Would you like to see how to build a successful eCom business from scratch? Are you interested in every detail from product sourcing to traffic and sales funnels? If yes – then read on!
I was involved with eCommerce for many years. I have helped other businesses to develop and optimize their webshops into cash cows.
I have made several web shops on different platforms for customers.
Then I got involved in a project where I didn’t drive my ideas about the product line or the target audience. It is the project I describe in the About Erik page. It was a disaster where I spent three years and got some serious debt.
After that, I lost all interest in eCommerce and took an offline job.
Time passed, and I couldn’t drop my eCommerce thoughts entirely. Ok, the latest project was not successful, but I had learned a lot in those three years. I realized that I have incredibly much information about what works and what not.
Why not do something with that information?
The options I considered was the following.
I could make a webshop and start selling as usual. It is always nice to make some money. When I have a successful shop, I quit my offline job. That seems like a great plan.
But I wanted to do something more. Life is so much more than money (I wish I had understood that 20 years ago, but that is something for another blog post :-)) Why not share my information with other people interested in eCommerce. If my journey can inspire and help other entrepreneurs, it is worth far more than the money.
What do you have in mind, Erik?
There are a lot of different programs about how to be successful in eCommerce. They all have one thing in common: they show web shops that generate a huge pile of money. That is great but what about the start.
I could go on forever with questions that might be interesting in the early days in a web shops life.
So, I decided to start a new webshop AND share everything with you from the start.
I am not sure about every detail of this project. It isn’t that important to try to figure out everything now. Hopefully, you will tell me about what you want to know more.
I will post updates on the blog whenever I:
Ok, I think you get the idea. I will post about everything I do to establish a profitable eCommerce business.
When I write about the changes, it is important also to explain why I do certain things. Otherwise, you don’t know how to implement the changes for your benefit.
Finally some words about what I have already decided.
The business model I will use is dropshipping. My goal is to find exciting products that ship from the USA to get short delivery times. That can be difficult in the beginning, depending on the niche I choose.
I haven’t decided on which eCom system I will use.
How can you follow my journey, you might ask?
There will be several options and the best way at the moment is to follow me on the Facebook page.
I love reading. I started in early years and haven’t stopped.
However there were a couple of problems that I had a hard time to solve.
The first issue was that the pile of books and the list of books to buy grew really fast. I wanted to read so many of the books and I didn’t have enough time to do it.
Some days in my offline job I can listen to audio books and that is great. Below are some of the books I have listened to last year:
But there were so many more I was interested in… But let’s first talk about the second problem.
As I have grown older or maybe it has to do with how busy I am, I don’t really know but I have found that I don’t remember as much as I would like to any more. Many of the audio books I have listened to I have re-listened several times but that is not very efficient.
Then I found out about Mentorbox. That was the perfect solution for me. It is a summary of important books in video format. Most of the time it is done by the authors themselves giving more information than we find if we only read the books.
In addition to the videos, there are audio versions and a written summary of the main points in the books. There is also a workbook where we can follow along and implement what we learn in the book to our own life’s and businesses. That is huge!
As you know, we learn in different ways and we learn better if we both write, listen and watch. And that is exactly what we get with Mentorbox.
What about the books that are chosen, you might ask? We can suggest books but most of them are chosen by the owners of Mentorbox. First I thought that was negative but after I saw the list of books that they have reviewed, I change my mind.
There are several books that I would never had known about without Mentorbox. As some wise man said: The most difficult things to learn is the ones that you don’t know that you don’t know. Something like that…
Here are a few of the books included…and there are new ones added weekly:
So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport
Money Master the Game by Anthony Robbins
How To Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Extreme Ownership by Leif Babin and Jocko Willink
Knowledge by Mark Cuban
Pre-Suasion by Robert Cialdini
Thrive by Arianna Huffington
Building a Storyband by Donald Miller (Don’t miss this one if you sell something!)
There are also live sessions about interesting and important subjects. Earlier today I listened to a favorite subject of mine…Getting into flow.
The only way to improve your life and business is by improving your knowledge. The best way to do that is by books. I could go on and tell you about the books but if you are interested you can check out Mentorbox by clicking the link. It gets my absolute highest recommendations.
I learn something new every day and so will you.
What about the saw in the headline?
The 7th habit in The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People by Stephen Covey is Sharpen the Saw. We have to learn if we want success and for me the most effective way is with Mentorbox.
