A tool that a lot of bloggers need is eCommerce. eCommerce means you have a possibility to sell digital or physical goods on your site. We talked about having payment processor such as PayPal on your site and that might be enough in many cases. Dedicated eCommerce tools like shopping carts is another option because you could integrate those shopping carts with your email newsletters that you send out.
Newsletters can provide recommendation for your customers, what kind of products would they likely to buy based on the statistical data. PayPal doesn’t have this opportunity but other platforms like Shopify has this possibility. It’s really a valuable tool to have to send the right amount of information, right amount of content for your audience.
This way, you can be sure that you’re sending the right kind of recommendations of their product or services to them. Not spamming them but sending really relevant information. If you like to, if you have a physical product send to your customers, then you have to think about shipping costs and about return policy. You have to be clear about that and calculate your expenses, so that your expenses will be lower than the fees you collect for your products or services.
You could of course sell combination of digital and physical goods. Let’s say CDs and MP3s or DVDs and video material they can download. At any case, I think eCommerce possibilities for bloggers are great. Because when you write your own free posts, you always can include links to your paid products, to your products or services that you are providing on your eCommerce platform.
Make sure not to spam people, of course, with announcements about your new releases and other products and services that you currently creating. Because sooner or later, people will unsubscribe and will not be very happy about this. You have to have balance of providing a relevant, useful and helpful information for them and basically asking for a sale from them. The way that works for me, I found is in few ways.
Sometimes, really, it’s great to have a simple recommendation like one or three products from your eCommerce platform at the end of the free newsletter post. Or you could have a useful information, free information, various how to articles, various problem solving post and in them, you could have the link or two to your relevant products or services that you’re providing. This way, people will be still happy.
They will receive free content but they understand this is an exchange. They are providing you with the opportunity to contact them with relevant messages and helpful content but they still would understand that you’re doing this not as a non-profit and basically free information but you still need to make a living from it somehow. Pay the taxes and support your family hopefully in the long run. They will tolerate those links and as long as the free content you are providing is terrific and exciting for them.