Fastest Growing Online Businesses

There are various opportunities on the Internet to make decent money, but owing to immense competition, it is not an easy task, so to speak. Remember, there are opportunities, but entering the market at the right time is important for anyone to succeed. Any domain or specific market idea, once captured on the Internet, can be used to one’s advantage to build revenue.

Social Networking
While it is understandable that Facebook is the God of social networking, opportunities in this world are inexhaustible. Some say social networking websites will saturate within a few years, which right now seems a distant possibility. So, can anyone try to make something better than Facebook? Well, possibly, it may come within a few months or years. If not Facebook, ideas revolving around the same concept can be molded and made better to attract users.

Google Adsense
Google Adword and Google AdSense, the concepts of search engine giant Google, are no less remarkable business tools than social networking websites. By understanding effective ways of monetizing money through advertising online, one can make very good income. There are numerous tips and tricks to make money by using Google AdSense. By letting firms advertise on your website or blogs, you can get to earn some decent money.

Blogging
If your blog can generate traffic and your writing is able to attract an audience, you will be able to earn a lot by Google AdSense concept. Many of my friends who have been blogging for the last five years are using Google AdSense to earn some good money on the Internet.

Home Based Business Opportunities
The concepts of multilevel marketing (MLM) has been introduced in the market for quite some time now and it is regarded as one of the most effective ways of making money online. Internet home business is popular owing to the ease in accessing it and the number of possibilities to earn significant money. In home based business, selling and buying products of a firm and thereby becoming a team member of the MLM business, helps in making money.

Search Engine Optimization
The growth in search engine optimization industry has been phenomenal in the last couple of years. Website owners are using this technical tool to attract huge web traffic and multiply their earning potential. In fact, almost every website is now hiring skilled SEOs to help their website increase web traffic. SEO has increased competition in the Internet industry and the better optimized a web page is, more are the chances of its success in generating web traffic. And more the web traffic, better are the earning opportunities.

Content Writing
As an aware user, people all across the globe search for information on various topics. This has given boost to the business of online content writing. While freelancing and ghost writing were already in existence, nowadays, there are many popular websites that hire writers to publish quality articles. It is in fact, one of the best online businesses in the Internet market these days. These websites generate revenue by combining all the fundamentals of SEO, Google AdSense, and improving their content on the Internet.

The Internet is no doubt a platform for some of the fastest growing businesses. So, take some time to understand the Internet market, seek expert opinion of SEOs and those who have been in this industry. Gradually, you may be able to come up with an idea that can help you earn a decent income. Do remember that experience matters in this field.

Tips to Set Up an Online Bookstore

powells-booksIf you are planning to start the next Amazon.com for books, you should conduct a thorough business viability research and have a business plan in place, which will help you plan your business strategies. Today, Internet-savvy readers prefer to ditch the queue and time involved in getting to a bookstore. Instead, they shop for books at the click of a button from the very comfort of their homes. Apart from actual books, many people today own devices like iPads, tablets, Kindle, e-book readers, mobile phones, etc., which read e-books in various formats. However, paper books have a huge fan following. Hence, e-books will not replace their popularity among the readers. So, if you are planning to set up your own online bookstore, which offers electronic as well as paper books, it can turn out to be a very lucrative venture. However, you should know how to conduct the business properly in order to make it successful. Here are few tips that will aid you in this regard.

Website to Sell Books

You have an option of either paying for your domain name and starting your own website, or having an account on websites like eBay and Amazon that host accounts of booksellers. While going for well-known websites like eBay and Amazon is cost-effective, they may not deliver books all over the world. However, you will certainly save on a lot of cost if you opt for this option.

If you plan to develop your own website, remember the following:

✦ Have a trendy domain name based on your business name.
✦ Have it search engine optimized.
✦ Give it an interactive and user-friendly interface.
✦ List it on various directories.

Tip: If you are a small business, opt for selling books through other websites, and then go on to have your own website.

Details on the Web Page

Your web page should make a positive impact on the user. He should get all the information about the book that he is looking for. The web page of a book should have the following details:

✦ Title
✦ Author
✦ International Standard
✦ Book Number (ISBN)
✦ Hardcover/paperback/e-book/audio book
✦ Edition
✦ Publisher
✦ Price before and after discount

Apart from the details mentioned above, you can include editorial reviews, publishing date, reader ratings, about author section, etc. Give an overview or description of the books. Ensure that it is exciting enough to hold the attention of the reader and effective enough to prompt the reader to buy it. Ensure there are no spelling or grammatical errors in it. You will also have to include a ‘Buy it’ or ‘Add to cart button’.

