Owning a website to sell products is a no brainer. You have 24 hour access to a global market and there is a wide array of products that you can sell online. In this post, I will lay out the high level overview of how to create a website and sell products.
Your first decision is going to be between building a website from scratch or going with a WordPress install.
I will always recommend that you start out with your own hosting account, domain and WordPress install. There are plenty of plugins you can use for free, and others that you can buy, that will allow you to build an online store for way less that you would pay a developer to custom build a site from scratch.
Yes, absolutely. You want to register a domain name for the website you are building to sell products.
Put some thought into this, and there are a few rules that you want to follow. Seriously, don’t fuck this part up. I know what I’m talking about.
- No Hyphens
- Always go with a .com
- SEO Keyword in the domain
- shorter domain names are better
- make sure you spell it correctly when registering
Pay for hosting with a reputable provider. Hosting is cheap, and it isn’t difficult to set up or administer. It’s not like the old days, this stuff is all point and click in CPanel now.
Once you have bought your domain and hosting, installing WordPress is easy. There should be a way to install WordPress via CPanel.
Where should you buy your domain and host your website?
I have moved most of by business to Namecheap. I encourage you to check them out. I’ve been using them for a few years now to both buy domains and host websites.
What Is Your Niche?
Keyword discovery and keyword research are key elements to successful niche SEO.
It is absolutely critical that you have a niche in the online marketing world. It’s not enough to have a killer product, because there are a lot of killer products out there.
It’s like being a great band in Austin, Texas and thinking you are going to crush it as soon as you play a gig. Then you go to a few bars and realize that almost every band in Austin is fucking awesome. You need an angle, a specialty, an audience that loves you.
And creating an audience takes time.
So you neck down from high level topics to specialized topics.
Divorce? Divorce and custody. Divorce and custody in Virginia? Divorce and custody in Virginia for fathers that want to keep the kids. Divorce and custody in Fredericksburg, Virginia for fathers that are millionaires that want to keep the money and the kids.
Think about it, and keep digging. Look for low search volume keywords, that have a high Cost Per Click (CPC) because that means that there are products someone is selling related to those keywords, and medium to low keyword difficulty (domain competition) is medium to low.
What Sorts of Products Do You Want to Sell?
If you already have a target market identified, and have a way to reliably reach them, you are way ahead of the game. You just need to identify what problems this community has, and then find products or services that fix the problem. Find the pain and give them a painkiller.
If you don’t already have a target market in mind, you need to identify the market. Sometimes this is best done by identifying problems, then testing to see how many people have that same problem.
Hang out in forums, search Quora, Reddit, etc. Look for common problems that don’t seem to have any solutions.
Create A Product or Sell Someone Else’s Product?
Once you have a problem identified, you need to find a solution. Does one exist? If not what would it take to develop a solution?
Creating and selling your own product, particularly digital products (information products, ebooks, courses, subscription services, etc.), is the way to generate the most profit. But it takes time, and maybe money, upfront. You will have wanted to test the hell out of this to make sure you have buyers lined up before you throw any resources against developing a solution.
Selling someone else’s product that addresses your market need is a lower risk approach. It is also a good way to get started because you will learn what it takes to actually SELL a product. There is a ton more to it than just running an ad. You have to be pretty savvy to catch the attention of a potential buyer, keep their attention, and get them to give you money. Affiliate marketing is a great way to get started selling products online.
How to find affiliate products.
There are quite a few sources, I like Gumroad and ShareASale the best.
I can’t say enough positive about the company, and the story about how it came to be is absolutely incredible. I encourage you to try Gumroad, create an account, and search for products. Search using keywords related to your niche. Not all products offer affiliate programs, but many do. If you find something you like that doesn’t offer an affiliate program, email the product owner and tell them you’d like to promote their product.
ShareASale is an affiliate management site. You will find many great products across a wide range of market desires. There is a product there for almost any niche.