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Go Inside a $1.3 Million eCommerce Business to Learn How to Build Your Own Successful Store
This is where I’m supposed to say how rich you’ll become by starting a store at home in your pajamas with my guide …
… except that I’m not going to.
I won’t be posting beach shots of a luxurious lifestyle to convince you that I’ve struck it rich. You won’t hear how to make $5 million dollars per year while watching television in bed until 2:30 in the afternoon.
So if you’re looking for the traditionally hyped-up sales page, you’re going to be sadly disappointed.
You’re likely an eCommerceFuel reader, which means you appreciate authentic, no-BS material – and you’re not the kind who falls for sleazy sales tactics. That’s why I decided to skip the whole dog-and-pony show and get right down to business.
So how can the Insider’s Guide help you?
The Insider’s Guide offers you a true insider look at the techniques I used to grow my two eCommerce businesses, TrollingMotors.net and Right Channel Radios, to more than $1.3 million in annual revenue. I’ve built both of these businesses from the ground up, and I use my real-world experience to teach you how to do the same.
Most “make money online” products teach broad, abstract principles that have no real-world application. You never get to see the techniques in action, let alone learn the names of businesses that have benefited from them (if they exist). Often, the person selling the training has never made a full-time income from what he or she teaches!
I’ve been a full-time eCommerce entrepreneur for more than five years. Not only do I share the names of my businesses with you, but I also incorporate my experiences into the training so you know what worked for me – and what didn’t.
The result is a rare, inside look into how to build a successful online store that you won’t find anywhere else.
If you’ve enjoyed my in-depth posts on eCommerceFuel and my eBook content, you’re going to LOVE the Insider’s Guide.
I invested more than three months into planning, outlining, creating and publishing it. I worked hard to make sure it was actionable, easy to watch, fun to listen to and extremely useful.
It’s also comprehensive and covers everything you’ll be doing – from incorporating your business and picking a niche all the way through marketing and optimizing your store. I spent a lot of time making sure each step was covered in detail, and it’s a resource you’ll be able to refer back to time and again throughout the lifespan of your business.
- More than 70 lessons and 22 hours of video and audio content
- Comprehensive training on everything from business setup to marketing and optimization
- Nearly two dozen worksheets and cheat sheets
- In-depth screencasts, detailed interviews and slide decks that won’t bore you to tears
Ever gone through a training course only to remain confused at the end about how to actually implement what you learned? It’s frustrating.
That’s why the guide is packed with “in action” screencast videos that let you watch over my shoulder as I apply the concepts learned to actually carry out the task. A few examples of the “in action” videos include:
- Keyword Research in Action: Watch as I do keyword research, from scratch, for the relaunch of my store TrollingMotors.net
- AdWords in Action: Follow me as I create a new AdWords campaign – one I actually use – and record the entire process
- Finding Suppliers in Action: See exactly how I search Google for niche suppliers and spot “fake” wholesalers
Starting an online store can be a confusing process, especially if you’ve never done it before! That’s why the lessons and modules build upon themselves and are laid out in chronological order, so you know exactly which lesson and step to take next to move your business forward.
The content in this guide is unlike anything publicly and freely available. But even assuming you could get it all for free, you’d need to spend hours and hours searching hundreds of websites to come close to learning everything that’s included here. Even then, you’d still need to decide where to begin and what to prioritize. The Insider’s Guide takes care of all that for you.
As much as I want to steer clear of hokey sales-speak, it’s important to realize how a profitable store can dramatically change your life.
Building a successful online store is like creating anything else of value: It takes dedication, time and hard work. If you’re hoping to get rich quickly, I’d recommend closing your browser window, heading down to the nearest convenience store and buying a lottery ticket.
But if you’re willing to invest the time to build it, an online store can open up a new world for you.
I make far more money with my online store than I ever did in my previous job. It’s a great feeling to be able to comfortably support my family without having to worry about paying bills. Money definitely doesn’t buy happiness, but not having to stress out about it is a wonderful feeling.
