How Not to Go Into a Web Design Project Blindly

4 Questions to Ask Clients Before Designing a Website

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing after I spent weeks building my client’s website.

Data Logistics

“Uh, I don’t really like it. Can you rebuild it?” the client told me over the phone.

My heart sunk as I struggled not to drop the phone.

I realized at that moment that I didn’t even consult the client on what they wanted the site to look like, I just went with what I thought it should look like.

I begrudgingly agreed to rebuild the site and made a simple promise to myself from that point on:

I will always send my clients a list of questions so I can get a better feel for what they want their website to look like.

Since I made myself this promise,  I have yet to run into problems like the aforementioned debacle.

Here are a few of the most important questions I always ask my clients before building them a website.

What is the Tone of Your Brand?

As a web designer, it’s important to get a feel for your client’s brand.

Understanding their tone will help determine the writing style on the site as well as the overall design.

If your client describes the tone of their brand as fun, warm, inviting, etc., then you’ll want to have content written on the site that isn’t overly serious and invites people to learn more about their brand.

The overall design of the site should also feel warm, inviting, and fun.

If they describe the tone of their brand as more serious, you’ll want to have content and a design scheme that looks and sounds more professional and serious.

Generally, content that is warm and inviting tends to feel more personal while serious content tends to feel more distant.

Also, brighter colors tend to give off that fun and inviting feeling while darker, grayer colors tend to be more serious and professional.

Consult your client on your content and color choices to see if they feel like it fits in line with their brand’s tone.

What Do You Want Users to Accomplish on Your Site?

Whether it be to give people information, have people sign up for a newsletter, or purchase something it’s incredibly important to structure a website so that it allows users to easily perform the desired action.

A great book to read on structuring websites so users can easily perform actions is Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug.

His philosophy is simple: make performing tasks on a website so simple that users don’t have to think about it.

In other words, if you want people to find information make it extremely easy to find on the website by keeping it only one or two clicks away.

Also, if you want people to sign up for something or purchase something, have sign up forms or purchase buttons brightly colored and hard to miss on a page.

I recommend grabbing Steve Krug’s book if you plan on taking web design seriously as it will help you out a lot.

Who Are Some of Your Competitors?

Get a list of your client’s competitors and look at their websites.

Ask your client what they like or dislike about the competitor’s website, and see if there’s anything on the competitor’s website that you could improve on with your client’s website.

For example, maybe the competitor’s website has a menu bar that looks like it’s straight out of the 90’s, you could easily use a WordPress theme that has a menu bar that looks way better than that!

Or perhaps they don’t have an About Us page or a Blog page, you could easily create those for your client making their website much higher in quality.

Spying on competitors is a great way to both get ideas and ensure your client is outperforming them.

What Features Would You Like Your Site to Have?

Maybe your client wants a sexy slider on the homepage showcasing all of their services, or maybe they insist on having an About section on the front page.

Whatever the case may be, it’s always best to ask them if they have a specific design in mind or want specific features on the website.

That way you have a good foundation to build off of making it easier than simply building from scratch.

What I like to do is show my clients 3 different demos WordPress themes that are within their industry, whether it be dentistry, auto repair, etc.

You can find these theme demos at


Coming up with a design can be tough without guidance, so always be sure to ask your clients questions like these so you’ll have a much clearer idea of what kind of website they want you to build.

Also, be sure to never go into building a website blind – you should always consult your client before beginning a web design project.

How Much to Charge for Building a WordPress Website

Guide to Pricing WordPress Website Projects

I made a big mistake on my second-ever web design project. My client wanted me to build them a custom website that included heavy-duty HTML and CSS styling that I was extremely unfamiliar with.

how much to charge for a wordpress website

Having just started as a web designer, I spent many late nights both learning on the fly and slaving away at this website trying to get it to look presentable.

Once completed, all I got out of the project was a measly $1,500.

While that might seem like a lot, and it certainly was for me at the time, looking back I realize that a better price for the amount of work I did would have been closer to $5,000.

However, I was still learning so I bit the bullet and built the site anyway with zero complaints.

Correctly pricing a web design project is one of the most important factors in building a successful web design business.

It can save you a lot of headaches, frustration, and hours of unpaid labor.

Here are some tips I suggest you take into account if you’re wanting to learn how to best charge clients for building a WordPress website.

Have a Set Minimum Price in Mind

Before I take on any web design project, I always have a set minimum price in mind that I rarely deviate from.

Setting this price is important so you don’t end up taking on a project and feeling like you’re getting shortchanged.

Personally, my minimum price is $1500-$2000 per web design project. This price is largely intuitive and because I have a portfolio so I can charge more than I did when I had no portfolio.

If you are just starting out, it may be smart to have your price lower – anywhere from $500-$1000.

My first client paid me $500 upfront and $500 once I finished, and that felt very reasonable to me at the time.

I would not go any lower than that unless the work would end up being fairly easy and it could score you a reference.

If you have a client that wants you to build a large website with a lot of moving parts, you could easily charge them anywhere from $4,000-$6,000.

Normally, however, when working with small businesses the prices for websites will stay around the $1,000-$2,000 range.

Go with your gut when it comes to pricing WordPress websites for small businesses, and don’t go lower than your minimum if the client rejects your first offer – trust me.

In my opinion, you should never work for less than you’re worth.

Factor Time Spent on Each Project

If you’re unable to figure out a price intuitively, a great way to price your projects is to calculate the amount of time you think it will take you to finish building their site.

My first website took me about 4 weeks to finish with me working about an hour a day on it, so that would have been roughly 28 hours.

The average web developer salary is $64K which is around $31/hr, so if we use this number then 28 x 31 = $868.

Add in a few fees like setting up the site, installing plugins, etc. and you could easily price the website around $1000.

I don’t recommend including your hourly rate or fees in your proposal, this exercise is more for yourself so you can know how to price things.

Most business owners (at least in my experience) like seeing just one flat rate they have to pay and hate being nickel-and-dimed.

Include Every Detail in Your Proposal

While your rate is best structured as a flat fee, you should still include as much detail about the work you’re going to be doing as possible.

