Week 2 Bootstrapping a Startup

As my second week comes to a close I want to take some time and reflect on what is working and what is not to hopefully give an aspiring entrepreneur some much-needed resources. Again, if you have any sort of website I highly recommend setting up Google analytics and webmaster tools to be able to get insight into your traffic sources and the overall health of your website.

For instance, when I dig into my Google webmaster’s dashboard or search console as they call it now I can see some of my web pages are being indexed. I will have to probe a little further to determine why not everything is being indexed but this is a good start as my goal is to begin to get away from relying on paid search for my traffic and really dig into my organic search strategy.


Thanks to webmaster tools I can see the number of urls Google has indexed and get a high-level view of my website’s health. Unfortunately, I see I do not have many clicks coming into the website but the other report I like to look at is what keywords are driving traffic to the website.

Search_analyticsI can see that one keyword I optimized for is working to drive some traffic to my website so that is a good sign my search strategy is beginning to work even if I only have a few pages indexed. I also decided to build out a few additional pages for keywords I am targeting with a high search volume and very low competition. I hope these pages I built out will bring in traffic that will have better engagement than the traffic I currently have coming through from my PPC campaign. I already see a slight bump in traffic that I hope is from the SEO pages I built out.


Unfortunately, my bounce rate is higher than I want it to be and I would like to see a higher time on site I think this is a result of the trash traffic coming through PPC.


I can see the search engines are sending slightly better traffic than the PPC campaign I am currently running. However, the bounce rate is a little higher than I would like. I do see the email traffic has much better engagement than any other traffic source. In the medium “ebay listing” I am testing out posting products on Ebay in an attempt to drive traffic back to my site. I am trying to supplement my traffic since I expect to cut off the adwords campaign sometime soon since it is not converting and it is not cost effective to keep running it. I also installed an app that serves up a questionnaire to keep some more qualitative data back from the traffic hitting my site on the product page.

Doubling back to my Ebay listing attempt I think the people searching on Ebay are ready to make a purchase. I am posting products on there with links back to my site. I also tagged the urls so I know what traffic is coming through and I can further segment the data and see how they engage with my site. To tag the url’s I use Google’s simple url builder to build the links and then I just code it in the html editor on Ebay. I highly recommend tagging all links you put out linking back to your website so you know if your efforts are working and if you are driving quality traffic to your site.

I am also tracking the keyword and rank positioning using traffic travis. It is important to track your rankings and positioning periodically to see how you fare against the competition. Don’t get too hung up on this because keyword positioning does not always correlate nicely with web traffic.

page_rankings Not only is Traffic Travis great because it’s free but I get a quick overview of the keywords I am ranking for and the specific search engines as well. I can see very quickly I am ranking highly for a niche term.

Until next time, feel free to leave comments and post questions.



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!

Why do Car Dealerships Still Run Commercials on T.V?

Why are Car Dealerships Running Terrible Commercials on T.V?


I am generally against most forms of advertising for a number of reasons. First, it is hard to quantify the impact and reach they have on your target audience. Second, there are plenty of other effective marketing techniques to promote a brand or product. Finally, digital marketing makes it much more cost efficient to run targeted ads towards a particular group or demographic unlike ever before.

In particular I am referring to the car dealerships in my area constantly running cheesy car commercials with poor acting or buying radio time and running horrible ads. I know it is important to promote your business and gain some sort of relevance in today’s competitive business landscape but I believe there is a better use of resources. For instance, they could pay the money and have a decent website built with great information and resources for car buyers and set up some sort of inbound marketing funnel. They could have essential contact information on the page and run specials geared towards recent college graduates or students looking for a new vehicle. If a dealership really wants to spend money on advertising they could bid on ppc ads through Google and actually track who views their ads and comes to their website. They could even set up a free Google analytics account and track who is coming to their website and interacting with what on their pages.

I know this is more of a rant as opposed to an actual post, but I firmly believe these businesses are throwing money away. It’s bad enough the car industry is ultra-competitive and everyone is running car ads and radio ads. Don’t get me wrong Im sure some businesses have a digital marketing strategy but I think it is largely overlooked within the car industry as a whole.


Six Free Powerful Tools to Scale Your Businesses Social Media Efforts.

Free Social media tools for small business

As a small business owner you probably have a small budget and cannot afford to hire a digital marketing consultant or some of the more premium social media tools for your small business. As a small business owner you typically find yourself fulfilling many roles in the day to day operations of your small business and sometimes your social media strategies and content marketing campaign can take a backseat.

Fortunately, from starting and running a small online business I came across a wide variety of free social media tools perfect for small businesses. These tools will allow you to spend more time devoted towards the core aspects of your business that generate revenue and streamline the more tedious social media or various content marketing tasks.


Hoostuite is a wonderful tool for any bootstrapped time strained small business. This nifty tool will allow you to schedule out all your social media posts in advance on a variety of platforms. Recently Hootsuite integrated Instagram into the mix so no more manually posting in real time anymore. This tool also lets you add various feeds so you can stay up to date on all your social media events as well.

buzz sumo

Buzz Sumo is a great content generation tool. This website lets you type in your topic or keyword query into a search bar and returns some highly shared content within your niche or businesses industry. This is also a good tool for generating inbound links or finding social influencers who can drive more referral traffic to your businesses website. A good way to utilize this tool is to search for highly shared content and schedule posts through hoot suite for maybe a few weeks in advance. This will free up time for other activities such as possibly generating your own unique content or taking care of other activities related to your business.


Iconosquare is a create Instagram tool. Formerly known as statigram this program allows you to get analytic data on your Instagram account. This tool gives you insight into who your top influencers are within your niche and gives additional insight into how many followers you are losing and notifies you of new followers. This tool also provides notification of interactions on your Instagram profile as well.  Iconosquare is a free to use social media tool which will allow you to manage your Instagram comments while promoting your Instagram community.

follow liker

While not technically a free tool follow liker is a very inexpensive paid social media tool which will allow you to easily scale your businesses social media efforts. This tool is compatible with Pinterest, Instagram, twitter and Tumblr. Follow liker will automate the process of following, unfollowing, share photos, and like photos all based on pre-determined criteria you can designate prior to running the software program. Again, while not technically a free tool this is a very powerful social media tool perfect for small businesses. This tool will quickly allow you to scale your social media community and keep them engaged better.


Klout is a free social media content management tool. This tool works similar to buzz sumo in the sense you add your twitter profile to the platform and can research content based on a set of keywords and your niche. In addition, klout will also allow you to schedule content directly from their software platform and specify a time and date to publish your content. Klout also calculates its own score it gives you based on your social media engagement. Their platform also provides new fresh trending content daily on their platform which gets rid of the need to spend a lot of time searching the internet looking for content to share.


Google trends may not technically be a social media tool but it’s a great resource to see what people are searching for and compare various keywords people are searching through Google. This is however a free tool to use and worth utilizing before writing a blog or publishing original content to see what sort of potential impact it may have once it is published.

As a previous small business owner I understand all too well how valuable time is and how important it is to utilize the proper tools to quickly scale your social media community. Social Media is a wonderful tool to effectively promote your brand cost effectively. If you have not already reference back to my previous post on how to craft a social media marketing strategy like a rockstar. Until next time!