8 Styled Stock Photography Shops for the Solopreneur

8 Styled Stock Photography Shops for the Solopreneur
The first time we found a styled stock photography shop, we had a big slap-hand-to-forehead “oooh, so that’s how it’s done” moment. Before then, we thought maybe there was some required course in setting up beautiful, perfect desktops that we’d missed out on in school. But no! The internet is fancy, and we’re all just a few clicks away from access to these beauties. If you’re new to these shops, we think you’ll find they’re quite useful.

So what exactly IS styled stock photography?

Unlike traditional stock photography, styled stock photography is usually designed around a color palette and/or theme to help you display your own work. These images are generally created with clear areas to insert your designs or text and are usually highly-staged setups, like tabletops or desktops.

If you’ve seen these styled photos around but are wondering how to use them in your business, there are so many ways! Use them for: 

  • Creating blog post images
  • Making images for landing pages for new products and/or services
  • Sharing images of your newsletter on an iPhone via social media 
  • Showing off your ebook on a tablet or Kindle
  • Displaying a styled laptop scene displaying your latest e-course
  • Showcasing your design work on a photo of a mug or print

If you’re not sure where to find these types of photos, we’ve gathered up some shops we adore to get you started.

Dear Miss Modern 

Specializes in “mixing business with pretty.” We’re especially lusting after her fall stylings, like this glam pumpkin!

Dear Miss Modern Styled Stock Photography

KateMaxShop 

Perfect for all you pink and gold lovers out there. Plus, donuts almost too pretty to eat. Almost.

KateMax Styled Stock Photography 

SC Stockshop 

Filled with gorgeous choices, like this fun desktop party and so much more.

SCStockShop Styled Stock Photography

Type & Style 

Many fantastic options in this shop — take note of their bundle deals in particular.

Type&Style Styled Stock Photography

UpStyled

A modern and practical shop with stylish options perfect for products or blogs.

Upstyled Styled Stock Photography 

Don’t Tell Anyone 

A small but impressive collection of hip, modern styled photos.

Don't Tell Anyone Styled Stock Photography

Kristina&Co

A lot of to choose from in this shop, like this pretty accessories scene below. Also check out this fun holiday photo!

Kristina&Co Styled Stock Photography

LittleSparrowShop

A great shop with adorable photos that will make your site or products look fantastic.

LittleSparrow Styled Stock Photography

We hope you check out these shops and they give you some rad ideas! Do you already use styled stock photos in your business? Have you ever tried using stock photography to spark your imagination? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!

We are affiliates of Creative Market. As always, we only promote products and services that we think will benefit you and your business. 

A Chic WordPress Theme for Female Bloggers & Entrepreneurs

Bloggers looking for a dose of chic need look no further than the Paisley WordPress theme from BluChic. Perfect for female bloggers and solopreneurs who want their photos and articles to shine with a feminine and sleek design! With a ready-to-go sidebar for all important elements (like an author photo and bio, social media buttons and recent Pinterest pins) and a simple menu, this theme won’t overpower your content.


classic chic white wordpress theme

A few of our favorite features:

  • Two columns for your blog posts, with a vertical featured image and post title
  • The customizable header logo and header background image, with an optional top banner ad placement
  • Responsive design for mobile and tablet
  • The ability to change colors with a color wheel picker
  • 5 category images and the site title in the footer

sleek feminine wordpress theme

Disclosure: We are part of BluChic’s affiliate program and may receive a commission on sales bought through the links above. However, we are huge fans of BluChic and use their products all the time (including on this site), so all opinions are our own!

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One Woman Experiments: Coding With Skillcrush (Part I)

Welcome to One Woman Experiments, where daring business women experiment with different parts of their business in order to find best practices. We hope these mini-experiments help improve your business and inspire you to test-drive new strategies. Have an experiment you want to test out and document? Check out our ideas and guidelines! This experiment in web development is currently being embarked upon by OWS head-honcho, Sara Frandina.

