What steps should I take to start an online mail-order cookie business?
There are a few things that you can do to promote your cookie business online. The first step would be to put together a killer website (easy to navigate, with great graphics and a clear marketing message). Don't forget to include vital information that people might want to know before placing an order (nutritional values, shipping policies, prices, etc.)
Use testimonials on your site; they are a great way to show your visitors that your customers love your cookies.
Once the website is built, it's time to drive qualified traffic to it. You can use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay per Click (PPC) so people searching for "buy cookies online" can find your site. You can also list your products on Amazon, eBay, Shopping.com, PriceGrabber.com and other comparison shopping engines.
Try as many things as you can and track all of them. Then sit down and figure out what worked for you and what didn't. Do more of what worked and drop what did not.
Best of luck and let me know how it goes!