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The swift countdown to Starting my new Website

Summary

Launching a new website requires plenty of planning and preparation. I addressed my new ecommerce company, My Wedding Decor, back in February, in “Launching my third site business in 15 years.” This is what I have been working on in […]

Launching a new website requires plenty of planning and preparation. I addressed my new ecommerce company, My Wedding Decor, back in February, in “Launching my third site business in 15 years.”

This is what I have been working on in the past six weeks.

Pinterest

Two weeks ago, I hired an oDesk social media specialist contractor to supply additional wedding-related hooks for My Wedding Decor Pinterest board, that I started last year. Unfortunately she inadvertently added all new pins — that I had not seen, approved, or composed relevant comments and hashtag phrases for — on on my live board, effectively spamming my followers! These were quickly removed and relocated to my draft (secret) board for personal editing.

It was just yesterday I felt I had sufficient hooks overall to split them into specific, SEO-friendly boards, such as wedding decoration, wedding meals, outdoor weddings, etc.

Facebook

Despite my friends’ support, and active liking, commenting on and sharing additional wedding company pages, my 11-month-old page numbered only about 250 Likes. Paying Facebook to boost posts had not resulted in new page enjoys, so I purchased some royalty-free photographs from iStock and produced a string of Facebook advertisements targeting Melbourne brides (recently expanded to brides in other Australian cities) to enjoy my webpage, which has added about 900 new lovers in the previous 10 days. I’d love to reach 2,000 or more by launch date.

With the launch deadline looming, I’ve written and scheduled four weeks’ worth of posts and am experimenting with the best time of day to post for likes, comments, and stocks, in addition to which kind of content gets the most answers. Up to now, the most popular material is a recipe for making watermelon”slice” vodka jelly shots, which might reveal the drinking tastes of Australian brides-to-be.

Ebooks

Ebooks can be a superb way to cultivate your customer list. I bought a site domain five months ago — TipsForBrides.com.au — on which my wedding decoration ebooks would exist. But it’s taken longer than I intended (a) to supply callouts, (b) to compile and edit information, (c) for the oDesk graphic design builder to produce the ebooks, and (d) for me to make the landing page.

Several weeks ago, I tried to make a landing page on Unbounce but was frustrated with its non-intuitive interface and its non-responsive design. When the first desktop version I worked over was missing and the next effort left impossible on the mobile version, I gave up on Unbounce and hunted a designer through Shopify, which will host my site. The ebook will be ready to start shortly.

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Newsletters

My newsletters will include special wedding advice to assist brides reach certain milestones towards their wedding day. After my designer made the template on MailChimp, I wrote almost a year’s worth of material. Unfortunately none of it’s complete because the true job has been dealing with providers.

Suppliers

As all online retailers understand, you must get really clear about what and why you are selling, to whom, and for what margin.

I’ve sourced over 300 personalized, unique, and unusual wedding decor products since September 2014. This has been the most enjoyable — and undoubtedly the most time-consuming — task thus far.

The time before your online shop launch is somewhat like the chicken-and-egg scenario. You need products for your shop, but you do not have a shop to show prospective suppliers. So they do not know whether your store is ideal for them. And you can not contact them until you’ve got the most complete collection of products that you’d like to sell.

This is where creating a healthy social networking presence certainly helps prospective suppliers feel more confident in working with you, which explains why I’ve been working on building up my Pinterest and Facebook accounts. But when does your FB page appear substantial enough for providers to work with you?

I started contacting suppliers six months ago. Of the 90 or so I contacted, 28 have agreed to market their products through My Wedding Decor, 20 said no, and 23 haven’t responded in any respect. I’m waiting to hear back from a further 20 who have my proposal. Six potential providers are waiting to visit my site once it is launched, while you will find another half-dozen or so who need a trade account, which I can’t apply for before the Australian Securities and Investments Commission upgrades my company name. So it might be a small start with, possibly, 80 to 100 products.

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Shopify

There are over 900 paid and free apps in the Shopify store. The first few I decided to use are for accounting, customization options, live chat, SEO improvements, and cart abandonment. However, I begin my free 14-day Shopify trial shortly, when I start loading goods, copy, and graphics on a theme template. Before I load anything, however, I have to finalize the product categories and titles and check I have all information to hand.

This might be the fastest-moving, most challenging two weeks I have had in company thus far.

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