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Starting an Online Business All-in-One For Dummies®, 2nd Edition

Starting an Online Business All-in-One For Dummies®, 2nd Edition

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by Shannon Belew and Joel Elad

11 BOOKS IN 1

Contents at a Glance

Book I: Online Business Basics
Starting from Scratch
Turning Internet Dreams into Reality
Getting Real: Creating a Usable Business Plan
Finding Money to Fund Your Online Start-Up 
Creating Policies to Protect Your Web Site
Setting Up Shop: Everything You Need for Online Effi ciency
Book II: Legal and Accounting
Minding the Law
Choosing the Right Foundation: From Partnerships to Corporations
The Trademark-and-Copyright Two-Step
Accounting for Taxes (And Then Some)
Book III: Web Site Design
What’s in a (Domain) Name?
Designing Customer-Friendly Sites
Building a Site without Spending a Fortune
Finding the Host with the Most
Writing Content that Search Engines Want to See
Lights, Camera, Action! Taking Your Site Live
Book IV: Online and Operating
Determining Your Revenue Model 
Making Money with Affi liate Programs 
Turning Information into Profi t, from e-Books to Webinars 
Paying Up with the Right Payment Options 
Putting the (Shopping) Cart before the Horse
Taking Inventory
Fulfi lling Expectations and Orders
Book V: Internet Security
Understanding Security and Your RisksDeveloping a Security Plan
Attacked! What to Expect from the Net-Thief
Securing Your Site and Your Business
Overcoming Security Concerns in the Wireless World
Book VI: Boosting Sales
Driving Traffi c, Driving Sales 
Special-Edition Public Relations for the Web
Web Marketing at Work
Converting Browsers to Buyers
Analyzing and Monitoring Your Customers
Mastering Search Engines, Optimization, and Rankings
Book VII: Retail to E-Tail
Knowing When to Put Your Store Online
Understanding the Differences between Real and Virtual Customers
Window Dressing for the Online Display 
Making In-Store Customers Loyal Online Shoppers
Staying Local, Getting Mobile with M-Commerce
Troubleshooting the Transition to E-Tail
Book VIII: Storefront Selling
Instant E-Commerce with Storefronts
Mastering the Amazon
Let’s Hear It for Yahoo!
Making eBay THE Way
New Storefronts, New Opportunities
Book IX: Fundraising Sites
Raining Donations: Why Not-for-Profi t Is Big Business Online
Adding Online Moneymakers to an Existing Site
Getting the Donor Base to Come to You
More Online Marketing Strategies for Nonprofi ts
Legal Considerations for Nonprofi t Organizations
Book X: Niche E-Commerce
Discovering Niche Markets
Discovering Niche Trends That Pay: Children and Boomers
Blogging for Profi t 
Socializing (And Profi ting) in Second Life
Book XI: E-Commerce Advanced
Overhauling the Business 
Redesigning to Win New Customers
Expanding Products to Increase Stagnant Sales
Bringing Former Customers (Back) Home
Revisiting Marketing Strategies
Hiring Experts to Get Business Rolling Again
Transitioning a Small Site into Big Business

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Book Details
 Price
 3.00
 Pages
 843 p
 File Size 
 16,857 KB
 File Type
 PDF format
 ISBN
 978-0-470-43196-2
 Copyright©   
 2009 by Wiley Publishing, Inc 

About the Authors
Shannon Belew is the co-owner of several online businesses: allbizopps.com,
allsmallbiz.com, avespamedia.com, bizoffi ce.com, todayshomeoffi ce.com,
top10workathome.com, and workathome1.com. Bizoffi ce.com is a nationally
recognized, award-winning global provider of resources for small and home
businesses. Shannon writes the Huntsville Times column “Today’s Home
Offi ce”; has written magazine and newspaper articles; and founded the public
relations fi rm aVespa Media, Inc. Her clients have appeared in such venues as
Inc. magazine. She has also consulted for an Internet provider, advising companies
on developing and reengineering their online presence.

Joel Elad was a fan of the Internet before most people had ever heard of the
World Wide Web. He sells online as a PowerSeller on eBay with an impeccable
customer satisfaction rating. He also runs his own e-commerce businesses:
JoelElad.com focuses on selling educational products such as books
and DVDs about selling online, and NewComix.Com, which he co-founded in
1998, focuses on selling new comic books, Japanese manga, DVDs, and action
fi gures. He was the lead instructor for the Learning Annex in New York and
California for classes about eBay and advanced Internet sales, and he’s an
educational specialist trained by eBay. He also contributes to Entrepreneur
magazine, TrendGrinder.com, and SmartBiz.com.
After earning his MBA from the University of California–Irvine with an
emphasis on entrepreneurship and information technology, Joel co-authored
fi ve bestselling books focusing on online activities, including Web Stores
Do-It-Yourself For Dummies and LinkedIn For Dummies (both from Wiley
Publishing). He’s now a consultant to e-commerce companies, a trainer to
thousands of eager students at seminars and workshops, and a guide for
helping people attain the freedom of growing their sales and establishing
their own online presence.

