Some poet I’ve long since forgotten wrote the following:
On my way to the place today the kids stopped me.
“Hey, let’s get a map, pick a spot and go there, okay?”
“No”, I said, “I have things to do.”
(I have to run ahead and be the spot because there is no map and I sometimes wonder if there are any kids.)
It’s been like that around here lately. Normally we sit on our thumbs in November and December and get ready for the January Trade Shows (the jewelry and belt biz). By February, the past few years (except for ’05!) you tighten your belt and wait for spring to hopefully bring more orders. In May, the orders are still sparse and you tighten the belt even more and hope for orders in July. August through October you’re busy as hell. At least you’d better be.
In mid-2004, I discovered that my various commercial websites, which had been up since ’96, ’98 and 2000, no longer had the search engine placement they once had. It was fairly dismal, and we had to rely on trade shows to brick & mortar stores for survival, which was also fairly dismal. So, not that we were getting desperate or anything, in October ’04 I tried a Google Ad Words campaign. Between October and December I spent around $12,000 in Google Ad Words and raked in close to that in web orders.
So, if you don’t count materials and labor, I just about broke even. In other words, I lost my shirt.
So, this year I didn’t buy any Google Ad Words. I actually don’t blame Google. I think I didn’t really understand it enough to properly mount a campaign. There’s a “tutorial”:http://www.seochat.com/c/a/Website-Marketing-Help/Using-Google-Adwords-for-Effective-Online-Marketing/ over at “DevShed”:http://www.devshed.com that explains the proper way to do Google Ad Words. Be that as it may…..I’ve got so many other responsibilities, that doing full time or part time, or even partial time SEO stuff is pretty much a luxury. And a very boring luxury at that. I start feeling like I’m running ahead all the time to be the spot, because there is no map and…..
At any rate, this year I spent quite a few hours readin’ and learnin’. Realizing, of course, that everything I learned is probably already outmoded. Still, we got our little hamster wheel a spinnin’, don’t we? What did I do this year? Too much and too boring to get into….niche key words, RSS feeds, a ton of crap.
But this year I’ve got orders out the wazoo. In fact, I’m starting to get stressed out over it. I try to tell myself, “Remember, the stress of no orders is worse than the stress of too many orders”. And “Seriously, you’re NOT DOOMED. Any time you can put a big sign on the sites – ‘SOLD OUT: PLEASE GO AWAY!'”
A major source of stress is that in early January, a Roadway Freight truck will stop by to pick up a 6′ x 2′ x 2’, 355 lb. crate containing new samples for the Chicago Gift Show. As of today, there are zero samples in that crate. The time required to make up all those new samples is about one month. And the web orders keep coming.
It gets worse. This is all happening under the reign of the worst President in US history. Think “Drunken Sailor Economics”. Seriously, it’s not possible that this is happening. At this point I’m thinking an extended stay with Nurse Ratchitt and about 500mg of Thorazine every 3 hours could be a viable alternative. Of course, I’ll have to ship a lot more than I am now to be able to afford that…better get some sleep. It’s already tomorrow. Oh, Jesus.