How I Created an Import/Export Money-Making Website
There are a million and one ways to make money as a web writer.
Obviously you can hire your services out to clients, or you can write for yourself by starting your own Money-Making Website. You can create and sell your own products or sell someone else’s products. You can even combine two or three methods to make money.
That’s what I’ve done with my new business. I created a hybrid of the import/export business and a Money-Making Website and I use my web-writing skills to attract traffic and grow my site.
The result is ComfyEarrings.com, where I sell a product I invented to people from all over the world.
Let’s take a closer look …
What is an import/export business?
In an import/export business, you import products that are in high demand and then sell them to someone else who is willing to pay more — or you export them, depending on your business model.
Here is a partial list of current high-demand products:
- Business equipment
- Designer clothes and handbags
- Safety vests
- Cosmetics and toiletries
- and thousands more products!
Ten years ago, this kind of business would have been nearly impossible for someone like you and me. However, there are now hundreds of websites and resources you can use to start an import/export business from the comfort of your home.
There are a few things to consider when it comes to starting an import/export business …
They typically take a large financial investment to get started. Your initial investment must cover the cost of goods (in large bulk quantities), of transporting the goods, and of storing the goods until your buyer buys them or until you sell them piece-by-piece.
If you intend to sell on a wholesale basis, you can take your profit, turn around and import another shipment of goods quickly, and make more money each time.
How is this different from a Money-Making Website?
The benefits are nearly identical …
You can be your own boss, work your own hours, have unlimited profit potential, and use your web-writing skills.
But, the typical goal of a Money-Making Website is to sell affiliate products through your ability to generate content and traffic. This way, you have a very low start-up cost. To get started, all you need is a domain name, website hosting, and time.
You build the site, add content, find someone else’s product to promote, and generate traffic. Then, when a customer comes to your site and purchases the affiliate product you promote, you get a commission or a cut of the sale.
The Money-Making Website is basically a lead generator that sends potential buyers to an online store to make their purchase. With a Money-Making Website, you never have to handle stock, ship products, or deal with customer support, but you get a cut of the profit on the sales you help to trigger. You are like a salesperson getting a commission without doing any of the labor involved in making or delivering the products.
The import/export business, on the other hand, is a wholesaler of goods.
Taking Advantage of the Best of Both Worlds
What I have done with ComfyEarrings.com is a hybrid of the two strategies.
I’m using the import/export model to import the product I created.
And then, I use information I learned in the Money-Making Website program to build my traffic strategy: to write 100+ pages of content about earrings, earring sensitivity, and earring allergies that will bring free traffic to my website. And, that traffic should generate sales of my product.
Here are the reasons I decided to merge both methods, rather than choosing just one:
- I had an invention I wanted to get into the world: “The most comfortable earrings on Earth.”
- The import/export program gave me all the information I needed to locate someone who could manufacture my product just the way I wanted it.
- I had already completed the Money-Making Website program and saw the potential for tons of free traffic by creating pages of content for my site.
- I knew the traffic I generated would help me sell the volume of earrings I’d have to order through the manufacturing company.
Now, let’s look at how you can do this, too …
Your Own Import/Export Roadmap
Step 1: Figure out what you’ll sell.
I stumbled onto my product idea by solving a problem that has bothered me for years.
Earrings were just plain torture for me to wear. They poked and squeezed and my ears would be irritated and throbbing within a few hours. But I loved earrings and tried often to find a pair that wouldn’t hurt my ears or poke my neck.
Finally, I came up with a solution to make earrings comfortable. And, thanks to the import/export business program, I found a manufacturer who could make them the way I specified.
To find your own idea, look for solutions to problems in your daily life. A simple solution might seem almost too simple, but getting your product or invention off the ground will be easier if you don’t have to involve engineers and product developers.
An even easier way to get started is to sell a product that already exists.
For example, my husband really likes LED lights, but if you buy them at the store, they’re really expensive compared to standard light bulbs. He was able to find a supplier using the import/export business model and soon he may set up his own business selling LED lights.
In Step 3, I’ll explain how to look up manufacturers and browse their products, but first …
Step 2: Test your idea's profitability.
Before you buy a bulk order of anything, you want to know you’ll actually be able to sell it.
To test my idea’s profitably, I ordered the smallest quantity I could (we’ll get to “how to import” in just a minute).
Then, I wore them and passed about half out to my friends and family. I asked what they thought, if they would buy them, and what they would consider paying. (Be sure to gather testimonials at this stage.)
I also looked at other products on the market to see how well they were selling and at what price points.
Once I had positive feedback from my friends and family, I set up a website to test strangers’ opinions by selling the other half of my first imported order.
Setting up a website these days is very quick and inexpensive — you could even sell directly on Facebook. I figured if the idea flopped, I could easily scrap the whole thing and not lose too much money.
Luckily, it didn’t flop, which I’ll tell you more about in a minute.
Another way to determine if something will sell is to look at its history in the marketplace …
You want to avoid short-term fads. For example, you could have made a lot of money importing silly-bands, but now they are everywhere.
Instead, look for more timeless products. An example would be coffee mugs. People will always drink coffee and they need mugs to hold it. You could browse coffee mug manufacturers and find something unique and cool or come up with your own design or pattern.
