Archive for December, 2009

Making Money from Dropshipping

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

The Dropship Beginners Guide

Author: Rose Li

Anybody running a business online would have no doubt heard about dropshipping, the supply chain management method that is sweeping the internet.

The dropshipping community a rapidly growing one; there are thousands of dropshippers and millions of online retailers and traders using their services with several dropship forums and dozens of drop shipping blogs providing people with information.

Put quite simply dropshipping is a supply chain management system where the manufacturer ships the products directly to the retailer’s customer but the retailer makes the profit.

This means the retailer doesn’t have to pay for, or store, items he won’t sell freeing up space and money. It also reduces the number of hands the item passes through as the product goes directly from the wholesaler to the customer.

However, there is still a large number of retailers and traders on the internet who still have a lot of questions about dropshipping. Some of these questions include:

How does the dropshipper guarantee my customers won’t just start buying directly from them?

I’ve seen lists of dropshippers for sale on eBay, are they any good?

Won’t I still have to transfer customer details to the wholesaler, won’t that remove some of the timesaving benefits of drop shipping?

How does the wholesale drop ship company guarantee my customers won’t just start buying directly from them?

There are a variety of dropship company service providers out there on the internet, from dropship agents to wholesale dropship providers and dropship wholesalers, but most use one of two ways to maintain their customer’s client base blind shipping or private label shipping..

Blind shipping: When drop shipping companies send out products without any of their own advertising or logos on them.

Private Label dropshipping: When the client of the dropshipping company provides shipping notices to go in with the package, allowing the client to customize and ad value to orders.

An industry standard is a long way from being developed though and a number of firms offering a dropshipping service could be heavily in debt, be operating fraudulently or not offer you the best service.

I’ve seen lists of dropshippers for sale on eBay, are they any good?

You don’t need to have spent much time on eBay to have seen the list of dropshipping companies and dropshipper wholesale suppliers for sale on the site, often for a very low price.

Unfortunately, these lists are often filled with these dead or fraudulent sites, meaning they aren’t even worth the little money you initially paid for it..

You will often enjoy more success by approaching a wholesalers or factory agents directly or using a wholesale dropship company. They usually keep up to date more regularly and are more reliable at sending out products.

But wont I still have to give the wholesaler each of the orders?

By making some adjustments to your payment system you should be able to get customer’s details sent to your drop shipping company automatically.

The first thing you will need to do is to set up your shopping cart so that it will notify the drop ship website automatically when a customer has placed an order and pass on all the customer’s details in a format suitable for the drop shipper to fill out the forms necessary to start the shipment.

Most e-commerce sites already have a shopping cart but they will need to check that their carts are compatible with their wholesale dropshipping company’s invoice system and then find out what needs to be done to make the whole process automatic.

It is easy to see why dropshipppinng has quickly gained popularity as a supply chain management system… after a little more research you will probably find yourself using a dropship wholesale company yourself.

About the Author:

Rose Li is the PR Manager for Chinavasion, China’s premier dropshipper for wholesale consumer electronics

Article Source: ArticlesBase.comThe Dropship Beginners Guide

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December 09 Interview – Photographer Trevor Lush

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

Author: John M. Lund

John: Trevor, you’ve shot bloody-faced polar bears, pristine operating rooms, women in Vegas, winter camping and Olympic athletes in your studio. If we were going to hang a label on you as a photographer, what would it be?

Trevor: Years ago I was showing my work to some photographer reps in NYC and one of them said, “I’m not sure what to do with you – you’re a Generalist! You shoot everything. Just pick one thing, and then I’ll know what I could do with you.” Being called a Generalist was like some sort of foul language. Maybe that’s why I gravitated towards stock photography. I really enjoy being able to shoot lots of different styles of photography, it keeps things interesting, and I love being able to draw on all those different experiences. I think shooting one particular style or subject matter would bore the hell out of me.

John: How did you get into photography?

Trevor: I freelanced for newspapers while still in high school. Then worked with a studio in my home town, before heading off to photography school. After graduation, I assisted for several years with a variety of studios, and freelanced for a number of photographers as well. I really tried to expose myself to as many different types of photography as possible. I truly feel that assisting was the best education I could have given myself, and I eventually started taking on more of a shooting responsibility with those studios.

