getting items of eBay for a really good price.

Give it a go and tell me how it goes.
Happy blogging

web tracker