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Are You Developing Your Virtual Real Estate or
Just Sitting on Vacant Land?

By Joe Reinbold

So you found yourself a service provider, got 50mb of space and created and uploaded your home page and you are ready to do business online. Now what are you going to do with the rest of your approximately 5,000 pages of online real estate?
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Getting your own site and domain is like having your own little strip mall in your own hometown. But in this case you will have visitors from all over the world on a regular basis. So the first thing you have to do is determine what kind of storefronts you are going to have at your complex. I refer to your own site as "real estate" because that is exactly what I think it is. Whether you have a 10mg site, 50mg site or a 100mg site, you have to consider it as and manage it as a piece of property to develop, if you are seriously going to operate a business online. You wouldn't buy that strip mall down the street and leave all the storefronts vacant. So why would you consider doing it with your online property?

What you need to do, and this should be done ideally prior to purchasing your online property, is lay out a plan. Figure out exactly what you are going to market and what the theme of your online site is going to be. Doing it prior to purchasing your property will also help you determine just what size site you are going to start with. For economic reasons, you may want to start with a smaller site and expand your space as your business grows. Most hosting companies make it very easy for expansion and the good ones don't charge you additional set up fees when you want to add additional space.

After you set up your primary page which will be your home page, what additional information or services are you going to add to the content of your store. One you might think about is a biographical page, telling your prospective customers about you and your business. It doesn't have to be detailed, a summary will do just fine. We added one to our site recently if you need an example, Click Here:http://www.homebizlink.com/about.htm. Dealing in the world of email and URL's is sort of anonymous most of the time, so adding a little personalization to your site for your visitors can help them to get to know you.

Free services are always great to have on your site to attract potential customers. And it doesn't really matter what type site you are putting up. There are some freebies that you can offer that will help any site build traffic. Just do a Google search for free services and you will find plenty.

Write a short e-book about ways to do business online especially involving your special niche and then give it away free

Start your own bookstore and highlight/recommend books geared towards your site theme. We just put one up and sold several books within the first three days. Example at: http://www.homebizlink.com/bkstore.htm

One of the things that you can do for your site is sell advertising. Even if you don't have your own online ezine, you have all this online real estate to sell space on. Start your own mall and sell links/ads, or set a page up and sell business card size ads. Sell full page ads. Remember what I said earlier, if you have 50mg of site space, you probably have an average of 5,000 pages available if all you have is a home page up. You can do whatever you want with that space, sell it, give ads away as a bonus, exchange links, etc. You also name the price you want to sell the space for.

One thing to remember when you are looking at space for your business is that the only things that take up that space are the pages that you upload to it. If you are involved in affiliate programs or network marketing programs online, normally they furnish you a reseller or promotional site along with your membership. All you have to do at your site is place a link with your ID number. The pages they assign to you are not on your site even though it might look that way. So don't over estimate the amount of space that you might need.

So you need to treat your online business just like any other business. Do a little planning before you jump right in. It will pay in the long run. You can always expand, but you don't want to be sitting there with vacant signs on three quarters of your space.

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Article by Joe Reinbold, Publisher of Home Income Quarterly E-dition, a weekly online marketing and home business newsletter. To subscribe visit The Entrepreneur's Home Business Link where you will find the solutions to your home business needs at: http://www.homebizlink.com

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