Starting an Online Business

Hello readers!

I want to bring about a topic or a rather large topic that is near and dear to my heart…..

Starting an online business….ahem….!

I have had a passion for being an entrepreneur; I have always loved the idea of being my own boss. I completed an internet marketing class my senior year of high school; it really opened my eyes to what the internet was capable of. Keep in mind, when I took this class, the internet had definitely been around for quite some time, but the concept of actually conducting business online through different marketing strategies was a growing concept that has developed into our digital world.

When people say they have an online business, there are several facets to that statement, as the sky is the limit. There are many different online businesses: major companies like Amazon not only is the massive empire that it is, but adding on to its revenue with individuals who make side income or more from selling as an individual or professional seller.

There are pros and cons to selling on Amazon: the pro as a professional seller is that you have access to many different resources, however, there is a $39.99 fee each month. That fee isn’t a lot if you are consistently selling which in return brings you a ROI. One of the cons that I do not like about selling on Amazon is the very specific product information you need for data input. I have very gently used items that are still in excellent “like new” condition, but because I don’t have exact information needed (UPC); so the chances of selling that item becomes much more cumbersome. Don’t let me take away motivation from becoming a seller, I’m always striving to learn information and have success with selling on Amazon, currently though, as an individual seller which does not require any high monthly fees.

Another aspect of Amazon which I really do love is its affiliate marketing program. For those who aren’t familiar, affiliate marketing is when a user advertises a product or service and when a customer purchases from the associated link provided, the individual providing the link receives a small commission percentage from the sale.

So…. I’m going to plug my own affiliate link. My family LOVES these Nugo Slim protein bars, they are vegan and gluten free for people with dietary sensitivities. They are low in sugar, high in protein and fiber and come in differing flavors. Get them, they’re good! And to make them sound even better, they are dipped in dark chocolate, so what’s not to love about them? Yum!

Everyone knows about Ebay. I’ll be honest, I really thought Ebay wasn’t going to stick around after Amazon became what it is today. Upon further research, Ebay appears to be much more user friendly for sellers like me who are getting started and are selling personal items as an individual seller vs an established business. There aren’t as many restrictions and listing inventory is a lot easier. Check out my listings page here!

Moving on to another aspect of online businesses; rebate selling apps with an accompanying website. There are a variety of selling apps you can download to your phone/use the website to sell your own personal items. I have used the Poshmark app and website to sell my own gently used, like new items. Poshmark allows you to sell clothes, shoes, accessories and more. They do take a commission around 30%, which covers your shipping label. Visit my personal Poshmark account here!

Facebook, is always updating their software and user interaction capabilities; they added a new feature last year called the marketplace which allows for users to sell items as well. The inventory categories are endless, and it appears thus far there are no selling fees, which is great! My personal Facebook selling place is here, check it out!

As you can see, there are a variety of different ways to sell exclusively online from your own personal inventory of items taking up space in your house that will be a treasure to someone else. Thanks for reading and hope you find some treasures from my various sites.

Xo,

Amanda

Social Media: Professional or Personal?

Eleven years ago, I was sent an invitation from a girlfriend to join this social media platform called “Facebook.” I joined, and learned that I could connect with as many or as few friends as I wished, upload information about myself, publish pictures, “like” a post and many more interactions. Today, Facebook is so popular that it is not only utilized as a personal means of connection, but businesses have jumped on the bandwagon to promote their products and services. So much has changed, you can now react to a post through different emojs, do a live Facebook video stream, promote products through paid ads, etc.
So many platforms developed, not even 10 years old, have made such an impact on our global society: Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, etc. It makes me wonder as a consumer what will be developed next.
Is the level of social media usage a good or a bad thing? One might say that it can be very good because not only from the personal connections you can maintain, but from a professional stand point social media can reach a very large audience, depending not only on your own audience numbers, but based on the numerical amount you are willing to fund to reach your target audience through ads.
Twitter, especially for me, has become a news outlet. I personally follow many news sources, and stay ahead of the most breaking news and weather stories. Yes, Twitter was originally designed simply to “Tweet” out our inner/random thoughts, all at only 140 characters. Now, Twitter has become a major platform, once again for professional usages, for businesses, actors, business owners, politicians, to get the word out to a very large audience.
Others might say that social media can be a platform for online bullying to take place. How often does it happen that a person will post a picture/video, accompanied by a mixture of responses. Why do people feel its ok to say something extremely negative and downright mean to someone they have never met in person? Is it easier to hide behind the screen? It will never be ok to be an online bully, no matter what the social media platform is.
Another downside to social media is the addiction of usage users have developed (I’m guilty of this.) How often do we see in public people on their devices, instead of communicating with the people in person (again, I am guilty of this.)
Social media, has also become a source of income. Having a large audience can be very lucrative; we often will see an account holder talk about a product or service followed by the hashtag #ad or #sp, meaning they are being paid to post. YouTube used to just be about posting amateur video on any topic, now people have made a side or full time income from posting videos to their large audience and make money through monetizing their channel.
In the end, social media is great for both, just with a good balance. We will see how many of the platforms stick around and compete with one another.