Whatever you do online, you have to do wholeheartedly. Following something you are passionate about and know something about already gives you a good base from which to operate.

In the previous post, the budding entrepreneur, a former physician, wanted to start a website having to do with art. She hoped to learn more about art in the course of working on the site. It’s hard to sell art online. You have to have some kind of background or authority in the field already in order to succeed. How else will you compete with all the other sites selling reproductions or original art out there?

My advice to the writer: consider starting a blog about your experience as a physician. Invite basic questions about health issues from readers. Provide some “inside stories” about what it’s like to be a doctor. Perhaps describe things that need to be improved with the insurance or health care system in the U.S. This kind of blog could be really compelling. The blog could then link to an art site. Having developed a steady stream of visitors to the “Ask the M.D.” blog, the art site would have a chance of generating some traffic rather than starting from zero. One of the basic principles of e-commerce is to sell your knowledge and build on your background. That applies in this case, too.

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