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Every Friday, I post a small insight into running Curio City and/or Blue Hills Editorial Services. My most recent posts are directly below. You can also start with the first post, or use the subject labels to the right to home in on particular topics. Feel free to comment on anything that interests you.
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Friday, March 30, 2007

The Gentle Breezes of Change

The excitement is building -- at least, I'm excited -- as Sunshop 4 is finally nearing release...slowly, ever so slowly. It’s been in Beta forever. Absorbing this major software upgrade and implementing its new features is my first major 2007 milestone. I had hoped it would be done a month ago, but of course I have no control over this. Sometimes the winds of change are a gentle tropical zephyr.

Once Sunshop’s digested, I can seek a new developer to implement a few of the features that I’ve had on the drawing board since Day One. I need to follow up on tentative expressions of interest from a couple of contractors last year, or seek another alternative.

Meeting a web developer might be the best thing that came out of last week’s Boston Gift Show (which was otherwise a showcase of banality, as usual). I don’t know if I can afford their services, or if they’re the right outfit to implement what I want. The woman with whom I spoke was strictly focused on HTML pages for search engine optimization. I prefer to stay within my PHP engine as much as possible. But my mind can be changed by the right professional advice.

This Sunday I will send out one last issue of my newsletter via Sunshop. Then I’m going to open a trial Constant Contact account. I’ll learn how to use it by creating some press releases for my small media contact list. Once I’ve got that figured out, I’ll upgrade the Curio City Chronicle to a professional-looking HTML newsletter. I have over 400 subscribers now – about twice as many as I’d have guessed. If upgrading the newsletter increases its results from 1-3 sales per issue to 3-6, it will more than justify the Constant Contact fees. Half a dozen sales out of a 400-person opt-in mailing seems realistic to me.

I’ve made very little progress toward my goals so far this year. March sales were disappointing, to put it mildly – and downright frightening at one point, as I racked up my longest sales drought ever. As of today, I just barely beat last March’s unimpressive performance by a few bucks. My goal of doubling 2006 sales just isn’t happening. So the prospect of finally making some tangible headway is heartening.

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