10 Skills That You Need to Run an Online Business by Yourself

Advertising and Marketing
A good marketing strategy will help people find your ecommerce site. Luca Sage/Taxi/Getty Images

"If you build it, they will come" might have worked for the baseball-playing ghosts in the movie "Field of Dreams," but it's not a very successful e-commerce strategy. You can have a great business idea, develop a fantastic product, and build a great website, but unless people find out that you're out there and are persuaded to buy, you're unlikely to make very much money. On the other hand, if you're able to develop a well-thought-out, methodical marketing and advertising strategy to get attention and build brand recognition, you'll optimize your chances of success.

The first element is coming up with a brand name that will help people to distinguish you from the sea of competitors online, and then registering or buying the domain name for yourself. You also need to be able to figure out the mysteries of search engine optimization, or SEO — a fancy term for using keywords that consumers are likely to search for, as well as adding links and titles to your web pages [source: Pozin]. (You can learn more about this topic through articles like this one).

Invest in paid advertising such as Google AdWords, which has the advantage of charging a fee only when people click the ads and go to your website. Those ads are more likely to be effective if you've got great copywriting skills to entice those consumers, so try to tap your inner Don Draper.