Archive for November, 2008

Getting Great eBay Feedback

Great eBay feedback is vital to your eBay business. It reassures your potential customers, it shows up bad sellers for what they are.

But, how do you get, and keep great ebay feedback?  Here are my 5 top ‘secret’ tips.

The first 4 secrets are:

1. Post on the same day. I always endeavour to post on the same day, always within 24 hours. A lot of my feedback comments reference the speed of delivery.

2. Write to the buyer. If you have time email the buyer to say that the item is in the post. Often I get the response that the buyer opened the email after the item arrived. So, is this a waste of time? I do not think so. As a buyer I would welcome the personal notification. I would know that the seller was on the ball and it would make me think better of the seller, and more liable to give good feedback.

3. Include a note with the item. I always include a small letter with the item. It makes the buyer feel special. All you need is a short note that says
A. Thank you for buying from me.
B. I hope you like the item.
C. Please feedback for me and
D. I will gladly do the same for you.

I use a simple template for this letter so it takes seconds, but it will put you apart from most other sellers.

4. Free Replacements. About once a month a parcel will go astray. I confirm the address with the buyer, and if it was correct I always offer a full refund or a replacement. Sure there is a cost but if you are selling 100 items a month (a PowerSeller requirement you should be aiming at) you can bear the cost. Some of the customers that I have given replacements to have become repeat buyers and have recommended me to others.

The 5th Secret is;

The purpose of a business is to provide a service, the objective is to make a profit.

Read that again.

That statement is the REAL secret of getting the great feedback on eBay. Live by it and see your feedback ratings go up.

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Blogging to the Bank 3.0 – Honest Review

Blogging has been around for a few years now. Most people use blogs to record their thoughts and lives, while the select few use them as a free way to make a fortune.

One guy who uses this to his advantage is Rob Benwell. In 2006 he dished the dirt on the tips and tricks to making a fortune using blogging. But as time passes the old systems become obsolete and new techniques are required. This is where his brand new, fresh off the press Blogging to the Bank 3.0 system comes into play.

For those who know who Rob Benwell is like me, you’ve probably made a killing using blogs.

For those who don’t, he’s the story:

Back in 2005 he was struggling to make any profit online, had dropped out of college and was getting deep into debt. He was trying all the techniques the gurus tell you and wasn’t getting anywhere fast. All of that went in the bin and he started using his own techniques and started making more and more money using simple blogs. In early 2006 he shared this with the world and had a great ebook called blogging to the bank. Tons of people got rich from using these techniques (including me). He then spoke at Online Marketing Legend Yanik Silver’s underground Seminar where he revealed even more of his underground strategies. Then July 2007 he released Blogging to the Bank 2.0 which showed users his new methods to creating online wealth using blogs. In total both versions have been read by over 50,000 people across the world.

But as I said earlier, the techniques used in these ebooks are now showing there age. Some of them are not even working in the slightest! This is where blogging to the bank 3.0 comes into play.

It’s full of great new techniques that work online right now! Everything’s explained in plain English with all the fluff cut out. I got hold of an advanced copy of the book for a much higher price than what it actually sells for and it has been worth every single cent! I got it in the afternoon and by the evening I was creating new profitable blogs. Within a couple of hours of them being active I had made a nice little profit.

Blogging To The Bank 3.0 teaches you Robs new step by step blueprint to creating highly profitable long term niche blogs using the newest optimization techniques. There’s even a section on advanced Search Engine Optimization. Most people think SEO is difficult but Rob explains this nice and simply so even the blogging newbie will understand it.

Blogging To The Bank 3.0 is a breath of fresh air and I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to make easy money online.

Click here for more information about this system

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Buy This READY Made Site From Me and Make A FORTUNE

How many times have you seen adverts like this?  I get them in my inbox all the time.  Who buys them I wonder?

I can not understand their success.  Look at the maths.  Assume that I have a winning formula for making money online with my web site.  If I sell you my format, templates, everything that is necessary to repeat my success then 2 of us could make a good profit, after all the web is huge.

What if I sell my business secrets to 10 people, or 1,000?

As the seller I will make a lot of money.  Be realistic, if you could buy a format that could provide you with $50,000 a year how much would it be worth? If I sell the idea 1,000 times I can retire!

As a buyer, one of 1,000 is the market still going to be there?  One site makes $50,000 a year. Unless there is a huge untapped market (in which case the original site was not very good at converting the market into sales) how will that 1,000 make a similar income?

My tip is always to ask yourself why the seller is selling and do the maths.

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Building an Online Business

When I first started this blog one of my motivations was to make money, that goes without saying.  Another was to share money making ideas with others.  Do you remember my post about the purpose of a business? (If not you can read it here).

So, how long before you make a living from working online?  When starting out with a site promoting a product unless you are lucky, or very good, traffic is likely to be light.  If you have an established site with a lot of traffic then a fluctuation in sales is not a problem.  40 sales one day, 30 the next and 50 the day after would be fine.  If you are starting out making the odd sale one day and then none for a couple of days is not going to give you the lifestyle you would like.

