My First Subscriber

I got my first email subscriber today!

I never thought I’d make a page purely to convince someone to sign up for my email list. Never! This is the least prominent page on my entire site and is only linked to in one small area – right under the sidebar opt-in form.

What prompted me to do this?

Mailchimp can give you a URL that will create an opt-in form in a new window. However, it’s very impersonalized and it’s not on my site. Why would I want someone to opt in if they never even laid a foot on my domain? Right?

Yea, that’s my idea anyways.

So I created a page purely to link elsewhere (such as Facebook – which was my original reason). However, I’m sure I’ll find other places to link this page.

So if you think you’re going to do this, my formula goes like this:

Headline is something about signing up.

Intro blurb should be about how if they want to get free email updates, they should sign up. Basically reiterating what this page is for.

[I contemplated on inserting an opt-in form here but my page was too short to really justify it.]

Next: headline about what’s in it for them if they sign up

Next: List of reasons (I came up with 6)

Opt in form

Then, social media links.

This squeeze page thing isn’t something I thought I would be doing but more and more, I’m finding uses for them. I’m just happy that they’re not the first page visitors see. Instead, they see, I do have content. I do have free downloads. I do have regular posts.

I also started writing tomorrow’s blog post. I’m super good at multitasking (which studies show is actually bad for you)!

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Cultivating Habits

I still have a day job. I work for a big dotcom corporation that most people who haven’t been living under a rock probably knows about. However, because I’m paranoid, I refuse to tell you my company’s name. So you’re just going to have trust me that I do in fact work for a dotcom.

So our website at work just it 6.14 billion pageviews. BILLIONS even. Like holy moly… Imagine having 6.14 BILLION pageviews. On a site you own?! See, I personally don’t have any personal attachment to my company’s website. I work on it everyday and produce content and do development work when needed and all that. But I feel (and realistically, I am) a small part of a huge effort. However, I think it really comes down to the fact that it’s my job.

I remember this one day, my boss and I were having a chat about how we need to update things more on the regular to keep people coming back. This proposed updating schedule was Monday, Wednesday, Friday. He said something along the lines of “cultivating a habit” hence the title of this post.

In essence, the point was to get regular updates out in a timely manner so that our readers can start to expect new content instead of thinking that channel (section of a website) was dead.

How can a website have 6.14 billion pageviews if something isn’t being updated? You ask.

Because we’re like a bad butter sandwich. We spread our stuff too thin and due to the economy and the nature of our business, we’ve had layoffs which means less bandwidth to continually update certain parts of the site. The 80-20 rule doesn’t exist within my company. We never delete anything. NEVER.

Back to cultivating habits… So I start updating regularly and my boss signed me up for regular analytics updates that’s emailed to me every week. There used to be a joke about how only 5 people look at the channel I’m updating. Well, golly gee, after a few months of consistent updates and all that, traffic actually increased! I’ll be damned!

It’s not that we had constant content coming in. I mean, we only posted about 10-15 pieces a week on average over 5 subsections of the site. It was just the few new pieces that did it. The change. The “hey you came here for a reason” pull. The reason why we still look through google searches.

Because shit’s new.

I’m sorry, I swear a lot.

So in the short of it, I made a schedule for my blog. What I’m doing on which days doesn’t matter. I really just wanted to tell about how it had an impact to where maybe one person might just come up with a schedule.

What’s up lately

I’ve really spent some time on the blog. It’s been quite interesting actually because back in May, my piano teacher passed away. I thought at the time that I didn’t absorb as much as I could have and that I needed more time to learn more about music theory and all that.

Writing the past week or so, it really shows me how much I really did learn which in turn made me appreciate my late piano teacher even more. Granted I’ve always had piano lessons since I was four but I’ve never been taught that much about music theory until my last piano teacher. He was great and enthusiastic. I’d be surprised if someone couldn’t learn from him. However, the point of telling about this is that writing about this is really showing me things I didn’t think I know about myself. Like what an awesome learner I am.

My Evernote account has so much stuff in it. I have a page just for the to-do list and I’ve been keeping copies of my posts in there so that I can rewrite it for other places.

I’m starting to build backlinks to my site and slowly get it discovered. Not much significant traffic but I’m doing the links manually sort of. In the past, I’ve used Unique Article Wizard and Instant Article Factory. However, they’re just not worth my money really. Again, backlinks are about quality and not quantity. I also want to not abuse spinning articles which is why I got rid of any fancy tools like spinners and automatic article submission. I really want to put the elbow work into this. I love piano and playing music. It’s been my life and I don’t have a memory in my small head about a time I didn’t play. I think just that little tidbit, I really need to put more thought behind this blog than any other.

I started a facebook page. I have yet to learn where I should start.

I even have a twitter account for this blog.

It’s a marathon, not a race which is why I’ve jumped off the obsessive wheel to prevent burnout. I really only work on my website when the boyfriend is playing computer games, or when I just get home from work or something. It helps that I type pretty fast so I usually get a lot done.

I get too sentimental when I update this thing. Something about the wordpress interface makes me think and reflect on past times.

Progress Report

I picked a domain (howtoreadmusicguide.com) and topic. Here is where I am now.

Posts: I have 5 posts already published (some still need improvement and more detail). I have a list of 6 topics I plan on covering. I want to go back through all my post and add related products from Amazon. I also want to add videos to some of the posts but I need to find myself a camcorder for that. I’m thinking about picking up a Flip cam.

Facebook: Still need to set up a page. I want to include some branding material on the page so it’s going to take a little more thought than just logging into facebook.

Twitter: See facebook. Same thing with creating some sort of branding to gain more exposure.

Mailing List: I’m going with Mailchimp for now. I need to design an opt-in form. I think I’m also going to sync it with the blog like Corbett does with Think Traffic.

Layout: I’m using Thesis again and have a basic design up. I’m going to redesign it right before I “launch” it. I definitely want to stick with a black and white theme but I think having a third color just to draw out the important points.

SEO: I have All in One SEO installed. I have the default configurations. I assume they’re default for a reason. I think this is just something I’ll have to look into but I want to hold off until I’m more ready for people to find my site.

Monetization: Alongside with Amazon, I am looking into online piano lessons affiliate programs. I’m trying to steer clear of Adsense for this project (nothing personal, it just doesn’t seem to be the ideal strategy).

Products: I also want to create practice books sorted by level that I can sell for super cheap (it has to be cheaper than what you’d find in stores so I’m thinking a dollar per practice book). I’m thinking each practice book should be 5-7 pages (also why I don’t want it to be pricey). I’m still trying to find out the easiest way to do this with sheet music.

Workbooks could also be an alternative where it’s less piano based and more focused on reading music.