Last year, just before everyone’s lives changed with the onset of a global pandemic, I wrote an article about using a writing or other creative habit to earn extra money. If you missed that post, you can find it here.
I’m back again to offer some new ideas about creativity and making money from your home.
Last time we really focused on writing. Today, I’ll look at a few ways you can create and make yourself an at-home entrepreneur without being an ‘author’ in the traditional sense.
Ecommerce, A Recap
Okay, everything we’re talking about today is possible because of the rise of ecommerce tools like Shopify, Woocommerce, and Square. These platforms connect payment methods and fulfillment, allowing anyone (literally, anyone) with an Internet connection to sell and ship goods.
These businesses are often ‘dropshipping’ businesses. The basic idea is that you use a platform to list your products and collect payments from buyers. Then your payment platform sends the order to your supplier, who fulfills the order and charges you. Your customer enjoys a seamless experience shopping from your site and receiving the product you offer.
At Lulu Junior, we tend to focus on creative ideas that use or involve books. This makes sense because we’re a book-making company. But the power of ecommerce and dropshipping with on-demand goods makes the entry point for anyone, with any product, much more accessible.
Time To Get Creative
How do you get creative? The first and most important step is to look at what you already love to do. Since we’ve all spent an inordinate amount of time in our homes during the last year, I’m hoping we all took the opportunity to explore new hobbies and creative outlets.
For example, I’ve always enjoyed baking bread. But with so much more time, I’ve been able to really explore this hobby. That includes baking new recipes, experimenting with variations of my favorites, and starting a ‘cookbook journal’ where I’m compiling my experimentations.
That journal could (with a little effort) become a cookbook; which I could sell online to other interested bakers.
And that’s how you identify something you love to do that could be marketed.
Exploring The Possibilities
Here I’ve got three examples of effective businesses built around ecommerce and personal interests. While all three of these use books as one of their products, the idea here is that you could easily adapt the actual product to fit your audience and interests.
Here’s a terrific example of using what you love to build a business. Rockstar Mind is hyper-focused on teaching the guitar to interested and aspiring musicians. What makes Rockstar Mind a little different is that they aim to help DIY/self-taught guitarists.
Their online store offers their book, which is the centerpiece of their ecommerce offering. The site also has a ‘merch’ tab (cleverly using music industry lingo here), though they haven’t added any items yet.
But the point is that ecommerce allows you to combine what you offer. And on-demand production means you won’t pay for items before selling them. Nor will you be storing any materials.
Neural Networks From Scratch
Next up is a programmer with a method of designing neural networks.
I’ll be honest, I’m not exactly sure what that means. I do know it involves Python coding and creating frameworks to make other coding work easier.
So if you’re learning or experienced with code, you too might have something to offer the community. And you could codify that into a book, YouTube video, Podia educational series, or one of a variety of other delivery methods.
Remember that ecommerce tools give you the means to sell anything; that could include digital content like videos.
Perfect Body’s DNA
This is one of my favorite online business ideas. Perfect Body’s DNA is a diet and weight control business. But that’s not what makes their business so unique.
Users provide information about their diet, weight, and habits; with this information, Perfect Body’s DNA creates a customized diet plan book just for you! They’re taking full advantage of custom, on-demand products and ecommerce to sell something you customize on the spot.
While I’m not big on dieting, I love the way that Perfect Body’s DNA has used ecommerce, interactive web-pages, and print-on-demand to offer a truly personal and unique item. To anyone reading this and thinking about how to create something from your own interests, take note; customization is growing and will continue to grow.
It’s a perfect example of what I’m getting at: with ecommerce and on-demand products, you can really take (almost) anything you love to do and find a way to monetize it.
Building Something From Home
That’s what it’s all about. Taking your interests and turning them into a profit. That could be a little extra income or earning your entire income; the entrepreneurial spirit fits both models. Anything you create, there’s likely some kind of market for it on the web. And thanks to on-demand products like books, t-shirts, toys, socks, phone cases, and basically everything else, you can create what you want and share it in the ways you want.
So what will you create?
Sell On Your Website
Learn more about how Lulu’s ecommerce App can help you sell your own book on your own website; the perfect way to expand your creativity, share it with others, and earn some extra income.