Revenue: Consider a Niche Store

Kathy

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Revenue: Consider a Niche Store

If your online community is a niche with a certain age group, a certain demographic, surrounding a specific topic, consider opening up a community store for additional revenue.

Fourth quarter 2003 reports by online gateway credit card processing were good news for online merchants. Online purchasing has become a great alternative for most users because of increased security and encryption. Ease of store navigation and payment processing add to the increased sales.

Now is a great time to consider an online store or storefront.

Take inventory of what your site has:

Take a good look at your demographics of your site. Young? Early 20's? 30's? Baby boomers? Each generation has its own online shopping instincts. The younger the membership, the less cash because of credit card and paypal restrictions but is still do-able.

Take a good look at your subject matter. Does your community thrive around a topic with products and merchandising opportunities? Could you generate some merchandise to fit the niche if nothing is easily uncovered? If you can't create merchandise to fit your niche, could you hire someone to do it?

Take a good look at your content expertise. Could you provide documentation (a book) written by you with specific content? Either a regularly published paperback or spiral could work or an ebook?

Take a good look at affiliate companies to find some matches. Amazon.com is a great resource. Linkshare and Commission Junction have companies to match most websites. Linking to specific products can be a business for you.

How these ideas might work for you:

1. One young online webmaster created his website around a specific gaming system. His "store" isn't really a store at all. He doesn't have a credit card gateway. He doesn't package and ship products. He has no inventory.

His store contains specific product links back to Amazon.com's products. In the early days he carefully selected the products and reviews to make sure his products matched the content of his site. (He now sells a code he wrote to do the same thing and many webmasters have benefitted from this teen's expertise with Amazon.) His demographic group is teen/young 20's and yet he is the "king of amazon" and gets whopping checks from Amazon each quarter.

2. Another community which caters to women's health issues has a store with specially created and gathered products. The owner wrote several books, created t-shirts and other...

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