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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, September 09, 2011

Don't Count Your Chickens Before They Cross the Road

...because they might get run over by a bus.
On Tuesday I finally got confirmation that the gift guide promoting the Science Quiz Clock (which I first wrote about on July 29) is definitely coming out this month. On Wednesday I tried to place a big order. On Thursday the vendor told me that they’re sold out. And so the big media event that could have kicked my YTD numbers into the black will instead be a big embarrassment. Well, I’ll surely sell the three that I have in stock (if you want one, buy it NOW). A few people will probably come back when I can restock in late October. And at least some fraction of this surge of free visitors will buy something else. September’s off to an average start...the big score that I was hoping for is going to be a small bump at best...and most of those new visitors will be annoyed. But, what can I do?
The Cool Baseball Necklace is my single best jewelry item ever. But my Google pay-per-click ad only delivered three of its 37 total sales at a cost of $64.48 per conversion. Microsoft Adcenter (Bing & Yahoo) accounted for six more sales at a similar outrageous cost. If the other 28 sales came from natural search, then the product should do OK without paying for those overpriced keywords. Since I need to get a grip on burgeoning ad costs, the keyword phrases that were driving lots of clicks with very few sales are history.

As summer laziness slowly yields to autumn guilt, I’m tackling some of the crap I’ve avoided these past few months. This week I bought new batteries for my camera, which has been tethered to a power cord for months now. Next week I’ll replace my laptop’s battery, whose charge life is down to about five minutes. I’ve started the tedium of writing orders and creating pages for new products. Thanks to that $800 golf ball purchase I can’t actually place these orders for another week, but at least I’ll have a few stacked up and ready to go by the time I can afford them. And once the traffic surge from my random act of media is over, I’m going to bring Sunshop up to date with three version upgrades.

It does feel good to move forward again after a summer of spinning wheels.

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