Our New eCommerce Job Board + Case Study

We’ve got some exciting news to share today. We’ve officially launched our newest venture, the eCommerceFuel Job board. Not only do we want to dive in to tell you what to expect from our curated job board for eCommerce gigs, but we want to talk about the process behind the launch and what we plan to roll out in the coming months.

It wouldn’t be an eCommerceFuel launch without a case study to go with it. We’re sharing our marketing plan, how we’re optimizing keywords and how we plan to grow into the best source for eCommerce jobs out there.

You’ll learn:

  • The research behind the decision to launch an eCommerce-specific job board
  • How we’re developing world-class content using a keyword heavy approach
  • Our very first attempts at paid Facebook ads

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(With your host Andrew Youderian of eCommerceFuel.com)

Welcome to the eCommerceFuel Podcast, the show dedicated to helping high six and seven-figure entrepreneurs build amazing online companies and incredible lives. I’m your host and fellow ecommerce entrepreneur, Andrew Youderian.

Hi, guys. Andrew here, and welcome to “The eCommerceFuel Podcast.” Thanks so much for tuning in to the show today. Today on the mic, I’m flying solo, and gonna be talking about something that we’ve been working on behind the scenes for a number of months, just launched this month, and that is the eCommerceFuel Job Board. Really excited about it.

I wanna talk about what it is, how it can help you, of course introduce it to you, but actually, the majority of this episode is gonna be focused on and being used to kick off a digital marketing case study about how we launched the job board, and how we plan to promote and market it, and give you kind of inside look at if it’s gonna work or not. If we’re gonna be able to make this work or if this plane’s gonna crash.

You know, so many times, you don’t get to see the real story from the ground up. People maybe reflect after the fact when something works, but you don’t get to see real time on what’s working, what’s not, the strategies people are using, cost, how much time and money they put into it.

So, I thought it’d be kind of fun to do with the job board since we’re launching it, and give you handful updates over the course of the year on how things are going. So, that’s what this episode is gonna be about.

But before we dive right into the heart of it, I wanna give a quick shout out to our two incredible sponsors. First, a massive thank you to Klaviyo, a longtime supporter of eCommerceFuel on the podcast and our events. Klaviyo, of course, who makes email automation and marketing incredibly easy and powerful.

If you are interested in going to a very cool sounding event, they are hosting Klaviyo Boss, September 13th and 14th in Boston, Massachusetts. A couple of days of in-depth learning about, of course, upping your email game, but also just about in general, running a better, more profitable business.

So, they recently had a cool looking workshop in Chicago for RIC, and if their event is anything like their workshop looked based on what I saw, it’s gonna be a very, very cool time. So, I’ll link up to a link you can find out more about the event in the show notes. And if you wanna try them out and supercharge your email marketing, you can do that for free at ecommercefuel.com/klaviyo.

And secondly, Liquid Web, who offers the internet’s best platform for hosting a WooCommerce store. They have an incredible product. If you are in the WooCommerce or the WordPress space at all, you’ve undoubtedly heard of Chris Lemon. He’s a well-known blogger, a guy who’s got a lot of deep experience with software with WooCommerce and WordPress.

He leads the product team over there. He leads an incredibly talented team. And they’ve just got the most stable, best platform for running Woo, managing your updates, upgrades, your extensions, and just making life with a WooCommerce store that’s supposed to run on enterprise level, incredibly easy. So, you can check them out and learn more about their offering at ecommercefuel.com/liquidweb.

Curated eCommerce Jobs Designed For You

All right, so what are the eCommerceFuel job boards? Well, shocking, they have a bunch of jobs for ecommerce, but the differentiator and what we’re really trying to do better than what’s out there right now, is curated ecommerce jobs for managers and marketers. So, think a director of ecommerce. Think someone who focuses on Facebook ads for a physical products business. Think an email marketing specialist.

Think someone who just lives, eats and breathes Amazon for a brand, things like that.

