PLUS: Why blogging will sky-rocket your business profits
PLUS: Five major mistakes new bloggers make that fatally affect their profits!
Fossils are potentially a very profitable area with PowerSellers worldwide specialising in mainly beach finds and other items brought in by treasure hunters and people disposing of their collections.
There’s a special eBay category for ‘Fossils, Rocks, Minerals’ under ‘Collectables’, with other items sometimes available under ‘Jewellery’, and additional categories where the original fossil, rock or mineral has been worked into some other product type.
The main ‘Rocks/Fossils/Minerals’ category splits into:
- Lapidary Materials
- Mineral Specimens
- Other Rocks/Minerals
Fossils, rocks and minerals are a massive subject area, so we’ll focus on fossils here to help you grow a business selling just one element of this profitable trio, before moving on to selling rocks and minerals later.
Fossils are simply the remains of plants or animals that lived a long time ago, or rather the evidence of their remains. They include: shells, bones, teeth, fossilised footprints, burrows, leaves and seeds, tree trunks and branches, and fossilised animal droppings.
On eBay currently the most popular fossils are dinosaur eggs and sharks’ teeth, alongside several other main fossil subcategories: ammonites, dinosaurs/reptiles, fish, insects/amber, mammals, plants, shells, trilobites, and other fossils.
Today’s most popular search terms for fossils are: fossil, fossil ammonite, fossil fish, fossil shark, fossil shark tooth, fossils.
- Many high-priced specimens are listed as Buy It Now at hundreds or even thousands of pounds, some listed in their seller’s eBay shop. But fossils are unique and, like all unique items, somewhere there’s a buyer for even the highest-priced item. If you can afford to wait for money, Buy It Now is a good pricing option, especially in your eBay shop.
- Look for fossil enthusiasts who don’t want to or lack time to market on eBay, then offer to sell their finds on commission. Alternatively, learn about fossils and become a finder yourself. You’ll find lots of useful information, including fossil collector clubs you’ll read about in collectors’ magazines available from most newsagents.
Why blogging will sky-rocket your business profits
Most high street sellers find reaching new customers difficult, risky, and very expensive. That’s probably because they are paying hundreds of pounds for offline magazine promotions and spots in telephone advertising magazines.
Little do they know that many free online marketing methods can attract many more customers to their business, not only cheaper, but also faster and more efficiently that any offline marketing technique. One such technique is blogging!
A blog is a kind of social networking tool: a way for people to communicate with other people, sometimes friends and colleagues or, in our case, more appropriately to communicate with buyers – actual and potential – and to turn those people into repeat customers.
Let us consider a couple of ways for offline and Internet marketers to use blogs to grow their business profits…
- Blogging allows retailers whose products have international appeal to attract customers from all over the world who can request information or order products online. Compare this to high street sellers, who typically target customers from a short catchment area, sometimes just a few miles distant, often from word-of-mouth recommendation and local newspaper advertising.
So, for example, someone selling craftwork materials offline might also sell their products on eBay, or from their own Internet site, and use blogging to grow back-end sales.
They might do so by adding their blog address to compliments slips and business cards included in outgoing deliveries and invite customers to sign up for some useful free gift in exchange for adding their names to the seller’s mailing list.
Once on the list customers can be emailed every time the seller has new products that might prove interesting.
- A simple blog can be used in place of complicated HTML squeeze pages designed to get potential buyers to join a mailing list to learn more about an online seller’s products and services available. Some people prefer to know more about sellers and their products before spending their hard-earned cash on products they don’t get to see before buying, from people they may never get to meet in person and have no reason to trust.
Getting people to join a mailing list for more information allows sellers to develop a relationship with potential buyers and to send regular promotional emails, in expectation of a high proportion of list members becoming regular buyers in the near future.
- Sellers in outlying areas or whose location is poorly signposted might use their blog to direct visitors to their premises, and give information about opening times and current special offers.
- A blog is the perfect place to write about and promote potentially embarrassing problems and special requirements and to grow an ongoing and very confidential relationship between buyers and sellers. There are many products people prefer not to buy face-to-face with sellers, usually potentially embarrassing products like marital aids, sex toys, and cures for baldness and piles.
- Businesses can grow their own customer base by posting comments on other people’s blogs featuring similar content to their own, and inviting readers to visit the writer’s own blog – ostensibly to obtain useful free information or to download a special report, while in reality the objective is to sell to those people as soon as is humanly possible.
- Some buyers hate contacting sellers for product support, or to get their money back, especially if that also means a long trip back into town. A blog can benefit customers who prefer not to travel or approach sellers in person, and the fact they can achieve their objective impersonally, via a blog, can generate customer loyalty and repeat business.
A blog can be created in less than an hour and regular postings take just a few minutes each, in return for which the seller can promote his products worldwide and grow a huge and loyal customer list that could send his profits sky-rocketing, even in the short-term.
5 major mistakes new bloggers make that fatally affect their profits!
If you are new to blogging and still feeling your way around, or if you’ve been blogging for some time but you’re making less money than you expected, it could be time to examine your blog for simple mistakes that most new bloggers make. Correct those mistakes, then set your course for a lifetime of profitable blogging!
These are the most common early blogging mistakes:
1. Failure to plan. Understandably, if you don’t plan your blog by choosing a layout that suits your purpose and determining what to blog about and when, you will just end up wasting your time and making nothing.
Instead you should spend time planning your blog before posting to it, look at other people’s blogs and adapting their ideas to suit your purposes (do not copy too closely and do not breach trademark and copyright laws). Study ways to grow traffic to your blog, or else you could be blogging forever with only a handful of people ever seeing what you write.
2. Failure to focus. Be focused and choose a definite subject for your blog. Niche blogs tend to rank higher in search engine listings than blogs having no special subject or theme. This is because when people search online, search engines look for sites rich in information to benefit their customers, and will choose themed blogs over others containing information about anything and everything!
3. Expecting immediate visits. Don’t expect immediate results and do not stop blogging if your work doesn’t attract visitors or profits during its first few weeks online. As for any website, the more content you add to your blog the higher it will rank in search engines and the sooner you’ll attract regular visitors.
4. Creating boring posts and titles that no one else wants to read. Make your posting titles unusual, make them cryptic, and you’ll incite curiosity, ensuring your visitors actually read your postings – and probably also join your mailing list or buy one of your recommended products.
5. Failure to promote. Promote your blog every day, using free and low-cost traffic-generating techniques. Write articles featuring your blog in the resource box, post on other people’s blogs and link back to your own, post in forums and mention your own blog as a source of helpful advice to solve common member problems and queries, and place free classified advertisements on and off the Internet offering free gifts to people who visit your blog.
After all that you really can expect regular high traffic and good overall profits for all your hard work.
This article first appeared on Auction Genie. Read more and comment here