Technology is a critical success factor for any internet marketing business, but frequently people just starting out don’t have a very good understanding of what kind of technology is required or how it will affect their businesses.
The following ten tips should help you get off to a good start.
Try to create processes and systems that work together seamlessly and are accessible 100% of the time to support customers and prospects. Establish an “automated money machine” that is backed by an excellent technical support team, if you want to make your life easy and your bank account fat.
- Technical Support – A frequently overlooked requirement – is the need for outstanding technical support – for both your local hardware and software, but even more importantly, for any of your customer-facing websites and product systems.
- Data & Systems Backup/Restore Capability – Another necessary, but frequently overlooked, need is for backup of your locally stored programs and data. Regardless of other security measures, there will eventually come a time when you experience some sort of a system crash, with either partial or complete loss of data and key programs. Consequently you will also require a healthy backup and restore capability.
- Web Hosting Service – You’ll need a web host to provide a “home” for your website. There are many such companies available to service home businesses and online businesses. Their services do vary somewhat, as do their costs, so be sure to shop around before making your decision.
- Affiliate Program Network – If you’re intending to sell various affiliate products, you’ll almost certainly also want to join one or more Affilate Program Networks (APNs), such as ClickBank, Commission Junction, or LinkShare, etc. to handle your commissions, sales statistics, and other back office functions for you.
- Telecommunications – Another key tool is telecommunications, including an Internet Service Provider and a telephone – either land-line, cellular, or VOIP, with or without headset – as you prefer. It should have both local and long distance features, and if you plan to hold conferences for your downline, the ability to handle conference calls. If you’re going to do teleseminars, etc., you’ll probably want to invest in a teleconferencing service that can handle many, perhaps hundreds or even a thousand, callers at the same time.
- Data & Systems Security – You’ll also need good security for your software and data. This can take the form of physical security, plus programs such as firewalls, and security programs like McAfee or Norton.
- Products – You’ll require one or more products to sell – products that you have developed yourself, or ones that have been created by other people. If you develop your own products, then you’ll also have to worry about all the associated back office capabilities. If you get your products from other vendors, then you’ll have to worry about supply relationship management, ensuring that required products get shipped on time, customer satisfaction and proper payment.
- Web 2.0 Capabilities – The Net is very dynamic, so if you want to be successful in today’s internet world, you’ll want websites and services that allow blogging and interactive communities (i.e., ones that use Web 2.0 to facilitate a whole host of collaboration, interaction and participation, using the web as the network platform).
- Your Own Domain Name – You’ll want a domain name that you own, so that you can begin to develop your own brand. Further, some advertising media will not allow you to refer to an affiliate website, but only a domain that you own. A first-rate domain name will be short (30 characters or less), meaningful to the eye and the ear, and indicative of your product or service. The best names end in “.com” and such names are ideal for most affiliate marketing businesses, if available.
- Computer & Printer – If conduct internet marketing (IM), you’ll clearly need a computer of some sort – preferably one of your own, either a desktop model or a laptop. Purchase one with plenty of memory and speed. A broadband internet connection is preferred over dial-up. You’ll also want a printer. If you can, get both with wireless capabilities.
If your systems go down and you are powerless to get quick technical support from any/all your suppliers, the resulting downtime can blow your advertising and marketing campaigns, you can lose or annoy potential customers, and ultimately, your profits will suffer (and your brand, as well).
Technology is the lifeblood of an affiliate marketing business, and Murphy’s Law being what it is, you need to prepare for the eventual downtime and system crashes that happen as well. Implementing all these basic technologies will ensure the success of your online business.
I’m following my own advice and conducting my own internet marketing business. Take control of your future and your financial security by starting a work from home job.