Internet entrepreneurs celebrate the speed at which the cost of running their online businesses is falling.
Computing power, bandwidth and hosting used to determine the cost an online business had to charge for their service. These resources are now so cheap many companies give them away for free.
Publishing platforms, custom development and system administration skills used to be a barrier to entry that kept the small players off the web. Now anyone can build, design and launch a website.
Ad sales costs, product logistics and payment processing restrictions prevented many entrepreneurs making money. Now services like PayPal, Google Adsense, shopping carts and the affiliate networks mean a website can start making money within hours of going live.
So if it is so easy and cheap to launch an online business why aren’t we all internet millionaires?
The answer is there is one critical ingredient that is needed for online success that has not come down in price.
Indeed it is priceless.
It can’t be bought.
It has to be earned.
And that is reputation.Many internet entrepreneurs also assume that money is the scarcest resource that internet users have.
It is time and respect.
Internet users spend their limited time on the web identifying the best possible information to answer their questions, purchase a product, support their interest, feed their passion, or achieve whatever other goal they have.
But there are huge amounts of information on the web covering every conceivable subject, so how do they decide what information is good?
The answer is they try to identify the sector leader … the established expert … the person who the people in the know turn to for advice.
This is the person … or handful of people … with established reputations and authority. The same names crop up wherever the searcher looks. Their websites are well thought out, their content is original and relevant, and they are continually quoted.
The web is a reputation economy. Reputation builds traffic.
Traffic creates opportunities to make money.
It follows that the better the reputation, the more money an individual will make.
Not only that, there is a reputation premium. Sector leaders generate more money from selling advertising on their site, speaking at events, selling ebooks, etc. People pay to be associated with the best.
The Top 12 Ways to Build Your Online Reputation and Authority
This is my list of techniques for building an online reputation:
1) Focus on a niche you are passionate about
2) Research your competition and plan on how you are going to be better than them
3) Make a list of the influential people in your sector. Plan on introducing yourself to all of them. This will include journalists, bloggers and industry experts
4) Ensure that everything you post online adheres to the HEART rule, namely it is honest, exclusive, accurate, relevant and timely. Every bit of content you create is a building block in your reputation
5) Practise what you preach! For example, if you are an internet marketing expert, show your audience how you implement what you preach and show them the results. Credibility and proof are the cornerstones of authority
6) Participate in the online community that represents your subject – post on forums, add comments to blogs and support other website owners. You reap what you sow in the web world
7) Create personal profiles on every website you can including MySpace, Facebook, and LinkedIn
8) Syndicate your content to other websites and offline publications
9) Create expert pages on the many expert websites such as Squidoo, Hubpages and eHow
10) Create multimedia content including audio podcasts and video clips. Post them on the many multimedia websites e.g. YouTube.com, iTunes, etc
11) Write a book
12) Speak at industry events
The content you post on the web is the foundation of your authority. Once online, you have to assume that it will be their forever. You must make sure that all the content you create is honest exclusive, accurate relevant and timely.
You will know when you have made it, when your name, articles and website appear on page one of the search results pages for every important keyword phrase for your subject.
Anyone with passion, focus and determination can build a strong and sustainable reputation online.
So get started now!