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One of the best business ideas for beginners looking to make money online is to put together an e-commerce site.  You’re probably thinking that people have been selling things online since the beginning of the internet, how can I possibly compete or do something new?  Perhaps you’re also thinking that running an e-commerce site is too technically complicated and requires expensive development to get up and running.

In this article I’m going to discuss how getting an e-commerce site together is easier than you might think and how it’s still remains one of the best internet business ideas.

Let’s address the first concern – how to be profitable and competitive when there’s seemingly millions of established websites selling products or services.  The key is carefully determining what to sell and how to handle fulfillment (delivery of the product to customers) without spending a ton on inventory.

Having an idea of whether you can be competitive before starting your site makes it far more likely that you’ll be profitable out of the gate.  This is accomplished by using keyword research tools to understand what people are searching for and competition levels for the given product or service.  There are several sophisticated tools that can help in this area and can help validate whether your internet business idea is worthwhile to pursue.  I highly recommend checking out my article on selecting killer products to understand how to find just the right product for your e-commerce site.

At this point you might be asking yourself: “What about the gorilla in the room (Amazon), aren’t they selling absolutely everything, and how can I possibly compete?”  Personally I’m not so fearful – I look at Amazon as the single best way to validate that an e-commerce idea is a good one.  If other people are successfully selling a particular product or service on Amazon, that means that there’s a market and that you can too.  With the Amazon marketplace as broad as it is, there’s an opportunity to sell the same goods just by putting together an extremely focused site that provides value to visitors in terms of deep product reviews and information about a small set of related products.

Once you’ve found the perfect product – determined that there’s a market and manageable competition levels through keyword research,  the next step is to determine how to source the product. The best internet business ideas tend to be the ones where you can get up and running quickly with as little monetary risk as possible. To that end, an effective way to first stand up an e-commerce site is to source a dropshipper to fulfill your sales. If you’re unfamiliar with how dropshipping works, I suggest you check out this article on Ebay marketing where I provide a brief explanation of the concept.

After finding a product you can sell and have sourced a dropshipper,  the next step is to put together a website.  The good news is that the development of an e-commerce website has never been easier with the current crop of great of shopping cart offerings.  Many of these software packages install with just a few clicks, and it’s just a matter of adding a logo and your product catalog.

As you can see, with the right tools it’s possible to get a profitable ecommerce site up and running very quickly.  This is why selling products or services online remains one of the best internet business ideas for beginners, and can be a great way to start making money online.

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In previous posts I’ve expounded on the notion that getting customers to your site is where the “rubber meets the road”. Even with the best internet business – where you have painstakingly developed the perfect product and offer – without any targeted visitors, you will simply not be making any sales.

In this post I’m going to discuss paid traffic sources. Specifically, 6 different ways where you can get targeted traffic to your website quickly so you can start making money online right away.

1) Google Adwords – This is probably the single best known paid advertising method. Also known as “pay per click” advertising, you create an ad with a link to your website that appears next to search results for specific terms or keywords that you specify. Whole books have been written on how to use Adwords efficiently, but really the most important factors that determine the traffic you’ll see are your maximum CPC (cost per click) bid, click through rate (CTR) and your quality score as that drives where your ad will be seen. Better CPC and QTS scores drive optimal positioning of your ad in the search results.

2) Bing Search Marketing – Although Google is the undisputed search king, Bing still manages to serve about 16% of all search traffic.  Although much lower than Google, it’s still worthwhile to check out their ad platform as there is typically less competition between marketers and lower ad costs as a result.  Some marketing surveys also suggest that Bing search ad conversion rates might actually be higher than Google. This equates to more bang for the buck.

3) Facebook Ads – The power of Facebook is the ability to market your ad to an extremely targeted set of potential customers from an incredibly vast pool.  (As of this writing Facebook boasts a base of 800 million active users.)  Since Facebook has knowledge of individual users, it’s possible to setup an ad campaign that targets people based on sex, age, location, hobbies, interests, etc.  This gives you the ability to write an ad that is extremely targeted toward the type of customer who would be most interested in your product or service.

