Tag Archive | "outsourcing"

Avoid These 3 Common Mistakes When Selling Online

It happens time and time again: budding entrepreneurs create what they believe is a very good product, but are stuck (or suck) on how to sell it.  Most forget that having a successful business entails so much more than just the product. One also needs to learn the art of selling online.

Unfortunately many people are seduced by the “get rich quick” songs being chanted in various forms around the net. Theses decits have people believing that setting up a business online is as simple as a few clicks of the mouse, some keywords, and a shopping cart.  True, it isn’t rocket science, but the process is a little more involved than those commercials would lead you to believe.

To avoid the bad taste left in your mouth from a BizOp (Business Opportunity) course gone bad, I will share with you some common mistakes to avoid when learning to sell online.

3 Errors to avoid if you want to sell online

1. Failing to Do Market Research

When I first started my online Etsy store, I created about 4 products and quickly had my first sale. It wasn’t long after that, I started churning out products left and right. Though I have a background in marketing and know the importance of market research, I was having so much fun creating the new items that I went on a “creation spree” without doing any market research to see if the new items would actually convert. Though many of the ideas were fun to make, they didn’t sell, making it harder to generate an initial profit.

Jitpal Kocher, founder of Lionsmark, recommends doing one thing really well instead of bouncing from product to product. “Put an emphasis on a singular product type with different themes or the same theme across different products rather than being all over the place,” stated JitPal. “Let people find you because you make really cool movie poster spoofs rather than having a collection that isn’t connected together.”

Now, I spend a great deal of time conducting various forms of market research before I even begin to create a new product.

2. Doing Everything Yourself

Running an online business does not have to be a one man (or woman) show. Learn where your strengths are and focus on those, and simply outsource the rest.

Cathryn Lavery, founder of BestSelf Co recalls: “The biggest mistake we had was trying to do it all ourselves. We would have hired faster, put the right people in the right places. Undervaluing key positions like customer support was an initial mistake we made. Now we recommend hiring great customer support within the country you operate from to look after your customers. Don’t try to farm it out at $5 an hour overseas.”

Don’t burn yourself out on the tasks that you either have to take copious amounts of precious time learning or you simply aren’t good at.  Instead spend the precious time hiring someone that both knows how to perform the tasks at hand or is simply better at it than you.

These tasks could be anything from copywriting to customer service management.

3. Under or Overpricing Your Products

It is always important to take into account all forms of overhead before landing on a final public price.  This should include shipping, returns, taxes, listing fees (if any), web hosting, etc.

“Margins and cash flow are everything,” said Nate Ginsberg an e-commerce entrepreneur. “E-commerce can be VERY expensive. And you can often lose money and not even know it if you don’t know your numbers.”

Have you become victim to any of the pitfalls above? Or maybe one (or more) that weren’t listed.  We would love to hear all about your success and failures in the comments below.


Posted in ecommerceComments (0)

Mini-Course: How to start a blog that will actually make you money [Part 6]

This is a continuation of the previous posts “How to start a blog that will actually make you money [Part 1], Mini-Course: How to start a blog that will actually make you money [Part 2], Mini-Course: How to start a blog that will actually make you money [Part 3],  Mini-Course: How to start a blog that will actually make you money [Part 4] & Mini-Course: How to start a blog that will actually make you money [Part 5] in which we went over the basics of:

  1. Choosing and purchasing a domain name
  2. Securing reliable web hosting (and what hosting actually is)
  3. Setting up WordPress on your site
  4. Selecting a WordPress theme
  5. Selecting and installing plugins for your site
  6. Choosing a topic
  7. Creating a post & including pictures

If you haven’t read through the previous posts, please do that now, since this week we are going to dive into how to post content to your blog (step-by-step technical instructions).

This week we are going to now fine tune those newly acquired skills and lay out 6 Tips For Writing Articles Faster & More effectively.  

When you are blogging for the initial purpose of making money, the skill of writing is obviously going to be one of the most instrumental assets you can obtain.

Regularly published quality (emphasis on quality) content is king when it comes to building your site up.  This means that you will need to churn out new content on some sort of schedule for an ongoing period of time.

Of course, you could also hire or outsource a writer to create your articles for you, but for the most part the best cost-effective option is to get into the swing of things by doing it yourself.  

Benefits of going it on your own:

  • No additional money out of your pocket to hire someone
  • Increase your writing skills
  • Learn more about the topic you are writing about
  • Hone your research skills

Being able to write well and quickly is probably the single most important skill to help pave your path to online success.  Here are the top 6 steps to take that will help you to increase your speed:

1. Allot a portion of your day that will be devoted to your writing.

Choose a segment of your day where in which you usually feel the most energized and focused and will have the fewest interruptions.  Set aside this time period for your writing.  Switch them up until you find the best time that will be the most effective for you.

2.  Brainstorm

Write (type) down some ideas or thoughts that are related to the topic at hand in a blank document.  Don’t worry about how useful you think they might or might not be.  

This will help you to quickly get a rough sense of direction for your article.  And hopefully lowering the possibility of your mind wandering off onto a tangent that isn’t related to your article.

