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Chris Garrett of Performancing has an article about monetizing blogs by selling products on them. I’ve done that since day one, and have made a considerable sum selling my e-books like Press Releases From Hell and How to Fix Them and reports like What Could Your Company Do With a Blog?” But the e-commerce options for blogs, and I have tried several, suck.
Says Garrett: “There are many advantages to building a hybrid of a blog and ecommerce. First advantage is the natural search results you gain by blogging. Ecommerce website are notoriously difficult to get search rankings because they often have wacky URLs with numbers in and people are reluctant to link to you voluntarily whereas blogs gain links naturally and are usually search friendly out of the box. By seperating your blog and your store you weaken the effect, if the blog IS the store you get the full benefit.”
Are you listening Santa?
He’s right about the advantages of combining blogs and e-commerce. Unfortunately, there is not a single affordable, off-the-shelf e-commerce package that’s even halfway decent. Here come a rant.

Without starting from scratch for custom programming, I need a shopping cart for Moveable Type that:
– isn’t plug-ugly and lets me decide the layout and graphics of the product page, sales page, receipt, instructions and emails
– doesn’t force my customers to register to buy from me (such an incredibly stupid practice)
– tell shoppers that people who bought this, also bought that (relational database)
– lets me create a unique password for each purchaser of an e-book or report on the fly, void after a certain period of time
– is intuitive enough for a non-geek and doesn’t require me to be a programmer, or to pay one gazillions of dollars just to teach me to use the software.
– provides live customer support from actual humans via telephone instead of forcing me to write 4 emails to solve a simple problem.
Programs that have one of these features invariably don’t have the others, or do them in an amateurish, mind-bendingly complex or incredibly ugly way.
Says Komra Moriko of Design4Results, “Most e-commerce programs are stuck in 1996, married to a legacy that no longer is relevant.”
Can’t someone come up with an e-commerce plug-in for Moveable Type that is totally customizable please?