14. Sell Others’ Products
The most common form of individual-owned business online is selling products. Just like how your average brick-and-mortar shop gets its products from suppliers and sells them, so to can you buy sellable items at bulk discounts and sell them at a profit via a website. You do not even have to have your own website to sell products online. You can sell via websites like eBay, which even facilitate digital-world “shops”. This is traditional buy-and-sell business in a digital context.
The biggest problem is choosing the products that you will sell. There are so many kinds of products out there and so many variants of each type too. You will need to conduct your research to identify which may prove most profitable so you know what and how much to purchase and subsequently sell. You will also want to examine the market to identify what the going prices are so you can maximize profit without offering prices that are too low.
Advertising can play a major role if you have your own website. You need to get people to come to you and browse your offerings, so you need them to know your shop exists in the first place. You can choose to employ banner ads and many other advertising methods. You can even hire affiliate marketers to spread the word for you and pay them on per-visit bases.
You can choose a blog-style website or a full-blown website with multiple pages and linked structure. If you are selling many products, you should know how to categorize them.
As expected of such a business, you will need the physical space to store your inventory, as well as an organized inventory system to keep track of stocks and item locations. You should also explore your options for receiving payment from customers. PayPal is highly recommended, but make sure to provide options for potential customers who don’t have PayPal accounts.
15. Sell Your Own Product
Do you have a hobby that produces physical, salable items? Are you good with your hands at making various artisanal craft products? Then why not sell them online?
While it is possible to sell the fruits of your handiwork via a meatspace shop, a cyberspace shop increases your exposure and improves the price point for your products. Just because it seems like no one wants to buy your stuff locally does not mean that there aren’t interested parties somewhere in another city, state, or country.
It does not matter if you are making hardcore punk bracelets or cute hats or even paintings, you can sell them online. Etsy is a great digital marketplace for all things handmade. Visit the website and check out just how vibrant the handmade item market is, and how varied the options are.
You can also sell via eBay and other similar websites. Of course, you can also advertise your products on your blog or website, but again you need to somehow increase traffic to improve the likelihood of sales.
There is a chance that your products become so popular that you can turn your hobby into a full-time source of income. When that happens, you will be able to do something that you like and make money out of it. You’d probably want to look for another hobby for relaxation, though.
Avoid skimping on quality. When it comes to handmade objects, people expect attention to detail and care in manufacture, so the implicit standards for handmade products can be quite high. You can actually charge more for a handmade product than a factory-manufactured product, because it is handmade. There is the emotional aspect that subconsciously pushes customers to overlook the extra markup, but only so far.
Since you will be selling your own stuff, you need to think about shipping. This can be tricky if your products are fragile – things like glass sculptures and paintings, for example – and may require special shipping, and consequently special fees. Make sure to factor in shipping costs when taking orders!
16. Sell Stock Photos
With the advent of more affordable high-quality digital cameras, it has become easier than ever to capture scenes from our world. In fact, your photos can be worth quite a bit of money, and we are not talking about entering them in contests – though by all means, you can try.
Stock photography is the production of photographs for paid or even free use. Unlike more traditional photography business models, stock photography does not require the user to pay royalties for each use. The business models applied to stock photography can vary.
The idea is to photograph various objects, scenes, and people in a way that they become symbolic of stereotypes of exemplars of their object type. For example, you can photograph a pickaxe in such a way that it becomes a symbol of hard work, or in a way that it can be used as an element in edited photos.
You can photograph people displaying emotions not for the reason of photographing the person, but for capturing the emotion so the image can symbolize that same emotion, as opposed to portrait photography.
Remember to get the consent of the people you photograph!
Stock photographs are valuable commodities. They can make their way into advertisements and even games. The important thing to know is the proper way of assigning rights to your stock photos.
Though some stock photos are free of charge, most are purchased from the sellers. However, stock photos tend to lean towards a “pay once, use unlimited times” model. You can place limits on the time period that the image may be used, or territories where it may be used.
You can also choose to maintain ownership of your photographs or grant exclusive rights to an interested buyer (meaning no one else but the buyer can use the photograph). As with so many things these days, it pays to examine the laws governing the ownership and trade of stock photos.