3.  Research

Look online for 3-5 articles that support or pertain to your topic.  This is where the ability to scan an article quickly will come in handy.  Do not read the articles in depth, but rather skim them for portions that might be useful for your topic.

After you have found a handful of articles, open another document and copy and paste (yes I did say copy and paste) relevant bits that you think will be useful to your article.  

Spend no more than 10-15 minutes on this portion.

4.  Remove distractions

Now that your research is done, it’s time to get down to business.  This means clearing both your mind and physical self of any possible distractions that would keep you from completing the task at hand.  This includes:

  • Closing all web browsers (except the two documents you just created)
  • Turning off your cell phone
  • Closing your web-mail app or window
  • Notifying family / roommates that you are not to be disturbed

5.  Begin writing – Don’t worry about editing

In order to get the most of your time, set a timer or some sort of alarm to go off after 45-50 minutes.  Spend the 45-50 minutes focused only on your article you are writing and nothing else.  (No emails, reading the news, browsing facebook, etc)  After the allotted time, take a 15 minute break and reset the timer to resume your focus for another 45-50 minutes.

Using the research document, read through each of the snippets that you copied and pasted.  Write in your own words your interpretation of each of the snippets. Resist the urge to edit as you go.  At this stage we are concerned only with writing and letting your creativity flow, not editing for grammar, spelling, etc.

Keep writing until you feel you have written enough to fully express what you wanted to get across about the topic.  Although, keep in mind the longer the article the less likely someone will actually read the entire piece.  Best to keep them on the shorter side.  1000-1500 words is ideal.  

6.  Edit

Once you have finished with the initial writing, it’s time to spend some time editing your draft.  

Start by deleting your brainstorming and research notes.  Change up the order of your paragraphs and add in bits and pieces here and there to get a good natural flow when reading it through.

Use a spellchecker and/or the help of a friend to assist with spelling and grammar mistakes.

Walah!  You have now completed your first article written in a quicker more effective manner.

Finding this article helpful or encouraging? Let us know in the comments below.  

Posted in Affiliate Marketing, Blogging, Content Creation, WordpressComments (0)

Are you a Little Overwhelmed?

How a VA Can Help You Grow Your Business

Out tasking (one-time or short-term projects with a revolving door of contractors) can be a great way to gain experience outsourcing, and get a feel for developing your systems and team building skills.

Ultimately, the idea is to find your superstar talent and hire them full-time or part-time as part of your team. A virtual assistant is an umbrella term that covers a person with a wide variety of skill sets, generally specializing in a handful of related tasks.

These skill sets can be anything from administrative, operations, technical, customer service and creative skills such as writing or graphics. In a perfect world, we would find somebody who had a skill set that matched our needs to a tee.

There will always be a place for those occasional tasks where you don’t really need a full-time team member to do a steady stream of those particular types of jobs. What I would like to explore in this post, is how much more beneficial having your own virtual assistant (VA)can be.

Frequently, virtual assistants tend to be female, though there are certainly many excellent male assistants as well. For this post, I’ll refer to the VA as a female.

A true VA – while she is an independent businesswoman, with more than one client – will help you feed and nurture your business. She’ll have a strong interest in seeing it thrive, and she’ll take almost as much pride in it as you will. Hiring a VA with this approach will create other benefits:

1. You’ll be able to truly delegate, handing over the reins with confidence! Not the reins to your whole business, of course – but to those areas that suck your energy dry, and don’t make you money! You’ll have the confidence of knowing that she’s thinking on her feet and is far more likely to catch errors in the areas she’s responsible for than you are!

2. You won’t have to worry about and spend endless hours dealing with the “weak spot” she’s filling any more. If you’ve hired her knowing exactly what you need her for and why, she will boost your productivity and help your business flow more smoothly. The two of you will create a dynamic team, building confidence in your clients or customers.

3. She’ll generate more income for you. By taking care of tasks you’d spend hours struggling through – hours you really can’t justify billing your clients for – she’s freeing you up to get on with your money-making tasks. In short, you’ll be making double the money, because you’re putting in more hours on billable stuff – with less work!

4. You’ll have someone to bounce ideas off. True brainstorming can open you up to possibilities you may never have even considered! And if she’s in tune with your business values and goals, you’ll soon start noticing that the tiny percentage of “keeper” ideas you both come up with often hit the “brilliant” range. (If you’re trying to think up ideas all by yourself, you’ll be more likely to miss opportunities by falling back on old patterns of thinking.)

5. VA’s and other outsourcing contractors come in all shapes and sizes. That is, their skills, talents and specialties do! There is a vast pool to fish in out there, and you can find one that fits your business needs perfectly. Especially if you take the time to identify your specific problems that need solving, and choose a specialist in that area.

Of course, it’s absolutely crucial to know how to choose properly, so that you don’t end up repeating past hiring mistakes, or even simply getting the wrong fit (and realizing it later!) I recommend learning how through:


That’s where you’ll find out how to spot the diamonds, and give the lemons a wide berth. This series will guide you through the basics, including advanced training on gettin the most out of your outsourcing endeavors.

Howard Tiano (a.k.a. the “OutSourcerer”) has been marketing online since 2005, and creates products and training around outsourcing for Internet Marketers.

Posted in Affiliate Marketing, CPA MarketingComments (0)


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