Category Archives: Work From Home

E-Commerce Websites That You Can Sell Your Craft and Arts

Where Can I Sell My Candles?

Last year when the pandemic craziness had just started, my neighbor knocked on my apartment’s door while yelling: “Ella, you don’t need to open it; I’m going to leave it on your doormat.” I was puzzled: “What? Reilly, is that you? I don’t understand what you are talking about.”
“Honey, there is a candle jar behind the door; I made it myself. Try it and tell me if you like it or not. I appreciate your feedback. It is lavender.” I could hear her voice falling as I tried to fix my mask and when I opened the door she was already gone. That night I called to let her know I loved that candle. The fragrance was good, it didn’t smell like paraffine, and it was powerful enough to sense it in my room. The oil burned smoke-free. The jar’s size was perfect, and it didn’t get too hot. “Oh really? I thought you were just complimenting me. I bought some stuff online to make a candle for myself, but I made too many of them. I can give you a dozen if you want.”
Two days later, we were on zoom – her condo is just next to mine, but we needed to follow social distancing protocols, you know – discussing how and where she could sell her candles at reasonable prices and fewer fees. I made this list for her, and now I’m sharing that with you:

Amazon Handmade

You might have heard about Amazon Seller’s Center, but this one is a bit different. You have to pay a selling fee for a regular seller account, but Amazon will waive the professional selling fee ($39.99/month) with this Amazon Handmade account. Although you need to submit your application for approval, it is an easy and straightforward task. You can apply as a maker working lonely on this program or a maker with up to 20 family members/employees. This account’s limitation includes reselling, dropshipping, Outsourcing of product production, Digital/downloadable products, food/grocery items, and electronics. Other charges with an Amazon selling account are:

  • 15% commission on total sales
  • Minimum $1 referral fee
  • Fulfillment by Amazon shipping plan (depends on your package size and weight)

Etsy Seller

Etsy is the number one selling platform for artists and the craftiest. However, This American e-commerce website was established newly because its main focus was on selling arts and handmade, it became successful worldwide. I used to think that the selling charges on Etsy were so high compared to eBay, Mercado, and eBay. However, when I researched some particular product selling rates and decided that for crafts, arts, and handmade, Etsy has the higher successful selling rate in the shortest amount of time. Fees and charges are:

  • $.20 listing fee
  • 5% transaction fee
  • 3% + $0.25 payment processing fee
  • %15 offside ads fee
  • Shipping cost (seller or buyer)
Photo by on

What I suggested Reilly do was:

  • Apply for Amazon Handmade
  • While waiting for the approval, start listing your candles on Etsy
  • Consider your choice of shopping by doing some research
  • If your application got approved on Amazon, list your item
  • Consider the wait time before any actual sales
  • Keep track of charges on both websites
  • Make your decision after at least 20 successful selling processes

Lastly, let me tell you something, if your sales went up in the first or second month by 60%, you are ready to open your e-commerce store. So keep an eye on your sales and compare it each month. You can use the following chart as an indicator of your success.

Sample Graph of Sales Progress Per Month

This graph indicates the behavior of the sample business for each month after establishment. I suggest three essential points affecting our decision. The first one is when the sales jump to 9 items per month after a continuously lower sales period. Because this event happened in month 8 of the opening of the business, I would like to conclude it as a positive turning point. It means that this business has a successful future. Then in less than two months sales improved twice. I consider this another turning point, and I would suggest the business owner open a business account and a QuickBooks self-employed account in addition to an e-commerce website like WordPress, Shopify or Wix. The third turning point is to show whether this business is achieving its vision statements or not. (You can find more information in my previous post regarding business plan: here)


ِDropshipping Using Sources Like AliExpress

Why do Some People Lose Money on Dropshipping?

I may be conservative when it comes to spending money, but as an entrepreneur, I thrive on taking calculated risks and experimenting with new business ideas. With my limited capital, I carefully weigh each opportunity and consult with industry experts before making any moves. I’m always on the lookout for the next big thing and never shy away from a challenge.

