How many times have you thought of the ultimate idea for an online business that will change the web forever? But most importantly make you rich?

Okay, you can stop counting now. How many have you launched?

If you have thought of more than 5 web changing ideas and haven’t acted on any, shame on you. One of the worst things that can happen is someone beating you to it and claiming all the glory.

Starting any sort of business on or offline can be a bit daunting. There will be 101 questions running around your head before you get going, like:

  • Is it a good idea?
  • Is there a gap in the market?
  • Who are my target audience?
  • What should I call my site?
  • How will I promote the site?
  • Will they like my idea on Dragons Den? (£5 on Deborah Meaden to be out first)

Unless you have experience within the same industry as your idea, you wouldn’t have a clue.

But no need to get frustrated. You can steadily collate all this information by creating a micro site or blog to test the market.

The site doesn’t need to be anything fancy and shouldn’t cost that much to set up. And If you want to be really cheeky, you can even test if people will pay money for your products or services by creating a dummy buy now button that will go to a out of stock page.

If over 30% of your visitors click the buy now button you’re onto a winner!

Creating the micro site or blog isn’t that difficult. And with free software like Word Press and services such as Google sites, it shouldn’t break the bank either.

Let’s pretend your internet idea is selling Teeth Whitening Kits and you weren’t sure about the market. Where would you start?

1. Define your site

Your site should contain information about dental care and teeth whitening. Create copy about the pros and cons. But because you want to sell the kits at some point, I would focus on the pros more.

Google the phrase “Teeth Whitening Kits” to find relevant sub categories that will compliment the product.

These sub categories will become static pages and have the most valuable information on the site. It is important not to sell or promote any products at this point because you would like your site to be an impartial information hub.

2. Maintenance

To help manage maintenance you can commission a copywriter to produce two months worth of unique blog post. All related to dental care and teeth whitening. Then schedule them to be published automatically twice a week. Continue to work with your copywriter so you will always have at least a month’s worth of content in advance ready to publish.

3. The domain name

The domain name for this site doesn’t have to be the domain you use to launch your final site. The purpose of this domain name is for people to easily understand what the site is about.

Something like TodaysDentalCare.com or DentalHealthAdvice.com would do.
Remember this site is only for market research and to test the market.

4. Data capture

This is the most important element of the site. You need to be able to communicate with your audience, ask questions and listen to their opinions.

Somewhere on the site you should have a small but noticeable form encouraging visitors to enter their email address to join the mailing list or become a member of the site.

Each sign up is an indication that someone maybe interested in buying your product.

Keep your visitors engaged; email them regularly about new and interesting blog posts. You can also promote affiliate “Teeth Whitening” products in your emails to help with market research.

5. Promoting the site

Now the easy parts (creating the site and content) are out of the way, it’s time to drive traffic to your site.

Unfortunately instant traffic comes at a cost. But if you are willing to pay for it Google Adwords is a good place to start.

As this is a temporary market research project you would want the results back as soon as possible to inform you if your idea is worthwhile developing.

Depending on your time, experience and budget outsourcing your online marketing may work better for you.

Now you have a general idea on how to see if your online business idea will rock the web, turn you into a billionaire or just generate beer money. Nevertheless, without putting your toe into the water you will never get your feet wet.

If you have an idea in mind, put it on the web and see what people think.

If you would like some advice on how to bring your ideas to life, drop me an email. I will be happy to help.