I thought I really ought to have an about me page so that you can get to know a little bit more about the person behind the website!
So who I am I? My name is Paul Haywood, I am a bespoke jewellery designer, a qualified gemmologist and diamond grader. So you may be thinking why has a jewellery designer got a blog about ecommerce??
Running an Ecommerce Business 2012 – 2019
While I may be a jewellery designer now, I did run a quite successful ecommerce business between 2012 and 2019.
During this time, as you can probably imagine I spend a lot of time using ecommerce software! And as I am always looking to see if I can improve my business somewhere, I would go and try various ecommerce platforms every few months to see if it would be worth while me moving to a new platform.
To give you a short history of my ecommerce journey, I actually had my first taste of selling online when I was at college studying for a Business qualification. I bought broken Ipods on Ebay, fixed them and sold them on Amazon, this was between 2009 and 2011. It was a great way to earn some extra cash!
It wasn’t until 2012 that I launched my first proper online business. I had been working for gold buyers and pawnbrokers for about a year and decided to start buying and selling some jewellery. This went pretty well and I was doing it full time after a couple of months. At this point I was only selling on Ebay.
Fast forward a couple of years and I decided to launch my own Ecommerce Store in 2014. Now at this point, I had no idea what I was doing with websites and had only briefly built a very basic site for a college project.
My Own Ecommerce Store
My first ecommerce store went live in the summer of 2014 and I thought it was awesome!!
I built my first store on BigCommerce and as I had no idea what I was doing the website ultimately made ZERO sales in the first couple of months, so me being impatient, I closed it down.
I then had a WordPress site/blog for the next 6 months while I focused on my Ebay store but decided to give my own store a go the following year. This time I opted for Bluepark as I had read nothing but good reviews on UK business forums and while the platform was great, I still had no idea what I was doing and this was ultimately another failure.
So I gave myself some time to learn the basics of ecommerce and how to run and operate an online store. Once again, I went back to WordPress but this time with Woocommerce and this was a pretty good success and I got a few sales. More importantly though learnt, not only how to manage an ecommerce store but also what features I needed from a platform in order to grow my online business.
Testing, testing and more testing
As I knew what I wanted from an ecommerce platform, it made trying out all these companies a much more enjoyable process. So this is around 2017 and I also figured out that I really enjoy not only testing out all these platforms but building ecommerce websites.
And test them I did, I tried all of them, including Shopify, EKM and ShopWired as well as the two mentioned above (again!). My next store was with ShopWired and while the platform was great and was starting to gain traction, my business changed quite a lot towards the end of 2018 and I realised the my jewellery businesses future lay away from ecommerce.
With my jewellery business was moving further and further away from ecommerce and as a business owner, I have to adapt to what my business was doing. So at the start of 2019, I closed my online store and that was followed by my Ebay store later in the year.
The Haywood Life 2019 – Present
The thing was, I still wanted to do something online. Yes, I have a website and blog for my jewellery business but other than creating the odd blog post, it doesn’t need anything doing to it.
What gave me the inspiration to turn The Haywood Life blog into an ecommerce related blog, was that I had a free wordpress.com blog a couple of years ago and on there I had wrote a couple of reviews about ecommerce platforms and upon randomly checking it the one day, I found that people were still visiting these posts that were a couple of years old!
As I know far more about ecommerce than I did back then and also how to write a better blog post! I decided to to update them and put them on this website and after a couple of months, they started to generate some traffic. So I decided do expand on this and started to review more platforms and then comparing them to each other.
When it comes to doing reviews, I am completely honest and if you read any of them you will see I list the good and the bad! But there was still an opportunity to make money from this website as I was referring people to the platforms I was reviewing. So I became an affiliate partner for many of these platforms and this means that if you click through and become a paying customer of any of these platforms, I get a referral commission.
As I said, when I do a review I am completely honest and whether I am an affiliate partner or not, it does not impact my reviews.
I hope this has given you a bit more of a history about me and also about how this website came to be. I hope you enjoy the posts on this site and they help you make an informed decision about which platforms to use for your online business.
Last note, I have also created a YouTube Channel as well and would really appreciate it if you would check it out and also subscribe. Cheers Paul Haywood.