How to Start Selling Online
By Donovan Baldwin
Many people have always been investigating ways to make money without having to have a job, but in these uncertain economic times the thought has occured to even more of them. Many have figured out that the Internet might be a good place to make money.
They are right, but like any business venture, it does not pay to jump in head first without any research or preparation.
If you want to learn how to start selling online, you are first going to have to come up with a plan. Any plan requires some knowledge on your part, and if you do not know anything about selling, you are going to have to educate yourself in that department. You will also have to learn about marketing in general, and Internet marketing in particular. Your Internet marketing plan will be of the utmost importance once you get your business up and running.
Believe it or not, but I am also going to mention that you should know your product and the field into which it fits!
Now, that may seem a strange comment to some of you, but many who start an Internet business not only do not know HOW to start an Internet business and all the aspects related to that, but they choose some product about which they know nothing?
Seriously, if you knew nothing about cosmetics; lipstick, mascara, base, etc., would it make sense to try to sell Avon?
So, let's say that the first step in becoming an online entrepreneur is to select a product and field that you know something about.
I am deeply interested in weight loss, health, and fitness, and have spent years studying and writing on the subject, so I will use that information as my basis for how to start selling online.
You now have to decide if you are going to sell your own products or someone else's. I have built an income of approximately $100,000 a year selling other people's products, but there are many others out there who have their own product to sell, and that is fine. The basic information remains the same.
Most people will assume that the next thing you need is a website, and they are almost correct.
If you are unfamiliar with Internet marketing, one of the most important things you need to do next is get some knowledge so that you can effectively create an Internet marketing plan. You can probably glean a lot of information about how to start selling online by searching for, and reading, many articles like this one, but I do recommend spending the money on a comprehensive Internet marketing course.
I make this recommendation from first hand experience as I, like many others in Internet marketing, learned a large portion of what I know through trial and error. This method cost me in time, frustration, failure, and money....LOTS OF MONEY! Then one day, I ordered an Internet marketing course which I had seen advertised here and there on the Internet, and, when it arrived, I was really ticked off to see that, although it had cost over $200, it contained all the Internet marketing knowledge I had spent thousands of dollars to learn and many more important bits of information as well.
The choice is yours. If you want to learn how to start selling online, you can do the research yourself and progress by trial and error, or you can do what doctors and lawyers do...pay for an education which will teach you how to do the special thing that makes you money.
As you study your Internet marketing course, you will learn that before you pay good money for a website; the registering the URL, acquiring website hosting, and designing and building the website, there is something you should do first, and, once again, it involves a little research.
This is probably the first official step of your Internet marketing plan.
You need to pick a domain name that effectively reflects your business as well as meeting other criteria as well. This can be a long discusion, and I have written an article entitled "Search Engine Optimization - Domain Names" which you might want to take a look at.
While you are at it, put "Search Engine Optimization" on your list of Internet marketing techniques to learn about. It is an important part of any Internet marketing plan, and if you really want to learn how to start selling online, you had better learn more about it.
Once you have chosen the product and the domain name, you can register a domain at many of several different places. I personally recommend GoDaddy.com. I have used GoDaddy.com for years, and a few others, but I have been completely satisfied with their performance. That's not to say there aren't other good website registration services out there, GoDaddy.com is just my personal favorite.
The domain name has been registered, so now you need to choose a website host. Over the years, I have used Freeservers.com, but there are many other good website hosting services out there. I especially like the statistics they provide me. I am constantly adjusting my sites to reflect what I have learned about how people arrive at my website. For example, what keywords did they use to get there?
Don't opt for all the bells and whistles at first. Keep it simple, and inexpensive until you learn a little more. You can always upgrade service later once you know a little more and have traveled a little further towards learning how to start selling online.
The next step is going to be website design. I design my own websites, and I have found that simple websites work best for me. I base my Internet business on providing information, such as the article you are reading now and most of the products I sell online, so I don't need a lot of graphics and scripts doing wierd stuff. However, that works for some sites and products.
If you don't know how to design and build a website, you can either learn how or hire somebody to do it for you. I don't personally recommend learning how to do the whole thing yourself although I DO recommend learning the basics of website design. If you do want to learn how to build a website yourself, you can research that on the Internet, or opt for a course at a local college. One correspondence course that I know of that my wife took and enjoyed is available from Professional Career Development.
The next step in learning how to start selling online is to learn marketing in general, and Internet marketing techniques in particular.
While people who design websites may be very good at designing and building them, they often are not familiar with one aspect of selling online. They are builders, not marketers, and if you intend to sell online, you will either need someone to help you with the ins and outs of Internet marketing, or do it yourself. Although Internet marketing is not a "difficult" subject, it involves a lot of different options. This is where people spend a lot of time spinning their wheels, or re-inventing the wheel. They spend a lot of money as well, simply because there are a lot of people out there telling them what they should be doing, and selling them a product to do it for them.
Even I offer to sell you an Internet marketing course, and an expensive one at that!
Anyway, at this point you need to begin marketing. Actually, your marketing efforts should have begun earlier when you were choosing a domain name. If you have taken a moment to read my article about Search Engine Optimization - Domain Names, you have already realized that the Internet marketing process is an ongoing thing which should be started long before you actually hand anybody a check or commit yourself to obligations of time and money.
Once you are into marketing online, you are in a world which cannot be covered in depth in an article like this one. You will need to learn about search engine optimization for your website, advertising methods and techniques, how to use forums to your advantage, the value of off-line advertising, and so on.
Again, you can either pay someone to do all this for you, or you can do it yourself.
I guarantee that if you try to teach yourself how to start selling online, you will pay a lot more money and waste a lot more time than you will if you simply invest in a good Internet marekting course. You may eventually get very good at it, but you will pay a lot of "accidental tuition".
I have assumed that if you are reading this little article, you are probably planning to do some selling online yourself, and one of the best places to start this project is with the proper training. Get the Internet Marketing Course which will teach you how to be a successful Internet marketer.
Most Internet marketers, yours truly included, acquired the Internet marketing tools currently in their toolkit at great personal cost...both in time and money. However, if you know how to go about it, you can have access to the Internet Marketing course which teaches genuinely successful Internet marketing techniques at a cost far less than the thousands of dollars many of us have spent! In fact, as I write this, the foremost company in this field is providing a trial of their highly acclaimed Internet marketing training online for only $2.95!
Click Here for more information about how to acquire a vast education in Internet marketing, how to start selling onine, and how to learn the same array of Internet marketing techniques that I have used for years to help build an online income of $100,000 a year.
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Page Updated 4:23 PM Friday 5/11/2012