For this edition of the PetSittingOlogy Digital Series, Josh Cary interviews writer and entrepreneur John…
Do you ever feel like your head is about to explode with all the thoughts, ideas, and conversations going on at once?
Yea, me too!
I happen to use the tool Evernote to document anything and everything I want to remember. This includes blog post topics, ideas, projects, notes, website resources, people I want to reach out to, to-do lists, etc.
What I found happening recently is that I have so many things just sitting in Evernote piling up (and essentially getting lost in the mix).
I figured I would fire up the mic and begin getting some of these topics out for you. Enjoy these 24 minutes during your day.
Full transcript follows, but the topics I discuss are:
-The 3 most useful tools you can use to gather email addresses from your website visitors.
-How beneficial is it to purchase additional domain names for your business?
-What makes Gmail so powerful as an integral part of your day-to-day sanity and success?
Push Play and Enjoy!
The Full and Complete Dialogue:
Hey there everyone, welcome to this audio broadcast. My name is Joshua Cary with PetSittingOlogy and this is nothing more than a way that I have found to allow me to manage my mind.
That phrase popped into my head a couple of weeks ago, when I realized that I just use Evernote to document all of my thoughts, my ideas, my lists, my projects. Anything that basically comes out of my mind and needs to be put on digital paper and I realize that I have so much documented inside evernote.
I find that I receive a lot of questions from pet sitters – which I absolutely love – and I find that every time I answer it, it always goes back to the sender. The person who asked me the question, I will reply to them with usually a long succinct answer and I will then put that in Evernote to create a blog post out of.
I want that answer to get out to the industry because usually if one person’s asking the question, many others have the same question. And I get a lot of the same questions or variations of the same questions, so slowly but surely inside Evernote all of these answers, these thoughts, these concepts, these ideas come out and they’re just piling up.
I noticed that they don’t have a place to go. Even if I were to create a new blog post or article every day, I feel that some of these ideas, concepts, are not “blog worthy”. I just feel like I need another outlet to be able to bring up certain pieces of dialogue or engage you in a slightly other way.
So what I did recently on PetSittingOlogy, I created something called the “Petsittingology Insider”. It’s nothing more than a separate new email list that I offer you to get on, if you want to sign up and become a Petsititngoloy Insider. Again, it just means that you sign up, give me your email and any time I have a new idea or thought or I have a question I want to pose, but it’s not quite ready or meant to be a blog post, I’ll send it to this list.
There is nothing formal about this list. I don’t know how often I am going to send this out. I dont know how many times a week, I don’t really know what’s going to be included. It’s just something we will grow organically. So, that’s one outlet where I am starting to manage my mind, on this insider email list for those pet sitter who want to get a little more from me then my weekly blog articles or my facebook post.
The extension of the PetSittingOlogy Insider email list is this audio broadcast. I figured why not fire up the microphone and knock out some of these questions right here that I get asked often. Let us dive right into it.
So, like I said a little while ago, I created this PetSittingOlogy Insider list on the website. If you go to any of the pages, in about 10 seconds you should automatically see a pop-up on the screen that asks you for your email address. Then whenever I have a thought or idea I want to share, I go into my email marketing software and I compose, click send and you receive it.
So with that, a lot of pet sitters along the way ask “How can I gather email addresses from my website visitors? What tool or software do you use to make that happen?”
Now, I am going to go through 3 options you have to do this. If you have a WordPress powered website, which I am guessing the majority of you do, there is a WordPress produced plugin called “JetPack.” If you go to jetpack.me, what this plugin does you’ll see it has about two dozen or so features to this one plugin.
One of them is called “subscription”. It allows users to subscribe to your posts and comments and will automatically receive an email every time you publish a new blog or article. This is usually enough for many pet sitters who want a way to allow their site visitors to sign up to receive notification whenever you publish a new blog post.
So that might be a simple, free, easy to install plugin for your web site. But what if you don’t want to be limited by having them receive an automatic notification whenever you publish a new blog post? In other words, what if you want to gather email addresses from visitors and clients and potential clients who want to hear from you for a variety of reasons.
Meaning, maybe you want to remind them that “Hey, the busy season is coming up, don’t forget to reserve your spot… or hey, we just won this award, come check us out. Or hey, we just updated our website or come become a fan on facebook.” You get what I am saying.