And we’re focused not only just on the roles, but we’re focused on curating opportunities from interesting companies, places you’d actually want to work. So, you’re not gonna find jobs from walmart.com, or Sears, or Best Buy. No offence to those companies but, you know, that’s not who we are, that’s not what eCommerceFuel is about.

So, we’re gonna be highlighting really interesting roles from very cool companies, and very independent, not necessarily always smaller, a lot of them will be in the seven, mid-eight figure range. But they could be really interesting companies that just, you know, for example like Cotopaxi as well, we’ve got a listing up there. They’re a big company in the outdoor space, but they have a very cool social mission and make great stuff.

I would love to work for Cotopaxi if, you know, I was looking in that space.

So, Factory is Jason Firebricks company. They make really interesting, fun, cool, creative toys. Beardbrand is Eric Bandholz’ company. All those companies are hiring and have positions on the job board right now that you can check out.

So, if you’re looking for a really great gig in the ecommerce space, check on over at ecommercefuel.com/jobs, and if you’re looking to post a position and get great talent for it from our audience, it is free to post a job. I’ll be promoting the jobs two to three times a month through email and through the podcast. And it’s open to anyone and everyone. This isn’t just a private community thing, this is a public job board for everybody.

So, again, check it out at ecommercefuel.com/jobs to see what we’re doing.

So, that’s it for kind of the elevator pitch summary. Let’s get into the key study, give you a little context some of the metrics I’ll be reporting on and kind of the high level strategy. So, a little background, this has been something I’ve been wanting to do for probably better part of the year.

From January to Now

Really get serious about it in January, in February I only had some time, and spent most of January doing a lot of keyword research, doing a lot of research on software. February and March was dedicated to working with my developer to create a spec document, have them start developing it, and get a MVP product launch by the end of March.

March and April were spent on tweaking the MVP, testing it, changing it, doing a second iteration, and building out some processes with my team. And then we went ahead and launched the version, kind of the live version we’re ready to start promoting in June, just a couple of weeks ago.

So, that was, you know, it was a decent, you know, probably three to four months of lead up to prep for that. Along the way, Laura was writing articles, adding them to the blog. Once we soft launched I was doing, you know, a lot of work with a developer. There’s a lot leading up to that, but just to get us to the point of being live.

So, in terms of a high level plan, you know, kind of the goal, of course, is to make this a profitable arm of eCommerceFuel, make it a business at some point, but for six to 12 months, our goal is to offer as much value for free until we start charging for it, to build momentum and also make sure we have something really valuable before we start asking for money for it.

So, it’s, like I mentioned, it’s free to post jobs right now. It’s always gonna be free to search for jobs.

Key Metrics We’ll Be Tracking

The marketing plan really is focused primarily on building out and building a list of targeted job seekers to be able to, you know, to be able to alert when people post their job positions. So, that’s probably, you know, three quarters of what will be focused on for the marketing segment.

So, in terms of the metrics, I’ll be reporting on for this, you know, every time I do an update. Number one is the number of organic job postings, how many people are actually coming to our job board and posting one of their positions to the board versus us going out and you know finding great jobs and posting them ourselves? So, my goal for that is to have 50 per month by the end of this year.

The second one is the number of people that sign up for highly customized alerts, or opt into our list. And my goal is 5,000 people by the end of this year, by December, which seems a little bit low, but I’m really focused on super high quality leads here, super high quality job seekers, director of ecommerce, or Amazon specials looking for a job, things like that.

So, I mean, you know, we’ve got to get 10, you know, 10 or five-figure at least, right now about 15,000, 16,000 people on our list for eCommerceFuel, but I’m not gonna use to…you know, I can use that a little bit, but if I use that and try to do nothing but promote the job board there, those people didn’t sign up for a job board. There’ll be some crossover, but I’ll have to be careful. So, that will be the second metric I’ll be reporting on.

The third metric is the total cost of the project. So, up until now, we have spent $7,500 on the project. Almost all of it has been developer fees. That doesn’t include my time, Laura’s time, or my VA’s time. So, that’s the cost. I think we’ll have a pretty significant cost in terms of paid traffic on Facebook especially, so that’ll be interesting to track, but to see how much it costs ongoing basis.

