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Can I Setup A Blog, And Sell Goods Or Services?

We see cautious blog owners, asking that question periodically, in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I?.

Many home based, and small, businesses use Blogger blogs for selling various goods and services. Apparently, you're permitted to sell stuff, using your blog. That said, there are some common sense rules which you should consider, before you setup a blog to sell stuff.

Like any Blogger blog, a blog that's setup to sell stuff has to consider various restrictions in content - starting with Blogger: Content Policy, and Google: Terms Of Service.

Common sense rules should be a good starting point.

Some common sense restrictions apply, specifically, to selling stuff.
  • You need to sell a product or service that's genuine - and legal.
  • You need to advertise your product or service, politely. Don't use spam to advertise.
  • You need to design and publish the blog with educational or entertaining content, to attract readers. Don't depend upon paying for readers, syndication, or affiliate relationships alone, to get people to your blog.

Sell a product or service that's genuine and legal.

There are a few products that are forbidden by law, or by Terms Of Service, that will get your blog cancelled (and maybe land you in court - dohh!). In alphabetic order (as with most of my lists), you should not write about
  • Child porn (period).
  • Counterfeiting currency or financial instruments.
  • Explosives manufacture.
  • Planned assassination of a political leader (actual or fictional).
  • Terrorism.

If a Blogger blog is about a business, the business should provide a legitimate product. A blog which teaches bloggers how to make money at the expense of legitimate Internet businesses will likely be classified as a spam blog.

And, there are some businesses which are legal in limited areas only - and Blogger, to safeguard your readers, has forbidden these businesses, universally.
Regulated Goods and Services: Do not use Blogger to sell or facilitate the sale of regulated goods and services, such as alcohol, gambling, pharmaceuticals and unapproved supplements, tobacco, fireworks, weapons, or health/medical devices.

Advertise politely.

Apparently, some home business and small business owners, having seen the warnings about spam mitigation in various Blogger forums and publications, fear spam classification or TOS violation problems.

Having written your blog, write about your blog, properly.

Design the content, to attract readers.

If you're going to sell a product, don't depend upon the product to both generate content / traffic, and provide revenue. Affiliate marketing is a borderline abuse classification - and is not a legitimate content source.

Write about what you know about, and what you care about. That will provide an endless stream of subjects - and will attract an endless stream, of readers. And there, you will find your customers.

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