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Easy Options for Selling Products Online

Easy Options for Selling Products Online

There are plenty of ways of getting your product out there, but you can’t really argue with the fact that online stores are probably the easiest way of doing business with a wider range of people. This is especially true for those that don’t really have the funds or the need for a traditional store. Running a store requires quite a bit of effort – there are numerous hidden costs, monthly bills for everything from electricity to heating, a store requires regular maintenance, you need to stack the shelves and hire additional staff, you have to deal with said staff potentially stealing from you or just being generally lazy and rude to customers, etc.

On top of all of this, you have various forms of digital media that can be easily manipulated, paid for and downloaded from across the world and in such cases selling products online is the only viable option. The greatest thing about offering your products in such a way is that the whole process of setting up a web store, and even offering items on your existing website or blog, can be a quick and painless process.

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Selling products on your blog

A good blog with plenty of well-written and informative content is a great way to gain some serious exposure. If you are talented and have unique skills, a lot of experience and useful insights regarding a particular topic or several related topics, then you can be sure that you will slowly develop a devoted fan base. As a blog grows and you start putting out more content, you will be able to come in contact with people who care about the same things as you do – be it you music, relationship advice, travel stories, DIY and home improvement tips or fashion. At this point you can offer your audience some of your work. For instance, you can use your blog to offer:

  • Digital copies of your album
  • A book you have written
  • Cool t-shirt designs and other apparel
  • Paintings
  • Crafts and fashion accessories
  • Various products related to your niche

Using your blog is the easiest way of selling products online, as blogs are relatively easy to set up, they offer a good deal of exposure and allow you to seamlessly integrate shopping opportunities and useful information. You have a couple of standard ways of going about this:

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  • Having a dedicated store page – a page specifically dedicated to various products that you offer that can be linked to from other areas of your blog. A standard layout with images, short descriptions and a shopping cart seems to work best for people.
  • Displaying recommended products in the sidebar – you can have products related to the subject on a particular blog page featured in the sidebar which allows readers to jump from reading to buying in a matter of seconds.

You can offer different payment options like PayPal or Credit Cards, but as far as downloadable content goes (audio and video material) Selz is a great, quick and painless option and charges a per sale fee of 5%. You can enable a short preview of the files and the customer can have the file on their computer within a minute after the payment has been made. All in all, a blog with a decent amount of traffic can allow you to make some good money off product sales.

Selling on social media websites

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    Let’s face it; a lot of people of all age groups spend a good part of their day browsing through social media websites. They allow a lot of versatility – from networking and keeping in touch with friends, to getting the latest information on your favorite bands, companies, shows and even doing some shopping. There are a ton of options available when it comes to F-commerce and even the likes of Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber offer their merchandise on Facebook. Even websites that can’t really feature an online shop per se, like Pinterest and YouTube, can be used as a means of promoting products and linking to blogs, websites and your Facebook storefront. The shopping process is a pretty standard affair – you have images with prices, a cart and options to organize the products according to categories like most popular, recent, special deals, etc. Your little Facebook shop can also get some great exposure when people like the page.

    Creating an online store using WP

    WordPress is a very user-friendly platform that will allow you to set up a great looking website in a very short time, as well as customize it to suit your needs without detailed programming knowledge. There are a lot of free themes you can use to customize your website, but premium themes will cost a bit extra. You can use plug-ins to quickly modify your website and turn it into a shop, so you can start selling products online as quickly as possible. A popular option is WooCommerce, but the standard payment option with this plug-in is PayPal and switching to other payment gateways will cost you. Going through PayPal can be a bit clunky as it requires a bit of extra effort on the part of the shopper, so those looking to sell some digital content quickly could check out options like the Selz plugin or something similar.

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    A shop like this will require some effort to set up so it looks good and you will need to engage in a bit of Social Media Marketing to help you spread the word. It takes a bit more work and time than the other options in this article.

    All in all, selling your products online can be a fairly simple affair just as long as you use the right tools and choose options that best suit your specific situation. The benefits are multiple – including access to a larger audience, the ease with which you can set up shop and lower operating costs – and there aren’t many drawbacks, so if you have some products to offer be sure to look into these simple e-commerce options.

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    Ivan Dimitrijevic

    Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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    Last Updated on January 2, 2019

    How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

    How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

    Do you know what mental health experts point to as the biggest cause of stress in the United States today? If you said “money,” then ding, ding, we have a winner!

    Three out of four adults today report feeling stressed out about money at least part of the time. People are either worried about not having enough money or whether they’re putting the money they do have to use in the best possible way.

    Your money is either in charge of you or you’re in charge of it, there’s no middle ground. Using some type of personal finance software can help alleviate some of that money stress and better allow you to manage your money effectively. Without it, you may just be setting yourself up for constant financial worry. Life is already tough enough and there’s no need to make it more difficult by simply hoping your money issues will all work out in your favor. Hint: they won’t.

    This guide will help you to understand how personal finance software can better assist with both accomplishing long term financial goals and managing day-to-day aspects of life.

    Whether it’s tracking the savings plan for your child’s college fund or making sure you won’t be in the red with the month’s grocery budget, personal finance software keeps all this information in one convenient place.

    What Exactly is Personal Finance Software?

    Think of it like the dashboard in your car. You have a speedometer to tell you how fast you’re going, an odometer to tell you how far you’ve traveled, and then other gauges to tell you things like how much gas is in the tank and your engine temperature. Personal finance software is essentially the same thing for your money.

    When you install this software on your computer, tablet, or smartphone, it helps to track your money — how much is going in, how much is going out, and its growth. Most personal finance software programs will display your budget, spending, investments, bills, savings accounts, and even retirement plans, levels of debt, and credit score.