Because I outsource my warehouse and fulfillment with drop shipping, I can work from anywhere in the world with an internet connection – and I do! I’ve traveled to 20+ countries, all while running my businesses. It’s amazing to have the freedom to visit friends and family, or just travel for the fun of it, while still being able to work and get things done.
In my old job, I’d be lucky to have a few days off around Christmas before racing back to my job. Not being able to spend time with loved ones was one of the hardest parts about working a traditional job.
Today, I’m able to set my own schedule and see friends and family whenever I want. And because the businesses run without me now that they’re established, they continue to make money even when I’m not actively working on them. Having the free time to see whomever I want – whenever I want – is wonderfully liberating.
My eCommerce Background
In case you’re not familiar with my story, here’s a quick summary: A few years ago, I quit my life-consuming finance job and started my own eCommerce drop shipping business, Right Channel Radios, with just $1,500. I’ve been a full-time store owner ever since, launching additional stores like TrollingMotors.net and increasing my sales and profits every year I’ve been in business.
Last year, my business generated $1.3 million in sales – all with a small two-person team that I manage from my home office.
And the best part? Because I use the drop shipping model, I can run my businesses from anywhere – and I do! In 2011, my wife and I spent seven months traveling around the world, thanks to the freedom my businesses offer. I’ve also written two highly regarded eBooks on eCommerce, launched a popular blog called eCommerceFuel.com and spoken at international events about my experience.
My point isn’t to show off, but to let you know that I do know what I’m talking about and have used the methods I teach to grow profitable, location-independent eCommerce businesses.
If you’re still not convinced, please head over to my blog (wait, he’s asking me to LEAVE his sales page?!) and spend some time reading my posts and free eBook. I’d also encourage you to Google my websites, Right Channel Radios and TrollingMotors.net, and spend some time poking around.
I believe you’ll be able to tell from my work and my writing that I’m genuinely passionate about – and very experienced with – eCommerce.
The Insider’s Guide is organized into five modules, each designed to guide you through a specific stage of building a successful store. It’s laid out chronologically so you can easily follow along as you start your business, even if you’re just getting started.
(Includes 5 lessons + worksheets)
The Insider’s Guide starts from the ground up to help you understand what’s required to get your business up and running. You’ll learn:
- When to Incorporate: If and when you should incorporate your online business
- Different Legal Structures: The pros and cons of various U.S. legal structures (sole proprietor, LLC, C-Corp, etc.)
- What Legal Steps You Need to Take: The financial and legal requirements needed to get started, including a discussion of business licenses, government tax numbers, sales tax issues and more
The guide has you covered! This module also includes:
- Setting Up a U.S. Business Overseas: Are you outside the U.S. but want to tap its immense market? Learn how in my interview with an entrepreneur who set up a U.S. business that he operates from Australia.
