Internet Marketing - Putting Up a Website is Just the Beginning - Part 1

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This article is a personal history of what I have found in several years of website design, website promotion and the internet in general.
I started my venture into the internet in 2003.
I attended seminars for two different internet website development and hosting companies.
As always, the seminars made the internet sound like a "no-lose" proposition.
They were both interesting, but to the uninitiated, anything sounds like it's too good to be true.
The first thing I discovered was that this must be very profitable for these companies to spend so much money on these all days seminars (meals included).
A quick mention of my background first.
I have been involved in various entrepreneurial ventures over the years.
I was not afraid to try something new.
I probably started 7 of 8 business ventures over the years, with the forbearance of an understanding wife.
Most of them made money, but some lost most of their luster as I found out more about them.
This background led me to the potential of the internet.
I just needed a way to get started.
These seminars were what I needed to give me a taste of the possibilities.
While the seminar is free, the products they offered were not.
After a full day of website magic, testimonials and promise of new found wealth, it was very difficult not to be swept away by the excitement of the moment.
After attending the first seminar for one company, I found that I was better prepared to hear what the second company offered.
It made me realize how little I actually knew.
The technology seemed to be a lot more user friendly since I was computer literate, but didn't know a single keystroke of any programming languages.
With the new technology, it wasn't necessary (mostly).
I took the plunge in early 2003 and bought licenses for several websites.
The offer was that the company would put up a limited site for you for free, and then leave it to you to run it.
The other option was to read the hundreds of pages of tutorials and do it yourself.
I chose the latter since I felt that I should be a lot more self-sufficient if I did it myself and had the ability to change the site to my liking.
I didn't want to depend on anyone every time I wanted to change the website.
I soon discovered that it took more work than I anticipated to put the site together.
Once I picked a product, I found it was not as available as I thought and logistically it would be very difficult.
I wanted to sell small appliances.
The trouble was, there were sites selling the same products for less than they cost me.
Back to the drawing board.
I finally settled on watches as my first product to sell.
It took 6 months to get the site ready to put on the internet.
After all, I was working 50 to 60 hours per week at my main job plus about 20 hours a week of commuting.
Also, my family wanted to see me occasionally.
Rather than discourage me, these hours gave me the motivation to make the internet work for me.
I couldn't keep up those hours forever.
In my many years of running various businesses, I discovered one great truth; you can only be in one place at a time.
I made up my mind that the only business I would be interested in was one that didn't require my presence at all times.
My criteria for any new venture is, "do I have to be there for the business to run?" The internet was certainly qualified based on this philosophy.
The journey from seminar to running websites may be enlightening to those seeking to stake their claim on the internet.
In my next article, I will go into more detail about the day to day trials of the internet and how my experiences can help anyone choosing to go this route.
It can be a long, but interesting journey.
There are many articles on the internet addressing all areas of internet marketing, website promotion and the newest and best software (for the current week that is).
My series of articles will be more of a narrative journey that may be helpful the new internet marketer.
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