My Guide to Starting an Online Business

When I started my Etsy shop in 2009, I was like many first-time entrepreneurs—just trying to find a way to monetize what I love to do. Since then, I have come to learn the ins and outs of starting a business. If you are starting an online business, I know it can seem like a daunting task. But don’t let that scare you away! Here are some tips that I believe will put you on the right path.

Sell desirable products or services.

First, you must establish the product you wish to sell. What is your passion that you’d love to turn into a job? Discover customer needs within that passion. Your target audience are people looking for your type of products/ services, which serve as a solution to their problem. For me, I love to create decor and crafts. There are plenty of event planners and parents who are looking for my type of productsi.e. my products serve as a solution to their decorating problems. Maybe your passion is travel? Look into travel blogging. Baking? Look into an online bakery. Find a need within your passion and fill it.

It’s all in the wording.

Increase a potential customer’s interest in your product through content. Here are a few tips:

  1. Think of catchy language and a consistent brand voice that will speak to your target audience.
  2. Clearly articulate why they will benefit from your product.
  3. Include reviews and testimonials to establish a good reputation.
  4. Be unique.
  5. Address any possible concerns right away.  

The goal is to write copy that lets your audience know how much the product or service will help them. It is best to look at it from the customer’s point of view.

Product photos matter.

Be sure to develop quality images of your product. Factors to consider include natural lighting, consistent branding and key product points such as measurements. Good imagery can be the reason someone clicks the ‘Buy Now’ button, so don’t overlook its importance!

Design an easy-to-use website.

While you may have to hire out for this one, it is worth it. In this tech age of impatience and instant gratification, it is essential to have a fast, user-friendly site when starting an online business. User-friendly sites keep it simple with the fonts and background, and are easy to maneuver. If need be, resort to an expert web developer for their opinions and recommendations.

Establish yourself as an expert.

When starting an online business, becoming known as an expert in your field will help draw in more clientele. This includes creating expert content, such as blogs and videos. Utilizing social media and SEO (again, you may have to consult with a pro) will help promote this content and drive more traffic to your website.

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