I’m a multipassionate. I don’t believe in confining yourself to a niche; I aim to learn as much as possible about many different things; and I sure as hell don’t ever find myself bored.

Being a multi-passionate, to me, means constantly evolving and trying new things. I’ve learned to overcome my fear of public speaking and won a campus-wide contest. I’ve learned to speak fluent Italian and traveled there as part of a full-immersion program. I’ve researched carboys and the best oak to use as I learn to make wine.

My Type-A personality lends itself well to learning, sticking with something, and getting pretty good at most things. (I’m not bragging. It’s a blessing and a curse.) But there’s one thing that’s been on my bucket list for far too long now, that I simply have not been able to grasp: coding. (Web developers: you have my undying envy + awe.)

Learning to code as a One Woman Shop

I’ve putzed around with the self-teaching route for coding. When I launched my business in late 2013, I even set out to build my own site. As a copywriter + editor, it was a complete mindset shift from the creative, free-flowing words to the rules-laden, no-room-for-error world of code. But still, even after embarking upon the process and keeping the best notes possible, I just wasn’t getting the hang of it.

A lot of that came from being a One Woman Shop who really needs to spend the majority of my time doing the things I’m good at to keep my business growing — and therefore not being able to devote consistent time to a “non-essential” skill like coding. But the desire to learn to code hasn’t escaped me — especially as I have client after client ask me how to put the web copy I write to its best use.

So when one of Cristina’s online contacts connected One Woman Shop to the ladies at Skillcrush suggesting we collaborate, it seemed a match was made in heaven. What’s Skillcrush? Oh, just a company that aims to teach tech skills to people who are complete newbies in a non-invasive, self-paced way. (And it’s a company built + run by a team of women — even better.)

Learning to code, the Skillcrush way

Skillcrush has designed what they call Career Blueprints: comprehensive, three-class plans that you purchase as a package. They currently offer Blueprints for Web Design, Web Development, Freelance WordPress Development, and Ruby on Rails Development.

I know what you might be thinking: how is Skillcrush any different than the classes I can find, most likely cheaper, on Skillshare, Udemy, and the other online learning platforms that we love? Now that I’m nearly two weeks into the first module, let me count the ways:

Structure

The thing I lacked most in teaching myself to code was structure. Even going to frequent Girl Develop IT classes put on by our local chapter just didn’t provide the structure needed to learn, implement, and keep learning. With Skillcrush’s Blueprints, you have set lessons to follow — whether you do it for an hour daily, as they suggest, or at your own pace — and a road map for where you’re going. Suddenly, I understand the pieces of what I’m learning and how they’ll all work together.

Support

The community around the Skillcrush Blueprint is amazing. Not only do you have the support of your teachers, but you have constant access to fellow students running through the same program you are. They’ve built the Skillcrush community via Mightybell (basically a social intranet), which takes some getting used to, but it’s fantastically active.

Syllabi

The Blueprint is fantastic in that I know what’s coming next — and the lessons drop into my inbox every day, so I don’t have to remember to go log in and check them out. I’ve just dipped my feet in the water with the first monthly module, HTML and CSS, and I’ve got a full four weeks of lessons to help me fully immerse myself and put it into practice before the syllabus calls for the next modules, JavaScript and jQuery, and Ruby, Git, and Sinatra. Do I even know what half of those things mean at this point? Nope. But that’s the beauty of the guided syllabi — I’ve got the path laid out for me.

Why this is truly an experiment

Skillcrush makes some big promises: on the landing page for the Web Developer Blueprint, it tells me that I’ll have “everything you need to know to become a kick-a$%, take-no-prisoners, digital native.”

After years of trying to learn, I’m excited to see how true that is. And with the structure, support, and carefully-thought out syllabi, I’m dedicated to taking my hour each day to see it to fruition. Will it be perfect? I doubt it. Will I struggle? For sure. But that’s the purpose of this column: so you can learn from my mistakes and see if Skillcrush is the answer to your tech-savvy dreams.

