4 Essential Steps To Starting A Small Business Blog

Starting A Small Business Blog

You know you need to be blogging for your small business, but you have no idea where to start.

Sound familiar?

In today’s digital world, blogging for your small business is a no-brainer. In a recent post, we talked through the reasons why your business website should have a blog.

When it is executed correctly, it can become one of the most effective tatics in your marketing strategy. In a nutshell, content marketing through blogging can become a highly effective tool for attracting the right kind of targeted audiences which provide the highest likelihood for conversion into leads and sales.

Not only that, but writing a blog on your small business website creates a new dimension for your brand. It gives it personality and opinion, and most importantly, gives it the opportunity to become an authority. If you’re knowledgeable about your industry and are consistently creating helpful content for your target audience, you will soon establish yourself as an authority in their eyes.

It all sounds incredible, right? Nevertheless, the thought of starting a blog for your small business website from scratch can leave you, well, scratching your head.

To lend a helping hand, we’re talking through the 4 essential steps you need to take in order to start and maintain an effective blog for your small business website.

Step 1: The Basics

At first glance, the thought of setting up a blog can seem daunting. But believe it or not, setting up your business blog is the easy part. There are a few basic but very important elements that go into making a good quality blog for your small business.

Blogging Platform

Choosing your blogging platform is one of the most important decisions you can make for your blog. Choosing a platform that isn’t a good fit for you and your business website means that your efforts could go to waste. So where do you begin?

There are a ton of free blogging platforms out there, such as Blogger, Tumblr, WordPress.com – to name just a few. While all of these options are user-friendly and won’t cost you a dime to use, they will limit you in terms of design, functionality, and SEO. Although great as a beginner platform, they aren’t so great for long-term business blogging benefits.

The highest recommended blogging platform comes in the form of WordPress.org (note that this is much different to the .com version) as this allows you to create your own self-hosted blog. This gives you more control over your blog in the long-term.

Domain

Once you’ve chosen your blogging platform, it’s important to establish a relevant domain. This will be the URL that is used to access your site and needs to be purchased separately from a domain provider. There are many companies that can offer this, with some of the most popular options being GoDaddy and 1&1.

Web Hosting

Although free to use, WordPress.org requires you to pay for web hosting. There are many different companies to choose from.

Theme

Once you’ve got everything set up, it’s important to consider the overall look of your business blog. With many blogging platforms, including WordPress, you are able to easily customise the look and feel of your blog.

An important aspect to keep in mind is the responsiveness of your blog’s theme – you need to be sure that it displays correctly on a variety of devices, from desktops, to tablets, to mobiles. Your audience may drop straight off your site if it does not display correctly on a certain device. And, if your blog is not fully responsive, it may negatively affect your SEO.

Step 2: Content.

At the end of the day, a blog isn’t a blog without content. As mentioned before, a business blog can become a highly effective content marketing tool. As such, an effort is undoubtedly required if you want to make it work that way.

What type of content should I share?

At its core, blogging is a highly creative industry. As such, you can be as creative with your content as you see fit. Your blog content might come in the form of text, graphics, infographics, or even videos. It’s entirely up to you what kind of content you wish to share with your audience.

However, the two most important questions to ask are:

  • Who is this post for?
  • Does this post provide value for them?

The content that you share on your business blog should be of high quality, be worth reading, and should provide value for the targeted audience. Unfortunately, it’s no good to constantly write posts that shamelessly promote your brand, products or services as this will provide little value for someone who is discovering your brand for the first time.

Instead, a business blog should serve as a valuable introduction to your brand. As mentioned before, by providing consistently helpful content, you will soon establish yourself as an authority in the eyes of your target audience. As a consequence, they will see your brand as worth their time.

Who should create the content?

When it comes to curating content for your business blog, there are numerous ways in which it can be done. And it doesn’t have to be an expensive process.

You may have a blogging team made up of in-house staff, meaning that you have full, convenient control over the content that is produced for your business blog. Alternatively, you may hire freelance writers to publish content for you.

Another option for this is guest bloggers. Someone with an already established blog, relevant to your niche, who can create quality content for you and share it with their audience also may be something worthwhile considering.

How often should I post?

In the world of blogging, it’s super important to remain consistent in order to keep your targeted audience engaged and returning for more.

Regularly publishing content at least once a week is a great place to start. It means that your site is always thriving with fresh, exciting content.

Step 3: Promoting.

