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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Got a niche? Start a website.

Few online booksellers consider creating a full service website to sell their books. Their main reason for this is that competing with the 'big boys' is impossible. In some sense they are right. However, do not be misled by this assumption; creating a website can do a lot for your business. A website helps with your professional image, customer loyalty, and other intangible factors. OF couse those things do not translate on to paper. What you are really worried about is SALES. In my opinion, a website can certainly be successful with an informed webmaster and a little work. How: exploiting a niche market.

Of all of the webtrends right now, niche markets, is the one that is gaining the most buzz. If you have solid collections of military history books, cinema books, postmodernism books, or whatever... you can generate solid traffic and sales for your own website. In the age of "corporate" and "mega" small businesses are finding success within a "niche." For web development, the key is to develop the website based solely around that niche. Sure you may have other types of books and want to list ALL of then on your website but you have to focus 95% of website space and content ON YOUR NICHE (avoid niche dilution). [Tip: CONTENT is key: add informative articles or reviews on the genre/theme in general to your website. This is the best way to boost search engine rankings.]

After the holiday, I will discuss more about hosting options, credit card processing, graphic design for dummies (like me), and marketing. You may find with a little guidance this project will be much easier and cheaper than you think. A new website with a shiny new domain name would be a great way to start of 2006.