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 and another for a hand salve to tackle dry cracked hands.

Both these are a little different than our first online shop for natural teething remedies, as I'm making the beard balm and hand salve myself (instead of importing and re-selling the amber teething necklaces.)

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 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.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Amber teething bracelets and cooking bratwurst

I'm always amused at the random crap I find myself doing, such as importing raw amber teething necklaces from a guy named Tomas in Lithuania or creating a website devoted to how to cook bratwurst.

Both are still works-in-progress and just a few of the projects I have going right now, as far as getting back into the swing of doing keyword research and creating various micro sites.

I'm curious to see how the teething bracelet one pans out, as that'll be the first site I've done where I'll actually be selling products.

I imagine it'll be a nightmare -- and I'm probably a little late to catch the recent interest/fad in amber teething necklaces -- but it'll be a learning experience if nothing else. I'm not sinking a ton of money into inventory and taking more of a wait and see approach.

Still working out some technical kinks with the tactical scope site, mainly trying to get OutWit Hub configured correctly to scrape product prices correctly on Amazon on a regular basis.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Ramble on

I've always wished I could have a uber history of all my Google searches over time, maybe with a heat map element thrown in to show frequency and intensity of searches.

There'd be a lot of random crap thrown in there but I think it'd be pretty interesting to see the topics that stuck long enough to register over a long time frame, as I imagine they'd jog memories and line up with wherever life was taking me at the moment.

Case in point: we're moving to Tennessee in December and embracing country life in the boondocks. I'm looking into stuff like water well drilling, aquaponics, and growing garlic whereas three years ago searches would be dominated by info on Malta, travel, etc.

No real point here. More and more life seems much more fascinating than fiction, as far as the random twists and turns and how you get from point A to point B.

It's all very natural and logical at the time but stepping back it seems impossible to be where you're at, given where you were not that long ago.