Q&A With Ray… Ask Me Your Questions

This begins a series where you ask your top questions about copywriting and online marketing… and I answer via audio podcasts.

Don't worry about the podcast thing. If you don't have an iPod, it still works with any MP3 player. And if you just don't understand what “podcasting” is all about, simply download the audios from right here on the website.

First Question: “What are the basics of getting started online?”

This is a great question because there are plenty of people willing to sell you stuff in order to get your online business up and running.

First you need a domain name. You need to register a domain name. A place where your website “lives”. This is your address — which might be something like YourName.com.

For instance, RayEdwards.com is a domain that I own.

The second thing you need is a hosting account. This is an account that allows you to put your website up on the Internet for other people to see.

You can get a good hosting account at HostorixOnline.com.

The third thing you need is either web-design software or a web designer / webmaster… because somebody is going to need to be able to put together the web page that you put onto your hosting account.  If you want to do it yourself you’ll need some basic software to get the job done. If you’re going to have someone else do it, that means you'll need a designer and/or webmaster to put that all together for you.

The fourth thing you’ll need is a graphic artist or some graphics to put on your website. Now, for a lot of reasons we won’t go into on today’s training I recommend not using a lot of graphics. But you do need a professional look and feel for your website so you may need some graphic elements — and you’re either going to have to create them yourself, buy the right to use certain graphic elements, or have a graphic artist to put that all together for you.

The next thing I would recommend you get is an autoresponder account, which is an account that allows you to build a mailing list so that you can mail to your customers or prospects.  It can also do this for you on an automated sequential basis, so once someone signs up for instance they get an email from you once a week for the next seven weeks or something of that nature.   I use aWeber.com for my autoresponder and email management.

Then finally you’re going to need shopping cart software or an account with a shopping cart company and that’s what allows you to take payments online when people buy your product or service. The company I use is NewMarketingAutomation.com.

Now each of these are somewhat complex discussions that we could probably spend a one-hour teleseminar talking about each of them. We may do that later on in the series — or I may create some videos that allow you to watch over my shoulder as I go through the process of each of these steps.

Let me know your preferred deliver method for this kind of material — do you prefer audio, text, video, or static screen shots?

I'd love to hear from you. Just leave your comments below.

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Ray Edwards is a world-renowned copywriter and communications strategist, writing for some of the most powerful voices in leadership and business including New York Times bestselling authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Tony Robbins. Ray is a sought-after speaker and author, hosts a popular weekly podcast, and blogs at RayEdwards.com.