9 Prime Rules For Running A Successful Online Business


Here’s the bad news: Thousands of people start an online business every day. However, only a small percentage of these online businesses actually succeed.

Here’s the good news: There are certain basic rules you can follow to turn your online business into a successful one. Here are the 9 prime rules for running a successful online business.


The 9 Golden Rules For Running An Online Business


1 – Keep Your Website Design Simple and Well-Organized

People have a tendency to want to over-design their website in an effort to make it stand out or look cool. They may add flash animation, sound in the background, and load the site up with large graphics. This is a huge mistake, especially for business-oriented websites. It is much more important to make sure your design is organized in a way that visitors can easily find what they are looking for at a glance. Music blaring out is actually a pet peeve of many internet shoppers, especially if they are surfing at work as many do. You also want to make sure that the text is easy to read. Dark text on a simple light background is the safest way to go.

Apple.com is the perfect example of a well designed website. Apple.com has some of the best web designers in the world who develop their website, check them out and also other big company sites for ideas if need be.


2 – Respond To Your Visitors Promptly

When a visitor, a potential customer, emails you or fills out your contact form, it is imperative that you get back to them as soon as possible. People always take mental note of how long it takes an online business to get back to them. Even if you are on vacation, you should either have an employee answering the emails in your absence or take your laptop along and answer the emails while your out-of-town.

There is way too much competition out there now for you to let potential clients slip through the cracks because you weren’t diligent enough to follow through.


3 – Engage Your Visitors

If you can turn your visitors into active participants on your website, you will increase loyalty and sales. The simplest way to do this is to add a blog and open it up for comments from your visitors. Advertise your posts in your newsletter and ask for comments. For larger sites, you may want to add a discussion board where your visitors can create their own topics.

Set yourself up on a number of Social Media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or LinkedIn and conversate/share/inform your customers with high quality answers and content. Also make sure that you have a follow, Fan Page ‘Like” widget or a Pinterest badge on your website so that people can follow you through their favorite social media platform and stay in tune with your progress and updates.

Checkout Gary Vaynerchuk’s advice on growing your business using social media, Gary is an Ace! and definitely someone you should look up to in the Online Business world.


4 – Give Your Visitors a Reason To Come Back

Repeat visitors to your online business will increase sales for sure. You can give your visitors a reason to come back in many ways. For example, you can let them know that once a month you post a one-day only sale. Another example might be to write an article and let the readers know there will be a follow-up next month. Make the topic of the follow-up something that people really want to know.

Just adding quality content on a regular basis is a good way to get repeat visitors.


5 – Do Not Over-Sell To Your Visitors

No one likes a pushy salesperson in a brick and mortar business. Online business are no different in this aspect. People hate to feel like they are being overly pressured to buy something. You can point out the advantages of your product or service but try not to over-sell. Watch out for superlative spammy language too. It will usually backfire on you!


6 – Do Not Over Optimize Your Website

You have probably heard of the term, “search engine optimization” or SEO. This is where people design their webpages with the intent of ranking higher in the search engines, particularly Google. Many online businesses push this way too far. Their sites end up being demoted or even banned from the search results because the search engines view their efforts as spam. Over optimizing pages also makes them less likeable and readable by real human beings.


7 – Do Not List Your Website In Bad Neighbourhoods

For a long time, it has been well-known that Google and other search engines look at how many links there are to a website as one important factor in determining how to rank that website in the search engine results. This has prompted online business owners to want to get as many links as they can. Sometimes they even pay for links in directories and blogs. However, in most cases, these paid links are sites that are known as bad neighborhoods by the search engines. In other words, they are spammy sites and having your website listed in them can actually hurt you, not help you!


8 – Maintain a High Quality Mailing List

Ask your visitors to sign up for your newsletter when they come to your online business site. Give them an incentive to do so such as a free report or free e-course on a topic related to your business. Having said this, respect your visitors and their time. Be sure not to send out your newsletter too often, perhaps once a month and occasionally send a special announcement. Also, make sure to put quality content in your newsletter and give your subscribers an easy way to opt out.


9 – Remember At The End Of The Day Your Customers Are STILL Real People

A lot of people forget this, they are not treating their customers as real human beings and are not putting themselves in the customers shoes. Customer service will always be around, that’s why we need to stay good at looking after our clients. If you can’t help them with their request, get back to them and let them know that you have exhausted every avenue to find a way and maybe even refer them onto someone who can help them. Even though you may not be able to help them at that very point in time, they WILL remember you went the extra mile for them and will tell their friends via word of mouth or by social media (which would be great promotion for you), either way, you can rest your head at night knowing that you are doing everything you can to hold a good name for your business and that every one that deals with you is satisfied. Tony Hsieh has his staff at Zappos practice this commitment with their customers and he has managed to build his online retail store to a $1.2 Billion Dollar company.

