Tips for Creating an Online Store

Archive for the ‘Marketing Tips’ Category

Coupon Codes and Marketing Action Plan

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

My favorite online stores get me to come back to their store during a limited time only sale and they alert me via email newsletter.

Here is a step by step marketing action plan:
1. Do whatever it takes to collect email address. This can be through your blog, your fan club on Flying Cart, or your own personal rolodex.
2. Send out monthly fun newsletters showcasing your favorite products.
3. Offer a limited time only sale. For example “Today Only” or “2 Days Only”. It’s okay if your newsletter list will be pretty small at first (mine was 30 people when I first started) but stay with it on a consistent basis.

Here is a quick video of how to setup Coupon Codes in your online store.

Special props to stores Zoku & Juice and Joey The Cat for inspiring this post!

Coccolare Boutique steams up YouTube NSFW

Friday, April 15th, 2011

Coccolare Boutique does an amazing job selling super sexy leggings by showing exactly how sexy they are. Check out this video if you are ready to get a little hot ;)

Coccolare Boutique YouTube Channel

Discrete’s Models

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Discrete’s product images are cool. Each one of their models is what I want to look like. Product images go a long way in selling. Discrete sells it well.

Checkout their online store, website, and like them on facebook.

Grow Your Store with Twitter

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Get on Twitter

Twitter is all the rage. While it’s debatable if it’ll last, one thing is certain, you should use it to grow your online store.

It was hard for me to take it seriously at first, after all doesn’t it serve the same function as Facebook’s status updates. But micro-blogging, or tweets, has taken over the mainstream. Whether you’re products are solely online or you’re operating brick-and-mortar, being savvy to web trends is one of the best ways to succeed.

And it’s never too late to jump on the bandwagon, just don’t be like everyone else. Flying Cart offers a built in feature for one-click tweet’ing of your products, but you can’t stop there. People who use Twitter for relentless self-promotion are like constant commercials. No one wants that, so give something back to your Twitter followers. Entice them to pay attention.

3 Creative Ways to Use Twitter:

1. Encourage Micro-Product Reviews
If someone buys your product, reach out with a thank you and encourage them to write a 140-character review of your product on their Twitter. Reward them with a coupon for a percentage off their next purchase, or any other incentive you have to offer. And be sure to retweet their micro-review on your Twitter.

2. Product Development Micro-Blogging
If you’re working up a new product, let people know about it. Describe the process, show some behind the scenes pictures, and ask for feedback. Even though it’s only a tweet, so much can be said for making people feel connected with your product.

3. Contests or Giveaways via Twitter
You obviously started your online store to make money. But offering a small amount of product for free is a great way to stir a frenzy, or at least attract some eyes. Tweet a product and automatically enter anyone who retweets it to win one of that product for free. Go a step further and offer a coupon to all the others who retweeted but didn’t win.

The ways to use Twitter could go on and on. Just get creative. But don’t forget the basic steps as well:

Every time you add a product – tweet that product!
Every time you have a happy customer – tweet what they say!
Every time you have a sale – tweet the coupon code!

You can also use Twitter Search to find people talking about products you sell. If you find someone mentioning your product, jump in the conversation!

3 Ways to Boost Traffic to Your Online Store

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

1. Add Keywords in Your Website Title

One of the most effective ways to get natural search results on Google, Yahoo, or Bing is to add your online store’s main keywords in your website title. Search Engines analyze the page’s title and heading to properly index them. Having a relevant title will allow your website to be more visible in search results.

A keyword is anything that specifically describes the products being sold or that describes the store itself. For example, if you sell Organic Shea Butter Lotion your website title should be “Organic Shea Butter Lotion – Samantha’s Lotion Store”.

Your website title is located at the top of your browser.

You can manually add/change the keyword specific title into your source code with the title tag around it:

Special note for Flying Cart stores: You can edit your website title easily in your store headquarters under Marketing > Basic Tools.

2. Verify your store with Google

1. Visit the Google Webmaster Central website at:
2. Click on “Sign into Webmaster Tool” and sign in with your Google/Gmail account. If you don’t have a Google account, sign up for one. It’s free!
3. Click on “Add a site…”.

