The entrepreneurial mind is always looking for that next money making venture, and ideas for a side business seem to always come and go. Luckily within our current economy, there are many creative ways to earn money online, so it is becoming easier to start an online side business. The trick to launching a truly enjoyable side business and one that will be successful in making money is the amount of passion and dedication that you can put into it.
If you are able to take an existing passion and monetize it, it can go a long way because it is already something that you invest time and energy for your free time. This is why, for some, monetizing their creative passions and selling their handmade crafts online has been particularly lucrative. Today Etsy is a huge site because people can sell their stuff to a huge number of audience. If you can make great handmade jewelry you can start selling today and start earning money.
Today Etsy is a huge site because people can sell their stuff to a huge number of audience. If you can make great handmade jewelry you can start selling today and start earning money.
As is evident from the dozens of online shop options, from Shopify to Etsy and everything in between, the trend of selling handmade crafts online is not only increasing, but also becoming progressively easier to achieve.
Creating your Own Online Shop vs. Using a Community Platform
Deciding on whether to use an account on a community-based selling platform or to create your own online store really all depends on the below
- Type of business you are hoping to launch,
- The amount of time and energy you have, and the
- Amount of product you feel you are able to sell and
- The stock you are able to maintain
- If you have technical expertise to create and maintain your own shopping site
Let’s now see the pros and cons of both options
Advantages of a Community Platform
- Easy set up and no hosting hassle
You are able to quickly design a basic storefront without having to design a full site and then worry about domain name registration and a hosting plan. You have all of the tools that you need to get off the ground.
- You have an instant network
Since the platform already has traffic, you don’t need to worry at first about generating your own. Something like Etsy, eBay, Amazon, or Shopify already has a developed network of shoppers. Using these platforms offers you automatic access to this network.
Advantages of Your Own Online Store
You have more control over your brand. From choosing a unique and individual domain name, for example, to the tailor-made look you want, even to what kinds of payment methods you want to implement on your site. The sky is the limit for designing your site exactly the way that you want it to look and function. You have complete control over how your business runs and the brand that you present to the world.
- No Second Party Fees
Aside from an annual renewal fee for your domain name and minimal monthly hosting fees, your site is all run and managed by you, meaning you aren’t paying those second party fees like product listing fees, transaction fees, advertising fees, and payment processing fees like you do with pre-established platforms.
- No inter-platform competition
With your own site, you are able to implement optimization strategies to gain more traffic to your website and optimize it for the search engine. However, an account within an established platform is not as easy to optimize. This means that you can miss out on sales because traffic is being diverted to a competition within the same platform.
Your success is at the mercy of the platform, and since each platform account looks pretty much the same, standing out from the competition is incredibly difficult.
Ultimately, both options have their advantages and drawbacks. The best approach seems to be a combination of the two. First, get your product selling through a community platform and gain a bit of exposure through the use of an already-built network.
Then, set up your own online store where you have complete control over your brand and business operations, and funnel traffic from that community platform to your personal site. As you grow and gain more and more traffic, your personal site will eventually surpass that of the community platform.