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Using Hashtags Correctly on Twitter

Posted by on Oct 23, 2012 in featured, The Drop Shipping Blog | 0 comments

Using Hashtags Correctly on Twitter

Hashtags are just keywords that are followed by a hash (#) symbol that allows the keywords to be searchable and linkable through the social media tool Twitter. If you wanted to find something on Twitter under a certain subject, you can search through the website and find those Tweets that have the hashtag that matches your search keywords hashtag. If you’re a business however, then you will want to find out how to use these hashtags to your advantage. However, if you’re new to this then you may want to learn some basics from dropship consultants.

What You Should Do

Use these hashtags to keep track of on topic communities. You can find conversations going on throughout the specific groups. You can not only keep up with the feeds, but you can use them to your advantage at the same time.

You can also use these hashtags to join in on a cause. When your customers and followers see that you actively participate in causes for the better, they too will join the cause and feel compelled by you.

Using these hashtags can encourage participation in a certain topic. You can then create a long line of viewers that can take advantage of the Tweet that you made. The dropship consultants can tell you more about advertising through this.

You can run contests and giveaway and promotions by using hashtags. You can see who is participating, and who is not by using these hashtags, while gaining exposure.

What You Shouldn’t Do

You shouldn’t put a hashtag in between each and every word that you Tweet. One hashtag, or even two is enough to get your point across and get the search and exposure that you need.

Try to be short and concise. You can get your point across in minimal words. People do not want to read a three sentence long hashtag. However, using abbreviations that no one knows what they mean is also going to be a problem.

The dropship consultants can walk you through the perfect and not so perfect examples of hashtags out there.

Gain Exposure

When you want to gain more exposure for your business, this is why using hashtags correctly on Twitter is extremely important. No one is going to know who you are, or what you do if they do not see your online presence. By using Twitter, and making use of the dropship consultants, you may find that gaining exposure is easier than it might seem. By using these hashtags, you can ultimately receive a greater audience, tell them about sales, specials and promotions, while also being able to create relationships with potential customers. This can build any business in a matter of days. You can start a new trend across Twitter, and have all of your followers sign up and follow. Most of all, you can have fun when using Twitter for business purposes. Fun at work is possible, and in order to get started speak to a consultant about opening up a Twitter account.

 

You can learn more about using hashtags here.

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SEO For Your Dropshipping Business – Doing it Right

Posted by on Oct 18, 2012 in featured, The Drop Shipping Blog | 0 comments

SEO For Your Dropshipping Business – Doing it Right

Search Engine Optimization. These are three little words that strike fear into the minds of many business owners. SEO is the ticket to success – if done correctly. There are hundreds of “experts” when it comes to SEO and many costly options for gaining web traffic. Recent years have shown us that in order to be safe from future Google updates, you need to do SEO right, the first time around.

What do we mean by doing it right?

There are these programs out there that “teach” you to post on Facebook and Twitter anywhere from 20-30 times per day. These programs teach you to write quick comments or use comment posting services to publish comments on thousands of blogs each day to increase backlinks. And there are internet marketers who slaved away for months on end several years ago spamming the internet and have since been able to maintain high website rankings and sales. But these methods are quickly being vetoed by the internet rulers.

Google uses an algorithm to determine the worth of websites. The Google “spider” as it is called, scans the internet and checks each site for keywords, quality content, backlinks and more. The algorithm is constantly changing and is designed to knock out websites which are considered spammy. So what are the factors that list your site as spam?

  1. Being connected to a site that is already deemed spam. For example, Empower Network is an internet marketing training program which claims to help businesses make upwards of $5,000+ within the first 30 days if you do exactly what they tell you to do. The problem is that thousands of online forms and sites have blocked any posts that have to do with or are linked to Empower Network because of their spam-like procedures. This includes Facebook, many solo ads companies and much more.
  2. Poor layout and design. A poorly designed website will get you landed on the Google spam list as well. Your site should represent your business. There are thousands of free templates and free site building programs that are easy to use. There is no reason why your site shouldn’t look top-notch and represent your business accordingly.
  3. 3.      Low-quality content. Every post you make on your site should be 350 words or more for blogging. If you have information pages only, they also need to be 350 words or more. The content on your site should be fresh and new all the time, not repetitive. Be informative and stay on topic, do not be vague and all over the place. These may seem like no-brainers, but there are many site owners who get caught up in increasing their web traffic that they fail at actually growing their business properly.
  4. 4.      Too many backlinks. For years we have been told that backlinks are the key to increasing your website rankings, but now Google is saying there can be something such as “too many backlinks”. What this means is not that you have too many links, per say, but that too many of your links are bad links. They are spammy links connected to sites with no real purpose. Beware of using automated comment programs.

