How to Sell (Almost) Anything Online
Whether you are looking to sell art, Amazon products, e-books, clothes, digital goods, your expertise, or virtually anything else in order to make money online, the process is virtually the same.
In this post, I’m going to break down the method for how to sell (almost) anything online.
A Dose of Reality
First, let me start by giving you a dose of reality.
No matter what flashy ads or promises you have seen on the Internet, you need to get out of your mind that selling on the Internet is like picking money from a tree.
Whoever tells you that is either purposefully lying to take advantage of you or ignorantly lying because they have bought into the same false idea. Either way, both are lying.
You need eyeballs on your offer to sell anything on the Internet.
No matter what you are trying to sell on the web, the bottom line is that you need people to see your offer. You need eyeballs on your product or service and there are only two ways to get it:
- You build up enough good content where people searching in Google will find you
- You pay for it through Google, YouTube, FB, LinkedIn or Instagram ads.
Method one takes time (3-6 months and the ability to write good SEO content). The site you are on right now is built on this method and chances are you found me because you were searching for a solution on the Internet.
Method two takes money and testing and is not for the faint of heart. You have to be willing to invest $300 to $500 to find the right approach to your ad and to optimize your funnel.
But, if you are serious about trying to sell stuff online, this post can help you do that. It is a bare outline, to give you a sense for how you do it. At the end, you’ll have the chance to get much more training for how to sell anything online and it won’t cost you a dime.
Overview of How to Sell Anything Online
There are four basic steps to selling stuff online:
- Pick a topic around the item you want to sell
- Build a website with helpful content around that topic
- Attract visitors through organic traffic (paid traffic works too but you need a budget)
- Offer your product or service (or products related to your product or service)
Here is the process in graphical form simplified even further. Don’t let the simplicity fool you. It’s a powerful method which you can use to build a highly successful online business to showcase whatever you are interested in selling on the web.
Choose an Interest
Everything starts with a topic.
If you are selling books online, what is the topic? Secrets of river fishing? Craft beer? Accounting? If you want to sell clothes, will you approach it from the topic of fashion, or camping (to sell camping gear) or parenting (to sell baby clothes).
Start from your product and work backward to the audience you want to serve and then to the topic or interest of that audience.
Finally, if I could give you one piece of advice it would be that you choose a topic about which you are almost fanatical. Trust me. With great interest comes an inner reservoir of motivation and inspiration. Don’t choose a topic just because you think there is money to be made. You will quickly grow bored and give up before you make any progress.
What if you aren’t sure of your topic?
Because I want to limit the size of this post, I can’t get into specifics on how to choose a profitable niche, interest or topic for your website. But I can direct you to two outstanding trainings on the subject from two outstanding online entrepreneurs.
Build a Website
The next step for how to sell anything online is to build a website. This is a big topic, and if you are serious about doing, this I’ve provided a training resource at the end of this post that will teach you the ropes. Again, there is no cost for that training.
There are a few factors to consider as you build out your site:
Try to stay within a WordPress environment.
I know website builders like Wix, Weebly and Squarespace are tempting alternatives, but you’ll be locked into their system, features AND rules. With WordPress, you maintain control of all of your content, you have access to unlimited features and you get to decide what you do on your site.
Make sure you purchase an SSL certificate.
Without getting into the technical jargon, an SSL certificate is what tells your browser that a site is safe and the CC information that someone enters will be encrypted.
In order to sell anything on the Internet, your visitors need to feel secure. When their browser says: Not Secure in the top left corner then it’s likely they won’t stick around.
There are only two ways to attract visitors to your site: organically through search engines or paying for it through advertisements.
One takes time, the other takes money.
If you want to go the organic route then you must be able to create good valuable content that people want to read. The secret to doing that can be summed up with this statement:
Help your visitors solve their most pressing problem.
This post is attempting to do that. I am trying to give you a basic framework for how to sell almost anything online. I am doing it with the expertise I have developed over the years of selling in the online space.
Now in order to create valuable content that people will want to read, here’s another important principle.
Good content begins with good keyword research.
- What are people searching for?
- How many searches per month for those keywords?
- What is the competition for the keywords people are using?
- How do you write a good post that will rank in the search engines?
All of these questions can be answered by using a keyword research tool and by always having your visitor’s best interest in mind. Always be asking yourself, what do I need to teach my visitor in order for them to solve their problem.
Write that into your posts and you can hardly go wrong.
Monetize (Offer Your Product or Service)
If you choose a great topic, build out your website the right way, create good content that ranks in the search engines, YOU WILL BRING VISITORS TO YOUR SITE.
You can almost take that to the bank.
Once your visitor has arrived and consumes your content, you must offer the solution they are seeking in the form of a product or service. If you are writing a review of the best automatic kitty litter boxes, now you can send your visitors over to Amazon where if they purchase you pocket the commission.
This is called affiliate marketing and it’s a very lucrative way to monetize your website.
You can also monetize your site by selling an e-book or a digital product of some kind be it to write better e-mails, create better landing pages, land more clients, or whatever your expertise.
You can even place an ad on your site through Google Adsense that can yield impressive results depending on the number of visitors. One of my sites for Christian resources was earning over $300 per month at one point.
Do You Want to Do This?
So this is the part where I make you an offer. But I want it to be something you can’t refuse. The steps to selling anything online are outlined here again:
- Choose an interest
- Build a website
- Attract visitors
If you are ready to learn how to do this, and by that I mean, go deep on each of these topics, then I want to invite you to a free trial of Wealthy Affiliate. You can read my complete and honest review by clicking on the link above.
Virtually everything I know about building out a website, keyword research, producing content that generates organic traffic, and monetizing a website, I’ve learned through Wealthy Affiliate.
With your free trial, you’ll get two free WordPress websites, free hosting, support, a friendly and helpful community and Level 1 of our Online Certification program where you will learn the basic principles of how to sell anything online and how to properly build your website.
So go check out that review first, then sign up for your free trial. I’ll see you on the inside.
Here’s to your success,