My first experience with stock photography was working with a studio on a contract they had to produce custom stock for Microsoft. I spent a summer shooting table top stuff in their studio. Interesting to start learning about the pressures cost-per-image and return-per-image can put on you.

Next, I was hired by Hemera to be the Lead Photographer for their in-house photographic production team. I worked with that company for about two years, producing about 15,000 images for their Ablestock brand. After that I realized how much I loved shooting stock. I set out again on my own. The first agencies I signed with were Iconica , Uppercut, and Jupiterimages.

John: You shoot a really wide range of subject matter, both in the studio and on location. What do you enjoy shooting the most?

Trevor: Every shoot brings its own set of challenges and unique energy. I think that’s what I love about a career in photography – the variety! I love being in the middle of a huge production with lots of locations, models, and crew! At the same time, it can be equally rewarding to be shooting food with my wife on our kitchen table. Plus there’s always something around the corner that will test me in new ways, like photographing a surgery for a healthcare client or winter camping for a book publisher.

John: For you, what is the most challenging aspect of being a professional photographer?

Trevor: The biggest challenge for me has always been trying to find the time to work on all of the different projects I want to work on – and of course, balancing it with a busy family life at home.

John: I know you shoot stock for Blend Images. What percentage of your business is stock and what agencies do you work with?

Trevor: The majority of my business is stock. I think Blend Images is doing some great things right now, and they have a fantastic relationship with their contributing photographers. I’ve really enjoyed working with Veer as well.

Also, I’ve kept myself very busy with Jupiterimages in the past. Great relationship with them over the last 4 years – producing about 6000 selected images a year. Plus, I have images with a handful of other agencies as well.

John: How do you determine which agency to send work to?

Trevor: I don’t spend a lot of time shooting unsolicited images and trying to find a home for them after the fact. I work closely with my editors at each agency, so that I focus my efforts on producing images that the agencies have a need for.

John: Do you do any direct sales?

Trevor: I’ve never done any direct sales. I think that will change in the near future.

John: Does Micro stock have any allure for you?

Trevor: I’ve been approached by a few different agencies, but I’ve never shot Micro. Maybe that will change if the right scenario presents itself. At this point I’m focusing my efforts on Rights Managed and direct sales.

John: Do you have any plans to move into video?

Trevor: Yes. At the moment, I’m looking for the right project to collaborate on, with a friend of mine who’s an incredible cameraman.

John: What are some of the challenges facing stock photographers these days?

Trevor: I think the biggest challenge is deciding where to put your images. Will there be a resurgence in Rights Managed? Has Royality Free become too bloated? Is there still time to make money in Micro? Will I recover my investment before the industry shifts again?

John: Do you see your involvement in stock photography changing?

Trevor: I see me moving away from the high-volume work I’ve been doing in the past, towards a much more targeted approach. Less images with more added value.

John: What currently is your favorite image?

Trevor: I’m so bad for this… I think I may have ADD or something because I’m always flip flopping on new favorites, then I see older images and I get excited by them all over again. I was in Mexico a few years ago with Willie McElligott, a friend who was teaching a photo workshop.

While driving to a location for the morning shoot we came across a farmer herding sheep along the side of the road. I made an image of a lamb being carried by one of the horses. It became one of my favorite images from the trip. No production, just a simple photograph.

John: Getting back to the assignment world, how do you market yourself?

Trevor: Most of my assignment work is spin off from subjects and locations I’ve sourced for stock photography productions. Other than that, it’s a mix of good ol’ cold calls and introductions from editorial shoots. I wish I had a better answer. I think I just like getting in the same room with people and selling myself. I enjoy building relationships.

John: What role does the internet play in your marketing? Do you have any plans to expand that role?

Trevor: I’m still very new to the Social Media scene, but I love it and I see amazing potential! I have a presence with the usual suspects like a website, blog, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, LinkedIn, etc.

At the moment, most of my existing clients are not very involved so I’m looking for the best Social Media to reach them. An editorial client of mine has been discussing building something more interactive that I would have a large presence on. I’m pretty excited by the initial conversations, but we are still in the early stages.

John: Any photographers that have influenced your career?

