What if you could make money doing something you love? Isn’t that the dream after all? Creative hobbies are great, because you can use your talent to sell products online and make some extra money.
It’s simple, right? Well, yeah if you’ve got your Business Plan down. If not, I can help you get one done within a day and move on to the fun part – opening up shop!
Let’s say you know what you want to do, but you’re not sure where to sell products online. Good thing I’ve been playing around with a few e-commerce sites and platforms and sharing my experiences with them.
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To Own or Not to Own
When you’re just starting out, testing the waters of your new ideas, you might not want to commit to a full-fledged web store right away. If you want to, that’s fantastic. However, if you’re more on the ehhh side, then you may consider selling in a marketplace or directly on your blog to save money and see how things work out.
The great thing about owning your own site is that it is completely yours and customizable to your heart’s content. You can do whatever you want, however you want. This freedom comes at a cost, usually annual hosting fees and various extra fees depending on the services that you use. Don’t forget payment transaction costs. These vary depending on the level of service you get from your hosting platform. Researching these fees is essential to saving you money.
For starters, take a look at Weebly. Their sites are super customizable and can be built to suit your preferences. It does take time to build up your site, but it’s a straightforward process. You can also use their domain extension or create your own. The options are endless.
Taking Baby Steps in the Marketplace
With Etsy, Shopify, and eBay, you can create a digital storefront where you list your items for sale. They are fairly simple to use, but each marketplace has its pros and cons. You’ll need to know what you want and whether or not your product will thrive in that marketplace.
With these, you can’t just set it and forget it. You will need to actively market and tell people to go to your shop and take a look. If you leave it up to the marketplace, your listings will be lost in the sea of other products for sale, nowhere to be found.
Use Your Blog or Facebook as a Base for Your Shop
There’s another option – selling on your current blog or Facebook page. PayPal, Shopify Lite, and DPD Cart* allow you to use buttons to sell products on your blog. Shopify lets you sell on Facebook easily. All you’ve got to do is set up your account to do this. It’s not free to use Shopify and DPD Cart, but they do have free trials available along with a few pricing levels to choose from.
Once you’ve got your accounts and products set up, you just embed the buttons and/or widgets on your blog, and you’re good to go! If you take a look on my sidebar, you’ll notice my little Ebook widget that I’ve set up there for easy access shopping. It’s pretty great.
Setting Up Shop
Regardless of how you set up your shop, you want to be sure that you have a solid theme for your brand. This way, people can identify your products as yours, as soon as they recognize your theme. It’s nice to be recognized, so make it easy for them. If you need help with super easy Branding, I’ve got the post just for you!
When you’re ready to start listing your products, remember to keep your customer in mind. They can’t see the product in person, feel it with their hands, or turn it over to look at the back. You need to satisfy this with your product photos and descriptions. Be so clear that your product photos and description speak for product.
Think about it this way. If you see two listings for a handmade candle, would you rather purchase:
- The listing with the small, blurry, dark photo with a product description that says, “Soy Candle” OR
- The listing with the clear, big, bright photos of the candle, photos of the candle next to a common object for size reference, and a product description that says, “Winding Down is a 12 oz. Handmade Soy Candle made with organic soy wax, organic hemp wick, recycled glass tumbler, and high quality fragrance oils with a base note of sandalwood, mid notes of nutmeg and cinnamon, and a top note of amber wood.”
So there you have it. If you’ve been thinking about opening up a shop to sell your creative goods, I hope this have given you a little bit more of a push to get to it. Good luck on your hustle!
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