Write and Sell an Ebook
If you have a great idea on hand and excellent writing skills, it’s quite easy to write an ebook under hundred pages. The make or break decision for your ebook is placing the right price. Depending on the niche and where you are going to sell it, ecommerce experts advise to price the ebooks below $5 if they were to be sold on a website or $10 if you plan to repackage them and sell on Amazon or iBooks.
Write Content with Affiliate Links
Another way to maximize your writing skills is to write content with integrated affiliated links. It all comes down to determining what product niche your blog should focus on and look for players that have already established their affiliate programs.
Static Guide Websites and Advertising Spaces
This is not building a website on random topic and placing ads all over it. In this strategy, you have to think of a specific niche that you want to make a complete guide for (eg. travel guide for a certain town or city) and search out companies that would want to place ads on your site. Ditch the boring banner ads and sell them more effective ad spaces like guest post spaces, text links, and widgetized ads.
Set Up Lead Capture Websites for Real World Businesses
There are two ways under this strategy: one is to make a Google-friendly content site with a high converting inquiry form and the second one is to create a directory website that lists down real world businesses. If you negotiate well, companies would be willing to pay you to put their contact details on your site to get hundreds of new customers.
Set Up an Online Store for a Real World Service and Outsource
Nowadays, online presence is a must for any business. But since not every business out there, especially the small ones, has their own website set up, you can maximize this need by setting up a user friendly site and outsource the work. In this way, connecting customers and taking in their orders while someone else fulfills them will make you a significant amount of passive income.
As visual beings, people would most likely choose to watch a 5-minute video over reading a 1,000-word blog article, which is why YouTube has become the second biggest search engine in the world. An ecommerce expert says that the key to maximizing the platform and the ads is to create technical content which people usually look for to help them solve real world problems. With this, there’s a greater chance that your viewers would likely click on the links to relevant products.
Resell Online Products and Services
Get some passive income by providing products and services without really having to do much heavy lifting! Just set up a company website providing descriptions of your products and/or services, and work out the marketing to attract customers. The order is fulfilled by the product company or the individual who can provide the service. This strategy gets you the classic middleman margin.
Write for Adsense
Write content for high ranking page content publishing platforms like Squidoo, Quora, and Yahoo Answers. Aside from producing high quality content with smart keywords, it’s also important to pick the right niche topics so that there isn’t much competition on content originality.
Be a Digital Publisher
With the right tools, some technical know-how, and great marketing skills, you could partner up with someone to sell some their info product online. Just make sure that you have tested out the product and someone is actually willing to pay for it before pushing through with it.
Sell Products on eBay at More Affordable Prices
Because people are always looking at value for their money, you can sell products on eBay on affordable prices. The key step here is to choose the right product - which should be quite difficult to find and/or is overpriced locally. Contact someone in China via Alibaba or the Canton Fair to supply your products and set up a shop. Ecommerce experts say that if you do everything right, this is a repeatable formula that can earn you some serious cash.
Design and Sell Merchandise on Cafepress and Zazzle
One way of getting money out of your creative projects,such as shirts, mugs, or anything you could possibly think of is to sell them on sites like Cafepress and Zazzle. Aside from the minimal work involved, what’s so great about it is that you can easily pique the interest of niche groups with your unique designs. Plus, they won’t be able to get your merchandise on mainstream retail stores.
Establish a Highly Niched Up Online Community and Marketplace
What’s so great about the internet is people from all over the world could easily come together to talk about their interests. Turn these interests into something sellable by establishing a community and marketplace where people can sell their stuff to each other. The passive income will come from cuts in sales.
Give Out Your Stuff for Free and Ask for Donations
While it doesn’t really get you much passive income immediately, giving out your stuff for free and asking for donations in return will reap its benefits in the future. Helping out lots of users lives now might lead to future premium product sales.
Convert Existing Content into Something Sellable
What’s so great about this one is that you don’t really have to start writing from scratch. You can easily repackage previously published blog articles by putting them together and editing them to come up with something sellable such as an ebook, video, or online course.
Provide Product Reviews and Link Up with Amazon
Everyone wants to get their money’s worth for their purchases, that’s why most people do some thorough research on a product or item before making the final decision (especially if it’s a pricey decision).