4) Pay Per View Advertising or (Cost Per View) – with this type of advertising usually a network offers something of value such as software or a game. When a user downloads, they also agree to view relevant ads that the network chooses to show them.  Generally the ads show up as either a pop-up or a pop-under in a new browser window.  As an advertiser you bid on specific keywords that are matched to a relevant network ad offer.   If you’re interested in this form of advertising, Media Traffic is one of the most popular PPV companies.

5) Banner Advertising – Banner ads have been around almost as long as the internet itself, but there’s a reason why you still see them on websites…they work.  Banners are not only used to drive people to product offers, they’re also a great way to establish branding, usually a company name, product or logo. When used properly they can be highly effective. There are three different ways to get started with banner ads: You can exchange banner placements with another website owner, join a banner network like DoubleClick or BurstMedia, or join a banner exchange program such as LinkBuddies.

6) YouTube – YouTube sees over 800 million visitors per month.  No traffic discussion would be complete without mentioning how you can use YouTube to direct traffic to your internet business. Your videos can show up in Google search results just like a blog post or an article.  The idea is to come up with a clever video where people are directed to visit your site after viewing. You can include a link to your website in the video description and also the keywords that you’re targeting for search.

This is only a very short list of paid traffic offerings.  When striving to build the best internet business possible, why leave anything on the table? You should evaluate any and all traffic options available to increase your sales.  Free targeted traffic is obviously best, but it can take a long time for a new website to get established in search rankings.  By using paid traffic techniques you can quickly test your offers and potentially make money right away.

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Clickbank Info Products – The Heavy Truth about Gravity

December 23, 2012

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Clickbank provides a bevy of stats so that an affiliate marketer can make an informed decision when considering which particular product to promote. I’m not going to go through all of the stats in this post, but I’d like to single out one of the most important and interesting Clickbank metrics to consider – Gravity. [...]

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Work Online from Home – Sell Info Products

December 20, 2012

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Being able to work online from home, selling other people’s products is the dream lifestyle. You can choose when and where to work, and with the proper sales funnel, you can count on a steady stream of income while on autopilot. It’s one of the best internet business ideas, but beware – being profitable requires [...]

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Best Internet Business Ideas – Getting Traffic

November 27, 2012

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In the past few posts we discussed two of the three essential elements of any online business system: product and offer.  In this post I will discuss how to get traffic.  Getting visitors to your site is where the rubber meets the road, as you can have the perfect offer and product, but without traffic [...]

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Best Internet Business Ideas – The Perfect “Offer”

November 15, 2012

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best-internet-business-ideas-the-perfect-offer

In my previous few posts I described the three essential elements of any online business system: product or service, offer and traffic. In this post I will discuss what I believe are the secrets of any great “offer”, the strategies that can lead to the highest conversion rates convincing people make the leap to buy [...]

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Best Internet Business Ideas – Selecting a Killer Product

March 2, 2012

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best-internet-business-ideas-selecting-a-killer-product

In my last post I detailed the three essential elements of any online business system: product or service, offer and traffic. In this post I’ll be focusing on the “product” portion – the specific steps necessary to choose a product giving you the highest level of confidence in your ability to compete and make a [...]

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The Ecommerce Trifecta – Building the Best Internet Business

February 13, 2012

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the-ecommerce-trifecta-building-the-best-internet-business

Almost every internet business model, including ecommerce, can be boiled down to just three essential elements: product or service, offer, and traffic. These core pillars complement each other and when properly thought out, provide the foundation to building the best internet business possible. Here are some definitions in the context of an ecommerce business. Product [...]

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Business Ideas for Beginners – The Art of Buying Websites

January 10, 2012

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business-ideas-for-beginners-the-art-of-buying-websites

With so many different business models for making money online, it can be hard for beginners to determine the best internet business to match their individual skills and resources.  Entrepreneurs working alone cannot be an expert in everything, and it can be hard to know which internet marketing niche to focus on. Questions like should [...]

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Shopping Carts – Online Business Systems for Success

December 21, 2011

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shopping-carts-online-business-systems-for-success

The internet certainly has opened many new doors for commerce. Online businesses produce annual revenue sales of well into the billions of dollars. If you want to have your own personal niche in the world of internet, you are advised to look into online business systems designed to enhance customer purchasing. Keep one thing in [...]

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