Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

2009 – The Year in Review

December 19, 2009

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I’ve gone through quite a bit of growth in my website this year.  I started my business in December 2008 and I think I’ve grown and learned so much about Internet Enterprise in this year.  This is primarily thanks to seller forums, fellow bloggers, and magazines.

The growth in 2009 has been plentiful but I have so much more growing to do in 2010. I have…

  • changed the store name to be less exclusive to dogs but include cat merchandise as well.
  • closed my cat focused store in the process.  I wasn’t able to give it the focus it needed so I think I’m much better off with the two pet types together in one store.  So many people have a cat and a dog that now people can shop from one store when they are looking for both pets.
  • changed my blog over from blogger to wordpress.  I still need to switch it to be hosted by godaddy so I can install the awesome plug-ins.  That’s on my list of goals for next year.
  • became more active in the blogger community.
  • started blogging more consistently once I moved over the WordPress.
  • set up a fan page on Facebook.
  • joined various social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, digg.com, ning.com
  • given Amazon.com a shot with the store.
  • Increased inventory in the store.
  • Advertised on Facebook and MySpace.
  • Ran a contest online.
  • Tried advertising a bit on other sites.
  • Submitted my site to search engines.
  • Decided to remove link partnerships from my store’s website.
  • Started using stock photos in my blog.

I will post goals for 2010 sometime soon.  I’d love to hear anyone else’s goals for 2010!  How did you do in 2009… about what you expected, above expectations, below expectations?  Do you know why you did well or not so well?

Picture This!

December 13, 2009

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I’ve started adding pictures to my blog.  I love this feature of my blog… and others’ blogs.  Before I started a blog, I didn’t think about it but I’m betting that I am more likely to read a blog if it has a picture.  At least on a boring page.  And since I can’t install plug-ins yet, I think this is a great way to liven up the site.  The first site I’ve been using that allows you to download and use their photos on your own site is Stock Exchng.  There are many others if you just enter ‘blog free photos.’  There are MANY free sites out there offering free membership and free photos.  Stock Exchng is one such company.  Sign up for a FREE account.  After verifying your email you are good to begin downloading pictures immediately.  There are some pictures on the site that have a translucent logo on top of the picture.  Those I haven’t used and I don’t think I will.  It just doesn’t look professional in my opinion.

Do YOU use pictures on your blog?  What site do you use?  What is your first impression of sites that use pictures in their blog… does it impact your opinion at all?

Blog Accountability

December 5, 2009

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So I’ve been looking through the blogosphere to find interesting blog articles that I can learn from.  I came upon Beginner Blogger who talks about being accountable for your blogging.   He posed interesting questions that I thought would make a great post here on Your Pet Store Blog.

  • So how do you keep yourself under pressure in the blogging world to make sure you get things done?

In the back of my mind I know my blog won’t be noticed if I don’t keep it updated.  Google won’t care about it and people won’t subscribe.  I’m using the blog to help my business and with that I would LOVE to become a stay-at-home mom.  That very desire is what motivates so much of what I do in life.

  • Are you currently working ‘for the man’?

I am currently working ‘for the man’ and would love to be working for myself and more importantly my 2 children.  I want to create a warm loving home where my kids can know I’ll be home when they come home from school.  I want them to remember that about me… not that dad picked up mom from work everyday.

  • How much time do you get to spend on your blog?

Writing a blog, I’ll probably spend 3 hours a week on my blog.  If you mean writing and marketing the blog, I would say 6 hours.  That extra time is spent looking at other people’s blogs, commenting, and hoping they do the same for me.

I enjoy blogging and plan to stay accountable.  What about you?

Engage Your Blog

December 2, 2009

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I hope everyone had an outstanding Thanksgiving holiday! The holiday shopping season has officially begun.  Christmas sure is coming up fast!  Sales have picked up a bit in Your Pet Store With More as well which is always a pleasure to see.

I’ve been pretty busy posting new products on the website and finding new resources to help us all better our business.

