How To Use AliBaba For Dropshipping

How To Use AliBaba For Dropshipping

If you’ve made up your mind about who your overseas source is for products you’re selling online, then it’s probably Alibaba that you’re doing business with. According to the numbers Alibaba is the biggest eCommerce company worldwide. That means bigger than even Amazon and eBay put together.

So what is Alibaba? It’s basically a very comprehensive directory connecting buyers and suppliers (mainly Asian suppliers) all across the world. They have literally millions of products to choose from and tons of suppliers ready to fill your orders.

Start Your Search

Purchasing items on Alibaba using their directory is pretty well self-explanatory. It is not so much different from a marketplace like eBay. You can browse through the categories of perform a more ‘item -specific’ search to find what you want.

You have 2 options when performing a search on Alibaba. One is to utilize the product descriptions for your search, like with ‘dog collars’. That will bring up lots of results in the dog collar category.

The second option is to utilize their drop-down menu and search for suppliers rather than for products. That way you can find the manufacturers who specialize in whatever type of products you’re looking for.

How to Use the Product Pages

Before you begin searching around on Alibaba you should know a few things about those product pages. As our former example was ‘dog collar’ we’ll keep that as our example here as well.

Unit Price

This will be one of the first pieces of information you’ll want to have. Price is always a good place to start. We can see that this listing has a price of $2 – $3 USD FOB. The ‘FOB’ is the abbreviation of ‘Free on Board’, which means that the seller is also going to pay the costs associated with getting this product to the marine port (For Asian products this is the cheapest way to go) and you (as the buyer) will pay costs associated with the actual transporting of your goods across the ocean blue to its final destination.

MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity)

The next source of information you’ll need is the MOQ, or ‘minimum order quantity’. This is the smallest number of items this particular manufacturer is willing to sell on one order. The thing to remember about MOQs is they’re not chiseled in stone and are usually negotiable. The MOQ in our ‘dog collar’ example is 200 units. When we multiply that using the high-end side of the price, which was $3.00 we are looking at an overall figure of around $600 plus the shipping if we choose to go with this supplier. This is a good thing to know going in so you have a starting place for your negotiations.

Payment Options

Once you understand how the MOQ and pricing work, you’ll probably need to know how to make payment to a suppler. There are pros and cons to the methods of payment available, so it would be your decision to choose the one that works best for you.

 

AliBaba verse Amazon

Both platforms serve millions of customers and have a staggering amount of product listings. You can get lost in each platform. Amazon does not like dropshippers where as AliBaba and AliExpress serve dropshippers very well.

Each platform has a very intelligent CEO overseeing the operations making sure that their platform is at the forefront of ecommerce. You can use what ever platform makes sense to you to sell on or buy from to resell. I have a strong dislike for Amazon as a selling platform because of Amazon FBA and the sad affiliate percentages that Amazon pays its affiliates.

How To Use AliBaba To Dropship

One of the best ways to fill in gaps in your product line is the drop shipping business – learn the ropes and you won’t be disappointed.

Although I would never use drop shipping as the sole base for my online store, the top platform for locating quality dropshippers is a service known as Worldwide Brands.

Dropshippers get pre-vetted by Worldwide Brands so that you can rest assured that you won’t get scammed.

I actually suggest using a mix of AliBaba and AliExpress for dropshipping because you can get a better mix of products and suppliers/manufacturers.

How To Dropship on AliExpress

  1. Sign up to a product automation software like ORBERLO
  2. Connect ORBERLO to your website and connect your AliExpress account
  3. You search the AliExpress platform for your product
  4. Review the products that catch your eye
  5. Review the amount of orders they have
  6. Review that sellers reviews 
  7. When happy go into ORBERLO platform and find that product
  8. Setup your product details and then import this product into your store
  9. When you have products on your store you need traffic. Visit Learn page to learn how to do that.
  10. Once you make a sale you will have the money to now buy that product from the AliExpress vendor. Go ahead and do that.
  11. Use your new customers details as the shipping address and complete the AliExpress order.

And in a super short summary that is dropshipping on AliBaba and AliExpress.

To learn more about how dropshipping works you can check out this mini course on ecommerce.

 

Purchasing Wholesale Goods Domestically

“Wholesale” is a word that I hear often. A lot of people reach out to us about wholesale prices and they want to know where they can buy products wholesale. “Wholesale” apparently means purchasing items at the lowest possible price.

Do you want to hear something surprising? This could not be further from the actual truth. When I shopped vendors for our online sales, every US wholesale dealer had incredibly high prices.

Yes, these companies were less costly than MSRP, but their prices were still so high that we wouldn’t have been able to attain or maintain a high profit margin on any of the items that we were truly interested in selling.

More than this, there were countless companies that already had the same items for sale at deeply discounted prices. So what is the benefit in buying from US wholesale vendors?

Given that very few things are currently being made in the US, wholesalers can handle all of the problems in importing and storing items from product manufacturers.

It won’t be necessary for you to go to a foreign location. There is no need to deal with customs or shipping. You simply submit orders and wait for your merchandise to arrive.

Another benefit gained by buying wholesale is the ability to sidestep time-consuming quality control measures given that your wholesaler will have made these checks on your behalf.

Buying Direct From Manufacturers Overseas

Purchasing from the manufacturer direct is by no means the holy grail of this industry, but it additionally requires the greatest amount of dedication, work and time. Currently, nearly all products are being made overseas due to cheaper labor costs.

My general rule for textiles and other goods is that if you’re working with a US vendor, you probably aren’t going to get the absolute lowest price. I will even say that if you’re working with someone who speaks excellent English, the prices aren’t likely to be good (All right, that may be pushing things a bit too far).

Tips When Opening Your Online Store

The #1 question I get regularly from readers interested in opening up their own online stores, is what methods to use to locate suppliers and vendors. They want to know if they should buy wholesale or should they give Dropshipping a try as well?

Whenever we first began our own online store, me and the little woman, we had these same questions. However, after performing quite a bit of researching on our options, I would like to share those experiences with you and enlighten you on what we learned about stocking our online business with merchandise.

Most of our experiences deal mainly with wedding linens. However, the principles should be the same regardless of what your topic or product may be.

Drop-Shipping Explained

Lots of people fall into the old trap of having everything dropshipped when they first start their online store. Well, it’s hard to blame them since it sounds so good when you first hear it. Not having to keep any items in stock yourself is a big load off. All you do is pay for the item and pocket the difference between your wholesale price and your customer’s price.

You have no inventory to keep track of and no obligations of fulfillment, it’s all done for you by the dropshipper. Sounds really great huh? Until you have to start dealing with other types of customer problems that you have no fault in.

Many new store owners fail to realize that those profit margins are not so good and if they should screw up your order or ship something too late – it’s YOU who gets to deal with the customer. You also don’t want to be dealing with a dropshipper who makes a habit of shipping faulty items. These kinds of problems become YOURS once you put yourself in that position.

Add in the fact the you have very little wiggle room in the profit margin and combine that will all the stress and headaches you have to go through, suddenly things regarding dropshipping just don’t look so good.

Even when you manage to locate a drop shipper that is reliable, your customer issues are still going to be popping up and when you have little control over regarding your products things can get difficult.

To sum it all up, you are putting your online store’s reputation into the hands of a 3rd party, who more than likely DOES NOT have your store’s best interests at heart.

 

Thanks for reading and as always if you like this and found it helpful drop a like a comment or give a bro a share. Peace!

Build A Huge Email List In 6 Easy Steps

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Build A Huge Email List In 6 Easy Steps

Build A Huge Email List In 6 Easy Steps

6 Steps To Build A Bigger Email List

 

You will see this advice time and time again. People who make a lot of money on the Internet always say that the real money is in the list. Some of these successful online marketers say that whenever they need to generate more income, they simply have to turn to their huge email lists that contain the email addresses of thousands of subscribers.

Build Your Huge Email List in 6 Easy Steps

Consider these simple steps to take to have your own traffic and revenue generating email list with hundreds or even thousands of active and interested subscribers.

— Choose a mailing platform.
— Figure out a hook to gain lots of subscribers.
— Develop the content that will provide that hook.
— Integrate your email list with your website or social media sites.
— Test out different marketing messages.

–Add your email signup page to your profiles and email signature.

 

Read my 101 Email Marketing Guide.

 

Which mailing platform should you use?

There are several good email platforms you can use. Aweber, Mailchimp, and Constant Contact are some popular ones that you might have seen advertised. Many of these have free trail offers, so you can take the time to compare the features of each system.

Your other choice is to keep your subscribers on your own servers with your own mailing list software. This is also a common choice, but you will probably notice that most marketers do use a service. Large companies might lean more towards using their own software. The right choice depends upon your unique situation.

What can you use as a hook?

Figure out how to develop a hook to attract subscribers to your mailing list. Lots of popular sites offer a free newsletter, report, or even a series of informational videos. They offer this free information as a way to attract subscribers. Your own choice will depend upon your audience and the kind of product you eventually want to sell.

Have You Developed your hook’s content.

Now you have to develop some actual content, so you can retain your subscribers. This content could consist of informational articles that you develop out of your own experience. You can also make a video, and this is not that hard to do with today’s tools. If you do not want to develop your own content, you might be wise to outsource this task to professional content developers.

Make sure you give people value. You want your subscribers to want more, so they do not cancel their subscriptions.

Integrate your list with your website and social media sites.

I think as a minimum you should be adding your email signup pages into your social media profile bios or about sections.

Of course, you want to make it as easy as possible for your subscribers to sign up. That is the advantage of some email systems that provide tools to integrate your list forms with your existing website, blog, and social networking websites.