When a client sees how many things you’re going to be doing for them, the perceived value of your services will go up.

For example, if all you put in your proposal is the following:

New Website – $1,000

It won’t seem as valuable to the client since there’s not really much detail on what goes into building their new website.

Now, if you include items in your proposal like this:

  • Custom Slider
  • Stock Photos
  • Custom Favicon
  • Brand New Content
  • Privacy Policy Page
  • Google Analytics Installation
  • Google Search Console Account Set Up
  • Bing Webmaster Tools Account Set Up
  • WordPress Plugin Installation
  • WordPress Theme Installation

Total: $1,000

They will be more likely to sign with you even though both scenarios show the same price and amount of work.

The only difference between these two is one of these has more detail than the other.

Clients will be more likely to see the value of your services when they see how much work you’ll actually be doing.

In other words, the devil really is in the details – and he’s got dollar signs in his eyes!

Outline Your Scope of Work and Try Not to Go Outside It

When writing your proposal, make sure that you specifically outline the amount of work you plan on doing and let the client know what sort of work would go outside the scope that they paid for.

Make sure you communicate this with your client effectively, as there can sometimes be misunderstandings between both parties.

I told my first client that I would make any “changes” to their website for free after I built it for them, and somehow they thought that included completely redesigning the site after they’ve paid me for it!

What I meant by that was if they didn’t like something after I showed them the first draft of their website, I would make changes without charging them.

Of course, I didn’t explicitly say it like that in the proposal, so they thought I meant I would make ALL changes to their site INDEFINITELY without charging them.

Thankfully, the client was understanding when I explained to them what I meant and I still work with them to this day.

When you’re first starting out, it may be difficult to tell a client “no”, but in situations like this it’s paramount you do so or you could end up working several hours unpaid.

Of course, there are certain circumstances where it would be unreasonable to charge a client (i.e. updating a plugin for them on their website), but a good rule of thumb is never do anything unpaid that could take more an hour to complete.


Pricing WordPress websites can be difficult at first, but following these tips should help you determine how much to charge your clients.

Remember to always have your set minimum price in mind, estimate the amount of time you think it’ll take to complete the project, provide lots of details in your proposal, and never go outside the outlined scope of work unless it’s a quick fix.

How to Start a Web Design Business With No Portfolio

The Smart Way to Get Your First Client

With sweaty palms and a queasy feeling in my stomach, I sat outside a local dentist office in my car trying to figure out what I was going to say. I told myself that today was the day I would start my web design business, so I Google’d a few businesses, got their addresses, and decided I would visit each of them to see if they needed a new website. The only problem was that I had no portfolio to show them.

Business people shaking hands

“How are they going to trust me if I’ve never worked with clients before?” I thought to myself.

Feeling defeated, I drove away before even hearing a yes or no from the business owner.

Are you trying to figure out how to start your own web design business without having an established portfolio?

As someone who has made thousands building websites, I can relate to the fear of not knowing how to get your first client when you don’t have a portfolio.

Unfortunately, most businesses won’t want to work with someone unless they have a portfolio of work to show them.

The question is, though, how are you supposed to build a portfolio if you need one in order to be able to build one?

It’s like the Screen Actor’s Guild: you can’t get a SAG card unless you’ve been in a SAG movie, but you can’t be in a SAG movie unless you have a SAG card.

Sounds pretty insane, doesn’t it?

Well, thankfully, there actually are ways to start building your web design business even if you don’t have a portfolio to show people.

Follow these tips and you won’t be running around in circles like most people when they first get started!

Lay the Right Foundation for Your Business

Starting a business can definitely be overwhelming, so before diving into it you’ll need to figure out a few key elements that will work as the foundation for your success.

A few of these elements include your business structure (sole proprietorship or LLC), business bank account, business credit card, invoicing software, accounting software, and proposal and contract templates/software.

I personally have an LLC, and I would recommend getting one, but I know plenty of people who work as sole proprietors and they like it better that way.

There are plenty of pros and cons to having both, so do your research and figure out which is best for you.

I also have my own bank account for my business at Central Bank, my own business credit card from Chase, Freshbooks as my invoicing software, and Bonsai as my proposal/contracting software.

As for accounting, I keep track of it all on my own using Google Sheets.

Freshbooks has a great expense tracker as well if you don’t want to keep track of it yourself.

Having all of these things in order will help establish your credibility as a web designer when prospecting for clients if you don’t have a portfolio.

Build Websites for Yourself

Before you even think about building a website for someone else, you need to have some experience building websites.

As mentioned in my post showing how to get into web design with no experience, the best way to learn something is by taking action.

Build your business’ website using WordPress and a nice looking business theme from Themeforest.

You should also try building niche websites based on topics you like (e.g. you’re a fan of quinoa so you start a website showing all of your favorite quinoa recipes).

Having a point of reference for your web design work can help local business owners decide if you’re right for the job, so don’t be afraid to show them these websites as examples of your expertise.

Build Websites for Friends and Family

Know somebody in your family or circle of friends that has a business?

Ask them if they’d be interested in having you either build them a new website or redesign their old one.

Having already established a relationship with them, it’s easier to sell them on your work even if you technically don’t have a portfolio.

Remember, though, that doing business with family or friends can end up doing harm to the relationship if not done correctly so be careful.

Have Friends or Family Refer You

If you don’t have anyone close to you that needs a website, ask them if they themselves know someone you don’t that needs one.

My first web design client was a referral from a friend, and even though I didn’t have a portfolio they hired me anyway because of my friend’s reference and reasonable pricing.

Just bring it up casually when you’re with friends or family and you might get lucky!

Befriend Local Business Owners

People tend to only want to work directly with people they like, so try to build a friendly relationship with local business owners.

Perhaps there’s a local restaurant you go to often that has a crummy website – befriend the owner and let them know that you know how to build websites.

Offer to build them a website at a discount, and see what they say.

You’d be surprised at how willing many business owners are to work with freelancers, and having an existing relationship will help you get your foot in the door even without a portfolio.


