But What Do I Sell?
So, you want to start your own online business. You know you have to create
your own website, start your own ezine and generate traffic to your site
before you can make sales. So far so good. But ... sales of what, exactly?
What do you sell?
Fortunately, the options are many and varied. Basically, though, everything
falls into one of two categories; products or services. We're going to take
a closer look at a few relatively easy options for when you want to get
started and get started NOW.
What kinds of products can you sell from your website assuming you don't
already have something available? Your best bet is anything that can be
delivered digitally such as software and information products.
When it comes to selling software or information products, you have three
1. you can create your own product from scratch, e.g., by writing a
software program, a cgi script or an e-book;
2. you can join affiliate programs and sell products already created by
other people and earn a commission for every sale;
3. you can join a multi-level marketing (or network marketing) plan; or
4. you can acquire resell rights for products already created by other
people and keep 100% of the profit.
Option 1. is a must-do. Eventually. But when you're itching to get started,
you don't want to have to wait the 3 or 4 months it takes you to write your
ebook before you can launch your online business.
Option 2. is great for a quick start but you're working on commission.
Someone else is getting the lion's share of the profit for your hard work.
Option 3. is a good choice if you're a natural networker. For more
information about MLM and whether it might be right for you, check out my
article "Not MLM! ... Why Ever Not?" at
Option 4. (along with option 3.) is where the real money is, at least
compared to option 2. Acquire the resale rights as well as the product and
you're not working on commission any more, you're working for serious profit.
Where do you go to acquire products that can be delivered digitally with
full resale rights? There are several good sources but here are a few tried
and true sources, each excellent places to start:
What kinds of services can you sell from your website? How about advertising
space in your ezine or on your website? How about a members-only area of your
site, access to which requires payment of a membership fee?
Since you really need to be publishing an ezine on a regular basis to stay
in contact with, and generate, web site visitors, it makes sense to make
money from something you already have to do anyway. Selling advertising space
is a good revenue-generator.
Don't try selling your ad space until you have a minimum of 1,000 subscribers
or so. Until you get to that point by all means offer free ads in your ezine
though. That's a good way to generate subscribers and get your readers used
to seeing ads in your publication. Ad swapping with other publishers during
this period (and beyond) is also a good way to generate new subscribers.
Once you reach the 1,000 mark, you can start offering your ad space for sale.
The days when you could publish an ezine with a classified ad section of 20
or 30 ads are long gone. Ezine readers are much more savvy and discerning and,
as a result, ezine advertisers are much more selective and will look for
ezines that run few ads and which place them strategically amongst the
content, or "meat" of the ezine itself rather than being stuck in a great
glob that nobody reads at the end.