Tag Archive | "Business Owners"

Is Your Facebook Page Not Giving You the Results You Wanted?

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Is Your Facebook Page Not Giving You the Results You Wanted?


One question that some business owners ask is: why aren’t people actually participating on my Facebook fan page? The question isn’t one that’s easy to answer, as there could be a myriad of reasons as to why this is happening to you. Facebook is of course, the biggest social networking site around, with nearly a billion active users. So we all know how important it is for a business to set up their presence on the network. If you read any online marketing material that deals with social media, you will see the message: get on Facebook and promote your business. So you go out, create a page, then maybe add some content on a semi-regular basis. But it’s still not working out for you. The content is there, you may get some fans, but the “connection” with them isn’t happening as you may had planned before.

What you need to do is to actually motivate your fans, so that they will like your posts, comment on them, share their own ideas and also share the stuff that you’ve posted with other on their own profiles. But it’s just not happening and you’re now busy looking for what the reason is. This is something that you would need to identify yourself. Sure, you can hire an outside firm to do it for you and this is something that many businesses have done, usually with good results. But the problem here is that many small businesses, especially startups, don’t have thousands of dollars a month to spend on “social media experts” who will go over their pages and tell them what improvements to make.

In this case, you need to develop an action plan. This is actually the most simple part of the operation. You will plan what you should change about your social media presence and the steps that you will execute in order to get there. It may take a bit of time, so there’s no sense in rushing it at this point. Once you have everything planned out, it will be time to execute. Actually do the changes that you’ve planned out and carry out any improvements that you feel are necessary in order for your Facebook page to turn into something that is interesting to your users and actually profitable for your company.

The first step of the plan involves identifying the issues that are causing poor results. We’re going to present you a list of things that may cause your fans to be “less than enthusiastic” about your social media presence. We will also give you some ways that you can employ to change all of that and turn things around once and for all. Consistently applying these changes will get you what you were hoping for: a Facebook page this is more “alive”, that has fans which participate in the discussion, like your posts, add content and share some of the content that you’ve put up.

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Google May Still be on Top – But Don’t Forget Bing

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Google May Still be on Top – But Don’t Forget Bing


Everyone that has used a computer in the last decade will have heard of Google search. There are many articles talking about how Google is number one in the search market and how it’s expected to keep it’s place as King of Search for a long, long time. Obviously, any potential competitors will be facing an uphill battle if they want to create a better search engine than them. Many online marketers and business owners believe that if you want to be successful online, you need to optimize everything about your site so that it’s easy to find on Google. While this is definitely true, one fact that is often overlooked, even by some of the SEO experts, is that Google isn’t the only game in town.

 

There have been some market share numbers released a few weeks ago by Compete and comScore. Google may be popular in search, but what may be surprising to some is that it doesn’t have 99% of the search market cornered as many would want you to think. In fact, Google has approximately 67% of search market share. The rest is spread mainly among Yahoo! And Bing.

 

Yahoo has experienced many problems recently in keeping it’s search engine attractive to web surfers and the recent studies show that their market share dropped to around 14% of all search queries. Bing, on the other hand is growing and is getting more use as of the last months. In fact, 20% of all web searches are now being done on Bing.

 

What does this mean to you, as an online marketer? First, you need to accept the fact that not everyone will be using Google when they perform queries online. The reasons for this are too many to name here and are themselves open to debate and speculation. But the fact remains: Bing can bring you the targeted traffic that you’re looking for on your website. Less than Google, sure, but at approximately 20% of all web searches, it can still deliver a good chunk to you if you know how to take full advantage of it.

 

One thing that you can do is learn more about SEO and specifically how it relates to Bing. While the basic principles are essentially the same, there are certain on and off site factors that you can tinker around with that will help you get better SERPs on Bing, without compromising your current position on Google. In fact, it has been shown that getting your site to move up in Bing’s rankings can often be a lot simpler than on Google.

 

We all know that Bing isn’t too likely to take away a large portion of Google’s market share anytime soon. But with 20% of all searches and growing, it remains a big player in the online world and should not be ignored by marketers that are trying to get the most traffic possible from search engines.

