Tips to Advertise Your Online Business

March 30th, 2017

Getting the word out about your online business is an important part of success. How can you expect  customers to purchase from you if they don’t even know that you exist?

Here are some of the top ways to advertise, some are free and some are paid:

SEO: Search Engine Optimization (free)
SEO is where you place special tags in your HTML code called Meta Tags. These tags allow you to write descriptions about each of your pages online, enter in keywords for that page and create titles.

Search engines crawl your meta data for these keywords so they know what to serve up to searchers who are using their search engine. You must use careful consideration for these descriptions (keep them under 160 characters) make sure to include information about what the page is all about and write unique descriptions for each of your pages. Don’t repeat words. This is considered keyword spamming, and some search engines, like Google, will penalize you for it.

Let’s do a quick example, say you are selling scented candles. First you would do some research to find out the keywords people are using to find other stores offering similar items. Those are the keywords you want to focus on for your meta description and meta keywords. Your home page would have your main navigation, brief information about your business and what you are selling. So your meta description could say something like this: Shop here today at Candles N More for the best scented candles, soy wax candles, home fragrances and potpourri scents. Highly scented soy candles for your home burn cleaner and have more concentrated fragrance oils than your standard wax candles.

See what I did there? That description contains the word candles 5 times. There is no mistaking that’s what is being offered. Then I threw in some additional keywords that are probably be used to find those products like scented candles, soy wax candles, home fragrances and etc. So you will craft your descriptions something similar to that and use your own found keywords that people would use to locate you.

Ads:
Advertisements come in several forms. Whether it’s paid advertising in the search engines called PPC’s or banner ads that you can put on other websites.

PPC of course means Pay Per Click advertising. You create a text banner ad (usually three lines of text) for a search engine, and pay that search engine company a set amount per click. This can rack up quickly, so if you are new to selling online, you will need to make sure that you create a budget and stick to it so you don’t all of a sudden get a thousand dollar invoice from the search company that you would have to pay out of pocket.

Backlinking Directories: (free)
There are also websites out there that will allow you to place an advertisement on their websites. These are called Backlinking Directory’s.  So just do a Google search to locate those. These Directories will allow you to place your company name, brief description and a link back to your website. Be careful though, there are good ones and bad ones. So make sure that you do your homework about the Directory before posting there. Google considers some of these spam sites, so just be picky about it & don’t try to just post your company information all over the place. Carefully choose the ones you think would be a good fit, and ones that Google wouldn’t have issue with.

Forums, Blogs and Other Websites: (free unless you want a banner ad)
If there are blogs or forums out there that are talking about products that you offer, then you can join these sites to comment on other users messages and include a URL to your store (if allowed). Some of these sites also allow banner ads on their pages that they may allow you to pay to display there. Most of these banner ads would be paid ads unless you have an affiliate program and you can reach out to the blog owner or website owner to see if they would like to join your program so they can earn money for the valuable website space.

Hosting Directories: (free)
Some hosting providers will have store directories that contain pages of all the sites that are hosting on their platform. Yahoo is a good example of this; https://shopping.yahoo.com/stores/ This is a good way to get more backlinking for your online store. So if you cannot find a store directory for your hosting provider by looking in your admin area or searching online, you can ask them if they have one.

Social Marketing:
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram… these are just a few of the platforms that many businesses use to gain more business. Facebook and Twitter allow for purchasing ads, which are used for highly targeted audiences based on what those people are liking as well as demographic marketing. If you don’t pay to advertise on these sites, you must be seriously active on them. Posting things daily, following people with the same interests, being clever and hope that things you post will get shared and etc. Social marketing should be fun! So be as silly as you dare to be if you are offering fun products and show the lighter side of more serious products.

Whether you choose free methods of advertising or paid methods or a combination of both, always do your homework and use the best keywords to get the most bang for your efforts.

