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May 9, 2009

Mei Ling’s Big Adventure into Affiliate Marketing – Part 1

Filed under: Cool Ecomm sites,Quality of Life — estreet @ 8:56 pm
Tags: ,

Now that I released the MOST AWESOME eBay search tool and promo banner maker for eBay sellers,, I’m finally to the point that I need to get serious about marketing.

1. My first step to getting visible was to use my name, Mei Ling. Pronounced it sounds like “May Ling”. It’s my middle name which is Chinese for Beautiful Princess Warrior (well, more like pretty and petite). I used Mei Ling for my entire life until I started my own business and went by my first name, Michelle. Why? I guess I wanted to be stay anonymous. But I’m a Mei Ling at heart.

2. Second, I contacted ShoeMoney to see if he wanted to work with me and Vitalii on a new project. Jeremy Schoemaker had posted he was looking at opportunities to invest in or projects to collaborate on. My expertise is in specifying features and getting development done whether doing it myself or working with developers. That’s my sweet spot, but I need the Marketing piece. Partnering with a superstar would be awesome. We’re totally ready to build a larger scale service. No reply yet.

3. Third, I signed up for ShoeMoney tools, John Reese’s, Tim Buchalka and entered The $10,000 Business Boost. One of the prizes for the $10,000 Business Boost is Aaron Wall’s SEOBook SEO Training. I already follow every single piece of SEO advice from SEOBook, but I haven’t signed up for the service.

Next post… What I learned so far.

Mei Ling 🙂

March 3, 2009

Is Adam Nash a little bitter?

Filed under: Quality of Life — estreet @ 2:02 pm

I don’t think I even have to say anything here … although I want to. Adam speaks for himself.

Clearly is unfamiliar with recently. granted patent 7490056, held by eBay… about 14 hours ago from twitterrific

I will say that is going to breathe positive energy into the eBay marketplace.

January 19, 2009

Our new server is sooooo fast

Filed under: Quality of Life — estreet @ 5:34 pm

We moved to a new virtual private server this weekend. Banners are generating in a fraction of the time they took on the old shared server. Check it out!

September 15, 2008

ChannelAdvisor burns through $30M in 16 months

Filed under: Quality of Life — estreet @ 5:01 pm
Tags: , ,

ChannelAdvisor received $30M in May, 2007. Now they just got an additional $20M in funding.

Their cash burn rate is around $2M per month. Wheee! That would be fun.

That makes me think, what’s better: a small lifestyle business or a high risk, high reward funded business?

The decision is a function of the founder’s personality and skills. Do they want to spend their day setting company goals and persuading venture capitalists to invest? Or do they want control and slow growth?

A lot of times, the company starts as a small lifestyle business and becomes successful. Think eBay. Then the founder has to decide on an exit strategy. Think Pierre Omidyar choosing Jeff Skoll, and then Meg Whitman to lead his company.

To answer my own question, I guess there’s no “best” kind of company. They are just success or failure on a different scale.

I have a modestly successful lifestyle business. One day, I hope to grow the business enough so that I can run it rather than work in it. Halloween is the 3rd anniversary of eSeller Street, Inc. That’s my definition of success.

September 3, 2008

More nice eBayers

Filed under: Quality of Life — estreet @ 12:50 pm

Here’s a listing from eBay seller berkshire*lane. I think the seller profile banner coordinates very well with the template.

Seller Profile banner by

Here’s Jake from

eBay seller purejts

eBay seller purejts

August 28, 2008

Unhappy eBayer

Filed under: eBay,Quality of Life — estreet @ 12:32 pm

Tell us what you really think. :o)

David, if you happen to read this, I like your watcher counter!

August 21, 2008

Sometimes you get what you need

Filed under: Quality of Life — estreet @ 6:02 pm

I went through self-checkout at the grocery store yesterday with a $13 purchase and requested $50 cashback. I only got $25.

Incensed at the error, I called to the attendant. The attendant is a lovely African-American woman with her hair done up to there and her fingernails polished.

I say, “I pushed the button for $50 cashback, but it processed it as a request for $25!”

She looks at me and says,

Honey, sometimes you get what you need, not what you want. Maybe that $25 needs to stay in the bank.

I laughed all the way home. The world is a good place.

August 12, 2008

Fresh Air

Filed under: Quality of Life — estreet @ 5:41 pm

Working while camping is where it’s at. Today, I’m at the 2nd Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Campground of the season. This time we’re in Caledonia, Wisconsin.

Jellystone offers free WiFi and I haven’t seen the kids in hours.

There is a clicking noise in the branches above my head. I wonder if it’s some kind of cicada or katydid?

June 25, 2008

No recent posts on Pulsers?

Filed under: Quality of Life,Reasons I Leave My Computer — estreet @ 2:07 pm

The great thing about eBay is that there are interesting tactics to be studied and written about everyday.

eBay’s Trust & Safety is working in overdrive this year, NARUing sellers right and left. Like this one I meant to write about for the 6 weeks. But it was “removed” from eBay before I got to it.

Well, I’m just busy this summer. I spend an inappropriate amount of time analyzing my two daughters’ videos and photos pitching a softball. Did you know it takes 10,000 pitches to develop a decent fastball? Now, we’re working on the changeup.

Proper softball pitching form is a beautiful thing to watch… and watch and watch. With Jennie Finch as a role model, lots of girls with big dreams have joined teams this year. Her she is with my daughter Jessica.

I digress. But this is how my days are going. I have a plan of what needs to be done each day but then I start on the softball. Productivity over.

So why do I put so many hours into writing this blog? It’s hard to get started on a post and equally hard to make a relevant point. My explanation is simple: I’m finding my voice.

