Week 1 Bootstrapping a Startup

As the first week of running a lean start-up comes to a close I wanted to take time to reflect on everything I have been doing and provide some valuable resources to anyone interested in starting their own project. I have finished building out my website which sells custom Native American inspired streetwear shirts. I have ran into obstacles along the way but the website is finally up and running.

One extremely important step before launching the website was to set up Google analytics and Google webmaster tools which is now search console. This will allow me to track who comes to my site and what content they are consuming and how they are engaging with me. Search console will give me insight into a number of things like how many pages are indexed and the search terms people are using to get to my site via search engines.

The first step was to build out a new platform which didnt all happen over a week it actually took several weeks. First, I planned out the content I wanted to have on the page I simply wrote all the content in a word doc. Prior to that I had done some basic keyword research and found a few terms I wanted to rank for I recommend using SEO tools toolbook for this. I built out several pages around my keywords then moved on to finding images that did not have any copyrights associated with them. Of course I was looking for free images since I am on a tight budget therefore, I recommend pixabay.com for this. When that was completed I saved them all in a folder and set up a shopify website. I chose shopify over bigcommerce because of all the additional apps the app market had and how intuitive the platform was. Then I set about building out my pages and installing some apps such as, a pop up email subscriber, persistent cart, linklicious and a custom contact page. I also decided to build a page using an app that pulls in dynamic content from my social profiles as well.

The second step, once the website was live and integrated with my drop shipper was to drive traffic to it. If a tree falls in the forest does it make a sound? No it does not therefore, I know SEO is going to be a vital part of my strategy I also decided to run an AdWords campaign and really try to drive traffic from social media to my website as well. I conducted a deeper dive into keyword research and found some terms to bid on that had decent traffic and of course relevant to my niche. I also took my time to write a few different ad copies to a/b test in google adwords which I will begin doing next week. Since I am on a tight budget I have also been making adjustments in adwords every few days. It is important to keep an eye on search terms your ads trigger and be sure to remove negative search terms or keywords that are costing you money but are not yielding any results.

Finally, moving forward along with blogging I am going to build out my static content that will serve as landing pages to drive organic traffic to my website. I conducted yet another round of keyword research and found some interesting keywords to build out content and topics around. The goal here is to go after the “low hanging” fruit or keywords that are not very competitive at first. These may not have a high search volume but will hopefully allow me to gain some traction first while I start trying to build backlinks to my website.

Lineage Clothing website

Not too bad for a first week around 380 page views and 192 sessions. I even had some goal conversions in my sign up and I used mail chimp to reach out to everyone and offer a promotional discount.

It has been an exciting first week and I look forward to what next week brings. Until next time!

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