Make sure that you concentrate on letting your visitors know why they should sign up for your list. You should promote your free report, educational videos, or other bonus offers. Make these people know that they will get something that has a value for free if they just give you their email address.

You need to work hard to let your visitors know that your offer has value even though they can get it for free. In other words, the point of your list marketing efforts should be to sell the value of what they get for free! It might seem like you are losing money by giving too much away, but you should profit in the end with upsells and other offers that you can promote with your list.

Are You Testing Your List?

Successful email marketers are made, not born. Hopefully, you have good information to share with your list for free, so they will stay on your list. But even then, you really need to test the frequency of your emails. Many good marketers find that they keep more subscribers when they only send out emails every week, and they lose subscribers when they bombard them with emails every day.

You also need to test the quality of your paid upsells. This is true if you are selling your own product or promoting CPA offers from other advertisers. Once good way to find out more about your subscribers is to send them a survey. You could even offer a bonus to subscribers who take the survey, and this could be worth it because information is valuable.

Is Your Email List Huge Yet?

Hopefully, you will soon enjoy the luxury of owning a large list of interested subscribers. These are people who signed up because they like what you have to offer, and they want to hear from you. Once you have developed a large base, you can continue to fine-tune and test your email marketing program in order to improve your returns, grow your subscriber base, and make more profits.

To learn how to make use of emails in your business read this guide.

There are lots of ways to profit from a large list of email subscribers, and it is worth it to invest some time, money, and effort in its development.

“I  find adding my email signup page to my email signature as a great way to add people into my email list. This sounds backwards if I am already emailing someone but for business that person my not be on my list and we are just doing business. I also like to switch up the email signup page over the month to mix it up.”

Shenzu

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What I Consider When Building Websites

What I Consider When Building Websites

Website Structure Is Critical For Online Success

I have built so many websites that now I can look at a website and in three clicks work out if this website is doomed or in a good position for success. Theres 2 reasons that we pay attention and put so much focus into how we build websites and those two reasons are:

  1. Building for humans to navigate the website
  2. Building for Google to crawl and index our web pages

The structure I want you to build should be one that allows both Humans and Google crawlers to clearly understand and navigate your website. This is a critical part of building websites especially if you plan on using that website to make money once you build it.

Lets go over the basics.

CMS solutions help businesses of all sizes maintain an online presence through blogs and websites, internally organize and optimize content, and process orders and payments online. A well-deployed content management system can extend the reach of a business online, increase search rankings, unify communications to customers in one place and manage employee contributions to content (through administrative and security settings, as well as accountability within the CMS).

Responsive templates, like those found in many of the CMS platforms we reviewed here, make it easy for SMBs to maintain professional-looking websites without employing a large team of web and graphic designers. It’s no wonder, then, that so many businesses use CMS services. WordPress alone is used by over 2.8 million websites to date, and as CMS programs become easier to implement and less expensive to use, it’s likely more SMBs will adopt them.  

What Is a CMS Used For?

At the most basic level, a CMS lets you upload and manage the content for your website. No matter the size or type of your business, a CMS has become almost indispensable. It operates on the backend of your website, allowing you to manage the content and other facets of your website, including the visual layout.

Another benefit of a CMS is that it makes it easy for users with varying levels of tech savviness. If your tech literacy is low, CMS systems have a variety of premade themes and plug-ins that have already been developed (think phone apps but for your website) and allow you to add tools, like search or appointment calendars, to your website.

If you know how to code, or employ software developers, most CMS software is open source and can be customized to your liking.

Businesses of all types can benefit from using a CMS for their website. Here are some examples of how a CMS can enhance the websites for a variety of different business types:

  • Restaurants: CMS software makes it easy for restaurants to add and update their menus, create coupons and offers, and allow customers to make reservations online. There are many premade plug-ins that specifically target restaurant websites.
  • eCommerce: A CMS can benefit your online store by allowing you to quickly add and remove products, track sales, and manage other aspects of your business. Plug-ins are available to add a shopping cart to your site. A brick-and-mortar store can easily add a shopping cart using a CMS.
  • Small Businesses: No matter what type of business you operate, a website is a necessity in today’s business world. A CMS allows you to manage the content yourself and update information quickly. Most CMS applications include SEO plug-ins to help you optimize your website’s content. You can also find templates and themes to quickly create an attractive website without having to hire a designer.
  • Nonprofits: A CMS allows nonprofits to easily manage their websites for not a lot of money, plus you can accept donations online by adding plug-ins. Many open-source CMS applications have robust communities of developers that can help nonprofits create the best websites. Add-ons and plug-ins are also available to help nonprofits manage their social media and marketing presence.

CMS vs Blogging Platforms

A CMS platform is different from a blogging platform in terms of scale. Some of the services profiled in our buying guide began as blogging platforms and offer that service, but a CMS is much more robust, offering greater control over the look and feel of your site as well as allowing for different administrative levels of control. A CMS also allows you to add plug-ins that expand the look and functionality of your site. You can brand your website, send emails, manage user access and even add a shopping cart.

