I'm a newbie. I'm NOT an artistic person. I'm html, php, css, etc. challenged. And I'm frustrated.

I've studied, learned, read, and devoured a lot of information over the past few months (thank you, my last employer, for accepting my suggestion that you lay me off - it's been wonderful!). I have a good basic understanding of keyword research, niche's, PPC (which I will avoid for a very long time), quality content, article submission, a little SEO, etc. But the technical and design aspects of building a page have me stopped in my tracks. I'd like to put up a few questions and hopefully get some direction.

I am interested in selling products through AM - I feel that I can do with with integrity and honesty, which are important issues to me. (I originally liked the idea of promoting information, but find that too many of the products are, shall we say, crap. Maybe I'll reconsider later, but let's stick with products for now.)

1. If I set up a ecommerce store, with a blog to 'talk' about the products and continue to add valuable, fresh content on the site, how can a shopping cart be used if there are multiple merchants? I've seen sites that make it crystal clear that they are only a resource for gathering "the best" merchants (see gifts.com for example), but it seems to me there should be something better.

2. If I'm looking at selling products, wordpress (at first glance) doens't necessarily seem like the best way to go. I know there is PopShops, but I'm still not sure how this would work. Are there other platforms I should be looking at? (I have neither the time, money or energy to learn Dreamweaver at this point.) What language?

3. Should I just farm this out to a freelancer, asking that they provide some tutoring at the end so that I can learn to repeat this same basic website shell for additional niches?

Any examples of specific sites that you think I should look at would be most appreciated! (Lynn, I did pick up on your 2005 series about building the dart store website, but I don't think it's operational anymore - at least, I couldn't find a way to buy anything on it.)

Thanks everybody for the help. I intend to stick around long enough to pay it forward.