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How to Start a Spiritual Business Online
By:Maya Austen

There's a difference between running an online spiritual business and using the Web to promote your spiritual business (such as a spiritual retreat that requires that people actually visit a physical location). No matter what type of Internet business you have, spiritual or otherwise, the greatest challenge is fighting to be seen. The goal isn't foot traffic, but Web traffic. This can be a difficult pool to get noticed in because the playing field is so immense. These steps will get you started.

Preparation

Decide what kind of service your business intends to offer. Are you, for example, running a spiritual counseling service, a spiritual bookstore or some other kind of store that sells spiritual products?

Develop an initial business plan, beginning with an overview of your entire plan; market analysis; company description; organizational structure; a description of the service offered; funding needed; allocation of resources; projected returns; and compliance with state and federal requirements. This will help you make business decisions later on.

Choose a domain name. Use the Google AdWords Keywords tool (listed in the Resources) to research the most popular keyword phrase relevant to the service you offer. Consider building your domain name around this phrase. This will help to give your site greater preference in searches for that phrase, which can help drive significant traffic to your site.

Use a check/register domain resource tool to check the availability of your chosen domain name. If it is available, register it. If it's not available, choose another suitable name and keep checking for availability until you find one that's not in use.

Find a Web server host that is able to accommodate the site capabilities you want and that fits within your budget.

Design a website. You can learn to do this on your own or hire a Web designer. Some key points to consider: make sure that your site looks professional, that it's easy to navigate and read, that the design reflects the spirit of your business and that the code is search-engine friendly. When developing your site content, build at least 60 percent of your pages around relevant keyword phrases (no more than two keyword phrases per page).

Up and Running

Submit your website to search engines.

Promote your site by building link partnerships with spiritually based websites; submit your site to DMOZ and spiritual directories such as spiritualsearch.net or spiritfind.net; write and publish online spiritual articles; start a spiritual blog; create a spiritual forum; create podcasts; start a spiritual newsletter; and join social networking sites. All these things will boost the visibility of your site, and the more you can do, the better.

Advertise your site through Google Ads. Link your ad display to relevant keywords.

Monetize your site with Google AdSense and similar businesses.

Consider starting an affiliate program to further increase traffic to your site.