While it’s much easier to build a web design business with a portfolio, we all have to start somewhere.

Thankfully, there are ways to begin building your business even without an extensive portfolio.

How to Quickly Get Into Web Design With No Experience

Use These Simple Steps to Decode Web Design

If you’re anything like I was before I learned web design, you might be overwhelmed at the idea of building a website. So many moving parts, so much code, so many headaches…

Start Building Websites

Whenever anyone talked to me about web design I would think back to the scene from the Matrix where Neo speaks with Cypher about the code of the matrix.

Neo: Do you always look at it encoded?

Cypher: Well, you have to… You get used to it. I don’t even see the code. All I see is blonde, brunette, redhead…

Staring at a black screen with cryptic letters I have to somehow learn how to translate?

No thank you!

Thankfully, web design is nothing like that at all.

In fact, it’s actually not that hard to learn if you are willing to put in the time and effort to do so.

I can tell you firsthand that I have very little coding experience and yet I have built dozens of websites and made thousands of dollars thanks to my expertise as a web designer.

If you have no experience building websites and are looking to get into web design, then here are some helpful tips on how to do so quickly.

Build Your First Website Using WordPress

If you’re thinking about getting into web design, then I suggest building your first website using WordPress.

WordPress is one of the best content management systems around and is super easy to pick up.

As a freelance web designer, I’ve built all of my websites in WordPress and wouldn’t even think of using another CMS.

To create your first website, all you need to do is buy a domain, a hosting server, and install WordPress in the cPanel area.

In my opinion, the best way to learn anything is by doing, so if you haven’t played around with WordPress yet then I recommend doing that before reading any more articles.

Create Projects for Yourself

I learned how to build websites by creating website projects that had specific purposes for me.

My first ever website was a fan site for the show Pretty Little Liars.

The show was extremely popular at the time, so I wanted to make an affiliate website that advertised PLL merchandise.

While the site did make me a few dollars, it didn’t take off like I wanted it to – and that’s OK.

I learned a lot through this experience, including how to install themes, plugins, and make edits to things like CSS files and header.php files.

Plan out what kind of website you want to build, whether it be an affiliate website or a blog, and get to work creating it.

Having a project in mind rather than arbitrarily building website will help you focus and finish what you start.

As you finish your projects, you’ll be able to look back and see how much you’ve learned along the way!

Block Out Time Each Week to Learn

Got an hour or so each day to spare?

You might not think you do, but in reality, we all have at least an hour or two to spare to spend time intentionally learning something.

Rather than spending time watching YouTube videos mindlessly in bed, why not spend an hour playing around with WordPress?

When I first got started building websites, I spent a good couple of hours each day on my websites.

I took breaks not nearly as often as I should have, but I don’t regret it now since I have so many logged hours to work off of at this point.

If you really can’t find time each day to spend on building websites, just use a good chunk of your day off.

Sure, it’s your day off, but how successful you are is determined by how much time you’re willing to put in.

Read Tons of Articles

In between the time you spend building websites, spend time reading articles from reputable sources on things like WordPress, web design best practices, SEO, etc.

Sites that have helped me tremendously include WPBeginner, Forums,, and

I’ve also read plenty of one-off articles I’ve found from Google that answers my questions.

As I mentioned, the best way for you to learn anything is by doing, so while reading articles is great don’t let it steal time away from taking action.

Use YouTube

I’ve learned an incredible amount of web design and SEO knowledge from YouTube.

If you’re trying to figure out how to do something web design related, it’s a lot easier watching a video explaining it rather than reading an article.

Just don’t get sidetracked by cat videos – it’s happened to me too many times to count!

Use Free Coding Websites

Sites like Codecademy are truly a godsend when it comes to learning HTML and CSS.

While it’s not completely necessary to know HTML and CSS to build sites with WordPress (particularly if you’re wanting to build websites for local businesses), it can save you a lot of headaches having some basic knowledge on these two topics.

I recommend going through Codecademy’s free HTML and CSS courses just to wet your pallet, then try to learn on your own.


Even if you have no experience as a web designer, there are still several ways to easily get started in the industry.

While you won’t be working for a Fortune 500 company as a web designer or building websites for local businesses overnight, you can certainly start building your own websites right now!

If you invest the time and effort needed to succeed, there’s no doubt you can become a web designer.

How to Make Your First Sale on Amazon FBA

Step-By-Step Tutorial on How to Use JumpSend

Making those first few sales is crucial to your overall success as an Amazon FBA seller. If you’ve been following along in my Amazon FBA startup series, this is the final segment where I show you how to make your first sales using JumpSend, and how to start your first Amazon PPC campaign.

Make Your First Sale on Amazon FBA

Set Up Your JumpSend Account

Note: In order to use JumpSend’s Promotions correctly you MUST be a Professional Seller.

Now that your products are ready to sell, it’s time to put things in place so you can get your first sales and reviews.

I recommend using JumpSend as it will allow you to advertise your products at a discount to over 100K shoppers.

JumpSend also allows you to set up custom follow-up emails with your customers to persuade them to leave a review on your product.

In my experience, I have been able to get my first few reviews on products using JumpSend so I cannot stress enough how important this tool is to your long-term success.

It might sound counter-productive to give your products away at a discount but think of these first sales as buying reviews rather than turning a profit.

Having good reviews, in the beginning, is vital to your long-term success as an Amazon seller.

Head on over to JumpSend and sign up for a free trial of their Starter plan as it’ll allow you to deal with up to 3 products.

Set Up Your First Deal

Once your account is created and you give JumpSend access to your Amazon seller account, click the “My Promotions” tab at the top of the page after you log in.

You’ll next want to click the “Add New Promotion” button to the far right of the page.


On this page, you’ll want to enter the ASIN number of your product and click “ASIN search”

To find the ASIN number, simply go to your listing and copy the 10-digit combination of letters and numbers from the URL.

ASIN numbers tend to start with the letter “B”, as you can see with the ASIN from the listing shown below.



Once you click “ASIN search”, your product’s information should populate the fields.