The concept of Dropshipping was one of those interesting business models I really wanted to explore. When I researched the concept of Dropshipping, I decided to do some practical experimentation too. For this reason, I created a seller account on eBay’s online store. I looked for a suitable source for importing and selling goods. Interestingly, when you search for the word “Dropshipping” on the net, the first ten results of this search end up in Alibaba or Ali Express. (A popular platform for dropshipping products from China. It has a vast range of products available at competitive prices. You can also use their platform to find suppliers for your dropshipping business). But are these resources can make your online business successful? The answer is no.

Dropshipping is a business model in which an online store sells products without actually holding any inventory. Instead, the store acts as a middleman, taking orders from customers and then placing those orders with a supplier or manufacturer. The supplier then ships the products directly to the customer. This can be a low-cost way to start an online store, as the store owner does not need to invest in inventory or warehouse space. However, there are some drawbacks to Dropshipping. The store owner has no control over the quality or quantity of the products being sold and may have limited control over the shipping and delivery process. In addition, there may be conflicts between the store’s policies and those of the supplier, which can impact on the store’s reputation. Finally, profit margins may be very low, making it difficult for the store to stay competitive in the market.

In other words, Dropshipping means offering other people’s goods online to customers without having a warehouse. You sell other people’s products mainly online, and the main companies ship those items to the final buyers or consumers. BigCommerce, one of the famous eCommerce platforms, explains it this way:
“Dropshipping is an order fulfillment method that does not require a business to keep products in stock. Instead, the store sells the product and passes on the sales order to a third-party supplier, who then ships the order to the customer.” Isn’t it sweet?
The delightful point of this business is:
You do not have to buy and store the goods you sell in advance. This means your initial cost will be much lower. The cost of warehousing and shipping is not part of your expenses.
But there is more to it. Here I explained some of them.
First, you have no control over the products you sell: either in terms of quality or quantity, also -and this is even worse- you have no control over handling, shipping, and delivery.

One of the drawbacks of Dropshipping is the lack of control over the products being sold. As a store owner, you may not be able to ensure the quality or quantity of the products you offer, and you may have limited influence over the handling, shipping, and delivery process. Additionally, the rules and regulations of your store may not align with those of your supplier, which can impact your reputation as a business. For example, if a customer orders a watch strap with a promised delivery time of 10 days and a return policy of 30 days, but the supplier experiences delay in shipping and handling, this can cause issues for your store. If you have multiple customers waiting for their orders, this delay can significantly impact your small business. Additionally, low-profit margins can make it difficult to maintain competitiveness in the market, as even small price increases may cause customers to look elsewhere.

Weaknesses of Dropshipping from Other Countries

  1. The goods’ origin may differ from the actual origin on sites such as eBay or Wish. This transmits all the risk of shipping and delivery to you, not the goods’ original seller.
  2. Return policy and its effect on your business are important. Just imagine you sell Apple iPhone cases on eBay with a 30 days return policy. On the other side is a supplier from AliExpress who supposedly needs to ship those cases from China to your customers and has 14 days return policy. In most cases, if your customer wants to return an item for any reason, you have to refund them all they paid. Still, it would be almost impossible for you to receive your money back.
  3. The goods you buy from China (Ali Express) must be returned to China if your buyer will return the goods to your address. The cost of shipping to China is often higher than the cost of the goods themselves.
  4. Suppose the seller of Ali Express delays selling the goods to you. In that case, you may face severe dissatisfaction from your customers, which will eventually lead to the cancellation of orders or the return of the goods. In most cases, you will have to pay your customers in full, but you may not be able to reimburse your costs from Ali Express.

Here are some resources for dropshipping:

  1. Shopify: Shopify is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms for dropshipping. It provides a range of features that make it easy to create and manage an online store. They also have a range of resources available on their website, including articles, tutorials, and a help center.
  2. Oberlo: Oberlo is a dropshipping app that integrates with Shopify. It makes it easy to find products and suppliers, and it also automates the order fulfillment process. They also have a range of educational resources available on their website.
  3. SaleHoo: SaleHoo is a directory of wholesale suppliers and dropshippers. They have a range of verified suppliers in various niches, making it easy to find reliable suppliers for your dropshipping business. They also provide educational resources, including a blog and a members’ forum.
  4. Dropship Lifestyle: Dropship Lifestyle is an online course that teaches you how to start a successful dropshipping business. The course covers topics such as niche selection, product sourcing, website design, and marketing. They also provide ongoing support and resources for their members.

Related Posts on This Subject:

Low Cost Advertising – Online Tutoring Part 5

Have you set up your tutoring business with Google Business? If yes I should say you are on the right path of advertising for your service without a cost. The concept of online advertising is for you to be seen and for people to find your service when they conduct a targeted search. In Part two of this series, I explained how you can set up your Google Business account. Here I introduce more online and offline advertising tools.

Offline Advertising Still Useful

When you offer a service like tutoring, it doesn’t matter if it is completely online, you still can offer it by advertising in your local grocery or gas station. The only difference is that instead of printing out a phone number, you might consider using your website or email address on the advertisement. I also suggest you print out a colorful image that emphasizes the online aspect of your service in this case tutoring.

Craigslist is another easy and low-cost advertising method. You just need to go to your local craigslist and sign up. The cost is $5 per each advertisement per month. That put your Ad on top of the list for the first few days but if you want to keep it there your need to repost it which means $5 each time you repost it. When creating your first post you need to be specific. Make it clear for people that searching for your tutoring offer. Use keywords like 10th-grade math, Algebra 1 and 2 for 9th and 10th grade, Spanish as a second language for elementary… I suggest you search for the same service as yours on craigslist to find out about other people Ads. Follow their steps, pick the relative information, and omit the others. Improve your text by adding your specific service or experiences. Make it personal by introducing yourself, and your teaching life. Don’t forget to select a meaningful title for your Ad.

Social Media Marketing

It doesn’t need to be a very professional, all integrated social media marketing. You just need to be you. A Facebook page, an Instagram account, or even a group chat in Telegram would help you to promote your service. There are many good resources including blog posts and videos about social media marketing but the one that I prefer is “How to use social media marketing for small business” that explains 21 steps of a successful social media marketing.

Paid Online Advertising

Paid advertising in the world of internet marketing refers to any type of online advertisement that you pay either for people interactions, or for purchasing your service or products. You need to prepare and post your advertisement on some platforms like google ad or Facebook ad. there different payment strategies for your advertising campaign, including PPC (Pay-Per-Click) and PPI (Pay-Per-impression).
for more details in this type of advertising, I refer you to my future post “How to Run a Successful Google Advertising Campaign?”

Tools For Online Quiz Making – Online Tutoring Part 4

For an online teacher, test preparation is as important as teaching a subject. After you choose a proper online communication tool with your student you need to provide them with a reliable area that they can be tested on their new knowledge. Testing online is a process of combining several activities:

  • Create questions and choose the right way of answering them.
  • Submit test to one or all students and notify them
  • Receive the answer sheet and grade them
  • Send graded work with comments to the student(s)

In previous posts (here) I introduced a few online whiteboards and now I look into some well-known quiz makers and I hope you can find them useful for your tutoring business.

ThatQuiz Offers free service for teachers to make online testing. You can make your quiz, keep track of your student progress, make an online grade book, and score students’ tests.

GoConqr Students and teachers can use this platform at the same time. The basic version is free and it gives you full access to tools, unlimited public resources. Using this platform, you can create slide set, flashcards, note and quizzes.

GoConqr samle test making

ClassMarker Free accounts with ClassMarker provide a fully functional testing environment. You can register users, create and assign unlimited tests and questions and save and review up to 100 test results per month.


Does Affiliate Marketing Really Make Money?

Some clients often ask me if affiliate marketing is a way to make money on its own. My answer is always the same: no, affiliate marketing is a business, not a job. Just like any other business, you have to put in the work to make money from it. To give you an example, let’s say there is a small winery that makes and sells five types of wine to a few loyal customers and local liquor stores. The manager of the winery is happy with their current sales but feels it’s time to expand and attract more customers. They approach a friend who owns an online fashion boutique and ask if they can promote the wine on their site. The two parties negotiate the sales price, shipping cost, and commission for the friend. The friend agrees to add the wine to their boutique as a complimentary gift for any customer who spends $50 or more online. After receiving positive feedback about the wine, the friend decides to run an online advertising campaign on Google and Facebook to promote the wine. They spend $200 on the campaign and manage to attract eight new customers. Soon, they have even more customers signing up for a monthly subscription for wine delivery.