To put it simply, no one is going to read your blog unless you make the effort to tell them about it.

Relevant readers may find your blog organically when you make use of relevant, searched for keywords within your content. However, as well as that, social media marketing is a super important part of promoting your business blog.

Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook makes it easy for readers to discover and share your posts, as it is right there in front of them. Your post may even go viral and reach a high organic audience just through social media sharing.

Organic Promotion 

When you publish a new blog post on your business website, don’t hesitate to schedule this across your social media platforms, in the hopes that your established audience will click through, and also share this with their own followers.

As well as this, it’s important to make it as easy as possible for your readers to share your post. Installing sharing buttons within each of your blog posts means that your readers can share your content to their own social media platforms with just a few clicks.

Again, guest bloggers can come in extremely handy for organic promotion. When they post on your blog, they can share this with their own established audiences, bringing your blog to the attention of fresh batch of relevant people.

Paid For Advertising

Of course, you can always promote your content through paid for advertising through platforms such as Facebook. However, it is super important to ensure you’re not wasting your money. If you’re not properly creating campaigns, narrowly targeting your audience or effectively optimising your ads – you could run the risk of pouring money down the drain as you won’t be reaching the right people nor compelling them to take the appropriate action, eg. like, share or click through to your site.

In a nutshell, it’s important to have a strategy behind promoting your business blog through paid for advertising. If it is not measurable and does not result in a profit of some kind, it is not worth doing.

Step 4: Setting Goals.

At the end of the day, your business blog will not become an effective content marketing tool unless you set appropriate goals and measure progress regularly.

To better refine your goals, you can use analytics tools to gain valuable insights. For example, utilising Google Analytics can help you to better understand your audience, their behaviours and what types of content they are searching for. Even more importantly, you will get a clearer idea of what types of content aid in generating leads, and so content will become much easier to create in the long-term.

So there you have it! Our top tips for establishing an effective blog for your business. Blogging for business may require time and effort, and may sometimes be all about trial and error, but as you can see, the benefits that content marketing can bring to your business can be entirely worth it. So what are you waiting for?

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The Ultimate Guide To Hashtags For Small Businesses

Selling on Depop – The Ultimate Guide To Making Money

Why Small Businesses Should Collaborate With Bloggers

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4 Ways Working For A Startup Can Enhance Your Career

 Working For A Startup

The thought of working for a company that is just kicking off might be a little scary.

Working for a larger corporate company can seem much more appealing for a number of reasons. You’ve got the job security, the attractive paycheck, the spacious, luxurious office building. But what do you do once you’ve climbed the corporate ladder as high as you can and suddenly find yourself at a standstill? Where do you go from there?

It’s hard to ignore the risks that surround working for a startup company. But is it really all doom and gloom? Is the grass really greener at a bigger corporation?

Irish Parcels recently turned one year old, and as a relatively new business with a small, thriving team – we just happen to know a thing or two about what it’s like to work within a startup.

Believe it or not, the horror stories are far from correct. In fact, working for a startup company might just be one of the most rewarding things you could do in your professional career, and there is a plethora of reasons why.

Here are 4 ways working for a startup can enhance your career.

1. Work is challenging, but recognised.

There’s no secret that working for a startup is challenging. In a small, fast-growing company you’re likely to find yourself doing a little bit of everything, instead of being limited to the job role you were hired for. While it may be a stressful thought, the key thing to remember is that at a startup, it’s nearly impossible not to give credit where credit is due. When you work for a larger corporate company, the chances of your efforts being ignored by the big boss is fairly high. Yet at a startup, your team are likely to recognise your achievements instantly.

However, this does mean that when you make a mistake, it will be much harder to shy away from it. Though believe it or not, that’s actually a pretty good thing. It will keep you focused and always on the ball with your tasks, because the very last thing you’ll want to do is let your team down.

2. You’ll be given more opportunities.

As mentioned before, working as part of a small team means that you’ll be no stranger to wearing multiple hats. While you may have been hired for a particular position, you’ll likely find yourself doing a little bit of everything, as will the rest of your colleagues. The endless list of opportunities that arise in a startup on a regular basis will allow you to develop your skillset in a range of areas, allowing you to become a more well-rounded professional. As cliche as it sounds, you really will find yourself learning something new every day.

3. You get the chance to shape the culture around you.

When a company is only just kicking off, it is often still finding its feet in terms of identity and company culture. The employees who are there in the early stages will be the ones to shape the culture that will continue to alongside the business.

