How to learn to sell online

Learning how to sell online has become one of the most rewarding journeys for me so far. It just brings so much excitement receiving an email saying that I have made a sale or receiving an email with the commission invoice payable to me in a few working days. Would you also like to know how to learn to sell online? Then this article is for you!

Anybody can start selling online right now

Selling online can take many forms and shapes. You can sell your old stuff in the house online or you can advertise an extra room in your house for rent.

However, you can also sell digital services and products online. For example, you can create products in the form of online content: articles, videos, or photos. Or you can offer your services online in the form of content writing or dog walking for example.

Isn’t that impressive? I mean, in the array of choices on what you can sell online, everybody can find their niche and the way to make money by selling online.

Key differences that you need to know when deciding between an online business and a traditional job

What still impresses me and makes me rub my head in disbelief is how easy it is to start making money by selling online. Here are a few points that sold it for me:

  • Way more flexibility compared to a nine to five job

When you start selling online and manage to create your online business around it and therefore make your living from it, you get to decide what to do, when to do it and in what way. You are your own boss and that is always great, however…

  • With freedom comes more responsibility

Nobody tells you what to do however, there is also no certain payout to your bank account at the end of the month. If you decide to take it easy in a certain month, your earnings will suffer.

  • It is easy to start an online business

Online businesses are a lot different from traditional ones: oftentimes you don’t need capital to start off, you don’t need office equipment (only a computer or laptop is necessary), you don’t need staff, heck you don’t even need inventory. All you need is a creative mind, tons of motivation and persistence and a drop of luck.

  • You need perseverance and dedication

That is not to say that for a traditional job they are not necessary. The difference is that if you have a bad month at your traditional job, you might just lose your bonus, however still keep your job and therefore receive your pay at the end of the month. However, if you have a bad month and you run an online business, chances are you might lose customers, or traffic to your website and therefore lose sales.

It is important to understand that an online business, in order to thrive, needs more motivation and more work, at least in the beginning. This is why it is important to choose an online business that resonates with you, be it the mission, be it the work itself or any other aspect of it that will keep you persistently going.

Decide if selling online is something for you

First decide what it is that you would like to do? What is it that you would like to offer to the world out there? Is it your physical product or your skills in the form of services? How much time do you have at hand? Is there demand for it? Do you like doing/creating it? Because if you don’t, chances are you will quickly get bored and it will become a hurdle instead of a hobby.

Are you looking for ways to make (more) money online?

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How to sell online for free?

When it comes to selling online, the safest way is to start a business that does not require much investment or no investment in the beginning. That will allow you to give it a try without losing all your life savings. Some examples are:

  • Start a YouTube channel

To start a YouTube channel you do not need the latest pieces of equipment. The phone that you have in your pocket will do the job just great! The one and biggest factor that decides upon the success of a YouTube channel is to START one. There is no safer way to failure other than inaction.

  • Starting a Print On Demand (POD) business 

There are tons of free tools that allow you to create designs, which you can upload to various print on demand platforms and collect your commissions each month.

  • Joining an affiliate marketing program

If you have found your niche and are already creating content in that niche, you can search for affiliate programs and sign up to the ones you like the most. Once you become a partner to an affiliate program or more affiliate programs, you can insert your affiliate links recommending other people’s products and services. If somebody makes a purchase using your affiliate link you get an affiliate commission. It is that simple.

Above are just some examples of how you can start a business with no upfront investment.

However, if you are (very) serious about starting an online business

This is not to say that the methods described above are not serious methods of serious people that seriously consider starting an online business 🙂 As a matter of fact, there are plenty of people in this world who make a very beautiful living and are living a free life just from one of the methods described above. Therefore, if you are considering one of them, by all means, you are going in the right direction!

However, if you would like to get exposure to more learning regarding the topic of your interest, if you would like to learn from the people that have done the same thing before you and have achieved great success, you might want to consider paid subscriptions.

