This week I learned a lot more about how to understand Google Analytics and how it impacts my site. I learned that most of my readers come from the UK and Australia, which really surprised me. I have seen a little bit of success lately with my site. I had a pen store in India contact me, asking if they could send me some ink for review, which made me really happy, since I have been waiting team up with some pen stores. My site was also shared by a podcast weekly newsletter, which drove a lot of traffic to my site, and gained me a lot more RSS readers. Another blog also shared links to my site. I’m still trying to create new blog content everyday, and respond to readers on social media.
This week I learned about social media platforms and how they can help you understand your current customers better and how to gain new customers. I am currently using Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for my business. I hope to continue using all of them, but I am focusing on Instagram. I have found some success from other companies sharing my content, especially on Pinterest. In the future, I hope to continue using all four platforms to further my business. I may add LinkedIn and Youtube in the future as well.
This week I learned a lot about optimizing web sites for SEO. I think there’s a lot of work I could do to improve my keywords and make sure that Google is finding them easier. I think I need to include the keyword in the title, the body of the text, the alt information for the photos I post, and in the links I use. I also think I need to focus on sharing other people’s links, and hope that encourages them to share mine as well. You have the opportunity to bring the whole blogging community higher by sharing and encouraging other people’s blogs. You can bring everyone up when you focus on encouraging everyone instead of seeing it as a competition for business.
On Sunday, June 18th I had five visitors to my site. I’ve been regularly posting to social media, hoping to get more viewers to my site. This week my blog was found by one of the top five fountain pen retailers in the United States. They have been posting my content to their social media pages, and today they shared one of my blog posts, and connected it back to me. So I went from 5 page views on Sunday to 211 page views on Thursday. I’m amazed at the exposure I got from a few social media shares from a larger company. I’m grateful for the exposure, and it just makes me want to work harder at making my site worth looking at.
I started my Google AdWords campaign on Monday, and already have had 25,000 impressions, which is a lot more than I hoped for this early in the campaign.
This week I struggled with conversion placement on my site. I’m still working on figuring it out, and hope to get it worked out soon. I’ve learned so much from this process of creating my site, things I don’t think I would have learned if I hadn’t actually created the site myself.
At first, I was really hesitant to start my website. I have always wanted to start one, but have been too chicken to actually do it. I’ve learned a lot so far, and I enjoy writing posts and taking pictures. I’m glad this class forced me to get over my fear and actually do it.
This week I have been following the built-in analytics my site host (Squarespace) has. I’ve learned that I get most of my new readers through social media. I post regularly to Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram. I’m excited to start using Google Analytics, and see if it is more helpful than Squarespace’s analytics.
This week I learned a lot more about Google AdWords and how to run a campaign. I learned how to create ads, and what requirements they need to meet. I’ve never really thought about the ads that pop up when I do a Google search, but now that I’ve given it more thought, they all do look alike. I think running a Google campaign would bring more viewers to my site.
I have been very nervous and anxious about starting my first real site, but now that I’ve been making posts for a few weeks I’m becoming comfortable with the process. I made my first ten dollars, which is encouraging, but it shows me how very far I still have to go before my site supports itself. I can’t wait to learn how to do more adjustments to my site so it looks and runs better.
This week I learned about Google AdWord campaigns and the keyword tool. I’m looking forward to trying a campaign to drive traffic to my site. I have had some luck this week in getting people to view my site through social media. I’ve even made a few sales, about eight in the last week. I think it’s a good start but there is still a long way to go before I have a self-supporting business. I hope a Google campaign will help me get people to view my site.
This week I learned about business licenses and business legal structures. It was really helpful for me to learn about all of the different structures so I could figure out which one works best for my business. For my blog, I will be doing a sole proprietorship. I am still trying to decide if I need a business license or not. I’m utilizing Amazon affiliate links on my blog, so I will have some income, but I’m still unsure if I need a business license for that. I’ve learned so much about setting up a blog in the past two weeks, and have started posting my reviews. I look forward to learning more next week.
This week I learned about site design and online credit card transactions. I learned how to insert a code into my website to use PayPal as a checkout option. Since I am doing a blog with advertising for my business, I don’t think a traditional shopping cart would be beneficial to me. However, I think PayPal would be a good option to offer readers a chance to donate to the site. I am doing a blog about fountain pen ink, and reviewing different inks, so any money donated would go toward the purchase of more ink. Some similar sites I have looked at use PayPal for donations, and some use a site called Patreon. I think it would be helpful to start out using PayPal, and then maybe add Patreon later on. It was really interesting to learn about how PayPal works.
This week I completed project 1, which helped me decide which business I should work on out of a list of 20 business ideas. I learned that the business that works with my time and budget constraints would be an ink review blog with advertising on the site. I have been very concerned about this project, but the videos helped me a lot, showing me what needed to be done for each page of the project. I look forward to actually building the site and making content for the blog.
I enjoyed learning about site builders and hosts this week, and I think I will go with Squarespace as my final builder/host. I think they will meet the needs of my business and the requirements of the class. I look forward to learning about how to use their software.