When you work as part of a small team of people, it’s much easier to form bonds and connect with people on a more personal level. All of you will be working towards the same dream, and you’ll be working those demanding hours together. You’ll witness the progression of the business together, and see our combined efforts pay-off. It’s likely to create more of an informal, relaxed, yet highly driven atmosphere where you are all constantly inspiring one another. Each of your ideas will shape the company’s culture to make it an innovative, enjoyable place to work.

4. You’ll have a better chance at career progression.

At larger companies, climbing the corporate ladder can be incredibly tough. You may reach a certain level, but find that your career progression is growing stagnant – and then you’re left wondering where you’re supposed to go from there. At a small startup, you’re much more likely to make progression in your career. When the time comes for an expansion, promotions are much more likely to come from within rather than externally, and if you already have a well-established role, this can be a fantastic advantage.

Thanks for reading!

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3 Reasons Why Your Business Website Should Have A Blog

11 Tips For Running An eCommerce Business In Ireland

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5 Top Tips For Sending Large Parcels Overseas

Sending Large Parcels Overseas

Do you need to send a parcel that is extra large or super heavy?

Perhaps you just can’t make your item fit into a medium sized package, or perhaps the item itself is a large and bulky item. Whether you’re a small business shipping products intentionally, or an individual sending gifts to a loved on the other side of the world – there are a few things to consider when sending large parcels overseas.

Thankfully, here at Irish Parcels, we’re experts at this kind of thing. We specialise in parcel deliveries throughout Ireland, the UK and to over 200+ countries worldwide. The services that we offer are particularly competitive for larger or heavier items over 5kg, so from our own experience, we’re here to lend our advice for sending large parcels overseas to ensure they arrive quickly and safely.

 5 Top Tips For Sending Large Parcels Overseas

1. Check courier restrictions.

Whether or not you can send a large or heavy item will of course depend on the courier that you choose. Many couriers will have a variation of restrictions placed on different services, so it is important to check these as not doing so could result in a fine set upon by the courier, or the item being returned back to the sender.

2. Research country-specific regulations.

For example, an item being shipped to Australia must be clearly masked if its weight exceeds 55kg. These kind of policies are set in place to ensure that heavier parcels can be handled safely when they arrive in the destination country. It’s important to research these regulations before sending your heavy parcel to ensure you are taking all of the necessary steps to keep your item safe as it arrives at its destination.

Keep in mind that every country will also have regulations about what can and cannot be imported. Double check, even triple check that the large parcel you’re sending doesn’t contain any prohibited items to avoid any issues.

Bonus tip: Don’t forget, if you are sending your large parcel outside of the EU, you will be required to complete customs documents in order to declare the contents and value of the items contained in your parcel. On these documents, you will also be required to declare the weight of the parcel, so be sure that this information is accurate.

3. Package parcel securely.

As with any item of any size, packaging your parcel securely for transit is vital. At Irish Parcels, we always urge our customers to package their items in strong, double-walled cardboard boxes – especially if it is a heavy or large item. A double-walled box is sturdy and durable, and much less likely to collapse, tear or open under pressure.

If your item requires specific packaging due to its larger size or heavier weight, such as a pallet, be sure to consider this necessary step before sending it on its way.

4. Online parcel tracking.

Sending your large parcel with a reputable courier service that provides online tracking is always a good idea. With full access to online tracking, you will be able to monitor the progress of your shipment as it makes its way to its destination. You will be able to keep an eye out for any red flags, and will be able to get in touch with the courier if you have any concerns. You’ll also be notified when your item is out for delivery, so you’ll know exactly when to expect it.

At Irish Parcels, we offer full online parcel tracking on all of our shipments. If you have any questions or concerns about your shipment, our dedicated customer service team is always happy to help.

5. Keep your options open.

Before selecting your courier, do your research to ensure that you’re getting the very best value for your money. It’s no surprise that shipping large and heavy items will be more costly than the average sized parcel, however taking the time to find a reputable courier means you have that extra peace of mind knowing that your items will be handled with the utmost of care, making it a worthwhile cost.

At Irish Parcels, our prices are particularly competitive for large and heavy items. Get a quote from our homepage to compare prices and shipping times between a network of reliable couriers. Making use of courier comparison services is a guaranteed way to save on large, international parcel deliveries.

So that’s our expert advice on sending large items overseas. If you still have any questions after reading, please get in touch with us and we’ll always be very happy to help!