Trevor: The earliest inspiration I can recall is in 1988 when I was still in High School. Sports Illustrated ran a story of Muhammad Ali and his entourage shot by Gregory Heisler. Beautiful black and white portraits. I had never seen anything like that.

Years later I heard a talk he gave to RIT called The Appropriate Response. He spoke of the virtues of being a well-rounded photographer, and being able to draw from a diverse pool of photographic styles and techniques. It stuck with me for a long time.

More recently, I’ve been so damn lucky to be able to call so many incredible photographers not only influences, but friends as well. The photographers who make up Blend Images are probably the most open, encouraging, and inspiring people I’ve been fortunate enough to sit in the same room with.

John: Can you tell us about a memorable shoot that you have had?

Trevor: Hard to narrow it down… but I will say that I’ve been fortunate to have been a part of some Arctic Expeditions with a group called Students On Ice. An amazing organization that brings students from all over the world to the Polar regions to provide them with an intimate educational experience at the ends of the earth.

Documenting the expeditions has been a unique challenge for me, as I’ve never really considered myself a documentary photographer. I’m so used to being in control of the situation when I’m on set, and making great images as they unfold all around you is an excellent way to reexamine your skills as a photographer.

Besides the experience of working in such close proximity to Polar Bears, Walrus, Bird Colonies, Whales, Glaciers, and Icebergs – it’s the people you get to share this experience with. The team of scientists, historians, artists, authors, educators, polar experts, and the Inuit community, are incredibly open and passionate about sharing their knowledge and experiences with everyone around them.

These are excellent virtues that I think we should all adopt into our daily lives.

John: Do you do personal work?

Trevor: No personal projects at the moment – maybe this is the year!

John: Do you do your own digital work?

Trevor: When the stock production has been really high-volume I would send the retouching to a great freelancer in Montreal I’ve worked with for years.

John: Do you have a staff?

Trevor: No staff – just me. Some great freelancers help out from time to time when the workload gets too heavy. But for the most part, I just don’t sleep a heck of a lot anymore! Especially with a 3 year old and a 1 year old at home as well!!

John: Optimistic or pessimistic about the future?

Trevor: Even though it may seem absurd at times, I can’t help being really excited by all of the changes that are happening in the industry. New technology in imaging equipment… new developments in web 2.0…the shift in the industry of being more open and community focused… We’re on the verge of some truly important times in image making and storytelling.

About the Author:

Visit John’s website for unique stock photos: People Animals Backgrounds

Visit John Lund’s BlogStock Photo Guy Concept and Funny stock photos of people, business, animals and more.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.comInterview with Photographer Trevor Lush

Internet Marketing in the Age of Google

Monday, December 14th, 2009

Author: Titus Hoskins

Copyright (c) Titus Hoskins

Forget the Computer Age or the Internet Age, centuries from now our current time will probably be referred to as the Google Age. This assumption is not exactly a great leap of faith; Google has quickly permeated into mainstream culture to become an underlying factor of everyday life, a tightly woven backdrop to our lives.

But never make the mistake of trying to define Google as just a search engine or you will miss the true calling of this little “Backrub”, which was the original name used by its founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1996.

Google as we now know it debuted in 1998. The name Google is a twist on the word Googol, a number represented as 1 followed by 100 zeros. After everything is said and done, it will more than likely refer to Google’s net worth – monetary or otherwise.

But forget search engine, for regardless of the founders’ intentions or company’s objectives, Google is and has always been the ultimate marketing machine. A massive marketing machine that is just now gearing up and aiming for more and more lofty heights. These heights seem to increase each day as Google quietly rolls out program after program.

All noble ambitions aside, Google is the perfect marketing machine. Google has no equals, and it is very close to getting a stranglehold on the real power behind all marketing, which is information.

Marketing is information. Information is marketing.

Great marketing is supplying the right information at the right time. Google more than any other entity on the web or in the world, for that matter, fulfills this criterion at its very core. Google is re-writing the book on how products are marketed.

Google now has over 60% of the search traffic in the U.S., with a staggering 7.3 billion monthly searches. In some countries Google’s search share is 80% or more. (Source: comScore) Those webmasters who have number one keyword listings in all three of the major search engines will know Google is the only game worth playing because it delivers by far the most traffic.

