A Quick Way to Make a Great eCommerce WordPress Website

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):

  1. Get a host for your website (I've been using Bluehost for the last 5 years).
  2. Set up WordPress.  Most web hosts have a one-click install function.
  3. Get a free theme.  There are hundreds of them.
  4. Start blogging about your topic/passion/etc.  Make 10 really good blog posts.
  5. Submit some of those posts to article directories such as Ezinearticles.
  6. Sign up for E-Junkie.
  7. Sell some of your products or how-to's.
  8. (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.

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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.

4 Comments

  • Paul Tran

    January 20, 2011

    I love how you make building an eCommerce site simple, and not rocket science. This allows folks on a budget or who are adventurous to really appreciate the DIY value you provide; and for folks who don't have the time, or really would rather have an expert generate it for them - you're also the man! And you're right - it's all about the story. Customers want to connect with your company, and what better way than to tell an exciting, relevant, and engaging story.

    Kudos!

    • Dean Soto

      January 20, 2011

      Thanks so much man! Means a lot!

      I've been trying to get a friend of mine to start up a blog like this. Other than sweat and tears, what he would want to do can be built for less than $300.

      Or, like you say, hire someone else to blog and sell for you (depending on what you are selling of course).

      It's so amazing what you can do now for next-to-nothing. Thanks for the comment, man. you always add tons of value.

  • Tanya

    January 20, 2011

    Thanks for this post Dean. It allows people to understand that a simple eCommerce site is achievable and won't "break the bank". I love your statement "stop whining and start doing something." AMEN!

    • Dean Soto

      January 21, 2011

      Thanks so much Tanya! Yeah, I run into so many people that think that they need to be the next Amazon and it's insane. What you can do with just a simple blog now is incredible and a great way for the little guy to make some great income from their passion. =)

      you are the best! Thanks so much for the comment!