New to Irish Parcels? Learn more about our low cost courier services!

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How To Ensure Your Parcel Arrives Safely – 8 Expert Tips

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The Ultimate Guide To Hashtags For Small Businesses

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Hashtags are an integral part of social media – but how can small businesses use them to their advantage within their social media strategy?

In this helpful guide, we’re going to break down exactly what hashtags are, how they differ between each social media platform, and how small businesses can use them to their advantage within their social media strategy.

The Ultimate Guide To Hashtags For Small Businesses

What exactly are hashtags?

The use of the hashtag began with Twitter, but has since extended to numerous social media platforms. Hashtags are simply a word (keyword) or phrase which are preceded by the hash symbol (#). Using hashtags across social media platforms helps users to target specific audiences, and allows users to search for niche content that is relevant to their interests.

Why should small businesses utilise hashtags?

Social media is constantly growing and for small businesses, it is absolutely vital that they make use of this large audience market in order to grow their brand. Using a hashtag on social media is an extremely useful tool in growing your audience, as a hashtag will immediately expand the reach of your tweet to anyone who is interested in that hashtag phrase or keyword.

Hashtags across different social platforms

To effectively implement the use of hashtags into your small business’ social media strategy, it’s highly important to understand their effectiveness across different social media platforms. Each platform uses them differently, and understanding this is key.

For example, Tweets with 1 or 2 hashtags have higher engagement than those with 3 or more hashtags. Using too many hashtags devalues the strength of the hashtag and makes each additional one more meaningless than the last, so it’s important not to over do it.

With Instagram, it’s entirely different. Instagram posts with 11 or more hashtags are proven to have the highest interactions, as these are likely to reach a much wider audience without devaluing each other. Many Instagram users use lots of hashtags on their posts to build a community. For example, beauty bloggers will use hashtags such as #bbloggers to search and discover similar content within their niche.

Yet with Facebook, many users find that posts without a hashtag actually fare better than those with a hashtag.

Understanding how each platform uses hashtags will allow you to plan your social media campaigns more effectively to garner the best results.

Creating a hashtag for your small business/brand

Creating a catchy and memorable brand hashtag is a valuable (and fun) way to boost brand awareness. A good brand hashtag will be unique and relevant to your brand and/or campaign. Using a generic word or phrase should be avoided, as it will not be distinctive and will be much harder to track across social media.

Jimmy’s Iced Coffee frequently use the hashtag #KYCU, an abbreviation for ‘Keep Your Chin Up’ which is their brand slogan, included on their product packaging. With this simple hashtag, they are able to monitor brand awareness across their social media channels and engage with their customers on a deeper level. It’s also just a really nice message, too!

Hashtags in the wild

Not only are hashtags hugely powerful online, but they can work well when placed outside of the Internet, too. Jimmy’s Iced Coffee place their hashtag in advertisements and even on their exclusive clothing range, which prompts hashtag use amongst their customer base online.

Although not every small business will have such an advertising budget, a similar idea can be executed on a smaller scale through flyers, posters and more.

One last note:

Ultimately, hashtags are a great way to increase your small business’ exposure across social media and are easy to implement into your social media strategy. Embrace their power, but don’t go crazy. Avoid simple mistakes such as breaking a hashtag with a symbol or spacing, and ensure that when capitalization is removed the words in the hashtag do not create other words or messages. If a hashtag can be misread, it will be!

Choose the most relevant and effective hashtags for your brand and consumer base, and you’ll soon see a boost in your brand awareness.

Thanks for reading!

New to Irish Parcels? Learn more about our low cost courier services!

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More blog posts:

Selling On Depop – The Ultimate Guide To Making Money

Why Small Businesses Should Collaborate With Bloggers

6 Reasons Why Small Businesses Should Use Social Media

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Parcel Delivery Ireland

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11 Amazing Beauty Brands Based In Ireland

Irish Beauty Brands

Ireland is home to a number of fabulous beauty brands…

We’ve rounded up some of our favourite names in the Irish beauty biz that we simply cannot get enough of – and trust us on this one, there some deadly ones to choose from. From makeup products, to makeup brushes, to enriching skincare, and the best tanning products in the industry – any beauty lover would be satisfied with this astounding array.

11 Amazing Beauty Brands Based In Ireland

1. SOSU

sosu

SOSU is a new beauty brand founded by leading Irish fashion and beauty blogger, Suzanne Jackson. From nail polishes, to lashes, to make-up application products and more – Suzanne’s impressive range offers affordable, yet super high quality products. SOSU’s complete contour palette is amongst the highest in demand of all of the products available, and offers everything you need to create the perfect contour.