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Taking Full Advantage of Mobile Searches

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Taking Full Advantage of Mobile Searches


In an increasingly mobile world, an equally increasing number of users from all demographics are now using smartphones to find what they need. We have seen before that a great amount of searches made by mobile users result in a purchase being made by the person using the smartphone. Local business owners, as well as the online marketing experts responsible for promoting these businesses need to know all about mobile marketing and how they can harness its power. It gives businesses a great opportunity in the online world, but mobile marketing needs to be done right for it to be effective.

 

Here are some tips that will be useful:

 

  • Have a mobile compatible site

 

We’ve probably gone through this about a hundred times in the past year, but it’s worth repeating. Your business site needs to be mobile compatible if you want to benefit from smartphone traffic. It’s simple to do if you know the right tools, many of which are available for free. Too much trouble? Not good in web design? Just hire an affordable freelancer who could make a good site for $50 to $100. It will be worth it. Your site content should be direct and to the point. Yes, do include calls to action and a good sales copy, but keep the fluff to a minimum and save the purely informational stuff for your blog. While smartphone users do conduct research, it is SHORT research and they just want the basic attributes of your products. It’s highly unlikely that putting the history of your company on your homepage will have much influence on a mobile user’s decision.

 

  • Local SEO and targeting is of utmost importance

 

When someone searches for a product on a smartphone, they usually need something local to them. If you use paid advertising services, geotarget your ads appropriately. If you do SEO, make sure that you do the right local SEO which will help users within range of your business to find its site.

 

  • Put a map on your mobile site

 

Some who are looking for your business may not be familiar with the area. Google Maps is your friend here. Include a map on your website, as well as the option for the user to get driving directions to your location. This increases the chance the user will go to your business first before checking out any competitors. If they have a map on their site and you don’t… guess what… you lose.

 

  • Have a call button too

 

Sometimes the user will want to call your business first. Having a phone number on your site is good, and obviously something you should do. But what’s even better? A “Call Us Now” button that when pressed will cause the smartphone to automatically call you. This makes it simpler for the user to get in touch with you.

 

  • Add your business to local directories and social media

 

Add your business to social media sites, local business directories and place a few classified ads. This will not only help with SEO, but further increase the chances that a smartphone user will become aware of your business and use its services.

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How the Google Penguin Update Can Affect Your SEO

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How the Google Penguin Update Can Affect Your SEO


The Google Penguin update, if you haven’t heard of it, has been released 3 months ago. The main purpose behind the update doesn’t really deviate that much from the goals that previous Google updates had: to reward websites which have good content and provide an overall good experience for their users, while penalizing sites which rely on black hat tactics such as link spamming or keyword stuffing.

When you talk about SEO, then the keywords will obviously be something very important. Previously, giving a lot of consideration to keyword density, as well as the placement of keywords within a page were seen as very important things for any webmaster or online business owners. But this part of the SEO game has changed a bit, as Google is trying to eliminate the “spammy” site from its rankings. Placing your keywords in the title of your content, as well as close to the beginning, is still a good practice. However, webmasters now need to focus more on diversifying their keywords. This means using related words and phrases when possible, rather than just reusing the same words over and over again. Using related keywords will also make the text flow better and look easier to read to a human, which is something that Google wants.

Of course, it is not only on site factors that have changed since the Penguin updated rolled out in April of 2012. Google is now trying to better determine the overall quality of a website by analyzing the link profile. This simply means how many links a website has, where the links are coming from, how much the links have grown recently and what anchor text is being used on these links. It is believed that the anchor text is going to get a lot more attention with Penguin. This is to deter would be comment and link spammers from posting a site link with the same anchor text hundreds, or thousands of times all over the web with the hopes that this will improve the site’s rankings, as it is getting more backlinks.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work on creating backlinks anymore, but there might be a few changes that you may want to do from now on. The main thing to focus on is diversifying your anchor texts. Don’t simply use one keyword for all of your incoming site links. This is one of the fastest ways that you can get your site penalized under the new update. Rather, try to vary that text as much as you can. If you leave comments on forums or blogs, make sure that your comment is not only relevant to your website, but also to the site where you’re posting it on. Generic comments, such as “nice site” or “I agree” may have worked a few months ago, but Google is increasingly cracking down on them, as they simply pollute the comment sections of many blogs by offering nothing that is of value to the discussion.