Another thing to look for is a long-term trend in the market.
An example of a long-term trend would be almost anything “green.” Environmental products are here to stay and will only get better. The world may not be ready for everything green, but people are interested in renewable products that can help them reduce their utility bills. If you find an affordable, quality product in that niche, I doubt you could go wrong.
Step 3: Import your product.
As I mentioned earlier, you can come up with a unique idea and find a manufacturer, or you can browse products that are already created to find something you’d like to sell.
Both of these options are easier than ever thanks to the Internet.
Here are a few websites where you can find potential suppliers:
- Alibaba.com (which is my favorite so far)
These sites are great because they offer a lot of protection for buyers like us. They have the option to put your payments in escrow, which means the supplier doesn’t get the payment until you get the product. Plus, they have customer satisfaction ratings for each supplier, so you have a better idea of who to trust.
They also have English-speaking salespeople, which make it easier to communicate your needs. There are still communication difficulties, so be patient and spend some time going back and forth to make sure what you want to order is perfectly clear.
And to be on the safe side, I recommend making your first order small like I did just to be sure you’re getting what you expected. It took a few tries before ComfyEarrings were exactly how I wanted them to be.
Step 4: Set up a website to sell your product.
The whole point of this process is to make money using the Internet. From finding your supplier to getting your product shipped to selling the product — it’s all accomplished via the Web.
You can sell your product on eBay, classified ads, or even forums, but to be effective, you really need your own website. I built the ComfyEarrings.com site in WordPress, with the WooThemes theme, Shelflife. I use WooCommerce for my shopping cart.
Here’s a list of resources to get you started.
- Optimize Your Website for Search Engines
- Create Your Own Starter Website
- WordPress for Beginners – a Step-by-Step Guide
Step 5: Promote your site.
After you build your website, you need to attract visitors and make sales.
This is where I am implementing my long-term strategy to use the tips in the Money-Making Websites program to write hundreds of pages that will bring me free traffic.
Check out these articles for resources on how to optimize your website.
While you work on building free traffic, you can use social media to promote your site.
I’m using Twitter to tweet about ComfyEarrings and Facebook to send updates to my fans. I’m also running a few Facebooks ads, which have performed very well.
Later, I plan to add a Google AdWords campaign, and I’ll even have an affiliate program so others can help me sell my earrings — and make a commission when they do.
As you can tell, my web-writing skills are being put to good use with this venture.
Step 6: Profit!
So far, I have barely scratched the surface with the profit I should be able to make with ComfyEarrings.com.
In the beginning, my sales were from people I knew or from people who follow me on Twitter. But, in the past few weeks, I’ve started receiving orders from people I don’t know.
That is exciting because it means word is starting to spread and my marketing efforts are working! We’ve even had an order from the UK (we’re in Texas).
So, how much can you make?
Well, Valerie Johnson, Founder/CEO of Big Feet Pajama Company (BigFeetPJs.com), launched her e-business in 2005 with absolutely no experience. Her first year she made $360,000, and by 2009, she was up to 1.8 million per year.
And, Kevin and Lisa Hickey started their online business in January 2001 by selling flags. Their business, Online Stores, Inc. (onlinestores.com), grew from $1 million in revenue in 2002 to more than $25 million dollars in 2009!
This type of business is something that anyone can do.
Why not get started now? You could be making money within a month!
If you want to build a Money-Making Website, you can get all the information here.
Have questions? Want to chat? You can find me at ComfyEarrings.com or comment below.
This article, How I Created an Import/Export Money-Making Website, was originally published by Wealthy Web Writer.
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This was really awesome!!!
Guest (Pritam More) –
Great blog.. Before starting any kind of business planing is must. Without planing you can't achieve your goal,,,
Guest (learn how to import) –
Best wishes for business and i need to join ur business help me
Guest (mohamed amjadh) –
Thank you for sharing about your website so clearly. All the necessary elements were presented including the market research.
You enabled me to see with planning it is possible for me to create a website.
I do want some of your earrings. What a wonderful niche.
Best wishes, Marilyn
Thank you Christine for sharing this information. I think the idea is brilliant and they are very reasonably priced.
Just wondering about the amount of web content.
You seem to have only a few pages, yet, in another area of this site, I was informed that you need hundreds of pages of information.
Would prospective customers be bothered reading huge amounts of info?
Best regards, Teresa.
teresa f –
I live in japan and want to do this, i already have a site up on tennis, but no money, any other tips?
Thanks, great work and great writing too!
Guest (thomas) –
Wonderful.It is a great help for beginners.
Guest (Abbas) –
Good post i really appreciate doing good job.
Guest (scattravels) –
Thank you for your comments and compliments everyone!
Thomas, How are you monetizing your tennis site?
Christina Gillick –
You're right, I only have a few pages of content on ComfyEarrings.com. It's a bit different from an info website. But, I believe more content would help - it's on my task list :) - because I'd have more "reach" with SEO and social media.
As for prospective customers being bothered, I believe they'd only read as much as they need to make a buying decision. The rest would be there to attract visitors and give more info to those who want it.
I hope that helps!
Christina Gillick –
Great job Christine. Informative and helpful for a beginner
Guest (jhnd) –