Tips for Creating an Online Store

Posts Tagged ‘press’

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.

You have to see I Like Totally Love It

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

iliketotallyloveitcomOMG!  You gotta check out this website.  People vote for the products they are totally in love with.  The products with the most votes hit the homepage.  I’m totally addicted to the site.  You should submit your products and/or products you are totally in love with.

Submit a Press Release

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

Press Releases are sort of the old way of doing business and have never worked for me.  That said I still submit a few press releases every 6 months just because you never know and it is always good to have another site linking to your store.

First you need to write a press release.  Here is a great article on Wiki How on how to write one.

There are a gazillion places you can submit your press release.  Here are the best ones:

Personally I would never pay to submit a press release (all the ones mentioned above are free or have free options).  If you had to pick where to spend you time you are better off contacting bloggers/newspapers directly and telling them about your product.

Are you blogging?

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

To Blog or Not to Blog Image

I want to know which of our stores are blogging.  If you have a blog – email it to me or even better post it in the comments.

I like stores that blog.  It brings out the personality behind the company.  The most common comment I get is “Rishi, who is going to read my blog?  What is the point?”

The reason I am asking you to start a blog isn’t to gain more customers.  It is to to become more passionate about your business and increase your expertise in what you do.

Here are some ideas for your first post:

  1. Tell everyone about your favorite product
  2. Post a picture/video of you (or a friend) using the product
  3. Talk about something totally personal… like what you did over the weekend
  4. Blog about the things you enjoy (I enjoy ecommerce and helping small business owners like myself)
  5. If you make your products talk about the process

From my experience the first 10 or so posts are hard.  After a while new post ideas spring up automatically.

Flying Cart uses WordPress for our blogging platform.  For beginners I would recommend Tumblr.  Super easy to use and it’s free. Another really easy to use and popular blog platform is Google’s Blogger (also free).

Tell me about your blog.  I will read it, post a comment, and I will like you more.

Need Press? Get HARO

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

Help a Reporter Out LogoAll business pray for press, well stop praying and subscribe to Help a Reporter Out.  Peter Shankman sends out daily emails where reporters are looking for stories.  This is how we got Flying Cart into the New York Times and

Just the other day a reporter wanted to do a story about green laptop notebook cases, just imagine if you were a store selling these.  It does take time and little bit of effort but in the long run it is totally worth it.

Some recent interviews

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Here are a few of our recent interviews. Read more about what it has been like starting and running Flying Cart.

Rishi’s interview with Pek Pongpaet, hack of all trades

Margo’s interview with

Generate some Blog Buzz

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

the Flying Cart Bee... bzzzzzz

When we first launched Flying Cart no one really knew about us until we reached out to some blogs and asked them to talk about us.  Luckily they totally did AND it really helped!

Here is how I think you can do the same:

1. Search on Technorati or Google Blog Search with keywords related to your store.

2. Find the bloggers contact information (usually on the contact page or on the sidebar).

3. Email them a really interesting story about your store.

Here are some examples of possible angles you can pitch in that email:

  • How you make all your products from recycled materials
  • Your product is the best in the world because it can never break or be worn out
  • How you are a stay at home mom entrepreneur
  • You are really young – You are really old
  • You have really cheap prices because you have some crazy connection
  • Your girlfriend left you and now you want to get back at her by starting a business and becoming crazy rich!
  • Your products are just soo damn good looking

Be creative and work any angles you think you have.

Here is a compiled list of people that might be interested in featuring you:

We would like to keep this post updated with more blogs.  If you know of any please let us know in the comments.

ecommwire – publish your store press release here

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

A friend of mine just sent me a link to Its a pretty cool site to publish a press release and get your word out there a little more. So if you are announcing a sale, have a really cool product coming out, doing something innovative with your site, or just have something to say submit your press release to them.

Flying Cart on!

Saturday, March 1st, 2008 wrote up a story about us. It talks about our plans for the future and our back story.

We are all pretty excited about it! I am a BIG fan of the site.

Flying Cart on Crenk

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

Steven Finch posted a great post on us on his blog: Crenk

“Once you have built a store on FlyingCart you can befriend other stores that you like and think are worth promoting. It has to be a mutual decision between both store owners if the promotion happens or not. Basically, you send a request to befriend a store and then once and if accepted then you both will promote each others stores on your profiles. It is really just showing Link Love, just like I do on Crenk. If you need and online store, make sure you head over and set one up!”