Introduction
For two decades, the Internet has continued to prove itself a viable tool
for building, managing, and growing a business. Little doubt remains
that you can make money online and find success in doing so. In fact, since
beginning our own online endeavors, we have had the privilege of meeting
and working with a variety of entrepreneurs — people who, much like you,
share a dream of finding economic independence by running their own businesses.
As you might have guessed, many of them found success on the Internet.

The Internet provides not only a legitimate resource for starting your own
business that offers a steady source of income for your family but also a
nearly endless source of ideas and opportunities to market and grow your
company. It can even give you the flexibility to work from home, the freedom
to work part-time, or the ability to earn an additional source of income
to help make your life more enjoyable.

Now we want to share with you the knowledge and tools we picked up along
the way and provide you with a few shortcuts to help further your own
online endeavors.

About This Book
We first wrote this book in 2006 to cover the many different ways you can
start or expand a business by using the Internet. For this second edition, we
took great care to update all the key information that has remained valid in
the past couple of years. We also searched out many of the new opportunities
that have evolved since then, such as mobile commerce, social networking,
and blogging as a legitimate revenue maker. For that reason, among
others, we encourage you to use this book as a resource and return to it
whenever you need it most.

In addition to providing you with details regarding specific online business
strategies and moneymaking opportunities, the book covers basic offline
information. It’s the stuff that every small-business owner needs to understand,
such as how to apply standard accounting principles and keep up
with the legal side of running a business.

Of course, using this book doesn’t guarantee that you will make a lot of
money — or any money, for that matter. The book provides you with just
enough knowledge and inspiration to keep your online business dreams on
track. Running a business is hard work. It takes persistence, dedication, and
perhaps an equal mix of patience and luck.

