Ich hatte das Vergnügen, mit Bob Shirilla zu sprechen. Bob verdient sein Geld im Internet, indem er physische Produkte vertreibt. Wie es dazu kam und was aus seiner Sicht für den Erfolg wichtig ist, erläutert er im Gespräch.

Bob, please introduce yourself.

My name is Bob Shirilla and I currently own Keepsakes Etc and Simply Bags. My current role is Online Marketing and Search Engine Optimization.  In addition, I have over 25 years of business consulting and leadership experience with companies such as EDS and General Motors.

How did you get into internet marketing?

Keepsakes Etc started as a brick and mortar store in 1982 and transitioned to an ecommerce site in January 2000.  Keepsakes Etc is the leading retailer of Wall Tapestries and Cotton Throw Blankets. Simply Bags started as an ecommerce site in January 2008 and specializes in personalized tote bags.

My lifelong dream was to be an entrepreneur and after my children were grown I took the leap.  Leaving a highly paid job with very little risk was a big decision. My wife had owned several traditional brick and mortar retail sites and we closed them and started our first internet business – We have never looked back.

What are the biggest challenges for your business over the next couple years?

Not being so reliant on the major search engines for traffic and revenue. Major changes in the search engines’ algorithm can be devastating to companies that depend too heavily on them for traffic. This week Search Engine Land announced that the Google Farmer Update impacted 12% of US results. WebProNews  stated  that the Google Update Costs Mahalo Employees Their Jobs.  The Search Engines algorithm updates have had a major effect on small companies for years and are not going to stop.

And where do you see the best opportunities?

Our 2011-2012 strategic direction is to develop a significant social media presence that directly converts into revenue. The three most important things about social medial are: Facebook, Facebook, and Facebook.

Is there anything you would do differently?

I would have become an entrepreneur much earlier in life.  I love the freedom, the challenges, and the financial rewards.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Spend less than you make – ALWAYS.

What are the most valuable hints you would give someone who is just starting out?

If you can’t run a brick and mortar store, you will not succeed in the eCommerce space.  eCommerce enables you to reach customers globally, with one location, 24 hours a day.  The business still requires you have the knowledge required to execute all traditional business processes such as, inventory control, accounting, merchandising, leadership, human resource management, warehousing, etc…

What are your preferred information sources about the internet marketing world?


  • Web Analytics: An Hour a Day
  • Landing Page Optimization – Tim Ash
  • Don’t Make Me Think – Steve Krug
  • Ultimate Guide to Google Ad Words – Perry Marshall


  • Matt Cutts
  • Bruce Clay
  • Rob Snell
  • Danny Sullivan

Video Series

  • WebProNews Videos
  • Google Webmaster Videos

Bob, thanks a bunch for these insights!