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Social Networks are Also a Customer Care Tool

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Social Networks are Also a Customer Care Tool


When we talk about social media from an internet marketer or business owner’s perspective, it is expected that topics about advertising, sales, promotion and marketing would be at the forefront. And yes, this is logical and there is nothing wrong with it. After all, the main reason why business owners are on Facebook, for example, is to promote their business and not waste their time playing Farmville or sharing pictures of funny kittens.

 

But a social media page can be a whole lot more than just a channel that can be used to get more sales. It can also be a very efficient customer service tool for many businesses. The problem is that not all businesses seem to realize this. A study conducted recently shows some disparities among industries related to who uses social networks to respond to customer inquiries, comments and complaints on social media. Telecommunications firms, such as large cell phone and internet providers, had relatively high response rates, meaning that they took the time to respond to users who posted something on the page of their company on Facebook, with response rates around 60%. Consumer goods and electronics companies didn’t fare as well, having an average response of 20%. Ironically enough, media companies, whose business is all about sharing information, only responded to public posts about 5% of the time.

 

No matter what industry you are in, responding to your users on social media is important, especially if a user expresses a concern that needs attention, or asks a question about your company or its products. Social media is not just a sales channel, but also one where you can interact with customers, potential customers and the general public at a customer service level. Doing it is actually quite simple. You can respond to the post if appropriate, provide a link to the answer on your website, or contact the user by private message in order to discuss things privately if it involves something that is specific to their case. Avoid standard, boilerplate responses, however, as they give a “robotic” feeling to those who see them. Therefore, instead of saying “please contact our customer care department at 1-877-YOUR NUMBER”, you can post “We have sent you a message to better address this matter. Bob Parker, Social Media Department, ACME Corporation”.

 

Failing to properly deal with customers who interact with you on social media can give the wrong impression of your business and potentially damage your reputation, as it can make it look like you’re only interested in using the internet to get sales, but not to actually help your customers when they need you. While you may provide customer support by various channels already, such as telephone, live chat, email, etc. you will need to see social media as an important extension of your service department. If your business is relatively large, you can assign a team of employees whose job is to monitor your social media pages for any feedback from consumers, then respond to them and escalate internally as necessary.

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Why SEO Still Isn’t Going Anywhere For a While

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Why SEO Still Isn’t Going Anywhere For a While


It happens time and time again. Google makes an update to the way their ranking algorithm works. Business owners, webmasters and marketers are affected and some pages go down in the SERPs. Panic sets in some online marketing blogs and website articles. Titles such as “SEO is Dead” or “Google is Penalizing E-Commerce Sites” start appearing. This gives the impression that SEO is now a thing of the past and that Google has some magic and arbitrary way to rank websites which nobody can do anything about.

This has happened again recently when Google launched their Panda update and its revisions. But despite what you read on these blogs, SEO is not dead and is unlikely to die out anytime soon. Webmasters can still use various on site or off site optimization techniques with the hopes of getting their pages to rank better in search results. Except that there is one major change: Google is seeking to reward quality web pages that provide users the content that they’re looking for. The focus is now on short term growth. Not on who can cram the most keywords on a page or build a million backlinks in a day.

Ok, now that you know SEO still works. What has changed? Some of the methods and best practices used in the SEO world will need to be adjusted slightly.

The major part about the updates is the on site content. If you have a website that contains “articles” which are just stuffed with keywords and are otherwise completely nonsensical, get rid of them. They will only get you penalized. Strive to have information that is useful, legible and highly relevant to what your website is all about. Include a mix of informational content about your niche and sales materials which promote your products. This will not only lead to better user satisfaction (and more conversions), plus likely to get you better rankings, or at least keep you from getting penalized.

The quality of your website is also another factor that is apparently used by Google to determine how a page ranks. Now we don’t know which metrics Google measures exactly, but these can be guessed relatively easily: page load time, easy navigation, as well as the presence of a site map that allows users to find a specific page on your website with ease.

Then, there is something new: user engagement. What does this mean, exactly? Again, the exact metrics used by Google are unknown, but there are a few theories. User engagement means that website visitors interact with a website rather than just read the content on it. This could include social opportunities such as social media buttons, plus allowing user comments on your articles. Many webmasters have noticed that website which give users more opportunities for interaction tend to do much better in SERPs. But how do you accomplish this? There are a few ways that you can use. While they may not be guaranteed to propel you to 1st place on Google, they may help you rank better. We will take a look at these tomorrow.