Stick with me — I’ve started off strong and now I need you to hold me accountable. I’ll be sharing the ins-and-outs of learning to code with the Skillcrush Web Developer Blueprint over the next three months!

PS – Skillcrush isn’t just a pay-to-play learning site. I’ve encountered countless fantastic resources via the Skillcrush blog to help me in both learning to code and learning to excel as a solopreneur.

PPS – Full disclosure: This post contains affiliate links + Skillcrush has comped the Blueprint for me as part of this One Woman Shop Experiment. (Aren’t they awesome?) That being said, everything I share is made of up my candid, honest opinions as I move through the Blueprint.

A Stylish WordPress Theme for Lifestyle Bloggers

We love the new BluChic WordPress theme Olivie, which is perfect for fashion, beauty and lifestyle bloggers. If your blog needs a makeover, Olivie could be the perfect fit for you.

romantic wordpress theme

Our favorite features:

  • The prominent newsletter sign up area right under the featured slider (and setup support for MailChimp users)
  • Infinite scrolling for all your photos or regular pagination
  • Responsive layout for desktop, mobile and tablet
  • Custom header logo for personalized branding

Disclosure: We are part of BluChic’s affiliate program and may receive a commission on sales bought through the links above. However, we are huge fans of BluChic and use their products all the time (including on this site), so all opinions are our own!

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Naomi: A WordPress Theme for Online Entrepreneurs

For food bloggers, bakers, or foodie solopreneurs, BluChic’s Naomi WordPress theme could be the key ingredient for your brand. With multiple layout options and featured locations for your photos, Naomi is an yummy choice for your website.

Not only for food lovers, Naomi provides a feminine look to any online store. Wedding gifts, handmade jewelry, customized stationery or other boutique items will fit well with this chic WordPress theme. Offer up a fun, easy shopping experience for your customers!

Naomi Pastry and Cupcake WordPress BluChic Theme

A few of our favorite features:

  • Large slider on the homepage to feature your delicious creations
  • Put your social media icons in the footer and in a widget
  • The custom header logo to streamline your brand
  • Responsive design for desktop, mobile and tablet
  • And multiple layouts to get the look and feel you want (see below)

BluChic Naomi WordPress Theme Layout Options

Disclosure: We are part of BluChic’s affiliate program and may receive a commission on sales bought through the links above. However, we are huge fans of BluChic and use their products all the time (including on this site), so all opinions are our own!

Sell Your Products Online: Bootstrap an Online Store

Ready to sell products online but too caught up in the day-to-day tasks of marketing and management to build your online store?

We get it. As one-woman businesses, we’ve all been there. Our time is extremely valuable. We don’t have the space in our schedule — or the skills — to create an online store, especially when eCommerce is just plain intimidating.

There are a lot of moving parts to e-commerce: confirming secure transactions, solidifying payment methods, sorting out product delivery, and handling customer service, among others.

Overwhelmed yet? Don’t be. While there are plenty of e-commerce platforms you can choose from to build your own online store, I have great news for you: there are fast, affordable, and easy ways to sell your products online without the backend hassle. In fact, you could be selling your products in less than an hour!

Sell Your Digital Products Online

Digital products are one of the easiest and most cost-effective products to create. One of the biggest perks: you don’t have to concern yourself with inventory management. Another perk? There are a variety of digital products you can create. You could:

  • write a how-to eBook
  • create a video tutorial
  • record audio coaching sessions

Those are just a few examples. Selling digital products is a great way to grow your brand’s image and highlight your expertise, while making some extra money.

My suggestion for getting started: in less than an hour of your time (once your product is created), you can create a customized Selz store and start selling your digital masterpieces. Selz’ newest app, StorePro, allows users to create an online store using one of their professional themes. Plus, customers can shop from any tablet or smartphone. Setting up a Selz store is free, and they only charge a small percentage of each sale. One of the best parts about Selz is you don’t need any technical skills. They handle the entire sales process.

See it in action: Sofia Cope sells her Pretty Procrastinator Planner using Selz, which is an undated printable planner designed for busy women.

