So, you’ve been to the AOM site, liked the idea, and downloaded the files. Then you got some webspace, unzipped and uploaded the files, and started tweaking. Eventually you got a great little site selling whatever. Marvelous.
Now it’s some time later, and sales are… well, sales are zilch! What’s going on? Isn’t the site great? Well, you thought so at the beginning. Where are the hordes of hungry shoppers, waiting to put money in your pocket?
Do they know about your store? If not, how do they find out? How have you promoted it? What? You haven’t promoted it?
There’s a saying on the AOM forum, that building the store is the easy part. And in a sense, that’s true. The program makes setting up even a halfway decent store brain-dead easy. But after that, it’s all up to you. Think about it – how do you find out about new online stores? Okay, you search Google. But your store isn’t even in the top 100 pages for whatever it sells. How do you get it up the list? That’s the holy grail for everyone with an online site, be it a store, spam page, myspace site, etc. It can be a lot of work, but in a nutshell, it comes down to getting other sites on the net to link to you. So how do you do that???
One way not to do that is to leave little irrelevant links all over the place. That makes you a Spammer, and no better than the guys who send you those annoying emails about Viagra or improving your… er, ‘equipment’. And how many of those sites do you visit? So don’t do that.
Instead, try to hook up with similar sites and exchange links. Okay, reciprocal links aren’t what they used to be, but they at least give you a toehold to sites that are getting better traffic than you are. Another good source is forums or blogs. Join up and leave some posts or comments that show you actually read the material. Pop in and get involved in discussions; interact and be a nice person. If you’re allowed, put a link to your shop in your signature. Do not be aggressive and/or pushy about your site. Being banned won’t help your cause any.
If you know something about the items in your store, write up an article and search Google for places to publish it. There are tons of free places that want articles, and you can mention the store in your author bio.
And above all, be patient; it might take several months (yes, months) of this sort of work to start getting your site noticed. Older sites are naturally more entrenched in search engine results than brand-new ones. The trick is to build traffic (and rankings) naturally and organically. It does take time, and it does involve a lot of work, but it can pay off. People who have AOM sites that get sales daily have paid their dues doing everything mentioned above, in spades (and truth be told, still do it!). No promises, but you already know that doing nothing is getting you nowhere. Roll up your sleeves and get to it.