Get Your Business Online

So, you have an idea or a skill that you would like to turn into a business?

You may already have full time commitments: a job, a family - both! - so this may be your 'side hustle' or it could be your long lived-for dream to break out of the 9-5 rat-race. Whatever your situation, reason or motivation you are going to need some primary tools and services to help you get your business online.

To my mind, the basics of any online business these days are your website (your store-front or office - the place where you 'live' in the virtual world) and a social media presence (for your advertising, public relations, market research etc). Of course it isn't just about having these things, it's what you do with them that counts - read my blog, and related posts - but we all need to start somewhere.

Start your online business here:

Domain Names, Web Hosting & Email

1&1 have been a main player in the web hosting world for a long time - and the combination of their packages, prices andservice levels ensure they retain a favourite spot in the hearts many website owners, builders and designers alike.

They offer a whole host (no pun intended!) of services from which you can take your pick, including:

  • Domain names - offering the full range of the latest suffixes ranging from .com to .blog or .biz to .guru
  • A range of hosting plans to meet the needs of businesses and websites of all sizes - Web hosting, Windows hosting, Cloud hosting - whatever suits your project.
  • Plug and play website templates for the complete newbie.
  • WordPress hosted websites for those who are looking for more customisation - whether they do themselves or use the services of a friendly WP expert.
  • Email services.
  • Integrated web apps and Marketing tools.
  • Site security and SSL certificates.

Click here to take a look at all the services on offer.

Social Media

One of the key elements to social media success is to post regularly and consistantly.

But since we can't spend 24 hours a day at our computer screens searching for relevant content to share and then posting it to our social timelines at various intervals it is going to help you no end to have a service that does at least some of this for you.

Postplanner is the best social media content finder and scheduling tool for the new online business wishing to establish their online presence.

Features include:

  • Use Postplanner's inbuilt intelligence to find relevant content to share
  • Pull in your own content streams from your website or other blogs you follow and value
  • Ability to simply copy and paste to create content on the fly
  • Set up multiple posting schedules
  • Featured images displayed in timelines without the need to add manually
  • Low cost, fantastic value! (Compared to other similar services available)
  • Free trials and a free basic plan available too.

Sign up to Postplanner here to benefit from a great introductory offer.

 

Brand Awareness

Sniply is one of my favourite finds!

Imagine this scenario - you have shared a great piece of content in your Twitter stream which is getting a lot of engagement, but once your follower has clicked through to see the full article they forget who it is that sent them there - they know it was from Twitter, but other than that there is no lasting impression made by you.

Seeing the lost opportunity yet? With Sniply you encode the link that is posted to your social timeline (a bit like using bit.ly) and when a reader clicks through to that piece of content there is a professional looking bar overlayed at the bottom of the screen reminding them that it was you who sent them there. If they do this a few times they are certainly going to remember you as a valued source of great content. But wait ... there's more!

In addition to your image and message on the applied bar you can also set up a link - back to your website, to a special offer page, to your social profile - to wherever you want. This can be done with any link at any time - not just to content posted on social media. And yes, it works with Postplanner too - double whammy!

Click here to sign up for your free Sniply account, and to view the lovely extras available on their paid plans.

Start Your Mailing List

Hello Bar has a number of great features - and when you know that it was created by Digital Marketing guru Neil Patel (you're going to be hearing a lot more from him if you stick with me!) then you know you are on to a good thing.

However, for now I am recommending this as your tool for creating a fabulously customisable subscription pop-up for your blog or website. A mailing (emailing - unless you're really into snail-mail) list will become the lifeblood of your new online business, particularly if you are selling any type of goods - physical or digital - offering membership or selling your own services. You'll find out why as you continue your online journey.

Yep, there are dozens of lead capture solutions - standalone and packaged with other web and marketing tools - but this is the one that I have found to be easiest to set up, most customisable, most effective and gives the best visual appeal.

Hello Bar can be totally free to use - when you are starting out you may not need any of the additonal features, although it is well worth checking them out - and the branding (the curse of most free versions) is very, very discrete.

Head over there now and find out more...