Tip: Apart from this, the web page should also tell if the books are available in your stock and can be shipped in a certain number of days.

Types of Books

You will have to decide whether you will offer paper books or e-books. You also have an option of selling audio books. However, you will have to make them available in various formats. Also, you will have to take a call whether to go for new books, secondhand books, or both. You will have to plan which category of books you will offer. You can choose from a wide list of genre like textbooks, suspense, love stories, bestsellers, self-help, fantasy, mythology, horror, fiction, science fiction, etc. It is advisable that you choose a few categories in the beginning and add more as your business expands.

Tip: Offering bestsellers and textbooks can be risky. This is because bestsellers are available too easily on the Internet, and textbooks have seasonal sale and run the risk of getting outdated too fast.

Ordering Books

You can have tie-ups with various distributors for supplying new books. Conduct a market study to understand partnering with which distributor will be profitable for you.

Look for indicators like:
✦ Profit margin
✦ Cost
✦ Delivery
✦ Availability of books

As far as sourcing old and new books is concerned, you can get them from:
✦ Used book stores
✦ Garage sale
✦ Library sales
✦ Thrift shops
✦ Wholesalers
✦ Family and Friends

You can also source books from:
✦ Ingram Content Group
✦ Baker & Taylor

Source e-books from online shops like:
✦ Amazon
✦ Kobo Books
✦ Barnes & Noble

Tip: Make an agreement with the distributors to get a better bargain on the prices of books.

Storing Books

Try to order the books keeping the demand in mind. If a new book has caught a reader’s fancy, unless you offer competitive prices, people will not be interested to buy it as it will be easily available everywhere. Go for collectors’ items, autographed first editions, award-winning books, as well as those that are rare to find, high on demand, and help fetch a good price. You can hire a climate-controlled warehouse to keep the books or wrap them properly to store in your garage space. Giving a contract to drop shippers can save your storage costs. Don’t buy too much stock as people often want an updated version of the book.

Tip: Make use of a good inventory management software program in order to update and maintain the stock from time to time.

Shipping Books

You will have to decide which parts of the world will your business cater to. Initially, try to gain a reputation of timely delivery nationally before venturing out in the international market. You can use U.S. Postal Service’s media mail to ship your books. It will be affordable for you as in most cases, books will be heavier, and this will incur high courier charges. However, it may be time-consuming and require additional efforts on your part. At least in the initial days of the business, it is recommended that you send your shipments through the media mail.

However, if a customer wants overnight delivery or urgent mail, you can avail the help of courier providers like:

✦ FedEx
✦ UPS

Tip: If you are going to send books through a private player on a regular basis, negotiate the rates for a better bargain.

Various Schemes

Offer various schemes like bargains, bids, offers, discounts, etc., which will encourage people to buy your books. Offer gift coupons, codes, and certificates for buying your books. Allow people to write book reviews and reward the best ones every month. Give discounts to regular customers and have referral discounts. Arrange to have contests, sweepstakes, giveaways, etc.

Tip: Having a post-holiday clearance book sale will help you clear the book stocks.

Payment

Price your books wisely. Take the cost of your investment, add your profit to it, and then quote the cost of a book. Give competitive quotes as many online users compare prices of books on various websites before placing the order. However, don’t go too low on the prices such that you will incur loss on the transaction. Add the cost of transport, packaging, and delivery service to the books. Once you expand your business, you can offer free shipping. Every book will be priced based on how unique it is, its availability, and special features.

Tip: Whether hardcover or a paperback version, don’t sell a new book at the price of its secondhand version.

Promote Your Business

As most of your audience will be online, try to focus your promotion efforts in that direction. Pay for online ad banners and ads. Get listed on websites that offer a database of services like yours. This will be more helpful for your business. Needless to say, exploit social media thoroughly for the advantage of your business. Ask your family members and friends to promote your social media pages. Utilize Facebook, Twitter, Blogspot, Pinterest, etc., to reach out to your target market. You can send your business cards with the books. You can also put up posters at cafés, grocery stores, library, etc.

Tip: Pay for Facebook ads to reach out to the bibliophiles.

Now that you know how to set up an online bookstore, these come next:

» Partner with suppliers, distributors, writers, etc., for promotion of books.

» Include various lists like bestsellers, popular, award winners, etc.

» Keep yourself abreast with the trends in the online book market.

» Know what is selling and incorporate the strategy in your business.

» Study what is working for your competitors and what is not.

» Keep innovating to stay ahead of the competition.