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Twitter Usage Increasing According to Recent Polls

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Twitter Usage Increasing According to Recent Polls


In the world of social networking, Twitter has become a lot more popular in the last few months. The numbers are finally out regarding the usage of Twitter in the United States. A recent survey by the Pew Research Center shows that 15 % of adults that use the internet use Twitter. The amount of daily users is now standing at 8 %. This shows some growth when compared to last year’s numbers, which showed that 13 % of American internet users were on Twitter.

 

One of the possible reasons cited for the increase in popularity of Twitter is not any innovative changes or “super” features that were added to the social network. Twitter has always been, and still is, a Microblogging service where users can share short messages and stories, plus have the ability to link to websites, videos, pictures and other off site content. Rather, an increase of smart phone usage would explain Twitter’s growth. In fact, the way the microblogging site is designed makes it easy to be used on the small screen of a mobile device.

 

Young adults remain the biggest users of Twitter. Out of the people surveyed, 31 % of internet users between the ages of 18 and 24 reported using Twitter. In the 25 to 34 age group, that number is 17 %.

 

Global statistics show that Twitter currently has 500 million registered accounts and 140 million of those belong to users who log in to their Twitter account at least once a day. The social networking service remains popular all around the world, but the United States has the most registered Twitter users, at 110 million accounts.

 

Knowing that Twitter is gaining in popularity and remains big with the younger crowd is one thing. But many business owners and marketers are wondering whether this social networking site could be of any use to them. One of the best strategies is to simply add Twitter to your existing collection of social media accounts. In the world of social networking, integration is a good thing. Different networks that work in different ways don’t really compete with each other, but rather complement each other. This is why it’s very common to see YouTube videos being posted on Facebook, or Tweets linking to a Facebook page or post.

 

Evaluate how others in your industry are using Twitter to communicate with others or to promote their business. This will help you better understand the benefits that this network can bring to you. There are also plenty of free resources that you can find online which will help you develop marketing strategies specific to this microblogging service. The unique character of the website means that it may first take some getting used to when you’re figuring out how to promote your business with it, but as you go along you should realize that the site has great potential and can be a very valuable tool that helps you get your business the attention it needs online.

 

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What Social Sites are Used by Marketers?

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What Social Sites are Used by Marketers?


Are you using social media sites and want to know which types of sites are being used by other marketers today? Is Google + picking up steam or will it probably stay behind for a while? A study of over 3 500 marketers and business owners asked them what they use to market their business or products in the social media world. Here are the results:

 

  • Facebook: 92 %
  • Twitter: 82 %
  • Linked In: 73 %
  • Blogs: 61 %
  • YouTube and other video sharing sites (Vimeo, DailyMotion, etc): 57 %
  • Google + : 40 %
  • Photo and image sharing platforms: 21 %
  • Discussion groups and forums: 19 %
  • Social bookmarking and news sites: 16 %
  • Geo location services: 14 %
  • Daily deal-type coupon sites: 6 %

 

As we can see, Facebook is at the top. There’s no need to go into too much details as to why it’s there, as we all know that Facebook is currently the most popular social media site in the world and marketers tend to go where the most people are. After all, you wouldn’t install an advertising billboard in the middle of the forest.

 

But there’s not just Facebook in the social media world. Google + is starting to gain some steam, with 40% of marketers using it. Even though it had a slow and difficult start, it’s now beginning to attract more users, both consumers and businesses. In order to boost the network’s popularity, Google encourages users to visit it in different ways, such as by integrating Google Places with Google +. Marketers also have an interest in Google’s social networking service. 70% indicate they want to learn more about it and 67% are planning to increase their participation in it for the future.

 

Now let’s not forget that by “social media” we don’t just mean social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google + and LinkedIn. Other types of sites are “social” too, as they allow sharing and interaction between their users. This explains why many business owners and marketers also create videos to post on YouTube and maintain blogs where they provide industry news & updates, while giving users a chance to respond to the content in the comments section. Discussion forums could be an excellent way for a business to gain visibility in their industry through active participation in the forum, as well as using its advertising features such as signature links, “Buy/Sell” section, paid ads, etc.