You can find them at www.sosu.ie

2. Waxperts Wax

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Waxperts Wax is a wax range made by a therapist, for therapists. Waxperts started its journey as a waxing-only salon in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, Ireland. After trying every wax brand on the market, founders Ellen Jones and Trish O’Brien decided to formulate a wax range for Waxperts to use in the own salon, which promised a much less painful and much more comfortable experience for their clients. Made with sensitive skin types in mind, anyone would be thankful for a Waxperts waxing experience.

You can find them at www.waxpertswax.com

3. Cocoa Brown

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Otherwise known as “the most talked about tan in town”, Cocoa Brown is the number one selling tanning range taking Ireland, the UK and the entire world by storm, after a certain Kylie Jenner posted about her love for the brand on social media.

The tanning range was launched in November 2012 by founder Marissa Carter. The 1 Hour Tan Mousse is by far the best selling product from the range, gaining cult beauty status, receiving hundreds of rave reviews and winning numerous industry awards. With three shades to choose from and a super affordable price tag, you just can’t go wrong.

And now, excitingly, Cocoa Brown is branching out to build a beauty empire adding a range of new products to its name. Alongside its tan and golden goddess oil, in June, CB MD Marissa Carter announced the launch of the new Cocoa Brown ‘Kind’ range, comprising of shampoo, conditioner, bodywash and self tanning wipes.

You can find them at www.cocoabrown.ie

4. Bellamianta

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Another fabulous tanning brand comes in the form of Bellamianta, a new and exciting brand which is based and manufactured in Ireland. With over 20 years’ experience in the beauty industry, Bellamianta has had the inspiration and knowledge to create a truly unique set of products to tan and pamper the skin.

You can find them at bellamianta.com

5. NIMA Brush

The-Grace

NIMA Brush is an Irish professional makeup brush company that specialises in professional makeup tools and accessories. After over a decade and a half working as a professional within the Irish and UK beauty industry, NIMA brush was established by Irish makeup artist, Niamh Martin. NIMA Brush strives to provide fun, professional grade tools at a low cost.

You can find them at www.nimabrush.com

6. Blank Canvas

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Another makeup brush brand comes in the form of Blank Canvas, who offer pro-quality brushes without the professional price tag. Stocking up your brush kit never seemed so affordable. Not only do Blank Canvas offer brushes, but they also include amazing face and eye palettes in their range – including the mega selling Pippa Palette, all at a pleasant low cost. What more could a beauty lover ask for?

You can find them at www.blankcanvascosmetics.com

7. PUSH Makeup

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Another relatively new and exciting brand of cosmetics, PUSH makeup is one to watch. With an impressive range of products on offer, from eyes, to lips, to face, to brows – any beauty lover would be happy to sink their teeth into this brand.

You can find them at push-makeup.com

8. VOYA

voya

A now global business, VOYA started out as the family-run seaweed baths established by Neil Walton, near his home in County Sligo. As the popularity of the baths grew, the family were then inspired to set about developing a full range of seaweed-based organic products. If your skin needs a wake up, VOYA products are for you.

You can find them at voya.ie

9. Kinvara Skincare

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Founded by Joanna Reilly, Kinvara Skincare is an organic skincare brand based in Galway, Ireland. The hydrating Rosehip Face Serum is by far one of their best-selling products, and rightly so. Driven by the scientific innovation to harness and distill the power of plants, seaweeds, vitamins and minerals, Kinvara Skincare strives to give you the peace of mind knowing you’ve got a quality product you can trust.

You can find them at www.kinvaraskincare.com

10. Nía

Nia-Regenerating-hand-Cream

With over 30 years experience in the beauty industry, Nía founder Celia O’Grady was inspired to start formulating her own beauty products, made using natural, healthy butters and oils. Celia strives to inspire as many as possible to use natural, healthier alternatives when it comes to beauty care. All Nía products are carefully researched for their beneficial properties.

You can find them at www.nia.ie

11. Green Angel

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Green Angel are an Irish skincare company founded by Chris and Mary Mitchell who are both passionate about natural skincare oils and creams. With gorgeous packaging, a product packed full of enriching ingredients and an affordable price tag, you can’t say no to this amazing skincare brand.

You can find them at greenangelskincare.co.uk

Thank you for reading!

