Managing a blog or a content site and keeping it running is a huge accomplishment. So if you are doing so and doing it successfully, give yourself a pat on the back.
Being a blogger can sometimes be a 24/7 job. And most of the time, that job doesn’t pay very well. If you’ve ever thought about monetizing your website or blog, you’re not the only one. Thousands of bloggers just like you have set up shop right on their existing site to sell digital products like eBooks or to sell their services. Check out this recent post on ProBlogger. And the best part about it? It doesn’t take much time or money.
Are you interested in learning how to set up an online store for digital content and services on your site with very minimal effort? If so, read on. I’ll give you a few tips & tricks and walk you through the process.
Pick a product
If you already have a blog, you’re halfway there. You have tons and tons of content already created and a solid following. Your first step will be to choose your product. Consider these questions when selecting the product you’re going to sell:
- What industry or niche do you currently blog about? (ie. creative design, fashion, beauty)
- What are you good at creating? (ie. eBooks, website themes, business cards)
- What kind of problem are you hoping to solve?
- What kind of competition is out there on the marketplace?
After you have chosen your product, you also need to consider cost of goods, inventory costs, shipping costs, and sale price. Many bloggers chose to sell eBooks or some sort of digital content because it’s easy to make and high profit since there are no inventory or shipping costs. Take a look at what some other bloggers are doing in your industry. Make sure you fully understand the investment you’re making.
If you’re looking for some inspiration, here is a great story about one blogger who made nearly $17,000 in sales just by selling an eBook.
Choose Your eCommerce solution
After you have produced and perfected your products, your next step is to choose your eCommerce platform.
There are many eCommerce platforms for choose from. The right platform for you will depend on what you’re selling, so be sure to do your research thoroughly. Here are some things to consider when choosing your eCommerce platform:
- Find out all costs. How much will it cost and are there any monthly/ recurring fees? Don’t forget that there can also be a fee for processing the transaction and handling the payment.
- Determine ease of use. Can you easily manage content on your shop and add products? Also look at it from the customer perspective. Is the checkout page easy to navigate?
- Does the platform support the product you are selling? This depends on whether you are selling digital content or a physical good.
- Consider integrations with third-party vendors. For instance, will you be able to able to accept payment through Paypal? PayPal is still a popular method of payment, so it increases sales to accept it.
- Social media is huge. Does the platform have social integration?
- Think aesthetics. Does the platform have themes that you like? Can you personalize it?
- Do you have to download the software and host it (which has serious security implications) or is it securely hosted on their server? A hosted solution is the best choice for bloggers and small business owners.
Some of the more popular platform options for bloggers include Shopify, Selz, and WooCommerce. The right platform for you will depend on what you’re selling, so be sure to do your research. Shopify is a good solution for if wanting a store with large number of products that need both online and POS support. WooCommerce is a popular WordPress ecommerce platform . However, if you’re looking for all-in-one solution that is simple to set up and use, Selz is a great choice especially if selling digital content like courses with audio and video as you can upload files up to 15GB and do video streaming. You can also use it to sell physical products or service.
Blogger, Berni Xiong, shows in this video how quick and easy you can do this in less than 10 minutes.
To get your store created, all you have to do is set up an account on Selz. It’s free to start an account. You can tack on their StorePro app if you want to customize your store look.
Once you have your store created, you can add it directly to your blog, either on the sidebar or main menu. Be sure to use rich imagery and compelling copy – it draws the customers in!
Here are a few visual examples of bloggers who are selling directly on their blogs:
Congrats! You now have an online store directly on your blog and it took very little effort. Be sure to track your sales, reach out to your customers for reviews, and promote through social media.
Connie is a freelance writer, editor, and content manager. She works in the eCommerce industry and is passionate about all things digital. She is also the founder of Savvy With Saving, a personal finance blog. You can connect with Connie on Twitter @SavvyWSaving.