You can create a successful online niche store that will become a profitable part-time or full-time business. Finding success with your online niche store is a process that requires a plan, determination and consistent marketing efforts. Building the site is only a small portion of the work required to build a successful business. Success depends on choosing the right niche and promoting it with consistent marketing and compelling content.
Things You'll Need
- Hosting account and domain
- Niche products to sell
- Shopping cart software
- Website content
Building Your Niche Store
Choosing the right niche can be the key to success for your business. Spend some time researching what people are searching for and buying. Be sure that your niche is populated by enough buyers with money to spend in the market.
Carefully evaluate your competition. No competition might mean that there are no buyers. Are there areas in which you could excel over your competition? How will your site be better than theirs? Create a unique selling position for your business.
If you do not already have products to sell, consider carefully what kind of products you will promote. Physical products that you ship yourself require an investment of both money and time. Affiliate products are popular because they offer easy entry into the market and availability.
Affiliate products are available from many different providers. Clickbank is one of the largest and most popular sources of digital information products. If you prefer to promote brand-name products, Commission Junction is a good place to begin.
You will need to purchase hosting from a web hosting provider. You can obtain free sites in many places around the web, but you don't own the site in this case. It would be a setback to build a successful business and lose it because you did not own the site. Once you have a hosting account, register a domain name for your site. Try to acquire a name that has your niche keywords in the name.
Build your website around your products, offering lots of information to attract buyers. Product reviews, purchasing guides and other content that would be of interest to your customers will bring traffic to your site and help you make sales.
Use a good shopping cart. If you are selling affiliate products, you will be sending your customers to their checkout and can skip this step. But if you are selling your own products, you need to install a shopping cart on your site. A good place to start is using the PayPal shopping cart. PayPal acts as your merchant account and completes the transaction for you. Customers can check out through the PayPal shopping cart using their credit cards; they do not need a PayPal account.
You are now ready to set up your products in the store. Each of your products needs compelling sales copy to entice the buyer to purchase, and each needs to be enabled in the shopping cart. It is a good idea to test each product and be sure that it is checking out properly.
Advertising your site is an ongoing process. You have many options available to you, and you should probably take advantage of all of them to some extent. Paid advertising is the easiest and most expensive. Be careful to know your profit margins when purchasing advertising. One of the most effective free advertising methods is article writing. Write articles about your market and link them to your site content. This will naturally create links and draw people into your site.
Establish a link-building campaign and trade links with sites similar to yours. Incoming links coupled with good onsite content will help you to rank high with Google and other search engines and can bring more visitors to your store.