If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments below.
P.S. Right now there is a 3 day free trial to test Mentorbox.
Mindmapping is an extremely effective tool to release the creativity in our minds. I have agreed to that statement for many years – and still haven’t started to use mindmaps.
Actually now I have made my first real mindmap about an upcoming product of mine. The result is that I will certainly use mindmaps from now on.
I have tried to use them several times but not found them very effective. The reason for that is probably that I haven’t taken the time to learn how to use them.
This time was different as I was asked by my mentor that I should make a mindmap for my product. Paying for a mentor and not follow his advice is not recommended. Ok, I haven’t done absolutely everything he has suggested and there are several reasons for that. If you are interested in my mentor journey I have a different post about that.
There are several free versions of mindmaps and I downloaded FreeMind. You find it here.
I am not sure why, but 99% of the time I try out a new software I believe that I can use it without checking the manual.
To be honest, I try most everything without checking any manual. Maybe it is my nature…or maybe it is a guy thing. I don’t know. 🙂
That is probably also the reason for not using mindmaps earlier in my life.
So, I downloaded the software and started to use it right away. Well, I tried and found out that I would lose my mind trying to found out how to use it on my own. And, why should I? I search Youtube and found several videos about how to use FreeMind.
I watched 3 of them and this one was my favorite.
The video will not show every feature of FreeMind but it was enough for me at this stage. I wanted to make a basic layout for every part of my product and it was really effective and easy after watching the video.
If you haven’t used mindmaps before, I highly recommend them. FreeMind was my choice and I haven’t tried any other.
The conclusion of my first steps with FreeMind is that I should start to read/watch manuals. There might be some valuable ideas that I have missed because I didn’t take the time to learn about mindmapping several years ago.
Are you using mindmaps? Please let me know in the comments below.
I started with Twitter when it was new and back then the point was to follow as many as possible in hope that they will follow you back. Yes it worked and maybe it works today as well.
If it works today, it may work in the way that people follow you back. But, it is not the way we build relations with the people on social media.
We simply don’t have time to interact with tens of thousands of people. So, what is then the purpose of having them? Maybe some kind of social proof that my account is important or some kind of proof that I would be important.
Well, I think people are more intelligent than so. What matters is the kind of content I publish.
I haven’t used Twitter for a long time and I decided to start fresh. I search Google and find an article from Lifehacker about the Unfollow All plugin for Chrome.
Twitter: Are you sure you want to unfollow all users?
Twitter: Refresh the page when you want to stop!
Twitter: It is advised that you do not unfollow large quantities of users in one day, according to the twitter guidelines. Use with caution. Cheers!
After that message I got cold feet and refreshed the page and found out that I had unfollowed about 600 people.
What is a large quantity according to Twitter? I don’t know and I didn’t find any good answers on Google either.
I don’t want to lose my account that I have had since March 2007 so I will try to unfollow people every day. There is a Twitter rule about following 1000 people per day and maybe I am safe if I follow that same rule when unfollowing.
We will see. I will update this post when something happens.
Do you use Twitter? What is your experience with it? Let me know in the
This is a post about what you should try to avoid to do when you start a home business. I failed at every one of these 9 tips when I started. Actually not only when I started but with some of the things in the list, I made the wrong ting many years before I understood that I had to change in order to get better results.
The list is made of 9 very important things to remember when you start your home business. If you get them wrong it will have a major impact on your results. They are not in any specific order as every part can be equally important.
It didn’t take long after I started my online journey before I was told that I had to build a list. It was a very good friend of mine, Goran Thisell, who told me this. Unfortunately he passed away far too early and I can’t discuss my marketing with him anymore. He told me that the list is an asset that you own and handled correct it can your own ATM. I wish I had done what he told me then.
I didn’t start list building until years after that. Later I have built some lists but it has never been a number one business task for me. That is a pity as it really is the most important thing you can do. My excuses were that my English wasn’t good enough and I didn’t know how to write good emails.
This is a difficult one as it is a major cost to get a good mentor. As a new business owner the cash flow might not be very good and most often it can be negative. In that situation it is not easy to make a decision to invest in a mentor. I didn’t and as a matter of fact I didn’t do that until late 2017. There are many reasons for that but I did feel that it was too expensive for many years.