Another main difference between a blog platform and a CMS is that the blog will be hosted by the platform itself. This means that your website will have the domain name of the blog host, such as Blogger.

If you use a CMS to manage and develop your website, you’ll need to pay for the domain and the web hosting. Many CMS platforms include web hosting services, though you’ll have to pay for the hosting. You can read our articles about web hosting to learn more.

Open Source vs. Closed Source

Content management systems fall into two major categories: open source and closed source. An open source CMS has lower costs and is created and maintained by a community of developers A closed source CMS is proprietary and is more expensive to use. Here are some other benefits and drawbacks with each type of CMS.

The biggest difference is in the price. Open source CMS software doesn’t require you to purchase a license in order to access and change its source code. All code is free to the public and often supported by a large community of users. This gives you solid support since so many others are using the program as well. It’s easy to find ideas for incorporating various functions and features on your website. You can also find the required code from these community support groups, so even if you aren’t as program savvy as others, you can find enough information to make it work.

However, because the source code is free with so many users, most CRM companies continually update the software. This means you can count on new versions, patches and updates on a fairly regular basis, which could require you to change your website and code in order to keep up.

Because the code of open source programs is license-free, there is a greater risk of a security breach. Everyone using the open source code understands how to get around various protections. However, you can invest in add-ons and other security programs that work hand-in-hand with content management systems to give you an extra layer of security. Closed source CMS software has heavily guarded source code that requires a license in order to access it, or several if you have a team of developers. Because the source is so protected, it costs a lot to get started. Several closed source content management systems require a monthly access fee, so it isn’t unheard of to have to pay between $200 and $1,000 to get started.

Since you put so much effort into creating a CMS program, these systems are built to last for a while between version releases. While the occasional update or patch may occur, for the most part, once you purchase a closed source CMS, you can find solace in knowing you won’t have to update the program and risk reworking your website code. This also helps keep the program more secure since there is a limited number of people who hold a license to the code.

If you discover you need help with your closed source CMS, you don’t have the large community support found with open source software. Instead, these systems tend to come with high-end, personal support including telephone support, which is rare among open source content management systems.

Benefits of Open Source CMS

  • Cost: An open source CMS doesn’t involve any fees to use the platform. All of the open source CMS applications in our lineup include a free option. You may have to pay for hosting or advanced features, but there are several themes that are free to start with.
  • Customization: Open source CMS applications are flexible and can fit the needs of many businesses. Because a broad community of developers works on these systems, there are a wide variety of options, so you can find certain tools or plug-ins to suit your business. For example, if you want to add a feature so your customers can schedule an appointment or make a reservation online, there are several plug-ins available that are easy to integrate with your CMS.

Drawbacks of Open Source CMS

  • Vulnerability: Open source CMS software can be vulnerable to security issues, especially if plug-ins and modules are not updated.
  • Support: Don’t count on personalized support for problems you run into with your particular website.

Benefits of a Closed Source CMS

  • Security: Because this type of CMS software is proprietary, these applications undergo a more rigorous testing process, which leaves them less vulnerable to Trojans and other security flaws.
  • Customized Support: You can receive ongoing, personalized support to help you troubleshoot any problems with your site. Often this support costs extra.

Disadvantages of Closed Source CMS

  • Cost: Costs range from a few thousand dollars to upwards of a hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the scope and scale of the CMS.
  • Lack of Flexibility: A closed source solution isn’t always one size fits all, but there are fewer options for customization, and if you need something specific for your business, you may have to pay extra for it.

A content management system allows you to quickly and easily add and edit content on your website. You can control who has access to the various functions of the software and can schedule when content goes live on your website. We’ve assembled a lineup of the 10 best CMS applications in the industry so you can explore your options and find the one best suited for your business.

FAQ – Terminology

Throughout our reviews, we use a lot of internet and programming terms that might sound familiar but you don t quite know the meaning. Below are samples of some of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to terminology. 

What is access control?
This refers to a hierarchical system of privileges and permissions that secures content and identifies who can read, create, modify, and delete content on a web site.

What are web analytics?
This is the study of the impact of a website on its visitors. E-commerce companies often use web analytics software to measure statistics such as how many visitors, how many unique visitors, how they arrived at the site (i.e., if they followed a link to get to the site or came there directly), what keywords they searched using the site s search engine, how long they stayed on a given page or on the entire site, what links they clicked on and when they left the site. Web analytic software can also be used to monitor whether or not a site s pages are working properly. With this information, site administrators can determine which areas of the site are popular and which areas of the site do not get traffic and can then use this data to create a better/more profitable user experience.

What is asset management?
Asset management is the organization and publication of digital assets such as content and media and including but not limited to images, sounds, animations, movies, music and text.

What is the back end?
A database or program that is accessed by users indirectly through an external application. In a CMS, the admin panel is the back end.

