If you are an internet marketer or are looking to get into internet marketing, the tools that you choose can make or break your efforts to build a profitable online business. This article outlines the essential tools that will be required if your web based business or store front is going to be a successful one.
The first item that you will need is your own domain name. It is true that you can start an online business using a free domain name, but any savvy internet marketer or web based business owner knows that to build an actual business, you will need to build your own brand. To accomplish this, you will need your own domain name. More often than not, your domain name becomes your brand. One problem with using a free domain is the fact that more and more free domain services are dropping the hammer on users who monetize their sites. It is not uncommon for free services to remove entire web sites with no notice, eliminating any and all work that has been put into the site. So, a domain name that you own outright is an essential. You can register your own domain with registrar services such as GoDaddy or NameCheap and get your own domain for as little as $10 per year.
The second necessary item in the internet marketing tool chest is paid hosting. There is nothing wrong with free hosting. However, the limitations placed on free hosting are usually so restrictive that the operation of a business or web based store front is next to impossible. Limitations usually include a cap on bandwidth, total usable disk space, MySQL allotment and the size of the file you are permitted to upload. If you are using a content management system as your platform, many essential plugins usually exceed the maximum file size that may be uploaded. Paid hosting these days is much more cost effective and you can usually get excellent hosting with a professional establishment such as HostGator or 000WebHost for as little as $5 per month.
The next essential thing you will need is a good Content Management System (CMS). A good CMS takes the burden of learning how to write HTML or PHP code off of the layman. After all, the whole reason one starts an internet business is to make money and if one is to be successful, they have to spend the majority of their time creating content, not writing, tuning or tweaking code. The most powerful Content Management Systems, short of having a web site designed for you professionally which can easily run into the thousands of dollars, are WordPress and Joomla. Both of these platforms are open source and have an excellent support community as well as a virtually unlimited supply of specialized modules ready to give your site the unique functionality that it needs in the click of a button, usually for free.
The third tool that is needed is an autoresponder. The benefits of an autoresponder cannot be overstated. The ability to have a finely-tuned, professional, strategically timed series of follow up contact emails is priceless. An autoresponder series can be tested and tracked as to its effectiveness and ability to convert prospects into paying customers. They are always cordial and professional and never call in sick. Highly recommended autoresponders include Aweber and GetResponse. With respect to investment, the autoresponder will be the most expensive item in your tool chest and easily the most valuable. A good autoresponder generally starts out around $20 per month.
These tools are the bare essentials of a successful online business and this holds true for all types of businesses. Combined together, these tools make for a convenient and informative experience for your prospects which will hopefully turn them into paying customers as well as repeat customers.