Tons Of Work

Tons of work to do this week. Actually, tons of work to do period. I’m a “just get it out of the way” person. I tend to think that it all needs to get done now. This evening I scheduled the posts for the e-comm site. This week I need to get back on track with the affiliate sites, starting with posting daily on the existing sites. The priorities after that are the e-commerce homepage which I am so tempted to outsource, but fear the costs, and site #3 theming. After that it’s the article submission for the e-commerce site.

This week I absolutely need to get both the homepage template and the site #3 theming done. Those are big jobs. I have no idea how I’m going to get them done. If I can’t get the theming for site #3 done, I have to start the articles over there. I think that’s what I’ll do so that I don’t have insurmountable tasks and feel useless in the end. I’ll do daily posts for all 3 sites and the e-commerce homepage. That’s feasible.

Article Submission

I spent the better part of a couple days looking for article “engines”, places where I could submit articles. They had to meet one critical criteria. The publisher’s site must have a backlink from the article site. In other words, my sole purpose for article submission on this round is link honey. I want the links.

This was a tedious process. First, I went through this list of article directories. For each directory I picked a 2-3 month old article. I then checked the backlink of the site listed in the resource box. If the article directory was not listed in the backlinks, it did not make my list. Once I had the backlinks, I found other article directories in the list. I went to those directories, checked to see the submission criteria and ease of submission. I also checked an additional article from the new directory for backlinks. From this process I found these directories.

Of course, there are other reasons to do article submissions. For example, article sites often rank high for a given term given the content of the site. The articles get spidered faster giving you quicker visibility and higher traffic. Other webmasters and webnovices, look for information on article directories and either link to the article or reprint it with the live links in tact (more link honey). As a result I will also submit to Ezine Articles, perhaps the most popular article directory, and iSnare, a popular directory amongst affiliate marketers.

I want to do the first round of article submissions myself so that I learn firsthand what it entails. Next round I’ll use one of the submission services. Does anyone have any suggestions for those? What is your criteria for article submission? If you use a service, how do you verify that your criteria was met?

September Task List

I’m back from vacation. My intention was to leave on Wednesday so that I could use Thursday to recuperate, do work on Friday and enjoy the festivities at church this weekends, as well as fulfill a myriad of obligations. We did not leave until Thursday so the whole plan is out the window. I have a lot on my plate and my mind. Usually I write here last, but today I’m writing here first so that I could get my task list together. Here it is.

  • Do homepage template for e-commerce site. This is a seasonal template that needs to be swapped out. Immediately.
  • Do article submission for e-commerce site.
  • Commission 50 more articles for e-commerce site.
  • Complete April through August financials for e-commerce site.
  • Complete 30 articles for each of the affiliate sites.
  • Do 30 directory submissions and 20 feed submissions for affiliate sites.
  • Figure out optimal AdSense placement for site #1.

I started off thinking that this would be a task list for this weekend, but who am I kidding. I’m going to be working on this stuff all month long. As far as articles go, I’ve already lost 10 days this month, so for 10 out of the next 20 days I’ll have to double up. I really was hoping that this would not happen, but when I got to Florida my brain was so happy to take a rest, I just let it.

Feels much better to write it down though. I’ll be checking stuff off as time passes right here.

BTW, the scheduling thing worked like a charm. I used it for the e-commerce site. It was lovely.

Far, Far Behind

I feel so far behind. September is not as productive as I would like it to be and I am seriously contemplating stopping at 3 sites. I would have 5 in all, excluding the e-commerce site which is more like a business onto itself.

Here is my update for the month so far:

  • Do homepage template for e-commerce site. This is a seasonal template that needs to be swapped out. Immediately. Done today.
  • Do article submission for e-commerce site.
  • Commission 50 more articles for e-commerce site.
  • Complete April through August financials for e-commerce site.
  • Complete 30 articles for each of the affiliate sites. Update: 3 articles on site #3, 2 on site #2, and 1 on site #3.
  • Do 30 directory submissions and 20 feed submissions for affiliate sites.
  • Figure out optimal AdSense placement for site #1. Update: I’m going to have to re-theme the site.