What is CSS?
CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheet   this is the preferred way to add styles (which include fonts, sizes, colors and spacing) to web documents and designs. It s preferred because of the capability to simply tweak a class or identification attribute on the style sheet that will automatically apply to the entire page. Compared with the manual way of editing thousands of individual font tags, CSS is an elegant and efficient design tool.

What is a database server?
In either a client-server model or a master-slave configuration, this is a computer program that stores and performs the database services to other programs or computers.

What is deployment?
In systems this term describes the transforming of a computer system from a packaged form to an operation state. In software, deployment is used to describe all activities that make a software system available for use.

What is document management?
Document management systems (DMS) are similar to content management systems and serve different though complementary roles within an organization. DMS focus is primarily on the storage and retrieval of self-contained electronic resources in their original (native) format.

What is the front end?
As opposed to the back end, the front end is an interface that collects input from a user in various forms and processes it to conform to a specification useable by the back end.

What is load balancing?
This is the practice of dispersing work between two or more computers, network links, CPUs, hard drives, or other resources.

What is a log?
In a database or CMS this is a record of sequential data. In content management system software this could be user logs, content logs, etc.

What does OS stand for?
OS stands for Operating System   this is the interface between the hardware and its user. For example, if your computer is a PC your OS is likely Windows-based. If your computer is a Mac, it s OSX, etc.

What is Page Rank?
Page rank is the Google system of ranking web pages determines the value of any individual web page.

What is RSS?
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication   it is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works such as news headlines, blogs, etc. These feeds benefit content publishers by enabling them to syndicate their content automatically.

What is a sandbox?
In content management system software, this is a secure area where developers can test a software tool or other code modification with full administration privileges, but safely walled off from affecting the stability of the site or CMS.

What is a static page (as opposed to dynamic)?
Static means that the web page always contains the same information in response to all download requests from all users. A dynamic page is regularly updated.

What is validation?
In content management system software, validation refers to security measures that ensure data inserted into an application meets pre-determined formats, complies with length requirements and any other defined input criteria you assign to it.

What is meant by workflow in a CMS?
Workflow is the system for routing documents or pages between users responsible for working on them   the management of who is making changes to or creating a content element or template.

Best CMS Overall: WordPress: WordPress

WordPress is one of the most ubiquitous CMS platforms on the internet, and it is open source, so you don’t have to buy a license to use it. Since the open-source community is continually growing, developing new plugins and creating new themes, the functionality of WordPress is always evolving. According to WordPress, nearly 24 percent of websites use its CMS to publish and/or manage content.

Even the free version of the CMS offers users the ability to produce blogs and websites with ease, tag content by category and keyword, manage content and change visual themes, embed media on different pages, and more. WordPress makes SEO hands-off by sending the titles of your posts and the content of your website to Google for ranking. In addition, WordPress offers feature-rich website management by giving users the ability to moderate discussions (something many free blog and website platforms don’t offer), ban commenters by their IP addresses, and even block specific terms or phrases.

Users who upgrade to premium business versions of WordPress gain access to CMS tools like advanced analytics, additional templates, more flexibility in menu configuration and access to back-end code for further customization. Companies like The New York Times, Forbes, eBay, Best Buy and IBM use WordPress, but small businesses and individual bloggers also take advantage of its accessible interface and wide variety of features.

The only real downside to WordPress is that the interface takes some time to get used to. Doing things like rearranging menu items and moving a page from one category to another is a bit unwieldly at first. Also, many of the best features are only available at premium subscription levels. 

Best Blog Hosting Service: A2 Hosting: A2 Hosting

Previously known as Iniquinet, A2 Hosting is our top choice for blog hosting services. It offers managed WordPress hosting and will transfer any existing WordPress site to its servers for free. This company is also a good fit for WordPress users, because it offers a proprietary plugin called A2 Optimized to not only boost the speed of the hosted site but also prevent hacks through a unique WordPress login URL. Plus, A2 Hosting’s security works with WordPress, through a unique admin login, to easily manage and load WordPress security updates and create an additional barrier against hacking.

All clients of A2 Hosting enjoy automatic data backup courtesy of the company’s Server Rewind Backups, which make it possible to restore a single file or an entire website in just a few clicks. A2 Hosting offers unlimited SSD storage, so you never need worry about running out of space. A2 Hosting has a 99.9 percent uptime guarantee, and businesses that use A2 Hosting for their web hosting needs receive reimbursements for downtime.

A2 Hosting ranked highest on our list of reviewed hosting services partially because of its compatibility with WordPress and overall blog speed, but also thanks to its excellent customer service. Clients of A2 Hosting enjoy around-the-clock customer service every day of the year, which is ideal for teams with people in different time zones and for businesses that need to keep things running regardless of holidays or weekends.

Additionally, the hosting platform offers users some choices in terms of server location, which not all hosting companies provide. A2 Hosting has three servers to choose from, one in Michigan, one in Amsterdam and one in Singapore. The ability to select a server closer to company headquarters (or large customer populations) makes faster response times possible. 

