Thursday, 3 September 2009

Profit from Twitter

Twitter seemed to emerge nowhere and take the e-business world by storm. When it first emerged, I thought it was ridiculous to be quite honest. Why on earth, in the Facebook heyday, would anyone want to be restricted to a few characters for updates, and on such a simple platform too.

I simply underestmated the power of Twitter and what it was to become. I now believe it is THE business tool that anyone who is looking to make money online needs to be using.

The question is: how on earth can I profit from Twitter?

First you need an audience which means you need a Twitter account. Depending upon the nature of your business, you may want your name to be your own name or your business name.

Your audience are your followers. Build a strong network of active followers. The aim is quality over quantity so you don't want to be following thousands of Twitterers and only have a few followers yourself. This tends to ndermine your credibility somewhat.

Providing useful information is key. Often you can use a tantalising intro, then, as many do, put your link in there for further information. Many sites get hits and earn revenue this way.

Offline (an online) home businesses can also use Twitter to advertise special offers to attrac custom. It's a free way to get your promotion out to a lot of people in one go.

Don't swear, don't write your personal secrets, don't use text-speak. Remember you are using this platform as a business. If you want to share your innermost secrets, do it through Facebook instead with your friends.

Link to new news items/posts/articles in your blog or wherever your internet base is. If you use affiliate or adsense modules, this can be a great way of attracting traffic to your site and hopefully, incresing your click through rate.

Like many businesses, I am new to Twitter and learning as I go. Please feel free to share your thoughts, Twitter profit strategies, knowledge or refuations to help others that land here looking for advice.

Oh, and if you want to follow me on Twitter, I can be found at Let me know you found me here and i'll follow you back.

Selling for profit on Ebay

One of the simplest ways to start generating some cash is to start selling on eBay. You might start with a few bits and pieces you have lying around the house, but this guide lies in using eBay as a business to actually generate a profit and get you started in home based business.

This post is an in-depth guide to selling on eBay, however, this article gives a pretty good overview.

1. What to sell?

When trying to decide what to sell through eBay, you need to bear a few key points in mind. Many buyers on eBay are looking for something they can't easily obtain locally to them. Niche products go down really well and thanks to the lack of boundary on the internet, your market is the entire country, or continent or world if you want to risk selling abroad.

If you want to make money from mainstream products that you can get in your local supermarket, then section 2 of this guide is for you. However, if you go for the niche market, you have a huge potential market and a real business edge. Niche products currently on eBay are gold bullion, second hand designer clothes, special Chinese slimming tea, products not easily available such as Castor oil, beauty clays, collectables and antiques etc.

2. How to get people to buy from you

eBay attracts millions of customers and they all have just ONE thing in common - they want a bargain. The better the bargain, the more sales you'll make. Now anyone can put a low price on goods, but whether they would stay in business over the long term if selling below cost is another matter.

The key to selling cheap is buying cheap. That means sourcing products from wholesale rather than mainstream suppliers and at low cost. Generally, the more you buy, the cheaper you get it, so try to build long term relationships with your suppliers. This article will show you how to source suppliers and wholesalers and ideas on what you might sell.

3. Word of mouth - building your reputation

If anything, this is the most important factor in whether your eBay business will succeed or not. It is covered in depth in eBay: Selling for profit - a traders guide and I recommend you read it as it's importance cannot be underestimated.

Hopefully, when you start you your venture you will already have an account with some activity (feedback)on it from earlier sales/buys you may have done. If you have, then as long as your feedback is 100% positive, you already have a very good head start if you can adapt this account for your business.

If you don't already have an eBay account you can use, or don't have the best feedback on your current account, then you will need a new account to build up from scratch. This means sales might be slow to start with until you start to generate good feedback. If you struggle to do this through sales (as some buyers refuse to do business with sellers who have no feedback), it might be worth buying some items for yourself to get a reputation as someone who is trustworthy and pleasurable to do business with. It might still be difficult to sell high value items until your feedback is very well developed, however you can build up to it buy selling lower value items (preferably bargains) until you are up and running.

4. The Power of Words - advertising is key

The power of Marketing can not be underestimated when it comes to selling through eBay. Say you're selling a designer dress. If you put it on with no photograph, and few details apart from Size 12 Dress in Times New Roman font in the description it's not going to sell at any price. If you take several photographs showing different aspects of the garment, including close-ups of the material and an image of the label, then write a well thought out, full page professional description, your item will at least generate interest, if not sell well.

5. Get repeat business and keep those profits flowing

Never, ever send out a parcel of your goods without a reminder inside of who you are. Send out, at the very least, a printed slip with your eBay account, shop name, address, email address and contact details. Some good sellers often send money off vouchers with their packets to encourage the customer to return.

If you can, send everything by Recorded Delivery. It may seem like an unnecessary extra cost, but it protects against items going missing in the post or some unscrupulous buyers claiming the item was never received. Recorded delivery does not add a lot to selling costs when you consider the impact on profits of numerous 'not received' refunds you may get as your volume of sale increases.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Business Opinions - offering cash for opinions

Business Opinions is a relatively new opinion site which asks you for your views in order to help shape the future of business products and services. What's more, they're offering points which you can then turn into cash!

It is particularly aimed at those involved in their own business or in management, which is why I thought it would go down a storm here!

Three lifestyle questionnaires net you 50 points each and referrals get you a whopping 10 points, where each point is a penny. You can sign up here.

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