Next, you’ll need to select the product’s category.

In my case, this product best fits in the “Pet Supplies” category.


You’ll also want to choose whether your product is Fulfilled by Amazon or not.

If you’ve been following this course to a T, then you’ll want to select “Fulfillment by Amazon”.

Don’t worry about the “Price After Discount” field as we’ll come back to that later.

Once you have everything selected, click “Next”.


The next page deals with protecting your product’s inventory.

Make sure the “Automatic Inventory Protection On” option is selected.

This option protects you from an individual on JumpSend buying your entire inventory with one coupon.

I recommend setting your “Limit Order Quantity” to 1 as our inventory is low at this time.


On the next page, there is a fantastic video JumpSend provides you that will walk you through exactly how to create coupons.

Just watch their video and follow the steps. The video is incredibly thorough otherwise I would give my own explanation.

The only input I would have is that I recommend setting your coupon to be somewhere between 60%-80% off.

In my experience, selling products at these numbers have greatly increased the chances of people purchasing them.

When you have the coupons created, head back to the first page and input the correct “Price After Discount” based on whatever percentage-off you set.

For example, if my product sells regularly for $21.95 and I want to sell it for 70% off I would need to put $6.59 in the Price After Discount field (21.95 * 0.70 = 15.36, 21.95 – 15.36 = 6.59).


Once you finish head on over to the “Shopper Approval” page.

On this page, I recommend selecting “Manually Approve Shoppers” as you’ll want to wait 4 hours from the time you set up your coupon codes on Amazon (as recommended by the JumpSend video).

In the meantime, you can still run your promotion and just wait to manually approve people who want to buy your product once the 4-hour mark has passed.

Click “Next” when you’re ready to move on to the next page.


Now it’s time to review your promotion.

Make sure all of the information shown on this page is accurate and correct.

When you’re ready, click “Publish” to make your promotion live!


Now all you have to do is sit back and wait for people to request to buy your products!

In my experience, it can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few days for someone to buy your first coupon code, so be patient and experiment with different prices.

The next thing we’ll want to do is set up an email follow-up sequence.

Set Up Email Campaign

Click “My Email Campaigns” at the top of the page and click “Add New Email Campaign” on the top right of the page.

You will then need to select a template to start your email campaign.


Personally, I use the “Two Review Requests” template and have had pretty decent success with it.

This section is completely up to you on how you want to customize your own email follow-up campaign, so I won’t go into much detail.

I will say that the templates are very well made, and you likely won’t have to change much wording within them.

When you select a template, on the next page you’ll need to select your product at the top of the page.

After making whatever changes you want to the messages, click “Review Campaign” and then “Activate Campaign”.

You’ll also want to make sure that the “Message Active” buttons are selected for each of the messages.

A few notes when writing your follow-up emails:

  • Don’t spam your customers as this will likely get you in trouble with Amazon.
  • Don’t link them to any YouTube videos.
  • Don’t send them links in general.
  • Be very careful when sending them things like images or PDFs. While I believe it isn’t against Amazon’s TOS to do so, I would proceed with caution.

Now that we have sent our products to Amazon, have set up our first promotion, and set up an email follow campaign, we will finally delve into the world of Amazon PPC.

Setting Up Your First Amazon PPC Campaign

Amazon’s Sponsored Products program (or Amazon PPC) is a great way to get your product in front of users when your product is first starting out.

The goal is obviously to have your product rank organically, but for now, running ads can give your products some much-needed exposure.

It’s been said that having a product run in Amazon PPC can even help its organic rankings as well.

Head on over your seller dashboard and click “Campaign Manager” underneath “Advertising”.


Next, click “Create Campaign” underneath the “Campaigns” tab.


Give your campaign a name, set a daily budget (this is completely up to you, I like to set mine at $25 but BE CAREFUL as you could potentially rack up hefty advertising fees. If you want to play it safe, set your budget to $5 per day).

Finally, select “Automatic Targeting” as we’ll want Amazon to create keywords based on your product info.

These keywords will be available under Campaign > Ad Group > Keywords > Get report after your ad has been running for a few days.

You can use these keywords to both optimize your listing and set up a manual campaign as well.

Click “Continue to next step” to proceed.


On this page, give your Ad Group a name and click the “Select” button next to your product.

Once it’s selected, set your default bid and then click “Save and finish” to be done setting up your first campaign.


Just give your campaign a few days to run and you should be able to download your report under Campaign > Ad Group > Keywords > Get report to see what keywords your product is showing up for.

These first few sales are vital to getting both reviews and rankings on Amazon, so be sure to not only try these two methods out but also spread the word to friends and family on social media.

Startup Bros Ecommerce Empire Registration

How to Ship Inventory to an Amazon FBA Warehouse

Step-By-Step Tutorial on How to Ship Your Samples

Once you receive samples you ordered from a supplier, or if you’re looking to sell products you have around the house through FBA, you’ll want to send them to one of Amazon’s fulfillment centers. In order to do that, we need to create a shipping order within Amazon’s seller dashboard.

How to Send Inventory to Amazon FBA

If you don’t have an Amazon seller’s account set up yet and you’re unsure how to do so, my article on creating a listing on Amazon should help you out tremendously.

Go to “Manage FBA Inventory” under the “Inventory” tab in your Amazon seller dashboard.

Next, click the checkbox to the left of your product, click “Action on 1 selected” above the listing, then select “Send/replenish inventory”.


Next, assuming your product is, in fact, an FBA listing all you’ll have to do is click “Send Inventory”.

If you have to convert the product from Merchant-fulfilled to FBA you will be prompted to do so by Amazon.


On the next screen, you’ll want to make sure the “Create a new shipping plan” option is selected along with the “Case-packed products” option as this is the option used when sending multiples of the same product.

Once you select these options, click “Continue to shipping plan”.


On the next screen, scroll down and you’ll see an area where we need to enter the number of units and the number of cases we will be sending.

Since we’ll be sending our 10 samples in 1 box, enter 10 into the “Units per case” box and 1 in the “Number of cases” box.

Once you fill all that out, click “Continue”.