Best for Easy Blog Creation: Weebly : Weebly – Content Management Systems & Blogging Platforms

If learning new technology doesn’t come easily to you but you want to create a blog or website for your business, Weebly is our recommended choice. Weebly was built with regular users in mind; there is no coding required, and you don’t have to understand the ins and outs of advanced security settings or SEO to use it.

Users who opt for Weebly are guided through the blog design and creation process with helpful text bubbles that offer suggestions and point out basic dashboard navigation, but the interface is so user-friendly you might not even need the guidance. Weebly takes a drag-and-drop approach to website design; you can drag and drop content anywhere on a given page, and that content may include text, photos, videos, forms or audio files. Once assembled, each asset can be rearranged and resized with a few clicks, making it easy to get the look and feel you want.

The web CMS aspect of Weebly is excellent for basic website organization. Pages and subpages can easily be moved and updated, and passwords may be set to protect certain pages from being viewed by unauthorized users. There is a section for SEO analysis in the admin dashboard, but it’s not very robust. Weebly is best for companies that require a basic website with up-to-date information or blogs that play a supplementary role to a primary business.

That said, users who opt for the Starter ($8 a month), Pro ($12 a month) or Business ($25 a month) packages, rather than the free service, get a $100 credit toward Google Ads. So, it’s not that it’s impossible to have good SEO or promote a site built with Weebly; it’s just targeted to users who favor a clean, easy-to-use interface over a robust arsenal of features and options. The only downsides to Weebly are the inexplicable lack of a spell-check function and the lack of backup history.

Best CMS for ecommerce: Magento: Magento

While many of the CMS platforms we reviewed have plugins available for ecommerce websites, Magento was built top to bottom specifically for ecommerce users. In addition to all the features an ecommerce business owner might want, Magento has an extensive blog with relevant posts about online trends and SEO practices, as well as evergreen information on best ecommerce practices and general user guides. If this is your first foray into ecommerce and you want guidance alongside easy website creation, Magento may serve you well.

One major benefit to using Magento for your ecommerce site is the easy product catalog setup process. Magento makes it simple to showcase configurable products for sale (so your customers can select colors, sizes and styles with ease while you keep track of SKUs), made-to-order products with lots of customization options (like engraving or monogramming), product sets and multi-piece products. Magento also allows users to disable items, so seasonal items don’t have to be re-created every year – they can simply be disabled when they’re not relevant and then added back to the online store.

Another key ecommerce feature of Magento is the ability to set up multiple stores through one dashboard. This is key for stores that need to operate in different languages as well as ecommerce sites that tailor their offerings based on customer location. Invoicing, billing and shipping are also easy to set up, and Magento’s security system is built to meet current laws and payment card industry requirements. Plus, this open-source CMS has dozens of paid and free add-ons available, offers users the ability to program custom widgets, and provides lots of customizable reports on sales, customers, products and performance.

Like other CMS products, Magento offers well-designed templates for simple web design, as well as the ability to custom create a website from the bottom up, but it’s the ecommerce-specific features that earned it a spot on our best picks list.

Key Takeaway

Ive built A LOT of websites and Ive wasted A LOT of time with dud platforms. I really love WordPress, Shopify & Magento for building long term assets. But for quick easy you cant go past a Wix Weebly type throw up and see what happens type web lead gen site.

When I build sites I need functionality, customisation and support because hey even I break stuff sometimes. The best platform isnt even my choice it should be your choice for what best suits your business.

 

I hope this helped and you get something from it. Enjoy and share it if you liked it. Peace!

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Take The Opportunity When It Presents Itself

