What to Expect with an Internet Business
A business on the Internet can be a great thing or a disappointment. Knowing what to expect will help manage your expectations so you'll be better prepared before you jump in. One of the keys to satisfaction in life is the ability to manage expectations - yours and others.
It is my hope that the information presented on this page helps you to be a bit more realistic with your expectations. Knowing what is to be expected won't necessarily make you happier, but it can keep you from being discouraged, and that's very important for your success.
What to Expect in Terms of Effort
Anything worthwhile is worth working for, and you'll find that establishing yourself on the web takes a good deal of effort. I am reminded of what a colleague of mine once said, "This stuff doesn't just jump onto the paper." He was right. It doesn't just jump onto your website or blog either, you have to make it happen - it takes effort.
Your primary task will be to create engaging and informative content. It has to be of sufficient quantity and quality to make people glad to be at your site and convinced to come back. That means lots of pages, good writing, regular and consistent editing, and a variety of media (text, graphics, audio and video).
When we talk about what to expect in terms of effort, we also have to be mindful of the need for promotion of what you've created. Sure, you'll spend lots of time building your web presence, but you'll also have to promote it by getting involved in the conversation - comment on blogs, swapping links with others, writing print articles, responding to readers and other activities that get your site noticed and appreciated.
Technology is a Challenge
Being on the web involves mastering some of the technology out there. Some of it is easy to understand, and some of it isn't very intuitive at all. Not only does it take time to become familiar with and practice using the technology, but it's always changing.
So, you have a technical challenge as well as bit of a moving target. I try to focus on what I know and what works well for me, and I don't try to chase the latest craze.
It's up to you how much you're going to use Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, StumbleUpon, RSS feeds, blogs, other websites, article sites, photo sites and the like. They all have a place in your business strategy, but you just can't expect to learn them all and put them all to use at the same time. Be selective and use the ones that show the most promise.
If you're new to the Internet, you'll know less about what to expect when it comes to technology, and it can appear a bit overwhelming. There are products and resources out there to help make it easier, but in the end, you'll have to decide which ones to use and which ones to leave alone for the time being.
What to Expect in Terms of Time
Unless you can make a big splash out there in a short while, you'll need to be patient while your site content competes for the eyes and ears of visitor traffic that is currently engaged over at other sites. Many of these sites have much more time in service, so they'll likely have much more content and a reputation, both of which constitute compelling reasons for visitors to stay with them. It will take time to get noticed and convince others that you are a serious player worth paying attention to.
There is also the matter of a commitment of your time to build a site and maintain it. I try to do something on my websites and blogs every day, but sometimes that just isn't possible. Even a maniac writer needs and wants a break, and there are other things that fill my time. For some people, it can be a bit like a T-shirt I saw the other day that read, "Internet is down, so I came outside today."
Regardless of how frequent you work at your Internet business, the key is to be steady with what you do. I think at least a couple sessions per week would be a good idea of what to expect in terms of minimum time commitment in order to make a site successful. Remember, you have text, graphics, video and audio to create, gather, edit and incorporate into your site if you are to have something that is engaging.
Keep in mind that you are going to be a writer, publisher, editor, producer, idea person, promoter, graphic designer, moderator and overall decision-maker with respect to everything. That's what to expect when you get involved with your own web presence, even if it's a part-time endeavor.
What to Expect in Terms of Income
The idea of Income is perhaps the first thing people think about when they venture forth to start an Internet business. Yes, income is something that we would all like to capture for our efforts, but again, we have to be realistic in terms of our expectations. A big, flashy, ad filled site doesn't necessarily equate to high income.
Income is based on volume and type of traffic, and how you intend to create income from that traffic. If you have little traffic, your income will be pitiful. If you have a poor approach to making sales, your income will also be quite disappointing.
When I think of what to expect in the area of income, I think about income streams that start out tiny at first, and build as you create more qualified traffic to your site. It might be months before you see any check or bank deposit made, and it might be months in between payments when you first start out.
When it comes to making money on the Internet, it isn't like going to work. It's more like making sound investments and extracting dividends and interest. Bigger and smarter investments garner you more income. You must be patient and work towards long term success.
Done with What to Expect, take me back to Internet Business Ideas