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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, November 30, 2012


This week tried hard to save November. Really, it did. A few good days brought the month to within 2% of LY. And then came yesterday. A year ago yesterday I set my all-time one-day sales record. The corresponding day this year missed that target by $2,000 and blew November right out of the water. Oh well, I saw it coming.


Total income: -6.1%
Total COGS: -4.6%
Payroll: +1.8%
Marketing: -50.8%
Net Income (Profit): +23.5%

Year to Date: 

Total income: -6.4%
Total COGS: -7.1%
Payroll: -1.4%
Marketing: -11.3%
Net Income (Profit): -15.0%

The spin: Although I’m clearly going to suffer my first-ever year-over-year sales decrease, I’ve done a pretty good job of controlling expenses. Both COGS and marketing are down more than sales are. Profit is down, too, but that seems to be because my salary was higher. I’m sure that’s just a quirk of the calendar (as is the big marketing drop)…but if one line has to be over budget, my paycheck is the one I want to see. 

Why on earth do I still advertise on Microsoft Ad Network? Every time I go there – which isn’t often – I end up deleting keywords and cutting back bids, even when I had intended to do the opposite. The conversion percentages are terrible. Keyword scores are as low as 2/10 for even highly relevant keywords (like “earbuds”). In the last seven days I paid Microsoft $31.75 for one lousy conversion. I'm loathe to do anything that would harm traffic, but this doesn't look very cost-effective.

So…December. The targets look impossible and I don’t have any outstanding products this year. I’ll call it success if I can hold the decline below 6%.

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