The market for handmade items has skyrocketed over the past few years. These days people are more interested in finding something unique and thanks to the Internet, it is easier for those who make these items to sell them. While there are plenty of outlets available for entrepreneurs to start selling their products, most of these sites lack the uniqueness that really brings a handmade product to the top. When you’re ready to learn how to sell handmade items online, you need to cover all of our bases.
Sites like Etsy, eBay and even ecommerce platforms don’t help your products stand out. You’re slushing in the mixture of other like-minded individuals and their products — which means you have to work twice as hard to stand out. While you might sell one or two items a month on these mass selling sites, you won’t be able to build your brand or even churn enough profit to call it a “thriving” business opportunity anytime soon — if ever.
There are ways to sell handmade items online more efficiently and actually make a living using these ecommerce sites though. But you have to think out of the box and avoid the usual selling routes that try to teach you how to sell handmade items online.
Why You Should Sell Online
The Internet might be competitive, but it is still viable for selling your products. Ecommerce sites are growing by 19 percent each year and are estimated to earn $1.4 trillion by 2015. Consumers prefer shopping online. It’s convenient; they can browse multiple products without driving to various stores — and they can see reviews of what other people have to say. In fact, 73 percent of online shoppers do so for the time-saving capabilities and 67 percent do it for the variety. Not being online could be your biggest mistake.
By selling your handmade items online you increase your customer reach and can build your brand faster. Through additional outlets like social media, your brand can become instantly recognizable. But, it all starts with selling your handmade products in the right place.
The Power of Niche Websites
Niche websites are developed to promote your product based on your unique target consumer. When it’s created properly, it can generate a continuous source of income in combination with your other online listings. Niche sites are theme-based and focus on your products and brand. You’re narrowing down the field and making yourself stand out more. For example, you offer beauty products, more specifically a homemade bath solution. Your niche website would focus on that bath solution, rather than grouping you into the larger “beauty product” category.
Niche websites help you narrow it down to a very specific customer type. While that might seem limiting, it actually gets you more exposure and makes you more appealing than sites that generally categorize their products.
How to Sell Handmade Items Online with Niche Websites and Ecommerce
Once you have a niche website set up, you can use your niche site to direct traffic to your Etsy or other online listing site. This allows you to still sell on these ecommerce sites, but also offers you a secondary source for brand recognition and traffic. For example, on your niche site you could write a blog post and direct the readers to your Etsy or Amazon listing either via widgets or in-text links.
A niche website, however, is tricky to start. It requires a lot of knowledge regarding web analytics, target marketing, writing content, and setting up the site in general. You have to not only make an appealing site but also find ways to attract people to that site.
You know everything there is to know about your products, but probably not a lot about niche websites or selling your products. Therefore, the next step in selling online is getting the right training.
Getting the Right Training
There are a lot of training tools out there that will teach you how to sell handmade items online, but one of the best for niche products is Wealthy Affiliate. Wealthy Affiliate was designed for entrepreneurs looking to branch out into the Internet. You don’t need a lot of experience with marketing — in fact, none is required at all. The program itself is rich in features and training. It goes over the span of 60 lessons, ranging from how to operate your business more efficiently to pre-built website templates to SEO and PPC tools. Essentially everything you need to start selling online successfully is offered in the program.
You can start with Wealthy Affiliate for free using the Starter program. Then, if you find it useful you can bump up to the Premium program. Even with the Starter you’ll have your own affiliate blog, two websites to set up, access to beginning training modules, and more. For more information regarding the Wealthy Affiliate program, read this in-depth review.