A little over a year ago, I joined a program called Wealthy Affiliate in order to learn how to build an online business that I could operate from home. Wealthy Affiliate program teaches it’s members how to monetize websites through the use of affiliate marketing. Although the program focuses on affiliate marketing, the marketing principles they teach would also apply to marketing your own products or services also. In addition to having access to the Wealthy Affiliate training, I also wanted to take advantage of the web-hosting that was included in my membership. Additionally, Wealthy Affiliate has an active community of members that are very entrepreneurial. For better or worse, this group stimulated my ability to think up great online business ideas.
I want to share my “adventure” online. I feel like there are probably other entrepreneurs that might want to start an online store or open a bookstore. I figure that if I share this “journey” maybe my experiences can help other people open their stores even faster. Granted, I realize it may make some of you decide against opening an online store. If you figure that out sooner rather than later, you can save time and possibly money.
The birth of the idea
For example, I attend farm auctions. Often people wll sell an entire book collection.. I hated seeing boxes of books sitting in the dirt, unappreciated. So, last summer, I started buying some of the books even though I knew that I didn’t have time to read them. (shame on me…).
Then after spending so much time in the Wealthy Affilialte community, I started thinking that maybe I should consider selling some online. I decided to start buying books even if they were not a type that I normally read. For example, I have never placed a high priority on reading lots of romance novels. Yet, a lot of people’s collections of romance novels ended up at the auction. So, I started buying those since I was able to purchase them at a price that almost guaranteed I could sell them at a profit – IF I sold them somewhere other than a farm auction.
As I have gotten closer to opening my bookstore, I have since decided that I would like to have both an online store and a physical store. In the last six months or so, I have acquired over 900 books to sell. The good thing is that compared to my farm animals, the books don’t eat and they are not occupying barn space. So, it isn’t costing anything to store them while I prepare to open the store. Well, they are taking up space in my house – but the space wasn’t really being used.
Trying to figure out the logistics
I’m still trying to figure out the logistics: how to inventory the book that I have, how to store the books so I can quickly find them, how to determine how much shipping will be, how I should price the books and so on. I’ve also been researching the best way to go about selling them. I’ve looked into online market places such as Amazon and Ebay. However, sellers have to pay to sell their. Many of the successful sellers at these online market places wish they would have built an online store rather than using Amazon’s or EBay’s. I’ll write more on that later. For now, I’ll just say that part of the seller fees is compensating Amazon and Ebay for their efforts of having built an online market place that is getting customer traffic.
Starting a website for my “bookstore”
For now, I’ve decided to build my a website for the bookstore rather than paying to have a store on Ebay or Amazon. I can always do that later or when I get ready to start selling. One of the things that I’ve learned as a Wealthy Affiliate member is that it takes time to build out a business website or a blog that will get enough traffic to generate any income for it’s owner much less a profitable stream of income. Thus, I need to be working on it now even though I’m not ready to start selling books. The good Lord knows that with over 900 books in my inventory, that I should have PLENTY to talk about.
As a Wealthy Affiliate member, I have the ability to host up to 25 websites on their server. So, that is where my bookstore website is hosted. An added bonus is that Wealthy Affiliate provides free SSL security certificates for the websites they host. So, that saves me money and allows future visitors a more secure online shopping experience.
The other option I considered was starting a website using Shopify. That was going to be way, way, way more expensive. Plus, if I was to decide to leave the Shopify, their websites can not be moved elsewhere. You would have to start your business website over from scratch. It doesn’t work that way with websites built and hosted at Wealthy Affilate. Wealthy Affiliate teaches and encourages it’s members to build websites using WordPress.
I feel like there are other entrepreneurs that are wanting to start an online store. I figure if I share this “journey” maybe my experiences can help other people open their stores even faster. Granted, I realize it may make some of you decide against opening an online store.
Week 1 of bookstore website? No, this is week “now”
Although I have an inventory of used books that I can offer for sale, I’m not ready to start selling them yet. Instead, I plan to focus on building out the site out and acquiring traffic. So, for the time being, I’m providing Amazon affiliate links to books that I discuss. Just in case anybody readers stop by….. Unlikey yes, but I want to be prepared.
I bought the domain name a long time ago. (With the way that Google works now, the domains age alone does not really have any noticable impact on your rankings despite what other people may say.)
As of 2/10/18: SVRBookstore.com website has:
4 pages (only one is content, the others are disclaimers and notices, plus the about me page)
5 posts about some of the books that I have
According to Google Search Console in the last 28 days, I’ve had:
83.8 is the Average Position
This means that the website has room for lots and lots of improvement. The websites traffic can only go up. I’m so low that there is practically no way it can go down. I hope. This is going to be an exciting journey. My goal is to update this case report on a weekly basis.
1. Decide if I want to keep the magazine theme that I’ve currently got installed.
2. Decide if the name should be SVR Bookstore or Star View Ranch Bookstore.
3. Add at least 5 new posts about the following topics
- Best Selling Romance Author
- Best Selling Fiction Author
- NonFiction Book
- Post about the bible or bibles. It is the best selling book in US of all time. My inventory includes several old bibles.
4. Follow the WA certification course 1 and 2. (I love those two courses, so I’ve repeated them multiple times already. As result, I will be able to work my way through both of them quickly.) These courses will basically serve as a checklist for the things that I need to be doing to build website as an online bookstore business. In otherwords, I don’t want the website to serve as an online business card. I want it to generate income.
5. Link the site to my Wealthy Affiliate Profile just in case any Wealthy Affiliate members are interested in looking at it. I am sure that some of the Wealthy Affiliate members enjoy reading and love books.
6. Website Traffic Goals: Double last weeks results: My goal is to receive at least 1 click and 10 impressions. To pull this off, that means that I need to get my blog posts written and posted earlier in the week rather than later in the week
So, I’m off to start my work day.
Let me know if you have any suggestions. I am also more than willing to try to answer any questions also. Just leave a comment below.