I know how it’s inconvenient and scary without any protection against the COVID-19 virus. For the past month, we’ve been trying very hard to get some surgical face masks and now I’m relieved to say we have secured one of the best sources of medical masks production in China, certified by CE and FDA.
Therefore I’m writing this quick and simple post, so in case you need any, you can head to our new store Nexbo.com, to get some masks for your family and closed ones.
I have started several Shopify stores that are now still online and making money for me since 2017. It’s been a terrific experience as Shopify has made so many things so simple after the golden old days when you had to provision and manage a server yourself with hand coded websites on your own garage computers.
Now I just find the perfect theme and install it on my Shopify store and I would have everything ready without worrying about nothing technicals or uptimes.
I used about 30 different themes since I started my first store and bought about 10. Up until now I can say the best ones are by Archetype Themes: Motion and Impulse, both of which I purchased for my stores.
Over 300 5-star reviews which is really rare among Shopify premium themes. Those users can’t be wrong.
I’m a perfectionist who changes and refines everything that doesn’t come good enough for me or the users, e.g. font sizes, color contrasting, checkout experiences, button sizes, page navigation easiness, etc..
The issue I found in a lot of themes in the market, be it for Shopify or WooCommerce, especially those at ThemeForest.net, is that they are made by designers who have no experience in eCommerce at all, and that the themes are actually bad in conversions.
They look good but don’t work well for human.
In most cases, I had to do a lot of customizations to get the theme right in user experiences so it doesn’t work against conversions in sales. However, surprisingly, I needed to do zero improvements to Archetype themes after examining and testing both of Motion and Impulse inside out.
Yes, zero, nothing at all. From my experience in eCommerce for the past 6 years, they did everything right in the first place.
Rich features and functionalities are the final reason why I loved the themes. Everything just works out of the box. Saves me a lot of time.
I also love about their flexible sections for promotions and pictures.
From my experience, these are absolutely the 5/5 themes for Shopify that you must get for your next store. Highly recommended by an enthusiastic user.
You may want to check out the stores I built with Motion and Impulse. One is ChicksHQ and the other is TheDepts.
This is a collaborative project with one of my friends in college who owns a fairly large machining workshop in Jiangsu, China. He came to me looking for help to build a new site for his business to reach new customers.
While I can do exactly what he asked, I believe it’s much better to start from the industry level rather than from a business level.
Created the directory with the listingpro WordPress theme for which I’d rate 3.8/5 after paying $69. I can live with it now but if I’m starting a new project of similar purpose, I’d use my in-house site script for low-maintenance and evergreen-ness which is the key to cash flow in the long term.
WordPress and its themes / plugins are great to start something but it’s becoming unpredictable with regards to updates and version compatibilities among all the themes and plugins maintained by independent teams. It’s very easy to break a working site 1 or 2 years into the future when you have to update something.
Day 2 (2019.10.26)
Used https://datasn.io to get the listings data from Google Maps via the API and imported in the Get Machining site. Now we have a total of 23,000 entries of machining shops in the United States.
Looking to get more in other countries such as UK, Germany, China, and India.
Day 3 (2019.10.27)
Tweaked the site and the theme a bit so it’s more usable.
Day 9 (2019.11.2)
Added the site to Google Analytics and then Google Search Console.
As always, if you have any questions of insights of this, leave comments.
As someone at NamePros suggests with some of my exact match .com names, I created this affiliate site with the domain MensWinterBoots.com and see what kind of business or cash flow I can get.
Exact match domains used to dominate in Google search results but no more. I’m skeptical of how this would turn out but I try to build an as beautiful and usable site as possible with Shopify and the Spreadr app.
Imported thus far about 100 products from the category of winter / snow boots for men on Amazon. All look good with the free Shopify theme Debut which I highly recommend. I talked with some of the high selling store owners and they seemed to use this theme quite a bit.
Also used Google Fonts to find the perfect typography and created the Men’s Winter Boots logo for the site.
I don’t have a screenshot but Google indexed slightly over 200 pages on 2019.10.27 by searching site:menswinterboots.com
Day 4 – 5 (2019.10.28-29)
Added a few more navigations to the site so it’s a breeze to find any boot, by brand, by use cases, by color, etc. and created couple of collections by popular keywords found via Google auto-completion and related searches, e.g. affordable men’s boots, clearance men’s boots.
