Inbound Marketing.  In my eight years as a work-at-home mom doing mostly virtual assistance, I have not given this a thought.  At all.  At least, not for my own websites.  I’ve been like, okay, this is my work, I have my goals, and the goal is to have my client’s pages appear on page 1 of Google.

In the early days of my online career, I worked with a UK-based Internet Marketer.  His business was all about designing profitable websites, search engine optimization, email marketing and social marketing.  He builds really attractive websites for clients, with the goal of engaging visitors and converting those visitors into customers.  But before a website gets visited, the site needs to be optimized so that people will find it in searches.  That’s where SEO or search engine optimization comes in.  We try to study search behaviors of a particular target market.  We find out what are the keywords our target market is using when they do a search for a particular product.  Then we use those keywords in our meta data and content.  When visitors land on the site, we try to engage them with a call-to-action button, convincing them to leave their email addresses so we can do our email marketing. It was fascinating at best, boring at worst.  My tasks included creating wireframes, researching keywords, writing content, creating links, watching over analytics…and just about any activity that would put our sites on page 1, and have them stay there.  We tweak strategies when the graphs are showing a dip, and remain aggressive when the graph is on an uptrend.

Then I built my own business site, and set up my own blog, and conveniently forgot to apply the wealth of information I learned.  I was like, okay, I need a domain that will represent who I am, and it will be my brand.  I’ll set up my meta title, meta description and meta tags.  And I did.  I researched for my domain name, checked out competition, decided on my keywords, and set them all up.  The sites went live, and I went my merry way to work on another stranger’s SEO, leaving my own sites without much content, hoping that by some miracle, people will find me.

Sadly, it doesn’t work that way.  And it never will.

I did not even have my own analytics on my blog, until about two weeks ago.  In my mind, what do I need it for?  I am gainfully engaged with a client.  I don’t have to stress about people finding me.

Fast forward to August 30, 2014.  Thank goodness for one Martine de Luna, who invited me to attend the Spiralytics workshop on inbound marketing. Listening to the speakers awakened a desire that I’ve been trying to keep a lid on for the longest time.  The desire to write.

I mean, they were talking about how powerful content can be.  And I know I can put out content on any given day.

Yes, I’ve been writing.  But am I being read?  I don’t think so.  So now, I want people to find me. And maybe inspire them with my content that they will come back and regularly visit.  And I’ll be the world’s biggest hypocrite if I just don’t say it straight here:  I want to monetize my blog.

So, with my stock knowledge on SEO and email marketing, I’m now making it my goal to apply what I have learned about inbound marketing. It’s going to be a challenge, and it will be a slow process as I still have to prioritize my virtual work as operations manager for some guy’s business in the land of stars and stripes, but I can make it happen.  I will make it happen.

First stop:  the 46%.  According to Jimmy Cassells, 46% of online audience would likely follow a site with customized design.  And my site?  It sat on a free template since the day I built it.  So my fist mission has been to finally act on my dream of getting it professionally-designed, and it can’t get any more professional than Fancy Girl Designs, so I went to her.

I think the design process was my biggest stumbling block.  I see beauty in everything around me.  A blogger friend launches a site, I go ooooh wow!  And I kind of dream, I want something like that.  And then another blogger friend announces a re-design oh her site, and I go oh, this is what I want my site to look like!

Same thing with the color palette. I just like each and every palette that I see on my newsfeed every day.  So it really was a monumental task, creating a mood board for the designer to have an idea on the look that I want to have for my site.

But as you now know, I did it!  Here, let me share my mood board with you…

I was a zombie for two days for pulling an all-nighter for this mood board.

Errrr… I didn’t actually work on this one for two nights.  Truth is, there was another mood board which I worked on the first night, but it was totally scrapped.  Not worthy of sharing here.

But back to inbound marketing…

I’m really looking forward to becoming a more productive blogger in the coming days and applying the fresh knowledge that I have learned from Rhiza and Jimmy.   And between you and me, I’m realizing that it really helps when you’re happy with your site.  You tend to write more.  🙂

‘Til my next ramblings!