“Can you really make money selling online?” We hear this question often and read it all over the internet. Commerce — online or not — has always been a way to make money. So, yes, you can really make money selling online — if you’re smart about it.
Making money and making sales are two distinct parts of a commerce business. Sales are great! We love the dopamine rush when the order confirmation email comes in. You could sell 100 books at $1! Yay! Are you making money? At $100 in total revenue, we think the book costs more in your time than you think. But let’s say it took you an hour to write at $75/hour. Yes, you made $25. When people casually say “make money” they are generally referring to profit. We’d hope they’re referring to net profit, but that’s another blog post.
What Do You Need to Know Before Selling Online?
Okay. Now that we’ve cleared up generating sales and keeping a profit, you need to decide what to sell before you start selling online. Seems obvious, right? And yet, many people start with the website (because they found a great domain name) and then move to the products and get stuck. Stick with the basics when selling online.
Will your products be digital or physical? Digital is great, you can install a plugin to allow the purchaser to download an ebook, song, video, or even software. Digital products have relatively low overhead and, because of that, if you’re making wise decisions, you can make money online.
If your products are physical there are other things to consider. Will you offer free shipping? How much will it cost to ship each item? That is important before calculating shipping rates. Where will the products be warehoused? Who will actually do the shipping? If it’s you, we recommend batching shipping days or hiring an assistant. You have better things to do — like figuring out how to make a profit.
Where Will You Sell Your Products Online?
We’re big believers in the WooCommerce + WordPress Stack. It’s a great combination to sell your products online. WooCommerce has at least five million stores according to Barn2’s stats (1). WordPress is the most popular CMS by far, is a fantastic platform, and gives you the flexibility to publish blogs for your eCommerce site. (Wait. What?) Yes, your online store needs to produce content marketing. This is a big deal with regards to your SEO strategy — both on and off-page.
How Will You Make Money Selling Online?
Selling products online is a cinch once you’ve made all of the business decisions. Figure out what you want your profit to be then reverse engineer the selling price. It takes a bit of work, some experimentation, and trusting the right partners. We think Perfect is one of those partners.
Don’t complicate your checkout with plugins and features users don’t actually want. Offer rock-solid functionality using the most proven selling tools instead. It just works — perfectly.