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Week 9 Reflection

This week took us a long way towards actually working with our websites and our ad campaigns. I’m actually very anxious to get the data collection and analysis under way so that I can finally understand why my website isn’t attracting any traffic.

As far as why we’re doing what we’re doing, I think it’s fairly easy to understand. The more information we have on who is visiting our sites and what their experience is like while they’re, the more we can understand what our website is lacking. Then we just have to fix the things that are getting in the way of us making money. It sounds both easy and complicated, but I don’t think it will seem that way once I get into the middle of it. There are always improvements to be made and doing it all at once is not necessary. It will be a long process, but I will find satisfaction in doing it.

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Week 8 Reflection

This week we learned more about writing ads for our online businesses. I learned a lot from the material, but the main three things I took away from it were including keywords in the ad, targeting specific audiences, and using a call to action in the ad.

For some reason, it didn’t occur to me to include some of my keywords in my ad, but if my keyword tags are what leads a person to my ad, then they should see a reflection of their search in my ad. If they typed in a specific thing to Google, then seeing what they typed in an ad would be a good indication that they can find what they’re looking for there.

I’ve identified three main audiences or customer groups that I want to target with my ad campaign: nerds, cosplayers, and people who like to be cozy. When I wrote my three ads, I wrote each one to target one of those groups.

It also just occurred to me that I might want to include search terms that are specific to people who are trying to shop for their friends and family but don’t know exactly what to get them. I’ll just write that down here so that I can remember it later.

Anyway, the third thing I took from the reading this week was to use a call to action in the ad, which I tried to do with each ad.

Week 7 Reflection

One of my main concerns about my online business as I prepared to take this class on building a web business was my SEO. I’ve had the website up for almost 6 months now and haven’t seen any traffic going to it. Either there is too much saturation in my market or I don’t have a good base for keywords.

In writing down a bunch of keywords on paper, I really only could tell what my intentions to sell were. I targeted a very specific market, the same one I always have, but when I used the tools provided by Google Ads, it suggested to me a whole new set of keywords that I hadn’t considered. Just the fact that I tend to say “hat” instead of “beanie” was limiting me in a big way.

I’m really excited to try to find alternative ways to label my products so that people who don’t phrase or name things the same as me will be included when I cast my advertising net.

Week 6 Reflection

This week I was able to register my business with the state of Utah. It wasn’t particularly hard, so I’m not sure why I was hesitating to do so for so long (since the beginning of the year). I am reminded that for this business to succeed, no one else has to do anything other than me. It’s my business and if I want to be successful, I have to put in the hours. Up until now, I haven’t been willing to do that, but this class is showing me that there are a lot of ways to make the system work for me. I’m really excited to start advertising for my business. One thing that I’ve always been willing to do is the actual production. I love knitting hats and that’s why I wanted to make myself a business. It’s something that I can do that I love and I’m ready to start doing it to earn money for my family.

Week 5 Reflection

This week we learned a lot about the design trends and guidelines for websites in this time period. I found it interesting to visit the websites that I normally would. For example, I’m on Amazon probably once a week… and their website is really hard to look at. They cram so much stuff into that initial page. I find the app much easier to use, but the sheer amount of options for navigation on Amazon is overwhelming.

When I designed my website, I wanted something very minimalist. Not only is it my personal style, but it’s much easier to figure out what you want to do. I have four navigation options and there is only a white background with very little happening on it. I really love how sophisticated it looks.

Week 4 Reflection

Choosing where to build and host my website were things I wasn’t too worried about because I had already done those things for my business. However, the end of this lesson hinted that we would be using Google Analytics to assess how our website is doing. This is really important for me, seeing as almost 6 months of having my business hosted on its own website has yielded nothing for me. Of course, I haven’t don’t much social media promotion or perhaps worked hard enough to get things going, but that’s what I’m in school for.

Once I can optimize my keywords and get my content on the website, finding traffic and a customer base should happen organically. I’m really excited for this next phase in the business creation process.

Week 3 Reflection

This week I really considered monetizing my blog. I thought about it a long time ago when I was actually blogging regularly, but this week, learning about affiliate marketing, I realized that it might be actually pretty easy to do, though I would have to focus a lot on driving traffic to my blog seeing as it isn’t viewed much.

As for the company we are making pretend decisions for, I didn’t like either of our options between affiliate marketing and drop shipping. I don’t like the idea of drop shipping in general because I don’t like the idea of paying someone to do something I could easily do myself. It just seems a little strange to me.