Maybe you want to gather email addresses from potential clients and visitors that want to be informed no matter what you have to say. I recommend one of two options for that. A common one you will hear is MailChimp. Now I personally don’t use MailChimp but I will tell you that their pricing structure is wonderful because they allow you a free membership where you can collect up to up 2,000 email addresses for free.
Now, the only real limitation you have with that free option, which again 2,000 email addresses is obviously a lot. The only real thing that you are prohibited from in the free service is using the autoresponder. Now this might be good for you, this might be OK if you want to collect email addresses, and whenever you want to communicate with people, with your list, you will go into the Mailchimp control panel and you will compose the email, click send and it will go.
The autoresponder, and again you may or may not want this, the only thing the autoresponder allows you to do is when somebody subscribes to your list, you can set up a series of email to go out at a certain interval. So you can say “Send this specific email 3 days after someone subscribes” “Send this one 14 days after they subscribe” and “Send this email 30 days after subscription” It will automatically, through the autoresponder, send out a predefined series of emails.
That is the autoresponder feature that does not come with the free with the Mailchimp series. But again that might be ok for your needs.
The third and recommend service that I use, and I’ve used them for years and I am very happy with them is “Aweber.com” and they have a trail where you can sign up for the first month that is $1 and after that it’s $19 a month.
Now maybe you don’t want to spent the $19 per month so Mailchimp may be your best offer. But Aweber is a good one to look into because you do get all of the features including an autoresponder right out of the gate. so if that is something you are looking into and you want to automatically send follow up to people on your email list then Aweber might be your best bet.
Regardless, all of these easily, simply integrate with your website. They integrate whether you have WordPress quite easily, they integrate if you do not have WordPress. They integrate where you create the form then you can imbed a piece of code on your website so people will sign up for your list.
Those are generally the 3 choices you have if you want to allow people to sign up for your mailing list so you can communicate with them whenever you write a new piece of content or you just want to get them a piece of info. Now before I leave this subject alone, I will tell you that I personally use Aweber. I do not use or even recommend a service that will automatically email your users whenever you publish a blog post.
Why not and what do I do instead? Well, I do a very similar thing with Petsittingology, but I do it by hand, meaning whenever I post a new blog article I will publish it on the website, I will share it on my social networks then I will go into Aweber and I will create an email that says among other things “hey, check out my latest blog post on the website and here is a link”
Usually I will craft a few paragraphs in the email that are related to the topic at hand and say “if you want to read more, I have a whole article about this.” That is generally the way I do it.
Moving right along, as we continue to manage my mind… This is a question that I recently got on my private facebook group for petsittingology clients, member, and users. It is one that I get asked quite often and it goes like this “what are the pros and cons if any, of purchasing additional URLs (domain names) and having them redirect to your site? Would these be URL’s that align with popular search terms in your market? How simple is it to redirect? Is there a large competitive advantage or is it insignificant smart marketing move or not?”
This is a really good questions. A lot of pet sitters ask me, “I have a website, I have a domain name. Are there any benefits buying xyzpetsitting.com or mypetsittingkeyword.com or any number of domain names. Is there any benefit? The answer is yes of course, but the biggest point I always need to make when this question comes up, is whatever the benefit is and there are a handful that I am going to go through with you, if you’re just forwarding a domain name.
If I have alitiasamaimals.com and I can buy the domain name nycpetsitting.com which sounds like it would be good for SEO, it would be good for keywords. Lets say I buy that domain name and forward it my current alitia’s animals website. That will have ZERO impact to your SEO efforts. It will have no correlation to your search engine optimization and this is why.
Because you are doing nothing more than automatically forwarding the domain name to your current site, there is no page, there is no content, there is nothing there for Google to reward. In order to get SEO value from any webpage or domain name there has to be unique, original content on that page.
If you are just forwarding a domain name, it’s not gonna do anything for SEO but that does not mean that all things are lost. I say it is a great idea to grab some domain names if you want. First of all you can get domain names for about $10 a year. I say, if you can grab some there are many good reasons you should. For one, you can use them for marketing purposes and for two you may prevent competition down the road from utilizing it.
So if nycpetsitting.com was available, I might want to grab it even if I don’t do anything with it, because I don’t want a competitor at some point to grab that and use that, because that’s a good solid domain name.
