Tips on building a successful e-commerce blog
It’s true that no matter how good your products or services maybe, the marketplace is likely going to be extremely competitive. It’s also true that there is no such thing as a guarantee that your e-commerce blog is going to be successful. However, despite what the odds may be, and despite how competitive your particular market may or may not be, the prospect of starting your own e-commerce blog is one that should always be explored.

One thing any successful e-commerce blog is going to need to make it is hard work. That’s a give-in. Another give-in is that your e-commerce site is going to need great ideas.

However, you can also learn a lot about running a flourishing e-commerce blog by studying. What you study, of course, are the patterns of unsuccessful e-commerce blogs. The benefits of doing this will be almost immediate. Trends that led to the downfall of one e-commerce blog or another will quickly begin to emerge.

Whatever you do on the road to a successful e-commerce blog, learning from the failures should definitely be on your itinerary. 

Unifying Patterns Of Unsuccessful E-Commerce Blogs

You may notice some unifying threads between unsuccessful on your own, but here are five that you’re definitely going to pick up as you study the ones that just didn't make it:


High Prices
Maybe it’s because of the cost involved, or maybe it’s due to a serious miscalculation on the part of the blog owner, but high prices will almost always reduce someone’s interest in a product.


Poor Shipping Practices
No one is saying you have to offer shipping options as dedicated and far-reaching as a giant like Amazon.com, but with e-commerce, fast, reliable shipping can quickly separate a thriving e-commerce site from a dying one. Make sure you offer fast shipping, with multiple options for those who are willing to pay extra to get their products even faster.


SEO
Search engine optimization is sometimes overlooked by e-commerce site owners. Typically, those sites don’t last very long.


User design
Who cares about great products, if the site is a huge headache to navigate? Make sure customers can find the product they are looking for with the minimal number of clicks.


Products
Keep a theme in mind. Go for a niche market. E-commerce sites that offer too many different things just look cluttered and disorganized.

There are plenty of pitfalls that can sink your e-commerce blog in a hurry. The more you study these pitfalls from past examples, the better you’ll be at avoiding them.


About the Author: Richard has been blogging about ecommerce strategies for over 5 years. He has published a large number of articles in various technology blogs. Richard holds a BA in Computer Science and is a qualified Magento developer.


 Tips for coming up with fresh ideas for your business or blog
Coming up with fresh ideas is what turns small businesses into big businesses. Sadly, it is at this point that a business becomes more uniform, less unique, and begins to slowly lose customers to its competitors. This is actually what started to happen to the Apple Company. That was until they created the iPhone and started a new mobile revolution. The Apple Company was forced to be unique and fresh, otherwise they were heading for oblivion.

Here are a few ways you may come up with fresh ideas for yourself.

1 - Get a life and live it
Have you ever heard those pretentious people who say they have traveled the world and now they feel invigorated and refreshed? Feel free to knock the watercress sandwich out of their hands and step on their suede shoes. However, you should note that people with an active life will often have fresher ideas.

You do not have to travel the world, but you cannot just sit at home or work all the time. This sort of thing happens to comedy TV writers all the time. They start their job full of ideas that they have pulled from real life situations. But, a few series into it they run out of ideas. This is because they work all the time (on tight deadlines) and do not get out there and live.

They do not see real life interesting people, or funny incidents that happen in real life. This is also why a lot of comedy shows will parody movies, because the writers are either sat at home, or watching a movie at home. If you want fresh ideas then be more active, aka, get a life!

2 - Keep your problem in your mind
There is a difference between worrying about a problem all the time, and keeping it in your mind. People who are motivated and need new ideas in order to solve a problem will keep the problem in the back of their mind all the time. They will walk around garden centers with their spouse, or watch a soccer match with their kids, and will keep the problem in their mind.

They will often see things during their day that gives them a bit of inspiration. Before they know it, their mind has connected the dots (so to speak), and they are full of new and fresh ideas to solve their problems. Keeping it in the back of your mind will allow your subconscious to have a think about it, whilst you get on with your life.

3 - Use active imagination
You should really research into this technique. Some people believe it is a way to communicate with your subconscious. Other people believe it is a way of tapping into your creativity, and others believe that it is a way of clearing your mind enough to come up with new ideas. It is probably a combination of all three.

4 - Ask your friends and co-workers
If you get really stuck then have a quick conference with your coworkers and your friends. You will probably hear no suggestions that you have not thought of yourself, but there is always a chance that one of them will come up with a great idea.

5 - Look at how others solved their problem
Have other people had your problem in the past? How did they solve their problem? Just because an idea has been used before does not mean it is not fresh to you.

