The only thing we know about the future is that it will be different. – Peter Drucker
This is essentially how I feel right now. In the month since I last wrote down my thoughts, everything has been going really well. Too well, though. Life is lacking turbulence right now and it is a very strange feeling. I am just waiting for an aileron to jam or for an engine to go out.
Before I left on my trip in May, I spent about fifty dollars on SEO packages for my new site, which had been launched on April 24th. They had no real effect on my main site, but proved to be detrimental to my satellite sites. Initially, I had planned on spending about fifty dollars a week on SEO packages, but after seeing the results, the idea that outsourced SEO was both a waste of time and money became firmly cemented in my mind. I made a decision to no longer use outsourced SEO and to only use unconventional tactics for driving traffic to my store. When I returned, I spent a few hours a day working on various aspects of my site, as there was really nothing on it except a basic store template when I left. I also spent about three hours a week writing for my satellite sites.
Last week, I put analytics on some of my satellite sites, mainly just for kicks. The satellite sites I had created for GlowStickJunkie were essentially failures. Almost every good exact match domain (EDM) had been bought for the keywords I wanted, and even the ones I could find .nets for were nowhere near page 1. I did not enjoy writing for these sites and my efforts were futile. Fortunately, according to the analytics, the opposite is true for my new store.
Unlike GlowStickJunkie’s satellite sites, I did not focus on the design of the new store’s tier one sites. I pretty much standardized the look of the sites and designed them to only be one page, simple sites. The one site I put analytics on reported 3 to 4 views a day with a bounce rate of only 48% and an on-site time of 2 minutes, 21 seconds. This was after only 2 blog posts with a combined word total of 400 on a very simple site targeting a keyword with 260 exact matches per month on page 1, position 6. This blew me away. This dopey little site was actually doing exactly what I wanted it to do!
Now I needed to get the traffic from my satellite sites directed to my main store, so I bought a gig on Fiverr to have some .gif “ads” created specifically for my tier one sites. They turned out very well, and we will see how much traffic they bring to my site.
Enough about satellite sites, however. On the wholesale front, I have yet to set up a single wholesale account. This might sound strange to anyone familiar with eCommerce. However, when I started GSJ, I immediately set up wholesale accounts, but I did not have a sale for over four months. Especially with smaller wholesalers, telling them, “Nope, no sales yet.” every two weeks can be both irritating and awkward, so this time I have decided to wait until I have enough traffic and enough orders to necessitate wholesale accounts.
Last week, I stumbled upon a manufacturer in the New England area that manufactures a category of products that I have been trying to find for months now. So far, all of the manufacturers I have encountered have been from overseas, with almost no contact information (see: not trustworthy), and with products that would not meet my quality standards. I contacted the U.S.-based manufacturer about selling their products, as they have almost no online presence, but I have not received a reply yet. I really hope that something will work out, because I am already getting a lot of interest for these products, but I have nothing to sell to my potential customers. This is definitely not a problem I have had before!
As for life in general, everything is going pretty well. I did end up going out with the girl I wrote about in my previous log. I think it went really well, but I’m not sure where it will go from here. I am not in a rush since I have no other interest in relationships right now, so it won’t really matter how it turns out, but we will see! Either way, I would consider myself successful in what I initially set out to do, which was to overcome my fear of rejection.
Yesterday, I finally got my Volkswagen Super Beetle back, which presents a whole new set of challenges for me, but I am excited because it is something other than business stuff to work on. Don’t get me wrong, I love working on stuff for my store, but sometimes I do feel the need to do something with my hands and give my mind a break for a bit!
Today, I booked flights to Vancouver, which is also very exciting! I have just over a month to get as much stuff done as possible before I leave with my friend, Jerry. I plan to almost completely unplug, and this will be my first truly “minimalist” vacation. I was debating about whether to even take a carry-on! I am sure that it will be an entirely new experience for me and I am very excited about what could come of this trip.
Anyways, as one can see, everything is going well. We will just have to see how everything turns out over the next few weeks!