How to Create a PDF Ecard Greeting Card Business
By Carl Hose
The popularity of ecard greeting cards has inspired numerous websites that allow users to send ecards to family and friends. Ecards came into existence in the early 1980s and have since expanded to include PDF versions that can be downloaded and saved directly to the computer. Making and selling original PDF cards can be profitable. The Internet opens the door to a large audience, who send ecards regularly. And if you have the original material to offer, you can take advantage of this traffic to build an ecard greeting card business of your own.
Gather your PDF card inventory. You'll need ecards before you put your business together. You can create the cards yourself or purchase card ideas from freelance artists and writers. Produce the ecards yourself using a desktop publishing program, such as Serif PagePlus or Scribus, both of which are free. You can save your finished cards as PDF, using Acrobat, Nitro PDF or one of the free virtual PDF printers, such as CutePDF. You may also be able to enlist friends or family in the design process if you know anyone who has drawing, writing or photography experience. The key is to create original material that customers will only be able to get from you. There are plenty of free ecard available; your original work is what will entice buyers.
Look for a web host. Avoid a free web hosting service that will post ads on your website. You want to keep your website professional. Look for web hosting that offers business features such as a shopping cart. You can also use a PayPal account for sales. Also look for a web hosting service that offers domainname registration so you can have a www.yourbusinessname.com address.
Set your website up using the tools provided by your web host. Many web hosting services offer templates you can use to create an easy shopping experience for you potential customers. A gallery template that displays thumbnails of your ecards linked to the purchase page for each is an ideal way to set up PDF greeting card display. Include a page about your company, a page for artist and writer bios, and an FAQ with company contact info.
Categorize your cards according to type. This makes it easier for customers to browse for specific types of cards they're looking for. Some web hosting services include search tools you can insert into your website to allow users to search for cards.
Price your PDF ecards reasonably and according to your expenses. Pricing is subjective, but you want to find a price that works to allow you to compete with free ecard downloads. Take into consideration that the cost of production for PDF ecards is lower than paper cards. A good starting point may be between one and three dollars, depending on whether you paid an artist and writer.
Carl Hose is the author of the anthology "Dead Horizon" and the the zombie novella "Dead Rising." His work has appeared in "Cold Storage," "Butcher Knives and Body Counts," "Writer's Journal," and "Lighthouse Digest.". He is editor of the "Dark Light" anthology to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities.