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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

    SEO Consultant

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    Published on October 8, 2018

    13 Incredibly Useful Tactics to Help You to Stick to Your Family Budget

    13 Incredibly Useful Tactics to Help You to Stick to Your Family Budget

    Are you having trouble sticking to a family budget? You aren’t alone.

    Budgeting is difficult. Creating one is hard enough, but actually sticking to it is a whole other issue. Things come up. Desires and cravings happen. And the next thing you know, budgets break.

    So how can you stick to a family budget? Here are 13 tips to make it easier.

    1. Choose a major category each month to attack

    As the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” With that in mind, one approach to help you get into the habit of sticking to a budget is simply starting slow.

    Spend too much on Starbucks runs, eat out too often, and have an out-of-this-world grocery bill? Choose one bad habit and attack.

    By choosing one behavior to focus on, you’ll prevent yourself from being overwhelmed. You’ll also experience small victories, which help you gain positive momentum. This momentum can then carry over into your overall budget.

    2. Only make major purchases in the morning

    If you’re making large purchases in the evening, there’s a good chance you’re doing so after a long day and you’re probably tired.

    Why does this matter? Because our judgement tends to be off when tired – our willpower is compromised.

    Instead, only make major purchasing decisions in the morning when you’re energized and refreshed. Your brain will be firing on all cylinders and your resolve will be high. You’re less likely to give in and settle at this point.

    3. Don’t go to the grocery store hungry

    Have trouble with impulse buys at the grocery store? If so, there’s a good chance you’re going grocery shopping while hungry.

    The problem here is that when you’re hungry, everything looks good. So you’re more likely to make split decisions on things that aren’t on your grocery list.

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    Instead, make sure you eat prior to your grocery store trip. Then take your list, along with your full stomach, and go shopping. Notice how food doesn’t look quite so good when you’re not fighting cravings.

    4. Read one-star reviews for products

    Is there a product you just have to have (but maybe not really)? Check out the one-star reviews.

    By reading all the horrible reviews, you may be able to basically trick yourself into deciding that the product isn’t worth your time and money.

    Next thing you know, you didn’t make the purchase, you saved the money, and you feel good about the decision.

    5. Never buy anything you put in an online shopping cart until the next day

    If you are making a purchase online, it’s typically a two-step process. First, you click “Add to Cart” and then you go in to review your cart and pay.

    The problem is that there not typically much reviewing during step two. It’s generally click pay and there you go. However, this is the perfect point to stop for reflection.

    Once you add to your cart, your best bet is to step away until the next day. Let the item sit there and grow cold, so to speak.

    This gives you a night to “sleep on it” and decide if you really want and need to spend that money. If you wake up the next day and still find the purchase viable, then perhaps it’s time to go for it.

    6. Don’t save your credit card info on any site you shop on

    One of the other pitfalls of shopping online is that fact that most sites ask you to save your credit card information.

    While the sites will frame it as a method of convenience, the truth is they know you’ll spend more money in the long run if your credit card information is saved.

    The “convenience” takes away one last decision-making point in the purchasing process. True, it’s a pain to get out your credit card and enter the information every time. But guess what? That’s the point. If that inconvenience helps you stay on budget, then it’s worth it. Which leads into the next tip.

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    7. Tape an “impulse buy” reminder to your credit card

    Credit cards make spending much easier than cash. When you spend cash, you can literally see your wallet emptying. A credit card comes out, then goes back in. No harm, no foul.

    That’s why it’s a good idea to tape a reminder to your credit card. Customize a message that is something along the lines of “do you really need this?” or “does it fit the budget?”

    That way when you pull out the card, you get one last reminder to help you question your decision and stick to your budget.

    8. Only use gift cards to shop on Amazon

    Amazon is probably the easiest place online to blow money. It’s just so easy to click and buy. However, one way you can slow the process down is buy only using gift cards. Here’s how it works.

    If you plan on making a purchase on Amazon, go to the grocery store and purchase a pre-loaded Amazon gift card of the proper amount. There’s no convenience fee, so you literally pay for the money you’ll spend.

    Now take that gift card home and load it to your Amazon account. There’s your money to spend.

    Why does this help? It makes you have to purposely go to the score and purchase the card in order to purchase the item. That’s a pretty deliberate thing that takes some time, commitment, and thought.

    This process will effectively kill the impulse buy.

    9. Budget using cash and envelopes

    As mentioned earlier, it’s a lot harder to spend cash than swipe a credit card. You can take this even farther by using only cash, and separating that cash by budget category.

    Create an envelope for each category and stick the cash in there at the beginning of each month. When the envelope is empty, no more spending on that category, unless you borrow from another (be careful of that approach).

    This can be pretty helpful for people that have a hard time following transactions in their checking account, or keeping a budgeting spreadsheet.

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    The envelopes simplify the tracking process, leaving no room for error. Nothing hides from you because it’s tangible in the envelopes in front of you.

    10. Join a like-minded group

    Making the decision to stick to something like budgeting is difficult. It takes long-term commitment.

    You’re going to feel weak sometimes. And sometimes you may fail. That said, support from others can help strengthen resolve.

    Support can come from a spouse or a friend, but they won’t always have the exact same goal in mind. That’s why it’s a good idea to join a support group that’s likeminded.

    No need to pay here, as there are tons of free communities that fit the bill online.

    For example, reddit has multiple subreddits that deal with budgeting and frugal living. You can follow, subscribe, and get active in those communities.

    This will open your eyes to new tips and strategies, keep your goal fresh on your mind, and help you realize there are others dealing with the same struggles and being successful.

    11. Reward Yourself

    When you set a budget, it’s usually with a large goal in mind. Maybe you want to be debt free, or perhaps you want to see $10,000 in your savings account.

    Whatever the case, the end goal is great, but the end is often far away, making it hard to see the end of the tunnel.

    With that in mind, it’s a good idea to set mini-goals along the way. This helps you still look at the big picture but have something that’s attainable in the short-term to help with momentum.

    But don’t stop there – set rewards for yourself when you reach that small goal. Maybe it’s an extra meal out. Or a new pair of shoes.

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    Whatever the case, this gives you something in the near future to look forward to, which can help with the fatigue that can result in pursuing long-term goals.

    12. Take the Buddhist approach

    You don’t have to be a Buddhist to recognize some of the wisdom in the teachings. One of the tenets of the philosophy involves accepting that we can’t have everything we want. And that’s okay.

    Sometimes you won’t feel good. Sometimes you’ll have cravings. You can’t deny them. But you can recognize them, accept them, and let them pass by. Then you move on.

    Apply this to the times you want to do things that will break your budget. You’re going to have the desire to eat out when you shouldn’t. You might want to stay out and spend too much at happy hour with your work friends.

    The feelings will come. Recognize them, accept them, but let them go.

    13. Set up automatic drafts to savings

    If you wait until you’ve spent all your budgeted money to deposit money into savings, guess what? You probably aren’t going to put any money into savings.

    It’s too easy to see that as extra money and end up using it to treat yourself.

    Instead, set up automatic savings withdrawals. That way, the money is marked and gone before you can even think about it. It becomes a non-issue. It’s no longer “extra.” It’s just savings.

    Conclusion

    Sticking to a budget can be difficult. No one is denying that.

    However, if you can do a few things to set yourself up for success, and put some practices in place to curb impulse buys, then you can (and will!) be successful sticking to your family budget.

    Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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