A lot of people still manage their own online projects after work. In these after-work or weekend jobs, they can acquire new skills or work on something that interests them passionately. Above all, they can also earn money with it.
Nowadays there are many ways to secure an additional income . Whether you want to build a second mainstay or hope that one day your part-time job will become a full-time job – in this article you will find some useful tips and advice on how to make your online business a success.
Set up an online presence
For a successful business you need an online presence. You can register your own domain and set up an online shop. However, if you don’t want to deal with e-commerce issues such as payment processing, you can skip these steps first. Instead, simply use an online marketplace such as clickbank , eBay or Amazon .
Where should you best sell your products – online shop or marketplace ? To make the best choice for yourself, decide what is more important to you.
Increase visitor numbers for your shop or reach more customers?
If you offer products in your own online shop , your potential customers will only see your product range. This increases the chances that you will buy from you. However, increasing the number of visitors to your shop also means a lot of time and effort for you.
On the other hand, if you sell your products in an online marketplace , you have to compete against a lot of competition because other retailers offer the same products to the same target group.
This reduces the chances that prospective customers will see and buy your products. However, marketplaces attract customers from all over the world, so you can increase your reach and present your products to an audience of millions.
More profit or less effort?
Compared to the commissions that a marketplace demands, the costs of selling in your own online shop are more or less negligible. With your own shop, you have to choose and integrate secure and reliable payment processing.
In a marketplace , on the other hand, you don’t need to worry about such things at all. What you should also consider: The services of a marketplace include advertising your products and generating as much sales as possible, which also has its price. For their marketing efforts, marketplaces demand high commissions that reduce your profit.
Individual appearance or standard design?
When operating your own online shop , you have complete control over the appearance of your page, which you can design in line with your branding.
You can change everything – from design to text. In this way you convey the desired image of your business in a targeted manner. But this option also means a lot of work, because you have to do everything yourself that is necessary for the operation of your online shop: from hosting to web design to maintenance and support.
Choosing an online market place saves you the hassle of setting up a shop and selling your products. But you hardly have any options to change the default design individually.
More statistical information or more sales opportunities?
Your own online shop provides you with important information about the performance of your site and your visitors. This statistical data – for example, the products that are viewed most frequently or the conversion rates achieved – can help you develop strategies for more effective sales and the acquisition of loyal customers.
With online marketplaces , you generally have no access to such data, since most platforms do not collect any specific information about the performance of your products.
On the other hand, you reach a very wide audience there and thus increase the chances of higher sales. But that comes at the cost of valuable information about your buyers that you could use to gain them as regular customers.
As you can see, there is a pros and cons for each option.
So the question arises, why not use both? Use your e-commerce site to make a name for yourself and attract more regular customers. At the same time, use your presence in marketplaces to advertise your shop indirectly.
Link your online presence in a marketplace to your e-commerce site and advertise discounts for purchases in your own online shop to encourage prospective customers to visit your personal website.
Even if you do not want to create a complete e-commerce page at the start and prefer to sell via marketplaces, it makes sense to set up your own website from the start in order to create trust among consumers. Secure your desired domain for this,
Don’t sell physical products at all?
In this case, marketplaces are of no use to you. The most important sales platform is your own website. We explain below how to set up and advertise your site. But first, we would like to draw your attention to an important consideration: there is a wide range of service products, ranging from consulting services to translations.
So you should create a page that is exactly aimed at your goal, namely that a potential customer contacts you. So make sure to offer a clear contact form for interested parties on your website so that they can quickly and easily query your services and availability.
Create a website
If you decide to create your own website, the question arises: Would you rather hire a specialist or take it into your own hands?
If you have a professional web designer design and implement your website, you will most likely get an appealing page with all the trimmings. But under certain circumstances this can prove to be a costly and time-consuming decision.
If you would like to create your own website, you will find detailed step-by-step instructions here:
An alternative is available with service offers such as the WordPress website builder . This allows you to easily create a website without any technical expertise. You simply select a template, change it according to your ideas, add text and graphics and then put your page online with a simple click of the mouse.
They also offer various extras especially for online shops so that you can easily set up an e-commerce presence and start selling your products online.
Now that your company website is online, the next thing to consider is how you can promote it and attract customers.
Here are some reading recommendations on various topics related to online search and advertising on the web:
Search engine optimization (SEO / Search Engine Optimization)
With efficient search engine optimization, you can achieve a good placement for the search terms that users use to search for companies like yours. The following article provides an introduction to the topic:
PPC advertising (Pay Per Click)
PPC advertising offers you a good opportunity to attract more buyers of your products. If the term pay-per-click says nothing to you, you can find more information here:
You can get tips on how to get more visitors to your website via social networks here:
Regardless of what your online project is about – whether you offer consulting services or online SEO classes – try guest contributions. Writing guest posts for popular blogs located in a similar niche may be a very good way to reach more people.
Pricing is a sensitive issue – perhaps even one of the most difficult when selling online. Because pricing for products and services is one of the most important success factors for companies. With the right price, you can increase your sales and lay the foundations for future business growth.
You might think that with the lowest possible price, you get many customers to buy and increase your sales. But a product that is perceived as cheap is likely to sell less. Customers want to feel that the product or service they buy is worth their money.
You do all the work for your business because you have something interesting to offer and want to make money with it. So don’t give away your product. After all, there should still be a profit after deduction of commissions and shipping fees.
On the other hand, a price that is too high can act as a deterrent because prospective customers actually always look at several offers and compare prices. Put yourself in the position of potential customers and ask yourself which price seems personally appropriate to you.
While there is no one-size-fits-all calculation formula for all types of products, services, industries, or markets, there are several strategies you can use to determine the best price:
In this post we have explained the most important steps how to build a second mainstay online. Once you get more attention on the web and attract more customers, you can also develop a longer-term plan for your side business.
Would you like to expand or sell it further? Or do you want to quit your current position to make it a full-time job? You have many options.