Once your business is established, think about various ways of expanding it. You may introduce other categories of products along with books like stationery, bookmarks, coffee mugs, etc. Try to start a chain of retail stores so that people will identify and recall your online store once they read the store name. This can help rake up your profit.

Most Effective Internet Marketing Tools

The promotion of products and services that is carried out over the Internet is known as Internet marketing. Lowered marketing costs and distribution of information to a wider audience are some of the positive changes brought about by Internet marketing. Websites, emails, forums, blogs, and articles are commonly used for Internet advertising and online marketing. Owing to the audio-visual aspects of the Internet media, marketing through the web is more effective. Moreover, web marketing targets a very large audience, thus achieving speedy advertising of products or services. What are the various tools used for web marketing? Which of them are the most effective? Let us find out.

If you are an Internet marketer, it is necessary for you to understand the importance of putting yourself in the shoes of your prospective customers. In fact, any marketer needs to think from the perspective of his/her potential customers in order to devise the best marketing strategy or apply effective marketing tools. In the real sense of the term, thinking from the point of view of the customers is not a marketing tool; it is a marketing tactic. In fact, it is the gist of any kind of marketing and web marketing is no exception.

Keywords: Think of what the Internet users do. They surf the web, browse a number of sites, and bookmark their favorite ones. If you want to increase the number of visitors who bookmark your website, it is important to furnish it with authentic content. Do you know who is the first to read your website content? It is not a human user; it’s a search engine. It is extremely important for a website to rank on leading search engines. Only then can a marketer look forward to increase website traffic, and achieve business growth. And for a website to rank high, its content needs to have the most-searched and frequently sought words and phrases known as keywords. Keyword analysis plays a vital role in helping a website rank.

Pay Per Click Advertising: It is an Internet advertising model wherein an advertiser pays if a user clicks on an Internet advertisement. Search engines, advertising networks, and websites use this advertising model. In this technique, advertisers bid on keywords. When web page content relevant to the bidden keyword is displayed, advertisements related to it are also displayed, thus creating chances that the web page visitors will click on them. Websites charge advertisers on the basis of the number of clicks the advertisements receive. Google AdWords offers pay-per-click advertising wherein advertisers specify the words and phrases that are likely to trigger clicks on their advertisements. Their advertisements are placed in the category of sponsored links on the search results page of Google.

Google AdSense: AdSense is an application run by Google and can be used as an Internet marketing tool by website owners. They can enroll to Google AdSense, whereby they can host text, image or video ads on their websites. The advertisers are charged based on the number of times an advertisement is clicked or on the number of times it appears on the website.

Article Marketing: Articles generated with the application of SEO techniques serve as effective Internet marketing tools. Website owners make use of SEO tips and techniques to find the most-searched topics and to generate keywords. Articles based on frequently searched topics are generated and published on the websites. The articles often consist of back-links to their website, thus achieving more user visits. Article marketing is often used by small businesses, whereby they submit small articles about their products or services on websites in order to publicize their business.

Blogs and Forums: Blogs and forums give the businesses an opportunity to interact with their target customers. Through blogs, they can create awareness about their products and services among the customers. Forums serve as platforms for discussions, whereby marketers can interact with their potential customers.

Emails: Small businesses use email marketing to achieve business promotion. Emails sent for the purpose of enhancing or maintaining customer relationship as well as those sent in view of acquiring new customers fall under the category of email marketing. Emails can be made to carry advertisements and commercial messages, whereby readers are encouraged to opt for a certain product or service. Emails are one of the most effective Internet marketing tools used today.

Social Networks: Existing social networks are popularly used for business promotion. Businesses aim at increasing brand awareness by spreading their message through social networking websites. The process is known as viral marketing. The use of video clips, Flash games, ebooks as also plain text messages on social networking websites is in wide use today.

Tips to Set Up an Online Furniture Store

Tip
While a customer is about to checkout, offer him/her more products, tagging them as “people who bought this also liked”. This technique often works, and lures the customer to shop for more.
Selling furniture online has become a lucrative business as more and more customers are preferring to shop from the comfort of their home. There are many websites which offer competitive prices for the same brands of furniture. If you too want to capitalize on this business, you will have to first complete certain registration and licensing formalities. Ensure that you have a business name that would seem easy for customers to remember. Also, you will have to source initial funds for the business.

These days, resorting to crowd funding for any online business venture is fast gaining in popularity. You will also have to prepare a business plan which will help you take the right decisions. However, in order to be successful in this business, you must know exactly how to initiate it. Hence, if you are planning to open an online furniture store, we will tell you how to go about setting it up.

