You’ve reached the point in your blogging career that you are ready to put your blog to work. After all, you’ve raised and nurtured it. Shouldn’t it pay you back by bringing in a little cash? Or a lot of cash?
If you’ve got a sufficient following, you’ve probably thought of selling via your blog. We’re here to help you get a handle on all the aspects of online selling that bloggers need to know.
Obviously, everyone could use a little more mad money, right? But maybe in the past, you thought it would take more time than it was worth to earn income from your blog. That’s obviously true for some online sales models, but as a blogger, you actually have a leg up. In fact, bloggers with a loyal following of readers are better placed than almost anyone else to sell products online.
The Benefits of Selling Online
There’s a lot of buzz these days about passive income. Passive income is a “set it and forget it” method of selling online, meaning that you create something once (e.g., an ebook) and it can generate sales for you on an ongoing basis without any additional work on your part. But passive income isn’t the only thing that bloggers get out of opening an online store.
- Get paid for your work. You’ve put a lot of time and effort into creating the content on your blog and getting the word out about it. Don’t let that work go unrewarded.
- Support your hobby. If your blog focuses on niche interests or subcultures, selling items can help you pay for the hobby you’re writing about.
- Establish your authority. If you’ve got an ambitious goals, selling items or informational content in your area of expertise can prove you’re an authority on a topic.
- Get rid of your stuff. You can use your blog to promote what you’re selling on eBay or through local swap meets.
- Reward your readers. Selling doesn’t need to be all about you. Fair pricing on fan-friendly products can reward your readers for their loyalty.
- Donate to charity. You can raise money for your favorite causes in amounts you wouldn’t be able to match with your solo contributions.
If you want to sell downloadable files directly from your website, pick a web host that supports such sites. MadBeeTech Web Hosting is such a host – they provide a fully automated way of selling digital downloads. You can read more about that in the post titled Why Your Website Is Going To Fail.
What Can Bloggers Sell?
Almost anything you can imagine. You can even sell cars if you have a distribution method!
To stoke your creativity, here are some ideas for products:
- Digital products are probably the first things that come to mind when a blogger considers selling something. Ebooks, music, videos, memberships, subscriptions, online courses, and reselling other services (like web hosting) are great product ideas, especially since their inventory doesn’t take up space.
- Physical products are also worthy of consideration. You could ship them yourself from home or join up with a third party to handle your inventory.
- Donations are another type of “virtual product.” You can ask people to support your blog or solicit donations to your favorite charity.
Types of E-commerce Solutions
A few years ago, if a blogger wanted to sell something online, they had two choices: (1) Direct readers to their eBay store or (2) become a full-fledged business to sell items through Amazon. This smashingmagazine.com article offers more on this topic.
Forget about selling digital products because very few individuals could afford the shopping cart functionality that was available to digital businesses like iTunes.
Bloggers often have different needs when it comes to online selling compared to other businesses, especially if you don’t have your own retail brick-and-mortar store. If you’re just starting out with selling, you might easily be overwhelmed by all the available features.