Drudging Through

Site #1: 2 articles
Site #2: 2 articles
Site #3: 1 article

[Before TV]
I am dragging. I just want to sleep, but I persevere. I cranked out one article per site today and did the same yesterday. I have not done anything about the homepage yet, nor have I written anything for site #3. It’s not for lack of interesting info swimming in my head. It’s the organization of said information in a cohesive manner so that I can write. I know, I know, I should just push through and do it. In fact, that’s exactly what I’m going to do because I have to start somewhere. It’s not going to be perfect, but it has to get done. No articles today means an even tougher rest of the month. Can you tell that I’m giving myself a pep talk?

AdSense is doing remarkably well. I am over $17 for the month. Ironically, site #2, which is difficult to write for, is doing quite well.

[After TV]
Okay, I came upstairs after watching the Biggest Loser and did an article for site #3. I still can’t bring myself to post it, but at least it’s done. I just can’t go to an unthemed (my word) site.

First $5 Day

Site #1: 3 articles
Site #2: 2 articles
Site #3: 1 article

I almost overlooked it completely. I did $5 yesterday. Sadly, I am not that enthused. I am so tired.

This brings to light a serious problem with Site #1. It’s not bringing in any money despite traffic. I’m going to have to change the theme in order to improve my ad placement. This is the reason why I don’t like right hand navigation: left or 3-column is the way to go. Once people read the content first, they only go to the right menu if they are purposely looking for something. On the other hand, novice web users still read the left column first. Despite the blatant block of content in the middle.

BTW, I tried in content, that did not work either. **Sigh**

My content girl has disappeared. I really hope I find someone else as good.

It Was A Day of Processing And Packing

As I was lamenting today again on how laborious this shipping process is, I reminded myself that there was a time when we re-typed orders into Quickbooks and addresses into USPS. Imagine how much time that would take. I am grateful that that is no longer the case.

I’m beginning to isolate the problem areas. The biggest fat is in the number of times we touch the product. We unpack it and put it on the racks, then we check to see if it’s what we ordered, then we check to see if the stuff that we have to send out is there, then we pack it. Too many touch points for the products. I also think that we spend a lot of time walking around that tiny room. Clipboards will become a mainstay.

The next time consumer is the number of clicks that one order has to go through. For that, I think that order management software would help. Some central location that automatically interfaces to all the other apps we have to interface with, but we would only have to deal with it. We’ve been reading about Stone Edge to solve that problem.

Of course, this won’t be fixed overnight, but little by little we will become more efficient.

Quest To $1/day CONQUERED!

I am over $30, which means that my goal of $1/day is met. Joy, joy, yippee, yippee, joy, joy!!!

This has given me the incentive to get back on track with my affiliate sites. Realistically, I’m not going to meet my posting goals for this month. In order to make better use of my time and hit my December goal of $150, I am going to re-theme site #1. I am also outsourcing the writing for site #2. That leaves site #3, which realistically I won’t plan on resuming until mid-October.

I am on target to meet my goals. $5/day by December will be a stretch, but I believe with those changes I will be able to make it.

It Was A Day of Processing And Packing

As I was lamenting today again on how laborious this shipping process is, I reminded myself that there was a time when we re-typed orders into Quickbooks and addresses into USPS. Imagine how much time that would take. I am grateful that that is no longer the case.

I’m beginning to isolate the problem areas. The biggest fat is in the number of times we touch the product. We unpack it and put it on the racks, then we check to see if it’s what we ordered, then we check to see if the stuff that we have to send out is there, then we pack it. Too many touch points for the products. I also think that we spend a lot of time walking around that tiny room. Clipboards will become a mainstay.

The next time consumer is the number of clicks that one order has to go through. For that, I think that order management software would help. Some central location that automatically interfaces to all the other apps we have to interface with, but we would only have to deal with it. We’ve been reading about Stone Edge to solve that problem.

Of course, this won’t be fixed overnight, but little by little we will become more efficient.

Operations Getting Better

Today went much better. I am finally getting into a rhythm with the operations. It’s taken some effort to transition. I eliminated a touch by checking the shipping slip and inventorying items in one step, as oppose to checking them in, then putting them in inventory. Doing some clean up work on some items. Once I get into a groove with this I can concentrate on stuff I like, like marketing.