Table of Contents
Introduction ........................................................................1
About This Book ..............................................................................................1
What You Need Not Read ...............................................................................2
Foolish Assumptions .......................................................................................2
How This Book Is Organized ..........................................................................2
Book I: Online Business Basics ............................................................3
Book II: Legal and Accounting ..............................................................3
Book III: Web Site Design ......................................................................3
Book IV: Online and Operating .............................................................3
Book V: Internet Security ......................................................................3
Book VI: Boosting Sales .........................................................................4
Book VII: Retail to E-Tail ........................................................................4
Book VIII: Storefront Selling ..................................................................4
Book IX: Fundraising Sites ....................................................................4
Book X: Niche E-Commerce ..................................................................5
Book XI: E-Commerce Advanced ..........................................................5
Icons Used in This Book .................................................................................5
Book I: Online Business Basics .............................................7
Chapter 1: Starting from Scratch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
What Are You Waiting For? Start Your Business Now! ...............................9
Choosing Just the Right Business ...............................................................11
Creating online businesses for today and tomorrow ......................11
Finding a business that’s your type...................................................11
Getting Started ...............................................................................................13
Chapter 2: Turning Internet Dreams into Reality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17
Thinking Like a Netrepreneur ......................................................................17
Putting Your Business Idea under the Microscope ...................................19
Using informal research to verify your idea .....................................19
Applying a SWOT analysis to your idea ............................................21
Creating a feasibility study to validate an idea ................................24
Identifying Your Market and Target Customer ..........................................25
Classifying your customer ..................................................................25
Going to the source .............................................................................26
Competing to Win: Analyzing Your Competition .......................................27
Chapter 3: Getting Real: Creating a Usable Business Plan . . . . . . . . .29
Understanding the Value of a Plan ..............................................................29
Recognizing That the Parts of the Plan Make a Whole .............................30
Getting Help to Write the Plan .....................................................................33
Determining when to hire a professional .........................................33
Knowing what to expect from a business plan consultant .............34
Using a Business Plan Today, Tomorrow, and Always .............................36
Chapter 4: Finding Money to Fund Your Online Start-Up . . . . . . . . . . .37
Bootstrapping the Low-Cost, No-Cost Site .................................................37
Making the leap to the bootstrapping lifestyle ................................38
Saving money to make money ............................................................38
Getting resourceful ..............................................................................39
Looking at the pros and cons of bootstrapping...............................42
Finding the Perfect Investor .........................................................................43
Turning to your friends and family network ....................................43
Finding angels .......................................................................................44
Venturing into the world of venture capital .....................................46
Checking Out Alternative Financing ............................................................48
Taking a Shortcut: Purchasing an Existing Site .........................................51
Chapter 5: Creating Policies to Protect Your Web Site. . . . . . . . . . . . .55
Taking Care of Customers ............................................................................55
I pledge to you ......................................................................................55
Put it in writing .....................................................................................56
Putting Policies in Place ...............................................................................57
Privacy policy .......................................................................................58
User agreement or terms and conditions .........................................59
Shipping policy .....................................................................................59
Return policy ........................................................................................60
Safety for young users .........................................................................61
Other online policies ...........................................................................61
Delivering On Your Promises .......................................................................62
Chapter 6: Setting Up Shop: Everything You Need
for Online Effi ciency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63
A Floor Plan for Success ...............................................................................63
Must-Have Equipment ...................................................................................66
Make form follow function ..................................................................66
Revving up with a powerful PC ..........................................................68
Let somebody else do the hard stuff .................................................70
Tools for Your Desktop .................................................................................71
Searching for a Web browser .............................................................71
Sending and receiving messages with e-mail ...................................72
Using document-viewing software
and other useful applications .........................................................73
Your Essential Software Toolkit ..................................................................74
Connectivity: Today’s Internet Options and More ....................................75
Book II: Legal and Accounting ...........................................77
Chapter 1: Minding the Law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .79
Keeping Your Business Legal .......................................................................79
Federal tax identifi cation number .....................................................80
Resale certifi cate ..................................................................................80
Business bank account........................................................................80
Employee forms ...................................................................................81
Zoning for Business (at Home) ....................................................................82
Obtaining Business Licenses ........................................................................85
Chapter 2: Choosing the Right Foundation:
From Partnerships to Corporations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .87
Strategizing for the Best Organization ........................................................87
Operating Alone as a Sole Proprietor .........................................................88
Fictitious name registration ...............................................................89
Husband/wife sole proprietorship ....................................................89
Sharing the Load with a Partnership ..........................................................90
Limited Liability Company (LLC) ................................................................91
Making It Offi cial with Incorporation ..........................................................91
Different fl avors of corporations .......................................................92
The choice to incorporate ..................................................................92
Changing Your Organization as It Grows ...................................................93
Chapter 3: The Trademark-and-Copyright Two-Step. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .95
Understanding Why Trademarks and Copyrights Matter ........................95
Making Your (Trade)Mark ............................................................................96
Protecting Your Investment with Copyrights ............................................97
Establishing Registration Yourself ..............................................................99
Getting your trademark .......................................................................99
Filing for copyright ............................................................................100
Retaining Professional Assistance .............................................................102
Chapter 4: Accounting for Taxes (And Then Some) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .103
The Tax Man Cometh — Again and Again ................................................103
Income tax ..........................................................................................104
Employment tax .................................................................................105
Sales tax ..............................................................................................108
By the Numbers: Accounting Basics .........................................................108
Determining periods and methods ..................................................109
And now, your balance sheet ...........................................................111
A quick glimpse: The P&L .................................................................112