6 - Research into your problem
This does not just mean do a little bit of analysis, it means look into how other people came up with fresh ideas and how they solved their problems. Read books, go to seminars and watch educational programs.

7 - Brainstorm
Sit in a dark room with a digital recorder, and just think about your problem. Record yourself speaking aloud any of your ideas, and you will soon have a recorder full of fresh ideas.

8 - Think of ways to make it worse
Ironically, if you look at a problem and come at it from the other side, you can come up with some new solutions and idea. You first think of how to make the problem you have worse. You then think of ways of hindering your methods of making it worse. The way you would stop yourself making it worse is often loaded with fresh ideas and solutions for your problem.

9 - Do market research
Ask your audience. This is one way of getting new ideas that are fresh and unique. Ask open-ended questions and probe the people you are trying to appeal to. Get their opinions and try to engage them. You may be surprised at the results you get. The added benefit is that it only takes one good idea from one person to turn things around for you.

10 - Hire a consultant
Let us face it, a consultant is expensive and will drain productive hours from you and your staff. However, a consultant may sometimes bring new ideas to the table that you have not thought of (that is basically their job). They have no doubt had a lot of experience with other companies in your industry, and so have a wider view of your particular problem or concern. They are often able to come up with ideas that other people have used, but that are unique and fresh to you.

Written by: Kate Funk from Tutorsville.
 

How to connect your google merchant center account to your google adwords account
The Adwords system offers some rewards for advertisers that use multiple Google products and one very nice bonus is available for advertisers who also have a Google merchant center account. Google's merchant center allows retailers to upload product data that can be found on the other Google properties like Google product search and sometimes even on the Google.com search results page.

For example a search for men's clothing on Google.com/products shows results uploaded from the Google merchant center. You also see Adwords ads on the page. Remember, this is yet another place that your ads can show if you are opted into the search partner network. If you have a merchant center account you can connect it to your Adwords account and showcase your products in an Adwords plus box ad.

So how does this work? Well when your Adwords ad appear, if your Google merchant center account includes a relevant product Adwords may show an extension that includes images, titles and prices of your closest matching products beneath your ad using a plus box format. To set up this extension you do have to have an existing Google merchant center account and have products listed in it. Assuming that you do, you should now connect your Adwords account to your merchant center account.

First just select the campaign that you want to work with over on the left side bar view and then click the add extensions tab. Remember, if you do not see the ad extension tab just use the drop down to the right to make sure that it's selected to show in your account. Make sure that your viewing the product extension set from the drop down to the left. If you have a merchant center account you will be able to select from the products that you have in that account from a drop down. Pick the one that makes the most sense for this campaign and then you are done. Your ads will now be eligible to run with product extensions. That is it; you have now connected your merchant center account to your Adwords campaign.

So take a look at what this report looks like after your product extension ads have been running for a while. Here you can get data on clicks and impressions, click the rates, your costs and even your average positions. A few more things to note about product extensions, Adwords does not allow you to select specific ads to connect with specific products in your merchant center. But you can help the system connect the most appropriate products with your ads by including product information in the merchant center account. These are called attributes and they help Google understand the nature of the products that you are uploading into the system.

You can find all the details over at Google.com/merchants but just know that the more information that you provide the more likely that Adwords will extend your ads with product information and the more likely it will select the more appropriate images from your inventory in the merchant center.

Once you connect your accounts it can take up to twelve hours to see product extensions with your Adwords ads. And remember Adwords does not show them all the time once it's setup you will have a chance to really showcase your merchandise on the Adwords search engine results pages, once again making your ad stand out from the competition.

About the Author: Sadhiv Mahandru has been involved in online marketing for over a decade covering PPC, Affiliate Marketing, SEO, Content Creation and also creating effective websites. A SEO Company in Manchester and providing services throughout the UK. You can learn more about Internet Marketing and SEO by reading his own blog which is updated frequently.
 

How to write high quality content for your website or blog
Successful bloggers know how important it is to add interesting and high-quality content to their blog in order to keep their readers and their search engine results position. But some bloggers find that adding useful and interesting content to their site on a daily basis is not so easy to do, but it doesn't mean that it's impossible. 


Here we will share some advice for all bloggers concerning how to create effective content for their websites quickly and efficiently:


1. Selecting your ideas
What do you do first when you sit to write an article for your blog? Do you spend a lot of time developing ideas?

When time has passed from the last post publication, and time runs out, you have no time to wait for inspiration. In such situations, we advise the following: whenever there is free time, start a brainstorm to generate ideas for articles, and do not forget to write them down.

Read other blogs of the same niche and do not forget about Twitter! Who knows, maybe you will be able to tell about the same topic in a more interesting and understandable way.

