It takes some work but the hard part for most seeking an Internet profit is finding what to sell and how best to put the parts together on a site to do it effectively. Briefly there are 3 types of online sales to consider.
Digital Media - Today we see a wide variety of items we can call digital media, from music, pictures or video files, ring tones for phones, ebooks and "how to's" and computer programs. We will look further into Digital Media Selling and some tips on it in a future article (please hang in with me - I don't write too fast and want to open the site and start helping people as quickly as possible). Most digital media is direct download capable - but some will be sold in a physical form - on a CD or DVD for example - those come under the class of physical products. Digit delivery media has a great almost instant gratification - as the buyer can get it immediately. There is also something to be said for offering digital media that is free - perhaps an ebook that shows how to use your other products.
Services - If you market a service - you do something that requires some work, an operation of some kind - preparing the product. You could make name plates for someone and offer them on a per order basis from your site. You could make monogrammed handkerchiefs, or offer research on someones family tree details for which you send a report. Resume writing is another idea that comes to mind - and of course some of the services could end up with a digital product being sent electronically for delivery. Some service products would not end with any item to send or mail to a person - it just depends on what service you offer.
Physical Products - From the beginning this is the basic sales of a product. You buy a product or group of products and sell them to others - and this would require showing the product, taking size or color information on some products, shipping the product to the buyer. Today you might find larger wholesalers who will setup an online store with your name and your information, take the orders and ship from their locations - with you never touching the product. Some of these will be the type you can include in your website - and still make it easy to sell - they do all the work and update the prices, pictures and inventory as its available. We will cover this more later also.
1 It helps to know your product or service. If you are writing an ebook, answering questions on how to do such and such - it pays of course to know a bit about the subject.
2 Look for things you can be easily found with. If you are offering something that 10,000 others are offering - what can you do to make your site (and product) stand out and more importantly be easily found? Search Engine Optimizing can help - but you want to find something to bring people to your site. Cross marketing can help,
3 Don't put all of your eggs in one basket. If you find a product to sell and sell it for a decent price, you should be home free... right? WRONG. The Internet can be a very competitive place. If a bigger company can get a lower price, or find a better version of your product they will and may be able to cause your sales to go to near zero in a few days. If you have more than one item you might stand a better chance - but again you may want to see what you can do to break your income into multiple sources. The advertising you have on your site can be a major part of your income if you have good ads and good traffic. What is good traffic ? That is not just lots of people but the right people. I tell my website customers that there are many advantages to the website way of selling. In a phone book or catalog with other companies items you are limited on how much you can show the potential customer. Most importantly - the majority of the people looking at the newspaper, catalog or phone book are looking for something else in particular and ignore your small ad. On the Internet on a site - they generally are searching for what you have - already interested in what you could show them, and you can with various website techniques, be able to open up gobs of information, videos, and more for each part you want to show in detail - while letting them look over the general picture if that is all they want so they don't have to dive deep through lots of boring details to find it. In fact they can search for just certain parts of your site. We will discuss this more in website techniques - coming soon - I promise!