Pretty Procrastinator Planner Selz

Sell Your Own Line of Merchandise Online

One drawback when creating a line of brand merchandise is the enormous cost of selling it. This includes buying inventory, paying set-up and printing fees, and more. It can cost thousands of dollars, with no guarantee that it will sell, typically making it cost-prohibitive for most solo businesses. However, there’s a solution — if you’ve got a great design or brand logo, you can create an entire line of merchandise without any upfront costs.

My suggestion for getting started: Zazzle allows users to create an entire line of merchandise, and sell if from your own Zazzle shop. You can customize a variety of products, including t-shirts, paper items, baby products, business items, and pet products. Simply apply your unique design to any product you choose, and Zazzle handles printing, shipping, and the entire sales transaction. Zazzle charges a royalty for each sale, but you don’t have to worry about having leftover inventory or shipping costs. You don’t need any special skills to create a product or set up a Zazzle store. It’s a great choice for any solo business!

See it in action: Artist Melanie Taylor sells hundreds of unique products — from tote and messenger bags to mugs and iPad cases in her Zazzle store, The Creative Taylor.

Creative Taylor on Zazzle

Take Your Local Shop Online

If you run an offline business, you may not realize you can easily sell your products online. You’ll give your local customers a new way to buy your products, plus you can attract new customers outside your area.

My suggestion for getting started: Square allows users to create a professional online shop for their products. They cater to a variety of businesses, including food & beverage, retail, beauty, and health & fitness. It doesn’t cost anything to create a Square shop, and Square charges a small transaction fee per sale. You don’t need any special skills, and they handle the entire sales transaction. Square also has helpful features for offline businesses, including an appointment feature where customers can book an appointment with you online. Plus, your store will get listed in the Square Market, which may attract new customers.

See it in action: Alison Comfort is the owner of House of Moss, and sells creates miniature woodland-themed felted wool items from her Square store.

House of Moss Square shop

Anyone Can Bootstrap an Online Store!

In all of the above examples, One Woman Shops are selling digital products, merchandise, and physical goods online with no tech skills necessary and very little investment.

You don’t need to invest in inventory, an ecommerce website, or learn coding. You can easily bootstrap an online store by using an eCommerce framework like Zazzle, Selz or Square. For any solo business woman, using one of these platforms takes the risk out of eCommerce – and leaves the overwhelming aspects of selling products online to the experts.

Spend your time focusing on growing your business, and creating products you love. Remember, running a solo business is challenging – but creating an online store doesn’t need to be.

3 Ways to Connect With Your Audience in Your Sleep

Do you yearn to refer to your website as the “salesperson that makes you money in your sleep?”

While it isn’t easy to accomplish, it’s certainly possible. I’m going to get you started.

The first step in making your website work for you is getting to know who your ideal audience really is in order to connect with them. For the purposes of this post, though, let’s assume you have a good, detailed picture of your ideal client.

Because here’s what I’m going to share: I have three ways you can connect with the ideal audience that’s behind the screen.

Making your website your round-the-clock salesperson

Let me introduce you to a certain situation all solopreneurs encounter. In this situation, you’re a hypothetical business coach, and Sabrina just happens to be your ideal client.

Sabrina wants to improve her teaching presence, but she lacks confidence. So she does a quick search on Google with the query “how to gain confidence” and one of your blog posts pop up. She clicks it and reads. You have a few great tips she takes note of, but now she wants more. She starts to click around your website.

At this point, you have approximately 30 seconds to connect with Sabrina, answering her questions and enticing her to stick around. She doesn’t necessarily know what she needs. It’s up to you, in that brief encounter, to introduce the option of hiring a business coach, and communicate the benefits of working with you rather than figuring it out on her own.