And then a couple of other metrics I’ll be reporting on as well if I can, one the number of people who fill their jobs through ECF. This might be a little more anecdotal, but obviously, this is a pretty important thing. If people are not filling jobs through posting on the platform, then, you know, we’re not offering a lot of value. The total number of visitors to the site, the organic traffic to the site, both of those are pretty much almost effectively zero at this point.

How We Currently Rank

Our SEM rush feasibility score, this kinda gives you a sense of how well we’re ranking. And then the personal time, kind of heads down work time that I’m doing every week on this, to give you a sense of, hopefully, at the end of this year you can see, you know, what kind of traffic is getting generated, how many people are posting jobs, how much money did it take, and how much time did it take? So, it should be, hopefully, fun to watch.

So, some high level thoughts on the marketing strategy moving into that. First, I’m gonna try to approach this with as much of a win-win mentality as I can. I think the best marketers do this. If you try to reach out and say, “Please, pitch this for me,” even if you have a relationship with someone, that’s tough.

You can do that sometimes, but it needs to be a good fit for people’s audience. So, that’s a huge mentality of mine. I’m thinking a very long term, very long haul approach here. This is not something I expect to be generating, you know, five figures in profit within six months or even four months, I’m taking, you know, a two to three-year approach to kind of hit those kind of metrics.

Our Strategies to Promote The Board

So, those are kind of some of the high level thoughts. In terms of specific strategies, gonna be promoting the jobs through the podcast. If you listen to podcast regularly, you’ll notice that there was a kind of a new style of episodes that we have started doing called “The News Cart,” every couple of weeks. And in that, we’ll be talking about the jobs, also, we’ll be promoting it via email as well.

Facebook is gonna be a big part of the marketing push for this to build up the job seeker side of this two-sided marketplace, primarily through developing a lot of in-depth e-books, and then targeting those to employers and job seekers. So, let’s say you’re an Amazon, you know, you’re someone who knows Amazon really well.

You know, we’ll write the “How to land a great job, you know, as an Amazon expert,” the e-book for that, targeted to people who on Facebook who are, you know, have that skill set, and hopefully, build our list that way. Gonna do a lot of interviews with world class experts about hiring, turn that into the content.

My First Attempt at Facebook Ads

So, those are a couple of the strategies on Facebook. And this will be interesting, because I am a very classical guerrilla marketing SEO organic traffic kind of guy. I’ve spent almost nothing on paid ads my whole life, I just haven’t done it. So, it’ll be interesting to see how this goes with, you know, new me McGee over here in the paid ads world. I’m hoping to be able to acquire an email address for $1.50 or less. We’ll see if I can pull that off. I’ll let you know.

So, Facebook’s gonna be playing a big part. SEO is gonna play an enormous part as well. Even though SEO is getting harder, I think it’s still very much a valuable source of traffic, especially so we’ve, you know, kind of an unfair advantage here in that, or we have an unfair advantage rather in that. You know, we’ve got an existing domain that ranks well for ecommerce with a reasonable amount of domain authority that we can piggyback off of.

And the whole reason why the job board is at ecommercefuel.com/jobs, versus at jobs.ecommercefuel.com is to be able to take advantage of the fact that it’s all in the same domain. No subdomains. So generally, you get a little bit better SEO, and we get to piggyback off of, you know, the past five years of work that we’ve done. So, that’s nice.

Gearing Up for Keyword-Driven Blog Posts

So, on the SEO front, you know, a lot of this is probably, not shocking, but content, all content related. We’ve already written, you know, six or seven…I say “We,” Laura, Laura Serino is really spearheading the content side of this. She has written, you know, half a dozen or more very in-depth blog posts on all different styles and topics about hiring. Most of them are very specifically geared around a keyword that is important for us to go after.

And the first, you know, back in probably January, February, I spent probably a week, probably two solid weeks knee-deep in SEM rush’s keyword tool building out a master keyword database, you know, probably 2,000-3,000 terms, paring it way back. SEM rush will give you the search volume of a term, it’s difficulty, it’s cost per click, and so you kind of combine those to get a relevancy plus opportunity score. I did it with a spreadsheet.