This is how you secure yourself as the “go to guy in your industry”, and as time goes by and all these “short attention span, new comers” are so use to ONLY dealing with their customers over a keyboard and text conversation, they will be skimming over life long customers and potentially huge clients for the future.

No matter how digital the business world gets, you are and will always be DEALING WITH REAL PEOPLE. Reputation is everything, don’t forget that.


Article By Joel Brown | Addicted2Success.com

Joel Brown is the CEO and Founder of Addicted2Success.com. With a long time passion for Entrepreneurship, Self development & Success, Joel started his website with the intention of educating and inspiring likeminded people all over the world to always strive for success no matter what their circumstances. Follow Joel Brown on Twitter or keep upto date with him on Facebook:Facebook.com/JoelBrownA2S


  1. alicia thibadeau

    May 1, 2014 at 6:10 am

    Great article, I especially like #4, and am thinking of new ways to do this with my blog, that one tip has opened my eyes, so thanks for that.

  2. john andrade

    December 30, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    Mobile friendly website is one of the most important feature a website needs tohave today

  3. ludovic baratier

    November 15, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    for me if you want to success, the best way is to put the customer at the center of your preocuppations : customer centric attitude. In this way, you will get success.


  4. Yusri Big

    October 28, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    The first and most important success strategy that we can adopt is to treat our home Internet business like a real business, not a hobby. There are basic proven success strategies that the highly successful online business owners put into practice on a daily basis and we can implement them too.

  5. This is great! I love how much you focus on the visitors/people. Many people forget that web traffic represents actual people, not just a number.

  6. BuildIndia Building Corp..

    September 23, 2013 at 2:35 am

    thanks for the wonderful post!

  7. Kids Toys (Malaysia)

    July 3, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    For online shops I would also recommend adding content that builds trust with your customers such as testimonials, contact numbers, shop locations, news articles, anything that can give the buyer a sense that your online shop is reputable.

  8. How To Make Money Online

    June 21, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Thanks for the excellent tips. I’ve been able to make a few valuable improvements to my site tanks to you!

    Keep the online money articles coming!


  9. Aditi

    May 8, 2013 at 12:09 am

    These are wonderful common sense rules we should never forget …

  10. tasha

    May 6, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    These are great tips but as an online retailer these tips seem more leaning towards people who deal with a service verse having a product such as clothing.

    I would also listed having a shopping cart that is mobile friendly and easy to use.

    Payment options that work for you and your consumer.

    Not just communicating with your customer there needs to be a means to communicate in the first place. So many websites dont have a contact page in the first place.

  11. Givi

    March 1, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    Great Points, thanks for the reminder! I quite enjoyed this article!

  12. houseofjoyfiji@gmail.com

    February 27, 2013 at 12:33 am

    Very interesting pointers

  13. Ravi Janardhan

    January 31, 2013 at 6:20 am

    And so is the closing lines:

    No matter how digital the business world gets, you are and will always be DEALING WITH REAL PEOPLE. Reputation is everything, don’t forget that.

  14. Ratu Epeli Roseruvakula

    January 28, 2013 at 5:07 am

    very helpful tips on how to start up a successful online business

    • Joel

      January 28, 2013 at 3:04 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it Ratu :)

  15. Keller Coleman

    January 22, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Great points, these tools will definitely help my business. Thanks

  16. Kola

    January 20, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    This is so well said. Thank you for these great reminders!

  17. Tahir Mehmood

    January 19, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    Very good work and i have done some changes in my work since i had chance to read your 9 points.

    All looking good now thx


  18. Deji R Yusuf

    January 18, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    thank you addicted 2 success! These are salient points that can be useful for serious internet entrepreneur!

  19. Brandon Randall

    January 16, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Well done! I appreciate the pointers. These are simple action items that I will apply immediately. Thank you!

  20. Stephan L

    January 15, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Great points here. what do people think are the chances of being able to create a successful online store like Amazon or Zappos? is this possible or should I look at starting a different type of store?

    • HowieW

      January 15, 2013 at 9:12 pm

      @Stephan L,

      If your website is promoting items that are in ‘high demand’, then I don’t see why you or anyone for that matter, can’t create a website that would do as well as the ones you’ve listed!

      Do the proper market research and simply find those things that solve a problem (Weight Loss, Money, Relationships, Etc., Etc.,) or provide an irresistible “want” or “need”…follow the advice in this article and I’m sure you’ll see success!

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