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[Journey] - Building an online business from scratch

Discussion in 'My Journey Discussions' started by davids355, Sep 24, 2015.

  1. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    DISCLAIMER:Every journey I have done on here so far has fizzled out so sorry about that. Hopefully this one will be different as my main motivator is involved (my wife).

    Introduction
    Basically we are setting up a business re-selling a range of products and we are trying to focus on building most of the infrastructure online.

    The project is interesting because my partner is doing customer relations, social interaction and so on whilst I am doing all of the marketing, setup of online platforms and so on.

    She is really good at interacting with people and really selling products and I am hopefully going to draw on some of the stuff I have learnt here on BHW in order to fulfill my side of the bargain.

    This is most definitely a journey rather than any sort of case study as I still consider myself very much a beginner when it comes to SEO and IM. I am going to share everything that I do on here and hopefully I will get some advice and pointers along the way as well.

    Plan of action
    The rough plan is to build a website via which the products can be sold and then to build up social accounts on various platforms, directing traffic from all platforms to the website. We will also do a bit of off line marketing but most of it is going to be online.

    Work done so far
    • Registered with company whose products we are selling - I guess its just like an affiliate program really, the rate starts at 20% and goes up the more products that we sell.
    • Created a Facebook group - my partner is managing this and thinks its a good way of getting people involved, getting some conversation going and building up a buzz locally for the products.

    Next steps
    • Build an ecommerce website to sell the products via.
    • Build a Twitter page
    • Build a Facebook page

    SEO
    I am not going to do any SEO right away because I haven't even got the site up and running yet but I am thinking about building some really high quality Web 2.0 properties and then linking from them to the main site, then building links to those properties. Probably will start building these pretty soon in order to let them age and maybe just keep some content going on to them for a little while before building any links.

    Advertising
    Planning to advertise using Facebook as I think that is where a lot of our audience is going to be and also we can get some really localized advertising on there for quite a low rate.

    Feedback
    Interested to here anyones thoughts on my plan as it stands, other than that, stay tuned for updates.
     
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  2. LizGuru

    LizGuru Registered Member

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    Wish you luck. ;)
     
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  3. Newelly

    Newelly Regular Member

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    I'm subscribing, this could be cool.
    I sometimes like to help out in my spare time if I'm feeling nice ;) - i'm a web designer, if you want some help! FREE!

    Contact me via PM if you'd like to take me up on that offer, I have done several stores and 98% of them earn $XX,XXX per month.
    I wish you the very best on your journey.

    -Newelly
     
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  4. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Thanks for the vote of support and also for the offer, may take you up on it.
     
  5. Hawkster

    Hawkster Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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  6. Reaver

    Reaver Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    You keep trying darling. That's very admirable. Subbed. :)
     
  7. Thenub

    Thenub Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Goodluck on journey!
    Can I ask, what type of products you're looking to sell?

    I actually wanted to try clothing or men's jewelry online business, but never got around to completing it.
     
  8. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    The product is related to home-ware. Target audience is middle-aged women.
    Today I am going to start planning the website, I am looking at using Wordpress and this plugin for e-commerce:
    https://wpecommerce.org

    Will be using a theme from theme forest most probably, and then need to get logo designed which I will probably get done from marketplace....
     
  9. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Start of SEO - Web 2.0 properties
    Before the website is ready I want to start preparing some web 2.0 properties for linking back to the site. I can let these age and also build up some content on them etc.

    Because I want to keep the main site totally shielded from penalties etc I am going to start building some web 2.0s with really good content and make them look like genuine blogs.

    I am going to start building blogs in different niches and keep a list of "inspirational sites" for each blog where I can take content ideas from, I am also thinking about using the same writers for each blog so they become almost like legitimate sites.

    I can then build backlinks to these sites and link to the main site, to keep everything high quality.

    First one of these blogs will be set up today and I have a writer in mind from Fiverr to do the articles seeing as I know they produce good quality writing on this niche and they are also cheap.
     
