The Bootstrapper’s Guide to Online Selling

Author: Liesha Petrovich, November 25, 2014


You don’t think of yourself as cheap.

You’re just resourceful and frugal, especially in business. You love being a bootstrapper, but you don’t want to look unprofessional.

The great news is there are plenty of free and affordable resources for online sellers. With a few bootstrapping tips, you can create and sell your own product without investing a lot of time or money.

Bootstrap Your Product

Not all products are created equal. Making and selling a physical product, can mean an upfront cost and added complexity with managing inventory. On the other hand, digital products are simpler. Once made, there are no additional costs for replicating the file, so inventory is never an issue.

Digital products include eBooks, PDF’s, videos, or digital artwork. Many bloggers create helpful how-to eBooks, recipe collections, or helpful guides based on their blogs. Artists can digitize their artwork, and experts can sell video tutorials. They key is to leverage your expertise and create something enticing for your target market.

But your product still has to have professional quality. Let’s say you created an eBook based on your blog posts. Before you’re ready to sell your new creation, hire an editor to proofread your book.

Bootstrap Your Packaging

Self-publishing is extremely popular, and it’s a great example of how easy it is to create digital products. But it doesn’t matter whether you’re self publishing or published by a publisher, the book cover is one of the biggest factors that influence people when buying. So you can’t afford not to have a professional looking digital product. If you do, will cost you sales.

The goal of a bootstrapper isn’t to look cheap. It’s to get professional results for less money. Unless you’re a graphic designer, outsource your digital product packaging. You can hire professional graphic designers from Elance or oDesk for an affordable cost.

Remember the old adage: You only get one chance to make a first impression. You want your product packaging to grab the customer’s attention, and still look professional. If you can’t do this yourself, outsource it to a professional.

Bootstrap Your Online Store

Choosing the right eCommerce platform is essential to the success of your online sales. You need a professional storefront, streamlined checkout, and secure payment options. Plus, bootstrapping is also about saving time and money. Even adding a free ecommerce solution to WordPress takes time and work in setting it up. Solutions like Shopify or BigCommerce are designed for selling lots of physical products and are beyond a bootstrapping budget.

What you want is way to build an online store you can do yourself, requires the minimum effort and cost. A way you can test the waters without breaking the bank.

Selz is a great option as it free to get started. It has loads of features designed to help you sell digital products such as 15GB file size, automated updates, video trailers and video streaming. There are no bandwidth or storage limits.

You can easily sell from an existing website or use their Store Pro app to easily create a professional looking online store with navigation, custom and contact pages. The stores are designed for use on any device including smartphones and tablets. This is an easy way to get an online store up and running with the minimum amount of money and work.

Be a Bootstrapper, But Don’t Look Like a Bootstrapper!

Remember the goal is to save money, but not look cheap. If you want to sell online, you have to project a professional image. No one will hand over their credit card if they don’t trust your site.

Whatever options you choose when selling online, make sure both your product and store look professional. With a little work, your customers will never know you bootstrapped your entire business.

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