… and already built habits got hit! Honestly and without illustration I lost my track on blogging and the way to success went longer… and longer. And we lost some unicorn tracks.
We promised to be honest and the biggest lesson was that, damn – it is not easy! Especially if it is Summer, beautiful weather, trips and vacations, long evenings and enjoying a day. Yeap, that was Summer 2019! No regrets, but let’s get back to business. We did do some of the work, but not as much we expected to!
I wish I could continue with Week 8 and Week 9 in the next paragraphs, but, alas, Summer had arrived. Summer in the Nordics is a lovely thing: the sun stays out until 11PM, the weather is nice and warm, so that you don’t need ten layers of clothing, like during other seasons. It’s normally a time for vacations, and there are way more reasons to stay outdoors than in. You can’t wait to finish you workday at the office and get out into the lovely day where a summer breeze blows gently through your hair… You take a stroll in the city or in a park, you may go out of the city, for a swim or a BBQ. Or take a book and enjoy it on the seaside with a glass of wine or coffee from a hipster cafe and meet some friends, or enjoy the time with your partner or family. Because it is very likely that tomorrow it could rain.
… We did all that. But we continued with unicorns – emotionally and physically. I stopped blogging for a while but we did not stop working.
How to survive the summer while building your own business?
As I mentioned, summers have quite a lot of temptations. The nice weather and all your friends and colleagues travelling around are just a few of them. Moreover, all business is in slower gear during July, which is normal because people try to go out and get that vitamin-D that the sun is offering. And after a long and dark winter, the sunlight is needed and appreciated. Being outdoors literally injects energy into your blood. To be honest, it is really hard to concentrate on business, on work or general reality during summer. But setting goals always helps.
Martin and I met a few times despite our summer plans, sunshine, work, family and other activities that were in our “Summer to-do” list. The enthusiasm had not left and we continued our work. Here are the main things we worked on:
Publishing the website. www.unicornyard.com Became Real And Went On Live
Our website – the place to get your daily dose of magic, positivity and good vibes is located here: www.unicornyard.com . We both realize that it’s not perfect, but we worked really hard, put a little bit of ourselves in it, and made sure it would look at the very least legible and understandable in mobile view (as the trend in these days), as well as on desktop.
Mobile look is something that one should really pay attention to these days – whatever you do, you can assume that a majority of users will reach you via phone. Especially if you like to attract millenials, as we do, and hope to make their day more magical. We did not leave the desktop view unnoticed, but it is way harder to remember to polish the mobile look, since most of the work and updates always come from desktop.
Plugins to optimize our work. Since our work is mainly about the content, suggestions, entertainment and fun, it is our job to do it as well as we can and make it as easy to find as possible. So our main tool in website was the YOAST plugin, which is very handy when working with SEO (Search Engine Optimization). It ties into our wish that our content should be easy to find and useful for readers in the sense that we actually answer their questions, help with their worries and suggest ideas as well as entertain them.
Learn to navigate the web. We decided to choose a special theme from WordPress themes and since every one of them works differently, it took us some time to learn the basics. Luckily, WordPress is really simple, and even though every theme has its own quirks, the general management of the pages, sections and articles is actually pretty easy. Just some tutorials like this can help you get the general idea pretty quickly. And there are a bunch of videos, starting from beginner setup to expert level about every theme.
Finish creating 50-60 informative articles on the site by the end of July.
ALMOST DONE. But it will be done by the end of October, so almost 3 months later.
While getting into the business, it seems rather easy to:
- Write an article or give feedback to the writer.
- Edit it, make sure it is easy to find with SEO principles
- Find suitable pictures
- Edit and make sure you are actually able to be found
- Link articles with each other and with suitable products.
- Make sure it looks appealing and has CTA-s, alt-texts and all the SEO checklist.
- Publish it!
Well, it does seem easy when it’s all on paper. Actually starting to work with it, making it a reality made us see that setting up even one article takes time, it can literally take 2-3 hours, depend of the length of the article. And I am not lying when I say it sounds way easier and quicker than it actually is. So here is the lesson: do not underestimate time waste.
In our business, the small details that make us easy to find matter.
But did we get stressed over the fact that we did not fulfill this goal on time?
No, we kept on going at our regular pace doing as much as possible, and day by day we noticed the changes in our web: more content was added every day or every other day. And at one point we noticed the first readers on our page!
We hadn’t expected any readers to find us at all in the first six months, so it really was a source of motivation and inspiration to see some sort of movement in the first month of the page. And Google really get us place to be visible.
Just continue to work and focus on content
Content is king – this expression does not really need any explanations. Especially if the idea is to create a site with niche content and with useful information for people.
So throughout the summer both Martin and I just had one focus. CONTENT! To provide as much of it as possible and make it as good as we could, to actually help people get answers to their questions about magical creatures. To feed their curiosity and sparkle up their days. Since we are just two people we simply did our best with what we had.
But Why Was Our Summer Hard?
Yes, there were motivational issues. Yes, there were hard times. Yes, there were days when the summer and the sun actually won!
Our business today is like a long time investment, so we both see it. You start today, but you can not see the results right away, what we actually see is just a growing webpage. And it feels great to lurk around in unicornyard.com and see it become more complex and ready day by day, as well as checking the analytics and feeling the excitement of the actual visitors trend growing and Google seeing our input into making people’s days full of magic.
But at the same time, nothing else happens. Motivation and focus always need to come from the inside and activities need to continue. Each day we bring the mantra “It takes time” with us. There are easier days, there are dull days, there is motivational flow, there is a feeling that nothing happens. Those are the days when we feel grateful for Google Analytics that shows us the trends and the fact that we’re making an impact.