According to ecommerce experts, another great way to generate some passive income is to build a website focused on reviewing physical products of a certain niche. Aside from providing great content for your target audience, it’s also important to integrate affiliate links and buttons in these reviews that will lead them to Amazon and hopefully convert to more sales.
Create Podcast or Videos on a Certain Expertise
With this strategy, you can focus on any topic you want and interview the experts in the form of a podcast or a video and put most of your content for free. Ecommerce experts say that in order to make passive income out of this, you charge a fee for the other stuff like premium content, latest updates or set up a monthly charge for access to your membership site.
Keyword Rich Domain Names
While it may seem that the ‘decent’ sounding domain names have already been registered, there are still available keyword-focused domain names out there that are still available. Purchase a domain name that you think will be worth a fortune in a few years’ time, especially if anyone would want to use it for their businesses in the future.
As you can see, most of the strategies in this list talk about using your skills and expertise to address someone else’s needs in this digital age. While it may seem that opportunities for sellable ideas and services will run out eventually, remember that people’s needs change over time thus there will always be a need for new solutions to address new problems.
Prevention is better than cure
This line is what most doctors and medical workers would say about maintaining good health. The same concept is applicable in handling returns for your business. Minimizing the probability of returns even before the point of sale is the most practical and hassle-free way to prevent customer dissatisfaction from your products. To do so, your store websites should be able to provide detailed product descriptions and appropriate products and videos in order to help the customers before they fully decide on purchasing the product.
Some businesses make the mistake of not allowing returns for products, which tells customers that the business is not really centered on their needs. While it is only right to have confidence in your products, it is equally important that your customers could easily return items if they are dissatisfied with it. Depending on the circumstance, you can grant the customer a full, partial, item exchange or nothing at all.
Make it conspicuous
While most of us would primarily focus on the general look of our ecommerce website, it’s also important that your return policy is conspicuous so that it could be easily accessed by your customers.
Spell everything out and provide details
Since we cannot prevent all errors or control how the customers perceive our products, it is important that your return policy would provide your customers a clear guide on the process and the rules that govern it.
Use simplified terms
While you know that return policies are basically legal documents, not everyone has a background in law so don’t expect your customers to understand all that legal terms. Make your policy as simple as you can to avoid confusion.
Provide important details and write them all down
Because your return policy is technically a legal document between you and your customer, you are required to put all the details that are covered by your business’ return process such as the validity of the return period, the length of time it would take to complete the return, if they would get store credit or a replacement item, or if the return shipping would be shouldered by the customer or not. All of these details have to be spelled out so that the customer knows what to expect from you.
Dollar Shave Club Founder of Dollar Shave Club, Michael Dublin, was at the forefront of the success of the ecommerce subscription model. Every month, for a low price, you can receive a brand new set of razor blades and men’s grooming products in the mail. This model can be applied to many other ecommerce brands looking to increase regular sales figures. In 2016, Michael was able to sell his small business for a ‘super smooth’ $1billion to Unilever.
Lessons We Can Learn From The Masters: Despite being told that he would “never amount to anything” in school, Dublin was able to make a billion-dollar company with a unique business model. If you are finding that your customers are reluctant to buy because you sell expensive goods, sell the convenience of a monthly pricing plan instead. This will help you transform consumer’s attitudes to purchasing certain products online.
Diamond Candles Diamond Candles founder, Justin Winter, was able to amass a vast Facebook fan base in just eight months. By creating a unique product (a candle featuring a ring set inside the wax), he was able to develop a content marketing campaign that inspired user engagement. He just asked for people to post a photo of their Diamond Candle ring- a simple and easy technique that ran like a competition as well as a promotional tool. The ring at the bottom of each soy candle could be worth $10 up to $5,000. A unique and irresistible offer that over 290,000 people couldn’t refuse.
Lessons We Can Learn From The Masters: If you have zero budget for advertising, look to user-generated content to help you make a splash. The Diamond Candle campaign attracted over 290,000 new Facebook fans because users were inspired to share. See how you can apply a similar campaign to your business goals.