Subscribe to online newspapers, magazines of your favorite topics preferably, and write all the information to your notebook.

2. Combine all the information you have gathered
Gather all the information, simply insert it into a Word document, and write a few chapters of your own. The next step is to format the text, remove all unnecessary words, and distinguish titles. Then you can build a table of contents, it will give you some cross-links, facilitating the search of interesting information in the text.

3. Build a publishing plan
Having a few articles in the reserve, it is not necessary to post them all at once, it is better to plan their publication for a month for example. Believe us, such a step has many advantages. Just think about it: you will not be distracted from your personal affairs and rest, but your blog will be updated with new and interesting content regularly.

4. Objectives
Now, when a publishing plan is ready, you face several more challenges.

The first one is to create a separate file for each message (it can be a Word document for example).
The second one is to create catchy titles for each article.
The third one is to write tags, keywords, and insert pictures – believe us, they will make your blog more attractive.
The fourth one, if necessary, is to add the appropriate information on existing researches and links where the materials used in the article came from.

Having done all this in advance, you will be surprised how much free time you have now, which can be used to promote your blog and increase its popularity.

5. Publishing the post
Now you are ready for publication. All you need is to download the chosen article and publish it on your blog. Make sure you've read it one more time and edited any mistakes if necessary.

6. Scheduling
Even after all the above, it is difficult to stick to the timetable. The main thing is to create a good atmosphere for yourself, which would help you to work at the most convenient time. Just decide when it is more comfortable for you to work: days or nights, mornings or evenings.

7. Write all your thoughts down
Writing down all your thoughts, clever and useful ideas, you will spend less time on the work with an article itself. Also, if you want you can share your main thought on a few posts, it depends on your imagination. Try not to be distracted from the main topic.

And, probably, the most important advice for every blogger is: Write full, interesting articles, and write them for people, not for search engines!


Content Written By: Alex Strike, who writes for writing-help.com and Essay-Writing-Service.net at the moment and can't imagine his life without writing.
 

Internet marketing tips and tools
Online marketing has opened a whole new world of possibilities for those who want to promote their products and services more efficiently. Internet not only allows companies to lower marketing costs, it also helps distributing information to an incredibly wide range of potential clients. Now let’s discuss those online marketing strategies and tools that have proven to be effective over the course of time.


Websites
The main difference between websites and other marketing media is that websites are available 24/7, which allows potential clients to find you when your services are needed the most. Unlike ads on TV, radio or periodic press the content you put on your website will stay there for as long as you need. Business owners can always get feedback from their customers thanks to live chats, contact forms, comments and so on, which allows evaluating qualities of your services without having to hire focus groups and conducting surveys.

Forums and blogs 
These internet tools are much cheaper than professional website, but they also give business owners an opportunity to be in touch with customers and create more online awareness of their services and products. Blogs and forums serve as a great platform for discussions between current and potential customers and business owners or marketers, which enables getting helpful feedback.

Social media sites
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, LiveJournal – these social media networks have taken over the internet and provided business owners with another one incredibly effective business tool. Due to the specific of these sites, ads on social networks can be targeted on specific age or gender group, which boost marketing efforts immensely. Social media websites, especially Twitter, can also help to create awareness of your company’s special offers, discounts and promotions.

Pay per lick (PPC) advertising
This is another example of highly effective internet marketing tool, when advertiser pays when users click on their ad. PPC model is extremely popular since here it’s the result that count, meaning you pay only for the number of visitors and not for the number of times your ad has been shown. This model not only brings instant results but also allows showing your ads only in certain locations or on the sites that post related content. It also enables you taking full control over the costs of the campaign since you usually can set upper limits on your total daily spend, which means you spend as much as you can and not more.

Emails
Even with all the new strategies and tools email marketing is still widely used, especially among small business owners who want to enhance or maintain customer relationship and advertise products.

The key to successful online marketing is using these tools in combination. If you choose not to hire professional marketer who would manage your marketing efforts, you are going to need special software for keeping all the aspects of the campaign under control. Work management software can help you create flexible workflows that you can change according to the situation on the market. It will also help you to keep in check any number of promoting campaigns and their status and see which employee is responsible for the task. And built-in task software will help to track costs, deadlines and tasks’ priorities enabling you and your team working more efficiently.

Content Written By Jannet Sparts: Hi, my name’s Jannet Sparts and I’m working as an editor of Online Issues. I write for several blogs sharing my experience and observations. I have worked as a project manager in several companies. So I have tried different PM tools, collaboration programs, including task tracking software solutions. For the moment PM software is my primary field of interest.