What this means for your business is that you need to focus on building your business right the first time. If you take the time to write quality content, index the appropriate keywords, make comments on blogs that you actually read, ect then you will be safe and secure from future Google algorithm updates.

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Is Blogging Necessary for Your Business?

Posted by on Sep 4, 2012 in featured, The Drop Shipping Blog | 0 comments

Is Blogging Necessary for Your Business?

Many online business owners wonder if blogging is truly essential to growing and maintaining their drop shipping business. Whether you think you are a bad writer or do not have the time to write, it is beneficial to host a blog that relates to your website niche. A blog is more than a series of articles posted on a website. It becomes a source of information for visitors. The more blog followers you have, the more likely consumers are to purchase your products. By reading posts on a weekly basis that relate to your products, consumers are able to see that your business is a trust worthy source.

 

The world of online shopping is highly competitive. Unless you are selling products that have just been invented, you are going to have dozens of other competitors fighting for your business. The growth of online shopping has led to consumers looking for that personal connection they used to get from shopping at local shops. Social media and blogging allows business owners to make that connection without actually investing time or money into building real-life relationships. Think about a blog like your favorite television show. Every week you tune in to see what is going to happen next. You are invested in the characters and what they bring to the story. You are invested in the mysteries they solve and become emotionally attached to everything about them. The same is true with a blog.

 

Blogging allows business owners to connect with their customers. By tying in information along with tidbits about yourself to make it personal, you are able to build a connection with your readers. Each week they will “tune in” to see what you have to offer. The best part about blogging is that it is forgiving. You do not need to be a first class writer and you do not need to be creative. Speak about what you know and what is relevant to your products. For example, if your drop shipping website sells automotive parts, you can talk about cars, parts performance, your own personal automotive projects and anything else that fits the bill. While your followers may not read every post, they will know that it is possible to find that information at any time by searching your blog.

 

One of the biggest mistakes of business owners is posting random “nothings” on their social media pages. Fun facts and quotes become irritating and fill up news feeds quickly for your followers. A blog post gives you something to broadcast out to them. Paired with weekly sales blurbs and the occasional video, you can reach more customers in a non-threatening manner to ultimately build your customer base. The bigger your customer base, the faster it will grow and the more money you will make.

 

Keep your blogs unique in topic and in your own voice. If you do not have time or skill to write, consider hiring a freelance company to do it for you. Include pictures and keywords to help increase traffic to your blog and make it easier for readers to find you.

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Data Feeds: Why Do You Need Them

Posted by on Aug 28, 2012 in featured, The Drop Shipping Blog | 0 comments

Data Feeds: Why Do You Need Them

Data Feeds are the gears that help drop shipping businesses run smoothly. Once upon a time, if you decided to start a drop shipping business, you would have to upload the details of each product one by one to your website. When you are selling thousands of products, this can take a while. Essentially, the average do-it-yourself web designer would spend months uploading products to their website before they even made a dime.

 

Then one day some genius came up with the idea of data feeds and the world of drop shipping was changed forever…

 

Data feeds are a spreadsheet that contains information about products. Typical categories include product name, reference number, weight, short description, long description; image url, UPC and categories. Through product import programs, you can upload thousands of products on one single sheet in a matter of minutes.  It almost sounds too good to be true right?

 

Not all wholesalers supply data feeds. As we discuss in “The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Drop Shipping”, a legitimate wholesaler does not charge for access to their products. However, many wholesalers only offer limited data feeds – such as those for two vendors instead of the 12 that they offer – or charge a monthly or yearly rate to access their data feeds. Some of the better manufacturers will actually give you data feeds for free if your business is generating a specific volume of sales.

 

If you can get your hands on data feeds from a wholesaler, do it. It will save you time and money. Once you have downloaded the data sheet from your wholesaler, it is necessary to check for errors. Data feed errors come in many forms. The most common are blank fields, unrecognized characters and lack of capitalization. Knowing how to use Microsoft Excel is pretty much essential if you want to save time on data feed editing. For example, if you have 14,000 products in a list, the last thing you want to do is go through and capitalize the first letter of each word in the product name. With Excel, you can enter a simple formula to do that work for you.

 

Check your shopping cart program to see what types of additional fields you may need. We talked about PrestaShop here, which is a great shopping cart program for newbies. With this program, there are two important factors to data feeds that you need. The first, is a column that determines if the product is Active or not. For this shopping cart program, you must enter 1 in that column to make the product active. You also must add a tax rate column and enter the tax rate code that you set up in your preferences in order to charge tax on your goods. Unrecognized characters such as the trademark or registered symbol will cause the product to be voided when it is uploaded to the system. Use the search function on Excel to eliminate any unrecognized characters and then use the spelling/grammar check to delete any other mistakes that you find. For a large data sheet, you can expect to spend 2 to 3 hours editing the content before it is ready to upload. Save the file in CSV format and you are ready to go!