Take The Opportunity When It Presents Itself

One of the biggest mistakes I made starting out in business was chasing money. The focus, the driver and the motivator was money and thats wasnt the best thing to do it alienated a lot of opportunity to grow and expand because the numbers werent solid. Because the direction my business partner and I were considering taking didnt have a proven track record and didnt make financial sense we missed the opportunity to pounce on the emerging gap in the market.
Money as a key metric in business isnt a good stat to be building a business around. Revenue and monthly reoccurring revenue and annual reoccurring revenue are great metrics to use to make data driven decisions for your business. Having the numbers visible is a great motivator when you track the right things.
“I don’t ever recommend just chasing the growth of the bank balance.”
When you make money as your primary metric you may develop tunnel vision on a number a very specific number. If you hit that number or dont come close you become fixated on that number and dont take in other variables that might be more profitable than pursing the magic number.
build a money generating portfolio
I am not a bean counter of the finance guy in any of my businesses. Ive been in more finance and accounting meetings than I have wanted in my time. While extremely boring and hard to focus during these meeting they were really beneficial for me to upskill my finance intelligence.
My expereicne with money is that outside of teh business we dont talk about it with competitors, partners, affiliates and keep our cards to our chest. This helped me keep focus on our goals and not worry about competitor ABC who was chasing $500K MRR or what ever dick measuring number that they had fixed as their success metric.
I honestly can not stand loud mouth marketers or business owners who boast and brag about who much their business makes in revenue. This places a big fat red target on your chest. I also just as a human with good manners be bragging about myself. Be humble and know you are doing well without shouting it across the room.
If you do attend conferences you can look around and see these same people in deep financial substance abuse and trying every which way to find happiness outside their business. They focus on money because they dont have anything else to contribute.
Your business should be your dream hobby that you can not wait to get started on each day. The people you do it with should be your favorite people. Ive built many businesses with this in mind, who do I want to work with and does this fulfil me.
My success indicator is knowing we have a steady flow of money coming in, the number monthly and yearly is increasing gradually. Then when we are stable or growing I dont have money as a motivator because our system to grow that is working. This is where I have time to look for an emerging business or brand and speak with them about how they can do more and pass on some of our tips and strategies that helped push our business into the green.
Thats my success metric, being free enough to share my knowledge with others who are just starting out.
I didnt come from money and Ive never had big captial injections to buy and start businesses. I would grind and hustle my skills to build momentum and steadily grow a seed money allocation for new ideas or acquisitions. It takes a bit longer but I dont owe anyone anything and I am free to make what ever decsions I need to to grow that busienss without reporting into a board or a JV partner. This is not the method for everyone it takes commitment and dedication to the goal.
Ever since I built my first company Ive wanted to take an opportunity where I would have a job that provided fulfilment and made me feel satisfied. Ive got this thing where I need to be doing something all the time. I move fast and I am easily bored if theres no movement or anything for me to do. I often found myself after the growth period of a business and things had started to plateua a bit, I would start buying crap that I didnt need or hiring people I didnt really need just to keep busy.
I wasnt looking for new opportunities, I got a little complacement. In one of my physical service businesses I was extremely passionate about building it and we actaully grew it to 5,000 employees and one day I just lost all attachment to that business. I felt it had done its dash and I couldnt give it anything else. I was bored and I was not enjoying the business that last week I was so excited to get to work.
My recap is we were so busy building relationships that we had taken our eye off the ball of business growth and just the day to day operations had worn me down. It was so sad losing all that organic energy where I could do everything everyday sucked down to the bare minimums and I struggled even filling the weekly roster.
The good news was I found a new opportunity and I pounced on it like a leopard catching its prey. I got to help businesses with a specific problem they had online.
Moving from a that physical services business and into online marketing was such a huge shift of ways of working It did take me a good 6 months to adjust. The sale of the services business was relatively smooth and I was out within a month. The opportunity of the next move wasnt on a countdown timer so I had time to manuvere and get my ducks in a  row.
In month 8 I grew that new marketing business 600%+ from $10k monthly reoccurring revenue to over 600% and all it took was focus. I needed a good 6 months to get familiar with how online marketing agencies worked and freelancing and tools metrics, the money verse expenses was so different from physical businesses.
But know this, the more I focused on the business opportunities the more my new business grew. I built a business that I wanted to work in and I hired people I wanted to work with. That was simple backend systems, and for revenue I targeted people I wanted to work with and that was automotive clients and ecommerce stores.
It was that simple!
I targeted people who were doing things I had an interest in and I could talk their language and know their industry. The immediate shift in business from taking that opportunity changed the business. It literally changed the way we worked fulfiling those services for these new clients. Such a breathe of fresh air for me to get that energy back and have that drive and focus to really sink my teeth into business.
The marketing agency was much easier to grow when I was the one calling the shots, making the plays at new opportunities and ultimately the one who was responsible for growth and failure. The business was not new to me but online  was, I had a great finance and accounting system in place and then for me it was learning online marketing.
Now to this day I love this stuff. There is no day Ive not wanted to get up and get online to help my team and my clients or assets grow.
IF you are an entrepreneur you are going to get your fulfillment and satisfaction from these. You will also slowly die inside without them.
  • Build a team of talented marketers
  • Build a service or product that you are proud of
  • Build a solution to other peoples problems
  • Solve the problem for your ideal customer
I know a lot of marketing techniques, tactics and ways of working but I often consult with my sopecialists on super advanced tactics for specific things I want to deliver or we require as a deliverable in business. I hire inelligent superstars at the one thing that they do, this gives me a great database of very targeted specialists.
One thing we do regulary is to look at our competitors and any competitors in emerging spaces and see how they treat their customers and audiences. Do they truly love their audioence or are they just applying tricks and hacks to get by. The intelligence we get back from this allows us to exloit these opportunities because we have a system for customer journey and experience. Building for customers and not for money.

“I always build for the customer and towards the problem and solution. This is just how I learned marketing. Sell the solution to people who have a problem and do this with the ciustomer in mind and not the money they give you for that solution.”

