Monday, August 24, 2015

Farm Life

This summer is flying by, what with normal life, trying to build a house, and helping out on the farm with things like hauling hay and other fun stuff.

I've also been selling at a few local farmer's markets, which has been interesting. Not amazingly lucrative but it's been a good nudge to get a little more serious about the handcrafted natural salves and soaps I've been making.

I've got the Shafer Springs Farm site up and rolling now and we're also selling a few things in our Shafer Springs Farm Etsy shop.

I'd tried setting up a seller's account on Amazon and got 90% done before throwing the laptop through a window. The contrast between using Etsy (super simple and very intuitive) and Amazon (willfully confusing and Stone Age-y) to set up a seller's account to list and sell items could not have been more different.

Very excited that football season and cooler weather are on the horizon..I guess I'm a Vanderbilt Commodore fan again now that I'm back in Tennessee, which likely means a loooooonnnggg season ahead.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

How to Cook Bratwurst and Other Important Summer Topics

I'm not sure why I expect life to ever get less busy, as it seems to consistently trend in the more busy direction no matter what I do.

This spring has been especially crazy, as we're in the process of building our new house while trying to keep up with a two year old.

Not to mention keeping up with my various sites -- including an older domain that is going nuts traffic-wise as far as people wanting to know how to cook bratwurst -- as well as my fledgling beard balm empire and our amber necklace business.

I've been helping my dad and step-mom out on the farm which has been an experience in and of itself, as far as getting up to speed on the inner workings of goats and sheep.

I had the crazy notion that I might try to sneak off to Vegas to play in a smaller WSOP event but that will have to wait for another year.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Beard balm and hand salve

My first foray into selling stuff online was successful enough that I've launched a few more mini stores, including one for beard balm.

Making the products adds more than a few headaches (especially coming up with packaging and labels and sorting out shipping options and carriers and all that jazz) but the margins are far higher and it's nice to have more control over inventory.

The raw amber necklaces sell well but our supplier in Lithuania is a little hit and miss and often runs out of the styles we prefer, so it's been hard to keep them in stock on a regular basis.

As far as making salves and balms and what-not, while it sounds a little girly I'm actually enjoying it a lot.

Now that we're in Tennessee and living the farm life, we're looking for ways to eventually be self-supporting as far as the farm and the beard balm and hand salve are steps in that direction.

I'm buying all the ingredients now but eventually we want to grow and use what we can as far as natural ingredients like beeswax, lavender, and rosemary, so it's been kind of cool to play around with recipes to get down to something we're happy with that is crammed full of artificial chemicals and preservatives.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Buying expired domains

I'd heard about people buying expired domains for years but never really played around in that area until recently when I bought several expired domains, including this tactical knife domain.

It takes some fiddling with as you can definitely end up with something that looks decent on the surface but has a lot of crap lurking beneath.

I usually start at Expired Domains and just poke around with keyword searches, usually filtering the results by the DP column, which shows backlinks by total number of domains.

Most of the expired domains you'll find are only valuable for the backlinks to them, so that's mostly what you'll be focusing on here.

The tricky part is learning to ignore the ones that may have a decent number of backlinks but they're all from crappy directory sites and forums where someone blasted out a non-targeted campaign to automatically generate a lot of crap links.

That approached worked in the past as far as getting search traffic but not so much these days. That means people don' bother to renew some of the sites they used that technique on, so they come up as available with a lot of links but not much real value.

If I find ones that look decent I then hop over to Site Explorer (and sometimes Ahrefs) and check backlinks there.

I've tried building out a few with a ton of crappy backlinks with actual decent content but haven't had much success so far.

Pete's Tactical Knives is the best one that I've snagged so far, as it was a real site for awhile and picked up quality backlinks but then for years it just redirected to another site.

It never got the black hat approach as far as a ton of crap backlinks being built for it so it was pretty clean and it actually gets some traffic from those forum backlinks and links from other sites.

I don't spend a lot of time with this as its sifting through a lot of junk for a few decent domains, but it's definitely worth checking out from time to time if you're building up a network of sites.