Choosing Software to Make Your Tasks Easy ..........................................115
Going online? ......................................................................................115
What size are you? .............................................................................115
How much do you want to pay? .......................................................116
Do you need support? .......................................................................116
Hiring a Professional ...................................................................................117
Recognizing that it takes all types ...................................................117
Knowing what to expect from your tax professional ....................119
Finding likely candidates ..................................................................120
Choosing the best person for you ...................................................121
Following the Rules of Recordkeeping ......................................................123
Dealing with all the paper .................................................................123
Storing records: How long is long enough? ....................................123
Book III: Web Site Design ................................................127
Chapter 1: What’s in a (Domain) Name? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .129
Picking Your Online Identity ......................................................................129
Approaching your domain name carefully .....................................130
Understanding what a domain name should be ............................131
Registering the Perfect Name .....................................................................132
Who you gonna call?..........................................................................132
Let’s make it offi cial ...........................................................................133
Finding Out What to Do When Somebody Gets There First ...................136
Exploring your domain name options .............................................136
Getting what you want — at a price ................................................136
All the Good Ones Are (Not!) Taken ..........................................................138
Varying the extension .......................................................................138
Getting creative ..................................................................................140
Chapter 2: Designing Customer-Friendly Sites. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .141
Maximizing Performance for Profi tability ................................................141
Looking Your Best .......................................................................................143
Following basic design principles ....................................................143
Making design choices ......................................................................146
Choosing Substance Over Style .................................................................149
Counting on Function to Win Customers .................................................151
Understanding the customer experience .......................................151
Building function into your site .......................................................151
Chapter 3: Building a Site without Spending a Fortune . . . . . . . . . . .155
Mapping Your Route to a Successful Site .................................................156
Setting reasonable expectations ......................................................158
Avoiding common holdups in developing a site ............................159
You Can Do It! Make a Build-It-Yourself Site ............................................160
Using HTML: The old-fashioned way to build a page ....................161
Going modern with Adobe Dreamweaver and more .....................168
The pros and cons of using automated site builders ....................168
Creating Your Site with the Pros ...............................................................169
Seeking experience: Choosing the right Web site designer .........170
Comparing apples to apples .............................................................172
Speeding up the process ...................................................................173
Keeping an eye on your business interests ....................................174
Chapter 4: Finding the Host with the Most . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .177
Differentiating between an ISP and a Host ...............................................177
Determining What Makes the Difference for
High-Performance Hosting ......................................................................178
Sorting Out Your Web Site Host Options .................................................181
Putting the Long-Term Contract in the Past ............................................182
Serving Yourself: Don’t Overlook Other Server Options ........................182
Chapter 5: Writing Content that Search Engines Want to See. . . . . .185
Words Are Words — Right? Wrong! ..........................................................185
Getting Ready to Write for the Web ..........................................................186
Understanding who and why............................................................186
Understanding that packaging is everything .................................187
Getting organized ...............................................................................188
Making a list and checking it twice ..................................................188
Moved to Purchase: Turning Words into Action .....................................191
Choosing Words that Search Engines Notice ..........................................192
Chapter 6: Lights, Camera, Action! Taking Your Site Live . . . . . . . . .195
Some Things to Know Before You Start Uploading .................................195
Taking the Compatibility Test: Testing Screen Resolutions,
Browsers, and Platforms .........................................................................197
Checking it out ...................................................................................198
Testing on Mac, Windows, or whatever ..........................................199
Keeping people in mind ....................................................................199
Taking a Trial Run .......................................................................................199
Three, Two, One — Take Off! .....................................................................201
Book IV: Online and Operating .........................................203
Chapter 1: Determining Your Revenue Model. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .205
Selling Tangible Products ...........................................................................205
Projecting how you’ll make a profi t .................................................205
Manufacturing and selling your own goods ...................................206
Buying tangible goods and selling them online .............................207
Selling Your Professional Services ............................................................211
Understanding the pros and cons ...................................................211
Building credibility ............................................................................212
Selling Information ......................................................................................213
Placing Ads for Profi t ..................................................................................215
Looking at sites that sell ...................................................................215
Analyzing traffi c patterns..................................................................216
Choosing ad formats .........................................................................219
Estimating your revenue potential ..................................................221
Getting it from Google .......................................................................222
Managing ad space inventory ..........................................................225
Selling the space ................................................................................226
Establishing an Affi liate Advertising Program .........................................226
Putting It All Together: Multiple Revenue Streams .................................228
Chapter 2: Making Money with Affi liate Programs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .231
Looking at How Affi liate Programs Work ..................................................231
Understanding some affi liate terms ................................................232
Finding an affi liate program ..............................................................233
Signing Up for an Affi liate Network ...........................................................235
Avoiding Scams and Questionable Content .............................................238
Illegal affi liations ................................................................................239
Questionable affi liations ...................................................................239
Chapter 3: Turning Information into Profi t,
from e-Books to Webinars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .243
Creating Your Own Information Product .................................................244
Finding hot topics ..............................................................................244
Researching the information ............................................................245
Organizing your thoughts .................................................................246
Providing E-Books .......................................................................................248
Creating the document......................................................................248
Distributing your e-book on e-shelves ............................................250
Putting Together a Webinar .......................................................................251
Your recording session .....................................................................252
Finding your audience .......................................................................253
Chapter 4: Paying Up with the Right Payment Options . . . . . . . . . . . .255
Accepting Credit Card Payments ..............................................................255
Securing a merchant account ...........................................................257
Choosing a payment gateway ...........................................................258
Reading the fi ne print: Fees ..............................................................260
Offering Alternative Payment Options ......................................................261
Managing the Payment Process to Protect Your Income .......................263
