Contrary to one’s first inclination, your first action in getting started, once you have defined your niche, is not to put up a website. Instead, it needs to be creating a way to capture names to begin building your Community (your List). There are 3 components.
Step 1: Create something of value that you can give away for free.
Perhaps you have already developed some content around your niche that will be perceived by your marketplace as being of high value. If not, then do so now. You might create a report that you convert to a downloadable pdf. Or you might make an outline on a topic and sit down with a recorder and make a one-hour MP3 audio. The idea is to do it now. Later, you can improve it.
Step 2: Create a simple Opt-in (Squeeze) web page that is the first thing prospects see…with a means for capturing their first name and email address.
This is a simple page from which you can capture names and then provide access to your give-away. As an example, here is the link to one of our opt-in pages, offering a free audio and 2 written reports on working with Swipe Files (a Copywriting shortcut). http://www.businessbuildingshortcuts.com/SFTeleseminar.html
As you’ll notice, a typical squeeze page has 2 components… Selling the free give-away and a providing a place to sign-up to receive it.
Step 3: Setup an autoresponder to capture these names.
It’s not enough just to have an opt-in box on the squeeze page. You must have a way to capture those names so that you can begin building your relationship with them. That happens with an Autoresponder. There are several ways to go here…either a powerful stand-alone list management tool, such as Aweber, or an integrated list management/shopping cart system, such as KickStartCart (1ShoppingCart).