4. Enter your store’s web address.

5. Verify the site. You can either do this by adding the line of code Google provided you or by uploading an HTML to your main directory.

6. Once you add the verification code click on the “Verify” button.

By following these steps, there is no excuse to wonder why your store doesn’t show up in Google.

Special note for Flying Cart stores: In step 5, choose the “Meta Tag” option and enter that in the Google verification section under “Marketing” > “Basic Tools”.

3. Manually Add Your Online Store to Every Search Engine

The following are links to the three largest search engines where you can manually add your store.

How To Get People Talking About Your Products

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010


We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: having an online presence is more than just having a website. It’s about spreading the word and putting yourself and your business out there. We always stress the importance of stuff like social networking and word of mouth, but one of the most effective ways to generate buzz about your business is to talk to the press about it. This is a tactic that a lot of new small business owners overlook, but it if you’ve got great products, then you’ve got nothing to worry about-they’ll speak for themselves.

Step 1: Research blogs that talk about your products

So you might not get the attention of a major news outlet (although that doesn’t mean it hurts to try) but you’ll probably have better luck reaching out to some mid-sized blogs. So do some research and build a list of blogs that might be interested in your products. Make sure when you choose blogs to reach out to that you’re as specific as possible.

For example, if you sell autoparts, don’t just contact every blog you find relating to cars. That’s too broad of a search and it might not really yield much for your efforts. After all a blog about new cars and car concepts might not be very interested in talking about car maintenance, repair or restoration. Instead try to find a blog that’s specifically about those kinds of topics. The audience may be smaller, but it’s the audience you want and the blog is way more likely to post about your products since it’s relevant to their readers.


So how do you find relevant blogs? Browse blog directories like Technorati and Blog Catalog. You can also just search Google for blogs relating to your topic and keywords and start checking out sites you find. You can even do a search for “Top Blogs About Blank” and find out what blogs other people are suggesting (replace Blank with your product keywords like “zebra purse”, “vinyl toys”, “cute stationary”). As you check out each new blog get a feel for how popular it is by checking out the comments, how often they update and if they have a Facebook page with a lot of fans. Narrow down your list to blogs that seem to have readers. But even if they don’t have an active community, you can see if they have decent traffic. Go to and get site info for these sites and find out their Alexa rank. Anything in the top 200,000 is a pretty popular site, and anything over a million probably doesn’t get a ton of traffic.

Step 2: Email the main blogger/editor

Once you have a list of 20-30 blogs (or more) relevant to your niche with a decent amount of traffic or a good sense of community, you can start contacting these blogs with information about your product. Introduce yourself and explain why you thought they might be interested in your product. Try not to just copy and paste a generic letter, but let them know why you’re interested in their blog and try to make a connection. If you feel comfortable you can even offer to send a sample product for them to check out. Bloggers love to get freebies and trial products and will usually be pretty happy to write up a review. It’s not necessary for you to send samples to every blogger you contact. In fact if you send samples to a few very popular blogs other smaller blogs may pick up the article and share it with their readers too. Try to build your list of contacts as you build your inventory. Bloggers who have featured your products in the past may be happy to get the scoop on a new product, so it’s not a bad idea to let them know about brand new products occasionally.

You can use the email format to reach out to bloggers:

Dear First Name of Blogger,

{Compliment the blogger. I love your blog and how you talk about X}.

{Introduce yourself and your product – I wanted to introduce you to my product X. It is awesome because X. I was wondering if you would be up for featuring it on your blog. }

{I can also give your readers an exclusive discount if they use the coupon code “blog-address” or send you a sample so you can see how amazing it is.}

{End with a no pressure line – Anyway totally cool if you don’t want to feature my product. Let’s stay in touch regardless.}

Your First Name,

Store/Website Link


If you sell really original and cool products that can’t be found anywhere else online you may have great luck submitting them to product blogs like Incredible Things, The Awesomer, Outblush or Uncrate. You can also submit your products to which is a website dedicated to sharing great products with shoppers who can vote on stuff they love and leave comments. Another site you can submit to is Stylehive. Just make sure that the stuff you submit is exciting, one of a kind and appeals to a broad audience. These types of sites are really meant for products that are unique and cool, so make sure your products fit the style of the site you are contacting.