Shenzu

I find it really interesting the number of marketers who are still trying to use tricks and indirect methods at trying to hide information around the policies on chargebacks and refunds. Focus more on making amazing things and move away from making crap products and you wont have to worry about your reputation or the payment processors and chargebacks.
This was an early morning post just after a workout so if its a bit shaky to follow along I apologieze haha. I had a lot on my mind and wanted to press the point of taking opportunity. If I didnt take the opportunity to change careers from physical services to online marketing I think that during cornova virus I would of bene wiped out. I am also so thankful I can do what I do on computers to help people. I never work for cash or chase a pay rise, I am my own boss and I make my own hours.
If you are stuck I want you to start looking around at the next step or a new avenue for you to apply your passion powers to and forge a business around. This is the best time ever to do this. Look at the opportunity in everything that you do and you will never need money.
Thats my thoughts for today. As always if you enjoyed this share it and enjoy yourself. Peace!
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How To Be Safe Buying From Ali Express

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6 Ways to Safeguard Yourself When Buying on Alibaba

When doing business overseas you want to learn to protect yourself against loss. You want to be able to avoid scams and middle-men as well as getting substandard products. While there is no one solution that is totally infallible, using a few simple guidelines can prove to be very effective.

I use AliExpress and Ali Baba A LOT! I even bought my girlfreinds birthday present from Ali Express

Here are her birthday socks haha

ali express printed socks

 

At first she was sad because she had sloth feet but she warmed up to these printed socks and now she has a collection of monster feet printed socks.  That my friends is the power of Ali Express, people buy random stuff online to pass time, have a laugh and to spend their hard earned money. This si where we come in with our ecommerce stores and product promotions. 

Here are a few things you can do to help yourself when dealing with overseas suppliers –

1. Verifiy Your New Supply Partner

Believe it or not Alibaba has put a verification program of their own into place. It gives you several different levels of verification. They have 3 levels of verification all total and the chart down below goes into it a little deeper. The verification badges appearing on the product list as well as supplier profiles help give you an idea of what kind of vendor you’re dealing with. Having a look at these badges is a good was to start your search.

 

2. Ask Questions Around The Product Nothing is as it Appears

As your search begins to narrow down and you have weeded out most of the competition, it’s time to get down to some more serious types of questions. Request a copy of a business license to verify who they are, or maybe even a phone number and then call it right away.

Contact them on Skype or their main contact channel and request some sample products. You can get variations like red or blue etc. This helps you see what type of communication you will have with the person who will be handling the product and shipping process of your business.

You should feel totally free to ask any questions that pop into your head. It’s not too far fetched to have somebody at the factory snap a selfie and send it to you while on the factory floor. You could have them include a copy of today’s newspaper as well as a product of theirs. Of course, you don’t want to push them away either. Too much distrust will only breed and foster more distrust. It’s wise to be cautious but not overly distrustful.

If you plan to scale you need a solid partner and someone who has clear communication with you. What if you had the biggest front end sales month ever for your store and corona virus 2 hits and you need answers on shipping and delivery dates as well as inventory levels. You need clear communication.

 

3. Get Some Product Samples First

It’s just good common sense to check out some samples prior to committing to any large amount of inventory and money. You should get the samples in order to verify the ‘quality’ of the products for yourself. You can even contact them using a fake name and email address.

You 100% need to get the products before you sell them. This helps you see what the delivery time is like, what the boxing or packaging lookslike and most impoirtanly what the actual product looks and feels like.

I wont promote any products that I havent at least had a play with to test its quality.

Bonus tip – use this to film unboxing videos and product demos 🙂

4. Things That Seem Too Good to be True

Everyone has heard that when this happens things usually are too good to be that true and usually aren’t. Be wary of promises and prices that run up your skeptic meter.

You can read reviews of past buyers to get a quick pulse check on that product and the vendor.

Never be afraid to walk away from any deal that doesn’t ‘smell’ right. You are the buyer and Ali Express is a buyers market.

5. Get It In Your Hands & Try To Break It

Your dropshipping products are going to fail if you dont know the quality of what you are selling. My advice and its saved my butt more times than not is to get that product in your hands.

Now you have it you should try being a little rough with the product to stress test the product. You may need to buy 2 or 3 of the same products. You do this because you can really nail your product descriptions and features benefits descriptors by knowing the limits.

If it breaks and you only just picked it up then change the product or find a better manufacturer.

6. Use A Pen Name Account To Buy & Review

I would never be buying items from Ali Express with my real account. I say this because as you build success you will naturally attract trolls and copycats. This can not be avoided.

Use a throw away email account where the name is random and not your name or your business name. These manufacturers on Ali Express need reviews to help their businesses and you should be leaving reviews out of courtesy.

But you also need to be safe with your behaviour online. Use a random profile to leave reviews. Keep safe and this allows you to shop and review unkown to any copycats.

I love dropshipping and ecommerce, but you need to be smart when using these latforms. Esopecially for the long term play. I hope this helps you get more from Ali Express. Enjoy.

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