Everyone has their own reasons for becoming a blogger. Many just have something they want to share with the world. Their opinions, lessons-learned, how-to’s, tips and tricks, or even their life’s journey.
But making money is also a popular reason.
It’s inexpensive to start and gives you an opportunity to learn a lot of valuable business lessons (like marketing and communication). You won’t lose a lot of money if you fail, yet you have limitless possibilities. You simply won’t know the potential until you try.
Perhaps the easiest way to figure out eCommerce is by the type of product you’ll be selling. So here’re a few options that will help you decide which eCommerce platform is right for your new blog
Digital: eBooks, Videos, Guides, Checklists, etc.
Digital products are very popular options because they are easy and affordable to produce. You never have to worry about inventory, as your digital masterpiece simply gets shared with whoever buys it. Digital products help build your authority as an expert in your field and can be extremely profitable.
Tara Gentile is a business blogger who has created a wide variety of digital products including her The Observation Engine – Multimedia Pack, which includes four different types of digital files. She uses a Selz plugin that works with WordPress and other blogging platforms. There is also a widget that can be added to any page or post which allows you to add a buying option anywhere on your blog. You don’t need any special technical skills and there’s support if you run into trouble.
Niche Products: Crafts, Vintage Items, Jewelry, etc.
Niche blogs are extremely popular, with topics like parenting and crafting at the top of the lists. Stephanie, from All About Ami, has a blog about crocheting amigurumi, the Japanese art of knitted/crocheted stuffed animals. She shares tips and patterns for creating her crochet masterpieces.
Stephanie’s blog, All About Ami:
From her blog, Stephanie links to two eCommerce shops: Etsy and Craftsy. These two eCommerce stores are part of larger marketplaces. That means customers can search for the term “amigurumi” and see Stephanie’s store along with many, many others. There’s a lot of competition in these marketplaces, but you also get to tap into huge customer bases. Millions of people shop on Etsy every day.
As a blogger, your job is to write fantastic blog posts that lead readers to your eCommerce shop. Your readers buy your stuff, but you also get traffic from the larger marketplace.
Stephanie’s Etsy Shop:
There are niche marketplaces that cater to a very specific customer base, including vintage clothing, online courses, and even gaming apps. Do a little research if you’re in a niche industry to see if there are eCommerce options that would work for your blog.
Branded Products: T-Shirts, Hats, Mugs, etc.
One thing bloggers try to do is to build their personal or business brand. Sometimes that means creating branded products that share your logo, picture or favorite saying. This doesn’t work for all blogs, however, many use it as an additional product stream.
A great example is author Jenny Lawson, a.k.a. The Bloggess. She has built a very dedicated following around some very wacky ideas. She uses the designing eCommerce platform Zazzle that allows you to create branded hats, cards, t-shirts, mugs, calendars, etc. without investing anything upfront. You add a design to a t-shirt and pay a percentage only when you make a sale.
This is a cutout featuring the Furiously Happy Raccoon from Lawson’s latest book cover. Sure it’s a weird cardboard cutout of a taxidermied raccoon, but that’s the type of stuff her unique audience craves.
eCommerce Doesn’t Have to Be Stressful
It’s never too early to consider how to monetize your blog. Think about what type of product would work best for your audience and what kind of eCommerce system would be the easiest to set up. Check out eCommerce platforms and marketplaces and start narrowing down your choices.
Experienced bloggers can still feel completely clueless when it comes to eCommerce. Taking the leap into the unknown can be scary and overwhelming. But you’ve got something important to say and are ready to share it with the world.
Just remember, if you can figure out how to blog, you can definitely handle this eCommerce stuff.