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My First Year In Cyber Space

My first year as a Cyberpreneur was a steeplearning-curve.
I was an Anthropologist beforestarting an online business,
so I had a lot to learn.But even if you were in
offline-business before goingonline, you may still have to
learn some new skills -online business is a whole new
ball-game. Here aresome of the things I learnt in my first
year in CyberSpace:

(1) Be careful who you register your domain with.Some
domain name registrars make it very difficult tochange your
web host. I registered my first twodomains with a registrar
that caused me more headachesthan I care to think about.
When I needed to transferone of my domain names to a new
web host, my originalemail address had changed. I was no
longer able tosend them an email from that address and so I
couldn'tauthenticate my request for domain transfer. So
Itried to update my personal record with my new
emailaddress. I got a message saying that I could
onlychange my email address by sending an email from
myoriginal email address (which no longer existed). Sothen
I tried using my password. Again, I got a messagesaying
that my request for transfer of domain mustcome from my
original email address.

This bureaucratic nightmare went on for 4 weeks. Toadd to
my frustration, I was communicating with amachine, not a
human being. By the end of that time Ihad no less than 35
computer-generated emails tellingme that my domain could
not be transferred.

Finally, I sent my request for domain transfer in a5-page
fax, including photocopy of my passport. Theythen sent me
an email saying my request for domaintransfer could not be
processed because my request wasnot on company letterhead.
So I designed a letterheadand re-submitted the 5-page fax.
Finally, 6 weeksafter my first request, my domain was
transferred.

To avoid this kind of experience I recommend you
useregister.com:

http://www.register.com

Using their online Domain Manager, it took me lessthan 2
minutes to transfer my domain!

(2) A slow-loading index page is still one of themain
reasons that online businesses lose customers.Surveys show
that the average surfer will wait no morethan 8 seconds for
a web page to load before moving onto another website. So
'load-time' is a vitalconsideration when you choose a web
host. Below is theURL of a web host directory that allows
you to comparethe load-time of different web hosts:

http://www.hostfacts.com/resources/speed.php3

I use this tool whenever I'm looking for a new webhost.

(3) Once you've designed your home page anduploaded it to
your server space,


check to see what itlooks like to other
people. What you're seeing may notbe what other people are
seeing.

I once designed a home page I was very proud of - Ihad
added a piece of JavaScript that gave the day anddate. Then
one day I checked my home page atAnybrowser.com. I was
horrified to see that my homepage was invisible except for
my company logo and thenavigation bar. For 2 weeks my home
page had beenvirtually blank to most visitors! So take a
minute andlook at your website through the eyes of
yourvisitors:

http://www.anybrowser.com/siteviewer.html

(4) If a customer asks you for a refund, give itto them
immediately, even if you think it'sunjustified. You'll be
out of pocket by a few dollars,but your name and your
integrity will be intact. There are so many scams on the
Internet that your mostprecious commodity is your good
name. Remember thesewords from Shakespeare:

"Who steals my purse steals trash; 'tis something, nothing;
'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands; But
he that filches from me my good name Robs me of that which
not enriches him, And makes me poor indeed." (Othello, Act
III. Scene III.)

(5) Reply to emails quickly. Nothing impresses memore on
the Internet than a rapid response to abusiness enquiry.
Try and respond within 2 hours, orat least within 24 hours.

(6) Never reply angrily to abusive emails.Remember: your
reply could be passed on to otherpeople and used against
you. An abusive email can bevery disturbing (I've had three
in the lastyear-and-a-half), but the best thing to do is
ignoreit. Better still delete it - that way you remove
itfrom your life and you remove the temptation to reply.

(7) Lastly, never give up. Most successes are due -more
than any other factor - to sheer persistence:

"Nothing in the world can take the place ofpersistence.
Talent will not; nothing is more commonthan unsuccessful
men of talent. Genius will not; theworld is full of
educated derelicts. Persistence anddetermination alone are
omnipotent. The slogan, 'presson' has solved, and always
will solve, the problems ofthe human race." (Calvin
Coolidge)

(c) 2001 by Michael Southon

About the Author

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Michael Southon has been writing for the Internet for over
3 years. He has shown hundreds of webmasters how to use
this simple technique to get massive free publicity and
dramatically increase traffic and sales. Click here to find
out more: http://www.ezine-writer.com
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