Selling Products Online for Passive Profits
Selling products online may sound like a daunting feat, especially if you've never created a website. You may not even have a product to sell. Still, if you did know how to create a website and make your own products, wouldn't it be great to have money coming in from all over the globe?
The truth is that having your own online business has never been more achievable than it is right now. However, that doesn't mean it's fast and easy. In fact, an online business is similar to any traditional business in the sense that it takes true commitment and hard work, but the payoff can most definitely be worth the time and effort.
If selling products online is of interest to you, there are some universal truths of business that you must understand and adhere to. For example, in any business Cash Is King - meaning for any new business you must have a clear view of when and how you will break even. Projecting your cash inflows and outflows are important to ensure you can pay bills on time and purchase any needed supplies and materials. Thankfully, an online business doesn't require large overhead costs. You can literally build your business in your spare hours from your kitchen table or front porch.
Quality Counts. If your website lacks quality, (e.g. mis-spellings, poor grammar, low page speed, etc) visitors will quickly leave your site, never to return. If your product(s_ lack quality word will travel fast throughout the online world as unhappy people write negative reviews and ruin your reputation. So whatever you do, always ensure high quality is your brand.
Another important truth for any successful business owner is to Value The Customer. With customers, you don't have a viable business. To be more clear, without happy customers your business is doomed, so it's imperative that you pro-actively ask customers what they want; what they like; what they don't like; what they'd like to see more of; less; done better or not at all. Listen to what customers tell you and work to provide solutions that address their needs.
"Care enough to create value for customers. If you get that part right, selling is easy."
- Anthony Lannarino
Commit to Service Excellence. Customers arriving to your website or when purchasing your product should have a sense of feeling respected and appreciated. The customer experience should be easy, enjoyable and memorable. This can be very difficult to establish in a traditional business environment with multiple employees. As turnover happen it can take time to get new employees up to speed on service delivery expectation. However, with an online business you only need to build the experience once and know that all customers will be given the same customer experience.
In a traditional brick and mortar business, a key rule is, Location, Location, Location. However, for an online business the mantra is Traffic, Traffic, Traffic! You can build the most beautiful, functional and impressive website on the planet, but if no one finds your site when they search for key words, it's like you've open a tanning salon in the middle of the desert - no will ever see it, and if they do stumble upon it they probably aren't looking for what you are offering.
In a moment we'll share how you can address these important business issues and much more, so please continue reading.
Choosing The Right Web Host Provider
The Internet is a truly powerful tool that allows anyone with a passion and the willingness to learn the opportunity to begin selling products online. When choosing a web host, it's often difficult because you simply don't know what you don't know.
There are all types of hosting company's that say they can help you build a website and this may be true, but very few focus on helping you build a successful online business. One way to quickly separate the weeds from the flowers is by going to the websites they display on their testimonials page. Go to several of the sites they highlight and check out the websites for yourself. Do all the sites look similar or is each one unique? Are you impressed by what you see.
Even more important that what the site looks like is the level of visitor traffic the site is experiencing. To get a clear sense of how much traffic a website is receiving you can Copy and Paste the site address to at www.siteworthtraffic.com for a free site report? If possible, reach out to the site owner directly and ask if they've been pleased with the host provider and if they recommend them.
A highly successful web host provider will make it easy for you to find their success stories. If they don't provide proof of successful sites, or they make it too difficult, then you know all your need to know - simply move on.
Quality web hosting companies will provide great tools, resources and step-by-step instructions that help pave the way for you to build your website and begin selling products online. Here's a short list of items they might include as part of their recommended process:
- Entrepreneurial Spirit – although selling products online has never been more mainstream, to the beginner it can still feel like you're in the middle of the wild wild west. Hosting services that are intent on serving your needs will also be your biggest cheerleader and will reinforce your ability, regardless of your current level of experience.
- Site Concept Due Diligence – if the first thing a web host wants you to do is register your site domain, don't walk - RUN AWAY NOW! This is a surefire sign that they are not looking out for you. Once you register your site domain, it's difficult to change so you need to make certain it's the name that best represents you and your brand. The name of your site should be something that is in demand, not too broad, and be a name that excites you and something you can proud of. The host should provide tools that identify strong keywords with relative supply and demand numbers so can have a strong sense of how profitable your site concept is. You can use these tools to ensure that when you finally register your site, it's right on the mark.
- Online Business Blueprint - unless you plan on spending a ton of money on Google or Facebook advertising, you'll want to build quality content pages that get highly ranked in the search engines. To do that you'll build content pages covering all things related to your site concept, or niche. A great web host will be able to show you precisely how to make a blueprint for your online business, explaining how each page should be based on a keyword with high demand and low supply, thereby increasing your changes getting a high search engine ranking. Your initial blue print should include at least the first 30 pages for your new website.
"Selling is really about having conversations with people and helping improve their company or their life. If you look at it like that, selling is a very admirable thing to do."
- Lori Richardson
- Profit Viability Assessment - before you start any new business you should have a strong sense of what the market is and feel a sense of security that you have the ability to be competitive and within a reasonable time become profitable. Your chosen web host should want that for you as well. After all, you're long term profitability will help secure the long term profitability of the web host, right? Ask any prospective web host about tools you can use to assess your sites monetization potential. If they can't answer this questions definitely, keep searching!
- Community Support - before you are ready to start selling products online, there is much work to be done, and sometimes that can be a lonely experience, unless you are connected with like-minded individuals that share your entrepreneurial spirit. Your web host should provide a forum for community members to connect, learn and share with one another.
While the vast majority web host providers do not provide all of the above tools and resources, but is one provider we can highly recommend. Solo Build-It provides all of the above and much more, so we encourage you to check them out.
Successfully Selling Products Online
Most people aren't aware of all the different ways you can make money selling products online. In fact, one of the easiest ways to make money doesn't require a product at all. We'll get to that in a moment.
Common products you may already be aware of include selling digital products like an ebook. In fact, some ebooks are simply a compilation of content provided on multiple webpages of a site. If you make a quality recording of yourself reading the ebook, you can sell an audiobook version as well. Next, take it a step further and use video to create an instructional course. See how the same content can be repurposed and sold in multiple ways?
Courses can be highly profitable. While courses can be delivered as a physical product, they can also be delivered digitally and most people actually prefer this because they want to get started immediately rather than wait weeks for delivery. It also allows the seller to quickly update the course as needed.
Other digital ideas for selling products online include a wide variety of templates (e.g. forms, letter, games, trackers, calculators, etc.)
If you are a professional designer, photographer or artist, you have the ability to create unique products and services. Why not begin selling products online using your existing talents and expertise?
Selling digital products has many advantages over physical products. For example, with digital products it's much easier to scale the business; there is no inventory or shipping costs required. With digital products the entire process can be fully automated. Check out platforms like Clickbank to see a variety of examples of other ideas for selling products online using a digital format.
In conclusion, get excited about selling products online, but take the time to fully research your web host to ensure you have all the tools and resources you need to be successful at building a profitable online business.
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