In this scenario, the winery manager is a producer and a business owner, and his friend is an affiliate and, on the other hand, a business owner. They both have one main goal: selling as many bottles of wine as they can. They both need to invest, have a business plan, and follow their selling strategy. This scenario is one type of affiliation business relationship. This is the best form of affiliate marketing because it is based on its nature.

Photo by fauxels on

What is Affiliate Marketing? Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts. It is a way for a company to sell its products by signing up individuals or companies (“affiliates”) who market the company’s products for a commission. In affiliate marketing, the affiliate promotes the products of the company and earns a commission on each sale or lead generated from their marketing efforts. The company provides a unique link to the affiliate, which the affiliate can use to promote the company’s products. When a customer clicks on the link and makes a purchase, the affiliate earns a commission. The company tracks the sales and leads generated through the unique link and pays the affiliate a percentage of the sale or a fixed fee for each lead.

There are several types of affiliate programs:

  • Pay-per-sale: This is the most common type of affiliate program. Under this program, the affiliate earns a commission each time they refer a customer who makes a purchase.
  • Pay-per-click: Under this program, the affiliate earns a commission each time a customer clicks on a link to the company’s website.
  • Pay-per-lead: The affiliate earns a commission each time they refer a customer who fills out a form or signs up for a service on the company’s website.
  • Pay-per-install: The affiliate earns a commission each time a customer installs a software application on their computer.
  • Revenue sharing: Under this program, the affiliate earns a percentage of the revenue generated by the customer they refer.
  • Two-tier: This is a type of affiliate program that allows affiliates to recruit other affiliates and earn a commission on their sales.
  • Lifetime or recurring: The affiliate earns a commission on the initial sale and any subsequent purchases made by the customer.
  • Hybrid: This is a combination of two or more of the above types of programs.

It doesn’t matter what product you pick as your niche and which company you promote; the only important factor to your success in affiliate marketing is how fast you can build a reliable network of buyers. In other words, your social knowledge plus your sales proficiency, and your persistence, are significant variances that affect your success.

Online Tutoring Tools

As I explained in part one of Work Form Home Tutoring, before interacting with your first student you need to have adequate tools to make it an interesting, entertaining, and of course successful learning session for your student. One of the important starting tools is a whiteboard to communicate with your student. Here are a few tools that could be useful for an online tutoring business:

Video conferencing software: This allows for real-time communication between the tutor and student. Examples include Zoom, Google Meet, and Skype.

Online whiteboard: Allows the tutor and student to collaborate and write on a virtual whiteboard during the tutoring session. Examples include Adobe Connect and Microsoft Whiteboard.

Tutoring management software: Allows you to schedule sessions, record attendance, and manage billing and payments. Examples include TutorMe, My TutorHub, and TutorRoom.

Learning management system (LMS): A tool to manage your lessons, quizzes, and assignments, and track the progress of students. Examples include Canvas, Blackboard, Moodle, and Schoology.

Screen recording software: Allows you to record the tutoring session for future reference or for students who were unable to attend the live session. Examples include Camtasia and Loom

File-sharing apps like Google Drive or Dropbox for sharing materials, assignments, or homework

Communication tools like email, chat, and messaging apps for student-tutor interaction outside the session.

Work From Home Tutoring Business – Part 2

Low-Cost Marketing and Advertising:

Now that you’ve chosen a name for your tutoring business, it’s time to draw attention to it and attract customers. Marketing strategies are typically tailored to your target market, or the group of people you most want to reach. For example, if you’re planning to teach nail polishing, your target market might be young adults worldwide. On the other hand, if you’re teaching American English as a second language, your primary target market might be people of various ages living in the United States. No matter who your target market is, one effective and low-cost marketing strategy is to use Google Business.

Marketing is essential for the success of any business, but it can be especially important for small businesses that may have limited resources. Low-cost marketing strategies can help small businesses reach their target audience without breaking the bank.

One of the main benefits of low-cost marketing is that it allows small businesses to test out different marketing strategies without making a significant investment. This can be especially helpful for small businesses that are just starting out and are trying to establish themselves in the market. By experimenting with different marketing tactics, small businesses can determine which strategies are most effective for their target audience and allocate their resources accordingly.

