31 Fruit Trees

We moved into our new home in Escondido, CA just a little bit over a year ago. One of the first things we wanted to do was plant several fruit trees knowing that they take several years to mature. So, once we got settled in we went to the local nursery and talked with someone about coming out to survey our property. He finally came out for an initial consultation and then came back again to map out our property and come up with a list of trees they could source. Then, he basically disappeared. We emailed and called him for several weeks and he just never got back with us. Frustrated, we just moved on to other projects such as chickens, clearing the land, and other gardening tasks. After a few months, the desire to get some fruit trees sprang back up again. This time we just went to the biggest nursery in all of Southern California, not wanting to screw around. They have 3 locations in San Diego along and something like 30 locations between Southern California and Arizona. I’m not sure what it is with this industry, but we went though the same issues with this nursery. It literally took 4 months from when we first walked in until we were able to get some trees planted. If we didn’t call and pester them on a weekly basis, I’m convinced it never would have happened. I would have been more annoyed, but it gave me more time to clear additional room in our yard… The property we purchased is a 1.2 acre lot shaped like a...

Bye bye Treadmill.com – SOLD!

We have been in talks with a potential buyer of treadmill.com for several weeks, but I didn’t want to post anything here until the transaction was final. We went into escrow early last week and the transaction officially closed last night. As of today, February 1st, treadmill.com is in the new owner’s hands. I have to admit, as I write this post I’m conflicted with emotion. On one side, I know we made the right business decision by selling: We got a great price and even though I think treadmill.com is a great business, I know we can make more money in other businesses. On the other side, treadmill.com was the first eCommerce store we built and I get pretty emotionally invested in any project I work on. I personally put a lot of heart and soul into treadmill.com and on some level I feel like I’m losing my baby. However, the only thing constant is change and I hope bigger and better things are to come. What I learned by running treadmill.com eCommerce In General The biggest thing I learned was how to operate an eCommerce site. It’s something I take for granted now, but before launching treadmill.com I had no idea what platforms were out there, how to deal with sales tax, how to take credit card payments, how to do live chat, and countless other things I’ve picked up over the past 2 years. It’s left me in a position where I can rapidly launch other stores and can instantly focus on business issues rather than tech issues. What products to sell and not to sell...

IceWraps After One Week

Last week I talked about Terran’s newest eCommerce project, which is IceWraps.com and IceWraps.net. This was the first full week back in the office running IceWraps after getting back from MI last week. It was a week of trying to get organized and map out the game plan for the business over the next three months. I had been teetering on the fence on if I should turn IceWraps.com and IceWraps.net back on in its current state. There are a lot of pros and cons for each, which I’m going to list below. There are two basic trains of thought here. 1) Turn IceWraps.com and IceWraps.net back on in their current state and work on the new IceWraps.com in the background. Once the new site is ready, replace the .com site with the new one and then 301 redirect the .net site over a few days later. 2) Work as quickly as possible to get the new site up and running and just leave everything out of stock on the old sites until ready. Here are the pros and cons for each: Plan 1 – Put everything back in stock and work on the new site in the background Pros Gets orders / money in the door right now. Upsets current customers the least amount. Doesn’t upset Google by having a store with no products in stock. Cons Current backend is a mess. Every order would have to be manually reentered in 2-3 places. I need to learn how to operate a very legacy backend and it will take take away from building the new site. Any minute spent...

Happy New Year – My 2015 Resolution

It’s hard to believe, but I went all of 2014 without posting a single blog post. It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, because quite frankly it’s something I miss quite a bit. For those of you who used to read my blog, it will be obvious to you that keeping up with posting takes quite a lot of time and effort. However, I’ve come to realize that the rewards I got out of blogging were well worth the effort. Why I think blogging is worth it: I made a lot of great contacts that lead to some neat opportunities. It made me set goals, and feel accountable for for those goals, since I didn’t want to have to publicly admit I didn’t achieve them. It indirectly helps with SEO for other projects. When getting into new businesses people inevitably search about you; having a current blog helps add legitimacy to what you’re doing. So, with that said, I’m going to commit myself to blogging at least once per week in 2015, starting with this blog post. To be realistic, there might be a week or two that gets missed, so I’m going to target at least 50 posts this year. Since I haven’t blogged in quite awhile, there is a lot to catch up on and I’m eager to write about it. I’m also going to start a series on how to start an ecommerce store. Since running treadmill.com and cuttingboard.com, I have become somewhat of an expert on the subject. The series will be a step-by-step guide, just like my affiliate marketing series. In fact,...

Time for A Fresh Look…

I decided that since I’m going to start blogging again that my blog needed to be respectable looking. I’ve been getting OCD about design lately (something I’m going to blog about soon) and the old look of my blog just wasn’t doing it for me. So, I decided to invest some time yesterday looking for a new theme and sprucing things up a bit. In addition to my personal blog I’ve been working on a new look for TerranMarketing.com as well. Design has always been important to me, but it’s hard to own GraphicDesign.com and not get obsessive… A new look for my blog As I mentioned off the top, the old look and feel of my blog just wasn’t working anymore. I was using the very popular Thesis Theme before, but it was the older version before they updated to 2.0. I was tempted to just upgrade to 2.0, but there is nothing on their site about it being responsive out of the box. Since I already own a full subscription to StudioPress, thanks to WPHub.com, I ended up going that route. I settled on the Focus theme and made some minor personal customizations. Focus met all the requirements I was looking for: The theme had to be responsive. The theme had to have a very clean look / feel. I wanted to use large typography. In addition to the look and feel I added a FeedBlitz RSS feed and made social a bigger part of the blog. You can now easily find me on social networks from the sidebar and each post has social sharing icons. Pretty...

Time to start blogging again…

Where have you been? It’s been a little over 8 months since my last blog post and I’ve really been having the itch to start it up again. To be honest, the main reason I stopped blogging for awhile is that I was dealing with a lot of unpleasant things that just wouldn’t have been very fun to write about. If you were a follower of my blog you know that I moved to Texas back in mid 2011 only to realize what a mistake that was a few months later. I certainly don’t want to air all the dirty laundry of that experience here, but the biggest fallout was some bonehead SEO practices by my former partner. While I was off practicing total white hat SEO, even writing about it, my partner was off doing all the black hat no-nos known to man. Things such as article spinning, buying links, comment spamming, low quality directories, etc, etc. When I first discovered what he had been doing I was pretty outraged. When I confronted him about it his exact words were “But it works”. Just thinking about it right now makes my head almost explode. I equated it to poker during tournament play when you bluff all in. There is that old saying of “It works every time, but once”. Even after we had a long conversation about shutting the black hat crap down, he still persisted behind my back. While we ultimately decided to part ways because of this (and several other reasons), Panda and Penguin finally caught up to his “it works” approach and left me with...