After deciding to start an online shop for socks, I wanted to validate this idea. “The 4 Hour Workweek” by Timothy Ferris proposes getting a website to check if people are interested in your product.
At first I used a free subdomain of the service komponentenportal.de. It’s very easy to create the website there. They have good instructions and even show you, where to find generators for the legal texts as “impressum” and “terms and conditions of service”. I learned a lot while building my first website there. Unfortunately they offer little possibilities to personalize the website, this would contradict their goal of keeping it easy and simple. This is where I got stuck for the first time. Lacking the option of including an opt-in form for a newsletter would make it difficult to validate my idea.
They offer hosting in Germany at resonable prices and some support tools like an automated wordpress installation, ready to use e-mail servers for your own domains and some analysis tools.
Software for the Website
As mentioned before, the sockenpaket.de website runs with WordPress (this also holds for this website). WordPress is free and open source and there are lots of plugins available most of which are free and open source, too.
Let me know, if you are interested in more details regarding the plug-ins.
One plug-in deserves has to be featured here: ThriveThemes. It sticks out, because it’s a plug-in for WordPress, that’s not free. It costs about 220€ per year. For this you get the plug-in which helps you building a landing page. It also has other features, but I haven’t tried those yet. Video tutorials and webinars are also included in this price.
So is it worth this price? For my current situation, I don’t think so. You have to decide for yourself, if you need the webinars and videos and the different software features to optimize your website. I only used the landing page builder, which appear to be not very flexible if you want a smooth design. The helpful feature of embedding a mailing list opt-in form is without much doubt available within other, free and open source, WordPress plug-ins.
The previous section already mentioned a mailing list. There are different websites offering support in creating a mailing list, I chose MailChimp. Until know I only scratched the surface of its features. If you want to enlist for the mailing list, be refered to sockenpaket.de’s landing page.
Another way to find out if people are interested in your product ideas (you probably already knew that 😉 ) is a facebook page. Creating it was very easy and they already offer lots of support for doing this. And it’s suprising, how far a facebook post spreads, if people are sharing it with their friends.
The report on the stuff I did before is very brief. If you want to know more about something of what already happend, you can simply leave a comment and I might write a more detailed article on this!