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Old 20th December 2005, 02:15 PM   #101
codeplacidly
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Default Don't know who Dooce is????

Even I know who Dooce is, and if she's not a small business in herself and a lesson worth studying, I don't know who is

Oh, yes, I'm pulling up a comfy chair and getting settled in, looking forward to learning lots here.

Jax

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Old 20th December 2005, 04:54 PM   #102
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Jenn, I had an idea that you could head over to Squidoo and set up a lens on breastfeeding and milk banking. It is totally allowed to have selfserving lenses. It is now open for public beta and it is a great time to claim your lens.

All the best,

Jay

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Old 20th December 2005, 08:09 PM   #103
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You know, that's not a bad idea at all! I've played with Squidoo on the search side of things but there were already so many great lenses it just didn't seem worth creating another...

Love it! I think I may work on that tomorrow (so keep an eye out for it on day 27!)

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Old 20th December 2005, 08:10 PM   #104
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Default Day 23 - Stats and Research, Yahoo! Ads Start Running and a Big Press Mention

Full Text: http://www.searchengineguide.com/laycock/006408.html

Day twenty-three was full of a little bit of action on a lot of different levels. From digging through my stats to doing another round of keyword research to finally getting my Yahoo! ads online I stayed busy on the search marketing front. At the same time, I uploaded another new shirt, brainstormed PR moves and stood amazed that public relations was working even without me!

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Old 20th December 2005, 08:46 PM   #105
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Default Day 24 - Public Relations Continues to Go Well and The Lactivist Project Shares

Full Text: http://www.searchengineguide.com/laycock/006411.html

On day twenty-four my public relations campaign was still going full steam ahead, even though we technically hadn't made any pitches or released the story on the wire. It was also the day that it dawned on me that this project had the potential to be greater than just a site to promote breastfeeding or even a project to help people learn about marketing.

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Old 21st December 2005, 03:38 AM   #106
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Default Where to send links: site or store?

I've been reading your messages with much interest - later into the night than I probably should.

You've pushed through something that has confused me from the when I first started with Cafepress. You mentioned that because Cafepress is an existing site, your store is already out of Google's sandbox - and ranking well. However, your Lactivist site is a new domain, so I'm guessing it's not out of the box yet. Now you've used cpshop to integrate the shop site into the Lactivist site.

Is your intent to run everything through the Lactivist site and sort of hide the shop site in the background? Are you going to start building your links to the Lactivist site instead of the store? Why wouldn't you just keep building links to the store - since it's already so well placed and out of the box?

Much like you, I have a store, a separate site, and my own domain name. So far I am just forwarding the domain to the store. I was planning on using the separate site for support stuff - blog, scripts, autoresponder, etc. I am beginning my article / link campaign and was thinking I would point everthing straight to the store. But a lot of people who seem to know what they are doing are going the cpshop route. Am I missing something?

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Old 21st December 2005, 07:40 AM   #107
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TheLactivist.com isn't in the "sandbox" it's actually ranking quite nicely for most of the phrases I'm targeting with it. That's because there's been a natural build up of inbound links from quality sites.

The "sandbox" tends to happen when people "build" a lot of links really fast. Meaning you go out and do a ton of recip link exchanges, or buy site-wide links or something along those lines. I've had sites get snagged in the sandbox for awhile and I've had ones pop-out as if it never existed. I think it's a combination of how/why/when the links are build and what your phrases are. The phrases that I'm targeting get traffic, but they aren't highly competitive.

I intend to leave both the CafePress Shop and the shop on my domain name going. Here's why...

1.) The CafePress shop draws internal traffic from the CafePress search engine and from the CafePress Wire (as long as it can stay in the top ten list). CafePress's internal search engine relies on the tags that you've assigned to your images to rank your products when people search at that site. For that reason, you need to keep an established store at the CafePress subdomain or you'll miss a lot of highly qualified traffic.

2.) The CafePress shop can rank very well, very quickly. With a few good inbound links, Google, MSN and eventually Yahoo! will pick up your site and, if its properly optimized, will rank it quite well. This is because CafePress is an established domain that passes quality links to its subdomains. Think of it as opening up a store in the hottest fashion mall around instead of in the strip mall at the edge of town.