Customer Service and Your Online Store

March 24th, 2017

customerservice_sizedBy helping your online customers, you are helping your business too. That’s only if you are offering quality customer service.

Good and helpful customer support is at the front lines of your operation. So making sure that is on point, will help to build customer loyalty and credibility. By the way, good customer service is an excellent way to compete with big online retailers. These larger companies are not equipped to offer personalized customer support and do not go above and beyond for their customers. They have an in and out mentality. Get the customer in and then get them back out after they buy something.

Small business owners have the capacity to offer exceptional customer service and that will in turn convince customers to purchase from you. Here are some tips:

  1. Share what you know:
    Sharing your knowledge will make your customers more likely to buy something from you either immediately, or down the road. One way to accomplish this is a newsletter. Not only will you be able to create a list to market to, but if your articles in your newsletter are compelling enough, it’s also a form of marketing if customers were to share the information online. Pointing customers to sign up for your newsletter is easy, and you can usually get a nice pool of customers simply by giving a one-time discount if they sign up.
  2. Be an Email Expert:
    Email is the most important tool that you will use for your online business & it’s important to stay on top of it. Using a great email program, like Microsoft Outlook will help you to keep everything organized, along with scheduling, tasks, flagging important items & drafts so you can write template answers and more.  It’s important to check your email as often as you can, and respond immediately. If you have set hours for your business, then make sure you are working during those set hours and respond to customers within those hours. When you are first starting out, you might not have set hours to respond to customers, and you will answer when you check your emails. But as your business grows, having set customer support hours will give you some breathing room and the chance to carefully craft your responses.
  3. Practice!:
    It’s amazing the amount of emails that get sent that don’t even have a hello or your name attached to the email. Our founder and CEO wrote in his free eBook, “Starting Your Internet Business Right” about proper communication, and so many online businesses fall short and that’s who contacts us here at WorldwideBrands.com since we offer a service to online retailers! Being rude or incoherent with your questions is not a way to properly communicate. I have emailed online stores before to ask questions as well and depending on the reply and how quickly I get a response will help me to determine if I want to buy from that store. But if I ask a question like.. Hi There! I really like the dog bowl with the paw prints on it. Does it come in blue or can you get any in blue? and I get a one word response like “NO” or a response like, “The color options are right there on the page”. In my mind I’m like thanks, but no thanks and will go somewhere else, because they obviously don’t care about their business, so why should I?

Customer support is a vital part of your business and should not be handled poorly. The more you go above and beyond for your customers, the more they are willing to purchase from you.

Photo attribution: Business image created by Pressfoto – Freepik.com

Building an Online Store – Compelling Content

March 16th, 2017

brain-gearsA website is pretty important for any online business (obviously!) and fortunately websites are a lot easier to create than they were before. You don’t have to know HTML or CSS or PHP when building sites these days. Many online store providers give you easy to use store building administration areas and you just click the color, the font, load your images in the right spots and enter in your information.

Just because the site is easy to create and you can get one going on one day, doesn’t mean that it’s instantly going to make sales or receive traffic. That takes time.

This blog post is going to talk about content when you build & grow your store.

Content is the MOST important part of your store. It’s not the product images, or discounts you offer, it’s the content. The more useful your content, the most visits your site will receive. It’s a no-brainer. Content is KING on a website. Not only does it help customers FIND your store, but it needs to be engaging enough to KEEP them in your store and incite them to BUY. So carefully crafted content, placed in the right areas will do just that. We are talking about headings, product descriptions & informational pages.

Compelling content can be done in many ways. But here are the top things to remember to include:

Call to Action:
Words like CLICK HERE or BUY NOW. These words tell the customer what to do. When you put call to action words like CLICK HERE on your site, explain what they will get when they click something you want them to click. Example: CLICK HERE to receive $10.00 off your first order and lead them to a page to sign up for your newsletters. This is a great way to get a pool of customers to contact from time to time that could lead to repeat customers.

