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Getting Started: Selling Your Product Online

Got a great idea for a product to sell online, but don’t know where to start? Launching an online business is no pipe dream. For millions of American women, selling products online is a fun and flexible way to earn extra money. And here’s how.

She Turned a Hobby into a Money Maker

It’s often said, “Do what you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

For Linda Carney, a retiree of the nine-to-five grind, painting was merely a hobby throughout her adult life. That all changed three years ago, when friends and family encouraged her to sell her paintings through Facebook. Her “hobby,” which consumed several hours a week, became a thriving small business overnight.

Carney’s previous attempts at selling her artwork were limited to a single garden show held once a year in her hometown. Overnight, with her online storefront and Facebook business page, Carney began connecting with buyers all over the country – a dream that hardly seemed possible after 20 years at a desk job that was less than inspiring.

“My audience and customer base is expanding all the time through Facebook and my online storefront,” Carney says. “But I still have the flexibility to accept or reject commission requests so I can focus on the projects that are most inspiring for me as an artist.”

Carney is not alone. These types of small business opportunities, which often begin as peer-to-peer transactions through social media, represent billions of dollars in sales each year, according to the Direct Selling Association. And the vast majority of those doing the selling are women (around 80 percent, the DSA reports).

While many of these opportunities are related to multi-level marketing structures, which promote everything from vitamin supplements to yoga pants, independent sellers like Carney have also succeeded in reaching a niche through Facebook marketing and an online storefront for their businesses.

Getting Started

It happens to everyone from time to time. An idea pops into your head for the “perfect product.” Maybe it’s a catchy phrase that can be mass-produced on a baseball cap or t-shirt. Or it could be a gadget every child would beg their parents to have. This inspiration often sparks the thought of starting an online business, with the potential to generate passive income.

To get started, you will first need to create a platform to sell your products online. You may begin by choosing an e-commerce platform and purchasing a domain name, ideally .com domains. If your e-commerce platform doesn’t include hosting, set that up as well. Also, make sure to use professional themes and design elements to craft an attractive and user-friendly website, ensuring it’s mobile-responsive. Be sure to add detailed product descriptions, high-quality images, pricing, and inventory information.

Furthermore, do not forget to integrate payment gateways like PayPal, to securely accept online payments. Finally, optimize your website for search engines and create valuable content to attract organic traffic, and promote your products on social media platforms like Facebook, and Instagram.

However, to turn this idea into a successful venture, proper guidance is crucial. Resources, such as websites like MoneyTreeSeed can provide aspiring entrepreneurs with the proper tools and tips to navigate the intricacies of launching and managing an online business. With the right guidance and resources, your perfect product concept can evolve into a thriving online business.

Simply being on social media is not enough to build a business. Here are a few tips to get started on your small business journey.

Brand Reputation
With the rise of social media, it is increasingly important to maintain a positive online reputation to be successful in your business endeavor. This is especially true for those who are selling online, as customers are likely to research the seller before making a purchase. If a mugshot of the seller is visible in the search results, customers may be less likely to make a purchase from them.

Therefore, it is important to take steps for mugshot removal in order to ascertain that the seller’s online reputation is maintained. This step should ideally be taken before launching the brand so that no negativity is linked to the brand’s image. For the uninitiated, this can be done by searching for mugshots online and either removing them or replacing them with more positive images.

Create a Facebook Page: A social media presence is critical for small businesses, and Facebook is an ideal choice. You will need to create a Facebook business page that is different than your personal profile on the site. Click here to get started. Once you have your Facebook business page setup, you can incorporate a storefront.

Find the Right Storefront: For sellers, the possibilities are seemingly endless when it comes to finding the right tools to sell their products online. In the online marketplace, one size does not fit all. Numerous companies offer “essential” tools for everything from analytics to advertising. Develop a clear vision for your business expectations, and investigate all the platforms until you find a product that aligns with your business strategies.

Get a Catchy Domain: While your storefront url may be lengthy and impossible to remember, you can obtain a short (and hopefully catchy url) to point to it. Check with any popular domain registrar to see if there is a domain name available that works for your business.

Don’t Over-sell On Social Media: A Facebook business page that constantly pushes “sell-sell-sell” will quickly be turned off and tuned out by its followers. Matthew Wilkens, a Social Media Product Manager with G/O Digital, recommends “9/10 approach” for most small businesses. “That means 90 percent should be branded, engaging content and only 10 percent selling,” Wilkens says, “with paid media used to help grow and sell.”