Selling products from your blog is an obvious way to make money online. But how to manage the details technically isn’t always so obvious. Below I’ll describe three ways to make money with a blog selling products — all three of which I have used extensively — and give some sources to help you get going.
Note: Your Win with 1 site comes with the tools to set up a full storefront and shopping cart system right on your blog, using the premium MarketPress Ecommerce plugin. You can have the store on the home page with the blog in back as a way to promote sales, or you can have the blog front and center, with a store linked from the navigation bar. This will work for both physical goods and digital goods!
There are three basic models to use when selling physical goods.
Dropshipping is far and away my favorite form of providing physical goods to customers, because it avoids most of the headaches involved with the other two. The greatest difficulty of dropshipping is finding the products you want made by a manufacturer who is willing to dropship their inventory. This is a tedious process, at best.
For over a decade, I’ve been using WorldWide Brands to find manufacturers who dropship quality products. By using their service to find dropshippers, I was able to become an eBay Power Seller in the minimum three-month timeframe. They do the extensive legwork and you get access to millions of dropshipped products.
This is not like some services, where a gazillion people sign up with the same service, create their own subdirectory blog, and compete with each other to try to sell the same set of products. It’s also not the a paid list of fake manufacturers/products that don’t exist. This is a real service that I’ve used over and over. You pay once and have lifetime access.
Once you’ve opened accounts with your selected individual dropship manufacturers, the process is simple.
- Offer products to your customers
- Customers purchase product and pay you retail price
- Send wholesale order to manufacturer and pay manufacturer wholesale price
- Manufacturer ships (white-labeled) products to customers
The difference between the wholesale price and your retail price is your gross profit.
You witness retailing in action every day. A business buys products from the manufacturer, the manufacturer ships them to the business location, the business stocks and resells the inventory to customers. Again the difference between the wholesale price and your retail price is your gross profit. (WorldWide Brands also has wholesale supplier information.)
I used the retailing method with a homeschool supplies company I owned from 1994 to 1998. (I sold the company, Bright Spark Press, to a Maryland corporation.) There is a downside to wholesaling:
- Stocking inventory costs money
- Stocking inventory takes up space
- Inventory has (sometimes nasty) tax implications
- Packaging and shipping use many resources (not the least of which is your valuable time)
If you have a particular product that you create yourself, the manufacturing model is for you.
We make LonTalk routers for large corporate customers. A woman I know knits gorgeous hats for site visitors. I have a friend who makes fabulous jewelry for a few upscale clientele. A client of mine manufactures compartmentalized lunchboxes with custom carriers.
All of these are examples of the manufacturing sales model. Here, you manufacture the product, take orders for the product, and ship directly to your customers. This is the no middle-man method.
What are digital goods? They are any kind of product that can be downloaded rather than shipped. You can create your own or resell items others have created. Digital goods are a fabulous way for bloggers to make money because they:
- Can be personalized specifically to your your niche
- Require no inventory costs or storage
- Don’t run out
- Do not require packing or shipping
- Are processed immediately with automziation
This is a very hands-off process. The vast bulk of the work is in preparation and setup. After the initial investment, the product can generate perpetual income for years and years to come.
Some examples of digital goods you can sell:
- Sheet music