New to Irish Parcels? Learn more about our low cost courier services!

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More blog posts:

Selling On Depop – The Ultimate Guide To Making Money

Why Small Businesses Should Collaborate With Bloggers

6 Reasons Why Small Businesses Should Use Social Media

Learn more:

Parcel Delivery Ireland

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Our International Courier Prices

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Selling On Depop – The Ultimate Guide To Making Money

The Ultimate Guide To

If you have a wardrobe jam-packed full of items gathering dust, Depop is a great way to clear some clothing space and make some cash in the process.

For those unfamiliar with the Depop phenomenon, it’s a hugely popular mobile app marketplace, used by millions of people to buy and sell clothing.

Depop is at the forefront of a new wave of online shopping, with its Instagram-esque interface and eBay like experience.

Provided you have a great item for sale, anyone can make a profit on Depop and we’ve created this handy guide to making money on the platform.

Picture Perfect

As Depop has a very visually similar interface to Instagram, your images are extremely important. Your picture is essentially your sales pitch so it needs to be perfect. You can add up to four images per item, so try to offer good quality, high resolution images of your item in natural daylight and from as many different angles as possible.

With clothing, it’s always great to get a model shot of you, or someone else wearing the garment to show how it fits, as clothing can often look vastly different on the rail. Make sure you use your own image – it’s prohibited to copy catalogue or website pictures of items and if you’re found to be doing so, you could be banned from the site.

The Description

When describing your item, keep it brief whilst being as informative and accurate as possible. Enter the mind of the buyer and think about all the essential information you would need prior to purchasing, for example, the size, the material, the quality of the item and any issues with the garment. Include shipping details and let buyers know if you accept exchanges or refunds.

Pricing

Be competitive your pricing. Research the marketplace to see the price points of similar items and examine who your target audience is to determine an appropriate budget. For example, if you are selling items that appeal to 18 year old girls, it’s unlikely that they will have a huge amount of disposable income to splurge on items.

Payment

Always accept in-app instant payment by connecting your PayPal account, as this gives you extra protection and also makes you more likely to feature on the app’s prominent ‘Explore’ page, which will drive more visits to your products.

Interact

Being interactive on Depop and providing a good experience for the buyer is key to establishing a great reputation, increasing your followers and therefore your sales. Try to reply to all comments and messages and ship items as quickly as possible to keep your customers happy and make them more likely to repurchase.

Hashtags

Add a couple of hashtags to your product to make it more visable in searches. Be selective with your hashtags and only use a couple, as spammy hashtags will lead to your items being hidden.

Add A Personal Note

A great tip for improving customer experience is to provide a personal note to the buyer. You can also ask customers to leave you a rating which can help increase your sales.

Research Your Buyer

Check the profile of your buyer to see their ratings and comments to flag any potential issues. And be sure to take payment before shipping.

Promote

Think of Depop as your own little store and use your social media profiles as marketing channels to let people know about the items you have for sale. You can also provide exclusive discounts to your followers on each channel as an added incentive to buy.

Shipping

Of course, here at Irish Parcels, we’re all about the shipping and have some great tips for sending items with Depop. The main point to note with shipping on Depop is that the site does not offer shipping labels so all sellers are responsible for packing their items and shipping them.

Firstly, ensure that your shipping is priced reasonably, but is still high enough so that you don’t end up out of pocket. If you use Irish Parcels, you can get a quick, no obligation quote on our homepage, which you can check before listing your item.

Always use a reputable courier company and provide your customer with shipping information and tracking details so they know when to expect their item.

Only ever send to the delivery address listed in your buyer’s profile. If you send to another address it will not be covered by the Seller Protection.

Keep your proof of postage. With Irish Parcels, we will send you a confirmation email once you’ve booked your delivery, which you can forward to your customer.

And finally, if you can, offer international/worldwide shipping as this can significantly increase your views.

If you have any questions about parcel deliveries, get in touch and we’ll be happy to help!

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Top 10 Strangest Customs Regulations From Around The World

Untitled design (6)Top 10 Strangest Customs Regulations From Around The World

We, at IrishParcels.ie, like to think we know pretty much everything there is to know about sending a parcel. But there’s one part of the process that even we can not get our heads around.

Customs.

If you’ve ever sent a parcel abroad, outside the EU, you’ll know how confusing customs regulations can be and how much of a nightmare it is to complete those dreaded customs documents. There are so many rules that vary from country to country, some making absolutely no sense whatsoever.

