Creating an online logo store - Bootstrap Logos

Sometimes you start a project and know exactly where you want to go. And sometimes you just to start. Bootstrap Logos was the latter. When I initially started this project I had no plans to turn it into an online logo store. In the fall of 2016 I started designing a logo a day. For me this was simply a creative outlet, I just wanted to make fun logos. My day job was wonderful, but the projects I was working on were huge and seemed to be dragging on and on. I wanted to feel a little sense of accomplishment and finality. So every day I took some time to make a logo. It felt like a little victory.

After a month I looked up and realized I had a nice little collection of logos. It was sad that all my logo creations were just going to collect dust in a Dropbox folder. So I thought, “why not build a logo store and sell them”? I’ll admit I was a little hesitant to this idea at first. As a former freelance logo designer I wasn’t in love with the idea of selling cheap logos. But I began to reflect on all the people who had reached out to me over the years that couldn’t afford a $2,000-$5,000 logo. There isn’t anything wrong with having a small budget. I realized an establish tech company is in a different market than someone starting a blog. This is ok. Why not sell the logos that I enjoyed making to people who needed an affordable option?

So I decided to build an online logo store. I had some inventory, now I needed a way to sell them.

Choosing the name

I thought of the name “Bootstrap Logos”. These logos will most likely be purchased by people bootstrapping a business. I also though about the framework named Bootstrap. This framework helps self-starters build great looking websites faster. I want to do the same thing for logos. I want to help people start their project without spending their initial budget on a logo. The truth is, you don’t need a world class logo to start a business or website. Sure you want to look great, but don’t spend all your money on a logo when you are just starting out.

The technical decisions for building an online logo store

Now that I had a name I bought the domain name from hover.com for $12.99. Luckily it was available! I am a fan of Hover. They make purchasing and managing domains a simple process.

Next I had to decide which platform I wanted to use to build the actual online store. This took a solid amount of research. There are a ton of great services out there, Shopify, Squarespace, Weebly, Gumroad, and more.

In the end my decision was between using Gumroad, or building a WordPress site with a plugin for the store. After weighing the pros and cons of each I decided to take the WordPress route. I already have a great host that I can’t say enough good things about. Get Flywheel. With flywheel it was easy for me to spin up a secure website and add a plugin to start selling my logos. Using WordPress allowed me to have complete control, and the pricing was a little better.

A big reason I decided to use WordPress for my store was because I found a Plugin, Easy Digital Downloads. This plugin is specifically designed for selling digital products. This plugin is great, it manages users, checkouts, sends emails for downloads, and is very simple to set up.

Easy Digital Downloads allows you to accept payments through a number of different payment gateways. Paypal, Amazon, or Stripe. For me Stripe was the obvious choice. It is safe, secure, and reliable. When someone checks out on my store, Stripe processes the money (for a small fee) and sends it to my bank account. Win!

Finally I created a MailChimp account to send out marketing emails to people who wanted to keep up with my site.

The logo store is finished, now what?

The last couple months I have realized that attracting people to your store takes work. Sending out emails and promoting a site on other websites and forums is definitely work. So don’t expect to create an online store and immediately rake in the money. It definitely takes effort to attract new visitors to your site. But hopefully that won’t deter you. Take a leap, and build something great today! Also, checkout out all my logos.

Logo store technical stack TL;DR

Kyle Lambert

About the author: Kyle Lambert is a designer living in Portland Oregon. He is the creator of Bootstrap Logos.

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