I’ve been using the Google blog finder to find interesting blogs and it has led to reading a lot of great blogs AND getting great resources from those blogs.  The most recent is from Ms. Ileane Speaks.  I really can’t say enough about this blog.  She always has great resources and even does video demos.  The most recent find by Ileane was Blog Engage.  This is a community of bloggers.  A great place to find great blogs.  How does it work?

  1. I joined last night, added one article link and already increased my blog hits today.  What you do is one by one submit your blog articles by entering a brief description and the URL for the article.
  2. People will click on your blog link if your description entices them to do so.  The link will open in a new window.
  3. When the person is done reading the article your hope is that they vote for you and/or leave a comment.  Comments are great in terms of increasing your presence on the internet.
  4. Read and comment on others blog articles.  This will help you find other resources that may benefit your business, allow you to get a meaningful links out there for your website, and help others that may in turn reciprocate.

There are some other notable features:

  1. Click on the Story tab at the top of any page and you’ll receive a list of the most popular tags.  There you can choose a topic you’d like to check out.  I used this feature because I wanted to see what was out there.  Maybe something I hadn’t thought to look for but would love to read about.
  2. You can also enter a search phrase in the search box if there is a particular topic you know you want to read about.
  3. The Live Feeds tab shows you the new blogs being submitted.  So if you’d like to review more current submissions that would be the place to stop.
  4. Your Groups allows you to join like minded groups to share ideas with.
  5. There is a Make Money tab but to be honest with you I’m not interested in that tab so you’ll have to check that out if you want to make money with your blog.
  6. Cool Sites tab… you can add your site here.  Just need to follow three really easy steps.

Of course I can’t mention all of the features here, but I hope I’ve made enough points for you to give Blog Engage a try.

So Much to Do With So Little Time

November 19, 2009

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Like most people, I could really use an extra 8 hours in my day.  I have a 40 hour a week job, two kids (ages 4 and 5), and I’m trying to get my website going successfully enough to become a stay-at-home mom.  So that leaves me only 2 hours a day or so to work on the website.  This includes marketing, adding products, and occassionally looking for new suppliers.

Marketing has been the most challenging.  Once the store is set up I add items once a week then I can leave it to only having to fill orders with the remaining “site” related time.  When looked at piece by piece marketing isn’t terribly challenging.  The part that is most challenging for me is how to split my time.  There are SOOOO many marketing tools and strategies out there that it’s difficult to choose what I will do in any given night.  I’m always researching ways to market my site because the different methods are so interesting.

I am constantly getting sidetracked when I do start to implement a marketing project.  I’ll be in the middle of working on something then stumble on another strategy.  It’s like I have ADD when I’m in this process.  I’m working diligently along then something else is dangled in front of me like a piece of meat to a lioness.  I can’t just let this steak go and come back to it later.  I need to sniff out the steak and delve into it right away because “that ‘steak’ must be better than the ‘steak’ I’m eating right now.  I’ll come back to steak #1 when I’m done with steak #2.  But what inevitably happens?  I don’t complete steak #2 before steak #3 is dangled in front of me.

So what’s on this seemingly endless list of “things-to-do”?

  • blogging
  • squidoo
  • stumble upon
  • link exchanges
  • commenting on others’ blogs
  • twitter
  • commenting in forums
  • submitting to directories
  • customer newsletters
  • advertising (craigslist, banners, website classifieds)
  • working on SEO strategies
  • writing content/articles for the website
  • submitting articles to other websites
  • Digg
  • follow-up emails to customers (haven’t done many but I’d like to do more)
  • I’ve been wanting to start a contest on my website

Wow!  I thought it just sounded like a lot in my head.  It even LOOKS like a lot.  And that’s all off the top of my head so you can probably double that for all the different things you can do online to promote your business.

So when I’m in these forums and on these blogs because I’m trying to market my website and want to leave comments, what do I do when I find the next “piece of steak?”  Jump on it or save it for later??

What would you do?  Any input would be VERY much appreciated!


What's up with this blog?

October 16, 2009

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Let’s get into why I’m doing this blog for Your Pet Store With More.