3.) I'm going to continue running a store on my own domain for linking purposes. When you are relying on word of mouth and viral marketing to build a brand and sell products, you need to have something easy to remember. I can't well ask the Lactation Consultant that I meet at the hospital to remember "dubya dubya dubya dot cafe press (that's all one word) dot come forward slash the lactivist (again all one word)" when I could just tell her to go to "the lactivist dot com." A simple domain name is essential for word of mouth and for use in print media (like The New York Times).

4.) I'm still working on plans to build out TheLactivist.com to be a resource site. I'm looking to put together as much data as I can on human milk banking and I'd also like it to become a resource site for breastfeeding information. Right now, all of my content is in my blog. I'll likely continue to use the blog, but eventually, the blog may become the feeder for the content, much the way that this forum or the Search Engine Guide Blog serves as a feeder to the articles there.

Hopefully that makes more sense...

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Old 21st December 2005, 04:43 PM   #108
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Default Day 25 - Stats Confusion is Worked Out, Great Blog Discussions and MSN adCenter

Full Text: http://www.searchengineguide.com/laycock/006423.html

By day twenty-five I was well on my way to sliding out of start-up mode and into maintenance and growth mode for the Lactivist project. I spent some more time digging around in ClickTracks and made a realization about why I seemed to be losing traffic at the CafePress Store. I also spent some more time finding out what bloggers were saying about the project and looked into MSN's new adCenter program.

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Old 22nd December 2005, 02:22 AM   #109
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Default Redirects and subdomains

Ok, so I'm probably over-analyzing this...

I'd like your thoughts on a couple of tactics I am considering. First, I have a short catchy url that redirects to my cafepress store. Is it better to have a short url that actually points to its own site like yours instead of a redirect? Why so?

Second, I have an established domain that seems to be out of the sandbox. I was thinking about using a subdomain of it instead of a brand-new url for my own site (i.e. thelactivist.olddomain.com instead of thelactivist.com). I could put a redirect to the subdomain instead of the store maybe. What do you think?

Maybe I've been overly terrified of the sandbox. I've had a couple of sites go into hibernation there for a long time - months. Not sure where I went wrong. So I've been trying to come up with work-arounds. Sorry if I am belaboring this point.

Unrelated: couple of suggestions for baby shirt or bib: "I am a sucker for breastmilk" or "Just Milkin' Mom". (Sorry if these were already suggested.)

Your whole journey has been fascinating. Thanks for doing all this in public.

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Old 22nd December 2005, 09:39 AM   #110
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I think a lot of it isn't really a right or wrong thing, it's just how you prefer to do things. The redirect likely isn't a big deal, depending on how you are doing it. Just make sure you are using a 301 redirect on it and not a meta or javascript redirect. (those can cause problems with search engines.)

Ultimately, I planned to build out an actual site, so for me, it made sense to pull the CafePress content into my site rather than simply forwarding the domain. While it's possible to put content up on a CafePress site, it's a lot more difficult to work with the template system than it is to simply build your own site. Eventually, I want to make my CafePress site look just like the version of it that is on my own domain, but I've not yet had the time or energy to play around with the templates there to try and make it work.

So again, it really depends on what you are going to do with the store...are you JUST going to have a store, or do you also want to build out a content section? Any chance that you'll want to add forums or other features down the road? How big do you plan to make all this? Those are the things that you'll want to consider when you factor in where to put your content and your focus.

I'm going to keep all three sites running because I think being on the Blogger network gives me a bit better traffic and ranking chances than pulling it into my own domain does and because I need the traffic from the internal CafePress search engine. Ultimately, I want to build out the content on TheLactivist.com site and use the blog as a feeder...meaning that there will be Blog content, but some blog posts will point to full articles on my Lactivist site.

As for the sandbox, there's no denying that there are some issues that come into play with brand new domains, but if you're doing things right (building links naturally, adding content regularly) I think the fear is overblown. That's just my personal experience though. I don't do much client work anymore so it's mostly my own little pet projects now (like The Lactivist), those tend to be fairly niche even if a bit competitive, so I haven't really seen the effects of it as much as some...

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