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Choosing and Installing Third-Party Shopping Carts

Posted by on Aug 28, 2012 in featured, The Drop Shipping Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Choosing and Installing Third-Party Shopping Carts

The biggest challenge of operating a drop shipping business is choosing a shopping cart program. There are literally dozens to choose from and they all claim to be “user-friendly”. The downside is that if you are not really educated on the world of web design, you might just find yourself having nightmares about third-party shopping carts. Most webhosting companies offer shopping cart programs that you can choose to install for free. To determine which ones are available through your webhost search for “Fantastico De Luxe” and “QuickInstall” on your cPanel. Under the ecommerce section, there will be a variety of shopping cart programs which you can click to install instantly. One-click install is ideal for anyone who is not a professional web designer.

 

ZenCart, OSCommerce, CubeCart and PrestaShop are the most popular options for drop shipping businesses. The key features you are interested in are ease of use on the interface, customization and ability to upload data feeds. ZenCart boasts being the most user-friendly shopping cart around, however anyone who is not a full-fledge web designer has trouble understand the jargon in the tutorials. There are forums to find more information, but the other “smarter” Zenies can be snarky if you do not know the “basics”. OSCommerce and CubeCart are both easy to use and offer the features that you want, but the best choice if you want real simple and easy is PrestaShop.

 

PrestaShop is easy to customize by uploading your banner images, changing the store layout and customizing all of the plugins through the “Modules” Tab. Additionally, it offers quick and easy data feed import under the “Tools” tab. Once your data feed has been imported, a preview is shown to allow you to select which title should be assigned to each column. Within minutes you can upload thousands of products to your webstore including the various categories and images for each product.

 

There are two main ways to install your shopping cart program. You will want to choose the one-click install options available through QuickInstall and Fantastico De Luxe. When prompted to install, it will give you the option to install on a certain directory. Think of a director as a page on your website. If you leave the directory blank it will install on your main domain. This means that if someone visits www.yourdomain.com, they will be brought right to your web store. If you only want to sell products and not offer any additional services or a blog, then this is the option for you. However, if you are planning on having a stationary website and having it linked to your webstore, then type in a directory name you wish to create. For example, “estore” or “shopping” are popular choice. This means that your domain will read www.yourdomain.com/estore before installation. Customers will visit this link to access your online store. If you are using WordPress to build your main website, the page directs to plugin will allow you to attach your store domain to the main website.

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5 Plugins for Your Drop Shipping Site on WordPress

Posted by on Aug 28, 2012 in featured, The Drop Shipping Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

5 Plugins for Your Drop Shipping Site on WordPress

WordPress is by far the easiest platform to use when building your own website. It is free and offers thousands of free plugins – added features – and hundreds of tutorials on how to set up different aspects of the website. For any person who is new to building their own website, this can seem intimidating. With a little practice and a lot of mistakes, you will successfully navigate WordPress to build the best drop shipping website for your business. There are five plugins that every drop shipping website needs.

  1. Page links to – This plugin is designed to redirect a page created on your WordPress website to a third party site. You can use this plugin for a variety of reasons but the most important is to redirect your customers to an online store. WordPress offers dozens of e-commerce plugins for businesses but they offer limited features for a drop shipping website. Considering that you want to add thousands of products at once, it is best to use a third party shopping cart. Your third party shopping cart will be installed on its own directory such as www.yourdomain.com/mywebstore.
  2. Google Sitemap – The sitemap is the total layout of your website. Google and other search engines use your sitemap to determine the worth of your website. A website with one page, for example, is ranked as less important than one with 10 pages. As a rule of thumb, your website should always have at least five pages with real content on it to give your site a decent score via the search engines.
  3. All-in-one-SEO – Keywords are used to generate traffic to your website. If your site is selling pet supplies and someone searches “grainless dog treats” then the search engine will determine that your site has that phrase on it and add it to the search engine results. The more keywords that your website utilizes, the more chances you have of gaining new customers through search engines. The All-in-one-SEO plugin allows you to specific keywords for each page and for the website as a whole. It also offers the option for automatic indexing of any categories or tags as keywords and easily integrates your Google Analytics tracking code.
  4. Ninja Forms Lite – There are many paid services for creating forms on the internet but free is always better. Ninja Forms Lite allows you to create order forms without payments, information forms and contact forms for free. The plugin is easy to use and allows you to amend a form to a page with just the click of a button.
  5. AJAX Quick Subscribe – As we discussed here, hosting a blog is essential for any drop shipping business today. Consumers want more than just a place to shop. They want to experience everything that you have to offer them. The quick subscribe plugin allows visitors to submit their email address to receive notifications when new posts are made. There is no extra work required on your part. Additionally, having readers email addresses allows you to have a ready-to-use list of contacts for email marketing promotions.
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