About Us:
When I see an online store that doesn’t have an About Us page, and I don’t know that company, I won’t buy from them. It’s important to explain who you are, what your business is and what your mission is. Since the customer isn’t meeting you in person, you have to convey to them who you are and what you are about to make them comfortable buying from you.

Write your OWN Product Descriptions:
Everyone want to use datafeeds that load this information automatically on their websites. But this “time saving” method only hurts your business, not helps it. Carefully written product descriptions that cater to your chosen demographic not only will engage the customer, but it will also help in the search engines.

Search engines don’t like duplicate content. So if you and hundreds of other retailers have the exact same written information about a  product on pages of your website, this confuses the search engines. You must write your own content to separate from the pack.

A great way to come up with ideas for your content is to take a look at your competitors. Just don’t copy them! Be unique and stand out. It will help you in the long run.

Do I Need a Business Plan?

March 9th, 2017

Pen and PaperWe get this question from time to time. Some of our members comment that other websites and tutorials tell them to write up a business plan, but we don’t talk about it. So, let’s talk about it!

Is it necessary to create a business plan? It depends!

Let’s start with what a business plan actually is. A business plan, is a formal statement about your new business. What your goals are, reasons why they are attainable, and your plans for reaching those goals. It serves as a roadmap for your business that you can follow to help you reach your goals.

To get started with your business plan, you ask yourself specific questions like:
Why do you want to start a business?
Why do you want to sell online?
What do you want to sell online?
How do you plan on selling those products?

Don’t ask your friends and family to answer these questions. They can only be answered by you!

Write answers for each of those questions, and then start digging into the details.

For example, the answer to your first question might obviously be: “I want to make money.” But take that and add more details once you really think about it. For example, it could be that you have a fantastic idea & want to sell products that cater to a specific demographic, that you have found is missing and be as detailed as possible.

The last question, how do you plan on selling those products; this is where you would list out your marketing strategy and the services you plan on using to accomplish that.

You would also research costs to get an idea on how much “Facebook ads” would cost per month, or if you sell on eBay, what is the cost associated with that.. if you need legitimate wholesale suppliers then you would also list out WorldwideBrands.com and the cost associated with our service. Listing your costs is important. It will give you an idea of what you will need to spend per month or to get started to see if your ideas are feasible with your current budget.

As you write up your business plan, you research at the same time so you can truly be detailed with your answers. So a business plan can be something that takes quite some time to create, and of course you can modify it any time.

Now, let’s get to the answer for is it necessary?

If you plan on having a buisness partner, or want to take on investors for your business or even a business bank loan, a well thought out buisness plan is essential and is usually required. This will let all parties know what they should expect with your business and help them to determine if they want to work with you or not.

If you do not have plans on taking on a partner, inventors or a loan, it’s not an absolute necessity. However, a business plan can also be used internally by you, and anyone that you work with, for YOU & them to understand what your goals are and how you plan to reach them. Think of it as a written detailed vision board 🙂

So is a business plan a necessity? If you are not going to seek outside monetary help, then no.
Should I write one anyway? If you need something to follow to make sure you don’t forget anything, then sure, you can write it up grocery list style, or go through the process of writing a detailed one.

photo by: kdinuraj

Step 1: Starting an Online Business – Identify

March 3rd, 2017

Graph on computer in Coffee ShopSelling online is very popular these days, and there is a lot of competition out there. So you can’t expect trying to just “sell anything” and wait to see if you are going to be successful at it. You must take careful consideration of product ideas to ensure that you aren’t wasting time and money.

Step 1 for Starting an Online Business is to Identify a Need.

How do you do that? Well, there are several ways to come up with product ideas and then you take those ideas and research them before you even dream about starting to build a website.

First, who do you want to sell to? This is called a demographic. Are you targeting Women? Men? Mothers? Fathers? Elderly people? Millennials? A specific age range?