  1. I wanted to document how I am getting this business started.  I am using no tools that cost money.  The only money I put out is for the domain names I use and the hosting of the website.  I don’t buy any products that claim to do wonders for your website.  I spent too much money already on products that claim to make all kinds of money for you.  I got tired of it so vowed not to do it anymore.  There is always a way around those expensive tools.  And I don’t know that I would be able to use the tools to their full potential anyway.  A lot of times you’re buying a product just to have to buy another product after that in order to get the first half to work.  No More!!  One product I saw a while back that I didn’t purchase didn’t even seem to sell anything the consumer uses even.  It seemed like a they set up a website for you to recruit people to set up their own website.  But you weren’t trying to do anything but recruit people.  Scam!
  2. In documenting how I got started I want to educate others that might be like me.  People that aren’t real web or tech friendly but want to try starting their own business.  There are lots of free tools out there and I point out some that I’m using.
  3. In documenting I also keep tabs on myself and make sure I stay on track with the website.  It’s almost my to-do list.  Like I might indicate in the blog I’ve started working on link building.  Well a few months from now I’ll look back at my past blog posts and see I started link building.  I can think to myself “did I do all I could with link building?”  or “I should start link building some more.”
  4. My blog is another link out there for my website increasing google visability and sending people to my store (Your Pet Store With More)

Leave a comment:  Do you blog for another one of your websites? If you don’t blog and you want to be successful on the internet you should start yesterday!

AngelaS

What’s up with this blog?

October 16, 2009

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Let’s get into why I’m doing this blog for Your Pet Store With More.

  1. I wanted to document how I am getting this business started.  I am using no tools that cost money.  The only money I put out is for the domain names I use and the hosting of the website.  I don’t buy any products that claim to do wonders for your website.  I spent too much money already on products that claim to make all kinds of money for you.  I got tired of it so vowed not to do it anymore.  There is always a way around those expensive tools.  And I don’t know that I would be able to use the tools to their full potential anyway.  A lot of times you’re buying a product just to have to buy another product after that in order to get the first half to work.  No More!!  One product I saw a while back that I didn’t purchase didn’t even seem to sell anything the consumer uses even.  It seemed like a they set up a website for you to recruit people to set up their own website.  But you weren’t trying to do anything but recruit people.  Scam!
  2. In documenting how I got started I want to educate others that might be like me.  People that aren’t real web or tech friendly but want to try starting their own business.  There are lots of free tools out there and I point out some that I’m using.
  3. In documenting I also keep tabs on myself and make sure I stay on track with the website.  It’s almost my to-do list.  Like I might indicate in the blog I’ve started working on link building.  Well a few months from now I’ll look back at my past blog posts and see I started link building.  I can think to myself “did I do all I could with link building?”  or “I should start link building some more.”
  4. My blog is another link out there for my website increasing google visability and sending people to my store (Your Pet Store With More)

Leave a comment:  Do you blog for another one of your websites? If you don’t blog and you want to be successful on the internet you should start yesterday!

AngelaS

Your Pet Store Blog No. 1

October 16, 2009

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In December 2009 I started my internet business.  It had a different name back then but it was mine none-the-less.  It was also a pet store.  Recently I changed the name due to threatened law suit because someone owned the name that I did minus the word “store.”  There were mixed opinions amongst my peers about whether I had a solid case to fight this person.  In the end I decided to change my name rather that risking the loss of my livelihood.  As disappointed as I was I am now looking on the bright side and looking forward.  I have a great business called Your Pet Store With More and I’m educating myself on marketing the website so it will be extremely successful.  I NEED it to be extremely successful if I am to fulfill my dream of becoming a stay-at-home-mom.

I started a blog on blogspot a year ago when I started the business and I haven’t been happy with the popularity of it… or lack of popularity.  In addition, while I’ve been doing recent research I’ve learned that I should have my own domain name for my blog.  With those two factors present I thought this would be a good opportunity to move over to Word Press.  Nobody will miss me at blogspot and wordpress is gaining in popularitity in the world of internet marketing.  So here I am!

leave a comment: What do YOU think of Word Press as a marketing tool?

AngelaS