Together, let’s explore three ways you can connect with Sabrina in those 30 seconds and how you can deliver the answers to her questions without actually having to be there:

1. Communicate via video/audio:

Providing quality video and audio content is one of the best and quickest ways you can connect, gain trust, and build credibility with a potential client. Here are a few ways in which you can use video and/or audio effectively:

Create an introduction video for your homepage. When Sabrina visits your website, she has concerns and questions that she needs you to answer for her. Develop an engaging, 30-second video that welcomes visitors to your site, and answers any or all of the following:

  • How can you solve my problem?
  • What makes you an expert?
  • Why should I trust you to hire you?
  • What would it be like to work with you?
  • How much does it cost to work with you?

Create a free video or video series for your email opt in. List building is a serious tool for increasing audience engagement. Use a free video or video series as your giveaway to entice sign ups. Be sure to make these videos educational and remember, someone like Sabrina doesn’t know they need to hire you. Speak to what your ideal clients want and need.

Develop an educational webinar. Webinars are another fantastic tool for educating your audience, building your credibility, and allowing you to inspire a connection. And it doesn’t just have to be done in real time. Record a webinar and make it available via your site. Sharing or selling the recording will allow your visitors who didn’t attend live, like Sabrina, a chance to obtain value and see you in action. Alexis Grant has a great example of this with her SEO for Bloggers webinar that can be accessed anytime, for free.

Host or guest appear on a podcast. I am not suggesting you start a podcast unless that is what you want to do — it’s a big undertaking! However, being interviewed by someone who has a popular podcast allows you to share your expertise with someone else’s audience, and it can be linked to over and over again without any additional work by you.

2. Grant easy access to your calendar:

Perhaps video and audio aren’t for you. You still want to make that initial connection with Sabrina before she exits your site. What I’ve seen work: allow visitors to schedule a free consultation with you and get on your calendar instantly. This way Sabrina has access to you to ask any questions she might have and you are able to connect with Sabrina one-on-one to see if she’s a good fit. The best part? all of the logistics can be taken care of while you sleep.

Easy scheduling tools you can use:

3. Talk directly to your ideal client in your written content:

Your written content on your website should be working for you all the time. When you write your content with your audience in mind, Sabrina will feel as if you are talking directly to her and not to the masses when she reads. Use more “you” and less “I.” Make your visitors feel important, unique, and like they’ve found the right place.

Imagining connecting with one individual at a time makes all the difference in your writing. Consider their needs that you are fulfilling. Live conversations with new prospects mean sparking interest by framing your services in terms of how you can help them solve their problem — and your written content on your website should do the same.

Each of these three strategies requires some upfront work, but once set up, they’ll begin the transformation of your website from passive tool to 24-hour salesperson. Because we all need some time off, right?

Which of these three strategies will you focus on and use for your business? Share with us below.

3 Ways To Make The Most of Google Analytics

If you’ve enabled Google Analytics for your website, congrats! You’re a step ahead most. But are you really taking advantage of the full power of the tool to help your business grow?

Good news: there are just three things everyone must do inside of the Google Analytics platform to get the full capabilities, become a more advanced user, and generate more insightful reports. But, they take a bit of know-how. Even better news: I’m here to share that with you now. Grab a cup of coffee and get ready to implement!

1. Set Up Internal Traffic Filters Properly

You check your own website, don’t you? So do your designers, interns, and your mom. We call that “internal traffic.” And it artificially skews your data. The fix? Filter internal traffic out. Basically, anyone who isn’t a customer needs to go!

Just plopping in an exclude IP filter isn’t the best way to do it. Why? Because of this very important tip to remember: when you set up a filter in Google Analytics, you cannot undo the effect it has on your reports.

Let’s remedy that. Instead of setting up a permanent filter, it’s best to create a new view, and leave one main unfiltered view untouched. This unfiltered view will hang out in the background – don’t use it to run reports, but leave it as a backup in case other filters or reports get messed up. It’s a blank slate to return to.

To create a new view:

  • Click on Admin from the Analytics home
  • Select your account + property
  • Use the view drop down menu to create a new view
  • If you’re creating a new view for your website, select website, name it and then click save

Then, in the new view, add in any exclusion filters you want to get rid of internal traffic. (Truth be told, this step itself could be its own blog post — but luckily, Google has a great resource if you’re stuck here.)

