116: Getting Started in Ecommerce

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Travis Marziani is the co-founder of BDancewear.com, an ecommerce store specializing in dance-clothing handmade in the US.

On this week’s show, Travis joins me to talk about why ecommerce is such an awesome business model, especially for side hustlers, and the story behind the dance site — since he is clearly not the target demographic.

Travis and I met at New Media Expo in April, and he mentioned he had some innovative content marketing ideas for online stores as well as how people can get started in ecommerce without massive overhead or investment.

And he should know; he co-hosts the popular Build My Online Store podcast with Terry Lin. On top of that, he has a show of his own called How to Do Your 20s (offline as of early 2020), which I was flattered to guest on as an honorary 20-something.

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  • Why side hustlers should consider the ecommerce business model.
  • Ways to brainstorm products to sell, including Travis’ 1-Idea-a-Day Challenge.
  • His take on drophipping, eBay businesses, and Amazon stores.
  • The tools he used to set up BDancewear.
  • The distinct benefits of setting up your own site and selling direct to customers, instead of through Amazon — and one big drawback.
  • The most effective marketing channels for ecommerce, plus a look inside Travis’ targeted content marketing strategies.
  • Travis’ #1 tip for Side Hustle Nation.


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Nick Loper

About the Author

Nick Loper is a side hustle expert who loves helping people earn more money and start businesses they care about. He hosts the award-winning Side Hustle Show, where he's interviewed over 500 successful entrepreneurs, and is the bestselling author of Buy Buttons, The Side Hustle, and $1,000 100 Ways.

His work has been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur, Forbes, TIME, Newsweek, Business Insider, MSN, Yahoo Finance, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Financial Times, Bankrate, Hubspot, Ahrefs, Shopify, Investopedia, VICE, Vox, Mashable, ChooseFI, Bigger Pockets, The Penny Hoarder, GoBankingRates, and more.

6 thoughts on “116: Getting Started in Ecommerce”

  1. Sorry Nick, Not happy with this interview, Travis made this sound very easy. One important note not mentioned is to take into consideration the cost of keywords. Be very careful because you can lose a lot of money with paid ads. When you do paid ads you need to really be ready. You need to direct your paid ad to a highly optimized landing page. I did like the tip of interviewing dance studios but the amount of traffic you could get would be dependent on the size of their list if they have a list.

    • Yep, with any paid ads it’s key to start small, test, and expand on what works.

      I ran PPC campaigns for 10 years so I probably should have pressed deeper on that topic, but didn’t give it a second thought. (I started with a budget of $1 a day.) In episode 77, Kellie talks about starting at $5 a day.

      You’ve got to make sure your conversion rates AND product margins can more than cover the ad cost. But once you get it spinning, paid traffic is a pretty fun game.

  2. Good thoughts Nick. I like your comment in the interview about you might be better off just offering a service. Even if you start at $1 or $5 a day, you need highly targeted keywords which nowadays probably cost over $1 per click, even at 5 clicks a day you probably wouldn’t get a sale til your 4 month at the standard 1 sale per 100 visits. I recommend paid ads only for info products where the margins are high enough to cover paid ads.

  3. Thank you Nick for such a great Interview and Travis share very important tips about start up an eCommerce business and Thanks to the Rob for include very important point about Paid ads. I spend lots of money in paid ads but don’t get any ROI. As a startup business i don’t think to much about paid ads investment and now i have to think about this. Please Give me some suggestion or resource for my marketing.

    Thanks in advance.

    • I would strongly advise you to focus on building your email list. Offer value for a sign up and continue to give value by email then launch products/services.

  4. Loved it, yes its a lot of work but great tips I will look into, have had an idea, solving a problem in a niche I know, just shipping stuff and having money down scares me, I don’t have the “mom”


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