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.
This week I learned a lot about drop shipping vs. affiliates. A few years ago I ordered from a company, and they called to let me know that they didn’t have any of that model in stock, but their supplier could drop ship me one if that was okay. Honestly, I never knew what that meant and I regretted not asking for the details of the process. I think drop shipping is a great way to have access to more inventory without physically storing it or having to pay for it before you need it.
While drop shipping does have some great advantages, I think the affiliate model is a better choice for me. I have been trying to decide what kind of business I will be starting for this class, and I’m leaning heavily toward using the affiliate model. I may not end up using the affiliate model exclusively, but I do think there are some advantages that make it worth looking into. Some companies allow you to get a commission on the whole order placed by the customer, not just the product you advertised for, which gives you a bigger profit. You can advertise for more products than you could if you had to physically have the inventory in your possession. I think overall the affiliate model is a better fit than drop shipping for my future company. I enjoyed learning more about the differences between the two business models this week.
This week I was really overwhelmed at the idea of starting a business on my own. Through watching the videos the professor posted, I learned a lot about Google AdWords and the keyword tool. I learned that there is a lot more competition on the internet than I was aware of. I’m really intimidated about starting a business, but I know there’s a lot to learn that will help me be successful. I’m looking forward to learning more about Google AdWords and all it can teach me.