Thursday, 19 March 2015

3 tools that are improving my entrepreneurship

I never saw myself as an entrepreneur. I thought I would be a worker bee, settled into a comfortable hive somewhere.

There are things in life beyond our control. Like your company laying off 400 people during a reorganization. Including you.

When I found myself holding an envelope with details of my severance package, I had no idea of what was to come. I missed being a worker bee. As I started doing temp work to keep engaged in the labour market, I discovered something else. I missed being a queen bee. Because that's what it felt like, having my niche and my strengths in my former position.

Part of the stress of job hunting is that so much is out of your control. You can have a great resume and have a great interview - but you can't do anything about someone else being more qualified.

So that's how I started putting together Enchanted Mermaid Treasures. I planned it as a source of extra income and a way to maintain my HTML and CSS skills, while celebrating my love of mermaids.

So I built it. And started building Angela Boyko Art, because I've been returning to my creative roots over the last year.

Sounds simple, right? Well, you can build the site, but that doesn't mean visitors will come. I have had some sales, but I discovered that there was a lot I didn't know about marketing and SEO. Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools have helped me see where my traffic is coming from. Now I need to know how to get better exposure.

I tried a Facebook ad - ended up paying $1 a click but no sales. I tried Google Adwords - averaged .15 per click but also did not produce a sale.

So now I'm digging in to figure out how I can improve my site and my advertising. These have proven to be valuable resources:

Wordpress SEO by Yoast
I had a love/hate relationship with this plugin when I started, because it was so hard to write at least 300 words per page! But now I love it. It points out specific things to update, such as putting the keyword in the title, URL, and alt tags. It tells me to have at least one image per blog post. And it's free!

Chapter 1 of "The Definitive Guide to Copywriting"
Yes, chapter 1. I haven't finished the guide. I'm including this because chapter 1 asks some really good questions about your product. The questions had me thinking about my sites from a different perspective, and I'm going to be revising a lot of copy.

Google AdWords courses
Google wants you to buy advertising. Google wants you to reap the benefits of advertising with them. So they've provided free online courses. I'm in the second course and the worksheet is asking some very thought-provoking questions. I'm not sure how to define my audience when I don't have much of one right now. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

And because every blog post should have a photo ...

Today I received my new business cards and new postcards for Etsy #cards #etsy

A photo posted by Angela Boyko (@angelamermaid) on

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