- Canada, UK and Australian Quick-Start: A quick-start guide to point entrepreneurs in the right direction as they establish businesses in these three countries
(Includes 17 lessons + worksheets)
When it comes to picking a niche, there are three difficult parts: coming up with an idea, deciding if it’s too competitive and knowing if you’ll make any money. The Insider’s Guide contains an entire 17-lesson module that takes the hard work out of this process:
- Magazine Database: A database of 1,000+ hobbyist and trade magazines to help you uncover potential niche markets
- In-Demand Niche Products: Hundreds of niche products that people are actively searching for on Google
- Business Broker List: A list of business brokers, where you can see actual online stores for sale and get inspired
If a niche is too competitive, you’ll never get any traction or make any money. That’s why competitive analysis is covered in depth, making it easy to understand if you’ll have a shot at making money in your niche. Specifically, the guide covers:
- Competitor Analysis: How to pull apart a niche’s competitors and see if you’ll be able to compete against them
- Evaluating “Giants”: How to know if you’ll be able to compete against sites like Amazon – or if they’ll eat you for lunch
- Competitive Advantage: Understanding if you’ll be able to offer something unique that will set you apart
Even with all this knowledge, making a final decision about your niche can be painstaking. That’s why the guide includes a detailed, step-by-step process for determining which niche ideas are worth pursuing. It includes:
- Niche Profitability Spreadsheet Model: This custom-built model does all the hard work to calculate potential niche profitability
- Easy-to-Follow Process: A step-by-step process for narrowing down your large list to your top 4 or 5 niches
- Expanded Niche Grading Scorecard: Grading criteria sheet for quickly picking your niche (expanded from my eBook)
This module isn’t just about finding a niche. It also teaches you exactly how to find high-quality wholesale suppliers:
- Learn How to Find Wholesalers – for Free: Discover how to find genuine wholesale sources for your products without having to pay
- Watch Me Find Quality Suppliers: Watch over my shoulder as I identify suppliers for a real-world niche in Google – and spot “fake” middlemen
- Word-for-Word Phone Script: Confidently call potential suppliers, even if you’re usually nervous on the phone
- Drop Ship With Big Margins: Learn how to drop ship directly from manufacturers while enjoying huge profit margins in my interview with eCommerce veteran Dave Huckabay
- Question Checklist for Suppliers: You won’t forget to ask about any crucial supplier issues with this included resource
The “Picking a Niche” module includes an interview with a wholesaler drop shipping supplier I’ve worked with for years who agreed to share his experience with eCommerce merchants. He shares how to confidently approach suppliers, common mistakes new merchants make and the core traits he sees among successful drop shipping merchants.
Too many merchants spend months – even years – working on their store before launching it publicly. By the time they finally get it online, they’ve squandered a bunch of time better spent marketing, improving and growing their business. Don’t make that mistake.
This module tackles the problems people face when building their first store to help them get launched as quickly as possible.
- Pick the Perfect Shopping Cart: Find the perfect shopping cart with a detailed “pros and cons” discussion of 14 platforms by cart expert Andrew Bleakley
- In-Depth Keyword Research Training: Watch over my shoulder as I do the actual keyword research for the TrollingMotors.net site relaunch. Then, use my Keyword Research Cheat Sheet to duplicate the process and find the keywords you need to be targeting for your own store.
- Master On-Page SEO: Learn how to optimize your pages and structure your site to maximize free organic traffic from Google
- Pick a Great Store Name: I share my successes (and regrets) with naming numerous businesses to help you pick a store name that won’t limit your growth
- Many Other Important Lessons: Learn the ins and outs of credit card processing, site design, logo creation and more
(Includes 20 lessons and worksheets)
Many online stores fail because they don’t have any customers. Yet most training courses barely focus on marketing when it’s the most crucial factor to success! Because it’s so important, I’ve dedicated a massive 20-lesson module to it.
I’ve driven more than 2 million visits to my websites, the vast majority for free via organic traffic or non-paid marketing techniques. In less than a year, I was able to build the eCommerceFuel blog to more than 8,500 subscribers and generate more than 100,000 visits – all without spending any money on marketing.
I know how to market websites.
In this module, I share my tricks and techniques for driving large numbers of customers to your store, even if you can’t afford to spend any money on marketing.
- Generate Free Traffic With Advanced SEO: Learn the ins and outs of off-page SEO and how to get links to increase your rankings
- Spy on Competitor Backlinks: Use free online tools to spy on competitor backlinks to uncover valuable linking opportunities
- Craft Powerful Outreach Emails: Get replies to your outreach emails, even from sites being pitched dozens of guest-post ideas daily
- 5-Part Guest Posting Mini-Course: Guest posting is one of the most effective marketing strategies, and I cover everything from finding opportunities to how to write link-filled articles that get published
- Turn Video Into Visitors: Understand how to use video to drive customers to your site
- Use Facebook the Right Way: Facebook marketing expert James McLaughlin has built pages with more than 70,000 “likes” – and teaches how you can do the same
- Plus Many More Lessons: Covering topics such as forums, link directories, article marketing, social media, email marketing and more
AdWords is one of the most popular ways to drive paid traffic, but too often people lose thousands of dollars because they don’t know how to use it properly. The guide’s two-part training is designed to help you understand AdWords, avoid the pitfalls and use it properly.