In the next section, Amazon asks you to prepare your products.

You’ll need to send each of your products in an individual poly bag with a warning label on it (here is an example).

If you received your products from China and they were already in a poly bag, you should be fine to proceed.

Otherwise, just place the products in the poly bags that I recommend buying from my list of Amazon FBA tools.

For an in-depth video detailing how to prepare products for Amazon’s FBA warehouse, watch this video:

Once you finish preparing your products, click “Continue”.

The next thing you’ll need to do is label your products.

You have a couple of options here, you can either print them yourself if you have a label printer (I recommend using a DYMO Printer) or have Amazon do it for you.

Having Amazon do it for you will obviously accrue some fees which can be viewed here.

You can make Amazon label the products for you by clicking “Apply to all” under “Who labels?” and selecting “Amazon”.

Click “Print labels for this page” and follow the instructions in the above video.

Once you have your labels printed off, place them on the front of your product.

If you want to test out the products to make sure they can then use a barcode scanner – this isn’t required but I always like to do this just to make sure they can be scanned once they reach Amazon’s warehouse.

Click “Continue” when you’re ready to move on.


On this next page, you can rename your shipment or just keep it at its default name – this is completely up to you.

Click “Approve shipment” to move on to the next page.

Your shipment should be created and you should be ready to print your shipping label!

Click “Work on shipment” to be taken to the next page.

You will now be given the choice to ship your products through UPS or FedEx.

I personally always use UPS, but this is totally up to you.

Under the “Shipment packing” section, select “Everything in one box” in the drop-down box located under the text “How will this shipment be packed?”.

Next, you’ll need to input the shipment box’s weight along with the dimensions.

If you haven’t already, fill your shipment box with your products and weigh your products using either a shipping scale or a regular scale.

In my experience, this doesn’t have to be 100% accurate as long as it’s close to the weight range.

As for the shipping box’s dimensions, you should see the dimensions on the box itself.

In my case, I always buy my shipping boxes from Walmart and you can always see the box dimensions on the bottom right-hand corner.

Once you’ve entered all of this information, click “Confirm” and you’ll be able to move on to the next section.


Under “Shipping charges”, click the “Calculate” button to get the price you’ll be charged for shipping these products.

Since we’re not shipping very many products, the shipping price will likely be low.

Click the checkmark next to “I agree to the terms and conditions” and then “Accept charges”.

You will be charged to your Seller account and have 24 hours to void the transaction if you decide not to ship the products for whatever reason.


In the next section, click “Print box labels” to download the shipping label you will need to place on your box.

Your label will look something like this (obviously without the blacked-out parts):


Using your laser printer and shipping label paper, print your shipping label.

DO NOT place the shipping label on the top of your box, instead place it on the side as this is where Amazon wants you to place it.


If your box is too small to fit the label on, you may need to either trim it down or just get a bigger box.

Once you’ve got your box labeled, click “Complete shipment” and all you’ll have to do is drop your box off at a UPS/FedEx store.


Once your products have arrived at Amazon’s warehouse, you will receive an email notification and your products will be added to your inventory.

It may take a few business days for the products to both arrive at the warehouse and be added to your inventory.

When you’re ready to move on to learning how to get your first sale on Amazon, read my appropriately titled post “How to Make Your First Sale on Amazon FBA“.

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How to Write an Amazon Product Description

Learn Both the Outsource and DIY Routes

Similar to taking product photos, there are two different routes you can take for writing a good product description for your Amazon listing: outsourcing or DIY. In this post, we’ll be exploring both options including their pros and cons as well as how to do each of them effectively.

Amazon Product Descriptions

The Outsourcing Route


  • Easier to implement (copy+paste what you’re sent)
  • High-quality work
  • The relief in knowing you can relax and let someone else do your dirty work!


  • More expensive ($70-$120 depending on who you order from)
  • The descriptions could end up needing a lot of editing

The DIY Route


  • No cost to you
  • Faster turnaround (assuming you don’t slack off!)
  • The satisfaction of knowing you did it yourself!


  • More difficult to do
  • More work on your part
  • Quality might not be as good (unless you’re a great writer and understand good copywriting)

For a full list of all of the tools I recommend for Amazon FBA go here:

The first route we will be looking at is outsourcing your product descriptions.

The Outsourcing Route for Your Product Description


  • A Fiverr account
  • $55-$65

If I’m not wanting to write them myself, I like using a website called Fiverr to have my product descriptions written.

If you’re not familiar with Fiverr, it’s basically a marketplace where you can buy people’s services for around $5-10.

These services include things like content writing, logo design, video editing, as well as product descriptions.

The Description Writer That I Use

I have personally only used this guy for my listings: and he was pretty good.

There were certain issues with his grammar that I had to fix, but it saved me time by having him do it for me.

Plus, it provided me a template for future product descriptions that I can do myself.

I bought his premium option, but I realized that the other extras he provided I could have easily done myself.

So, this is why I only recommend you get the basic option (Title, 5 Bullets, Product Description, and HTML) as I will show you how to do the other extras yourself (PPC keywords, SEO optimized title, etc.) in the next lesson.

Alternative Writers

Another listing service I have seen that looks promising is this one: and I will likely test out their services in the future.

There are others on the marketplace that I’m sure could do a great job too, so feel free to search for them yourself!

Purchasing Your Product Description


Click “Proceed to Order” on the service provider you decide to go with.

You’ll be taken to a confirmation page, and you will have to pay a small processing fee (anywhere from $1-$5)

You might be shown some optional upgrades, but I don’t recommend getting any of them as many of these upgrades are things we can easily do ourselves.

After you buy the service you will have to fill out information explaining more about your product.

This is very straightforward and is necessary so they can know more about your product and how to write the description for it.

I normally wait until my photos have arrived and my listing is active before I buy the description so I can link them to the listing and they can see the product for themselves.

Their turnaround time is normally a day or two, and you’ll get an email once they’re finished.

Open the files they send you and just copy and paste the information into the product’s listing!

