This week on Greatwebsiteplans.com, we have the privilege of interviewing Chris of Flipping a Dollar blog — a father, eBay entrepreneur, and blogger. He’s published eBay advice to a readership of thousands across the world, including open discussions of successes and failures on the eBay marketplace and more.
The blog serves as a way to increase the visibility of his company and it helps him concentrate his efforts.
Chris is really a dedicated writer, and we admire that because the example he sets of working hard at something inspires and encourages everyone else who is developing their own online business.
Of course, he has a unique way of motivating himself to reach his personal website goals…. and you may be surprised by the results of his hardy blogging habit!
G: What were your first attempts at making a website?
Chris: When I started out, I had 4 ideas. I tried them all out on a free blogging platform, and after a few posts on each, I focused on my current blog topic – reselling on eBay.
I debated about creating a storefront site for my eBay store, but I don’t think it’s worth it. I would lose all the benefits of the eBay search engine.
G: Is this your first website? Outcomes vs the goals you set out?
Chris: Flipping A Dollar is my first self hosted website. I wanted to post weekly, and I’ve more or less done that over the past few years. Life got in the way a few times but I’ve gotten through it.
G: Why do you blog each week and do you push yourself to do it?
Chris: I write to get some of the ideas I have in my brain out into the open. It’s like a pressure relief device. I know that I’ve helped a lot of people too, so that always pushes me forward.
To keep me motivated, I use Beeminder to ‘force’ myself to do what I know is good for me. If I don’t post weekly, I have to pay them money! And that’s from my own money, not the business money. 🙂
I also see the most consistent growth when I’m blogging 2x per week. It’s tough to do that while also selling on eBay though with a limited amount of time.
G: How did you feel when you made your first $100 in online income?
Chris: Relieved. I’ve always heard successful bloggers talking about the times when their only commenters were a family member, and I started out there too.
Now, I get a lot of good discussion, but I still don’t think the blog justifies the time I put into it. I also know that it won’t grow without the work now. Catch-22!
G: Is eBay your preferred way of making money online, do you also have separate streams like Adsense, Affiliate programs and so on?
Chris: I make nearly all of my money from selling physical items on eBay.
I’ve made money through my blog by using Amazon Affiliate, Adsense, eBay Partner Network, and a YNAB referral (which no longer exists).
I’ve tried Commission Junction and some other affiliate networks but didn’t have much luck.
My Adsense has probably gotten me the most income, but it’s also a slow grower and feeds on consistent content. Google also has a larger payout threshold ($100) than most other programs.
I’ve been tinkering with writing an e-book to get more readers to stick to my site, but it’s on the back burner for now.
G: Do you have help on your site?
Chris: Nope, it’s just me. Sometimes I force my wife to read a post if I feel like I can’t get it into a readable state. I’m good at the grammar, but have trouble with flow of a post sometimes.
G: What is the hardest stage of being an online business owner during the first 6 months?
Chris: Putting in the effort with no rewards. If you’re just selling on Amazon or eBay, you get very fast rewards. If you’re starting to blog/grow a website, there’s a whole lot of push without any feedback in the beginning.
It’s also tough to determine what is helping your site. Commenting on other blogs, sending out emails, helping people on forums?
All of these can drive traffic but it’s hard to determine which is adding towards your business and which are just sucking your time.
G: What epiphanies did you personally experience in working with sites like eBay?
Chris: I can’t believe how much I paid for stuff. I used to pay full price for everything and thought I was getting a good deal when I got something on sale.
Now I see those same things for pennies on the dollar all the time. I love that I can buy things to use around the house and then re-sell them after the fact.
For example, I bought a wallpaper remover that we’ll use, but won’t need afterwards. I’ll be able to sell it for at least $30 profit on eBay. How great is it to recoup some of those purchase costs?
G: Do you recommend eBay business ownership to certain of our readers?
Chris: Selling on eBay? Yeah!
Blogging about selling on eBay? Probably not.
Anyone can sell on eBay and getting rid of stuff around your house that you don’t use will make you feel great.
G: Do you often have conversations with other ebay business owners?
Chris: Yes. I listen to the folks over at ScavengerLife.com and talk with them about selling on eBay through their site and through e-mail.
—I’m looking at starting an eBay reselling group in my area, but just haven’t found the time yet.
G: What would you say is the defining personal trait that you use to help customers and overall improve and maintain your line of online income?
Chris: Understanding my ‘why’. I’m very good at getting distracted, but by focusing on why I’m doing all of this extra work, I’m able to know what I’m willing to do and what I’m not willing to do:
I make money online so we can save for an earlier retirement while still improving our current lives.
If this were eating into family time, then what’s the point of doing all the extra work? We only live once!
G: Since 2014, Chris’ blog traffic has grown nearly 9x due to regular blogging and commenting. We look forward to what you’ll accomplish next Chris…. Thank you for the time!
Chris: Thanks for taking the time to ask these questions. I wish I had a valuable resource like this website to learn more about affiliate marketing. But remember, all the knowledge about affiliate marketing in the world doesn’t help if you don’t write good content!