They have a really cool new tool called The Keyword Magic Tool, I was playing around with the other day that makes organizing your terms and putting them together in their software way easier. I’ll probably do that today, but you can use a spreadsheet too if you want and export it all that way.

And now we have a very concentrated list of the terms we wanna go after, and all the terms are either an article we wanna write, long tail variations of a key word we wanna work into the copy of an article, or a page we wanna optimize for a certain term. So, thinking through that both from a content template and also from a structural standpoint, is really important.

World-Class Content+ Link Building

You know, I’m not a hiring expert, but I hope to combine kind of the limited experience I have running a team of, you know, two or three in-house people and more than, you know, the seven or eight contractors, plus some interviews with great world-class people, to create some really good world-class content in addition to our content.

So, we do “The State of The Merchant Report” every year for e-commerce.

I’d love to do, and I’m hoping to do a handful of those for some of the job positions like email marketing or director of eCommerce, that we can use to create some great links, and also, you know, going out to my existing network, people that I know in the space in the eCommerce world, you know, definitely with hopefully a win-win scenario not just say, “Hey, can I come on your show and pitch, you know, pitch the job boards?” but have some kind of proprietary, interesting data to talk about or, you know, strategies to talk about in terms of hiring or getting jobs.

So, that’ll be something that will play into the marketing quite a bit.

I’ll be digging into the back links of a lot of different job boards out online to see what kind of strategies they use. SEM Rush has a back link tool you can do this with. Other SEO tools too do as well, and you can go in and just type in for example, the URL of a site and it will list all the back links for you.

You can go look at those, and not that you wanna copy or try to rip them off, but it’s a great way to get inspiration for how people are getting attention and links that you can put your own spin on for your own business.

Taking Internal Linking Seriously

And then finally, structuring on the SEO front. We’re also taking internal linking really seriously, both in terms of kind of the navigation that we have on the site to make sure that we have high level links to all of our major categories that are optimized for the keywords that match those, but even more so for the content that we’re publishing. So, those, you know, seven or eight posts we have published now, we have a whole SOP for what we need to do every time that we publish a new post to the job board blog.

And one of the last things we do once we have published is we go back into the eCommerceFuel archives and find two or three articles that are relevant or related, and link within the copy of those articles or podcast, back to the new post to give a little SEO juice. So, that’s something we’re doing as well. So, a lot of internal linking really thinking through that.

How We’ve Built This

A couple of notes, may be overly geeky notes, but on the mechanics and software and process. So, we didn’t build the software from the ground up, we’re using a plug-in for WordPress called WP Job Manager. It’s a plug-in that automatic puts out, and it works really well, gives us a lot of foundation, but we’ve heavily, heavily customized it to do what we want it to do. So, we’re running that.

In terms of getting the jobs on the board right now, I’ve tried a couple of things. There are some cool tools that you auto suck jobs in and import jobs. But the formatting wasn’t very nice. It was hard to curate them, and so while it takes a lot of time right now, I’m going through manually every week on a regular basis, looking for jobs I think are really interesting, and then when I find them, handing them off to a team member, to a VA, to go through a whole kind of formatting and importing SOP I built up so that they do the hard work, you know, at least the time consuming work of getting into the job board.

The Plan Six Months Ahead

So, six months from now, I don’t wanna be doing the curation because a) One, I wanna have a lot more organic jobs coming in and b) For the amount that we supplement where we add manually to the job board, I wanna have trained someone up into the things I’m looking for, the things that make a great interesting eCommerce position, both from the job side and the company side.

But I think it’s important to do it first, so, you know, early on, we’re doing a lot of manual work to get those up there.

So, that’s kind of the high levels, you know, story of where we’re at. I’ll be checking back in again in three months or so in the fall, to talk about what strategies are working, what’s not, some of the metrics I’ve learned, and some of the mistakes I’ve made. I mean, this is a case study right? Raw, all warts and all, so I’ll share one with you already that happened. It’s such a rookie mistake. This is so embarrassing to share, but I feel like I need to do it.