We’ve come across a few particularly peculiar customs regulations during our time, so we thought we’d share some of the strangest few with you.

1. No Matching Shoes in Mexico

Apparently, you can not send a pair of matching shoes to Mexico, South Africa or India. This is in an attempt to control each country’s own shoe market and applies mostly to shoe manufacturers. Matching personal shoes are fine, so don’t worry about having to walk around in odd flip flops on your next holiday to those parts of the planet.

shoes disney cinderella fairy tales happily ever after

2. No Chewing Gum In Singapore

Not only are you forbidden to send chewing gum to Singapore, but you can’t even buy it or consume it. This is down to a 1992 ban to promote civic cleanliness and anyone caught with this contraband could face a fine.

old hollywood gum judging you judging gene tierney

3. No Toothpaste In Algeria

Algeria bans the import of toothpaste and all dental products. This is likely due to the inclusion of fluoride in these products which is seen to be toxic and poisonous by many nations.

josh brolin toothpaste toothbrush brushing teeth 1986

4. No Holy Water In Fiji

You are not allowed to bring back more than one pint of Holy Water to Fiji after a pilgrimage. If you want to bring more than this amount, you will require a certificate to say that it is disease free.

The Simpsons bart simpson season 8 episode 20 reverend lovejoy

5. No Wheelbarrows In Nigeria

If you’re considering sending a wheelbarrow to Nigeria, we hate to break it to you, but they are strictly forbidden in the country in order to strengthen Nigeria’s own manufacturing industry.

baby ride rescue centre wheelbarrow

6. No Horns In Saudi Arabia

Loud items such as car horns have been banned from entering Saudi Arabia, due to the country’s many noise restrictions.

The Simpsons marge simpson season 4 maggie simpson car

7. No Kinder Eggs In America

The Kinder Egg is banned in America due to the yellow plastic piece in the centre being considered a choking hazard. A few years ago, the American Federal Government fined a Canadian family $12,000 for trying to take ten Kinder eggs into the US. This rule is no yolk (pahahaha… sorry…).

egg honor kinder purchasing

8. No Aphrodisiacs in Malawi

Sorry lovers, but for some reason, Malawian authorities have forbidden the entry of all aphrodisiacs into the country.

Grease Live kiss romance romantic aaron tveit

9. No Clown Costumes In France

Due to a wave of panic, caused by pranksters in clown costumes in the southern French village of Venargues, these kinds of outfits are now banned. These incidents have lead to a wide-spread anti-clown vigilante movement across the whole of France, which may soon see the costumes banned through the entire country.

rotomangler clown vhs vhs positive vhspositive

10. No Glasses in Uruguay

Eyeglasses and foreign spectacles can not be imported into Uruguay.

cat hipster glasses

 

If you have any questions about parcel deliveries, get in touch and we’ll be happy to help!

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Learn more:

12 Tips For Sending A Parcel Abroad

4 Mistakes To Avoid When Sending A Parcel To America

Parcel Delivery Ireland

International Parcel Delivery

Our International Courier Prices

Ireland To UK Courier Services

How To Ensure Your Parcel Arrives Safely – 8 Expert Tips

Ensuring A Safe Delivery (1)

How To Ensure Your Parcel Arrives Safely – 8 Expert Tips

Safety is a top priority when sending a parcel.

“Damage”, “delayed” or “lost” are words that no one wants to hear. When you hand that package over to the delivery driver, you need to know that it will arrive at its destination in perfect condition.

If you choose a reputable courier (see our list of couriers), your parcel is more likely to arrive safe and sound, but there are a few extra steps you can take to ensure your package is delivered unscathed.

1. Perfect Packaging

When you send a parcel by courier, it’s important to consider all the stages of transit it will go through. For example, it will be sorted using a machine and transported in a vehicle alongside tens or hundreds of other items of all shapes and sizes.

Best practice is to pack your item in a strong, double-walled cardboard box with bubble wrap and packaging peanuts. Good packaging will significantly reduce the likelihood of your parcel collapsing under pressure or tearing. You can read more of our packaging advice in our blog post: 8 Mistakes To Avoid When Packaging Your Parcel.

2. No Prohibited Items

Before booking with a courier, always check that your parcel contents can be sent on the service. This is of particular importance if you’re shipping an item overseas, as countries (especially outside the EU) have their own customs rules and regulations.