Now I understand that I was completely wrong. Yes, there is a cost to it but that is actually a good thing. For some strange reason we are more compelled to do certain things if we have paid a lot for the service. And what is a lot? Let’s say the price for a mentor is $497 per month, and the advice we get generates $1000 a month. I doubt that anyone will say that it is a bad decision to pay the mentor that money. The sums I use are only examples but I am completely confident that my mentor will help me to a completely new income level.
The short answer is: Yes. It is comfortable to work from home but it is also very difficult to be effective if you have other family members around. They want to talk to you, ask questions or maybe watch tv in the same room. You try to explain that when you work, you have to concentrate and should not be disturbed, but it is not that easy.
With an office outside of your home you will be more efficient and get more done. I have tried both and working from home is not recommendation. We are in the middle of a move right now and I will have a home office in the new apartment. It is still better than what I am used to as I have had the office in our living room for the past 2 years.
During my ears online I have got some very good friends. Still this is something I haven’t done in a way that I should have. What I mean is an active approach to build a network of other marketers. As long as you don’t have your own product, a network is not that important. But you should always have a goal to make your own product and the best way to prepare for that launch is to have a large and talented network.
My way of living is to not be bothered by things that I have done wrong. I try to learn from them and then go on. One thing I do regret is that I spend far to little time with my sons when they were young. I thought that I could made that up later but the later did ever come. This is far more important than trying to make some extra sales. I didn’t understand that then. This was when I started as an entrepreneur and before the internet. I took care of old cars, a junkyard, and sold used car parts.
How can you know that something is successful if you don’t test it? The simple answer is: You don’t! Even if you think that you have found out the best way to do something, there is always something that can be better. There are two parts of testing:
1. Testing existent promotions in the form of AB testing.
2. Testing new ideas. Test as fast as you can and try to implement the idea when you have them fresh in your head.
This was a major one for me for many years. It still can be a problem when I forget what I have learned. What is it about then? Don’t try to be a perfectionist. I have made a lot of websites with different layouts and a lot of imagery. I have changed colors, sizes and the positions. Sometimes it could take hours before I was satisfied. What I didn’t understand that it is not about me, it is about the customer or the website visitor. And I have no idea about what they think. So, the best way is to publish your work as fast as possible and then improve based on the results. This is where testing is the key again. The same go’s for copy. Write and improve, write and improve.
I read somewhere that if you can’t take care of your body, you certainly can’t be successful in business. It all starts with ourselves. I believe in that. And it is not only our bodies, maybe even more important that we take care of our minds. There are great programs to improve our memory as one example. I love to learn new things and read a lot. But if I don’t remember what I read, it’s only a waste of time. I will post more about what I have done to improve my memory in another post.
This is a difficult one. I suppose that I could say that I have failed with this last point in 12 years. I have tried a lot of different things and I have also known that it will not last. I have made some money and at time I was very pleased with that. It paid my rent and got me some food on the table. But then Google or Amazon or some other major player changed their algorithms and suddenly my business was gone. Another problem if you keep changing your business is the risk of buying program after another in order to find the right one for you. This is the famous shiny object syndrome SOS. I have been there and try to avoid it if you can.
Have you started you own business yet? What are you struggling with? Let me know in the comments and maybe I can help you.
I don’t make any New Years Resolutions. Maybe I did when I was a kid.
Or maybe I should say that I make them every month and every day actually.
The only way to success is to follow true the plans we have. And we have plans every day. We might not think about them as plans but they still are there.
We go to work, we have specific tasks that have to be done at work, we work out or maybe we have a resting day, we meet with friends and family…everything we do is somthing we first planned to do and then executed.
People that are very impulsive don’t need much planning time and seem to get an idea and directly do what they planned.
My strategy is to always have a plan for the future and try to follow the steps that I have laid out to get the results I desire.
That’s why I don’t do any special resolutions at the new year.
That being said, next year will be a bit different. As a matter of fact it will be very different.
For the first time in my life I have hired a coach or mentor to guide me to get better results with my online business. His name is John Thornhill and I will make a another post about the mentorship later.
This is both exiting and also a real challenge. I think I am a good listener but I am used to do things my own way. There might be some issues when I think that I have a better solution than John suggests. In such situations I have to remember the differences in my and John’s incomes :-).
Right now I am only 3 weeks in the program and the interesting fact is that actually I haven’t learned anything new yet. Still I think it is one of the best decisions I have mad in my business career. How is that possible you might think?