 

Marketers and especially local business owners also need to be aware that there is a lot of traffic that can be captured from the smaller or more local sites too. For example, in the field of arts, video sharing sites like Vimeo and Daily Motion remain quite popular, even though YouTube is still the most popular video sharing sites. Understanding where your target market is online will be very helpful in getting your message in front of them.

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Better Use Of Social Media for Business Networking

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Better Use Of Social Media for Business Networking


If you want to use social media to its fullest potential, you have to understand that it can be used to help you discover more business opportunities, as opposed to simply giving you access to more customers who will buy your products. But are there any secrets to successful use of social media websites to be able to advance your business? Not really, they’re more like common sense tips that can help give you a big boost. Despite some of these tips being quite common, many business owners still don’t follow them and thus don’t get the results that they could have gotten from social networking use.

  • Be Present on Many Networks

Your business should be present on the most common networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google +. Depending on the type of company that you’re running, there could be some smaller or local websites that you could benefit from using. This will give you a maximum amount of exposure at very little cost. Furthermore, having profiles on different websites can have some good SEO benefits for you, as social networking sites are usually well respected on search engines like Google.

  • Ensure That Your Contact Information Can Easily be Found and Is Up to Date

While this may seem like something quite obvious, there is still a large amount of business owners that neglect to do this. Your profile should include a link to your main website, of course. But make sure that the link actually works and that you’ve typed the site URL correctly. Put in your other contact information in your profile, such as your email, phone and street address. Contact information can change, especially for smaller businesses. This is why you will want to be sure that the information you have on your profile is always up to date. Having incorrect contact information on your profile page can cause you to miss many opportunities. Furthermore, if people see that the contact details between your website and your different profiles found online is different, this could lead to confusion, which is something that you would want to avoid as much as possible.

  • Include Your Business Logo

This just gives you page a more professional look. If you don’t have a logo for your business, then you can ask a freelancer to create one for you. You can find logo creation services and other simple artwork services offered on cheap freelancing sites such as Fiverr, where you can get one done for just $5. Of course, you can always take a graphics program and create one yourself if you’re able to. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated and could be just your business name in stylized text.

There are some more tips about using social media for business that you can benefit from. Tomorrow we will give you some more useful advice on how you can turn your social media profile into a tool that can make your company shine and let you find new business partners.

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Is Google + a Good Business Marketing Tool? Part 2

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Is Google + a Good Business Marketing Tool? Part 2


Previously, we’ve taken a look at some of the talking points related to Google +. There is still ongoing discussion as to how useful this new social networking service can be for businesses that are looking to establish or to increase their online presence. While it may look like Google + is nowhere near its rivals in the social networking sphere and recent numbers don’t look too encouraging, there are more points that someone will need to consider when evaluating whether establishing their business presence on the network will be worth the time. Here are some more points to consider about the site:

 

  • Some of the Top Businesses Have Already Established Their Presence on Google +

 

A study of the world’s top 100 brands by financial performance has shown that 64 of them have established a page on Google +. Statistics collected during the period from November to March 2012 show that these top brands have made more than 5 000 updates during that period. Furthermore, they have more than 250 000 “points of engagement”, which are responses to their updates, users indicating that they like the content (the “plus”) and the content being shared by the users.

 

Now ask yourself this: if the top players in the business world are doing something, shouldn’t you be at least considering it? These brands have become financially successful for a reason and creating a Google + page for your business will not cost you anything, just the time needed to create your profile and update it from time to time.

 

  • Not All Social Networking is Focused on the Consumer

 

One thing that creating a social networking profile can help you with is finding new business opportunities and connecting with other business owners. Remember that social networking use for businesses doesn’t have to be simply about interacting with consumers to sell them your products, but can also be used to network with other businesses. Data shows that business owners are increasingly using Google services and are including Google + as part of the list of websites that they check on a regular basis. Even though LinkedIn is currently the champion when it comes to business to business networking, Google + may have some interesting potential in this area.

 

  • Google + Pages Can Become Significant for Search Results

Search marketers may find it useful to create a Google + profile, if only for the possible SEO benefits that it can bring, either now or in the future. Again, the topic of whether Google + profiles will have a significant influence on SEO and search engine marketing in general is one that is now being talked about a lot in online marketing circles, with no clear answer being given. But in any case, it is highly possible that the Google + profiles, as well as individual pages and posts that a company makes could have some impact about how visible they will be in search engine results. Participating in Google + would then be seen as a low expense way of improving a company’s SEO standing.

