This week’s focus for my web business class has been Google Adwords. Before taking this course, I had no idea how one could go about advertising their website. Of course I’ve seen the little ‘ad’ icon at the top of my search results, but hadn’t really given it much thought. After this week, I’m aware that there is a lot to know about promoting a web business.
There’s a quality score which is based on relevancy and content. Much like an academic grade, it seems to take a lot more effort to recover from a weak score than start with a good one.
Since this is such new territory for me, I’m setting my daily budget low. I don’t want to lose my shoes while learn how to tread the waters of online marketing. I’m also realizing that I don’t necessarily want to have my website promoted too well. That might lead to customers who will buy and then I need more inventory and then… I’m a middle-aged mom with a family and I still have 15 credits to complete before graduation.
Without newspapers and with streaming video, business have to promote in different ways than 20 or 30 years ago. I’m glad I’m not a marketing major.
It is time. Today I am filing for a business license from the city and the state to start up my online business selling scrapbook layouts. I have been dragging my feet this week to set up the business because letting go of the money for fees is a challenge. It’s not that I don’t have the money, but I’m not intending this business to be a going concern after this semester is over. Hence this outlay of cash seems frivolous. I keep reminding myself that I didn’t have to purchase textbooks. Since the city charges an additional fee for licenses issued after a business is started, I am motivated to get this done.
I’m anxious to get into SEO. I had a course about a year ago that I thought would provide SEO instruction, but it was more about optimizing websites with graphics, and resizing graphics to improve load time. That will come in handy, however, as I upload photos of product to my site.
I’m close to graduation so I decided to look online for employment opportunities. Most of the job descriptions left me feeling unprepared. Maybe after an internship, I’ll gain more confidence. I did see some jobs requiring ecommerce knowledge, so this class will help with that.
While preparing to launch my own web business, I researched other websites. I want my site to look sleek and professional. Hopefully buyers won’t look at my site and think this is another dining-room business; meaning running a business out of my dining room.
This semester I’m learning how to program database using PHP language. I wish I knew more so that I could build my own business website and not rely on the web building sites like Weebly. I cannot determine if my free Weebly account offered with Bluehost will accommodate a payment button or if I need to upgrade to an e-commerce account.
This week we’re learning about legal aspects of a business and licensing. My husband and I had a consulting business many years ago. I remember running an add in a newspaper when we dissolved the business. That was a small pain. Does anyone even read the newspaper these days? Is that process different now?
I thought most people started a business because they were passionate about something or had a particular talent in a related area. There seems to be a lot more involved than simply opening a dance studio because I love dancing or because I’m an accomplished ballerina.
In the B250 course this week, students were to select a product to sell online. This could be likened to deciding what I want to be when I grow up. Well, not for me – I am not a business major nor am I looking to be self-employed with a web business. But for someone with that goal, selecting a product could be daunting. I am amazed at the way people can make money on the web. There’s no shortage of good ideas if one has ambition and tenacity.
Learning about Google Adwords (GA) was eye-opening as well. Using GA is like buying an ad in the newspaper. The more you spend the more prominent your business will be promoted. So even though consumers don’t use the newspaper like they used to, the advertising model hasn’t changed much.
I’m a consultant for Close To My Heart (CTMH). They sell scrapbooking and papercrafting products through representatives like me. While working on the assignments this week for my online marketing course, I came to realize that my CTMH business fits both the affiliate marketing and the drop shipping models.
I have a website provided by CTMH where customers can order and have goods delivered right to their door. I don’t even collect payment in this scenario. I drive customers to that sight by posting artwork to my blog, Pinterest and Facebook. This is the affiliate marketing model.
I also take orders directly from customers who I meet at craft workshops or in-home parties. I collect payment and then enter the orders on a backend website. CTMH collects their fee from me and sends the products to the customer. This is the drop shipping model.
This week I will need to pick a product to sell online. I have some ideas, but like the group in the scenario I’ve been studying this semester, I’m not sure how much time I can commit to this project. The time constraint may drive what type of business model and product I select.