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I found an interesting video on Keyword Research today. It came about in kind of a roundabout manner. I was browsing twitter and found a mention of it, and then went to YouTube and searched on keyword research until I actually found the video.
It is a video of Eugene Ware in his car, just talking about some of the core principles behind keyword research and how to decide if a particular keyword has value or not. He is involved in the Market Samurai program which was released earlier this year.
I got a phone call yesterday from a lady starting an online fabric shop. She had been aware of our site, http://www.fabricattic.com, liked it’s design, and had some questions about how we made it work for us.
I always have to laugh a little when someone asks about our design, and our developer, etc. because I developed the site myself with an early version of FrontPage and it’s definitely not fancy. Anyway, this lady was having some problems with the “package” that she had purchased from her designer because it didn’t allow her much flexibility. I tried to help her with a few quick fixes, but the main problems will have to be addressed with her webmaster, who is a contractor living several hundred miles away.
I know a lot of people who work successfully with remote contractors, but it’s not comfortable for everyone. Explore the options locally before deciding that a remote contractor is the best solution. Sometimes the ability to sit down face to face makes all the difference in ending up with what you want. Also, even if you don’t want to do it yourself, it is good to have a basic idea of what can and can’t be done. There are a lot of free or inexpensive tutorials on html on the internet. It isn’t necessary to spend a lot of money to get your own website.
One of the first things we did to generate more business when we started was to collect emails and send out announcements of sales and special offers.
We used a variety of methods to contact the people on our list in the beginning - everything from individual emails to a list in our email contact manager, to buying a software program which was supposedly designed to handle email lists and newsletter subscriptions. What a nightmare!!!
It’s important to have an easy way for people to subscribe or unsubscribe to your list, as well as an easy way for you to communicate with them. After many headaches over managing the subscriptions, and a major computer crash where I lost a significant portion of our list, I knew we needed something different.
Fortunately, I went to an internet conference and someone recommended that we try using Aweber. We’ve been using their system for the last 6 years, and it has worked great. Subscriptions and unsubscribes happen automatically without my involvement, they keep up on the latest in emailing regulations so we don’t get in trouble, and I don’t have to worry about the software because it’s all on their system!
If you are considering an email system, I would strongly recommend trying Aweber.
I spend a lot of time on the internet, either developing my website businesses or searching for newer and better ways of doing things. It occurred to me that others might be interested in what I am doing, so I will be posting to this blog whenever I have something new to share.
I started online with a website in 1999, before the big Dot com bubble burst. My mother-in-law (who is in her 80’s…imagine that) are partners in www.fabricattic.com, a website devoted to selling unusual quilting fabric. I had a “real” job at that time, she was retired, and we both were looking for a way to get started in a business that we could do part-time from home. She had been quilting for several years, and had built up an inventory of fabrics, so we took what she had, scanned the fabrics and started our business.
Fast-forward to the present, and we still continue to operate the fabric website, still as a home-based business, but now we have from 4-6 employees, and are much more knowledgeable in website management and ecommerce in general.
Fabricattic.com is not a fancy website…..I developed it myself using FrontPage, scanned the fabrics, found a webhost, set up a shopping cart, etc. It gets the job done, and was economical to set up. Once the site was up, it took about a month to get our first order. We posted our url on various free sites, contributed posts to a few forums, and hoped for the best. Surprisingly, we began to have a steady stream of orders. The main reason for our popularity, then and now, was the unique nature of our fabric offerings. We didn’t carry the same items as the brick and mortar quilt shops….rather we selected unique fabrics, many of them with a western them. Since our location is in eastern Montana the subject matter was a natural for us. Since then, we have learned that developing a niche market is one of the top recommendations for succeeding in internet sales. Til next time….
This blog is about some of the resources, tips, and lessons learned during our efforts to build and maintain a successful web business. We hope that some of our experiences may be helpful, but "your mileage may vary" so test before you commit to any changes in your current program.