eCommerce With A Heart -
My name is Jerome Freedman. I was invited to write this article, "eCommerce with a Heart" to let you know how much I am pleased with Site Build It! You'll see why in a minute.
I published my first public website in 1996. It is still up and running at The Enneagram in the Electronic Tradition. Please check it out, as I recently updated it with a new look and feel. There have been over 100,000 visitors to The Enneagram in the Electronic Tradition! I lost track when my count failed.
I have been a Senior Software Engineer with such companies as Sybase, Oracle, TRW Financial Systems and Network Associates for many years. Now I work at home with my wife in our own business and have time to play tennis almost every morning. This story is really about Mala, but I am the webmaster and want to tell you how Site-Build-It helped!
OUR BUSINESS IDEA STARTED FROM MALA'S TRAVELS
Mala, my wife, started her business in 1979, when she returned from India, she brought with her a collection of antique embroideries. These embroideries were mostly sari borders and mostly from China. They were brought to India at a time when India and China traded extensively across the historical "silk road". Mala is a wonderful person with a big heart! She often will help people get jewelry and household items such as Aireloom beds by making wholesale connections and just charging $100 to $200 above her cost, even on a $5,000 wedding set (see Gabriel's testimonial at Jewelry by Mala).
Since then, her business has grown substantially. In 2000, she started selling fresh water Chinese stretchy pearl bracelets. You can see why her customers began asking for more fancy pearls and jewelry and the business expanded rapidly. Up until October of 2003, my role was to enter all the checks she got into Quicken and make sure they were deposited. Then things changed rapidly.
I got excited about a website featuring Jewels by Mala! I had made many attempts using Dreamweaver, Photoshop, and other tools, and eventually something got published. Once we had an eCommerce website, I realized the importance of search engine optimization, keyword and description meta tags, keyword focused content pages, search engine submission, and pay per click search engines. So where did I turn to get the information I needed?
Well, in 1997, when I was diagnosed with bladder cancer, the first thing I did was do a web search on cancer in general and bladder cancer in particular. This research resulted in my knowing enough about the disease to show my urologist the various stages and grades prior to his telling me about my diagnosis. I also found a bladder sparing protocol which has worked to result in a probable cure.
I only had a few ideas on how to market jewelsbymala.com, so I used my extensive knowledge of how to do research on the internet to begin an ongoing educational process in internet marketing. As a software engineer, my sales and marketing skills left a lot to be desired.
INTERNET RESEARCH LEADS TO SITE-BUILD-IT
I began my research in November, 2003 with little knowledge about who was who in internet marketing. I stumbled across Corey Rudl, and subscribed to his is newsletter. I also purchased his The Insider Secrets to E-mail Marketing. Eventually, this led me to Site-Build-It, at a time when they were offering two years for $500. After many emails and phone conversations with Judd, I decided to take a chance, and boy, was it worth it.
The research tools alone are worth the price of admission! The SBI! Manager did a lot of the hard work for me as far as my site concept is concerned and enabled me to quickly find the keywords that I needed to write about.
SITE-BUILD-IT IS THE ANSWER
After playing with the Manager and Builder for a while, I became a little nervous about my purchase. Then I discovered Google AdWords, and my perspective took a 180 degree turn. I was convinced that I could make SBI! work for me. I dug into MYCPS! (Make Your Content PRESell) and began to develop an E-Commerce site concept for Jewelry By Mala.
The idea came to me to create a home page using SiteBuilder Home Page and several tier 2 pages using Add a SiteBuilder Page. The home page introduces our visitors to pearls, jewelry and antique embroideries from Jewelry By Mala. The tier 2 pages expand on each of the keywords, in addition to providing contact and other information about Jewelry by Mala. I also needed tier 3 pages categorized by necklaces, bracelets and earrings for pearls, jewelry and antique embroideries. I needed a way to get products onto SBI!
I wrote php scripts to generate individual product pages as well as catalog pages for pearl and jewelry necklaces, bracelets and earrings and antique embroideries.. Each catalog page links to one or more product pages. I had to upload the catalog pages and product page one at a time. However, when I uploaded the catalog pages, SBI! asked for the image pages which fortunately I could upload in bulk. Now the site is fully functional complete with PayPal integration
Here are the catalog page for you to review. You can click on any item to see a sample product page.
FROM CUSTOMER TO SITE-BUILD-IT EVANGELIST
I left my
corporate job with WildPackets on April 16, 2003. I am currently working on
"finishing" our many current web sites. I then have two more sites to build
out. One of them is a resource for people looking for jobs, and yes, one of
the resources is SBI! You can find that at
Jobs-Are-Us.com. The other is a yet to be named real estate client
referral site. What do you think of calling it MrRogersNeighborhood.com?
email me your opinion at email@example.com.
YOUR QUESTION IS.... "CAN I DO THIS TOO?"
As Ken Evoy says.... "Not everyone succeeds at SBI!, just the folks who want to." You can create a successful business on the web. I can guarantee it will require customers! And NOTHING out there can give you the RESULTS that you can get with Site-Build-It!
Freedman, Ph. D.