Almost a year ago I stumbled across an awesome video by Chris Coyier from CSS-Tricks (a very pragmatic site for web developers) and I was blown away. People who know me know that I am a WordPress fanboy, but one of the hardest thing with the platform was to make a typical eCommerce site. After seeing what Chris could do with Foxycart (you could do similar with E-Junkie as well), I started to think: why would anyone want a "typical" eCommerce site?
What is an eCommerce site?
When you think of a typical eCommerce website, you likely imagine row of products that you can click on - all of which have a description and a price. That's great for people who have an idea of what they want to buy, but what if someone if just looking around the Internet for something interesting? It's doubtful that they'd go to an ecommerce page, unless it's Amazon.
What those "eCommerce" sites lack is a story. The majority of them are boring and uninteresting. But what if you could have a site that had a tale to tell about the things that you were not only selling, but about your life or ideas? People hate to be sold to, but people like to buy, and they like to buy more when they like the person they buy from.
Make your product a story
In the video, Chris is setting up his friend to sell his handmade arts and crafts. You can tell that each piece has a story and a reason for its creation. Think about it, wouldn't you want to buy from someone who was passionate about their product? Yes, I understand that we need big places like Amazon, but the small business owner that treats every product he sells like a baby (and is willing to teach you how to do the same thing) has something special going on.
Everyone wants to create the next eBay or Amazon, why not make a business out of what you love?
All you need is right in front of you...
Stop thinking you are going to create the next huge social network, start focusing on what you can do right now. It's extremely easy to create a business blog or website (probably in less than a day):
- Get a host for your website (I've been using Bluehost for the last 5 years).
- Set up WordPress. Most web hosts have a one-click install function.
- Get a free theme. There are hundreds of them.
- Start blogging about your topic/passion/etc. Make 10 really good blog posts.
- Submit some of those posts to article directories such as Ezinearticles.
- Sign up for E-Junkie.
- Sell some of your products or how-to's.
- (Optional) Set up a paid live webinar on how to build or use your product.
It's seriously that easy. The best part about it is that with a WordPress blog you have the power to explain WHY you do WHAT you do. People love to learn and know; capitalize on that and you'll sell.
But I don't know what to blog about or what to sell
There are tons of gurus out there that spout off about how we should all be monetizing off of our passions, yet don't give practical ways to do it. Here's the deal: stop whining and start doing something.
I whined about how I didn't have any talents or passions that I could sell for close to 2 years. It wasn't until I took several leaps of faith did I finally realize that one of my passions was project management and one of the ways that I showed that passion was through hiring virtual assistants from the Philippines. Eventually I made an ebook that takes books such as the 4-Hour Workweek and makes it practical for new or prospective business owners. (This is coming from someone thought that it was not in my character or genetic makeup to create a product, ever!.)
Start an eCommerce blog. Tell your story. There are millions of people who want to hear it and buy it.