Remember, you’ll want to go to your Inventory page, then “Edit” next to the listing, then “Description”, then add the information where necessary.

If you need to change the title of the product, this information is located in the “Vital Info” tab next to “Product Name”.

Now we move on to the DIY route for handling your product description.

The DIY Route for Your Product Description


  • An awesome template (you’re welcome)
  • Good writing skills
  • Diligence

Here’s an Amazon product description template that I use when writing the descriptions of my products:

<p><b>[Tagline #1]</b></p>

<p>[Informative Paragraph]</p>

<p><b>[Tagline #2]</b></p>

<p>[Informative Paragraph]</p>

<p><b>[Tagline #3]</b></p>

<p>[Informative Paragraph]</p>

<p><b>[Tagline #4]</b></p>

<p>[Informative Paragraph]</p>

<p><b>Product Details:</b></p>

<li>[Feature #1]</li>
<li>[Feature #2]</li>
<li>[Feature #3]</li>
<li>[Feature #4]</li>
<li>[Feature #5]</li>

<p><b>So Don’t Miss Out! Add This [product] To Your Cart NOW!</b></p>

As for the bullet points, here are a few tips for writing them:

  • Include a short phrase that is a feature of the product then include a short description of this feature (i.e. Durable Nylon Vest: This fantastic tactical vest for your dog is made from high-quality, strong nylon.)
  • Use up all 5 lines as more information is better than less
  • Look up what similar products are saying in their bullet points if you need ideas on what to write

Your description doesn’t have to be perfect but you should make sure there are no misspellings and your grammar is good.

I use a Chrome plugin called Grammarly to automatically check for misspellings and grammar issues as I type.

Once you write your product description, click “Save and finish” and wait for your listing to update.

When you’re ready to move on to learning how to send your first inventory shipment Amazon, read my post “How to Ship Inventory to an Amazon FBA Warehouse”.

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How to Take Pictures for Amazon Listings

Learn Both the Outsource and DIY Routes

There are two different routes that you can take for product photos: outsourcing or DIY. There are plenty of pros and cons for each of these routes, and we’ll be going over each of these here:

Amazon Product Photography

The Outsourcing Route


  • Easier to implement (copy+paste what you’re sent)
  • High-quality work
  • The relief in knowing you can relax and let someone else do your dirty work!


  • More expensive ($155-$176 depending on the number of photos you get)
  • Slower turnaround (photos can take up to 2 weeks to finish, description can take up to 2 days)
  • The potential of one of these outsourcing agents screwing up which could set you back a bit (i.e. you wait 2 weeks and the photos end up not looking how you wanted so you need them to redo it)

The DIY Route


  • No cost to you (assuming you have a camera)
  • Faster turnaround (assuming you don’t slack off!)
  • The satisfaction of knowing you did it yourself!


  • More difficult to do
  • More work on your part
  • Quality might not be as good (unless you’re a professional photographer)

The first route we will be looking at is outsourcing your photos.

The Outsourcing Route for Your Photos


  • $126 (plus shipping)
  • A small shipping box for your product
  • Printer
  • Packing tape
  • USPS, UPS or FedEx

For a full list of all of the tools I recommend for Amazon FBA go here:


Upgraded Images is a fantastic California-based company that will take photos of your products at a really good rate.

All you have to do is fill out their order form, print it off and mail it to them with your product.

If you don’t have a printer, just save your files to a USB drive and take it to a local print shop (FedEx Office, Office Max, or Office Depot work as well).

This page details where you need to ship your product based on which carrier you decide to go with.

I recommend having them do at least 6 photos for you which will amount to $21 per photo ($126).

Unless you plan on using these photos in brochures, catalogs, etc. you should choose their “Take Me Online” option for your photos as this option is best for Amazon sellers.

When I used them, it took a little over 2 weeks for them to complete my photos without the rush delivery.

Since we’re in no hurry, I don’t recommend buying the rush delivery as it will use up vital monetary resources you will need to build your business.

Just wait out the 2 weeks, trust me, it’s worth it.

Filling Out Their Order Form

When filling out their order form, you will be required to provide your information including your name, shipping address, etc.

Fill everything out where applicable (i.e. if you don’t have a company name just put N/A or leave it blank) then choose the following options:

Which package would you like?

Pick the “Take Me Online” option as I mentioned unless you need photos large than 1200×1200 to use for catalogs, brochures, etc.

Which optional services do you need?

Clipping paths are unnecessary, I don’t recommend getting rush service, and you won’t need the photos on a CD since they’ll send you them in a zip file via email so don’t check any of these.

Special Instructions

Here’s where you need to explain to them what you want your photos to look like.

What I recommend you do is send them a bunch of photos of what you want your photos to look like so they can have a frame of reference.

You can grab these photos on Amazon or from your supplier’s page on Alibaba.

Here’s an example of what I did in the past when I had them take photos for a belt I tested out selling:



I just copied and pasted the images from different Amazon pages into a Word document, printed them off, and sent them in with my order form and product.

Please note that Upgraded Images will NOT use models in your photos so if you need a model to be in your photo you can either do it yourself or find another photographer.

Shipping Your Product to

If you don’t have a small shipping box, head on over to either Walmart or a hardware store and buy one yourself.

You’ll also need packing tape so grab some while you’re there if you don’t have any.

Once you print your order form and example photos, pack them into the small shipping box and make sure you tape the top and bottom well.

Depending on whether you go with USPS or UPS/FedEx you’ll have to send the product to a different address.

You’ll see information on which address you need at the bottom of the order form.

Send your product through whichever carrier you choose and wait patiently for your photos to arrive in your email.

Once you receive your images, simply go to your Inventory page in your Seller Dashboard, click “Edit” by your listing, go to the “Images” tab, and upload your images.

Now that we understand how to outsource our photos, let’s take a look at how to DIY your photos.

The DIY Route for Your Photos


  • A high-quality camera (most iPhones have great cameras – I use my iPhone 7 Plus’s camera and it’s fantastic)
  • Good lighting


If you don’t have a high-quality camera, I recommend grabbing one otherwise your photos might end up not looking great.