In addition to checking the country’s own rules, be sure to read the courier’s list of prohibited items. If you were to send a prohibited item, your shipment may be delayed, refused or sent back and you will be unlikely to receive any compensation.

You can take a look at IrishParcels.ie’s prohibited and non compensation list here.

3. Fill In Customs Forms

Speaking of customs… when you are sending an item outside the EU, you will need to complete customs documents and attach them to your item. (At Irish Parcels, we will send you these forms to complete after booking.) In these forms, you declare the content and value of the items you are sending.

Although your courier provider may be able to give you advice with regards to these forms, it is always the customer’s own responsibility and failure to do so could again result in delays, refused delivery or a big unpleasant bill for customs charges.

4. Track Your Items Online

Always book with a courier that provides online tracking information. Again this of most importance when shipping overseas.

As couriers collect and deliver thousands of parcels every single day, they are unable to monitor each item individually. With online tracking, you can follow your shipment every step of the way and alert the courier if you notice any issues.

Online tracking will also notify you when your item is out for delivery, so you’ll know when to expect its arrival.

 

5. Take Cover!

If you are sure that your items are safe to send – in terms of contents and packaging, always take out compensation cover.

This means that in the event of damage, loss or long delays, you may be entitled to some money back.

At Irish Parcels, we offer €50 free compensation cover per item, which you can increase up to the value of €1,000 during booking, for a small additional fee, if you need to do so.

6. Address Details

This sounds obvious, but when sending a parcel, make sure the address details you enter are completely correct. Typos are easy mistakes to make and incorrect address details are the cause of most issues with couriers. Even just the slightest typo or formatting error can cause your item to be delayed or returned to sender.

This applies mostly to international addresses which are most often formatted completely differently to Irish addresses. If you’re unsure, we always recommend Googling the address you are sending to or double checking with the recipient.

7. Secure Your Labels

Once you’re absolutely 100% sure that the addresses are correct, you’ll need to print out your labels and attach them to your parcel.

Again, this sounds straightforward, but when labels are not securely fastened, they can become easily removed from the package and cause your delivery to be significantly delayed or even lost.

We recommend putting your labels inside a plastic wallet or polypocket and securing them with parcel packaging (brown) tape.

8. Use A Reputable Provider

And finally, the best way to ensure your parcel is delivered safely, is to use a reputable courier.

For example, at Irish Parcels, we use TNT, GLS and DPD to carry out our deliveries. They are trusted names that most people and businesses are familiar with, because they have a longstanding reputation for quality service within the courier industry.

Do not use a courier that does not have a website, a contact number or a customer support team.

 

If you have any questions about parcel deliveries, get in touch and we’ll be happy to help!

learn more

Learn more:

Parcel Delivery Ireland

International Parcel Delivery

Ireland To UK Courier Services

 

Write For Us

 

home-office-599475_640

Write For Us

Do you want to write for the Irish Parcels blog?

Irish Parcels is a Dublin based online courier service which helps individuals and businesses save time and money on their parcel deliveries.

On our blog we create regular content for Irish people and small business owners on a wide range of topics including; shipping, couriers. Irish business, marketing tips and social media. We also accept high quality guest contributions.

If you have some content, which you believe, would benefit our audience, then please get in touch (details below).

What we’re looking for..

Original content  

If you would like to submit a guest post to the Irish Parcels blog, it must be original. It must be your own work and it must not be published on any other websites. Some examples on other sites include: what to bring to college and moving abroad with family.

Valuable content 

We will only publish content which adds value to our readers. It doesn’t matter whether your post is funny, educational, inspiring or informative – if we think our audience will want to read it, we’ll be happy to publish it.

 

Tips

Format 

Please try to keep your post over 800 words. Feel free to be creative with your format. ‘How Tos’ and ‘listicles’ always work well, but if you have any other ideas, we’ll be happy to take a look. We do not accept promotional posts or opinion based/personal posts.

Links 

Do not include any outbound links in your post unless they add value to the reader. We will be happy to give you a link to your website or social media profiles (or both) in your author bio.

Images 

Please only send images if they are free to use. If you don’t have your own images, that’s no problem – we can source them for you.

 

And if all that sounds great and you’d like to send us some content, please email your ideas or finished piece to our blog editor Lana:  [email protected]

 

If you want to see how cheap Irish Parcels is, get a quick quote from us any time!

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Learn more:

Irish Parcels – International Courier Service

Our International Courier Prices

Courier Services Ireland