Don’t know what your IP address is? Need to find the IP address of your website team, friends, or parents to filter that “internal traffic” out? Look yours up, and ask your team to do the same, using a super simple IP Address Lookup tool or by Googling “What’s my IP Address?” Then, simply add it to your filter. One stipulation: if you or your team members have a dynamic IP like I do, or use a mobile device to check your website, it gets a bit more tricky but is doable with cookies.

2. Set Up the Right Goals & Tweak Based on Insights

Your website is meant to influence people to do certain things, whether it’s to buy a product, contact you about your services, or even to visit more pages. Goals are the tracking method to determine when people are doing those actions, and can help you figure out what’s preventing people from doing them if they’re not.

Here’s a great tutorial from Google on how to set up goals.

But the key isn’t setting them up. The real insight comes from knowing which ones to set up and how to interpret the results.

Consider your website and the intentions behind it. What do you want your visitors to do? Is it easy for them to do this? Are you clearly asking them to do what you want?

Once you’ve set up Goals, generate reports to analyze how visitors are navigating through your website. Built-in tools for this include In-Page Analytics and Behavior Flow, both under Behavior in the sidebar. The In-Page Analytics report shows you a screen shot of your website and tells you where people are clicking to navigate through pages, which can help you tell when things aren’t eye-grabbing or positioned well. Behavior Flow reports on the series of pages visitors go through on your website, including where they drop off and how they navigate.

What path does a person take to complete a Goal? Is it easy? Who drops off where? These kinds of questions can help you make better choices for your website design and content.

Take my own Behavior Flow report for example. Most of my visitors enter my website through my Homepage, then navigate to my About page. Those that don’t exit at that point continue to my main Services page. I could improve my conversions by doing more to keep visitors from dropping off from my About page and use a stronger call to action to make a clearer path to conversion.

What you’ll find is that the best websites constantly analyze this data to find better ways to convert visitors into customers instead of watching customers exit at undesired places. A website is a constant work in progress, remember!

3. Enable Demographics & Interest Reports

How well do you really know your audience? Google Analytics can give you all kinds of information about your audience that can help you gain more insight. Enabling Demographics & Interest Reports will provide information about gender, age, and interests. Do what the pros do: use this info to better target your content and advertisements in appropriate places.

To enable your Demographics & Interest Reports, you’ll need to update your Google Analytics code by adding in a single line of code in your back end to increase the amount of information your website gathers and discloses.

Quick tip: while you’re updating your code, confirm that it’s in the <header> of your website. To do this, you’ll need to look at the source code between the <header> tags of your website using tools like the Web Inspector in Safari. If the code isn’t between the <header> tags, Google Analytics is executing after the page finishes loading instead of immediately. This means if someone visits and your page doesn’t load completely before they navigate away, you’re missing data!

Once you have the reports enabled, you can dig deeper into the data to find out more about your audience. I found that while most of my audience was made up of females between 25-34 as I suspected, my audience was made up of a lot of movie and TV buffs! This insight gave me ideas about content marketing in relation to popular TV shows or movies to attract attention by using relevant examples for them.

What’s the most useful feature of the reporting tool for your business?

How to Choose an E-Commerce Platform

You know that e-commerce is growing, but do you have any idea how big the online market really is?

According to the business research firm IBIS World, online sales reached $297.9 billion in 2013. And e-commerce sales are expected to reach 6.5% of total retail sales in 2014!

If you’re thinking about running an online business with a product to sell (or already are!), it’s time to get a slice of the ever-expanding pie. Beyond deciding and developing what you’re going to sell, one of the hardest decisions you’ll have to make is which e-commerce platform to use. Luckily, we’re here to help.

Start here: Do you already have an existing blog or website?

Don’t have a website? Choose a dedicated online store

Several online e-commerce platforms allow businesses to create their own dedicated online shop. Although going this route can require a significant investment in time and money, it’s a great option if you’re just launching an online presence. Here are a few trusty sites where you can set up shop:

Shopify

With Shopify, you can sell either online or in your offline retail shop. There are no limits on the types of products you can sell. It’s easy to get started, and requires zero design or coding skills. With the ability to customize the color, layout, and content of your site, it looks great straight out of the box.

