Welcome to Curious Business

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, September 28, 2007

Why I Blog

I started Curious Business for three reasons.

First, I hoped that it would be a clearinghouse of information for startups. Some small business owners out there have solved the same problems that I face, and others are encountering problems that I’ve solved. I wanted Curious Business to make connections and share experiences. That has happened a couple of times, although not the way that I’d envisioned. Rather than leaving comments, people send me email. Blogger technology is just not appropriate for a message-board style of interaction.

Second, I hoped that Curious Business would drive a little business and instill customer loyalty. Readers would follow links to my products and sign up for my newsletter. The search engines would index my posts and raise the page rank of linked products. Has that happened at all? Google Analytics, my best source for traffic information, says that Curious Business is my #16 referring site, having sent me only 40 visitors in the past six months. That's not very impressive. Only 10 of those visitors (25%) bounced without shopping, and a very impressive 12.5% conversion rate made this blog my #8 source of website referral sales. It’s not driving much traffic, but it’s driving good traffic. I also know of two newsletter signups through the blog interface. I hate to say it, but I'd probably get better sales results if I wrote my posts in marketing happy-talk instead of being my curmudgeonly self.

Third, I want to keep a history. Someday I might tell the story of Curio City in book form. Whether it turns out to be a rags-to-riches success story or a cautionary tale about how not to start a business, I need a record of events, goals, and thoughts. Deep down, I’m still an English major with a compulsion to write.

Who’s reading?

You are. Thanks for coming! Please make yourself known – leave a comment if something interests you.

My wife reads it, sometimes. If I nag her. One or two friends have visited in the past, although I don’t think they’re regular readers. AFAIK none of my friends or relatives follows the progress of my business. I don't blame them. There's a lot of interesting material on the web competing for our limited time, and my writing can be dry.

At least two other small business owners stop in periodically. Some of my vendors have been here, but I don’t think they’re regular readers. Every time I send out a newsletter, a few customers click the blog link. Some people stumble across it when Blogger’s random “next blog” link serves it up. That’s pretty much everybody that I know of. The counter at the bottom of the page says Curious Business has had 688 visits. Even if 200 of them were by me, that’s still nearly 500 real page views. Somebody’s reading, and so I keep writing.


Months from now, when economists are arguing over when the recession started, I will point to Friday, September 21, 2007. Business hit a wall that day and has not recovered. Still, thanks to a long run of decent sales, the month is already 50% over LY, with a day and a half yet to go. It looks like September will finish with a tidy little profit.

October and November look scary. I’m up against LY’s big score with nothing comparable working for me this year. I’m hoping that some cool new products and the Sunshop upgrade (which is still going painfully slowly) will make up some of that ground. But, let’s take it as it comes, shall we?


  1. You're in my RSS feed reader.

  2. I surfed on in from OO when work got slow. Now work's picked back up, but I can't help but want to catch up to the current entry. The blog is fascinating, even from the perspective of someone not considering starting his own business. Over and over again, I see where a small business owner's ingenuity creates opportunity to succeed. It's very foreign from my own background and education.


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