Blog Series| How to Make a Blog into an Ecommerce

3/02/2016


Just the other day I was talking to a family member who wanted to know, how do I do it? How do I make websites? I told him, I don't make websites I turn blogs into solutions for my customers or for my personal needs. I explained to him the importance of being low-cost but extremely affective. If you're a budget like me then you can appreciate a hack or two in the blog e-commerce department.



If I think back to my early days of creating my first e-commerce site I would say that I've alway had a nack for making things look professional on a budget. My first business was a custom card stock company online. I wasn't processing any payments back in the early 2000s but I had a site on AngelFire {If you know what this is then you know my age now lol} but it was a free web hosting company that allowed you to create websites.

I would search yahoo for pictures of African images and make unique photo shop {Corel, back then} style collaged cards. I would sell them from $3 to $5 depending on what people wanted. Here's how it worked, people would see the template images and select the number of the card graphic they wanted (online), they would pay me the money in-person and I would take their words down. After the card was made I would confirm and print it on the spot for them and include an envelope. My parents were proud that I had started a small business making chump change that did not cover the cost of supplies. I guess they saw that it boosted my confidence and it gave me some money handling experience. Basically, I provided a unique service and got paid for it.


I have fooled around with photoshop for years now. I first started around the time Myspace came out and I have been learning how to use it ever since. I started making custom backgrounds for people on Myspace at one point and that was profitable. Examples included. I wont included any of my old scandal pictures...I'm still like OMG what was I thinking.

Any who, I eventually found myself on Youtube and trying to create video clips. I loved Youtube but I was drawn back into making blogs into e-commerce websites.


My love for creating graphics and blogs has brought me to the point where I'd like to share a few tips and tricks of the trade. I hope you'll join by following this series and trying these steps.

What you're going to need going forward:

Website (blog > Blogspot or Wordpress) | Store (Shopping cart platform) | Hosting (domain name)


STEP 1| Find a Template Online

First decide if you want to use Blogspot or Wordpress.

The first step in this process is finding a FREE template that is mobile friendly (ie. responsive). This assuming you have some HTML script writing skills...if you don't, you might want to google some how to's because this will save you a lot of headaches - {Click Here for Help}. It took me years to figure out html but I started learning way back with AngelFire and Xanga.

So, why mobile friendly? Because you want people to be able to access your blog url from anywhere. My favorite website right now for blogspot templates is http://www.themexpose.com/

Some people wonder why I use blogger and not wordpress. I would say I use blogger to keep my HTML skills strong. Wordpress has a lot of plugins and that makes things too easy for someone like me who likes writing her own scripts. With blogspot I can literally turn a blog url into anything I damn near can script up. Don't get me wrong I will eventually move this blog over to wordpress.org because I want to host and own all my content. When your blog is hosted on blogspot you do not own it because the site administrator, Google, could shut it down at any moment or wipe all your content clean. I want to move blog eventually, somewhere without all the terms and conditions.

If you want you can hire a graphic designer to create your blog or you can just buy a theme. I would suggest buying a theme so that you don't run into copyright issues.


Here's an example of a basic blog template that I turned into a t-shirt shop. Pretty cool huh? This one was from a few years ago.

STEP 2| Find the right Web Shopping Cart Platform

If you would prefer to write your own script for your web cart then use: Mals- E Shopping Cart.
It's free!

I use Mals-E for all my clients, especially the ones who are selling more than 10 or 100 products, because I use another site but you don't get the upgraded features unless you pay for it monthly. I will discuss that web cart system in the follow up post.



Now, each individual blog post had it's own html script that I had written for the payment processing. This was sooo ancient and it took a ton of time. I was using a "web shopping cart" at the time and I loved the fact that it was scripted but I did not love the fact that I had to do scripting for each and every product. Here all I had to do was upload a picture, change the banner header by creating one and hosting it on flickr or picasa web albums etc.

Now a days, a person can get their scripting done through a javascript "Responsive" application which accumulates the data. In the next post I will explain why Mals-E's scripting helped my company gain so much recognition and business. I will also explain the benefits of using it as a shopping cart but also the drawbacks. 

Stay tuned if you want to here about: low cost and free web shopping carts and how to use them to turn your blog into a ecommerce solution.

There's so many ways you can take orders and process payments at no cost to you! So, if you want to see more of my journey to turning FREE blogs into e-commerce web solutions then stay tune!

Shopping carts:

Opencart
Shopify
SpreeCommerce


PS, if you got stuck anywhere in this process, please comment below and I'll be sure to get back with you. 
youtube facebook | twitter | instagram | tumblrgoogle+ | bloglovin | pinterest


This blog is NOT geared toward sexual orientation or gender classification. This blog is based solely on the blog authors experience and research. This blog is geared toward promoting a mixture of masculine and feminine attire and with an integrated genderless lifestyle.

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