June 24, 2008

eBay 2008 and beyond. Chris Isaak is 52?

Filed under: eBay,Quality of Life — estreet @ 8:20 am
Tags: ,

eBay Live! 2008 concluded on Saturday. A few exhibitors caught my eye:

  • (owned by eBay) which offers free classified ads. They connect buyers and sellers, then get out of the loop.
  • Auctiva free seller tools. They are the 800 pound gorilla in the listing tool space just by the sheer number of subscribers.
  • store designs.
  • eBay labs had some neat tools.

There were no consignment stores but plenty of shipping services. We counted 14 shipping related booths out of 85 total booths.

At 6 pm, the doors to the Gala opened and we ran into the room greeted by eBay employees with their hands out like a youth sports team saying “good game”. It was a nice gesture.

Chris Isaak came out at 8:00pm wearing a red rhinestone suit. He’s riveting! He’s one of those people that you just can’t take your eyes off of. Wikipedia says he is 52, but he looks 42, 45 tops.

Back to business -> There are a lot of changes in store for the eBay platform such as constant tweaking with listing requirements (shipping) and active content policy. This will weed out the solutions providers who don’t have the cash nor energy to keep up.

Developing applications for eBay this year has been a game of whack-a-mole. Digital delivery for all categories. Whack. No digital delivery. Whack again. New policy violations. Whack. Random API errors. Whack Whack.

Now there are mandatory shipping, handling time, and return policy requirements. Then active widget approvals. The moles are breeding at an alarming rate.

A few years back, the high spending solutions providers really bugged me. Spending someone else’s money to buy customers is a completely different philosophy from spending your own money. Well, most of those guys are gone, and the frugal are still around. Frugal is what making money on eBay is all about.

May 7, 2008

blog troll service

Filed under: Quality of Life — estreet @ 8:53 am

I got a new stalker who spews hate towards me yet obsessively visited this blog 55 times in the past day and a half. You don’t have to do much to pick one up, as the Pulsers know.

This is clearly a Blog Troll. I came across this blogging service – you can rent a “Blog Troll” from a website called How funny is this? 🙂

blog troll consulting and provisioning
what is it?

A blog troll is an obnoxious, hurtful and incredibly valuable loser who, for whatever reason, is both obsessd by and constantly annoyed with, and deeply offended by everything you write on your blog. And while you can ban him/her from commenting on your site — they’ll come back as alts and you can ban them, too — you can’t ban them from commenting on other sites and pointing back to your blog, and you can’t ban them from posting things on their own blog that point back to your site.

And you really, really wouldn’t want to.

Because a blog troll will provide you with more traffic to your blog than an interview with William Shatner, a brief affair with Amanda Congdon, or even a pointer from BoingBoing.

Why? Because being hated is interesting, and tons of people will want to know why this freak has it in for you. That makes you special. That makes you interesting. Nobody targets a nobody.

what does blog troll consulting and provisioning involve?

Basically, one or more of our writers will take the time to get to know your blog and despise it and you and everything you stand for. We will come to believe that we can see inside your soul and understand you better than you know yourself. We will end up RSSing every page of your blog to watch for comments on comments. We will Technoratti your name and the names of everything you’ve ever written.

It’s like stalking, but legal and not dangerous.

Then, once we’re really steeped in your escence, we’ll start unleashing a torrent of troll posts on other folks’ blogs, on new blogs that we’ll create just for this purpose, etc. And on sites like Digg, we’ll consistently try to un-Digg your blog, which will only get it more attention, as everybody knows that total morons that Dugg stuff for lame reasons get just as much air-time as truly interesting, valid posts.

If you don’t want us to troll for you, we can also consult with friends and relatives of yours and provide them with training in how to drive “invert-negative” traffic to your site.
why do this?

Two words: Atten-shun.
why do it with sanestorm?

We’re blog people. We know this language. We understand how to be truly annoying in ways that aren’t obviously so. We know how to tweak the grognards, the wonks, the beardy types and the pointy-heads. Nothing generates interest in your blog more than some total asshat saying that it sucks.

And, depending on your needs, we can charge by the hour, the word or based on your increased page-views or unique visitors. No matter your budget, we have a troll package that’s right for you.

Stop blogging in the desert. If your light is under a bushel, let a troll guide others to it by pissing on it.

March 2, 2008

Add website features with contract developers

Filed under: Quality of Life — estreet @ 12:29 pm
Tags: ,

When I had the idea for eSeller Street 3 years ago, I looked to friends to help with development. Well, it turns out that model doesn’t work. I went through 7 friendships. Nice track record, eh?

Then I picked up the PHP development myself for the next couple of years. It was arduous but worked fine.

I’ve paid my dues in full. Today I’m ready to jump into the hiring pool and apply a team to

Are you ready to add features to your website by hiring development contractors? Here’s some tips to make the most of your contractor experience:

  1. Clean house: get rid of prototypes and unused files on your server.
  2. Use version control software and an issue tracking system because you need complete control over your source code. I use which offers Subversion (SVN) and Trac or BugZilla for <$7 a month. The developer you hire can set this up for you.
  3. Spend 30% of the alloted time on specifications.
  4. Keep communication through your issue tracking system. Any contractor understands the importance of using tickets to open and close issues.
  5. Create development and QA/test subdomains on your server. Once new features are proven in these subdomains, move them to your production domain. Your contractor can create these for you.
  6. Price: expect to pay $10 to $25 per hour. You minimize the total developer cost when you do steps 1-5.

Find a contractor through referrals or on You should choose an Elance contractor based on feedback (95%+ is good), portfolio and listed skillset.

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