SiteSwan Reseller Interview with Eric Shelton

Starting a Part-Time Web Design Business with Full-Time Earning Potential

Recorded on July 29,  2022

SiteSwan's Co-Founder, Justin Gerena, recently sat down with Eric Shelton, a SiteSwan reseller, who has sold close to 100 sites, working exclusively part-time.

Eric devoted his time off from work to build up his side hustle which is on the verge of offering a full-time income.

Eric is by no means a web design guru, but he is an expert at working hard and hustling. He’s got drive, he’s got ambition, and he’s got laser focus, tactfully choosing his potential clients with phenomenal precision, which has allowed him to scale to some pretty impressive levels. And he’s done it all with just a part-time commitment.

During the interview, Eric walks us through the strategies, techniques, and tips that he's used to create a clear path to full-time earning potential with just a part-time business.

“SiteSwan does a really great job with the amount of templates you offer. If you already have a template set up for me, it is incredibly easy for me to go in there and create a demo site. That’s ultimately, as a web designer when you are starting off, you want to be able to pump these things out quickly. So, that’s what I loved about SiteSwan too, the vast amount of verticals (businesses) you have templates for.”

- Eric Shelton (Supersites)

When the future of Eric's full-time job as a salesperson became a little uncertain during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, he decided it was the perfect time to focus his energy (which he has a lot of) on a side hustle selling websites to small businesses. With a strong entrepreneurial spirit and the mindset that “hard work pays off,” Eric got to work. He signed up with SiteSwan and started his own web design business (Supersites), and although he is working exclusively part-time, he quickly found his own path to success.

From Day 1, Eric's goal was to establish a side-hustle that he could grow at his own pace, and that wouldn’t distract him from his full-time career. At the beginning, Eric was devoting 4-5 hours a day on his new business, on top of working his full-time job. Leveraging his past experience, network of contacts, and utilizing SiteSwan's technology and tools, Eric has been able to grow his part-time business to some pretty impressive levels.

During this one-on-one interview, Eric took time to share some of his tips for success and insights on what he found works best while running his own web design business with SiteSwan.

The Challenge

It was years ago, working for a previous employer, when Eric was first introduced to website design, building and managing websites for their clients. It was then that he first saw the potential of the industry.

Eric later left that role and took a sales position at a Financial Technology firm. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company struggled to maintain sales. Eric was faced with a choice – cut back and wait for the pandemic to subside, or start a side business to supplement his income.

Eric chose the latter and decided to turn lemons into lemonade, leveraging his sales experience and contacts to start selling websites to local businesses. He knew that small businesses needed a website now, more than ever and boy was he right.

He began building websites using the software his previous employer used but struggled. Besides being difficult to use, it was also costly and cut hard into his profits.

The challenge was to identify a new website building platform that was cost-effective, simple to use, and provided him with the tools and resources he needed to grow his side hustle.

The Solution

During his search for a white label website builder, Eric came across SiteSwan and quickly realized this was the perfect solution. “When I discovered SiteSwan, it was a pretty easy switch for me,” Eric said.

One of his primary factors in searching for a website platform was to find one that offered the margins he needed to scale. With site fees as low as $3 per month, SiteSwan was a no-brainer.

SiteSwan checked off all the boxes: it's easy to use, includes hundreds of themes, and includes off the features he needed to grow a profitable web design business. Eric also discovered some additional benefits of the SiteSwan platform that he couldn't find anywhere else like the Local Prospecting Tool and built-in Reputation Management feature.

“Those alone, along with the pricing, made it an easy switch for me to go to SiteSwan,” Eric explained.

Once he made the decision, he moved over his existing sites he had on the other platform to SiteSwan. Realizing it would take some time and “sweat equity” to transfer his current clients’ website over to SiteSwan, Eric knew it “made a lot of sense” for him to do that and he’s never looked back.


Just two years in, Eric has close to 100 clients, still working exclusively part-time. While it's technically his side-hustle, web design is proving to offer full-time earning potential.

Eric has no intentions to slow down and has big plans for the future. Targeting niche industries and utilizing his list of contacts, Eric's web design business is on an upward trajectory.  Eric plans to “10x” his business over the coming years, taking on more clients and growing his team.

As a true entrepreneur, Eric has an insatiable desire for success. He continues to push himself to do more and get more.

“We’re further than I thought we’d be,” Eric explained, “but we still have a long way to go.”

Eric is proof that with determination, hard work, and the right tools (AKA SiteSwan), you can build a thriving web design business, even if it's part-time.

Eric's Tips for Success

Throughout the interview, Eric and Justin collectively share some insightful tips about techniques that can help any entrepreneur trying to grow their side hustle. Here are the highlights:
  • Start your side hustle while still employed: The goal for any entrepreneur is for their own business to exceed the income of their full time job. Until you’ve grown your business to that point, keep working your full-time job so you have that financial support you need in the interim.
  • Leverage your existing relationships: You can use personal or professional relationships of any kind to be able to sell websites and grow your network. Leveraging relationships creates accountability and it puts validity behind what you are doing. 
  • Focus on things that move the needle: Spend time on actionable tasks that will contribute to revenue and grow your business. When it comes to web design, you want to focus on four core factors - prospecting, building demos, presenting demos, and asking for payment.
  • Go for the low hanging fruit: If you’re new to sales, direct your first few sales to prospects that would be the easiest to land. These are potential clients that are already familiar with the advantages of a website and how it will help their business. So look for businesses that may already have a website but would benefit from a redesign. Take the approach of helping and providing them with something better than they already have.
  • Offer free demo designs: Use SiteSwan’s Themes to quickly create fully functional personalized demo sites for your prospects. If you pair helping prospects solve a problem with showing them a live demo site of what their website could look like if they decided to work with you, it can really help seal the deal.
  • Don’t be afraid to cold call and get out of your comfort zone: Cold calling is essential. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and start dialing. You’ll create new customers through cold calling and it will help bring your business to the next level. Know that the time and effort you put in will start to convert over the long run. It’s incredibly rewarding and fun when you get those “yes” responses and close a deal from a cold call.
  • Focus on verticals (specific industries): Target verticals (specific businesses) that can benefit from your services. You can direct your attention to verticals that you have familiarity with - but don’t stop there! Once you have momentum, be open and seek out every opportunity.
  • Find a mentor for yourself: This person can be anyone that has some relevance in the industry that you can bounce ideas off of. It helps to get a second opinion and get feedback to help think of things in a different way, save you time, and can help you feel confident in the decisions you make.
Eric's Favorite Business Tools & Resources

During the interview, Eric listed the tools and resources he’s found success with and how he integrates them into his business.
  • Platform to build and design websites: SiteSwan
  • Software to accept credit card payments: Stripe (the payment platform integrated with SiteSwan)
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to manage sales cycle: Pipedrive
  • Day-to-day management of documents, collaborating with team members and exchanging email correspondences: Google Workspace
  • Platform to create and design marketing assets: Canva 
  • Flexible office space: Regus 

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