With the financial climate being what it is – many people are looking to make extra income any way that they can and the internet provides many opportunities. One of these opportunities is that of drop shipping. It offers many advantages and should be something that is seriously considered when selecting which home business would be right for you.
So what exactly is drop shipping? It’s really being the middle man between a manufacturer or a supplier of physical products and the consumer. You will not need to keep an inventory of the products but will place an order once a consumer makes a purchase. The supplier would then ship the product to the address of the consumer, and you will profit in the difference between the wholesale price and the retail price.
So let’s look at the pros of drop shipping:
- You will not need to keep any inventory or stock
- You will not need to ship or package any goods
- Your main task will be in marketing and promotion of products
And what to watch for:
- It is essential that the products that you select to sell are in demand – to discover what is in demand, watch ebay, Google Adwords keyword tool and Google Trends to check how many people are buying and searching for those products
- Keep a close eye on the competition for prices and for products.
- Start small and build up. You will need to smooth out any hiccups with the ordering and delivery processes.
Our conclusion on drop shipping is that it is a viable business model for income, just as long as you do your research.
So you’ve decided that you want to sell products online. You’ve selected products, set up a website but are now at the stage where you are looking for marketing channels to promote your products. There are bucket loads of channels that you can use to market your products, whether they are affiliate products or even physical products.
Here’s a list of the most popular ones that are on the web. I suggest that you select a few that you fancy trying out and add them to your marketing plan. Assign a specific measurable goal on your plan too, for example, add 5 of your products to each channel. This will give you a clear idea whether the channel is suitable for promotion of a particular product. Once you find a channel that works for you – then you’ll need to scale up your efforts to make the best of it.
- Social media – Facebook and Twitter via news feeds
- Facebook – marketplace application
- Auction sites such as – ebay, plunderhere.com, bidville.com
- Pay per click advertising – such as adsense
- email marketing or newsletter
- ad in a printed trade industry publication
- local newspaper- in classifieds or via regular column
- blog posts
- ebook giveaway
- white paper
- local event sponsorship
- radio advert
- television advertisment
- online forums
- article marketing
- search engine optimisation
- free web seminars (advertise on Facebook)
- online directories such as hotfrog.co.uk
- relevant industry trade shows
- google products
There are plenty of other sites and methods that you can use to sell your goods. Many of the ones listed here are free – remember start small and once you find something that works, then build it up. Which ones do you use?
It’s well known that ‘content is king’ when it comes to the internet. By providing content on your site in a particular manner, you will encourage your readers to return for more. Here are a few types of content that you might want to try on your site to engage your visitors:
Educational articles: Everybody loves a ‘how to’ article. After all, the internet is operating around information – and what better information than the type that educates. Providing answers will build you some decent traffic numbers. Remember to add the ‘benefit’ of learning something to the title of the post. If I’d just used ‘How to Create Content’ as the title it would not have been so engaging as it is with a benefit in the title.
Tips: Tips are very popular on the web. Nuggets of information that give value by providing insight into the results of experience can save time and effort for readers. They’ll find tips in your niche a short-cut to success and will come back for more.
Lists: Readers find lists fascinating. Not only are they usually easy to read without a mass lump of text to plough through on a screen, they will usually cover the whole breath and length of a topic for a reader to get a ‘big picture’ high level view of a topic. Use bullets where possible.
Reporting. By providing a type of news service for your niche, your readers will thank you and keep coming back to check latest developments. This is how the Huffington Post has gained their success, think about how you can provide a news service with a particular angle.
Resources: Start off with a high level topic for your niche, break it down into small more manageable nuggets. Add to that mix a list of online resources and you’ll have on your hands something that could be shared online on Digg and other social bookmarking sites.
The types of content listed here, when used in combination could raise your credibility as an expert and your site will become a valuable part of the community.
As with anything in the business world – or even in life actually – it’s essential to have a plan. Without one it’s not easy to make progress. Here I’m going to share with you the essentials of any marketing plan. If you want to get your website seen by thousands of eyes, give it a go.
Key Components of the Marketing Plan
- craft a set of measurable goals. If you want 500 visitors daily to your site, add this to your plan.
- Use a variety of marketing channels to reach your prospects, ie Facebook, Twitter, article marketing, search engine marketing
- measure your progress by installing a metrics tool such as Google Analytics
- work your plan over 6 – 12 months
- consider the demographics and the geographics of your niche market
- add any new products that you want to launch over the next year
Start brainstorming. List every advertising/marketing channel that you feel would reach your niche market. Add specific goals – for example if you want another 20 customers during the month of June, then add this in. Add growth – so that you 50 customers by November.
Now you need to add more detail. How often are you going to post to Twitter to reach your goals? How many new contacts are you going to make in LinkedIn – and what constitutes a quality contact that you could consider a lead?
Building a marketing plan can at times feel overwhelming, but remember to start small and build it as you go. Take on what you can fit into your available hours per week, and record your activities on a spreadsheet. Spending just one hour a day – six days a week will take a business a long way with many new potential clients. How about starting today so that you can begin reaching new customers.