To get started with a web based business (without actually spending a single dollar)
Requirements- A Zeal to do something different
Overview- First of all you need to make it clear, what you actually want to do.To name a few, here you can
Start a news portal(as I did),
setup a forum
start a blog
Setup an e-commerce portal
Setup a classifieds portal
Setup an Ad Agency
Setup a Games Portal
Setup an Online Learning System
Setup a Video Sharing Site
Start a Social Network
Start a Job Portal
Start a Real Estate Portal
Take time and think, what will be the best for you.Ask your friends,relatives,any business people you know for their advice.Remember each of these have proven business model and are very successful venture.
Once Decided, what you are going to do,ask yourself
Who will be your target users(Customers)?
How will you reach your target users?
How will you generate revenue?
How much time are you ready to devote per day?
Personally, I feel that writing down these points helps a lot, especially at times you get confused, what to do!!. In my subsequent posts, I shall explain some of strategies which can be easily applied( and what I actually did ) to make a large userbase and generate revenue, but it is important that you try to find out first.
Once the brainstprming is over, the technical side needs attention.This is pretty easy and you can setup them free of cost
Getting a Domain Name
If you are ready to spend an yearly fee of about USD 10, then you can book a .com .net or any TLD(Top Level Domain) of your choice.
If not, then dont get disheartened.I started my first website on a free domain itself.
There are only 2 reliable free domain services on the web, CO.CC and DOT.TK. While both are completely free services, CO.CC has been recently banned by Google.While in future, this ban is likely to be lifted, I strongly advice you to book a .tk domain. This is because it is a TOP Level domain while CO.CC is 2nd level domain. DOT.TK provides unlimited domains, while CO.CC limits this to 3 per account.
Choosing a Hosting Provider
Freehostia is the best free hosting provider till date.They provide almost everything ideal to an online startup.However, SMTP is blocked on FRee Hosting.This means your site wont be able to send any automated emails to users.If you dont think this as a bottleneck, then jump to Freehostia wihout hesitation.I started my online business in early 2008 on Freehostia itself.
X10hosting is another good name in the hosting industry.They provide more free hosting figures(in terms of space,bandwidth emails etc). I havenot tested them much, but they seem to be a good place to start with.The only restriction is that you need to login to your control panel once every 15 days.
This article is the first in a series of posts aimed to foster entrepreneurship and encourage young people to start a business of their own.I shall be posting stuffs to it at least once a week.In the meantime, if you need any help, do comment below.I shall respond promptly