Decide Furniture
Since there are numerous types of furniture in the market, you will have to decide the type of furniture you plan to sell. Apart from this, you will also have to decide if you intend to sell used or new furniture. There are online sellers who even auction antique and vintage furniture. Also, there are too many different pieces of furniture like couch, table, chair, shelf, recliners, bar stools, beds, bean bags, etc. While it is recommended that you concentrate on one type of furniture initially, you will still have to order separate pieces. For example, if you want to concentrate on wooden furniture, you will have to order tables, chairs, beds, etc., in multiple numbers.

Understand Market
Before venturing in this business you will have to carry out a thorough market research. Suppose you are going to sell home furniture, then you will have to understand who your target market is, its composition, the furniture items that rake in maximum sales, offers that entice the customers into making a buying decision, peak periods of business, etc. All this will help you get an insight into the furniture business. This will enable you to incorporate those furniture items that have a high demand and are appreciated by customers.

Sourcing Furniture
You will have to source furniture for your online shop. For this, you can either approach the brands directly or even tap wholesale furniture shops. With the growing popularity of e-commerce, large furniture brands will not be averse to offering furniture through your online shop. Also, such branded furniture is usually popular among customers, and you are bound to receive a favorable response for it. On the other hand, approaching wholesale furniture shops will prove to be extremely cost-effective, and you will be able to earn a good margin of profit over the sales.

Storing Furniture
Though you will save a lot of money by setting up a virtual store, you will have to hire a warehouse for storing the furniture. Furniture pieces are usually not small in size, hence, you will have to spend a considerable amount on hiring a large enough warehouse. You can approach wholesale shop owners or furniture brands to allow you to store furniture at their warehouses against a nominal cost. If this is not possible, you can have a direct arrangement with the vendor to dispatch the furniture from their storage to the customers as per the order. This way, you will be able to save on the cost of storing the furniture.

Website Development and Design
You will have to hire a professional website designer to develop your e-commerce website. Hire a person who has undertaken similar jobs in the past or else, it will take a long time before your website actually goes live. Study competitor websites, and understand the elements essential for an online furniture retail website. You will also have to make online catalogs for each product, providing photos of various views, materials used, dimensions, description, etc. You will also have to mention whether the product is available. Apart from that, have filters for color, brand, type, make, material, etc., so that customers will be able to get to the thing they are looking for in a matter of few clicks. You can even create a mobile app for your e-commerce website.

Shopping Cart Software
You will have to buy a shopping cart software for your website. There are many online websites which offer various packages. You can buy one which suits your budget. Many of these software are customization, and you will be able to modify them to suit your business requirement. Since all the transactions will be handled electronically, you will not have to worry about manual errors. Also, it will auto generate an invoice when a customer places an order. Hence, you should not be apprehensive about investing in a good shopping cart software.

Promotion and Advertising
You must undertake various marketing and advertising activities to promote your business. Start pages for your business on various social media websites, and link them back to your business websites. Keep updating information and photos of your products, and new additions to keep the customers hooked to the pages. Invest in paid Facebook ads to reach out to your customers. Undertake Internet marketing and banners. Also, employ traditional means of advertising like print ads in newspapers and magazines, and radio sponsorship. Keep sending out press releases for any new achievement of your business.

Packaging and Dispatching
You will have to hire help for dismantling and packing the furniture pieces for delivery. This will be an added cost, hence, try to price the product accordingly. Also, you will have to tie-up with a good courier company who can deliver the furniture to the desired customer locations. Try to hire the same agency for both domestic and international dispatches. Also, as international shipments will increase your delivery expenses, it is advisable that you carry forward that expense in the form of additional fees.

Business Expansion
After successfully running an online furniture business, you can venture into other allied product lines like stationary, home decor, upholstery, bedding, etc. You can also venture into pet furniture business. Many people are searching for all these things when they move into a new house. People often like it when they find all that they need in a single store, and hence, this idea will definitely fetch good sales. Also, if you can start a chain of actual stores supplementing the online business, people will easily be able to identify with the brand. Prompt response to customer complaints and repairs will also help create trust among customers.
You will also need to…
❖ … get an inventory software.

❖ … upload your delivery, return, and refund policies on the Internet.

❖ … introduce discount offers and schemes for customers.

❖ … offer warranty with the furniture.

❖ … host online auctions/bids to sell products at a good price.
It is vital to remember that online businesses are highly dependent on a positive image and reputation. Hence, ensure that you are not receiving negative reviews, as they can hamper your business. Also, employ SMS and email marketing to inform your existing customers about new products.