Another benefit of low-cost marketing is that it can help small businesses build their brand. By consistently promoting their products or services through various channels, small businesses can increase their visibility and establish themselves as a trusted and reliable source in their industry. This can be especially important for small businesses that are competing against larger, well-established companies.

Overall, low-cost marketing is an important tool for small businesses to reach their target audience and build their brand without breaking the bank. By experimenting with different strategies and consistently promoting their products or services, small businesses can establish themselves in the market and compete with larger companies.

Google Business Can Help

Starting a business with Google has several benefits. For one, it is free to use, although you can choose to upgrade to a more professional platform if desired. Google Business is easy to use and has customer support available. With an integrated platform, you can create a web page, list your services, and even have your business appear on Google Maps. This means everything you need is in one place, and your business can be listed on the Google Maps business map and indexed in Google search. Additionally, you can ask customers for reviews for free. However, you should be careful when providing information, as Google Business verifies your business and will mail you a verification code to your registered address.

To get started, simply sign in to Google Business with your Google account (you can also register a Google domain and email address for your business for added professionalism). Simply fill out the registration form with your business name and services, add your business location or address, and wait for your verification code to complete the process. You can choose to only show the area of your business on Google Maps if desired.

For more detailed instructions use this link: Google My Business

Work From Home Tutoring Business – Part 1

Start Your Teaching Online Classes

Online tutoring or teaching online classes is a niche work-from-home business that allows individuals to use their knowledge and expertise to help students learn a particular subject or skill. With the proliferation of the internet and advances in technology, online tutoring has become a popular and convenient way for students to receive personalized instruction from the comfort of their own home.

One of the main advantages of online tutoring is the flexibility it offers. Tutors can choose their own hours and schedule sessions at a time that is convenient for them and their students. Additionally, online tutoring allows tutors to work with students from all over the world, expanding their potential client base.

To be successful in the teaching online business, it is important for tutors to have a strong understanding of the subject they are teaching and be able to communicate effectively with their students. They should also be able to adapt to the various learning styles of their students and use different teaching methods to help the student understand the material.

Online tutoring can be a lucrative business for those who have a passion for teaching and are willing to put in the time and effort to build a successful tutoring practice. With the right skills and dedication, online tutors can make a difference in the lives of their students while working from the comfort of their own home.

The idea of working from home isn’t necessarily new, but it can be unfamiliar to those of us who have recently lost traditional 9-5 jobs. It can be intimidating to consider the possibility of not having a fixed position, not having a boss, and not working for someone else. However, the most daunting aspect of working from home might be the responsibility of running your own business and making it profitable. Fortunately, there are many home-based businesses that can be started with little or no investment and can be run from anywhere.

Online Tutoring Business

Do you have a particular area of expertise that you can teach others? Do you want to help people reach their goals? Do you have experience teaching children in a school setting? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you might be interested in starting your own teaching online business. If you’re not quite ready to start your own business or you want to gain more experience in the field, you can also work with existing tutoring companies. Many online tutoring businesses offer the opportunity to join their team, and you can also look for local companies to connect with.

If you’re ready to start your own teaching online business, there are a few steps you can take to build your reputation and establish yourself as a trusted resource. First, make sure that you have a solid foundation of expertise in a subject area and the ability to effectively teach others. It’s also important to have a clear desire to help people achieve their goals and, if applicable, experience teaching children in a school setting. If you meet these criteria and feel ready to start your own business, then it’s time to take the next steps. If you’re not quite ready to start your own business or want to gain more experience in the field, you can also consider working with existing tutoring companies. Many online tutoring businesses offer the opportunity to join their team, or you can look for local companies to connect with.

You can find more information here:

Pick Useful Online Teaching Tools: When you start your online tutoring business, it’s important to have tools that allow you to collaborate with your students or clients online. However, you don’t necessarily need to invest a lot of money in these tools right from the beginning. There are many powerful, low or no-cost options available that can help you get started. Here are a few examples of such tools.

You can find more on this topic at Work From Home Tutoring Businesses – Part 2 and Budgeting for Your Online Tutoring – Part 3