I found this quality camera on Amazon that has good reviews and is at a fairly cheap price range, but feel free to search around yourself to find a good camera.

If you have a newer smartphone, such as the iPhone 6 or 7 or the Samsung Galaxy S6 or S7 you should be in good shape.

DIY Lighting

As far as lighting goes, you have a few options:

I personally use the lamps/daylight light bulbs option for my lighting needs.

This is your choice, so go with whatever fits your budget.

Taking Your Photos

I recommend checking out this video by Jungle Scout as it will give you all the information you’ll need to take great photos yourself:

A few things I would note:

  • You can either use the Amazon seller app to touch up your photos as shown in the video or by using this tool here:
  • You’ll want to take around 5-6 photos
  • Get a second opinion on your photos from your spouse/friend/etc. to see if they would click a listing with your photos

Here is an example photo I took for a pet product I sold in the past:


If taking your own photos ends up not working out for you, just pay the $126 and go with the above outsource method.

When you’re ready to move on to creating a product description, read my post “How to Write an Amazon Product Description“.

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How to Create a New Product Listing on Amazon

Step-By-Step Tutorial on Adding an Amazon Product

If you’re looking to sell products online, Amazon is easily one of the best platforms to use. However, setting up a list can be confusing if you’re unfamiliar with their Seller Central website back end. In this post, I’ll be showing you step-by-step how to set up your own listing on Amazon.

Create a listing on Amazon

If you’re here after reading my previous post about finding a supplier on Alibaba, I recommend you follow that post’s advice and wait to start a listing until you’ve picked your supplier.

With that, let’s dive right into creating your listing on Amazon!

Sign Up As An Amazon Seller

The first thing you need to do is sign up as an Amazon seller.

You have two options to choose from:

Individual Seller

As an individual seller, you have virtually all of the features as a professional seller except:

  • No monthly fee
  • $0.99 fee per unit sold
  • No Amazon PPC or Promotions

There are also some other tools that professional sellers have access to that individual sellers don’t, which you can read about here, but for where we are now you don’t have to worry about this.

Professional Seller

As a professional seller, you have virtually all of the same features as an individual seller except:

  • $39.99 monthly fee
  • No $0.99 fee per unit sold
  • Amazon PPC

You can either sign up as a professional seller now or wait until you start advertising your products.

Note: You will likely have to provide additional information about yourself in order to be allowed to upgrade to a professional seller (i.e. bank statement, government issued ID, etc.) so just keep this in mind before you upgrade.

A quick word of advice: It may be more cost effective to stay an individual seller until your business starts to gain momentum. The only downside, of course, is that you won’t be able to use Amazon PPC or Promotions which can help bring traffic to your listing and boost your listing organically. It’s up to you how you want to proceed, and you can always upgrade/downgrade your account later.

Setting Up Your Account

Once you choose to be either an individual or a professional seller, you should be taken to a page that looks like this:

Charge Method

You will need a credit/debit card to continue registering your account.

Seller Information

Pretty self-explanatory – just fill out your information including your full name, address, phone number, etc.

Identity Verification

Amazon will need you to verify that your phone number is correct by either calling you or sending you a text.

Click “Continue” once you’re finished, and fill out any other prompts Amazon asks from you.

Add Your Product Listing

Once you’re all signed up, you should be brought to your seller dashboard which looks like this:


Hover over the “Inventory” tab and click “Add a Product”

You should be taken to a page that looks like this:


Since we are going to be listing a brand new product, click “Create a new product listing”.

On the next page, you will need to select the category for your product.

Amazon can help you find the best category for your product when you type your product into the search bar like so:

Click the category that you think best fits your product.

In my case, I chose “Pet Vest Harnesses”.

Next, you’ll be taken to the details page where you need to fill out some information:


You are required to enter information in the lines that have the red star next to it.

Depending on which category you select, some of these options might be different.

Add Details to Your Listing

Here’s a general overview of what needs to be added in order to finish your listing:

Vital Info

  • Manufacturer: The name of your manufacturing company. I normally just place the brand name in this box.
  • Brand Name: This will be the name that shows up above the product title on a listing (click here for an example). I recommend coming up with a name that’s both catchy and related to the niche you’re selling in.
  • Product Name: The product title.
  • Product ID: The UPC, SKU, or ASIN code for your product.

In order for us to register a new product, we need to have a UPC code.

Thankfully, UPC codes can be purchased for very cheap from a site called SnapUPC.

If you plan on selling more than one type of product, it might be wise to buy 5 of these UPC codes rather than 1 as it costs less per UPC if you buy them in bulk.

Once you purchase your UPC code/s, place the code into the Product ID line on the Vital Info page.


If you plan on selling different variations of this product (i.e. color, size, etc.) then you can add a different variation in this tab. However, just remember that for each variation you have to have a different UPC code. For sake of keeping things simple, I recommend not adding any variations to this first product.


  • Condition: The condition of your product. Since we will be selling products in new condition, select the “New” option.
  • Your price: The price of the product.
  • Fulfilment Channel: You have the option of either fulfilling the order yourself or having Amazon fulfill it for you. Since we plan on using Amazon’s FBA program, select the “I want Amazon to ship and provide customer service for my items if they sell.” option.


This is where you will add your product images. I’ve written on the topic of taking product photos so I won’t go into too much detail here.


  • Key Product Features: This is where your product’s bullet points will go that are featured underneath the product title (click here for an example).
  • Product Description: This is where you will add your product description. I’ve written on the topic of how to get great product descriptions, so definitely check that article out once you’re done with this one. For now, just write something generic – you’ll be able to edit this later.


  • Search Terms: This is where you can add keywords people might search for that relate to your listing. Feel free to add as many terms as you like.

More Details

This is where you can add several different details about your product like the material, volume, thickness, etc. Go ahead and add any details you think a potential buyer would want to know about your product.

Once you finish filling all of this information out, click “Save and finish” to be brought back to your inventory.

If you are unable to click “Save and finish”, you may still need to fill in a specific field that is required to continue.

