The internet is a great platform for anyone looking to sell products. If your blog has a strong following, you may be interested in making a little money selling some branded items like t-shirts, mugs, hats, or stickers. Or maybe you want to compile some of your best blog content and sell it as an ebook on your site. But setting up an e-commerce store can be a complicated process, especially if you don’t know anything about programming or web framework. In order to have a usable store, you’ll need to list your products in a clear and organized fashion, and have the ability to take credit card payments, and store customer data securely. While this may seem like a daunting task, using WordPress to set up an e-commerce site is a quick, easy and user-friendly way to get your business going, and you don’t have to be an expert!
Can I Add A Shop To My WordPress Blog?
WordPress was originally set up to function as a platform for bloggers to easily create custom websites to house their blogs. Over time, it’s developed into a popular content management system. In other words, you can create and control a powerful website that can do almost anything even function as an e-commerce store. Using WordPress for your shop is a great idea because you’ll have full control over all aspects of your site. If you’ve been using WordPress for a while, you already know how customizable it is. You can build out detailed product pages, and make your store both beautiful and functional.
WordPress is perfect for starting small and will grow with you. You’ll need just a bit of technical knowledge, but it’s not anything that will take you more than a few days to get the hang of. Using other e-commerce platforms like Shopify can include fees, but using a WordPress site won’t charge you for transactions or bill you for any monthly fee, so it’s perfect if you don’t have much of a budget to keep your shop going. In addition, your fanbase already knows and love your blog, so hosting your shop on your existing site makes sense.
Getting Your Shop Up and Running
To start, you’ll need a domain name and host for your site. If you have a blog on your own domain, this is already taken care of. While large e-commerce sites tend to need a lot of storage space, since some shops offer hundreds or even thousands of products, if you’re starting small with just a few products, you won’t need to worry about increasing your storage space just yet.
Next, you’ll need to find a WordPress e-commerce plugin. Another great thing about WordPress is that there are plugins that can add just about any function to your website. Your site needs to have product pages, a shopping cart function, and a checkout that can process payment. A great e-commerce plugin should feature all of these. The most popular one is WooCommerce, for good reason. WooCommerce is easy to use, versatile and has a helpful and active community of users. In addition, it’s great for search engine optimization (SEO). It’s a free plugin, but if you want to add some advanced functionalities, you’ll need to pay for extensions. However, if you’re just setting up shop for the first time, the free plugin should be all you need. Of course, there are tons of other e-commerce plugins, but WooCommerce has stood the test of time, and consistently gets the highest marks.
In your WordPress site’s dashboard, navigate to “Add New Plugin.” From there, simply search for WooCommerce, and then install and activate WooCommerce by WooThemes. You’ll be prompted to install the plugin with a wizard that will set up the initial settings. Walk through the setup and choose the appropriate choices along the way.
When setting up the payment option, the easiest way to get started is by using PayPal (you’ll be given this option during setup). You can explore other payment options later, but PayPal is quick and easy, and your store will be up and running sooner. From there, you may need to install a new theme on your site. If you have chosen a theme that is more relevant to blogging, you may need to find one that’s compatible with WooCommerce, and use one that works better with the functions of your shop.
Within the plugin, you’ll be able to design product pages with descriptions, pictures, and prices. It’s important to include really high-quality photos of the products. The better the pictures look, the more people will want to buy! You can also sell virtual products like ebooks, online courses, etc. WooCommerce is customizable, so you can easily choose settings like where you are located, which countries you can ship products to, and enabling tax calculations.
Start by creating a test product, just to see how the page looks and feels. If everything functions smoothly, you can start adding real products. Because you set up PayPal earlier to handle payment, you will be able to start selling immediately, and you will be able to accept both credit card and PayPal payments.
If you are a blogger who already has a solid following and are considering monetizing your blog, selling products is a great option, and can also help to get the word out and market your blog. You know people already love what you have to say, so offering up an ebook or another digital document is a great way to start selling. If you’re feeling creative, it’s easy to get your logo or branding printed on different products that you can sell. Since you already have a WordPress site, it makes a lot of sense to simply add a shop to your existing blog, instead of hosting it on an external site, and plugins like WooCommerce make it easy to start selling with just a little setup time.