We purchased the domain, set up the website, and didn’t post anything a year.
Jessica and I have been brainstorming business ideas since we were in high school. We had the idea for a website with advice for figuring out ‘life after college’ in early 2014. We heard such positive feedback from family and friends about our idea that we immediately purchased the domain for Professionalsinpearls.com. Maybe we jumped the gun, but we were pumped to get started with our passion project. That was in March 2014.
It’s hard to believe we waited so long to start publishing posts, but life happened. Jessica got engaged and finished her MBA while I started graduate school and moved across town with my boyfriend. I’m not apologizing, we were both excited to have these happy things happening in our lives and we knew the time would come when Professionals in Pearls would be our priority!
After making endless changes on the website, we decided it was time to finally rip off the Band-Aid and get started. I’m truly glad we did! Although this website takes an enormous amount of time to manage, I feel like we are working towards something much bigger. Our first post was published on July 16th, 2015 about our favorite office supplies, and now we are ready to share our first month’s worth of traffic (and our first year’s too)!
What I have learned
Managing this website is a lot of work and has been quite a learning process! I never truly understood how much time goes into writing and keeping up with a blog; it is still hard to believe how much effort it involves to keep it going. Jessica and I both work full time 9-6 jobs, leaving a couple hours after work for writing posts, editing photos, sharing on social media and generally managing the website. Here are a few lessons I’ve learns along the way.
Don’t wait to sign up for Google Analytics
Seriously, I waited way too long to sign our site up for this and missed the opportunity to get data from some of our highest viewed days from initially launching. The data provided by Google analytics is more in-depth than my current plug-in monitoring stats since it includes the total number of users viewing the pages instead of only the number of pageviews.
Schedule posts ahead of time and on social media
Since Jessica and I both work during the day, utilizing the built-in scheduling tools on posts have become our saving grace. They allow Jessica and I to set up a post to be published at a later time, so while we are at work the website it still pumping along doing its thing!
Use plugins on your website for for social media
One of the things we struggle with the most is getting our posts to the public since we usually schedule posts to publish while we are at work. The plug-in Jetpack is practically on steroids with 36 total features, but my favorite is Publicize which automatically shares newly published posts on your linked social media sites.
YouTube tutorials will be your best friend in the beginning
I can’t tell you how many online videos I watched about navigating a website dashboard, configuring emails, and just basics about setting up a new website. If I ever got stuck, I would run a quick search on Google and find a video to help walk me through the issue.
Friends and family are a resource, ask them to share your website
Our friends and family have been the most supportive and outspoken of our followers. I get so excited every time we see them share one of our posts! We are so thankful for all of our readers!
First Year: March 2014 – August 13, 2015
First Month Publishing: July 16, 2015 – August 13, 2015
This month’s Goals
- Increase Facebook followers to 200
- Increase Pinterest followers to 100
- Gain 20 email subscribers
- Have downloadable incentive for email subscribers (coming soon!)
At Professionals in Pearls we want to create a fun, educational, online office with resources for job searching, interview planning, and insurance information you’ll need to know as an adult. This is just the beginning! Stay with us while we grow this website into a tool that can be used to learn about life after college. Sometimes I might throw in a funny post to help get you through a Monday, but Jessica and I will mostly be posting useful tips you’ll need while growing up.