Have you dreamed of working from home but just don't know how to get started? Take it from me, it 's not as difficult as you might think. Warm up the bathrobe in the drier and get ready to cozy up with a cup of tea. Sound like the way to start the day? You don't have to tell me!
It 's true that making money online isn't as easy as it might have been 10 years ago, for the simple fact that it 's such an attractive option to so many people. There is a mistaken impression out there -- probably encouraged by already-successful Internet entrepreneurs -- that you have to be some kind of techno-wizard to create a successful home business.
Guess what? You don't need magic potions, intricate spells or even a great big brain to set up an online enterprise. All you need is a website, some good content and the will to write a few short articles a week (or even every month) about your business.
The first step to putting away those three-inch heels for good is to get yourself a website. This can be the most daunting part of the process, especially for people who don't consider themselves "technical."
The great thing about the Internet is that it 's always changing, and people are coming up with easier, more user-friendly ways to do things (like build websites) all the time. You can register a domain name at DreamHost, GoDaddy or Register.com if you want to go the paid route. You can also visit FreeWebs and GeoCities to sign up for a free domain. Get ready to get creative, because a lot of the names you come up with might be taken.
Finding a unique domain is the easy part. To build a website from the ground up requires either extensive knowledge of HTML or knowledge of a program that builds HTML for you, such as DreamWeaver. Buying this software gets expensive: It costs $400 for a new copy of DreamWeaver.
But wait! Before you run away in fear, there 's an easier way by far -- and it 's free! The best way for a non-technical person to get their online business up and running is to start a blog. You can sign up for a free space at Blogger, Backpack or WordPress, and as soon as you put cursor to page you're on your way to making extra income!
You can set up your blog however you want, with pictures, links to songs or a digital portfolio. You can upload all of these things very easily using Blogger 's super-friendly interface. I set up my blog in less than five minutes, and I couldn't code my way out of a paper bag, thank you very much!
Once you're set up with an online space, all you need to do is start writing. You can write about anything at all, such as a service you offer. For instance, I'll be writing about my freelance services so that people who are looking for help will (hopefully!) be able to find me.
But, you say, the Web is such a big lonely place -- How can I get noticed among all the other websites out there? That 's where the beauty of Internet marketing comes in. The same content you use to create your online space can work for you, driving traffic right back to your site from all over the world.
Simply by writing a few articles every week (or every month, if you prefer), you can increase links back to your site, improve your PageRank and drive traffic right onto your blogspot! How cool is that?
Article distribution services such as SubmitYourArticles, isnare and Article Marketer offer several different membership levels and various amenities. Each one has different features that might be attractive to you depending upon the amount and kind of marketing you want to do.
I both use and contribute to Article Marketer, because I've found it gives me the best value for my dollar. Even non-paying members can submit unlimited articles -- but with a slower processing time.
You may find that you don't want to submit more than four articles a month, in which case isnare 's $37/month program might be right for you. PhantomWriters is also a good place to look. They charge $34 per article submitted, but they have very informative content posted right on their homepage. Even if you decide to do business elsewhere, it 's a good resource for reading tips about writing and marketing.
The idea is to distribute your articles to as many content sites as possible, because each of those sites represents a link back to you, and every time those links are published, you have a greater chance of making a sale!
I've been doing article marketing for about three weeks now, and although I was skeptical at first that I'd be able to keep up any kind of volume, once I got started I found it was really easy to write. My goal is to write two articles each week day and see how that affects my business.
My advice? Don't let yourself be intimidated by high-tech solutions to low-tech problems. You can start playing with the big boys right now -- right in your bunny slippers.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dana Davalos, graphic designer and online biz kid, shares her thoughts on internet marketing, design and life in general at Groovy Graphix. Learn more about her recommended marketing ideas at Article Marketer.