Flying Links! Marketing + Business Tips

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

What They Don’t Tell You About Successful Product Launches – Pro Blogger

Big Marketing Stunts, Small-Business Style – Entrepreneur <--- FUN READ!

Six Customer Service Strategies That Win – All Business

6 Online Marketing Mistakes That Will Kill Your Business – Copyblogger

Reversing the SEO Process: The Chocolate Chip Cookie Mistake – SEOmoz

38 Essential Social Media Resources You May Have Missed – Mashable

Site Keywords Should Be More Than Just a Meta Tag

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

As you probably already know, getting your business online is only the first step—now you’ve got to get customers to your site. That means letting search engines know what you’ve got to offer so that potential customers can find you through searching.


To get started, make use of the Basic Marketing Tools section in your Flying Cart HQ and fill out your Website Title, Site Description and Site Keywords. This information shows up in the meta section of your website, which search engines can look at to get a quick assessment of what your page is all about. (This can be done on any website using HTML, but we like to make it easier for you.) Choose a website title that is descriptive and uses the keywords that you want to focus on. Next, write a site description that explains what your site is all about. You don’t want to just list keywords here. This is the first thing customers see when they find your website in search results, so take the time to explain what you’re all about. Next, fill out your site keywords with terms that are most related to your topic. Try not to go crazy and spam up this field with a ton of keywords… choose a few really strong ones to focus on. But don’t worry too hard—this section isn’t actually as important as you may imagine.

Yeah I know… you’re probably thinking, “Wait what? I thought site keywords were really important!” Let me explain.

Keywords are really important, but this field isn’t. While meta keywords used to be very important, search engines have become more sophisticated and don’t rely so heavily on this section. Part of the reason for this change is that many websites abused this section, filling it with excessive, unrelated keywords.

“So if keywords are important, but search engines don’t rely on the keyword meta tag, then how they heck do they find my keywords?” The answer is simple: in your homepage content.


So the next thing you should do in your HQ is go to Store > Homepage and fill out your welcome message. This is your opportunity to tell not only potential customers, but search engines more about your store. Take some time and write a few paragraphs (200-400 words) about your store and make sure you include those keywords. Don’t just list them off of course, but write thoughtful (and most importantly) original content with meaningful context built around your keywords. If you take the time to do this you will see your search position climb in no time.

Why You Need an About Us Page!

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Do you love what you do? Hearing stories like the one behind Birdland Treasures really make us love what we do.


If you read the About Us page at Birdland Treasures you can gain some insight into what inspired the owner to open up shop. Here’s her story:

I am in love with timeworn objects that speak of comfort, romance, cozy cottages, and history. For seventeen years I lived with my husband and daughter in a tiny home in an area of Des Moines, Iowa called the Birdland neighborhood. There was a building that I desperately wanted to purchase – it was a small storefront with an attached house, and it was dilapidated probably beyond repair. But I always dreamed of opening a shop there that would be filled with what have come to be known as cottage, romantic, and shabby style pieces for the home.

Both my small home and the shop building I dreamed of owning were destroyed in flooding in the Birdland neighborhood in 2008. But, as I came to dream again about how I could seek out, collect and sell the objects I love, I decided to try an online store. And I realized that I could honor my shopkeeping dream by simply using the name I had selected long ago: Birdland Treasures.

We’re happy to be apart of that dream.

So, does your store have a great About Us page? Don’t overlook the opportunity to connect with your customers and help them understand more about your business. Maybe you have a unique story behind your store name or how you got started. Maybe you make everything you sell yourself by hand, or got your business idea from your nephew. Whatever your story, it never hurts to share it!

Flying Links! Marketing Tips From Around the Web

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010


Growing Your Business: 5 Tips From the Founder of – Mashable

Building A Business With Talent, Guts and Common Sense – Indie Business Blog

Facebook Marketing: Ultiime Guide – SEOmoz

The 7 Secrets of Running a Wildly Popular Blog – Coppyblogger

An Entrepreneur’s Best Friend: Preparation – All Business

Your Brand’s True Colors – Entrepreneur