Chapter 5: Putting the (Shopping) Cart before the Horse . . . . . . . . . .265
Not All Carts Are Created Equal ................................................................265
Back-end management ......................................................................266
Customer-centric ...............................................................................266
Integration and maintenance ...........................................................267
Promotion and marketing .................................................................268
Shopping Around for the Best Hosted Solution ......................................269
1ShoppingCart ....................................................................................270
GoECart ...............................................................................................270
Finding Off-the-Shelf Software ....................................................................272
Designing a Cart for You .............................................................................273
Chapter 6: Taking Inventory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .275
Finding Out What’s Popular By Using eBay .............................................276
Putting Together All Your Research .........................................................278
Pricing Your Products .................................................................................278
Building Your Inventory .............................................................................280
Stocking up as a low-price leader ....................................................281
Becoming all things to all people with
trial-and-error inventory ...............................................................281
Specializing with limited inventory .................................................282
Chapter 7: Fulfi lling Expectations and Orders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .283
Figuring Out the Logistics of Shipping ......................................................284
Developing an In-House Fulfi llment Model ...............................................284
Deciding to Outsource Fulfi llment .............................................................286
Finding an outsourcing partner .......................................................287
Establishing your outsourcing relationship ...................................288
Operating with an outsourced fulfi llment house ...........................290
Assessing the quality of the fulfi llment work .................................291
Shaping Up and Shipping Out ....................................................................292
Giving shipping options to your customers ...................................293
Setting up accounts with carriers ....................................................294
Creating online postage and labels .................................................295
Having items picked up for delivery................................................296
Shipping international orders ..........................................................297
Maintaining the Back End ...........................................................................299
Deciding on a database .....................................................................299
Using handheld scanners and bar codes ........................................301
Developing a shelving inventory system ........................................301
Feeding orders into the shipping department ...............................302
Book V: Internet Security ................................................303
Chapter 1: Understanding Security and Your Risks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .305
Legal Responsibility: The Merchant and the Customer .........................305
Avoiding charge-backs ......................................................................306
Keeping your customer information secure...................................307
Defi ning Your Privacy Policy ......................................................................309
Keeping Your Web Site Secure ..................................................................310
Displaying Seals of Approval ......................................................................313
Chapter 2: Developing a Security Plan. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .315
Making a Plan ...............................................................................................315
Policies and procedures ...................................................................316
Inventory and skills assessments ....................................................318
Risk analysis .......................................................................................320
Existing security measures ...............................................................321
Action plan ..........................................................................................322
Resources and follow up ...................................................................323
Creating a Budget for Your Plan ................................................................323
Finding Security Resources ........................................................................324
Chapter 3: Attacked! What to Expect from the Net-Thief . . . . . . . . . .327
Fending Off Denial-of-Service Attacks .......................................................327
Deterring Hackers ........................................................................................329
Avoiding Viruses and Other Malware .......................................................331
Keeping Your Domain Name Safe ..............................................................332
Staying Away from E-Mail Scams ...............................................................334
Phishing...............................................................................................334
Pharming .............................................................................................337
Chapter 4: Securing Your Site and Your Business. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .339
Protecting against Credit Card Fraud .......................................................339
Minimizing your own fi nancial losses .............................................339
Protecting customers’ privacy and fi nancial data .........................341
Backing Up Your Data .................................................................................343
Adding Firewalls ..........................................................................................346
Chapter 5 : Overcoming Security Concerns in the Wireless World . . . .347
Understanding How a Wireless LAN Works .............................................347
Establishing Barriers ...................................................................................350
Following your common sense ........................................................350
Setting up a virtual private network ................................................351
Keeping an eye on your connection ................................................352
Book VI: Boosting Sales ...................................................353
Chapter 1: Driving Traffi c, Driving Sales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .355
Calculating Your Site’s Conversion Rate ..................................................355
Figuring Out When You Get the Most Traffi c ...........................................356
Getting Customers to Notice Your Web Site ............................................358
Chapter 2: Special-Edition Public Relations for the Web. . . . . . . . . .361
Writing Reviews ...........................................................................................362
Finding the best places to post reviews .........................................362
Writing the review, section by section ...........................................364
Becoming a Community Leader .................................................................366
Speaking out with Webinars .............................................................366
Billing yourself as an expert .............................................................367
Writing Articles ............................................................................................369
Tailoring your article topics .............................................................369
Putting together your article ............................................................370
Handing out your articles .................................................................371
Chapter 3: Web Marketing at Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .373
Developing a Marketing Strategy ...............................................................373
Devising your brand ..........................................................................374
Working the brand .............................................................................375
Reeling In Customers with Newsletters ....................................................377
Decide who will write your newsletter ...........................................378
Decide what your newsletter will cover .........................................379
Decide when to issue your newsletter ............................................379
Decide on a format for your newsletter ..........................................379
Decide how to distribute your newsletter ......................................380
Automating Your Routine Tasks ................................................................381
Searching for Traffi c with Search Engine Advertising ............................382
Signing up for Google AdWords .......................................................384
Deciding when to use pay-per-click .................................................389
Marketing Your Company Offl ine ..............................................................390
Chapter 4: Converting Browsers to Buyers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .393
Giving Customers a Reason to Stay on Your Site ....................................393
Providing your own content on your site .......................................395
Getting other people to provide your content ...............................395
Anticipating Customer Needs ....................................................................396
Watching customer logs ...................................................................398
Predicting future purchases .............................................................398
Organizing a Buyer-Friendly Site ...............................................................400
Streamlining the shopping process .................................................400
Toning down the bells and whistles ................................................402