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Efficient Video Marketing Uses

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Efficient Video Marketing Uses


We have all seen mentions about how video marketing could be useful in terms of making money online. But the issue with it is that few business owners use it, and many of them don’t really do it well. Can you use video sharing sites like YouTube and Daily Motion to attract some customers to your website? Definitely. Here are some tips that you will find helpful for this:

 

  • Use public video sharing sites and not your own server

 

The obvious advantage of this is that you will be saving bandwidth, as the videos will be hosted on a site such as YouTube and not your own server. Another advantage of this is that more people will be able to see your videos if they search for their related keywords. If you host your videos on your own server, they can only be seen on the places where you put them, such as websites, blogs or social media pages.

 

  • Put your website and business logo at the beginning and end of your video

 

Even though YouTube allows you to put links in the description (which you should do as well), you are better off putting your website in your video as well. This is because some people may see your video and choose to embed it on their own website or blog, or share it with social media. If your video goes viral and is seen by a lot of people, chances are it will be embedded on a lot of sites, so to get the most traffic from this effect, your website must be present in the video itself.

 

  • Give useful content to your viewers

 

It is said time and time again, nobody comes online to watch commercials, there are enough of them on TV. The content of your videos therefore needs to be relevant to your products and niche, without looking like you are only promoting your website or goods. Instructional or informational videos are the best. For example, if your company sells replacement iPhone screens, then having a video which demonstrates how to open up the iPhone and change its screen without messing up the phone would be quite useful. It can also be used for intangible products such as guides and learning materials. So if you sell language courses, you can create a video which teaches some important phrases, pronunciation, words, in another language, then at the end refer the viewers to your website so they can check out the product and see if it is good for them.

 

  • Don’t give up if you don’t get many views

 

It is a fact that most videos will not achieve millions of views, especially if your niche is very specific. The issue is quality and not quantity. You can make sales with just a handful of viewers that are truly interested in the content of your video and the product behind it, while uploading a video that gets thousands of views because it is “cute” or “funny” may not bring you any serious site visitors.

 

 

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Selling on eBay: Choosing a Good Drop Shipper: Part 2

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Selling on eBay: Choosing a Good Drop Shipper: Part 2


Previously, we have seen some tips on how you can test the dropshipper that you intend to use and the fact that it is much better to have more than one dropshipper to do business with. But how do you find a good dropshipper? There are a few ways to do this. Here are some of them:

 

  • Look through dropshipping websites

 

There are some website out there such as DH Gate, TradeTang and Alibaba that are a real treasure trove for all kinds of merchandise. Anything like clothing, electronics and jewelry can be found there. The good thing about these sites is that they are mostly aimed at business owners who are looking to acquire merchandise rather than at individual consumers. This means that you can easily find dropshippers or buy merchandise in bulk. This is the good thing. But the bad thing about these sites is that they also contain many scammers who will either rip you off and not send anything, or ship something different than what they advertise.

 

But there are ways to protect yourself from that. Obviously, you can apply what we covered in the previous article which would be to make a test order first to see if they deliver. But you should also check the seller’s feedback on the site. See how long they have been active and how many positive comments they have from others who have done business with them. Also, look to see whether they have a website and phone number. While this is not a guarantee of safety, it does make it more likely that you will be dealing with a legitimate supplier rather than a scammer. If possible pay with PayPal or a credit card and avoid sending money through Western Union or Money Gram, as these services are preferred by scammers due to the fact that the transaction cannot be reversed.

 

  • Look at internet marketing forums

 

Most “make money online” forums will have a section that is dedicated to eBay selling or dropshipping. Check it out to see what others are saying. You may find the contact information for some good suppliers, complete with comments from forum members who have used them and were happy with their transaction. You might even find some members of the forum who are suppliers for a wide variety of merchandise and who can drop ship to your eBay buyers.

 

Dealing with someone from a forum can be safer than dealing with a seller on Alibaba, as the supplier will often be well known in the forum and have members who can vouch for him. But this is not a guarantee that everything will go well. Don’t forget to use common sense when you are looking for a dropshipper, no matter where you find him. Always try to check their reputation out before you decide to use them as a supplier for your eBay online business. If you are careful, then you will reduce the chances of getting scammed when doing business with one.

