Whether you create your own product, drop ship, resell, operate as an independent contractor or operate under another company's business plan, your biggest challenge as a home based business owner is to figure out a marketing strategy that will effectively generate traffic and leads for your product or service.
You may feel great about having a work from home business opportunity with a valuable product or service.
You may feel that all you need to do is finish your website and publish it. This applies whether you have a custom website design or one provided by your affiliate company.
But soon you realize that company X has failed to inform you that lack of marketing skills can bankrupt your business.
And you find that it's not so easy to overcome all the online competition in order to attract the targeted traffic that you need to create your successful home based business.
Plus, you do not have pockets deep enough to allow you to compete with large companies or high powered internet marketing gurus who know how to leverage the power of the internet to generate targeted traffic.
Even the gurus know that it is a full time job to keep up to date on search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO), blogs, video, mp3, pay-per-click (PPC), e-mail and social networking technologies.
But wait, your hopes and dreams are not in vain.
You can still be successful online, but there are a few basic things to learn.
Your first basic lesson is to learn the difference between an offline and an online business.
A key Marketing 101 principle applied to most brick-and-mortar small businesses is that location, location, location is critical to business success.
Time, distance and convenience are the main reasons why location is so important. For example, locating your business at a four-way intersection with daily high volume traffic from all directions is usually a good strategic decision.
Additionally, the sign on your building tells those passing by what you do and makes a first impression, hopefully a good one.
How does this apply to your web site?
First, location, location, location translates to information, information, and information -- this is the main thing online visitors want. Like drivers driving down the street, they intend to arrive somewhere. In addition to the design and convenience of your site, the initial content relevancy acts like a physical sign and convinces them that they have arrived at the right location.
Secondly, the traffic to your online location is mainly controlled by search engines. These are the global traffic cops. They decide how much and what type of traffic flows to your location. If your business is to survive and thrive online, it's in your best interest to know the rules and etiquette of their systems. And the rules change constantly.
Thirdly, attracting attention is only the first step to your success. Even more critical and challenging is knowledge of how to keep that attention. Online shoppers tend to be very quick to click away from a location. Continuing to clearly and simply provide them the information they want convinces them to stay.
Lastly, only after you have attracted and kept their attention are you able to effectively communicate your value proposition and key benefits.