How to Create an Online Store from Scratch While Studying Full-Time
For many students, it is challenging to manage full-time study and their finances.
Not everyone is fortunate enough to get their fees paid by their parents, and student loans might not be an option for everyone.
If you would like to be self-sufficient while you are gaining a formal qualification, you will need to make the most out of your skills and set up a side hustle that will give you a steady income.
You might not see results immediately, but creating an online store is a popular option when you are trying to become financially independent and focus on your studies at the same time.
Find out how to create an online store below:
1. Learn Basic Web Design Skills
If you have limited funds to invest in setting up a business, you might not be able to afford a web designer. This means that you will have to learn basic web design skills.
While there are plenty of template-based website companies out there offering a great value for money, you will want your site to stand out instead of looking like any other website. Using WordPress has plenty of benefits, and you will be able to use free plugins and templates to customize your online store.
2. Research Your Niche
Before you choose the products you would like to sell on your website, you will need to find out as much as possible about your ideal customer and their needs.
If you have the time, you can join groups and social media pages where you can learn as much as possible about the behaviour of your market players, as well as your competitors. This will help you develop a strong USP to make your brand stand out.
3. Find the Point of Differentiation for your Online Store
Once you know exactly what you would like to sell, you will have to start focusing on your personal brand.
You may be an affiliate marketer or a drop shipper. Whatever the case is, you will still need to create a strong brand that will help you make the most out of your personal business. Make it personal and professional, and you will attract the right type of customer.
4. Put Systems In Place to Automate Orders and Shipping
When you are trying to focus on your studies, you don’t want to be dealing with customer service and delivery. This is why you might want to create a system that will help you manage and automate your business.
You can use TMS to fully automate your order and delivery process. If you decide to become a drop shipper or affiliate, you will not have to deal with the details and still get your commission for the sale.
5. Create an Effective Sales Funnel
If you have limited time marketing your online store, you might need a digital marketing sales funnel that will automate your traffic and lead generation and allow you to create meaningful interactions with your potential clients.
You cannot waste hours trying to manually follow up every lead; create a sales and conversion process that works for your business and market. Design the customer touch points to generate interest and engagement, and personalize their experience every time they visit your site.
6. Automate Your Social Media
You should try and take the hard work out of your content creation. When you have assessments to prepare for or essays to write, you simply cannot spend hours being distracted on social media.
That is why scheduling your blog, vlog, or social media posts is the best solution. You can simply use third-party services, such as Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule your posts and generate reports. You can also use publicize from Jetpack. Once you know which type of content your audience reacts to, you will be able to pick the winning strategy
7. Track Your Conversions
One of the things you cannot live without when setting up your online store is data. Thanks to the latest developments in business intelligence solutions, you can now track your conversions.
Whether you are running a Facebook campaign or just trying to measure the effectiveness of different traffic sources and find out where your customers are coming from.
From link tracking to online tools that analyze and map your website traffic, there are numerous free software available to make your life easier.
Finally, to keep your finances stable during college or university without a student loan or help from your parents, you have to become creative and find a way to create a residual income that allows you to focus on your studies instead of having to work long hours for peanuts. So, what has been your source of residual income? Feel free to drop your comments. 😉