How does it work well for marketing purposes? Lets say I have alitiaanimals.com, my pet sitting website domain name, and to stick with this example lets say I wanted to buy nycpetsitting.com and I wanted to forward it to my current website. How can I use this for marketing? A few ways, maybe I can buy some magazine space and in that call to action I want to track and I don’t want to say alita’s animals.
Maybe I want the domain name for marketing purposes because I am targeting a very specific area, maybe I want to say in this ad visit nycpetsitting.com for details and it will automatically forward to alitias animals. Maybe I want to get flyers printed. Maybe I want to put in my email signature. Maybe I want to put it on Facebook. Maybe I want to put it on a billboard, or in radio ads, or anywhere I can print or say nycpetsitting.com where I feel it will look and sound better than alitiasanimals.com.
A good point is that alitia’s animals is tricky to spell because Alitia is spelled non traditionally. A L I T I A. That is how we spell alitia. So maybe nycpetsitting looks better, it sounds better, it’s easier to remember. So that is how and why you could use a domain name to forward to your current one successfully and for marketing purposes.
The question asked “is there a competitive advantage?” I think absolutely yes. So how do you forward it? Well no matter where you buy your domain name from, whether it’s GoDaddy or NameCheap. I use Namecheap and recommend for all of my domain names. Any registrar will have a place where you can easily activate URL forwarding. It takes about 3 minutes You activate it. You tell the page where you want to forward your domain to, typically your current website and it usually takes effect right then and there. So I hope that has been helpful on how and why you could purchase additional domain names and use them to your benefit in a marketing capacity.
As we continue to manage my mind, the third and final topic I will leave you with is email and about managing your email. My goodness, in today’s business, and social and personal world, goodness it’s all about email. Don’t you feel like your living in your email. I read a little while ago, Tim Feris’s book “The 4 hour work week” and not so much about working 4 hours did I get something that really changed my outlook on life.
One of the things he suggests is to only check your email at predetermined time throughout the day. He says just check them at noon and just check them at four. Now I am not bringing up the debate whether or not that is applicable or if that could work for petsitters. But i do think that it is something interging to try so you don’t get bombarded and drowned in your email, because I know we have all been there.
Here is what I am getting at, I love, rely on and could not produce the kind of business environment that I do if it wasn’t for Gmail. I know we have a lot of Gmail users and fans out there, but we also have plenty of others who do not use Gmail. I want you to really consider slowly but surely migrating over to the Gmail system, if you are not already.
Let me give you a reasons why. For one thing, how much spam do you currently receive? As you know, I offer a WordPress powered pet sitting website system and template. A lot of petsitters I deal with say “I used to get so much spam, can you help me with this?” Gmail has an extraordinary spam filter built right in, that I promise you that you will see little to no spam if you just use the Gmail system.
Also, I can go on and on and on about the Gmail system but I am just going to list a few. If you know, love and rely on Google for search and who doesn’t? They have the exact same Google search engine capability built into your personal Gmail system. At the top of your Gmail inbox there is a box search box and it is as powerful as the Google search engine search is. You can search and find whatever you need in under a second and a half, it’s phenomenal.
You can organize beyond how you would ever imagine you could organize. You can set up filters in ways that will make organization and managing your life like never before. And finally one thing I realized, a lot of people don’t realize when they think of Gmail. I have a Gmail account, I exclusively use gmail. You can check it from any computer, from any smartphone, any tablet, and they have an app. You don’t have to be locked down to any specific computer to check your email, you can get it anywhere you can get an internet connection.
The most important point I want to make is this: you can use the Gmail system to send and receive all of your business domain emails and that’s what I do. I use the Gmail interface and system, along side all of my email addresses to send and receive my alitia’s animals emails, my web design company’s emails, my PetSittingOlogy emails. When you set up a Gmail account you can import the setting for your custom domain name and use all of the benefits inside Gmail.
Obviously I am a big fan. I think you should try it. I think you should slowly but surely get away from your other email systems that may not be working the best they can for you.
Well, that does it for this edition of Managing My Mind or whatever we’re calling it. I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to go over these topics with you . Until next time, Joshua Cary, talk to you soon.
Over To You
How’d you like this format? And the topics? Questions? Anything you’d like to see next time? Thanks for your comments and shares.