If you've been working on your web site for more than a couple of months and still haven't made any money, or your sales are dismal to the point of being depressing, you should consider the 5 points listed below very carefully.
One or more of them will likely explain why your site still isn't making any money.
People can't buy what they never see, so unless you are actively attracting visitors to your site using a variety of methods – beyond simply counting on the search engines to send you free traffic – it's unlikely you'll start making sales anytime soon.
If you have a budget, start with pay per click marketing to get visitors to your site fast. If your advertising budget is currently non-existent, concentrate on the latter two methods to get free traffic. Leave valuable comments on relevant forums and blogs. Build traffic through your Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other social marketing accounts.
Then, once your site starts getting traffic and making sales, re-invest your earnings in advertising.
Problematic Site Design
If you are getting traffic to your site, the next consideration is how visitors perceive your site. If it looks unprofessional, is impossible to navigate or is just downright ugly; it's unlikely that visitors will trust you to handle their orders in a professional manner – regardless of how appealing your products may be.
Take a look at professionally-designed merchant sites (eg. BlueNile and Hammacher.com) and note how they have simple visual appeal, easy site navigation and basic elements such as contact and privacy links.
Good basic design is easily and cheaply available to bloggers through professionally designed WordPress themes and templates. If you're not a blogger, consider using the services of programmers at Elance, Scriptlance and RentaCoder or buying a template at BoxedArt.
If you're driving traffic to your web site through pay per click advertising and your site design is beautiful, then you may be sending visitors to the wrong page.
For example, if you are advertising a specific item on Google Adwords and directing traffic from that campaign to the homepage of your online electronics store, you've probably just lost a potential sale and wasted money on advertising.
When selling specific items, send your traffic directly to the page on you site that provides the most relevant information.
If you've sent traffic to a beautiful page that promotes a specific product and you're still not making sales, then your promotional methods may be lacking or lackluster.
Is the landing page one big banner ad? Is the copy rife with spelling and grammatical errors? Is the copy too long or too short? Does the copy fail to clearly communicate what your visitor wants and needs to know?
The art of good copywriting (and making a sale) lies in your ability to write product reviews that focus primarily on benefits – how a product will improve a person's life.
Learn how to write product endorsements. Take a copywriting course and keep working to improve your skills. If you don't like writing or don't want to write that much, consider hiring a ghostwriter to write your articles and product endorsements.
You can send traffic to a beautiful, highly relevant page on your site that has a professionally written endorsement and still not make many sales. This is particularly true if you are selling high-end products.
To nail the sale – and this is absolutely critical regardless of what type of product or service you sell – you MUST followup with your visitors. Every single page on your site MUST MUST MUST include an email capture form (provided by a 3rd party autoresponder service) that allows you to present offers to your visitors via email after they leave your site.
Craft your autoresponder series and broadcast messages with a view to sharing worthwhile information and building relationships with your readers. Be the first to share information about that new widget that you tested and liked – and say it with enthusiasm! To build trust, let your subscribers know when to steer clear of the ‘bad apples' that they might otherwise be influenced to buy through your competitors.
In summary, EACH of the items listed above is critical to your online business success.
When you're sending copious amounts of targeted traffic to an attractive user-friendly site on which the copy focuses on benefits and your subscribers eagerly anticipate your newsletters – you WILL be making plenty of sales and PLENTY of money.