Rock Bottom Priced Designs

How Can You Start a Successful Online Store with a Shopping Cart?

Many people find the need for extra income but are unsure how to find the time to work the second job they need. Whether it is parents with children in college or retirees who can't get by on their Social Security checks, the number of people looking for extra income grows annually. The cost of living has increased in every area of life and many families need a few extra dollars each month. Making money online is an excellent opportunity for people who need a second job, such as stay at home moms and dads, college students, retirees and others who need extra cash. Many people shy away from online work because they fear online jobs are all scams. That, fortunately, is not true. There are many exciting opportunities for online income. The field is enormous and global. Almost any talent or training can be converted to an online business.

Purchase a Domain Name and Hosting

To operate your own online business requires a modest investment. You need to purchase a domain name, purchase hosting for your website and hire a web designer if you are not able to build your own website. If you are somewhat familiar with computers you can take advantage of the website building software offered by a number of hosting companies. While the financial investment is not great, the investment of time can be quite large. If you are serious about making money online this is something you must consider. Many get started online by working in the evening. If you have young children, consider working for two or three hours after they go to bed.

Purchase Shopping Cart

Once you've decided on what items to sell in your online store, the next step is to set up a website for displaying and marketing your products. If you have very little or no experience in creating websites, it's better to hire someone who can design a professional-looking site that will attract a lot of potential customers. In addition, you have to make sure you choose a reliable host for your website. Your hosting company must ensure your site will be up and accessible to customers at all times.

Determine What Products to Sell

Do you love creating items such as knitted baby booties, fancy jewelry, or delicious brownies? Then you already have an advantage. By selling products you proudly make yourself, you will already have a natural passion for your business, which is going to be reflected in the way you market and advertise your products. However, you can still be a successful online seller even if you're not into making things. What you can do instead is find a niche that interests you and sell items in that niche. The more you are interested in a product and the more you know about it, the easier it will be for you to sell it to other people. Therefore, it is important that you choose a niche that's truly close to your heart.

Selling Products

If you plan to sell a product, spend some time researching products to sell online. Remember, when choosing a product or products to sell, if you choose a large, heavy product, the cost of shipping may discourage buyers. Be sure you can obtain products at a true wholesale price and calculate the cost for shipping the product. Shipping and handling fees must include shipping fees, packing materials and a small amount for transportation. Be sure you have adequate storage space for product inventory if you do not use a company that drop ships. You will also need storage for shipping boxes and packing materials.

There are some wholesale companies who will drop ship your order directly to your customer. There is no need to invest money ahead of time or stockpile a large product inventory. If you are interested in selling pewter jewelry, for example, check out lyante.com. You will also find thousands of gift items in many categories at catskillgifts.com. Conduct an online search for more wholesale companies, including those who will drop ship.

Selling Talents

Are you an artist, photographer, writer, jewelry designer or crafter? There are numerous sites offering wonderful opportunities to those wishing to sell their art and photography. A small monthly payment will provide the artist or photographer with their own online store where they can sell their work framed or applied to a variety of products such as t-shirts, mugs, postcards and other popular products. A few of these types of sites are zazzle.com, cafepress.com and redbubble.com. Other sites are available for handcrafted items. Jewelry, baskets, hand-sewn items, knit items and other handcrafts are sold on sites like etsy.com.

You will need a camera to take pictures of the items you wish to sell. Take sharp, clear photos of several different angles. The better the pictures are, the better your craft items will be presented. Spend a day or two researching these and other similar sites to find the right outlet for your crafts.

Selling Services

Online investment, accounting and concierge businesses do well online. Perhaps you have a skill you can teach online. Write all your classes and tutorials before you launch the website. Research what other teachers are doing. Some possible classes that can be sold online are drawing, painting, writing, crafts, sewing and jewelry design.

With any online business you must provide a means for consumers to make payments. There are online companies which allow the consumer to pay you with credit cards. PayPal.com, AlertPay.com and Google.com offer payment services for a fee per each transaction. These three are well established and have good ratings. An online search will provide more sites like these.

Attract Website Traffic

As soon as you have your online store set up, you need to work hard to draw traffic into it. A great way of doing this is to network with other work-at-home moms (WAHMs) and take part in banner exchange programs. By using such programs, WAHMs can help one another improve their online businesses. You can also look into other means of online marketing such as article directory submissions, pay-per-click marketing programs, and search engine optimization.

Retain Visitors and Customers

While it is certainly important to attract new clients on a regular basis, it is even more important to be able to keep old ones and have them keep coming back for more. In order to achieve this, you will have to practice excellent customer relations and be able to adequately meet your customers' needs. The first few days after starting an online business may be tough but once you get the hang of it, you will soon start to make a lot of money, even more than you ever did when you were an office employee.

Before you decide an online business is for you, ask yourself a question. Are you willing to put in the time it requires to research, build and promote the business as well as the time it will take to operate and maintain the business? This can be as few as five hours a week or as many as twenty. No business will succeed without some hard work. If you are willing to put in the effort you can find yourself earning a nice extra income in just a few months time.

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