Bye bye Treadmill.com – SOLD!

We have been in talks with a potential buyer of treadmill.com for several weeks, but I didn’t want to post anything here until the transaction was final. We went into escrow early last week and the transaction officially closed last night. As of today, February 1st, treadmill.com is in the new owner’s hands. I have to admit, as I write this post I’m conflicted with emotion. On one side, I know we made the right business decision by selling: We got a great price and even though I think treadmill.com is a great business, I know we can make more money in other businesses. On the other side, treadmill.com was the first eCommerce store we built and I get pretty emotionally invested in any project I work on. I personally put a lot of heart and soul into treadmill.com and on some level I feel like I’m losing my baby. However, the only thing constant is change and I hope bigger and better things are to come. What I learned by running treadmill.com eCommerce In General The biggest thing I learned was how to operate an eCommerce site. It’s something I take for granted now, but before launching treadmill.com I had no idea what platforms were out there, how to deal with sales tax, how to take credit card payments, how to do live chat, and countless other things I’ve picked up over the past 2 years. It’s left me in a position where I can rapidly launch other stores and can instantly focus on business issues rather than tech issues. What products to sell and not to sell...

IceWraps After One Week

Last week I talked about Terran’s newest eCommerce project, which is IceWraps.com and IceWraps.net. This was the first full week back in the office running IceWraps after getting back from MI last week. It was a week of trying to get organized and map out the game plan for the business over the next three months. I had been teetering on the fence on if I should turn IceWraps.com and IceWraps.net back on in its current state. There are a lot of pros and cons for each, which I’m going to list below. There are two basic trains of thought here. 1) Turn IceWraps.com and IceWraps.net back on in their current state and work on the new IceWraps.com in the background. Once the new site is ready, replace the .com site with the new one and then 301 redirect the .net site over a few days later. 2) Work as quickly as possible to get the new site up and running and just leave everything out of stock on the old sites until ready. Here are the pros and cons for each: Plan 1 – Put everything back in stock and work on the new site in the background Pros Gets orders / money in the door right now. Upsets current customers the least amount. Doesn’t upset Google by having a store with no products in stock. Cons Current backend is a mess. Every order would have to be manually reentered in 2-3 places. I need to learn how to operate a very legacy backend and it will take take away from building the new site. Any minute spent...

Terran expands its eCommerce portfolio

Now that the transaction is officially completed, I’m excited to announce that Terran has purchased IceWraps.com and IceWraps.net. This was an existing business that started off about 10 years ago as the .net site and later expanded to the .com; our plan is to merge them into one site at IceWraps.com. This purchase fits our strategy of strategically expanding our eCommerce portfolio. Why eCommerce? When I founded Terran Marketing (now Terran.com) back in 2010 the goal was to focus on keyword domains and affiliate marketing. However, by 2012 it became clear my cheese had moved; it was time to start looking at other areas away from affiliate marketing. Don’t get me wrong, I still prefer affiliate marketing as a business model, but Google clearly feels differently. There are plenty of niche areas affiliates can do really well in, but they are away from keyword domains such as treadmill.com. In 2012 we made concerted effort to convert all our sites from an affiliate model to a site that sells something directly to consumers. For instance, we converted WPHUB.com from an affiliate based themes directory into a themes marketplace where customers can buy themes and other services directly. We also developed a couple of our eCommerce domain names such as treadmill.com and cuttingboard.com into online stores. Since launching our first online store in 2013, things have gone really well and the time has come to leverage our knowledge and expand our portfolio. Why IceWraps? In the next few weeks I will be posting detailed information about some valuable lessons I’ve learned in the eCommerce space. Until then, I’ll briefly comment that...

Tactical.com is now Terran.com

So, in a move that must make us look crazy, we are moving Tactical.com over to Terran.com. I know it was just about 18 months ago that we made the switch from Terran Marketing to Tactical.com, but a lot has happened since then. The biggest development is that we have launched a couple online stores in Treadmill.com and CuttingBoard.com and have really grown to like the business of running ecommerce sites. With that said, having Tactical.com as the domain name to run our overall company from just doesn’t make sense when it’s a prime ecommerce store candidate. So, over the next couple of months we are going to migrate all our emails and such over to Terran.com and then park Tactical.com. My hope is that we will be in a position to launch Tactical.com as an online store around this time next year. If you refer back to my original post about switching Terran Marketing to Tactical.com, you’ll see that Terran.com meets all but one criteria: Be a .com domain Be one word Be easy to spell Explain, at least in part, who we are Fit within our budget Terran.com obviously doesn’t explain who we are in the name; the thing is, either does Tactical.com. I was actually getting to the point where I was sick of explaining that we weren’t a tactical supply or gun supply store. Our overall company is a marketing, SEO, ecommerce, and affiliate marketing company. After I explained that to people, I would get “OH” as a response most of the time. Hopefully I won’t be making a post in another 18 months about...

Terran Marketing is now Tactical.com

When I started Terran Marketing back in 2010 I never could have dreamed what it would become. Things have really started taking a different direction the past year (in a good way) and I felt like a rebrand was in order. However, before I get into that let me explain my thought process. When I started Terran I made a few basic assumptions… I would be looking for keyword domains to do affiliate marketing with. The name of the company I was forming wasn’t that important since I would be known for the individual websites more than the overall company name. I wouldn’t be marketing Terran Marketing itself per se. Well, as it turns out, none of that turned out to be true. Well, #1 used to be true, but we’re making a big push to get away from affiliate marketing (future post about this coming up). I guess you could maybe give a half point to #2 since people do know Terran Marketing for individual websites in some cases. However, Terran Marketing as a brand has really started to take off. People have come to know Terran Marketing as a company that makes strategic domain name purchases, designs great websites, and generally knows what they are doing. The problem is that the name “Terran Marketing” is long, doesn’t mean much of anything, and is hard to spell for a lot of people. As we’ve been breaking into new industries, such as Treadmills, getting an email from @terranmarketing.com just isn’t very impressive and often times ends up in the circular file. So, a couple of months ago I set...

Time for A Fresh Look…

I decided that since I’m going to start blogging again that my blog needed to be respectable looking. I’ve been getting OCD about design lately (something I’m going to blog about soon) and the old look of my blog just wasn’t doing it for me. So, I decided to invest some time yesterday looking for a new theme and sprucing things up a bit. In addition to my personal blog I’ve been working on a new look for TerranMarketing.com as well. Design has always been important to me, but it’s hard to own GraphicDesign.com and not get obsessive… A new look for my blog As I mentioned off the top, the old look and feel of my blog just wasn’t working anymore. I was using the very popular Thesis Theme before, but it was the older version before they updated to 2.0. I was tempted to just upgrade to 2.0, but there is nothing on their site about it being responsive out of the box. Since I already own a full subscription to StudioPress, thanks to WPHub.com, I ended up going that route. I settled on the Focus theme and made some minor personal customizations. Focus met all the requirements I was looking for: The theme had to be responsive. The theme had to have a very clean look / feel. I wanted to use large typography. In addition to the look and feel I added a FeedBlitz RSS feed and made social a bigger part of the blog. You can now easily find me on social networks from the sidebar and each post has social sharing icons. Pretty...