Keeping Your Shopping Cart Simple .........................................................403
Avoiding Assumptions about Your Customers .......................................406
Asking customers for feedback ........................................................406
Remembering your customers .........................................................408
Encouraging Viewers to Buy ......................................................................408
Offering deals and promotions ........................................................409
Sending one last reminder ................................................................410
Chapter 5: Analyzing and Monitoring Your Customers . . . . . . . . . . . .413
Tracking Trends ...........................................................................................414
Measuring Web Site Traffi c ........................................................................415
Defi ning the terms of traffi c analysis ...............................................416
Looking at your log fi le ......................................................................417
Referring to your referrer fi le ...........................................................418
Examining error logs .........................................................................420
Checking abandoned shopping-cart logs........................................421
Scrutinizing the most common entry- or exit-page logs ...............422
Measuring Traffi c against Activity .............................................................422
Jam Packed: Traffi c-Analysis Software .....................................................423
Basic analysis software .....................................................................423
Detailed analysis software ................................................................424
Enterprise or big business ................................................................426
Collecting the Correct Information ...........................................................426
Storing data using cookies ................................................................427
Adding information to your links .....................................................427
Studying the path analysis................................................................428
Getting to Know Your Customer Really Well ...........................................429
Using Your Data to Understand Your Business .......................................432
Watching trends to fi nd out average behavior ..............................432
Identifying areas of improvement ....................................................432
Deciding on a change ........................................................................433
Following up .......................................................................................434
Chapter 6: Mastering Search Engines,
Optimization, and Rankings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .435
Navigating the Ins and Outs of Major Search Engines ............................436
Getting Your Web Site Noticed by Search Engines .................................437
Submitting Your Site to Search Engines ...................................................439
Signing up with Google ......................................................................439
Signing up with Yahoo! ......................................................................440
Submitting to other search engines ................................................442
Placing Keywords in Key Spots on Your Web Site ..................................443
Keywords that are invisible ..............................................................443
Keywords that are visible .................................................................446
Arranging Your Pages Strategically ...........................................................448
Watching Your Rankings ............................................................................449
Moving Up in the Rankings .........................................................................451
Knowing where you stand ................................................................451
Seeing what your competition is doing ...........................................454
Creating your own referrals .............................................................454
Discovering Editorial Opportunities with Engines ..................................455
Book VII: Retail to E-Tail .................................................457
Chapter 1: Knowing When to Put Your Store Online . . . . . . . . . . . . . .459
Making the Decision to Move Your Store Online ....................................459
Finding the Right Time ................................................................................461
Taking into account seasonal latitude ............................................461
Timing your launch around an event ..............................................462
Dedicating manpower .......................................................................462
Bridging Your Offl ine Store with Your Online Store ...............................463
Finding your identity .........................................................................463
Creating an image ..............................................................................464
Integrating your shopping cart ........................................................464
Making a Flawless Transition .....................................................................464
Stage 1: Orientation ...........................................................................465
Stage 2: Implementation ....................................................................465
Stage 3: Evaluation .............................................................................466
Building an Inventory ..................................................................................467
Chapter 2: Understanding the Differences between
Real and Virtual Customers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .471
Comparing Online and Offl ine Customers ................................................471
What Your Online Customers Expect from You ......................................473
Round-the-clock hours ......................................................................473
A variety of payment methods .........................................................474
Everything a customer could want, plus the kitchen sink ...........474
Details, details, details ......................................................................474
Methods for coping with the holiday rush .....................................475
Flexibility.............................................................................................476
Superior customer service ...............................................................476
Establishing Patterns ..................................................................................479
Chapter 3: Window Dressing for the Online Display. . . . . . . . . . . . . .481
Creating the Right Look for Your Online Store ........................................481
Creating the Perfect Shopping Experience ...............................................483
Organizing your products in categories .........................................484
Offering a search function ................................................................485
Beyond Window Shopping: Designs that Lure Traffi c ............................487
Chapter 4: Making In-Store Customers Loyal Online Shoppers . . . .489
Benefi ting Customers (And Your Business) with
In-Store and Online Synergy ...................................................................490
Enticing Customers to Your Online Offering ...........................................491
Publicizing your Web presence .......................................................491
Displaying your online goods in-store ............................................492
Showing shoppers the money ..........................................................493
Providing a Positive Shopping Experience ...............................................494
Keeping friendly, fl exible policies ....................................................494
Offering impeccable customer support ..........................................495
Enlightening your shoppers .............................................................495
Making Your Customer the Star ................................................................496
Chapter 5: Staying Local, Getting Mobile with M-Commerce . . . . . .497
Distinguishing Between Different Types of Mobile Commerce .............498
Sending SMS alerts .............................................................................499
Advertising with text-to-buy .............................................................500
Distributing mobile coupons ............................................................500
Localizing with Ads .....................................................................................501
Google AdWords ................................................................................502
Yahoo! Search Marketing ..................................................................504
Chapter 6: Troubleshooting the Transition to E-Tail . . . . . . . . . . . . . .509
Handling Returns in the Store from Online Sales ....................................509
Merging Existing Back-End Systems with Online Requirements ...........510
Managing inventory ...........................................................................511
Fulfi lling and shipping your orders .................................................512
Tracking your orders.........................................................................513
Maintaining site performance ..........................................................513
Deciding How to Handle Integration .........................................................514
Extending Payment Options to Virtual Customers .................................515
Buy now, pay later .............................................................................515
Check alternatives .............................................................................517
Book VIII: Storefront Selling ............................................519
Chapter 1: Instant E-Commerce with Storefronts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .521
Knowing What You Want: Features ...........................................................521
Performance .......................................................................................522
Product merchandizing and marketing ..........................................523
Administration features ....................................................................525
