Thomas Frey:  While millions of people hang out in the online world, few of them have actually gotten serious about either starting their own online business or using the Internet as a serious business tool.  If you fall into this category, here are ten initial steps that will dramatically open your eyes to the potential of the world wide web.

The following ten steps are in no particular order, but keep in mind, these are only the entry points.  Once you’ve worked your way down this list, the logical next step will be for you to dive in and learn everything there is to know about these topics.  And them do some exploring and learn about the other zillion or two things that are also important in online business.

  1. Sell a Product on eBay – As the oldest and most established marketplace on the Internet, eBay continues to grow and continues to command huge audiences.
  2. Create Your Own Page on MySpace – A staggering 4.5% of all visits to the Internet go to MySpace.  If you’d like to know more about how to take control of your MySpace business opportunities, check out the MySpace Boot Camp.
  3. Advertise on Google – Whatever your product or service may be, it is always important to tell new people about it.  Google runs a very effective system for putting ads in front of the people most likely to buy the products.
  4. Set Up a Profile on LinkedIn – With all of the VCs in California now on LinkedIn, and many LinkedInheadhunters now using LinkedIn exclusively. These “free” accounts are designed to get you connected with key players in the business world.
  5. Create Your Own Blog – Whether you set up a free blog on or pay a monthly fee for SixApart (or similar software), anything you can do to learn about blogging will be time well spent.
  6. Set Up an Account on iFanz – While iFanz does look a lot like an email marketing company, there is much more to it.  One of their tools, iPlayer, comes free with an iFanz account, the iPlayer system creates a very valuable online tool for managing a music business, and other forms of content.
  7. Submit an Article to – If you’re real good at submitting news blurbs to, you may hit on one out of ten.  It’s a contest to see who can write the funniest headlines about regular news articles.  Also a great learning experience.
  8. Post a Video on YouTube – Currently 65,000 new videos are uploaded to YouTube servers every day.YouTube At the same time, over 100 million videos are being downloaded per day. 
  9. Buy a Domain Name on – Currently the largest seller of domain names, GoDaddy takes the simple process of buying a domain name and turns it into a circus.  If you manage to work your way through the maze of offers and complete the purchase, you will have learned much.
  10. Create Your Own Entry in Wikipedia – Some people write an article about themselves and others WIKIPEDIAwrite an entry about their business.  But when you have your own Wikipedia entry, the rest of the world will know you’ve arrived.

While no colleges are offering credits for these types of experiences, these ten steps will prove to be the most valuable education of your life.

Happy clicking.