wordpress

ChoyBoy Solutions: Why AdWords is a Waste of Time and Money; An Intro to Social Media Marketing

I apologize for the misleading title. At first glance, it may appear as if I hated AdWords, which really isn’t the case. AdWords is a great tool meant to drive traffic and create conversions but like any other tool, it’s only effective if you know how to use it. If you don’t know how to use it, you’re most likely wasting your time and time is money…so it’s like losing twice as much money! If you don’t know how to use AdWords, check out the 6 steps I use to set up my AdWords campaigns.

From the perspective of a small startup brand, AdWords may seem enticing to use to generate traffic and create conversions but all that money you’re shelling out could be used to create products and hold events and pretty much build your brand. Most brands are looking to create a following; a loyal group of people that absolutely loves what your company is about and would kill (not really) for the products you make. I’m sure you’ve all seen the long lines that wrap around corners for shoes or shirts from brands like Nike or The Hundreds. Love like that cannot be bought nor can it be replicated through the use of AdWords. It can only be built through the blood, sweat and tears of creating solid content through writing, YouTube videos and interacting with people face-to-face…then posting it on your blog for the world to see. But not everyone will see it. Not everyone would want to see it.

An extremely quick intro to marketing via Social Media.

1) If you haven’t already done so, create a blog (I use WordPress), Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr account. Pinterest is a big maybe for me because it’s not where my target market is BUT if you’re targeting women ages 16-35, go ahead and join Pinterest. Pinterest is heavily dominated by females so it will work to your advantage, just not mine. Spruce up all of those accounts to make it look like nice and consistent with your website. Make sure all your accounts are listed on each other. You want a link to your Twitter account to be on your Facebook and a link to your Facebook account on your Instagram and so on and so forth. Make sure they all link back to your online shop.

2) Download HootSuite or any other application to manage your accounts. Start sharing and start #hastagging. I know, I absolutely hate #hashtags but guess what, deal with it. They work. Hashtags allow you to search by that specific hashtag. Let’s say a fitness company wants to post a picture about legs. Hashtags for that would be something like #legday or #legpress. Well guess what, people who use hashtags use that hashtag. Just go ahead and search that hashtag and like the customer! Sometimes the customer will find you! But be selective when you choose hashtags. Nothing vague. Be specific to save time.

3) Start blogging. You know that WordPress account I told you to make. Use it. Start writing content and make sure they automatically post on to your other accounts to take reach the audience on those platforms. Make sure your blog posts are anywhere between 350 to 500 words.┬áMake sure that all your efforts on social media can be collected onto your blogging platform. There’s plugins to make it happen so it’s not that difficult.

4) SEO plugins/Meta tagging. You need this. Rather than spending money on AdWords, building rich content and optimizing those pages with keywords is a smarter way to go. It may not produce the results as fast as you want but you’ll gain a following of avid readers who are genuinely interested in you and your company.

5) Engage your readers. Start asking questions. Start leaving comments. Start suggesting products. Don’t just set up your accounts and leave it be. The internet is dynamic, not static. There is no such thing as “if you build it, they will come.”

So what would you rather do? Spend money to gain random traffic or build a following through sharing your experiences? One may convert to sales, the other, no questions asked. It’ll work.

 

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ChoyBoy Solutions: 88 Monks – New Landing, About, Store and Contact Pages (Still a Work In Progress)

Been working on the site since the 9th (when eNom finally decided to release the domain to Bluehost).

Here’s a screenshot to the landing page. I made it so there’s 3 featured photos.

Featured photo 1: “Welcome to 88 Monks”

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Featured photo 2: “Hip Hop, Kung-Fu, Video Game Shop!”

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Featured photo 3: “625 N. Alvarado St. Los Angeles, CA 90026”

Screen Shot 2014-05-08 at 9.30.23 AM

I made it this way so its easier to navigate. There are still some lingering issues that I need to take care of like adding the social media links and removing the unwanted post tags. I’ll have to dive deeper into the HTML for those…pain in butt.

Finally got the shop loaded. Originally, I was going to use WooCommerce but I decided that it was too much work. I decided to stick with Big Cartel and seamlessly integrate it by using iframe tags. I did do some HTML work on the Big Cartel side. Still needs work.

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As I mentioned on the other post, the About page is fine the way it is. I couldn’t find the old picture they used so I just added something from their Tumblr account. Screen Shot 2014-05-08 at 9.32.04 AM

Finally added a much needed contact page. It’s pretty basic and it doesn’t say much but at least its up.

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There’s still a lot of work to do on this site…mostly on the back end and some aesthetic tweaks but it should be up and running soon.

It looks a lot better than the what it looked like before:
Landing Page
About Page
Product Page

Stay posted.

ChoyBoy Solutions: Why a Premium or Pay-To-Use eCommerce Platform is What You’re Looking For

When there are free options to running your online store, why in the world would you want to pay for eCommerce services? Sites like WordPress make it easy for you to create your online store with plugins like WP-eCommerce and WooCommerce. I’ve personally used both of these plug-ins and they worked fine for what I needed at the time since I was low-volume seller. Later on, when my store became more and more popular and as WordPress started to release more and more updates, I started to notice some problems; mainly with compatibility and customization problems. I’m sure now these plug-ins have evolved into something more powerful but plugins can never compete with a full-fledge eCommerce platform. Sites like Big Cartel and Shopify are years ahead of what simple plugins can do.

Big Cartel has an amazing free and premium storefront options, which range from $10 a month to $30 a month. The question that I’ve found that most Big Cartel users ask themselves is “will I ever need to post 25/100/300 products?” The answer is, maybe. Maybe you will. Maybe you won’t. But you will need more than 1 product image. Customers want to view different angles of product images and see how people look like when wearing your product. Stats are important but with Google Analytics, you might not need that option. You will however need customization, inventory tracking and discount codes.

The drawback with Big Cartel is that you won’t get the customization options like that of Shopify. Shopify has a whole team dedicated to assisting their clients with everything from designing to marketing to merchant services. You won’t get that with Big Cartel or WordPress. You won’t really need to learn how to code or even touch the code. If you had your store on WordPress and had a shopping cart plugin, you’ll get your hands dirty once a week at the least; coding the templates, adding in a payment gateway like PayPal, and blah blah blah.

The thing with these eCommerce platform is that you don’t have a blogging option and that you might just need to link it to your WordPress (but that’s really easy and not all online stores want/need a blog).

I’m not endorsing Shopify nor am I hating on Big Cartel or WordPress and it’s plugins. All I’m saying is that if you want to make your life easier and have someone deal with the nitty gritty, by all means, pick an eCommerce platform that allows you to customize your site with ease and lets you process payments so that you can focus your attention to marketing your brand. $30 a month is a small fee compared to a headache that lasts for hours and hours.