Realizing What You Can Have: Cost ..........................................................526
Shopping for Storefronts ............................................................................528
Chapter 2: Mastering the Amazon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .529
Joining the Marketplace ..............................................................................529
Achieving Pro Merchant Status .................................................................536
Taking Advantage of Other Selling Opportunities with
Amazon Web Stores .................................................................................538
Chapter 3: Let’s Hear It for Yahoo! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .541
Why Open a Yahoo! Store? .........................................................................542
Setting Up Shop ............................................................................................543
Managing Your Yahoo! Services ................................................................545
Opening Your Yahoo! Store for Business .................................................547
Constructing your catalog ................................................................547
Opening the doors .............................................................................549
Selecting a Yahoo! Plan ...............................................................................550
Starter package: Starting out ............................................................550
Standard package: Moving up ..........................................................551
Professional package: Building on solid ground ............................551
Breaking Down the Fees .............................................................................551
Growing with Your New Business Partner ...............................................553
Marketing programs ..........................................................................553
Customer relationship management ...............................................554
Report results .....................................................................................555
Chapter 4: Making eBay THE Way . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .557
Understanding How eBay Works ...............................................................557
Getting Started on eBay ..............................................................................558
Setting Up an Auction .................................................................................562
Maintaining your auctions ................................................................566
Leaving feedback for your buyer .....................................................566
Opening an eBay Store ................................................................................568
Setting up shop ..................................................................................570
Managing your store ..........................................................................572
Becoming a PowerSeller....................................................................573
Joining the Reseller Marketplace .....................................................574
Chapter 5: New Storefronts, New Opportunities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .575
Highest Bidder Takes All with Auction Sites ............................................575
Localizing Storefronts with LiveDeal ........................................................578
Creating Instant Products with CafePress ................................................579
Discovering the benefi ts ...................................................................580
Registering with CafePress ...............................................................582
Setting up your store .........................................................................583
Adding images and products............................................................584
Comparing Features to Find the Best Deal in Storefronts ......................588
Spreadshirt .........................................................................................588
Zazzle ...................................................................................................589
Book IX: Fundraising Sites ...............................................591
Chapter 1: Raining Donations: Why Not-for-Profi t Is
Big Business Online . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .593
Determining How Your Organization Can Benefi t ...................................593
Convincing Your Board of Directors .........................................................594
Tying the Internet strategy into your mission ...............................595
Developing an online strategy ..........................................................595
Providing a budget-friendly proposal .............................................596
Offering case studies .........................................................................597
Recruiting an expert ..........................................................................597
Garnering positive peer pressure ....................................................597
Getting specifi c ...................................................................................598
Chapter 2: Adding Online Moneymakers to an Existing Site . . . . . . .599
Determining Which Features Your Site Can Support ..............................599
Testing your backbone (connections) ............................................601
Deciding on your computer needs ..................................................601
Locating your server .........................................................................602
Processing payments ........................................................................603
Tracking back-end modules .............................................................603
Mapping your site structure .............................................................604
Determining staffi ng capabilities .....................................................605
Paying the piper: Your budget .........................................................605
Adding an Auction to Your Site .................................................................606
Third-party auctions..........................................................................606
Direct auctions without the middleman — almost .......................608
Soliciting Donations on Your Site ..............................................................610
Connecting with online giving sites .................................................610
Adding Donate Now buttons ............................................................612
Shopping for a good cause ...............................................................613
Chapter 3: Getting the Donor Base to Come to You . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .615
Building an Online Donor Base from Scratch ..........................................615
Get your site noticed .........................................................................616
Engage passersby ..............................................................................616
Establish a relationship ....................................................................617
Putting Together a Plan to Reach Donors ................................................618
Converting the Faithful ...............................................................................619
Reaching Out to People Surfi ng for Charities ..........................................622
Chapter 4: More Online Marketing Strategies
for Nonprofi ts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .625
Asking for Donations ...................................................................................625
Multiplying donation buttons on your site .....................................625
Passing the hat (pass-alongs)...........................................................627
Building personalized pages.............................................................628
Circulating donation links offl ine .....................................................630
Cross-promoting ................................................................................631
Making Donating Easy .................................................................................632
Chapter 5: Legal Considerations for Nonprofi t Organizations . . . . . .635
Designating Responsibility .........................................................................635
Creating Online Policies ..............................................................................637
Registering Your Charity ............................................................................638
Gaining Seals of Approval ...........................................................................640
Better Business Bureau .....................................................................640
Charity Navigator ...............................................................................641
Book X: Niche E-Commerce ..............................................643
Chapter 1: Discovering Niche Markets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .645
Deciding to Sell a Niche Product ...............................................................645
Finding Your Niche ......................................................................................647
Chapter 2: Discovering Niche Trends That Pay:
Children and Boomers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .651
Marketing to Children .................................................................................651
Attracting a fi ckle customer .............................................................652
Keeping ’em coming back for more .................................................653
Reeling in the parents .......................................................................654
Reading the small print: Important policies to consider ..............656
Understanding the Baby Boomer Market .................................................658
Designing your site to attract aging customers .............................659
Keeping baby boomers buying from you........................................662
Finding a niche within the baby boomer market ...........................662
Chapter 3: Blogging for Profi t. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .665
Creating Value ..............................................................................................665
Finding your voice .............................................................................666
Content, content, content .................................................................667
Earning Money with Google AdSense .......................................................668
Choosing a Blog Platform ...........................................................................670
