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Earlier this year, I decided to set up a couple of eCommerce websites, acting purely as an affiliate partner with Amazon.

My intention with the websites, was to write a post about how successful (or not) the websites would be, using limited resources. The websites sold baby products and clothing.

There were certain restrictions on what I could do, such as;

  1. All the plugins I was to use had to be FREE through the WordPress repository
  2. The themes I used had to be FREE through the WordPress repository
  3. Setup could not take more than 6 hours per website

I deliberately broke Amazons T&C’s. I won’t get into their terms here though.

The clothing shops made no money, and did not even rank after doing a small amount of meta/seo work.

The baby shop earned just under USD$5000 in sales over a two week period – after being indexed only for a few days.

There were 17,000 baby products available (just prior to Amazon cancelling the affiliate). The products were automatically being added via a bot at a rate of about 10 an hour, and due to the website being constantly updated via this process, Google considered it an active site, content was relevant to the domain and meta tags, which boosted the SEO.

The point I was (trying) to prove, is that making an eCommerce site can be done, quickly without costing much.

How much would the site be making today if I hadn’t breached Amazons terms? I don’t know, but I assume it would be in excess of $20k per month in sales – not profit. As an affiliate partner, you would expect around 3-5%.

Just quickly, the reason I breached the terms, was due to the site being solely product based. I did not provide any blog posts, or review the products available. Amazons terms are rather strict, and from the sales I generated, I did not get paid due to the breach. That’s ok, it was only a test.

Using WordPress CAN make you a semi-passive income. I say semi-passive, because there are rules you need to abide by (such as Amazons). If you like writing reviews, or if your website is of a certain niche, register as an affiliate that is relevant to you. Why not make some $$$ from people clicking onto some links?

Do you have a question for me? Send me an email.

This seems to be of interest to people at the moment.

There is a misconception with a lot of business owners, believing that what we as website professionals (WordPress at this end) do for a dollar.

As Stefan Mischook explains in the video above, ultimately, we are not responsible for how successful a website is, with regards to the number of visitors and conversion rates – sales.

Business owners are responsible for their business. I commented on the above video, and Stefan called it ‘Quote of the day’. But, read into the quote –

“We assist businesses, not build them a business!”.

Think about it for just a moment. Why would I, or any other Website Developer / WordPress Professional out there, build you a website for a few thousand dollars and let ‘you’ make tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, if we could just build a website and do it all ourselves?

We provide functionality for business. We provide a way to add products and purchase points online (safely), as well as providing potential customers with the information they need to make an informed decision, as to whether or not to make a purchase. You need to provide that connection with customers. This is why it is called ‘your business’.

Your website is just the beginning, as I’ve mentioned elsewhere.

The way in which you interact with customers is also a driving force to more sales (hopefully).

The best way for you to interact with customers, is through photos – especially when you are talking about product. Shopify.com have a great article about ‘Why Product Photography is Important‘ – check it out. Basically, it makes sense to use websites like Pinterest and / or Instagram, and to a lesser extent on Twitter, to showcase your product.

Both Pinterest and Instagram cater for different markets, so do some research to see what suits you best – but use at least one of them!

I’m not a branding expert, but I can see the importance of creating a brand that people like, know and trust – especially when you’re asking them to give you their money.

If you provide a sub-standard service, the best website in the world is not going to save you.

Website professionals like myself are not responsible for creating the trust between you and your clients. You need to do this yourself, through providing products and / or services at a realistic price point. You need to follow up with your customers, ensuring that what they ordered was to their standard, and letting them know that you are always there for them.

The point of this post, is to ‘hopefully’ explain that you are responsible for your sales. As Stefan says in his video – ….If you buy a delivery van from Ford, do you expect Ford to guarantee you delivery work? Well, the short answer is NO.

Start to build your Brand Awareness with the free tools at your disposal.

  1. Get social – (eg. Pinterest / Instagram).
    I’m not a big fan of Facebook for business.
  2. Be sincere – (don’t con people).
  3. Treat your customers with respect.
  4. Let me make you an awesome website :)

 

After writing my last post, I received an email, which in part, asked me ‘why’ I don’t provide a ‘one-stop-shop’ with regards to building WordPress websites and doing all the SEO on them.

I’ve made it quite clear that I no longer develop websites. In saying that, I leave myself open. On the one hand, I ‘do’ build websites.

What I do, is present clients with a number of WordPress ‘themes’ to choose from – there are literally thousands to choose from. The client purchases the theme, and provides me with information they want on their website. I may make suggestions, adding further information, or I may go the other way and say that certain information should not be included.

It’s a process. I won’t go into detail here.

Some clients, if not ‘most’, just want a presence online. They want the ability to add a domain name to their business cards, letterheads etc.

Which is fine. There’s nothing wrong with that. If your website has relevant content to your business, and includes basic meta tags – your website will still rank.

The video at the top of this post is from Google. It’s straight forward and explains everything you need to know about SEO.

The most important thing you need to know / understand, is that SEO is a specialized role. That is, there are professionals out there who spend all their time crafting their SEO skills.

On the other hand, my skills are about building websites that look good, and contain relevant content. My side project (I’ll finish it one day) – ListedForSale.com.au  ranks #1 for ‘property listed for sale’, without any SEO work done.

When I’m ready, I’ll more than likely use the services of Jim Stewart, from StewArtMedia. Jim, and his team specialize in SEO.

The moral of this post? Well, I’m here to say that I have not studied SEO, nor am I interested in ‘boosting’ anyone’s website. I’m not an SEO, I’m a WordPress Professional.

People need to understand that there are differences in the kind of work that web-based professionals do.

I have never, nor will I ever, promote myself as something I’m not.

There is an abundance of work for WordPress freelancers like myself, who can pick and choose the work we do. We do it, because we can.