It’s a bank holiday weekend, but don’t get too comfortable!   Before I get on with this weeks eletter I’m delighted to let you know that just this week I’ve been liaising with my publishers, Canonbury Publishing, and dates are almost finalised for the re-opening of my eSeller Mastery Programme and this means I’ll be back in touch very soon with more details. This is one of my most popular programmes and demand is always high due to the in-depth nature of the materials, content and support – and I’m not blowing my own trumpet! This is what some past students have to say about the programme and the live workshop: “Brings the subject to life. Helps to generate ideas/develop confidence…explained many grey areas…Amanda and Canonbury’s approach goes a very long way to showing / encouraging people who are home based / have an online business a friendly and professional helping hand. Amanda did a marvellous job of showing that we’re on a learning curve, but it can be done. It’s exciting and adventurous…” JP “The unlimited email support and listing reviews are invaluable and nobody else seems to offer this level of service and care…” Steven Morton “I really enjoyed the event because after receiving such comprehensive information in the form of manuals, webinars and personal email answers from Amanda, it was great to meet Amanda face to face and receive further direct and relevant training and have the opportunity to ask questions. It was also helpful to meet others starting out in this business… “Tony Wright “It was packed with relevant information, set out in manageable chunks and easy to understand. A thoroughly enjoyable and informative day. It was a pleasure to meet everyone and to attend a great event – thank you Amanda…” CRJ So, if you have considered joining eSeller Mastery in the past and have been disappointed due to demand then your chance to secure your place will be coming very soon. Once I reopen the programme you will need to be quick – so please take this as an advance warning and keep an eye on your inbox over the coming weeks. So, it’s a bank holiday weekend and I intend to make the most of it before I get back to the routine of school runs and chores in another week or so when everything settles back into a kind of ‘comfortable normality’. When your routine changes, sometimes it’s hard to adjust, although you always find a way, but I think most of us do get that feeling of relief when things go back to how they were and you are back in your comfort zone again. But here’s a warning – don’t get too comfortable with routine! It’s very easy to let things follow a routine and tick over nicely whilst you do what needs doing and not much else on top of that, and, whilst I have absolutely nothing against that, it’s always a good idea to be working on new ideas, new strategies, new research and new products for your online business all the time. Otherwise things tend to get stale and you never actually move onwards and upwards. I’m sure when you first started to consider creating an eBay business, other things like expanding into selling on Amazon or creating your own website were probably the last things on your mind, simply because you weren’t thinking that far ahead. And that’s fair enough – one thing at a time after all. But once you have your eBay business running like clockwork and you’ve started listing on Amazon too, then this is the time when you should definitely be considering branching out further. Of course eBay offers a place for you to create auctions and fixed price listings and even to create your own shop, but the tools provided there simply don’t provide the freedom that you can gain from having your own webstore on the side. Now don’t panic! You don’t need to be an expert at creating websites or a super duper designer for this to work; I most certainly am not and yet I managed to do it, so I thought I would go over a few of the benefits that you will see once you have your own webstore on the go and hopefully I’ll be able to convince you that this is a sensible step to take to maximise your potential online profits. Benefit One – Your products will be found on eBay…and elsewhere If at all possible the domain name for your webstore should match that of your eBay user ID, and both should be memorable enough for a previous buyer to remember. This increases the likelihood that they will come back to your store in the future. If they enter your ID into eBay they will find your eBay store, and if they enter the same ID into Google they will find your website. Benefit Two – You’ll be able to sell directly to a targeted group of people Wouldn’t it be really useful to have a list of email addresses of people that are specifically interested in the type of products that you sell? Of course it would! You could send out emails offering advice about your products, and every so often drop in a link to one of your products to that targeted group. Keeping a connection like this with your shoppers will drastically increase your sales. With your own webstore you’ll have the ability to place a newsletter signup box on any page so that your visitors can sign up quickly and easily. Benefit Three – You’ll enjoy additional traffic I often read reviews of things before I actually buy them. Call me paranoid but I like to hear that a product isn’t going to fall apart in my hands as soon as I open the box so creating a webstore that actually offers reviews of your products will also send people in the direction of your products. If you do decide to write reviews of your products, please make sure that you are totally honest as it will increase your credibility and the likelihood that visitors will tell their friends and family about your webstore and products. Make sure you also include a link to the relevant product or eBay listing after your review. The last thing you want to do is convince someone that they want to buy what you are offering and then inadvertently send them straight in the direction of your competitors! Benefit Four – You’ll be able to utilise other moneymaking opportunities Remember that eBay isn’t the only way to make money online. You can advertise products for sale on Amazon through your webstore with their affiliate marketing programme or you could take advantage of Google AdSense to earn a little extra pocket money each time someone clicks on an advertisement found on your webstore. Your own webstore grants you the freedom to take advantage of these other moneymaking opportunities alongside your eBay income and as I’ve said before, it’s always a good idea to diversify your income streams to maximise your profits. Benefit Five – You’ll be building a lasting marketing method It can take time to build traffic to a webstore; any expert will admit that and I know from experience that it’s not necessarily easy to get your webstore up to page one in the Google search results for the products that you are selling. There are many methods that you can use to raise the profile of your webstore such as linking to it from the signature of your email, posting in forums or on blogs that are related to your niche market and writing informative articles on the topic that can be posted to article directories with a link back to your website. So what I’m saying is that you will need to put in some effort to make your webstore a success – that’s just the way things on the web work. But the good news is that once people are searching for and finding you, they will provide you with a continual stream of visitors. Creating your own webstore needn’t be a difficult task! Once upon a time it was almost impossible for someone without a whole heap of technical knowhow to create an online store. It’s not the same these days as there are a multitude of different tools that you can take advantage of to help you along your way. A range of different content management systems such as WordPress mean that you can have a website set up and ready to go literally within days, or utilise Shopify or EKM Powershop for an even easier way of getting your webstore up and running in a matter of hours. Just don’t be put off by the thought that you don’t know enough about it all to give it a go. Remember that sometimes it’s good to step outside your comfort zone and embark on a new challenge!