Build it and they will come?
If you’ve ever built a blog, website, or online store, you know that’s definitely NOT the case.
It takes some hustle and elbow grease to gain traffic, traction, and sales.
Robert Kilonzo is the go-to guy for growing ecommerce businesses, and he contributed this post for Side Hustle Nation.
Robert is the host of the eCommerce Marketing Podcast, where he interviews experts about — you guessed it — eCommerce marketing, and also does business development for OSI Affiliate Software, which makes it easy for small businesses to set up their own affiliate / referral program.
When it comes to creating an online store, there’s no magic bullet one way of doing it right.
It’s a process that takes time and experimentation, but these strategies can be applied to any online business.
Here are 3 ways to help you create a profitable online store. If you’re selling products on Amazon with Amazon FBA, flipping items of eBay, or even selling digital products, I think you’ll find some helpful tactics here.
1. Build Links
Backlinks are still considered as one of the most important SEO ranking factors.
By building the backlinks profile of your store, you can help boost the traffic that comes to your store. Build more backlinks to your store to improve your Domain Authority, Page Authority, and search engine rankings.
Follow the steps below to learn where your competitors are getting backlinks from and then approach those same websites and try and get backlinks from them as well.
Nick’s Notes: The logic goes if they linked to your competitor(s), their audience/readers might find value in your offers as well.
You can use the Free Backlink Checker from SEO Review Tools to get the 100 most valuable backlinks to a competitor.
Another tool you can use is Ahrefs. Check out this guide on how to “steal” backlinks from your competitors.
Here are the instructions you need to follow to check links from your competitors using the Free Backlink Checker tool.
Enter the domain of your competitor.
Click perform check after entering the Captcha.
Download the spreadsheet that was generated with the most valuable links pointing to that website.
Now you can use this spreadsheet to contact some of these websites and try and get a link from them.
2. Capture Emails
Email is one of the best marketing channels for an online store.
Nick’s Notes: And pretty much any other business, online or off.
Email allows you to interact with your customers and keep them updated with your brand. Some of the methods you can use email are:
- educate the customers
- send out coupons
- announce sales
- send out brand updates
- promote blog posts
So how do you grow your email list?
Below are three easy strategies you can use to grow the email list for your online store.
Strategy 1: Offer a Discount Code in Exchange for an Email Address
Add a pop-up or overlay on your website offering a discount to your customers.
The only way the customer can get the discount is by entering a valid email address. You can either send them an email with the discount or immediately show it to them after entering their email address.
This is a great strategy for engaging with your customers and also encouraging them to convert. So, you can get their email and also get a sale if they use the discount code.
By the way, Justuno is one of the best apps out there to accomplish this strategy.
Nick’s Notes: You could also use the free SumoMe list builder tool.
Strategy 2: Have a Feature Box
Create a feature box or home gate for your store. A feature box encourages your readers and customers to subscribe to your list. Here is an example from Kimberly Snyder.
As you can see, when visitors land on that page, they will get an offer for free detox recipes and beauty tips as a bribe in exchange for emails.
Nick’s Notes: I think this is a cool example of leading with content, rather than a discount.
Strategy 3: Add a Subscribe Box in Your Footer or Sidebar
Provide your store visitors with an easy way to subscribe to your email list or newsletter.
The email list you will build by providing this option is valuable. The customers or visitors who subscribe to your email list with no “bribing” are great because they are genuinely interested in your brand.
3. Get Product Reviews
Getting product reviews can help you get more traffic and customers to your store. To find opportunities for getting product reviews, we are going to use NinjaOutreach (which has a 14-day unlimited free trial).
These are the steps you need to follow when looking for product review opportunities.
Run a search using your product keyword. Make sure to select the search results to show 5k results. Showing this much will produce more opportunities because the filter will narrow down the list.
You can now go through the results and add potential opportunities to a list.
It is is now time for outreach. In NinjaOutreach, you can go to the Outreach Mode section and start reaching out to the potential reviewers.
NinjaOutreach allows you to connect your email address. So, when you are doing outreach, it will be sending using your email. In Outreach Mode, select your list and select your outreach template.
If you don’t have an outreach email template, you can find samples provided by NinjaOutreach here.
You can now go through all the opportunities in your list and request for a product review. You may have to send out some sample products but it’s a marketing expense that can pay for itself many times over.
These are just a few tactics to help you create a profitable store. It all depends on your goals and the kind of products you sell to make each strategy fit towards your mission.
What are some of the strategies you use to create a profitable store? Please let us know below.
Robert Kilonzo is the Business Development Manager for OSI Affiliate Software. OSI Affiliate Software makes it easy for any business to create a referral program.
Robert is also the host of the eCommerce Marketing Podcast, where he interviews experts about eCommerce. Listeners learn everything they need to take their eCommerce business to the next level. Guests on the show cover topics on inbound marketing, conversion optimization, and paid advertising.