Part 1 is a detailed interview with a former Google employee who worked in Google’s AdWords division for nearly five years. He shares how to research, create, launch and optimize a successful AdWords campaign. Due to his ongoing involvement in the AdWords industry, I’m unable to reveal his name outside of the course – but I guarantee you’ll learn a tremendous amount to help you maximize your earnings with AdWords.
After the interview, watch the screencast lesson where I build a real-world AdWords campaign from scratch. I take you through researching keywords, writing ads and finally launching the campaign. This is an actual AdWords campaign I’m running for TrollingMotors.net, and you get to see exactly how I create it.
SEOmoz Pro software makes it incredibly fast and easy to do complex SEO and marketing research. Tasks that would take hours can be completed in just a few seconds using their suite of tools.
It’s so valuable that I’ve paid $99 per month over the last 2+ years to be able to use the software for my own stores. I realize, however, that $99 can be a bit steep for entrepreneurs just getting started with a new venture.
After chatting with the folks at SEOmoz, I’m pleased to announce they’re offering three FREE months of SEOmoz Pro membership to everyone going through the Insider’s Guide – a $297 value for free! Combined with the Insider’s Guide’s SEO and marketing training, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can improve your store’s rankings
(Includes 16 lessons and worksheets)
After going through the first four modules, you’ll have a store up and running that’s getting traffic and making sales. But chances are, your first version of the store will need some fine tuning. That’s where this module comes in.
I’ve relaunched numerous online stores, each time increasing revenues by about 50% and 100%. In this module, I teach you the step-by-step process to ensure you’re making the most money possible.
- Instantly Increase Profits: Discover the one basic change that resulted in an instant 30% increase in store profits and allowed me to hire my first employee
- Build Loyal Customers: Learn how to offer outstanding support and build super-loyal customers, all while limiting time-consuming calls and emails
- Learn From My Store Relaunches: See the exact changes I made to my own stores that radically increased conversion and sales
- Narrowing Your Focus: Follow my systematic process for finding your best, most profitable customers and building a site that caters to their needs
- Use Internal Linking to Boost Rankings: Funnel the power of your existing site to improve your rankings, traffic and revenue – all without building any links
- Increase Traffic With Minor Changes: I’ll teach you how adding just a handful of words to your existing pages will allow you to quickly rank for profitable long-tail keywords
- Create High-Converting Pages: Find out how to create high-converting product pages and maximize the impact of your home, category and checkout pages
- Plus Many More Lessons: Including training on setting up crucial systems, how to relaunch a site and more
If you already have a store, you’ll want to check out the Store Owner’s Edition of the Insider’s Guide. It includes only the Marketing and Optimization modules (at a discounted price) to help you build traffic, increase conversions and improve your existing business.
The course includes a variety of content media designed to capture and hold your attention.
- Over 22 hours of video, broken up into more than 70 bite-sized lessons
- Nearly two dozen worksheets, spreadsheets, scripts and checklists
- Expert interviews, step-by-step sceencasts and slide deck presentations that won’t put you in a coma
Sometimes video training can be a pain, especially if you’re trying to get just the highlights or want to quickly jump to a section. Just because a video is an hour long doesn’t mean you need (or want) to watch the entire thing.
All the Insider’s Guide video lessons have chapter links so you can quickly see what a video covers and instantly jump to the section that interests you. No more watching a long video only to realize it was something you already knew.