Not On The High Street If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind gift for a loved one, Not On The High Street brings together craftsmen into a reliable online marketplace. Sophie Cornish and Holly Tucker founded the brand in 2006. They wanted to take Holly’s local craft fair business (Your Local Fair) and transfer it to an online site. The marketplace is known for offering unique and personalized gifts. Currently, the company draws in two million unique monthly page views. Fans return to the site all the more frequently thanks to the brand’s superb email marketing and social media campaigns.
Lessons We Can Learn From The Masters: Not On The High Street’s success is down to their skills in sending the right marketing messages at the right time of year. By setting up auto emails to target previous customers, you can remind them that a holiday or birthday is fast-approaching. The site will even auto-generate personalized gift suggestions from your product page. Make sure you enable these apps in from your ecommerce shopping cart site to help you raise your average customer order values.
BeardBrand Eric Bandholz, the founder of BeardBrand, was able to build a loyal fanbase through his dedicated men’s grooming and lifestyle channel on YouTube. BeardBrand utilized the social media platform to create a fast-growing company that made over $120,000 worth of sales per month during his first year in business.
Lessons We Can Learn From The Masters: Create an intimate connection with your fans using video advertising or vlogging. No one understands your products better than you do. Talk to your fans directly using video and join the conversation with others online. If you can hold your audience’s attention on a regular basis, they will be far more likely to remember your brand name when it comes time for them to buy.
Wee Squeak Ecommerce is a game you can ‘hack’ through your marketing efforts to get the best results. Wee Squeak is a shoe site for kids and its owner, Susan Bradley was then able to sell on her insights in the form of Social Sales Girls. This is a site that teaches others how to build a successful online selling empire.
Lessons We Learn From The Masters: Leverage marketing automation tools that can help you do things like boost your email sign up list automatically. In an interview with Entrepreneur, Susan recommended tools like Infusionsoft, which can help you boost ROI and increase sales from email marketing.
Mommy Sauce 73-year-old Mommy Choi, the founder of Mommy Sauce, proves that you are never too old to create an online store and share your talents with the world. From her site, Mommy sells extra special cooking sauces she developed in her time working as a chef in a family restaurant.
Lessons We Can Learn From The Masters: If you’re looking for a way to boost your income in your retirement, look to starting a business. It is a lot easier than working in a busy restaurant setting, and you can carry on doing the things you love in a way that suits you. There are plenty of ways to make ecommerce work as an at-home business for you — and you don’t have to be an awesome Korean chef to get started!
Tattly Tattly is the hippest temporary tattoo site online and has been featured on leading internet trends site, Buzzfeed. The store was founded as a side project by blogger, Tina Roth Eisenberg (aka Swiss Miss). Here, she wanted to create cool temporary tattoos for adults and invited her famous friends in the design world to contribute their illustrations. As an offshoot of her two successful online enterprises, Tina has branched off and has developed a productivity app called Teuxdeux.
Lessons We Can Learn From The Masters: If you are running one successful online enterprise, ecommerce is easy to ‘tack on’ as a side project to help you create more online influence. Think in terms of products your talents can bring into the world. And, don’t be afraid of enlisting the help of your friends to help your dreams come to fruition.
Fab.com Fab.com is a leading ecommerce site for gadgets and homewares. Quite often with practical household items, customers like to compare deals and examine many products before ultimately making decisions. On Fab.com, founder Jason Goldberg, wanted to make the deliberation process unique and suited to his customers’ needs. Fab.com syncs with Facebook Messenger allowing customers to compare goods with their friends. The site also offers easy navigation and categorization, helping customers find what they need quickly.
Lessons We Can Learn From The Masters: Create the best user experience (UX) for your customers by incorporating unique shop features that make your site compelling and shareable. Bear in mind that you will be hoping to distract social media users away from their feeds and onto your site. If you are just starting off with ecommerce, set up shoppable galleries on Facebook and Instagram. This will allow you to upload your entire catalog to your Facebook business account and generate direct sales from the platform.
There you have eight example of ecommerce entrepreneurs who have made a significant impact on the way we shop online. Hopefully, this list has shown you that there are many ways to make your services unique and desirable to your fans, regardless of your budget. Get smart with user-generated campaigns and do your best to automate and personalize your services.
Freelance Content Strategist. Helping brands find a right voice, one story at a time. Passionate about animal onesies, meaningful conversations and well-spoken people
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