Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Sites to raise money and promote ideas online

by Kim Komando

In the past, inventors, innovators, crafters and entrepreneurs had to work hard for funding or to promote their products and ideas. Now, there's the Internet and crowd sourcing.

Just post an idea or project online and people can contribute small amounts to fund your goals. In cases where you're selling a product, certain sites can give you a like-minded audience to sell to.

If you're looking for a money-raising site with a large user base, Kickstarter is still the go-to option. It's the one that most people know and it supports a wide variety of projects, from movies and art to one-person shows.

IndieGoGo is another good general option to try for crowd funding. It is especially good for charity and non-profit projects.

Software, game developers and app developers are using it more frequently as well. If you're starting a software project, this is the place to try first. Additionally, it's open to international users.

Speaking of international users, if that's your primary audience, or you live outside the U.S., pay a visit to RocketHub.

Those looking to invent physical gadgets will want to try Quirky first. Unlike other sites, you don't just post your idea and solicit funding.

First, the Quirky community has to decide whether your gadget is actually viable. Only after a successful vote do you move to the funding stage, which has its own unique contribution system. There is also an active inventor community that can help you refine your ideas.

There is no shortage of music stores online to buy music. Selling music isn't always so easy, though. Bandcamp is looking to change that.

Joining Bandcamp gives you a free storefront to display your music. It's simple for people to buy and download your songs. Interacting with your fans and favorite artists is easy, and there's a large user base, so your music is seen by plenty of people.

Want to shop around for more selling options? Learn some other ways to sell music online.

Etsy needs very little introduction. It's the go-to site for those looking to sell arts and crafts online.

Joining and creating a store is simple, and it puts your products in front of a like-minded audience. This isn't a place to raise money for a product, but if you have one to sell, definitely give it a look.

Want to examine other sites that help you sell arts and crafts? I detail some more options here.

Finding funding and selling products are both important tasks. However, you need to be able to create your product as well. Here are some tools and tips to help.

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