Having your own store was once a very difficult venture that required a huge amount of capital investment, property rental, hiring employees, etc. However, in the age of the internet, owning your own store is a much more realistic venture. Even so, up until recently, you still needed to invest a lot of time and money into creating an online platform that worked well and offered adequate security to your customers.
Oh how things have changed! With the advent of WordPress and eCommerce plugins in the last few years, owning a store and selling your own products, without any middlemen, is now a reality for anyone!
Really, I mean…anyone can do it!
In this post I am going to introduce the idea of creating your own eCommerce website. I will discuss the basic concepts and resources you will need to consider as well as point you in the right direction for further training.
I will follow up with much more specific tutorials explaining each step of the process in step-by-step detail.
What Are You Going To Sell On Your E-Commerce Website?
Recommended Resources: Jaaxy
Obviously, if you are going to have an eCommerce website you need products to sell. What you sell can literally be anything! You can sell something you build, you can create and sell eBooks, you can get involved in dropshipping and sell products straight from the manufacturer, or you can even sell other people’s products and get a commission on every sale! The possibilities are literally endless.
If you’re not exactly sure what to sell at this point, I would suggest looking into some affiliate programs. There are many ways to find products you can sell for commissions, but my preferred method is to use the Affiliate Program Search over at Jaaxy. This tool will streamline your product search and make your life MUCH easier!
“Brand” Your E-Store + “Register” Your Trademark
Depending on the route you decide to take, this step right here may be the only start-up expenses you have when building your eCommerce website. Once you know what you want your store to be called you will need to first, make sure that domain name is available and, second, purchase that domain name (not always necessary).
I prefer to buy my domain names from two sources. The first is from NameCheap and the second is from SiteRubix. Namecheap is definitely the more popular of the two and they provide great service; however, SiteRubix offers you two free websites to start as well as free hosting.
Check to see if your desired domain name is available here:
“Rent” Space For Your E-Commerce Website To Occupy
Every website must have a hosting provider. Some people host their own websites on their personal servers…but most people don’t have their personal servers. Most of us, myself included, must rent hosting space from another company. Think of it as the “building” you are renting to put your store in.
“Build Out” Your Store Using WordPress
Recommended Resources: WordPress
Now that we have our store name, domain, and hosting space taken care of it is time to start planning out the behind the scenes infrastructure of your store. This is done using a Content Management System (CMS).
The only CMS I would recommend is WordPress. WordPress is by far the most popular CMS. It's the most popular for a reason: because it is simply the best. It is utilized by huge, mega-corporations as well as tiny niche websites. It is easy to learn and has a relatively small learning curve.
Note: If you are using Wealthy Affiliate to host your website, you will not need to install WordPress as this is done automatically for you.
“Design” The Look Of Your E-Store
Now that you have the general framework set-up, it is time to “hire an architect” to design what your site will actually look like. In the world of eCommerce this is done by installing a theme on your CMS (remember the CMS you will be using is WordPress).
When you first install WordPress it comes with a default theme, but this will probably not be good enough for an E-Store. You wouldn’t open up a physical store in a space designed for manufacturing newspapers would you? The same is true for your online store. If you are going to sell products you need to have a theme that is designed for that very purpose.
There are, literally, probably thousands of available themes to choose from; some free and some premium. With so many options it is hard to choose and especially hard to know if they are of good quality or not. The two sources I use for all of my eCommerce sites are MyThemeShop and Elegant Themes. I can ensure you they are of high quality and will serve you well!
“Hire” Your Staff To Manage Your Inventory And Process Your Payments
Recommended Resources: WooCommerce
Luckily for us, we don’t actually need to hire anyone to do this for us. There are actually many plugins that you can install to do this for you. The plugin that I highly recommend and use is called WooCommerce. It is extremely popular and relatively easy to use.
WooCommerce can be highly customized to successfully manage even the most intense eCommerce websites with tens-of-thousands of complicated products. It is secure and is globally trusted to handle all major forms of financial transactions around the globe.
“Equip” Yourself To Operate Your E-Store Successfully
Recommended Resources: Wealthy Affiliate University
Just as you must constantly learn and evolve the operation and management of a physical store to remain competitive and profitable, you must do the same for your E-Store. You must manage your E-Commerce website’s social media presence, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising, etc.
This all probably seems very overwhelming! Believe me…I know. Not too long ago I was in the same spot as you; completely clueless and overwhelmed with all I had to learn. The great news is that there are tons of resources out there to train you in everything I mentioned, and more.
Check out the first E-Commerce website I ever built: MadebySallie.com
To be honest, I believe Wealthy Affiliate University is probably the best resource out there for anyone looking to create an online presence. It is also where I learned everything I know now. Literally, there isn’t a thing I’ve done on this website, or any other that I have built, that I didn’t learn from Wealthy Affiliate University.
Get Started With Your Store Before Someone Else Does!
I would encourage you to get started on your store as soon as possible. There are thousands of people, if not more, looking into selling their products and ideas online. Don’t let someone steal your idea out from under you! (I’ve had this happen a couple times before and it is SOOOOO frustrating!)
If you haven't already checked…see if your E-Store's name is available:
Please Share Your Questions, Concerns, Hesitations…Anything!
If you have any questions, concerns, or comments regarding creating your own E-Commerce website, PLEASE leave me a comment below! I will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have and to help get you started on your journey to owning a successful E-Commerce website!
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