Every lesson has a downloadable audio mp3 so you can work your way through the guide while you’re running, commuting or standing in line at the store.
It’s a pain when you can’t download and use content that you’ve paid for. With the Insider’s Guide, you can download everything to your own computer: worksheets, mp3s, even the full video files. It’s all yours to consume on whatever device you choose.
The training videos will play anywhere you can load them, including on your iPad, iPhone or any other mobile device or tablet. They’re optimized to be compatible with just about every device on the market.
The eCommerce world is rapidly changing, and this guide will undoubtedly be updated to reflect best practices and new strategies. With your purchase, you get lifetime access to the guide and will receive all future editions at no charge.
You’ll also receive access to supplemental content that will be added periodically.
How much money will I need to start an online store?
It’s possible to get an online store started with very little money. I invested $1,500 in my business when I started, but could have started with even less. Today, it’s possible to start an online store for less than $500, especially if you plan on drop shipping products and won’t need to purchase any inventory. This will cover your web hosting fees and basic incorporation in most states, with enough extra money to cover small expenses as they come up.
How much time do I need to dedicate?
Let’s be clear: This isn’t a get-rich-quick guide to making easy money. Like any REAL business, building a profitable online store takes time and serious effort. I recommend dedicating at least 5 to 10 hours per week to building your online store if you want to take full advantage of the information in this guide. Obviously, the more time you have to invest, the faster you’ll see results – and the more money you’ll be able to make.
Do I need to be a programmer or super tech-savvy to do this?
No. There are a number of services online (Shopify, BigCommerce, etc.) that make it incredibly easy to get a professional-looking website launched quickly without any computer knowledge. So you don’t need to be a programming expert or computer whiz.
But I DO recommend learning the basics of web technologies like HTML and CSS as you build your store. You’ll find that it allows you to easily make customizations without needing to rely on other people. There are a number of great, free guides on both HTML and CSS, and it’s possible for anyone with determination and desire to learn and understand them.
If you’re serious about building a life-changing store, you have a few options:
Unfortunately, there are a lot of online “coaches” who really only know how to do one thing: coach. The truth is that most successful entrepreneurs are too busy working on their own projects and businesses to offer coaching.
And if they do offer coaching, it’s VERY expensive. A business coach would likely charge between $5,000 and $10,000 for all the information and training offered by the Insider’s Guide.
Even if you could find all of the information for free online (though you can’t, because I share detailed insights about my businesses), it would take you a tremendous amount of time.
Sorting through all that content, organizing it and trying to compile a library that compares to the Insider’s Guide would take hundreds of hours. It took me more than three straight months to create the Insider’s Guide – and I’m an eCommerce expert!
You could also just “wing it” and get your store launched on your own. This might be the most tempting option, as there’s no out-of-pocket expense. But consider the opportunity cost of missing out on crucial advice, gleaned from my years of experience, that can help you avoid some of the common pitfalls and grow your business more quickly.
How much would you pay to get back a wasted year that you spent unsuccessfully trying to build a store?
I’ve done a lot of the hard learning for you, making mistakes – some that cost me thousands of dollars each – that you’ll be able to easily avoid by going through this guide.
Because I’m sharing real-world business insights that owners rarely reveal, I could easily sell this training for thousands of dollars. But I want the Insider’s Guide to be available for anyone who is seriously committed to building his/her own store. So I’ve decided to price it at the very reasonable price of $599.
If you’re serious about starting your own business, I guarantee you’ll receive FAR more than $599 of value from this training. The Insider’s Guide would have saved me tens of thousands of dollars in mistakes, time and educational costs when I was starting out.
- More than 70 high-quality video lessons that span 20+ hours
- A behind-the-scenes look at my own eCommerce stores
- Immediate access to all content – it won’t “trickle out” over time
- Nearly two dozen worksheets, spreadsheets and checklists
- The ability to freely download all course materials
- Three months of SEOmoz Pro membership for free (a $297 value)