When you’re ready to move on to taking product photography, read my post “How to Take Pictures for Amazon Listings“.

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How to Find the Best Suppliers on Alibaba the Easy Way

Step-By-Step Tutorial on How to Use Alibaba for Amazon FBA

Simply put, Alibaba is the Amazon of product manufacturers. You can find an insane number of products sold by Chinese suppliers at ridiculously low prices. You’re even able to customize your product by adding a logo, having a specific type of packaging, having your product be a specific color, etc.

Alibaba Group Logo

Just as an FYI: for this post, I won’t be focusing on the branding aspects of your product.

Instead, I’ll simply be showing you how to buy 10 generic samples of your product.

The reason why we want to buy samples before ordering hundreds of products is simple: we want to test the market to see if this product will sell well.

Sure, you may have gotten some data through my previous post on Amazon product research that tells us a product will sell well, but until we actually sell the product we won’t know for sure if it is a profitable product!

Hence the need to test our product first.

Now that you understand what we’ll be doing, let’s start searching for a supplier!

Searching For the Right Supplier

First thing’s first, create your Alibaba account.

I recommend creating a separate Gmail account for when you sign up so you won’t get inundated with emails from suppliers (trust me on this).

Next, head on over to Alibaba’s homepage and type your product into the search bar.

In order to find the right supplier for us (i.e. someone that is both trustworthy and credible), we need to add in a couple of filters.


Gold Supplier

According to their website, being a Gold Supplier means you have a paid membership on

All Gold Suppliers in China must pass their Onsite Check while those from other countries and regions must pass an A&V Check.

In other words, gold suppliers are much more credible than non-gold suppliers so if you don’t want to get scammed, it’s best to go with a gold supplier.

Assessed Supplier

Similar to the Gold Supplier selection, an Assessed Supplier is someone who has been quality inspected as well as had their company completely scrutinized to make sure they are legit.

Having both the Gold Supplier option and the Assessed Supplier option checked will massively reduce any possibility of getting scammed.

In fact, I think it might be safe to say it’s nearly impossible for you to get scammed on unless you are extremely unlucky or pick an unverified, newer supplier.

Of course, we want to be as careful as possible, but Alibaba has been around long enough and has cracked down on scammers so much that you shouldn’t run into any issues.

Plus, since you can pay with either a credit card or PayPal, you have another layer of security with both of these options.

Picking Your Supplier

After selecting both Gold Supplier and Assessed Supplier within the filter section, this was the first product I found on the list:


Check out the right side of the page to see more information on the supplier.

This info includes:

  • YRS Icon: This tells us how many years the company has been a supplier – generally the longer the better.
  • Location: Where this supplier is based – generally China is the best way to go as their prices are cheapest.
  • Transaction Level: This tells us how many transactions this supplier has done over their time on Alibaba. Having more transactions generally means they’re more reliable to do business with.
  • Supplier Assessments: These give us more details on how their assessments went. You can look more into this yourself if you’re curious, but you don’t have to.
  • Response Time: How quickly the supplier will get back to you on average.
  • Response Rate: The rate that the supplier messages back everyone. (i.e. if 100 people message them and they respond to all 100 of them then it would be 100%. If they only respond to 70 of them it would be 70%, etc.)

From what I can see so far, it looks like this specific supplier would be a good fit for us to do business with.

The price range is $2.3-$3.88 per unit, and since we plan on selling them for around $20-$40 per unit that’s a pretty significant profit margin!

Reaching Out to Suppliers

Click the “Contact Supplier” button on the product page.

You should be taken to a page that looks like this:


I recommend following the script I have provided here (obviously changing up the product information and your name), but you can modify this however you like.

Here’s the script so you can copy/paste:

Hi there,

We’re a [niche] distributor selling products within the United States. We’re interested in adding [product] to our product lineup, and thought your products looked great!

My boss would like me to order 10 sample sets/units of this product. Would you be willing to send some top-quality samples?

My boss would also like you to use your express shipping account.

Let me know what else you need from me to get this sample order shipped!

Look forward to working with you,

[Your Name]
Purchasing Agent for [business name]

A few key things to note with your script:

  • Write as though you are an employee of a company, do NOT say you are the boss. This is important as you want the supplier to know they are working with a serious business that will build a partnership with them.
  • Ask for 10 samples. If they are unwilling to send you 10 samples, tell them that your boss only wants you to order 10 samples to test the market. If that doesn’t persuade them, then just find another supplier. There are so many suppliers on Alibaba that it shouldn’t be hard to find another one.
  • Always ask if they can use their express shipping account to send you their samples. If they’re unable to, that’s still fine as long as the shipping isn’t outrageous. Since the products we’ll be buying aren’t very large, the shipping shouldn’t be very much.
  • Uncheck the share my business card with the supplier option. If the supplier inquires more about you or your company and won’t do business with you until you answer their questions, just look for another supplier. In my experience, most suppliers are willing to work with you as long as you present yourself well and seem willing to build a business partnership with them through ordering and reordering products from them.
  • You can use a fictitious name for your business. In my case, I have an LLC so I’m using it as my business name.
  • You can also provide your newly created email to have them reply to you on that platform instead of Alibaba’s. This is optional, many people like to follow up over their email because Alibaba’s user interface can be difficult to navigate.

Once you’ve written your script, click “Send Inquiry Now” and wait for the supplier to respond.

Generally, suppliers will respond to you within 24 hours.

You may send additional inquiries to other suppliers to see if you’ll get a better deal with them.

The suppliers will likely ask you for information including your address, a contact name (your name), a phone number, etc.

They will either bill you via PayPal or you can use a credit card to pay for the samples.

Once you order your samples, the supplier will give you a tracking number and roughly how many days it will take to get to you.

Moving Forward

You might be asking yourself, “What happens after I sell through these 10 samples?”

At that point, all you’ll have to do is reach out to your supplier again and request to order more units.

I recommend starting slowly by ordering anywhere from 50-100 units and then scaling up as you make more sales.

When you’re ready to move on to creating a listing on Amazon, read my post “How to Create a Listing on Amazon“.

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