One of the first things I remember thinking when I started into the world of online marketing is "Hmmm, I wonder if I can really do this? I don't know any HTML or java". I was a bit worried to say the least! How could I compete with the "big" internet companies when I didn't even know how to make a word appear in bold? "I'm dead meat" I thought.
I had it in my mind that I was "finished" before I even really got started!
So how important is knowing how to program when trying to make money online? Well, nowadays it's becoming increasingly common to meet webmasters that have little or no knowledge of HTML or java. Honestly, although I now know much more than I did when I first started I still wouldn't consider myself a "programmer". I wouldn't even say I really know what I'm doing all that much. Sure, now I can make a word bolded...... yep, I can make things scroll on a page..... I even know how to do those nifty mouseover effects...... but I'm hardly an expert!
So why keep reading? Because I was exactly like 95% percent of people trying to make money online! Probably just like you are right now.
One thing I learned quickly with online business is that all these "gurus" weren't really trying to help..... they were most likely just trying to teach you just enough to do average. (Why would they want competition?)
So here's some tips...... (to all the little guys...... from a little guy)
1. Learn HTML -- I know..... I promised no programming right? You don't have to be an expert, but at least learn the basics.
Here are a few sites that might help......
Would you vacation in Romania without learning Romanian (at least a little)? No! So why do the online equivalent? Learn the basics!
2. Invest in a web design program -- It doesn't really matter which one you buy but get something. Microsoft FrontPage is decent for beginners. Dreamweaver is better but is a little tough for newbies. The main two reasons for getting web design software are.....
a. so you don't have to type p align="center"img src="http://www.mywebsite123.com/images/4.gif" width="103" height="50" for every picture! Talk about a quick way to lose interest in your business! and....
b. so you can use templates! which brings me to my next point......
3. Use Templates! -- Yes, great, ok, uh huh........ Some web designers will tell you that templates are cheating. I say that anything I can use to focus on my business instead of my HTML I fully support! The great thing about templates is that you can focus on adding content to your site and not worry about how to get picture 'A' in space 'T' using HTML. Choose one that you feel will fit the theme of your site. (i.e. if you have a flower site don't choose the "medieval" template) Templates range from free to hundreds of dollars...... I have seen these quality sites with great templates....... but look around and see what YOU like.
http://powersitesystem.com (this one is a full content management system)
4. Use free scripts -- There are many sites out there that have free HTML and java scripts that you are welcome to use. Most authors just ask that you give them credit. Here are a few of them......
5. Know your colors! -- Pick a color scheme and stick with it. There's nothing that screams "I'm new at this!" more than every page being different colors randomly. If you don't know how to change colors go back to http://www.htmlgoodies.com/tutors/cc.html Here is another handy tool for reference http://www.theodora.com/html_colors.html
6. Link Every Page Home -- Every page in your site should have a link to your main page. Remember, search engines index pages inside your site too..... if a visitor finds your site from one of these pages don't leave them stranded! Link Home.
7. Help Others -- "The web helps those who help others" is so very true. Help other people do well and you too will do well. Know when to offer advice and when to receive it. (I know it has nothing to do with HTML but I'd thought I'd mention it)
That's it for now. Of course these are only some of the basic tips for starting out. You will naturally learn more as you get into running your business.... use your newly acquired knowledge as you learn it and soon you will be beating all the "big dogs".
Keith Bryan is the owner of http://www.workathome-101.net a site dedicated to teaching the little guy how to compete in the world of online business. For more tips visit http://www.workathome-101.net He is also a proud team leader in SFI home business. Check it out at http://www.workathome-101.net/workathome-101/SFI.htm