April 20, 2015 by Andrew Minalto - 4 Comments

Don’t WASTE your time making an Online Shop!

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On a regular basis I receive emails from my blog readers that go something along these lines:

“Hi Andrew,

Can you take a look at my online shop? I created it a few months ago but get just a few visitors a day and maybe a random sale once or twice a month. Can you check it out and see where I’m going wrong?”

And in many cases the shop itself actually looks very good, clearly they’ve spent some money on getting a decent design made and from the outside, everything looks just fine.

But the question remains – why are these shops making such little money?

Because in most cases people don’t market them, at all.

Most of the time, people build a shop and think that’s it. After that they expect thousands upon thousands of visitors and purchases, just like magic!

I’m sorry to burst the bubble but that is NOT how it works!

Building your eCommerce Shop and getting it right visually is very important of course BUT that’s only the first step, not the most important one. What matters more is WHAT you do after that!

Yes, I’m talking about promoting your shop, advertising it, publishing content, building high quality links, distributing content, doing social marketing and all those other things that build a solid SEO foundation which will result in natural traffic from search engines as well as direct traffic from your marketing campaigns.

And this is SO IMPORTANT to understand!

If you don’t have the time, resources or knowledge to do all of the above, then you shouldn’t even bother getting started. All you will do is waste your money.

Yes, there are some exceptions with niches and products where you have non-existent competition, and you can simply put a basic website together and start getting traffic almost immediately (simply because there are no competing websites for those keywords) BUT this will be very, very rare. In most niches and with most products you’ll have to FIGHT for that traffic! And that means nothing but hard work and patience on your part.

Another exception would be IF you already have a solid eBay business, making hundreds of orders per month, then yes, you would also want to build an online shop ASAP and even if you don’t have the time or knowledge to promote it from scratch, you can still get some extra sales in from repeat customers (from eBay) without much extra work on your part.

But if these two exceptions don’t apply to you, don’t bother, seriously.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m ALL for having an online shop for your business! It’s a crucial piece of the puzzle in creating a sustainable online business… BUT you need to set your expectations and be prepared to put a lot of hard work and time into it, before you see any decent results.

That’s it – a quick Monday ramble on the subject as I just needed to get this off my chest.

Have a great & action packed week everyone! 🙂


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  1. Steven Hodgson

    Hi Andrew,

    Thank you for a good article, I fall into the last exception category as I have a reasonable succesful ebay business for 18 years converting ave 250 orders per month, I am steadily servicing a higher number of bulk orders to small businesses and commercial operations but ebay is not conducive to doing special orders or discounts on bulk orders so I feel an ecommerce site would suit my needs better, I have looked at loads and read loads of reviews but because of the very technical nature of the products I sell they need lots of description space, charts or specification tables.
    I use your SAT’s for ebay which work well, but I cannot seam to find a suitable ecommerce site that would suit a similar process, please could you advise either a site or point me in the right direction.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Steven,

      As you have a decent business in place, I would simply go with Shopify and then hire a coder to do any custom tweaks/functionality you need.

      This way you will have the World’s most popular eCommerce engine in place which you can then upgrade as you want.

      It could also be that you can find plugins that does the work you need without hiring a developer.

      No cart will come with custom things you need by default.


  2. Karl Frederick

    Hi Andrew,

    Great article and it lends itself nicely to a question I have. I have been suffering paralysis analysis for about 12 months now trying to decide what to sell and basically am afraid about the competition because I am going into a heavily competitive maket, womens jewelry and accessories.

    What I basically want to know is that if i do all the SEO work as you mention above and really work hard at marketing do I still have a chance at getting as piece of the market or are the some markets that no matter how much work you do you have no chance of making a living?

    I am so stumped product wise but think that with womens jewelry I can also sell in markets, parties etc to advertise myself more.


    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Karl,

      It’s very hard to give an answer to that question as it will depend on soooo many factors….

      Best advice I can give you really is go sub-niche and do something unique – be it prices, customer service, product selection or shop design. try to stand out from the crowd as if you go with everyone else, in a very competitive market, it will be very difficult to make it a success.


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