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    How It Leads to Financial Improvement

    It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but people who regularly monitor their finances end up wealthier than those who don’t. When you were a kid, keeping track of all of your money in a porcelain piggy bank was pretty easy. As we get older, though, our money becomes spread out across things like car payments, mortgages, retirement funds, taxes, and other investments and debts. All of these things make keeping track of our money a lot more complicated.

    Some types of personal finance software can help make things a little less complicated, setting you up to meet financial goals and taking away some of the stress associated with money.

    Even if you already have a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) some type of personal finance software can be of great benefit. Whereas CFPs focus on the big picture of your money, they don’t handle the day-to-day aspects that determine your overall financial health.

    It’s also not nearly as complicated as you might think and can take out a lot of the tedium that comes with doing everything on an Excel spreadsheet or with a pad and pencil.

    Types of Personal Finance Software

    When it comes to personal finance software, it generally fits into two categories: tax preparation and money management.

    Tax preparation software such as Turbo Tax and H&R Block’s software can help with everything from filing income taxes to IRS rules and regulations and even estate plans. Plus, there’s the benefit of filing online and getting your refund check a lot faster than if you were to mail off your forms after waiting in line at the post office.

    For the purpose of this article, however, will be focusing more on the personal finance software that aids with money management.

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    Money management personal finance software will help you to see the health of your cash flow, pay down debt, forecast for expenses and savings, track investments, pay bills, and do a host of other things that 30 years ago would have practically required a team of accountants.

    When to Use Personal Finance Software

    So far we’ve gone over what exactly personal finance software is and how it can be a benefit to your money. The next logical step in this whole equation is determining when it should be used and how is the best way to go about getting started using it.

    Below are four of the most common and practical ways to use personal finance software. If all or any of these apply to you and your money, then downloading some type of personal finance software is going to be a smart move.

    1. You Have Multiple Accounts

    There’s a good chance that when it comes to your money, it’s in more than one place. Sure, you probably have a checking account, but you may also have a savings account, money market account, and retirement accounts such as an IRA or 401k.

    If you’re like the average American, you probably have two to three credit cards as well. Fifty percent of Americans also don’t have loyalty to just one bank and spread their money across multiple banks.

    Rather than spending hours typing in every detail of every account you have into a spreadsheet, many programs allow you to easily import your account information. This will help to eliminate any mistakes and give you a bird’s eye view of everything at once.

    2. You Want to Automate Some or All of Your Payments

    Please don’t say that you’re still writing out paper checks and dropping each bill in the mailbox. While it’s noble that you’re doing your part to keep postal workers employed, we’re 18 years into the 21st century and you can literally pay every bill online now.

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    There’s no need to log into every account you have and type in your routing number either.

    With personal finance software you can schedule automatic payments and transfers between all of your imported accounts. Automatic transfers will help to make sure you have the necessary funds in the right account to ensure all bills are paid on the appropriate date. Late fees are annoying and do nothing but cost you money. It’s time that you said goodbye to them once and for all.

    3. You Need to Streamline Your Budget

    Perhaps the best feature of personal finance software is that it allows you track everything going in and out of your virtual wallet.

    Nearly every brand of personal finance software out there has easy-to-read graphs and charts that allow you track every cent you spend or earn, should you choose. You might be pretty amazed when you see just how much you spent on eating out last month or if you splurged a little more than you should have on Christmas gifts last year.

    Every successful business on the planet has a budget and using personal finance software can help you trim the fat on your spending in ways that affect your everyday life.

    4. You Have Specific Goals to Meet

    Maybe it’s paying off debt or saving for up something like a European vacation. Whatever your financial goal is, whether it’s long-term or short-term, personal finance software programs are one of the savviest ways to go about reaching those goals.

    You can do everything from set spending alerts to notify you when you’re over budget to automating what percentage of your paycheck goes to things like retirement investments. The personal finance software that you choose should show you exactly how close you are to hitting those goals at any given time.

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    How to Get Started

    From AceMoney to Mint and Quicken, there ’s no shortage of personal finance software apps out there. Many of these programs are free to download and will allow you to pay bills, invest, monitor your net worth and credit profile, and even get a loan with the swipe of a finger.

    Other programs may only offer you limited services and will require a one-time fee or subscription to unlock all that they offer. These fees can often vary from as little as two dollars to 50 bucks a month.

    It’s best to start off with the free version and then gauge whether you’re able to accomplish everything you’d like or if it’s worth exploring one of the paid options. Often times the subscription programs come with assistance from financial planning and investment experts — so that can be a real benefit.

    When deciding which personal finance software program to use, it’s also important to look at how many accounts you wish to monitor. Certain programs limit the number of accounts you can add. Be sure that if you have checking, credit card, and investment accounts to monitor, that you choose a service that can monitor them all.

    Finally, when looking around for the right personal finance software that meets your needs, make sure that you’re comfortable with the program’s interface. It shouldn’t be expected that you recognize every single feature instantly, but if the features don’t seem readable and manageable to you, then you’re not as likely to use it and get the full benefits.

    Final Thoughts

    Personal finance software can go a long way in helping you to take control of your money and meeting your financial goals. It’s important to note, however, that some focus more on budgeting and expense tracking while others prioritize investing portfolios and income taxes. Explore several different programs and read reviews to find the one that’s right for you.

    In this day and age, managing one’s personal finances in a secure manner that allows the user to have a real-time visual representation of their money is easier than ever before. With the numerous applications that are out there — both free and subscription-based — there’s no reason that every person can’t take control of their money and ensure they’re making smart money moves.

    Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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