Different products appeal to different demographics. So if you know what your target demographic is, it will help you to identify what those shoppers could want. Don’t just say, ANYONE. If you actually chose a demographic to market to, that will greatly help you with your marketing and advertising & choosing products to sell. There are many advertising services out there, that will allow you to put the bulk of your marketing money towards that specific demographic. So you would be marketing to a highly targeted list of customers that would be more likely to purchase from you.

Once you have chosen your demographic, then you need ideas. Your friends and family that fit that demographic would be a great resource for that.

My sister and I do this all the time. We throw ideas at each other, because even though we fit a woman demographic, her shopping needs are different than mine because she is a mother. So different things appeal to her, than they do to me & our budgets are different. We also have a lot of similar likes and wants, but we are also interested in different things and have different hobbies. So if I was looking to market to women, age range 30+, that are mothers with young children, she would be one of the people I talk to about it. She is also a great resource to help gather information from other mothers in this same demographic, because she is exposed to a lot of other women whose children go to school with her children. So I can send her off with a list of questions to ask.

Another way to find ideas, is forums, groups and even the news. Places where people gather to offer opinions, views and ideas. Facebook is a great resource for this, there are Facebook groups that cater to these demographics and by the way, Facebook offers demographic marketing. 🙂 There are also specific forums for people with different interests that you can check out.

Realistic vector magnifying glassOnce you have identified some possible ideas you need to do some more information gathering. This is where many new online sellers fail, because they will just run with those ideas instead of fully researching.

There are different ways to research product ideas, and there is no tool out there that can guarantee that your idea is a good one. You have to decide that for yourself.

But the main steps of product research are:
– Determine the number of people looking for those products (this is called Demand)
– Know your competition

All in all, determining what you SHOULD sell and identifying those needs, can be a time intensive project. But well worth it so you don’t go off and waste time and money trying to sell things that just don’t fit in the current market.  Get some ideas and figure out what’s currently missing in the marketplace or if there is competition, make sure it’s low and and do it better.

To learn how to FULLY understand how to pick products to sell online, we highly recommend http://www.sellniches.com  This isn’t a “tool” that will promise success. It TEACHES you how to fully research product ideas before you decide to try and sell them.

Identifying needs is a very important first step to starting an online business and should be done before you consider taking any more steps!

newdirectory_monitorStill need to figure out product ideas? We can help! Our Directory has a section to browse by product types. We have members that use this section to see product keywords that they may have never considered. There are so many products out there, that it can be a daunting task to try to just come up with ideas. So having a list in front of you of available product types, can help you narrow down your options. Besides, who wants to set their heart on selling something, but you can’t find a supplier for it? All the product types in our Directory match suppliers in our Directory. So you know that everything you see on those pages, has a supplier for them.

Not a member yet? Check us out! http://www.worldwidebrands.com

photo by: ota_photos

Can I Start an Online Business?

February 17th, 2017

brain-gearsSo you are thinking about starting an online business, right? But you are struggling to know if it’s a good idea, or if you can be successful at it?

Well, you will find a lot of websites out there with misleading information, such as; “You can earn thousands selling online!” or “Anyone can succeed selling online!”

These statements are simply not true. The only true statement is that anyone can start an online business, but no one can promise you will succeed at it and obviously no one can promise you will earn thousands, unless of course they are going to pay you thousands for starting one. (We all know THAT isn’t going to happen!)

So, can YOU start an online business?
Absolutely! Anyone can. Anyone can start selling products on eBay or Amazon or on your own website. Where you choose to sell is up to you. Many people just like you are running their own online businesses, and so why can’t you do that too?

It is a good idea?
Yes! Black Friday 2016 broke records for online sales. There were more sales online than ever in the history of selling products online through various selling channels. Even though there are more businesses starting to sell online, there are more shoppers too, so there is always room for more.

Can you be successful?
Maybe! It’s a real job, and you will only be successful if you work hard, educate yourself, be willing to put in long hours, and be willing to fail a few times & accept that may happen.