Signing up with Blogger.com ............................................................671
Getting started with WordPress ......................................................672
Chapter 4: Socializing (And Profi ting) in Second Life . . . . . . . . . . . . .677
Introducing Other Worlds ..........................................................................677
Social networks ..................................................................................678
Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPG)...678
Virtual communities ..........................................................................679
Navigating the Basics of Second Life ........................................................679
Signing up with Second Life ..............................................................680
Modifying your avatar .......................................................................683
Getting your hands on Linden Dollars ............................................685
Earning a Living in Second Life ..................................................................687
Unskilled labor ...................................................................................687
Skilled labor ........................................................................................688
Entrepreneurs ....................................................................................688
Selling your wares in the Marketplace ............................................690
Other income opportunities .............................................................692
Book XI: E-Commerce Advanced .......................................693
Chapter 1: Overhauling the Business . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .695
Paying Attention to the Signs .....................................................................695
Qualifying for a Makeover from Lagging Sales .........................................699
Increasing the number of visitors to your site ...............................699
Converting more visitors to buyers ................................................700
Knowing Where to Start ..............................................................................702
Chapter 2: Redesigning to Win New Customers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .703
Updating an Outdated Look .......................................................................704
Giving your designs a purpose .........................................................704
Changing for the sake of change ......................................................705
Telling customers about the change ...............................................705
Deciding what to update ...................................................................707
Increasing Appeal ........................................................................................709
Giving your customers search capability .......................................709
Adding content ...................................................................................712
Creating a user community ..............................................................714
Running a poll.....................................................................................715
Making Your Web Site Functional .............................................................715
Updating your Web site in a timely manner ...................................715
Building smart navigation tools .......................................................716
Building your customer history .......................................................718
Chapter 3: Expanding Products to Increase Stagnant Sales . . . . . . .719
Figuring Out When to Expand Your Product Line ...................................719
Limited-appeal products ...................................................................721
Limited-use products ........................................................................722
Technology-based products .............................................................722
Product marketing .............................................................................723
Product positioning ...........................................................................723
Price points .........................................................................................723
Conversion rates ................................................................................723
Replacement or Expansion: The Art of Culling Your Inventory ............724
Replacing one product with another...............................................724
Expanding your product line ............................................................725
Finding New Products .................................................................................726
Chapter 4: Bringing Former Customers (Back) Home . . . . . . . . . . . . .729
Figuring Out Why a Customer Left ............................................................729
Instituting countermeasures ............................................................731
Asking for reasons that customers leave........................................731
Offering Customers Incentives to Return .................................................733
A tailor-made offer .............................................................................734
A targeted offer ..................................................................................734
Enticing Customers to Stay ........................................................................735
Giving them blow-your-socks-off service! .......................................735
Rewarding loyalty ..............................................................................736
Saying “Thank You” .....................................................................................737
Chapter 5: Revisiting Marketing Strategies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .739
Reviewing the Progress Report: An Annual Tradition ............................740
Getting the right reports ...................................................................741
Sharing your progress report with your team ...............................742
Figuring Out What Worked and What Didn’t ...........................................743
Analyzing a failure .............................................................................743
Examining a success ..........................................................................745
Changing Plans for a Growing Company ..................................................746
Focusing on specifi c elements of your strategy.............................746
Testing your ideas .............................................................................747
Automating your campaign ..............................................................748
Finding Your Place in the Market ..............................................................750
Focusing on your strengths ..............................................................750
Emphasizing quality, not quantity ...................................................750
Increasing your profi t, not buzz .......................................................751
Borrowing Strategies from Others ............................................................751
Stealing a page from your competitor’s playbook.........................752
Updating your strategy for survival ................................................753
Partnering with other companies ....................................................754
Chapter 6: Hiring Experts to Get Business Rolling Again. . . . . . . . . .755
Bringing In the Pros .....................................................................................755
Looking at the age of your business ................................................757
Looking at the severity of the problem and
attempts to solve it ........................................................................758
Looking at your skill level .................................................................758
Looking at the timing .........................................................................759
Matching the Right Advisors to Your Business Needs ...........................759
Choosing the Right Consultant ..................................................................761
Defi ning the Relationship ...........................................................................762
Overcoming Great Expectations and Still Getting Results .....................764
Chapter 7: Transitioning a Small Site into Big Business . . . . . . . . . .767
Seeking Out the Next Level of Your Business ..........................................767
Expanding the business ....................................................................767
Acquiring other sites .........................................................................768
Becoming an affi liate or a partner ...................................................768
Going international ............................................................................769
Bringing in fi nancial partners ...........................................................770
Going public........................................................................................770
Passing on your company and retiring ...........................................771
Selling your site ..................................................................................772
Selling your domain ...........................................................................775
Dealing with Accidental Success ...............................................................775
Purposefully Making the Next Move .........................................................778
Index ..............................................................................781


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What You Need Not Read
You should at least browse through every section of this book. Even if your
e-commerce skills are more advanced, it never hurts to have a refresher
course on some of the business basics. Considering that the Internet
touches many different aspects of people’s lives, you never know what unexpected
tidbits of information you might discover.

Nonetheless, some parts of this book certainly aren’t required reading —
you know, the extra stuff. Typically, these sidebars and paragraphs are
marked with Technical Stuff icons. They provide a little more detail because
sometimes you need just the meat of an issue.

If you don’t think that this “extra stuff” is necessary information, you have
our permission to skip it. We know — you don’t need our permission. This
is your book now. Use it in the manner that’s most helpful to you and your online business.

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