With a traditional business there accepted wisdom is that you have to support it for a couple of years before it supports you.  With an online business the timescales are reduced.  You must understand that it is unusual to start an online business and make a profit straight away.

The only exceptions to this are selling on eBay and Amazon for those with no real experience of running a blog or regular site.  That is why I really think that a sound base on eBay followed by looking at the options on Amazon are essential when starting out, besides its fun!

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Mystery Shopping

One way of making money online is to act as a mystery shopper.

Many firms use people to visit their shops and premises to see how well their business treat customers.  They may be looking for how well the shoipper is greeted, the knowledge of the staff, how they react to unusual requests, it could be any aspect of their customer facing operation.  For instance if you run a chain of restaurants how would your staff reat if a customer said that they were lactose intolerent?  Would they even know what that means?

The mystery shopper is then paid for doing the research and reporting back.  There are numerous stories of how much can be made by being a mystery shopper.  One often quoted story is that a woman in Ney York was making $7,000 a week as a mystery shopper.  If you search the back issues of the New York Times you find that story from the June 2003 archives.

It sounds wonderful, being paid to shop would seem like the ideal job to my patrner Jane, but is it all that it seems?

First. I would steer away from any company that requires you to pay a sign up fee.  There is no guarantee of work or earnings.  Do they make their money from putting you in touch with real opportunities or from the sign up fees?  Instead look at the Mystery Shopping Providers Association.  Follow the link for shoppers and look for assignments in all parts of the world.

Second. You have to understand that if you give a bad report of a shop it may affect the staff.  Ethical businesses use negative feedback as a trigger for improvements and training, some may not.  Be aware of possible consequences when choosing who to work for.

Third. The best opportunities will be in cities.  If you live in the highlands of Scotland (you lucky thing) then your mystery shopping opportunities are likely to be restricted……

Fourth. Do not underestimate the amount of time you will need to devote to this.  After visiting the shop you will have to fill in a detailed questionaire and there is likely to be a fair amount of work beforehand making sure you understand everything that you need to do and observe.

Having said that, if you want to go for it I would love to hear about your experiences.

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The Great Blogging Myth

The great blogging myth is that to make money online all you need to do is to set up a blog and the money just starts rolling in (I wish!). That simply is not the case.

There are upwards of 70 million blogs but there are few, very few, that make money. Rob Benwell has been blogging for 4 years and in is now making $34,000 a month  through blogging.

He has updated his hugely succesful Blogging To The Bank, but is it worth the money?

I bought a copy the day it was released earlier this week and here is my honest review.

At 58 pages it is not the biggest e-book that you will ever buy, but it is the content that matters.

That Rob is very successful is not in doubt.  He obviously wanted to get his knowledge down on paper without waffle.  There is a lack of ego in his book that is refreshing.  He does not see himself as a ‘guru’ but as an ordinary guy.  His ideas are presented succinctly but clearly.

In my view the the section about setting up a blog is better covered in other manuals.  If you want a step by step guide to setting up a WordPress blog then I will suggest a few manuals in the newsletter, when I get time.  Where this book scores is when Rob explains about the value of auto-responders and the holistic approach to blogging.  He never takes his eye off the main aim of the book which is to help a blog owner make serious money.

Rob has a very practical approach to running a blog.  He wants everything he does to either increase traffic or to increase the stickyness of his blogs.  He says again and again that blogs must serve the readers and not be stale or boring.  He does not want to spend hours on SEO (search engine optimisation) or chasing page ranking.  He is pragmatic in his approach to SEO, he will do what is necessary and what will increase traffic but not spend hours ‘fine tuning’.  That is because after a point SEO is not time efficient and the traffic gain does not justify the time cost.  (I like that bit!). 

It may take a few reads until you get it but when you do it’s just shear genius. Some of the topics in my opinion could have been covered a little more, then others went into great detail. You also get his 5 Blogging Commandments For 2009 that you must follow to give your blogs the greatest success in 2009 and keep them future proofed. This should be printed out and put on the wall of every blogger without a doubt! 

If you want to improve your blog, if you want to know how to make money with your new blog then you really should look at Blogging To The bank.

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Work From Home – Photography

I was searching for a new screen saver the other day, or rather a nice image to base one on.  I came across Alamy.com which is a stock photography site that sells images.  Unlike most of its competition it welcomes images from amateurs.

While I am no good at photography if you are this site would be well worth looking at if you want to make some extra money.  To me their commission of 35% seems high but in line with other similar sites.  On the other hand, I priced an image as if I wanted to use it on a brochure and the cost would have been £405.  Your earnings wold have been £265.  Not bad if you have an artistic talent, which I don’t.

I think the point here is that there are many ways to make money online.  If you have a talent, a skill, or expertise through a hobby there will be someone out there who will pay you.  The trick, there are 2 really, is to find the sites that can help you find people to employ you and to make sure that the ‘offer’ you receive is not part of some scam.

In the case of Alamy, it has a good reputation and is certainly legitimate.  Always do your research.  Another sure sign that something could be amiss is if you need to pay to register on the site.  If that is the case make sure that your research is very comprehensive.

You have the greatest research tool ever invented in front of you as you read this.  Use it!

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