You also need a good idea. If you have ideas of what to sell, make sure to do your research to know if it really is a good idea to sell that product. You don’t want to try to offer things that are already saturated online, so stay away from product ideas where the competition is extremely high. There are also products that not just anyone can sell online, so you have to research that as well before you set your heart on it. The competition for these brands that have seller restrictions is low for a reason.

So in short, can you start an online business? YES!
Is it a good idea to start one? YES!
Will you be successful? MAYBE!

We don’t make false promises here at WorldwideBrands.com We have been speaking the truth about selling online for well over a decade.

Don’t know where to start? Get our Free eBook, “Starting Your Internet Business Right”. Guess what? No strings attached.. we won’t ask you for your email address or ask for any money for our free eBook. It truly is a free eBook. No cost, and no personal information required to download it. So even if you decide NOT to start an online business, we won’t bother you about it. 🙂

 

 

Celebrating what WE Love this 2017 Valentine’s Day!

February 13th, 2017

2017_wbi_valentines-day

January 2017 – Wholesale Suppliers Added

February 6th, 2017

newdirectory_monitorJust a quick note to let you know what we added to the Worldwide Brands Directory of Certified Wholesalers for the month of January 2017 for our members!

We added suppliers, that together, offer a total SKU count of over 15,000 SKUS!

The newly added suppliers offer:
Wholesale Pet Waste Bags
Wholesale Blankets
Wholesale Beef Jerky
Wholesale Packing Tape
Wholesale Military Gear
Wholesale Bra Accessories
Wholesale Jewelry
Wholesale Fish Jerky
Wholesale Organic Skincare
Wholesale Jellyfish Aquariums
Wholesale Area Rugs
Wholesale Baby Shoes
Wholesale Hunting Knives
Wholesale Fashion Clothing
Wholesale Women’s Dresses
Wholesale Meat Snacks
Wholesale Pet Supplies
Wholesale Women’s Swimsuits
Wholesale Men’s Clothing
Wholesale Cell Phone Cases
Wholesale Sleep Bags
Wholesale Water Filters
Wholesale Pest Control Products
Wholesale Baby Accessories
Wholesale Planters
…and more!

Our members at WorldwideBrands.com, can setup notifications when we add new suppliers to categories that interest you. So take a look in your My Account area to set those up and then every time you login, you can see the newly added suppliers assigned to that category on the right side of the Directory.

If you are not a member yet, check us out today!

December 2016 – Wholesale Suppliers Added

January 4th, 2017

worldwidebrands new directoryJust a quick note to let you know what we added to the Worldwide Brands Directory of Certified Wholesalers for the month of December 2016 for our members!

We added suppliers, that together, offer a total SKU count of over 5,000 SKUS! Yes, even during the busy Christmas season we were still able to add a new supplier to the Directory every business day!

The newly added suppliers offer:
Wholesale Cosmetic Bags
Wholesale Beef Jerky
Wholesale Dried Meat Snacks
Wholesale 3D Printed Jewelry
Wholesale Exotic Wear
Wholesale Aftermarket Auto Accessories
Wholesale Organic Skin Care
Wholesale Beer Marinated Beef Jerky
Wholesale Gluten Free Jerky
Wholesale Pain Management Products
Wholesale Hot Sauce
Wholesale Men’s Shoes
Wholesale Pewter Gifts
Wholesale Reading Glasses
Wholesale Quilting Supplies
Wholesale Origami Jewelry
Wholesale Key Lock Boxes
Wholesale Plus Sized Clothing
Wholesale Sunglasses
Wholesale Adult Onesies
…and more!

Our members at WorldwideBrands.com, can setup notifications when we add new suppliers to categories that interest you. So take a look in your My Account area to set those up and then every time you login, you can see the newly added suppliers assigned to that category on the right side of the Directory.

If you are not a member yet, check us out today!

 

Merry Christmas!

December 19th, 2016

worldwidebrands-christmas-wishes