Even if I have known what I should do, I have not done the right things. This is strange but I have noticed this before. One example is how I handle the paperwork when I work for other people compared to when I do it in my own business. There is a huge difference. When I handle other people’s papers, everything is in perfect order. In my own business I have not prioritized that kind of work resulting in a lot more time to do the tasks later.
As you probably understand, one thing that I will concentrate on in 2018 is to follow the directions I get from my mentor.
Two other important parts that I will continue next year are the physical and mental training. More about these in coming posts as well.
Do you have any new years resolutions? Let me know in the comments.
This is a question I have pondered about many times. Not only that, I have changed my opinion a couple of times as well.
When I started on the internet back in 2004 I didn’t have a clue about how to get visitors to my site. It was a affiliate site built in HTML without any software.
I searched for solutions and specially after free solutions. Now when I think about it I it is a shame that I didn’t test adwords in the early days. Many marketers tell stories about how easy it was to drive traffic with Google then. Well…not me.
The method I decided to try was traffic exchanges. If this is new to you, I’ll explain. You visit two sites and you get one visit to your site. That is the principle and yes I got some traffic and I also got some sales after a while. It would have been better if I had failed completely as I hold on to this method far too long.
I was an early adopter for blogging and I started to get some traffic from the search engines. This was extremely interesting and I bought every course I found.
For many ears I thought that free traffic from the search engines was THE way to get people to my websites.
I have built over 100 keyword domain sites and they worked very well for some time. I had auto blogs generating fresh content several times a day and that was also a success.
Videos on Youtube were really easy to rank and actually they can still be used without massive link building if you use the right keywords.
So I had some results with free traffic but the results didn’t match my expectations. I needed more traffic, much more.
Main problems with free traffic:
– Difficult to scale as you are dependent on the search engines or other bots.
– Difficult to test landing pages and copy as most of the time there are not enough traffic
– Time consuming as you have to wait for optimizations and link building to get noticed by the bots.
Actually I did test some paid traffic but I failed miserably….or I should say that I learned a lot :-). Unfortunately I didn’t understand what I learned until years later.
The magic word that I didn’t understand or probably didn’t even know the word was: Funnels. I tried to drive traffic to a single book or product. Now when I think about it I am not sure when funnels became popular.
When you have a good funnel you are able to pay a lot more for every click. This is really important. When you combine/start the funnel with list building you should have a great system in place.
There are so many different paid traffic sources and you should not treat them equally. Facebook is what I have used most but it also depends on what you are selling.
As I have worked with eCommerce the previous 3 years, I found that FB worked great for me. The best results I got with short video ads.
In summary I would say that when you choose between paid and free website visitors it depends on the kind of product or service you offer.
Another great source of traffic that I haven’t mentioned is traffic generated from affiliates. That can be highly effective and something I will try when I release my new product with the help and advice from my mentor.
Mentor? Yes, I have finally decided to get help to be more focused in my business. That will be a topic for another blog post.
Let me know what kind of traffic you find best?
What do you do to get your creativity and inspiration flow? Finding new ideas?
I have two main ways to do this.
1. To meditate. I have used Holosync for meditate for seven years. There have been some brakes but I have always got back to this habit.
One of the things I don’t like about it is the fact that it takes about one hour to complete a session. Well, session might not be the right word but you listen to an audio and that audio is one hour long.
So why have I come back to Holosync? There are several reasons but the main one is certainly that I get so many new good ideas when I meditate.
2. The second way to get my creativity on fire is training. I like to ride a bike and also all forms of resistance training. In order to get creative ideas from training I have to push myself really hard. In Finnish there is a saying that we train or compete with “verenmaku suussa”. That means something like… to train to a level when we get a taste of blood in the mouth :-).
Very well. There are my main ways to find new ideas.
OK, now I got to think of a third one that I haven’t used for some time…. I love the nature and walking in a forest or just to sit down on a stone and listen to the silence has sometimes been useful for my creativity.
I think I have 3 solid ways to spice up my thinking. But there is a problem…. I have thought about something for several months now and I don’t get any answers from my unconscious mind. Not even a tiny little hint.
So. what is this compelling question that have bothered me so long?
I want to figure out what my passion is.
I am about to create a new product and I would like to make it about something that is really close to my heart.
Yes, I have some ideas but I am not sure if they really fit in the category of passion.
If I check the hard drive on my computers I also find 2 products that are almost done. The downside about them is that they are not up to date.