Our Initial Launch + Troubleshooting

We did our soft launch in, it would have been I guess, late March or very early April. We were probably late to the world, but it was live on the internet. Laura had started writing content because I wanted to start giving Google time to index us and, you know, get a little ahead there of when we launched officially, but we were not showing up anywhere in Google. Nowhere, even for really obvious terms. You know, I was linking to the job boards from the ecommercefuel.com home page with the anchor text “Jobs,” and nothing.

We weren’t coming up in the first 100 results, which given my, you know, my back ended SEO, it seemed like we should, at a bare minimum, be showing up, you know, maybe somewhere around Page 3, Page 4, nothing. And it took me a long time and finally, I figured out the Yoast SEO plugin that we had installed when we were doing the development site, we never switched it over. There’s a little setting in there that said, you know, we’re blocking the search engines from looking at your site.

It took me like…granted, I wasn’t looking the whole time, but, you know, it’s total rookie move that I made, after… I’m not the world’s most experienced online marketer or eCommerce entrepreneur, but I’ve been doing this for a decade and I still made a mistake like that. So, anyway.

So, you know, stuff like this happens, and I’m sure I’ll have plenty more doozies that you can roast me on the next time you see me in person throughout this process. But this is something that is really exciting to work on for me. It’s always so fun starting something from the ground up and seeing it take shape, seeing some momentum happen. I’m having a lot of fun getting my head back down and doing a new project. So, it’s been fun. I’m excited to update you on it.

Hopefully, you took a few things away from this and maybe some of the mistakes and learnings that come out of it down the road.

Looking to Hire? Check Us Out!

So, in the meantime, if you’re looking to hire for your company, for your eCommerce store, if you’re looking to get a killer job in the eCommerce space, check it out, ecommercefuel.com/jobs. Again, it’s free to browse, it’s free to post your job listings. And if you get any ideas on how I can market this, or you’re interested in collaborating with me, tell me to get the word out, I would love to hear from you at ecommercefuel.com/contact.

Thanks so much for listening, and looking forward to filling you in in about three months on how things are going.

That’s gonna do it for this week’s episode, but if you enjoyed what you heard, check us out at ecommercefuel.com, where you’ll find the private vetted community for online store owners. And what makes us different from other online communities or forums is that we heavily vet everyone who joins to make sure that they have meaningful experience to contribute to the broader conversation.

Everyone who we accept has to be doing at least a quarter of a million dollars in annual sales on their store, and our average member does seven figures plus in sales via their business.

So, if that sounds interesting to you, if you wanna get, you know, connected with a group of experienced store owners online, check us out at ecommercefuel.com, where you can learn more about membership as well as apply.

And I have to, again, thank our sponsors who help make the show possible. Klaviyo, who makes email segmentation easy and powerful. The cool thing about Klaviyo is they plan your entire catalog, customer and sales history to help you build out incredibly powerful automated segments that make you money on autopilot. If you’re not using them, check them out and try them for free at klaviyo.com.

And finally, Liquid Web. If you’re on WooCommerce, if you’re thinking about getting on WooCommerce, Liquid Web is the absolute best hosting platform for three reasons. One, it’s built from the ground up for WooCommerce and optimized by some of the best industry professionals in the WooCommerce, WordPress space that really know their stuff. It’s highly elastic and scalable, as well as comes with a whole suite of tools and performance tests to optimize your store.

You can check them out and learn more about their hosted WooCommerce offering at ecommercefuel.com/liquidweb.

Thanks so much for listening, I really appreciate you tuning in, and looking forward to talking to you again next Friday.

Want to connect with and learn from other proven ecommerce entrepreneurs? Join us in the eCommerceFuel private community. It’s our tight-knit, vetted group for store owners with at least a quarter million dollars in annual sales. You can learn more and apply for membership at ecommercefuel.com.

Thanks so much for listening, and I’m looking forward to seeing you again next time.

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