In online business, one thing that means a lot is your image. What do I mean by image? How people think of you. What kind of online reputation you have. All of these sorts of things add up to present an image of who you are, how you do business, and generally how people think of you. About the best thing you can do to improve your chances of success in making money on the Internet is to build up a good (GREAT) image before venturing into online money making endeavors.
Probably the best thing you can do to build up your image is to start a blog, or some sort of website where you regularly interact with your readers. The key word in the last thought is interact. Write articles regularly on your site, and let your readers leave comments. That is interaction, but only at a minor level. To gain a reputation, you need more than that. How? Respond to the comments, join in the discussion! When you shoot back a comment response to a reader, it opens up a dialogue on the site. If you don’t respond, the reader is not even sure if you read what he had to say.
Yesterday, a friend of mine e-mailed me. He was excited and told me that he had finally started blogging. I went and checked out his site, and I liked it a lot. Very professional, and nicely done. He had one article on the site, which was pretty good. I was hoping to be the first to comment on his new site, but sadly, somebody else beat me to the #1 position. I left a nice comment, though, and was looking forward to seeing my friend’s response. I checked his site 3 or 4 more times yesterday, but he never responded to what I had to say (or the other comment there either).
Why is it important to respond to comments when you have such a site? Because it brings a touch of personality to the site. The reader feels like he has become a friend. The more you do this, for a longer time, and you build up a huge group of people who have a personal connection to you.
When the day comes that you have something to sell, this group of “friends” will be much more accepting of it than average. I mean, if a friend says that he has an eBook that will show you how to make money from blogging, you are a lot more likely to buy it than if some guy that you never heard of tells you about it. Being a friend means that some trust has been built up, that you care about the reader. You don’t try to “rip off” somebody who is a friend, and thus, you have credibility in your reader’s eyes.
So, to make money online, the first step is not to start selling something. The first thing you need to do is to introduce yourself to people, let them get to know you, converse with them for a while, and then after doing all of this, you can introduce a product to them. And remember, you need to bring them a quality product – they are friends after all. If you sell something to a friend that is nothing but an avenue toward putting money in your pocket – your friends might find out that you really weren’t a friend after all!