Maybe I have to go broader in my thinking. What are my core values? What do I really mean with the word passion?
Do you have any ideas about how to get the right answers to difficult questions? Let me know!
Do you know what Sisu is?
Did you know that we Finns are born with an almost unfair advantage in different sports and also in business. In Finnish it’s called sisu and it is a bit difficult to explain. Perseverance might be the best English word but there is a lot more to sisu than perseverance. Words like stubborn, determination, to never complain, attitude, tenacious are other words used to explain sisu.
When I checked Google for the word I found several videos on Youtube on the subject. There was one that was really outstanding by Christoffer Weiss. I watched it 2 times and 1 more now when finishing this article. Here is the link to Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhuPon0TO90
The start is a bit slow but keep watching….it will be interesting. A lot more interesting than my notes about it :-).
He talks about the fact(?) that it might be true that we Finns are not known for our marketing and branding skills. He compare some Swedish and Finnish brands and the Swedish ones are more known at least to his audience. It is probably true :-).
Then he is telling the story about his grandfather when he was in the second war war. He was badly injured and the army doctor had to make the though decision:
“This one is gone…”
Then the Finnish SISU kicked in: “NO, I AM NOT DONE YET!!”
He survived and lived with a prostheses years after. Ha had a lot of pain but his answer to the questions was: “There is always someone who’s got things worse than me”.
A wonderful attitude.
My own grandfather, Uno, was also in 3 wars. He never wanted to talk about the experience but I understood that the only way to understand, was to participate.
Uno also had a fantastic attitude to life. I hope that I have inherited some of his wisdom and that I can pass it to my sons and my grand children.
Is sisu something only Finns have. Certainly not. But I think it is a good tradition and maybe Finns talk about it more than in other countries. I live in Sweden now and I have lived in Norway for 2 years but in these countries there isn’t anything like sisu. Talking about the advantage in sports might not be true when looking at Norway’s success in winter sports. It seems that the Finnish sisu isn’t enough to beat the Norwegians in cross country skiing.
Actually I don’t know if there is something comparable in another country. Please let me know if you have an idea about something like sisu.
I want to finish this with the wonderful and inspiring words from Christoffer Weiss grandfather:
“We have a responsibility to not repeat actions that lead to conflict, to not repeat words that lead to hatred, to not repeat thoughts that lead to misunderstanding and separation, but live from a level of love, understanding, unity and humor.”
We all have it – sisu
Why I didn’t buy 200 Bitcoin when I could.
As I am a person that likes to try new things and the fact that I have been very active on the Internet since 2004, I considered to buy 200 Bitcoins when they were valued at $10.
At this very moment the value of 200 Bitcoins is 3799901.00 US Dollar.
I did buy something with the $2000. Maybe I reveal what it was but the sad fact is that I haven’t made anything at all with it…yet.
It is a licensed product and the potential to make some serious money with it, is good. But as always if you want some results, you have to take massive action. I haven’t done that yet.
How do I feel about this, you might wonder? Well, I suppose it would be a lye to tell you that I don’t care. Of course I am sorry that I didn’t make that investment. But it isn’t anything that keep me awake at night. I now that there was something to learn and as the bill for this lecture was almost $4 million it has to be good.
What have I learned?
I hope there is something more that I haven’t found out yet. Right now I don’t feel that there are any really profound wisdom in this story.
Who knows, it could be as easy as this blog post could lead to something very positive. Maybe I meet someone who reads it and we build a new exponential business together :-).
The first thing that come to my mind is action. You have to take action in order to get any results. I did buy something but I haven’t done anything with it. That is actually something that bothers me more than the lost investment in BTC. And I don’t have any really good reasons why I haven’t trued to make some sales with the licensed product. I could list some, but they are all pore excuses and not worth to mention.
It is really difficult to find anything else that I have learned from this. Strange! Maybe it has affected my unconscious mind. That’s why I don’t get any ideas about what I have learned. Interesting.
Maybe I am capable of not thinking that much about things that I can’t do anything about. My meditation has helped me a lot with letting go of things that I cant control.
I suppose that I will be back when I get some more ideas about what I have learned. Right now I feel that even if the price tag of the lecture is huge, the real value isn’t that great. Isn’t that exactly how the school is today. But that is not something for this blog post.
What about you? Have you made any good or bad investments that you have learned from? Please let me know!