How To Sell Online Part 2

Once you decide on the “what” of selling, you’ll need to decide on the “how.” Existing sites like Etsy, Amazon, Shopify, Artfire, Bonanza, Storenvy, and inSelly allow you to set up a store pretty easily, and might drive traffic to it for you. If you set up your own website you’ll be the one who needs to create your own traffic through good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and advertising. It might seem better to have a stand-alone website for your shop because you won’t have listing and processing fees. However, the cost of a shop on a site like Etsy might be worth it for the traffic they bring you, which can translate into more sales with less effort on your part.

For selling physical items, you’ll need a secure site that allows you to set up shipping costs and clear customer service policies, including how you handle returns. You can set up a Wordpress site with a shopping cart if you plan on selling a lot of things, but for one or two I'd add paypal buttons to your existing website if that's an option.

If you decide to sell tutorials exclusively through automatic downloads, you’ll need to find a sales platform that supports that. If your site doesn’t allow customers to download their files right away you’ll need to email the file they purchased to them. This results in a delay between the purchase time and when the customer receives the file, which isn’t optimal. Most people like an automatic download a lot more than having to wait for their file to arrive. At the time I write this, the easiest place to "park" your downloadable listings is in the Craftsy pattern shop. There's no charge other than paypal fees when something sells.

You’ll also need to look into the fees that go with automatic downloads. Many services that support automatic downloads charge a variety of fees, so shop around before you decide where to list your products. There are some platforms that don’t charge, but they may have some limitations on what you can list, so check around.

Once your shop is set up, you’ll need to market it. This is the part of selling online that most people don’t count on. You’ll need to use your social media to promote your listings and get the word out that you’re open for business. If you hate social media, selling online might not be for you… As I’ve said before, this isn’t a “set it up and walk away” scenario.

If you do want to open an Etsy shop, you can use my code to get 40 free listings here (I'll also get free ones): 40 Free Listings. You have to use this code when you sign up, so I'm not sure that it will work if you already have an Etsy account. Also be aware that Etsy is very strict about the email and shop names that you use, and you may not have much of a chance to change them later.

Next: Details, details...

Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC,  online cake supplies at and

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