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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, August 01, 2014

The Few. The Proud. The Converted


Total income: +6.9%
Total COGS: -2.2%
Payroll: +37.4%

Marketing: +28.7%
Net Income (Profit): -68.1% (-$122)

Year to Date

Total income: +13.4%
Total COGS: +54.7%
Payroll: -36.7%

Marketing: +13.1%
Net Income (Profit): +44.6% (+$4,153)

Curio City ordinarily "closes" for a week of vacation in July (in which "closing" means putting all advertising on hold, posting delayed shipping notices on my home and new pages, and changing my order acknowledgment email to warn of shipping delays.) I'd hoped to widen my YTD lead because we couldn't afford a vacation this year. That didn't happen.

Oh well, it's just July. August's targets don't look terribly daunting, but August is really another throwaway month.


Trivia junkies might enjoy the June statistics that Google Analytics sent me:
3,799 unique visitors seems like a lot to me. 461 were returning and 3,338 came for the first time. 72% bounced away after seeing just the landing page. The average person spent 1:16 looking at three pages. 2,901 were from the US; the UK, Canada, Australia, and Germany rounded out the rest (I typically get two or three international sales a month).

Of those 3,338 first-time visitors, 2,124 came from paid Google clicks, 586 found me in organic Google search results, 224 came here directly with no referral, and 207 came from Bing and Yahoo organic searches. I turned off my Microsoft ads last month so there was no cpc traffic from Bing or Yahoo, which I doubt that Google measures accurately anyway. Twelve hundred unpaid visits is pretty good considering that I've never done any professional optimization.

Google only reported 22 "goal completions" -- or sales, as I like to call them -- for a dismal success rate of 0.7%. Maybe Google only measures the visitors that they sent me. Sunshop recorded 58 sales, or 1.5% of my total unique visits. I'd like conversions to run at closer to 2%, but I can live with 1.5% in the dead of summer. A "normal" rate is anywhere from 1-5%.

My strategy for increasing the number of visits and the conversion rate is simple and clear, but it requires money and the cooperation of my developer...neither of which I have right now. Maybe in a few weeks. 


Speaking of no money, I had to carry a $1,600 Mastercard balance into August with just $38 left in checking. There's very little hope of getting caught up as long as most of my sales are dropships; nearly every sale that I make increases my debt. It will take a Christmas miracle to make it all better, especially since I can't afford any new merchandise. It's weird to contemplate a final death spiral at the same time that I'm turning in black numbers.

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