Finding the right opportunity as a work from home Mum can be challenging, but many women are turning their talents to selling things online. Whether your skills lie in greetings cards or wedding cakes, an online shop could be the answer for your home business. 

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Where Should I Host My Shop?

There are lots of tools available to create an online shop. Etsy is very popular for craft-based businesses, or you could use tools like Shopify or Magento to build a shopping section within your own website. You can also sell directly from Facebook, either in selling groups or with a shopping tab on your business page.

Which option you choose depends on your budget, your target market and the products you sell. 

How Do I Make Sure People Find My Shop?

SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is essential. SEO is what helps your shop to rank on Google. There are a few simple things you can do to help your site rank.

Make sure you use relevant headings, and that any images have relevant alt-text. Add regular blogs on your website, to keep the content current and interesting – Google loves a site with plenty of fresh content.

Try to keep the content fresh too. Rotate your stock regularly and make sure that fresh things are constantly being added, with relevant keywords that are appropriate to the season.

The Power of Social Media

You should also harness social media to market your business. Set up accounts on Twitter and Facebook, and join relevant Facebook groups. If you are marketing a physical product and you can photograph it well, you may also have some luck on Pinterest or Instagram.

Each of these platforms has its own hints and tricks to master them and to get your products moving. You can find training material on covering each one of these channels online, or if you are reading this blog before September 2019, you could sign up for our free online conference, where you can learn all about blogging and social media management for your business.

You could look for relevant forums or blogs to comment on too, but be careful to adhere to any rules about advertising or self-promotion. 

How Can People Pay Me Safely?

If you’re taking card payments online, it’s important to make sure that your customers feel secure that their card details are safe. When you’re starting out, something like Paypal is a great option. People are familiar with it, it’s free to set up and is easy to use. You’ll be able to take payments from all over the world, with only marginal sellers’ fees. 

Should I Market Offline Too?

Absolutely! Cover all bases with your marketing to build the maximum customer base. Think about what more traditional marketing methods could work for you. Direct mailing can still be effective, as can print advertising. 

Another great way is word of mouth advertising. Give coupons to your customers to share with their friends, an/or give discounts for repeat business.

Is there a relevant local networking event you could attend? In-person networking can be great for marketing and also helps you build useful business contacts you may need in the future. If you find yourself in need of a photographer or an SEO expert, you’ve probably met someone suitable at a networking event. Build contacts and keep hold of any business cards you collect. 

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If you’re working from home, getting out of the house for a networking event can be great for your mental health too. You’ll meet other business owners and get a break from being in the house all day.

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