While MSN and Yahoo! are still major players and are listed in the top 5 traffic sites on the web, what most people don’t realize is that (unlike the other two) almost all of Google’s traffic is search traffic. From a marketing perspective this is extremely important since search traffic can deliver the highest conversions (sales) mainly because it lets you capture the potential customer or client when they are in the right mindset to buy or to perform an action.

Obviously the key to successful marketing is finding the buyers and clients for your products and services. Google has forged itself as the ultimate “middleman” as more and more of the world’s business is performed in cyberspace. And as everyone knows the “middleman” can reap huge profits and hold enormous power.

Google, within its Adsense program, now offers CPA or Cost Per Action where marketers can now receive larger returns for displaying Google’s links on their webpages. As any professional marketer will tell you, you can get 10 times the revenue by promoting affiliate products rather than the Adsense code on your sites. But by adding CPA and other affiliate products within the Adsense program, Google has made it more attractive to serious online marketers.

Another step in that same direction is Google’s acquisition of DoubleClick, which includes the massive online affiliate marketing network Performics. This means Google can now bring any customer full-circle from initial search to checkout.

This may have dire consequences for large, lucrative third-party affiliate networks like Commission Junction and LinkShare. Online marketing and ecommerce is growing at a blistering rate, and the company that controls the majority of these transactions will wield enormous power. Will make the Medici look like paupers.

Those marketers who have managed to acquire number one listings for their targeted keywords in Google’s organic search are smiling all the way to the bank. Mainly because Google commands enormous trust with the surfing/buying public and this is demonstrated through higher conversion rates. Likewise, those who have mastered the Adsense and Adwords programs will know Google is an excellent source of online income.

Most of the complaints against Google stems from its PageRank system, which is supposed to be Google’s version of online democracy in action, a link is a vote for your page or content. The higher the number of links, the higher your page will be ranked in Google’s index or SERPs – Search Engine Results Pages.

So far Google has played fair, giving even the smallest webmaster the opportunity to capture top Google listings if they produce superior or popular content to the surfer. Some would even argue Google’s recent crackdown on sites offering paid-links can be seen as evening the playing field for the small webmaster or marketer who obviously doesn’t have the economic clout or resources to buy their way to the top of Google’s listings.

Keyword rankings may be the ultimate equalizer and determiner of online wealth. Those who can reach the top positions for their chosen profitable niche keywords will have companies and service providers lining up to do business with them. The fallout can prove extremely lucrative for both parties.

However, few marketers or webmasters forget who is really holding the cards; Google controls all steps along this marketing tunnel with its search listings, Adwords and Adsense programs. The only dark spot on the horizon could be monopoly issues, but Google probably has enough reservoirs of public goodwill and deep enough corporate pockets to squash any claims.

As Google’s dominance in the search market becomes greater, Google will have control of all segments of the online marketplace. Why should Google stop there, why not go into Radio, TV… as the Internet gradually mutates into a billion+ interactive TV channel universe (as many believe it will) who do you think will be at control central offering you a nice free remote?

Then there is also Google’s planned broadband 700 MHz bid; one can only speculate on Google’s intentions. But Google must find a way to transmit its information at no cost to its users. Could it mean free wireless Internet for everyone on free Google boxes or gadgets of some form, usable and accessible anywhere in the world? Anything is possible because the stakes are so astronomical and the marketing revenue so vast, Google must get its information seamlessly and instantly to the end user at all costs.

One can only guess at the enormity of the marketing power Google will yield in coming years as the Internet slips out of its teen years. But it won’t be just marketing, the influence of Google on all aspects of our lives will probably grow exponentially and that influence will be huge.

For the true power of Google is only just now beginning to be glimpsed; only as more and more of the Google pieces fall into place will we truly fathom what life will be like in the Google Age. Google’s power, reverence and respect will no doubt be so enormous it may lead some to make comparisons to a higher power that has guided most of the life on this planet so far. Which could also lead one to muse, at least they got the first two letters correct.

About the Author:

The author, a former artist and teacher, is now a full-time online marketer who has numerous websites, including two sites on Internet marketing. For the latest web marketing tools try: or 2008 Titus Hoskins. This article may be freely distributed if this resource box stays attached.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.comInternet Marketing in the Age of Google