Online Marketing

eCommerce Institute Review: Honest Review, Huge Discount With Special Bonuses

What exactly is an online store?

An online store is simply a website that allows you to sell goods online in an automated fashion. For a store that carries many products and manages inventory, there are many complete shopping cart solutions available that allow you list and organize unlimited products, accept various forms of payment, manage shipping and allow for a multitude of sale and discount options. These days, many of these shopping carts are open source and free which makes it easy for anyone to get started.

How and why did you get started?

My wife and I strongly believe in having a parent stay at home with the children especially during the early stages of childhood. So when my wife became pregnant with our first child, we both knew that she was going to quit her job. The problem was that we couldn't really stand to lose 50% of our household income. Either we had to drastically cut back on our expenses or we had to find another source of income within 9 months. Ultimately, we decided to start an online business and haven't looked back since.

Do you do this full-time?

The term “full-time” is somewhat of a misnomer when it comes to the internet. Because a computer server is running the business for you 24 hrs a day, when and where you decide to work is entirely up to you. In the case with our online store, my wife runs the store during the day and I help out at night. I would say that she puts in maybe 3-4 hours a day.

I work full time still while managing all of the technical aspects of our online store and my blog at I really love my job as a computer processor designer and my company is extremely flexible so I plan to continue working for the foreseeable future even though I could probably quit my job and still get by. In addition, having eCommerce Institute Review allows me to provide health care insurance for my family.

How much do you actually make doing this?

Although I won't divulge exactly how much our online store actually makes, we did make a little over 100K during our first year of business. If you follow the blog, we've had significant increases every year and have been in business for 3 years. If you really want to know, you can check the blog and do the math.

What skills make you most successful at running the online store?

I wouldn't necessarily call this a skill, but I think our motivation is what has made us successful. Most people start a business and start coasting once things get going. But my and I are always constantly finding new ways to improve the business and drive traffic to our store. Our kids provide us with inspiration because our online business allows us to spend more time together as a family.

How do you maximize your efforts?

My wife and I get questions all the time about how we manage to run a business, a blog, a full time job and two kids at the same time. The key is that we break up tasks into small pieces and do a little work whenever we have a free moment. If you look at your typical day, you can always find a small chunk of time to get something done. My wife and I used to waste a ton of time so it helps to analyze your day and prioritize. Lead Caster Review's all about making constant progress no matter how small.

What mistakes do people make when trying to make money with an online store?

The biggest mistake that most people make is that they think they can simply throw up a store and the customers will come automatically. The bulk of the work isn't in getting your website up and your products ready to sell. It's a constant process that involves marketing and promoting your store.

In addition, many people give up shortly after their store launches because they don't have patience. It takes time for a business to develop. In fact, our online business made very few sales during our first months of business and we wanted to give up as well. But if you stick with it, good things always happen.

What other advice could you share about building an online store?

The best advice that I can give is to get started now. The sooner you start, the sooner you can become entrenched in the search engines and the sooner you can build a business reputation. These days, it is extremely cheap to start any business online. In fact, my wife and I only invested around 600 dollars to launch our store and it only cost us about $30 a month to maintain. It's easy and cheap to start so why not give it a shot?

Thanks for your great responses, Steve. If you have a question for Steve, fire away in the comments below…

Learn to Start Your Own Online Store!
As you can tell from the interview, Steve loves to teach and share his successes. He's offering up a full classroom style course called: 
Create a Profitable Online Store. I've seen the materials from this course and I can tell you that it's the real deal. Steve provides the specific blueprint to get your store up and making money.

7. Understand your customers

Once you have everything set up online, you’ll start gathering data on who’s actually viewing your site.

Google Analytics is the best place to start looking into who’s actually looking and who’s buying.

To get started, you’ll need to link Google Analytics to your website using a tracking ID.

You do this by clicking Admin and Tracking Info under the Property column.

Once you have this copied and pasted into your website code, you’ll be able to start tracking visitors.

There are several key pieces of information to keep an eye out for.

You can track general demographic information. There’s also segmented affinity information.

This information can be invaluable when deciding how to focus your marketing efforts.

You can also see where this traffic comes from.

Social, organic search, direct, and referral are the main sources.

This information is useful for learning which marketing initiatives are working.

Budgets can be better focused and resources better managed.