Affiliate marketing doesn’t make sense for the company because they aren’t content creators, but as someone who both deals with inventory for my own business and who enjoys creating content, the information I got about these types of monitization were really useful for me. Maybe things I’ll file away for later use, but in the meantime, they were interesting to write pros and cons for because I kept changing my mind about which one I preferred.

Week 2 Reflection

This week was awesome for learning about starting a business and while I knew a little bit about making my business unique so that it would attract customers who were looking particularly for what I was selling, our activity on demand and competition made me realize several things.

  1. I picked the wrong business. It wasn’t really my fault because the business evolved based on what I liked to do and what I was good at. It’s not my fault that a zillion other people also like to knit and are also good at it.
  2. If I had known more in the beginning about demand and competition, I would have spent more time developing the products that would bring me business rather than messing around with the same things that a thousand other online stores are selling.

I really love the tools on Adsense that we have learned about because I can use it to improve not only my SEO, but also the products themselves so that more people will see them based on what they’re more likely to search rather than what I think I would search for. In the activity, many of my keywords that I picked were totally useless because no one else thought of wording them the way I did. I need to learn how other people would word things rather than rely on my own knowledge.

AP Chemistry Score

I’m not sure I talked about this already… which is funny because I spent a whole school year obsessing over it.

I got a 3. Not spectacular, but it’s a pass.

It’s funny because I totally flipped out for this test and when I saw my score, I barely remembered to Facebook message my little sister so she could tell my mom.

We did do a little text-circle thing with the other kids who were in my AP Chemistry class along with my teacher. Not all of us had each others numbers, so we did a lot of texting to figure everything out. It was really nice to talk to my peeps again and we all ended up passing the test, which is impressive for the half of us who might not have made it.

Two weeks from now (or something like that) I’m starting my degree in Chemistry… I’ve been given a summer to think about it and I’m not backing out, but I am beginning to lose my confidence… hopefully I’ll actually be good at it, though… somewhat.

I don’t know about the rest of the world, but at my high school, there were two kinds of boys: boys that didn’t mind girls who wore makeup and boys who prefer girls who don’t wear makeup and thought that wearing makeup meant that girls were ashamed of themselves or didn’t have very high self-esteem.

Well, that’s likely to help their self-esteem, obviously. As a girl who doesn’t wear makeup, has perfectly fine self-esteem, and a really horrible complexion; I would like to address guys of the second type.

First of all, I agree with you in one aspect, girls who don’t wear a ton of makeup AND are confident tend to look perfectly fine, but it isn’t like there are only the girls who wear tons of makeup and those who wear none at all. A lot of girls wear a minimal amount of makeup and look almost like they aren’t wearing any at all, which means, guys, when you’re insulting girls who wear makeup, you may end up insulting the girls you’re trying to compliment.

It may be a mystery to you, but there is a good reason why girls wear makeup. Most of them just want to look nice. Yeah, makeup extremes can be off-putting, but it isn’t like they’re doing it to make you hate them. They’re trying just as desperately to impress you as you probably are to impress them.

You probably wake up every morning and put on some clean clothes that you think look good on you. You put on shoes, brush your teeth (please, please, please brush your teeth every morning), put on deodorant (hopefully), and comb your hair. Are you doing this because it makes you feel more comfortable? The answer to that is yes. Yes, it feels better to be clean and to smell good, but it also feels better when you know there are less things for other people to hate you for.

You gain social comfort. No matter how much you claim you don’t care about what people think of you, you do care and you should be making it easier for people to think well of you. I tell people all the time that I don’t care what people think of me and I like to think that I don’t care, however, I brush my teeth and shower regularly anyway. It isn’t because I want to gain social stature, it’s because life is more comfortable when you have social acceptance. I don’t mean all that crap about changing yourself to fit what society thinks you should be, I mean making yourself presentable so that people don’t decide who you are by how you groom yourself.

If people are going to hate you, let them hate you because they don’t like the person you are, not because they don’t like what you look like. I would prefer that over anything.

So, guys, instead of applying your personal preference to the world to decide who you will like and who you will hate, look at individuals. This isn’t a search engine; you don’t need sort through your options mechanically, throwing out everyone who has one characteristic or habit and only choosing those who fit your perfect idea of a person. I guarantee that when you meet your special someone, they’re going to have a feature that you never thought you could live with, but you will (or at least, you should) accept them for who they are and you’ll hopefully be really happy together.

Quit looking at these things so specifically and let everything happen naturally. You can’t decide to fall in love with someone just because they meet all the right criteria, it’s going to happen without your conscious help.

And yes, I admit that you can tell a lot about a person by how much they try to fit into society and be accepted by the people around them, but remember that everyone is an individual and they all have different reasons for doing things.

I have to go to work now. Bye, bye.