  10. Aty

    Aty Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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  11. MrshunE

    MrshunE Power Member

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    Good luck man, I also just began out an journey a few days ago. So hope that we can both finish what we start
     
  12. Aatrox

    Aatrox Supreme Member

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    Well, good luck to you and your wife.
     
  13. Y Combinator

    Y Combinator Newbie

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    Hey OP: you might want to check out BuzzBundle. It's a website that monitors a broad variety of sources like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube ... etc for mentions of a term so for example, lets say that your shop is selling like antique furniture. You would use BuzzBundle to monitor for new mentions of the products you're selling (and themes relating to them on social media (especially in the blogosphere) so you can be all like: Oh, nice blog. I would also add [...] and I agree with your views on [...]. In regards to finding beautiful wooden furniture I've personally had good experience with using [your online store here.] Check them out if you haven't already.

    This is a common approach that startups use to get customers but you will find in practice that even just widely contributing to related blogs in the comments section can get you a lot of customers for free. If you find that you need more information on your customers (which you will to understand where they hang out and how to target them with Buzzbundle ) definitely try out Facebook's ad tool like you mentioned. It's much, much, more than advertising - you can basically use it to cross-reference demographics and all kinds of interests which will help you try understand the people you want to sell to. Once you understand the customer you will know better ways to reach them, and hence better ways to make sales.

    Finally, stay up to date on what the people at Growth Hackers do to get their first customers and enjoy profiting like a boss. I hope your store goes well for you :)
     
  14. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Wow thanks for taking the time to provide some input/advice.
    Buzzbundle sounds like a great idea so I am definitely going to check that out - I can see how it would really help, especially for this particular venture, same for growth hackers.

    Definitely planning to do Facebook advertising as well, understand what you are saying about that also.

    Updates for today
    Today we have finished setting up the Facebook group and launched it. Sent out some invites to a couple of people who also invited some friends. I think it has about 150 members already so thats a good start.

    Planning to keep this group closed which means you have to be invited in to the group by an existing member I think, also it stops every post from going on everyones timeline which i think would piss people off.

    Going to build a Facebook page as well which can be used for more active advertising etc.

    Project Management
    I am using Basecamp for managing the project - I am keeping project plans, to-do lists etc in here just so that nothing gets forgotten.

    I am using Dropbox for organizing additional information, files etc and also going to keep some spreadsheets in here detailing all of the accounts/web properties etc that we create along the way.

    Both of these programs are good because they can be shared with members of the team (just me and my misses of course) so everyone knows whats going on.
     
  15. Y Combinator

    Y Combinator Newbie

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    I found a great post on Growth Hackers recently and thought I would share it with you. It's basically no bullshit ways to sell ecommerce products with social media and it quite literally has sales scripts to use: http://wooguru.net/blog/ecommerce-sales. Extremely useful tactics for people who just plain suck at selling. I thought it might help you with your store.
     
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  16. StrixMedia

    StrixMedia Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Good Luck on your journey.:drinking2
     
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  17. healzer

    healzer Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Looking good, keep up the work :)
     
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  18. Alma

    Alma Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Goodluck, I will be sure to follow this journey!
     
  19. accelerator_dd

    accelerator_dd Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    How did I miss this for 5 days? Subbed and following.

    You've got my skype if there's anything I can do to contribute.
     
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  20. lethbridge

    lethbridge Junior Member

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    please dont let me discourage you but 20% margin is terrible and will be the greatest contributor to why you cannot make money despite doing so much work. However you will learn the skills and build the infrastructure to make money, you just need to switch to a better product. Speaking as someone who has been to chinese factories multiple times and sources a variety of crap to sell in north america, i can tell you that i make 100% profit on every item I sell. That is my magic number and I won't buy anything I can't count on selling for 2x what I pay for it. For me, I have found that this is the number that mathematically makes it worth my time, effort, and risk.

    I wish you luck, but I would start considering replacing your existing product with a similar product that you buy factory direct. If you want to pm me, I can possibly point you in the direction of that type of factory. The sooner you switch product sources the better. (like 400% better than getting only 20% on each sale).
     
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