These numbers and statistics are the best way to get a bird’s-eye view of how you’re doing.

Don’t build a website without using Google Analytics.

8. Remarket using email lists

Did you know that email is still one of the most widely-used marketing communication methods?

Recent research shows 94% of all adults online are using email.

In fact, email marketing has one of the best ROIs in digital marketing.

Hard to believe, but it’s true!

Of course, for your email marketing efforts to be effective, you’ll need to use marketing automation tools.

MailChimp is one of the most popular options.

Using MailChimp, you can create drag-and-drop email templates for almost any common situation.

The free version is a great value for startup businesses.

As your business grows, your MailChimp account can scale to match your needs.

An upgraded version is available for $10 per month to remove email sending limits and to provide more robust reporting functionality.

At the Pro level, you get the full functionality for enterprise users.

MailChimp isn’t the only email marketing automation platform on the block. Constant Contact is the Coke to its Pepsi.

Although they’re relatively similar in core functionality, Constant Contact is known for great deliverability and customer service.

It’s a bit more expensive than MailChimp, and it lacks some of the reporting details and automation features that make its competitor stand out.

With that being said, it also offers a bit more email customization options.

With the right email marketing campaign, you can greatly increase the direct and referral traffic to your online store.

9. Write a blog

When asked about their biggest marketing challenges in HubSpot’s State of Inbound study, 65% of marketers said that they struggled with generating traffic and leads.

This is true whether you’re starting your first online store or are the head of a multi-trillion-dollar retail conglomerate.

Blogs help you overcome obstacles related to lead generation. B2B marketers using blogs receive 67% more leads than those who don’t.

By 2020, it’s estimated that 85% of our business relationships will be handled through machines.

Blogs are sitting online just waiting for your customers to find them at all times.

They’re free to create, and they increase keyword density, indexed pages, and available search results.

A recent study found that 38% of marketers consider blogging to be the most important content for marketers.

I clearly use blogging myself. In fact, you’re reading an example of it right now.

It drives the bulk of my traffic.

Building a blog isn’t easy. It takes a lot of time to get it done right.

I hold myself to a strict blogging schedule because I understand the long-term ROI.

The more you blog, the more traffic you’ll drive. It increases exponentially once you reach over 15 a month.

Of course, these need to be blogs that provide value. You can’t just fill the Internet with fluff.

Nobody would read that.

Focus on creating a content calendar and building a quality blog today. Every day it’s not up, you’re leaving money on the table.

10. Start a YouTube channel

YouTube is the final frontier we’ll be discussing to get your online store started.

It’s a huge ecosystem with more than one billion unique monthly visitors.

YouTube is owned by Google, so you can rest assured that it’s going to appear in search results for a long time to come.

It’s not just a magnet for people who love to watch crazy cat videos.

Video marketing is also a vital part of modern digital marketing.

Almost 50% of Internet users look for videos related to their purchases before visiting a store.

This is why you can’t avoid it as a place to reach new customers.

Unboxing, demonstration, and review videos are just the start.

Brands are constantly finding new ways to use YouTube for brand promotion.

Disney is the king of content creation, and its YouTube channel hosts exclusive content, like classic movies as told by Emoji.

These ~2-minute shorts retell classic Disney movies in a modern Emoji art style.

You can bet that the house of Mickey Mouse is only just beginning to test the YouTube waters.

Also, remember YouTube’s push into 360-degree video.

YouTube 360 is all about creating spherical videos that are compatible with virtual reality.

According to Statista and this great Infographic from Touchstone Research, VR is expected to be in the hands of 171 million people by 2018.

On top of this, only 4% of respondents between 14 and 19 (a sweet marketing demographic) was not interested in VR.

This makes 360 video a great investment for finding new marketing lanes.

BMW has been making use of it.

Check out this video of Gigi Hadid driving the new BMW coupe.

There’s also YouTube live-streaming functionality to match Facebook Live.

Use these tools to help promote and build your online store.


Well, that’s it.

You’re well on your way to building a profitable online business.

Building all of this is no guarantee of success, and people have had success by focusing on only a couple of them.

However, if you put in the time and build it all the right way, you’ll eventually find your target market.

Sometimes it takes multiple tries. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t work the first time.

You may open a store that fails for the first several months. It could be shut down.

When things go wrong, use this guide to help rebuild and keep moving forward

Online Marketing

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