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Developing a Home Business Utilizing CafePress - Part 2

by Mary Emma Allen on May 31st, 2007

I’ll continue with Part 2 of my interview of Mark Allen, who has developed two online home based businesses using CafePress.  (See Part 1 here.)  Mark’s businesses are Defying Gravity Apparel and The Spanked Monkey.Pirate Smiley Face Dog T-Shirt(Dog t-shirt an example from The Spanked Monkey.)

MEA: What are the possibilities for others in an online business operated from home?

MARK: Once again, one of the great things about an online business is that the world is your market.  In the last two weeks alone, in addition to the United States, I have had visits to my stores from 8 additional countries. 

If a person finds the right online business it can be very rewarding and profitable.  Just be sure that the business being considered is legitimate and has real potential.  The trick is finding the right one and I believe for me, this is it.  I see the very real possibility that marketing through CafePress will eventually replace the income of my normal job as I continue to add designs and possibly more stores.

MEA: You have me thinking about possibilities for my writing and book promotion through a medium such as CafePress.  (I already have a story in one book, 2 the Heart, People Who Make a Difference, available at CafePress.)  Do you have any suggestions?

MARK:  I think that, at the very least, you should look at what CafePress has to offer, look at the final cost per book after you have added your markup, and decide if the price is in the range where people will buy.  Also, consider that even if your markup isn’t quite as high as previously, it may be worth it if you don’t have to handle the printing and shipping.

Another thing to consider is that, in addition to the sales you are makaing now, which you will still make, you are likely to get additional sales through people who search CafePress.  In addition to your writing, there is your artwork that can be put on a great many items.

(Mark knows that I illustrate some of my books.  I also do oil and water color paintings which I’ve been trying to produce as note cards and postcards but was baffled when it came to the marketing.  He’s got me thinking about the many possibilities for these, too.   What about you?)

MEA:  Any tips you would like to offer…

MARK: Get started!

MEA: Thanks, Mark, for taking time to share your business tips and the information about your businesses at CafePress.  I’m sure you have a number of people thinking about the possibilities for themselves.

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POSTED IN: Advantages, Business Blogging, Success Stories

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