One of those paid subscriptions is Wealthy Affiliate. These guys are the top leaders in online marketing and have been doing affiliate marketing since 2005. You can read about what I think about the program in this review. In short, it is a platform that teaches how to own and manage an online business through creating your own website and selling products or services that are either yours or other peoples’ through affiliate marketing.

Wealthy Affiliate also has a free membership. With this free membership you can already build your website and get to learn the basics of online marketing and owning an online business. Don’t believe me? Check this review and confirm it for yourself 🙂

To summarise

There are plenty of ways to sell online, there are plenty of products that you can sell online, there are plenty of services that you can sell online. None of the products or services that you can sell online have to be yours. You can sell other peoples’ products or services online through affiliate marketing and this way earn a referral commission. You don’t even need to make any initial investments, you can start your online business for free today!

Whichever decision you make, make sure it is something that you like and that you will stick to. It takes time before an online business starts seeing traction and you start making money. Therefore, it might be an idea to start multiple business streams at once and decide later on which one you like most, which one brings in most value (to you and your audience) and which one has the potential to earn the most money.

Whichever way you decide to take, the journey to success is the most rewarding. It is the small milestones that bring the most joy and contempt. With the right mindset and perseverance every journey will lead to success.

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6 thoughts on “How to learn to sell online”

  1. The key to highlight from what you said is perseverance, patience and dedication. This is where most online marketers fail – by simply throwing in the towel too quickly. You never know, your online success may be just around the corner.

    Another aspect to highlight is: “With Freedom comes greater responsibility”.

    Once the money starts rolling in you cannot just sit back and relax and think the money is now going to continue to roll in on autopilot. Unfortunately your online business will continue to require dedication.

    Thanks for sharing some interesting thoughts.

    Best wishes!

    • Hi Schalk and thank you for your thoughts.
      I completely agree with you on the fact that many marketeers give up way too quickly way too soon.

      I can honestly say that I am one of them as my first website did not bring in the success that I had hoped and so I have just got demotivated and stopped working on it. That in consequence led me to believe that maybe blogging, affiliate marketing and selling online in general was not for me.

      Yet, after a while I realised how fulfilling blogging is and how much value it brings to the world just sharing your ideas and potentially help someone just like you find their own way of succeeding online.

      All the best,

  2. Hi Tatiana,

    Nice article. I have been blogging for just over 2 years now. Affiliate marketing can be quite difficult I think. Definitely requires a lot of time and commitment. For me, I think the development of skills and trying new things are very important but I also think as well that finding other ways to make money if your affiliate marketing and advertising aren’t quite there yet Is worth a go. I am not really familiar with your POD idea maybe will need to do some research but my eBay business has personally helped finance my other businesses. Personally, I would also recommend eBay and similar platforms as a means to help cover costs. Also, Appen is another one I think is good if you can spare the time.

    • Hi Alex and thank you for your comment.
      Reading your words just proves how many ways are there to sell online. Affiliate marketing in its own is a way to sell in exchange for a commission.
      I should also look into eBay and Appen, you never know when the right platform will just cross your way and become the main bread earner 🙂

      Best of luck, Tatiana

  3. Hi Tatiana,

    I think that more and more people now are working online. After the lockdown was over, many quit their jobs, unable to adapt to the old 9 to 5 office normal and started looking for ways to earn money online. Do you think there is a lot of competition in affiliate marketing? And does a print-on-demand business involve self-publishing books or also other items?

    • Hello Christine and thank you for your comment.
      I believe you are right when saying that people find it harder to adapt to the office life after the lockdown.
      I am one of the lucky ones who can still keep working from home most of the week. This allows for more flexibility and the opportunity to continue developing this website.

      I believe there will always be competition in everything. At the end of the day it is not about the competition that one is facing but about the added value that one is providing and the way one manages to relate to his/her audience. Bottom line is: affiliate marketing works and it is a great way of making money online!

      In terms of print-on-demand, it relates to more than just books. Today one can create designs and upload them to multiple POD platforms, such as Redbubble, Amazon Merch, Amazon KDP, etc.


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