STEP 6

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Selling products and services on my site

Selling ads will not differentiate you from your competition. The only thing that matters in advertising is how popular your site is, i.e. how much traffic it produces.

A way with which you can differentiate your site from your competition is to sell your products and services.

Using your site as an extra sales channel or even a pure online store

You might already have a real store in which case you can use your site as an extra promotion media as well as sales channel for your products, or you might be selling services, e.g. be a consultant and use your site to sell your consulting services.

You can either use your site to direct your visitor (also potential client) to your store or other contact information so that the sale can occur through your "traditional way", or automate the sale in your site by adding an e-commerce module to your site, in which case you use the same media (the internet) to advertise and promote your site as well as to complete a sale, which means that the effectiveness measurement for your online web campaigns are absolutely measurable.

You could also run a fully online store as well and do all your sales via the web. A lot of companies have tried and succeeded in doing so for many sectors (books, electronics, flowers, jewelry, songs, DVDs, etc.)

Through an e-commerce module, your site can charge your visitor's Credit Card or PayPal account and you can collect their money after selling a product or service.

Building e-commerce modules is obviously not trivial and I am not going to be covering that. Know though that there are some ready-made modules you can use for your site.

An example of an online store is Amazon:

Amazon

Subscription fees

Another way to make a profit from your site, is to charge your visitors a subscription fee (annual, once-off, etc.) in order for them to be able to access the entire or part of your site. This model has proven not to be very successful because now a lot of information is offered for free over the internet and you might be dissatisfying your visitor and to eventually lose him. I suggest that you do not charge a subscription fee (unless you have a knowledge base, case studies or specialized information regarding a topic)

An example of an online store is the Rhapsody site to download music:

Rhapsody

Let's learn more on affiliate programs and affiliate marketing.

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