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Full Time Online Business: Part 2

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Full Time Online Business: Part 2


If you want to make a full time income online, there are plenty of business models to select from. Of course, it is possible to earn some decent money by providing services to others, such as doing web design, writing articles, sales copies, etc. However, there are some things that you can do to make a full time income without spending all day actually doing the services.

 

What you can do is to outsource the actual service creation to other workers that you can find on classified ads sites, freelancing sites as well as forums. If your business gets really big, you always have the option of actually getting a physical office and hiring a full time staff.

 

Here are two business types that you can start:

 

  • Web Design Agency

 

A lot of small and local businesses right now are getting online and would like to have a website. The thing is, very few business owners have the skills to create a good looking website and many of them do not want to spend the time it takes to learn how to put one together. This is where you come in.

 

All you need to do is to put together a team of a few freelancers that specialize in web design. It is always good to have people with diverse skills on board, such as one who specializes in blogs, while another one that does flash websites, etc. Basically, you would get clients to pay you for a website. Let’s say you charge $100 per site and pay the freelancer $60 for their work. You would then pocket the difference.

 

  • Digital Marketing Agency

 

Plenty of business owners are also realizing the potential that the internet has when it comes to attracting new customers. This is where you will be helping them. You can offer a complete marketing package to small businesses, which would include optimizing their website for SEO, building backlinks, creating articles and uploading them to directories, creating and managing social media pages, putting up ads and listings in business directories and classified ads sites, managing their ad campaigns on PPC and media buying platforms, etc. This can be a very profitable business model, as there are plenty of local businesses that would like to advertise online, but don’t really know how to.

 

Getting Clients

 

Remember that most of your clients aren’t really up to date on the whole internet marketing scene, so advertising on IM forums is not really the best idea. It would be better to advertise in local classified ads sites, business directories, as well as in local businesses. Doing direct mail campaigns as well as calling up local businesses can sometimes yield quite good results, although these methods of advertising are a bit more expensive and time consuming for you. However if you do great work at competitive rates, you are likely to succeed in building a full time income.

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Securing Your Online Business

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Securing Your Online Business


Some recent security breaches such as the whole LulzSec affair have been reported in the media, where groups of hackers have targeted companies such as Sony, as well as agencies of both the British and American governments. Many online business owners are wondering what they can do to keep from becoming a target of hacking attacks. Here are some things you can do:

  • Make a risk assessment

This basically depends on how big and popular your website is. There is little prestige for a hacker group to attack a website of a small business which contains no sensitive information. However, this doesn’t mean that you should not take any precautions and there are still some reasons as to why you may get hacked, which brings us to the next point:

  • Avoid making people angry

Obviously, don’t go on “underground” websites and start taunting hackers. But also, you should know that certain hacking attacks have been motivated by revenge against businesses who are alleged to have engaged in disloyal competition, intentionally sold poor quality products, or otherwise ripped off their customers or business partners. So in other words, try hard not to make anyone angry at you.

  • Use security measures, such as encrypting your customer information database

While no e-commerce or content management system is completely secure, they all have security features either built in, or available as external plugins. Learn what they are, how they work and what they do. And don’t forget to PUT THEM TO USE! Also, avoid systems which store sensitive info, such as customer details in plain text without any encryption.

  • Secure your own computer as well

Make sure that any computer you use as part of running and administering your website or online business is free of malware, such as trojans and keyloggers. Quality anti virus and anti malware programs exist and there are some excellent ones, such as AVG, which are completely free. Therefore, there is no reason for you not to use them, as they are FREE!

  • Exercise common sense

This is quite simple to do… but yet a lot of people fail and fail hard here. Don’t use “password” as a password for your web hosting account. Don’t leave the passwords at the default password for the system you are using either. Don’t open attachments in emails if you have the slightest suspicion it may not be a legit file. And if you have to visit “naughty” websites or download pirated software… at least don’t do it on a PC you use for your business, as these are also a popular source of viruses and malware.

  • Get a security analysis of your site done

There are many online security firms that can do a complete security analysis of your website for a very low cost. They can point out any security vulnerabilities that your website has and then tell you which actions you should take to plug these holes.

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