6 answers

Starting Online Business

Hi Moms! I started with Mamasource years ago and really havn't been on until recently. I added myself as a Mom-owned business (Marmakib's MoneySavers) even though I'm just beginning to put it all together and don't have my site up and running yet. We have seven kids ages G26, G19,G18, B17, B16, G4, B1 and I've gone back and forth between being a stay at home Mom and working as a vocational rehab/placement specialist for people with a multitude of disabilities both mental and physical. My was diagnosed with NonHodgkins Lymphoma cancer in 2005 and then in 2007 contracted a bizarre staff infection (not mrsa) and had to have a finger amputated and several related surgeries during the next 6 months. When he was finally able to go back to work as a Fire Sprinkler Fitter, he fell in Jan. 2008 and after almost 2 years of an insane workers compensation case, he was told he didn't qualify for surgery and needed to file for disability, which he did 3 months ago. Despite our dire straights financially, we didn't and still don't qualify for any assistance programs. In order to pay medical bills and live we have depleted our savings, cashed in life insurance policies, pension plans and maxed out our credit over the past 3 years. Until this mess happened, we did not live outside our means and were always very frugal. I know we will eventually rebound but it is going to be up to me to make ends meet and with disability, we've been told to expect to be denied at least twice and that we will probably have to hire an attorney and that it might take as long as 2 years! So right now, other than what I sell, we have no income.
Well, that's the background and basics and I share those details because I don't want people thinking I'm using the site to advertise for business purposes. When I finally can afford it, I will join the Perks program here.

That being said, I do want people to know that I am selling many items on eBay that are family friendly and honestly very good deals....like the 2 pair of 3T Levis shorts that start at 99 cents. If you go to Mom Owned Businesses and Look at my listing, there are links to see what I have for sale currently and I have just barely begun to get the items I have available listed........

Now, here is the real reason for this question post.....does anyone have a suggestion for the best "path/method" to set up your own website, where/how to get a domain name that doesn't cost an arm and a leg? Best company or service to use to help you do it.......or did you do it all yourself?

Another Mom posted asking about Etsy last night and I haven't used the site before but have sold eBay for quite a few years and if you have questions or need help with that, I'm more than happy to provide whatever guidance/assistance I can. eBay & PayPal charge fees that make it very difficult to make a consistent profit which is why I plan on setting up my own site. I would also like to know about payment programs......basically, if you have your own business, what payment methods or companies have you found to be the most efficient and cost worthy?

I would like to do "cross marketing" with other Moms who have online business sites. Do any of you do that already? Interested in doing it? My primary "products" will be a Summer Mush Brain Prevention Kit" for school age children and Mom's Summer Sanity Saver (activity/craft oriented) as well as quite a few teaching tools and supplies. My long term goal will be to further develop and either patent or publish some things that I have used working with people with various disabilities.

I tried contacting the Small Business Association (SCORE program) to get help in these areas but was basically laughed at because since eBay is all I have going right now and I don't have funds to invest in a "real new business" they don't consider my endeavors a true business. Needless to say I found that extremely irritating so here I am basically writing a novel in hopes that some other Moms out there have been successful in what I hope to do and have some pointers! Well, if you've read this far, THANK YOU! The whole situation feels overwhelming and I know I have to take things one step at a time but I'm having a tough time figuring out what those steps should be. I hope everyone's had a wonderful weekend and that your Monday will be a fast and easy one!

1 mom found this helpful

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I use godaddy, dynadot, and namecheap to register a domain name. A lot of times godaddy has coupons to pay lower for a domain name. Here is a website with some current coupon codes http://www.dailyedeals.com/free_online_coupons/go_daddy.htm

I use hostgator for hosting. I pay $8-9 a month for hosting. If you look at my website www.makemoneyonline.tonoftips.net there should be an ad for hostgator where you pay $.01 for the first month.

Check out http://www.warriorforum.com/ It's a forum for internet marketers, but you can learn some great ways to advertise your website from it. Lot's of great information there.

2 moms found this helpful

A place for cheap domain names (website addresses) is http://www.namecheap.com They are like $8 for the year.
As for hosting since you're strapped take advantage of the free website hosting places out there. There are lots to choose from. You might have to put up with a banner ad or two but at least it will save you some money. I personally like Tripod. http://www.tripod.com They also have paid for accounts that don't have banner ads on them. They aren't very expensive.
As for building the actual website, Tripod does have the WYSIWYG options where it's just point and click or you could take the time to learn something simple like HTML and make your own basic website. HTML is fairly straight forward <b> for bold and <i> for italics, that kind of thing so it's easy to pick up quick.
If you want to have a site made on the cheap, talk to your local community college or university. Find a university student who wants to make a couple extra bucks on the side to make the site for you. Once you have it made as long as you just replace what's already there you'll be able to update it yourself.
As for payment, although Paypal charges some fees, from what I've found they are also about the cheapest and definitely the most widely used. It's also very simple to set up.
Hope that helps a little. If you need more just message me on here and I'll help if I can.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi Marma,
I have gotten domain names from dotyou for $9.95 for a year. I have liked them and had no problems so far. I do a lot of offline marketing for my home business. I use VistaPrint, www.vistaprint.com. I get all of my stuff for free, all I pay for is shipping. You might have to buy one thing at first just to get an account with them. Once you do everything you order will be free. I get post cards, flyers, business cards, address return lables, stamps, tote bags, T-Shirts, car magnets and so much more! I have been really happy with everything I've ever ordered! I don't have much money to put into my home business so I'm always looking for cheap for free!!! Good luck with everything.

1 mom found this helpful

I buy and sell on ebay also get with me and we will see what we can do to help each other. I will check with my brother and see what he suggest for a domain name. He has done stuff like that for years.

1 mom found this helpful

I would suggest www.godaddy.com to buy a domain name, they also have web hosting for a very small fee. I built a site on there, www.AHealthyLifeForAll.com

Have you ever thought about a different type of business, I have an online/phone business? If you are interested, go to my website and fill in the get more information section... www.LiveYourDreamsAtHome.com

1 mom found this helpful

I use godaddy.com for my website stuff.
If these items are not handmade I don't think you will be able to post with Etsy. I believe their requirement is that everything going up needs to be handmade.

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