It’s been exactly 1 day since I cut my old blog loose, and pointed the URL needlepointland.com to my ecommerce domain, needlepoint.land, and requested that readers register if they wished to read my repositioned blog.
Some readers have asked me, Erin, are you out of your mind? You had a good thing going! You regularly got tons of visitors on your blog, and everything was simply hunky-dory. Don’t you realize you are flying in the face of conventional Internet wisdom? Why on earth change what worked?!
Well, the truth is, it worked – but only up to a point.
Yes my blog kept the Needlepoint Land name out there, but, quite frankly, it lead to negligible sales. To put this another way, it did not seamlessly provide opportunities that allowed customers to make buy decisions on my ecommerce site.
Moreover, it did kinda provide my competitors with an open window into my business. Now I realize that I am small potatoes. I am just a little needlepoint shop in sleepy Florida that is largely dependent on snowbirds in order to survive and even prosper.
Still, when only a fraction of the visitors who regularly came to my blog took the time to sign up, I came to the conclusion that much of the traffic I was receiving was not from potential customers at all.
And since I could not run ads on my WordPress blog (although WordPress could, and did), I derived no commercial benefit from pumping out 300 or so semi entertaining posts a year about the joys, trials and tribulations of running a needlepoint brick-and-mortar.
Now, at least, I have a lot more confidence in the fact that those who are now reading my blog are my true blue fans and supporters, rather than just casual content grazers who will bounce out the moment you ask them for an email.
Finally, and this is probably the most important point I want to make in this post, the very success of my blog seemed at some level to take the focus away from the merchandise I am selling. I even wrote a post about this, in the old blog, not that long ago (which I will excerpt below, for those who wish to reread it).
Now going forward, I intend to have lots of new content on this blog. It is not just going to be the typical promotional blurbs that you see on most needlepoint shop blogs (including the fake blogs of certain deep pocketed ones who need not be mentioned here).
Instead it is going to be a true and honest picture about what it is like to run a needlepoint store, and provide new types of content that I did not publish on the old blog, but which are in the works as we speak.
So… tell your friends about this blog, tell them to sign up, like me on Facebook (where I will soon be establishing a beachhead), add comments, use the social media share buttons, and I will continue to be more than tickled pink to continue publishing the honest to goodness true account of the joyous adventures of Erin in Needlepoint Land!
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Excerpt from my previously published “I am not the product here” post:
Let’s see here.
Now I worked in PR for twenty years in NYC.
I started out as a wet-behind-the-ears junior flack at Columbia University.
Later I slogged it out for a number of years in the PR dept at the Museum of Natural History.
Then I spent a few years dealing with various prima donnas on the board at the Animal Medical Center on the Upper East side.
I worked at these jobs because I wrote good copy and had a flair for generating publicity.
Annual reports, press releases, events and fund-raising promo: you name it, I wrote it.
Now I am a self-made entrepreneur.
I work for myself. I no longer have to make nice with people like Barbara Walters and haul ass to her apartment like the good little flack I was, ready-made gala speech in hand. (This actually used to happen.)
And I write to help promote my business, which is Needlepoint Land, but also because I enjoy it.
I think you can only be good at something if you like doing it.
With writing in particular, I think readers can immediately discern when someone is being dishonest in their writing and struggling to put “on paper” a coherent thought or two, because they feel they must pimp, sorry, market their products incessantly, versus reading something that is written because the writer genuinely enjoys writing.
My dilemma is this.
My product is not my writing.
I don’t write this blog in order to ultimately package it into a best-selling non-fiction book about Erin, a plucky woman entrepreneur trying to make it all alone in a cold, uncaring world.
Although I could do that.
In fact, I can see it all now.
Blogger par excellence, chart-busting author, invited opinion-maker at the TNNA’s trade shows, Women in Biz thought leader, national book tourer, paid speech-maker at Woman Entrepreneur of the Year conventions, and of course trusted advisor to various female Presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle — the vanity list is practically endless.
And it’s all just so… not me.
I do write this blog in order to shine a bright light on the beautiful canvases that my needlepoint designers create in their ateliers.
I am not the product here.