Strategy: How to Build a Lifestyle Magazine Website and Integrate E-commerce
In 2017, Pipeline (a leading e-commerce research provider) estimated that there were approximately 750,000 drop shipping online stores globally. Drop shipping e-commerce represented $1.89 trillion dollars worldwide in 2016, and sales for American based online stores that same year were over $384 billion dollars. Now you understand why smart entrepreneurs are stampeding to create their own success stories; we’re right at the start of a massive gold rush for profits, thanks to AliExpress.
There are two really important insights that we would like to share with you, if you are setting up your first drop shipping and e-commerce store.
1. The consumer demand for online products from private shops is growing rapidly (and that’s not going to decline anytime soon).
2. You have to earn your audience by offering a store experience that differentiates your shop from thousands of other competitors in the same niche. That takes some creativity, focused messaging and culture to brand your business, and effective crowd sourcing for customers.
Customers buy from e-commerce stores that serve a lifestyle need, and they want to connect to something more meaningful than just a shop full of products (they could get that from Target or Walmart if they wanted to). Our members who have created >$100,000 per month shops have used this model to scale their revenues successfully.
Pick Something You Are Passionate About
You know how you can talk for days about your favorite hobbies, or interests? That is because you are enthusiastic and knowledgeable about it, so it takes no effort to share and you never get tired of talking about it. Want to know the first and most important tip to creating a highly-profitable drop shipping business? Choose something you love and build your branding around those personal interests.
Here are some examples:
- Love gourmet cooking? Start a shop that sells cool kitchen tools and gadgets.
- Enjoy photography and videography? Create a shop that sells high-tech lenses, drones for video capture, and vlogging hardware and equipment for smartphones. (Everyone wants to be a YouTube celebrity).
- Do you paint or create mixed media art? Sell your art AND affordable art supplies in the same place to attract creative customers ready to buy.
- Crazy about interior design? Create a shop with affordable and trendy home décor accessories.
- BBQ fanatic? Sell really cool and uncommon backyard grilling accessories.
- Help your customers create an epic man cave with featured products on AliExpress.
Hone in on your personal interests and build your drop shipping business around the products and activities you are most passionate about. Trust us, it’s the secret to driving a highly profitable e-commerce store (and you’ll have more fun too).
Grab Your Domain and Hosting
If you are creating your first WordPress website for e-commerce, pick a catchy business name and then grab your domain name (before someone else does). The right business name and domain address are critical to helping customers find your website, so take some time to really consider your options not only from a branding perspective, but for SEO benefit.
This new article from Search Engine Journal is packed full of tips and insights to help you pick an ‘ever green’ business and domain name. You need to pick a name that will still be relevant in in five or ten years, as you build your e-commerce community, so do some serious thinking about relevancy versus trend as you create your brand persona.
Use a WordPress Magazine Theme
Choosing the right theme is really important, and many WordPress magazine themes offer turn-key designs that will help you start attracting readers, and customers to your drop shipping store. There are some essential criteria that you should look at, when choosing your WordPress theme to make sure that it is e-commerce friendly; functionality that will not only deliver content but provide built-in functional tools that will put your products right under the nose of your readers to stimulate sales.
Ready for a shortcut to help you find the perfect WordPress theme to get started? Open your browser and do a search for WordPress + Theme + Magazine + Lifestyle + Woocommerce.
Choose a theme that:
- Looks really cool
- Has built-in SEO plug-in software
- Has MailChimp or other email marketing subscription integrations
- Offers ample promotional advertising and banner space IN COPY (that means strategically positioned spaces to drive traffic to your product pages)
- Offers integrated on-page social sharing (consumers and readers love to share articles and products on social… make it easy for them to do that)
Don’t forget that in 2018, up to 80% of e-commerce products are purchased on a smartphone. So, make sure to test the demo of the theme before you buy and evaluate the mobile viewing and shopping experience for your customers. It matters… a lot.
Outsource Your Content to Get Rolling Fast
When we suggested that you pick something you are really passionate about, one of the reasons we mentioned links back to content creation. You are going to be doing a lot of writing, from persuasive product descriptions to social media posts, and articles for your lifestyle magazine if you follow this proven sales model. This is a lot easier if you are passionate about the products and lifestyle that you are selling in your shop.
But let’s say that you are running your first one or two drop shipping businesses as a side-gig, and you don’t have the time to create interesting blog posts that are focused on the lifestyle community you are building around your shop.
We have two suggestions:
Affordable help with content creation is easy, when you use freelance writers. Make sure to choose native writers as your content resource. Based in the United States? Use American writers. The copy is higher quality and has all the cultural context you will need to help your audience relate with your content.
Remember to provide your virtual assistant or freelance content provider with targeted keywords to integrate into copy for effective search engine optimization. If you are rolling out pay-per-click advertising campaigns for your website, use those KW’s in your ad copy too; it will help search engines index your site and refer your target audience and customers.
Be a Contributor and Invite Guest Bloggers for Backlinks and Traffic Boosts
When your online lifestyle magazine has a significant amount of interesting content, and you have achieved an attractive DA (domain authority) by driving traffic to your website, guest bloggers and authority contributors are going to want a piece of the action. And that’s a really good thing for your business.
Remember to include a page that invites contributors to submit articles for your site. This is a free and organic White Hat method to help you build valuable inbound and share outbound backlinks, which will improve your search engine rank, and boost traffic to your site.
You can also write (or use freelancer provided content articles) to guest blog on similar lifestyle or media sites with BIG traffic. Establish yourself as a thought leader in your niche by being a contributor and tap into that traffic to bring it home to your e-commerce business.
Use AliExtractor to Populate Products on Woocommerce
Woocommerce and WordPress are like burgers and fries… the ultimate power combo. Like other e-commerce platforms, it offers a number of free and paid apps that you can use to convince and convert your visitors into paying customers. Visit the Woocommerce website for more information.
In 2016, Shopify created a plug-in that also integrates with WordPress themes with some select shop templates. You can run your Shopify store independently, and then offer a selection of promotional products on your magazine site.
Remember that AliExtractor is the only app that provides up to 8% cashback for every purchase and order fulfillment on AliExpress. Offer loss-leader promotional purchases to introduce your readers to your e-commerce products. Create exciting bundles that fulfill a turn-key purchase need and upsell those bundles as a special introductory offer when readers subscribe to your email list.
See what we just did there? You’ll start growing your email subscribers for special promotional offers and drip-marketing campaigns.
Watch for more strategic tips to help you rapidly grow your drop shipping business, with AliExtractor.