A huge benefit to Shopify is that support is good and fast — you are not reliant on unresponsive forums for answers. Shopify starts at $29 a month for a basic shop, with a 2% transaction fee up to $179 per month. If based outside of the US, you will also need a credit card payment processor like Stripe, who will charge you an additional 2.7% + 30c for each credit card transaction.

Magento

Magento is an open-source platform that allows users to sell any type of retail product. It’s free to download and has a detailed start up guide, yet those who do not have experience with code may find it too complex for their needs. There is no technical support for this plan. However, it does have a very supportive and active community.

The lowest monthly plan is $15/month with a limited number of products and storage. Magento integrates extremely well with Ebay (unsurprising, as it’s actually owned by Ebay!)  However, it doesn’t have an integrated blog – a serious drawback when it comes to attracting inbound traffic.

Etsy

Etsy is the most popular e-commerce platform for handmade goods, vintage items, and craft supplies. There is no membership fee, but it costs $0.20 to list an item for 4 months and 3.5% fee on the sale price. Although the type of items is restricted to crafts and vintage, it’s a great option if that’s your niche.

Have an existing website or blog? Monetize it!

If you want to monetize your existing blog, you’re in luck — it’s easy to integrate e-commerce into your site. No need to send your audience to an external site to complete the checkout; the following options are easy and affordable ways you can integrate e-commerce into your blog or website to monetize your existing readers.

Selz

Selz caters to both digital and physical products, but also comes with an added bonus – you can sell services through it, as well. It’s easy to sign up and navigate, and its clean user design is extremely appealing. Use is free, with a small fee paid when you make a sale. Unlike several of the other e-commerce integration solutions, there are no other credit card processing costs, and no limits on the number of products or bandwidth.

While it is possible to create a dedicated online store with Selz, integrating it into your existing website is simple. With a little technical skill, you can embed a buy button or store into your existing site quickly with a snippet of code. The checkout process offers customers the choice of buying with a credit card or PayPal without them leaving your site — meaning better conversions and more sales.

E-Junkie

E-Junkie provides a shopping cart and “Buy Now” buttons to sell digital downloads and physical products on your blog or website. The benefit of using E-Junkie is that it has proven its validity – it’s been around for a long time. The downside? The user interface is looking tired, you do need a working knowledge of HTML, and it takes some time to set up and customize.

Plans range from $5 to $265 per month, depending on how many products you wish to sell. Most users integrate PayPal with E-Junkie, leading to additional PayPal fees. It also means a clunky checkout, potentially costing you sales.

Grab your piece of the online action!

Building a profitable online retail business takes work, but the potential is undeniable. With sales in the billions, and 5.9% expected growth for the next five years, now’s the time to get in on the action.

Already using a great e-commerce platform? Share with us in the comments!

Lynette: A WordPress Theme for Online Business Owners

Choosing a WordPress theme can be a daunting task. As online business owners, we have plenty of options out there for us, but it can feel overwhelming. Finding a template that’s easy to edit but already has the basic skeleton that we want on our site? That’s the key.

We’re not gonna lie — the black and gold motif of Lynette draws us in because we’re suckers for metallics. You can easily remove the metallics if they’re not your style — which leaves you with an optional featured slider on the homepage, responsive design, and streamlined categorization features.

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 8.42.14 AM

A few of our favorite features:

    • The gold and black theme (which, as always, can be changed using CSS)
    • Two navigation menus (one for admin — like your About and Contact pages — and one for post categories)
    • The sleek black and white sidebar buttons
    • The simple three widget footer

feminine wordpress theme for online business owners

Disclosure: We are part of BluChic’s affiliate program and may receive a commission on sales bought through the links above. However, we are huge fans of BluChic and use their products all the time (including on this site), so all opinions are our own!

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