Sharpen those Pencils!

Somewhat irrelevant to this story, but have you ever wondered why we say things like ‘under your nose’, instead of ‘below your ear,’ ‘behind your butt’ or ‘beneath your feet’? I am guessing “there are business opportunities right behind your knees” doesn’t have the same ring to it. *shrugs*

This is a website relaunch story. A tale of missed (and hopefully reclaimed) opportunities.

A year ago I quietly launched Dream Travel Jobs as an experiment. It was mostly to test out a new SEO approach I was working on called the “keyword family.” (It’s a chapter in my SEO ebook if you must know – we’ll save that story for another time.)

I set things up, pushed the big ass save button, and let Dream Travel Jobs set sail off into the sunset, wishing it safe travels, then went right back to beavering away in my workshop.

I didn’t promote it to my lists, to my social media, or anything. Heck, I nearly forgot about the poor thing until one day I was poking around in my Google Analytics account, when I saw:

  • Monthly Pageviews: 17,894 (hmm – for the last 30 days? Are you sure?)
  • Bounce Rate: 5.78% (surely not possible)
  • Percentage of Traffic from Google: 86% (Ok, so that family thing worked!)

Well. Needless to say I was floored. Checking and double-checking, these stats were accurate.

I shouldn’t have been surprised. You see, this site is now my 2nd biggest email list. It’s growing the most rapidly. That I had seen. Why?

Every 2nd or 4th Monday, an email goes out to the list with some of my usual cheery, pithy wisdoms. And every 2nd or 4th Monday, I’d get heaps of emails. “Oh Andy I really needed to hear this right now, thank you.” “Andy, this site is SO AWESOME. Thank you so much for this wonderful resource.” “Andy, I just got a job. Couldn’t be more excited. You are a godsend.” Same themes, piling in, week after week.

I totally missed the opportunity on this one. I wasn’t making a lot of revenue off of the site, and despite having a built-in survey and feedback on what my job seekers and wanderlusters wanted, I had neglected them. So last week, the site got a much-needed makeover and fantastic relaunch.

Snazzy new homepage. Look - a slider!

What changed?

  • I finally setup what everyone had been asking me for: a travel jobs listings board. I’m reviewing my options against some of the other popular choices from the feedback survey for another round of improvements.
  • I only had the basics of content – but could easily tell you what jobs people were asking about. So now there’s over 20 guides, with fun and interesting (and REAL) jobs like how to become a secret service agent, or how to join the peace corps. (Are you not surprised that the most popular page is still how to become a flight attendant. Read the guide – not as glamourous as you think.)
  • I’m currently negotiating with a couple of companies to deal with advertising (which I’ve always had there before, but because of a lack of research on my part, it was a poor performer). I’m excited about this because they’ll be tools and services that job-seekers need and can put to good use.
  • Dream Travel Jobs is now social, on Twitter or on Facebook

I’m glad I am back on track with this project – and I’m reminding myself to be forever thankful for the connections I’ve made on those Monday emails and their patience with me for finally hearing their needs.

I’ll continue to do the things that I did do right – the content is clearly what people want, and I’m not hurting for traffic either. And I’ve learned my lesson: Don’t overlook the assets and valuable opportunities right under your nose.

Is there an asset or opportunity behind your knees underneath your nose that you are neglecting? Snap out of it and get back on track! Tell us about it in the comments and let me know if I can help. 😉

PSSST: Another issue of SHERPA Magazine, the guide to what’s hot in business, is coming out soon. Are you on the list?