Ok, Black Friday is well behind us. So, is Cyber Monday. But, that leaves the holiday season, and more importantly, the New Year ready to go, when it comes to YOU making money!

Making Money with Your Website

Sure, sitting down to design a strategy may be ideal. Even hiring a coach to help you develop a strategy for the New Year is ideal. But, who has time for that? And, do you really need it?

You may find it is a bit easier than you originally thought. So, let’s take a look at your options, shall we?

The One Product Option

If you have one product to sell, that is great! It is a start!

You don’t have to wait until you have multiple products. And, even if you only have one product to start and add another one, you can link to the second (or third, or fourth…) product from your original page. This would be better than not offering them at all and gives you time until you are ready to do the shopping cart thing.

Sometimes people use sites like leadpages.net to sell their product. This can even be used with funnel system and many times that is an advantage to using systems like leadpages.net. That is an option, even if it is thought to be used for obtaining leads (which is another thought). It can give you an idea of how you want to formulate your page.

Then, again, maybe you want to keep your page simple and just get the nuts and bolts on the page and let the readers buy your product.

The key things are 1) do what makes you the most comfortable; and 2) keep consistent with the theme of your current website. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel to a point where it doesn’t match or fit on the car.

Sidebar: We keep talking about products, but you can also offer services, like one hour of coaching, etc. Even with a shopping cart system (discussed below), you can add those items and when people purchase them, get connected and schedule the consultation or coaching appointment. It doesn’t have to be coaching; it can be any service-related item, as well.

The Multi-Product Option (Shopping Cart Usually Required)

When you do get to a point where you have multiple products, and especially more products than what you can easily navigate on your site manually (meaning here’s a link, here’s another link, etc. and keeping track of them!), it’s time to think about a shopping cart system.

It really isn’t as scary as it may seem. The first step is to breathe and the second is to realize that you can do it. The third step is to realize that the internet is full of helpful guides in getting set up with your shopping cart.

Now for some basics…

There are two types of shopping cart systems (generally):

  • Onsite (within your current website);
  • Offsite (another program that you can link/integrate with your website).

There are pros and cons to each of them. For example, if you like to keep everything in one place, you may like a shopping cart system that lives within your website. However, it is also possible that it will slow down your site and it will draw resources from other parts of your site, such that the speed of your site is affected. You see, the website (with or without the shopping cart system) is still using the bandwidth that is allotted to you by your web host.

Shopping Cart System

Now for that external shopping cart system…

The con with using an external system is that it is not within your website.

Now, you can link to it easily enough and if you have the link as a part of your navigation buttons on your homepage, people may not even notice that they are not still on your site (especially when you have ensured that the external site matches your website branding).

The advantage to an external system? It is not drawing from your website bandwidth! The shoppers are transported to another place on the internet where they can peruse all that you have to offer them and none of that affects the traffic on your main website or blog. Also, you don’t run the risk of accidentally messing up your own website by modifying your shopping cart system. In most cases, the provider of that shopping cart system already has it figured out, to offer you an easy-to-use application.

A couple of the most popular choices for shopping cart systems are WooCommerce (able to be installed on your website, assuming you are using WordPress) and Shopify.com (an external solution). There is a great guide that explains both of them, along with the pros and cons and the integration options. Check out WooCommerce vs. Shopify: An In-Depth Guide to see for yourself.

A Need for Excellent Hosting and Integration Design

Whichever option you choose, whether it is one or two products, an on-site shopping cart system like WooCommerce, an external shopping cart system like Shopify or any other option, you want to make sure you find the best hosting company for the job.

One of the best ways to do this is

  • Make a list of what you are looking for, including your potential shopping cart system (or multiple options if you are unsure);
  • Search for hosting companies that meet your needs and have available hosting plans that address the items you listed in the first step;
  • Talk to the hosting company. Call them up and talk through your concerns and challenges, as well as your desires. In that way, you can find the hosting company of your dreams (or close to that, hopefully. 🙂

Summary

There you have it. That wasn’t too complicated, was it? If it was just a wee bit complicated, take a break and read through it again, ensuring that you include the guide, as well. Remember to take breaks so you can ponder what it is that you want for your future success-making, money-making year to come!

Deborah Anderson
Deborah wears many hats, from professional sound engineer, to marrying a professional sound engineer and recording a Jazz album that put her and kept her on the RN Jazz charts in Los Angeles, for a year. From that experience, she learned how to make it work with social media marketing. She traded in her position as Chief Technology Officer in the financial industry to help small businesses to realize their success online.
Deborah Anderson

@SocialWebCafe

Join #SocialCafe Tues 9p EDT | Deborah is finishing her Doctorate in Psychology... Thanks for your patience!
@_TomGReid Safe travels @_TomGReid #SocialCafe - 2 days ago
Deborah Anderson