Started a tiny SEO campaign for 15 days by one of my outsource buddies in Pakistan for $100.
Day 9 (2019.11.2)
Google indexed 688 pages of the site. Organic impressions and clicks are on their way according to Google Search Console:
Day 20 (2019.11.13)
Search traffic seems to be picking up and CTR is not bad. Top impressions and clicks are from search of “men’s winter boots clearance“.
However, the number of total indexed pages in Google dropped to 85:
Day 40 (2019.12.3)
Organic traffic is climbing up slowly. I may need to spend more time on it but an affiliate site isn’t worth so much in marketing. It’s just an experiment.
Bounce rate is not bad at just 44%, thanks to the abundant navigations across the site.
Google seems to start indexing many of the long tail pages of the site, a.k.a. in-depth pages with 3 or more keywords of a very specific category for the winter boots.
Day 90 (2020.1.22)
CTR all right. Positions climbing a bit.
Mostly long-tail traffic. Not much exact match search traffic, namely “Men’s Winter Boots” or similar.
The last 30 days the site made about $25 via Amazon affiliate program. It’s not bad if the site is NOT on Shopify as that costs me $29 per month and I’m NOT spending any time for this.
Amazon affiliate program is not worth it any more in my opinion, at 4.5% commission. It used to be 6.5 – 8%.
I think it’s definitely going to make real money if I source the products and sell my own boots, because:
5 times more profits (10 times more profits, times 50% of the current conversion rate)
We first change the Site Address (URL) of the sub-site.
Go to WordPress Multi-site: “My Sites” => “Network Admin” => “Sites” => Click “Edit” of the sub-site, and change the Site Address (URL) to the top level domain URL like this:
Click “Save Changes“.
Domain Mapping (plugin)
A top-level domain is added to WordPress Network / Multi-sites via the Domain Mapping plugin. Add these top-level domains:
However since the domain is not in the cPanel as an addon domain, AutoSSL will not issue SSL certificate for it.
cPanel Alias Domain + AutoSSL
The solution is, after adding the top-level domain in the Domain Mapping plugin, add it in cPanel as an Alias Domain for the WordPress Multi-site main domain (independent cPanel account).
Therefore AutoSSL will issue and install an SSL certificate for the alias domain. Go to “Manage AutoSSL” in WHM and “Run AutoSSL For All Users” to manually request SSL certificate for the alias domain.
It may take some minutes for the new certificate to be installed.
Really Simple SSL (plugin)
Now install the Really Simple SSL plugin, network activate it, and choose per site mode.
Go to the sub-site dashboard: “Settings” => “SSL” => Activate SSL
Optional .htaccess config
If you haven’t done the above step, below is optional and NOT required at all, otherwise below is required.
You can force HTTPS on the top-level domain in .htaccess of your WordPress network installation:
It’s one of the most affordable SSL vendors I can find on the Internet. I’ve been personally using it since 2012.
The price is good and the delivery is fast and easy.
You need some expertise to get the SSL certificates installed but with support from my host, there’s nothing to worry about for me.
Cheap SSL Shop was also able to process full refunds to me when I messaged them about my mis-order of SSL certificates I didn’t need. This is something you don’t see everyday but they do it nonetheless.
A trustworthy supplier overall, it’s highly recommended.
Most of us are loss-averse. We worry too much about failing and losing. We spend too much valuable resources in identifying the wrong things to do so as to make sure we don’t do them.
We vigorously look for the right thing to do.
We want control.
We believe business success is achieved by maintaining order of everything so that everything is under control. Otherwise we’d lose control and crash.
Is that really so?
After 10 years of entrepreneurship, the one thing I’m certain now is that this mindset is wrong.
To get great things done, one must be glad to lose control.
Let things run wild.
Let your business get out of control.
If everything’s under control, you are just not moving fast enough.
The most successful businesses are good at NOT controlling. Instead of making sure everything goes as planed and nothing bad happens, they focus resources on setting off the fire that grows exponentially. Yes, fires are dangerous. Fires can get out of control fairly quick. But that’s the beauty of it.
Let it finish the job. Then you just call 911. Investors will be happy to clear it up for you.
If there’s one advice for creating something big, it’s this one: