Updated: Apr 18
I’m sat in The Studio listening to the rain pouring down outside.
It’s loud and torrential and showing no signs of stopping. Which is how my work seems at the moment...endless...with no finish in sight.
And instead of doing any of said work I'm just sat here listening.
Working from home is HARD. Working by yourself for yourself is even HARDER. And building a new business from the ground up in a industry you've been part of for nearly a decade seems like one of the HARDEST things I have ever done.
Theres no gentle way to put it...I feel like I'm drowning...the tasks never stop...the list never gets smaller...the jobs never seem to get finished...everything is just one big ongoing project and it's an uphill struggle.
You probably think I'm being a little over dramatic...but hear me out.
To give you idea of what I'm up against let me tell you a story about my website.
I had an iFrame embedded on one of my pages. It contained the code to the booking website I use. Everything seemed fine for a while. People seemed to be able to book onto classes from that page meaning I could direct them to my website rather than the booking site. I did a big paid ad promotion for my new face to face class on Facebook and included the link to the page with iFrame on. This was also put in as many selling groups as I could stomach being in (though not direct on the marketplace itself as you can't sell a service on there - just one of the many stumbling blocks in my life right now).
The ad gave me quite a lot of traffic to the website. I had more than a few people access the website or booking page, however, they seemed to stay on it for a while then dissapear without booking.
Then an old friend tried to book and failed. So I decided to investigate - you know cause I don't have enough to do - I might as well add more tasks to my lists. Yes LISTS - plural - I have more than one to do list! Crazy right?
I looked at the page on the Mac, iPad and iPhone (what can I say I'm an Apple girl so I don't have anything else) I did also try a non Apple smartphone. The iFrame just wasn't working it wasn't always allowing the user to scroll down to the botton of the page that was within. So if you clicked on a class you couldn't find the book now button.
Simple fix you might think to yourself. For now change the ads and direct people to the actual booking website since the class is starting in a few weeks. Put a redirect at the top of the iFrame page whilst you are fixing the iFrame rather than take the page down so the priginal link still works and take visitor somewhere. Once the class has started and the ads have finished you can find a different solution if you can't get it working.
NO NOTHING IS EVER THAT SIMPLE.
You can't change a Facebook ad once it's been published. So I had to comment on my own ad with the new link. You can change what you've posted in the selling groups. But again nothing is ever simple.
Facebook lets you post a listing of a product to a maximum 20 groups - great I hear you say - imagine you are in 50 selling groups then you just need three listings, right?
Sometimes it just seems no matter what I do after I've created my first listing and posted to as many groups as it will allow (randomly not always the full 20 for the following reason) I create my next listing for it to show me either the groups I can't sell in or ones I've already posted in with the previous listing. When this happens I usually have a couple of listings that are in around 10-17 groups each and then end up creating aboout 10 more that just get posted in one group each as I have do do it direct from the group not my listings page as it won't show them. The same is true for the selling groups that aren't set up with a selling profile. For those groups you have to post in them like you would in my Facebook group or on your own timeline. This means you end up with a rediculous amount of listings and posts which all need editing which means you have a long night ahead of you. To make matters a little worse if the selling group has post approval on then the edit has to be approved as though it is a new post or listing so the changes won't show until someone get around to it which could be in a few hours or in a few days.
Whew - I bet you're think we're done now and can go to bed.
There's still the website problem to fix.
In a world where there is me and only me I have only the chat bots and 'experts' from the various websites and systems I use to ask for help. And trust me they don't help. Ever.
YouTube and Google are my new friends and research tools and if I can't find the answers there I generally have to start over and do it all another way.
After more time researching than I can really afford I couldn't find a solution. I didn't seem to be doing anything wrong. I was doing everything I done previously when it was working. I was copying and pasting the correct code. The iFrame was as large as I could make it and it looked fine when I previewed it in phone format.
So it was time to find a different way.
The only solution I could find was to embed a link to the booking website in my site menu. So now when you click on the Book Now tab it drops down and there are options such as Booking Info, Book Classes, Book Courses, Book 1-2-1 & Group. The booking options now take you to direct to the booking website with the page filtered to show either classes, courses or 1-2-1 sessions. It no longer takes you to a page on my website which is not ideal but at least it is working for now and people can book.
Great - we're finished!
NO YOU'RE NOT!
When building my website I decided I wanted to links to various pages in suitable, convenient places. This may have been a bad descision but I hate it when I'm looking at the information for a product or service but struggle to find the price or how to book or buy. So on the pages that detail what services I provide there are links to the prices and links to the relevent booking page. Same for the page with all my class and course descriptions on. Plus the links are in other places as well. That way if you are looking at a class and like the sounds of it you can easily book without too much trouble.
What do you think happens when you change the name of a page so the URL changes? Or, as I just did, delete a page so that URL no longer exists?
There aren't website fairies hiding in the walls that come out at night and change every link and every button on your website so they are working and directing your visitors to the correct places.
Remember there is just you. And only you.
You have to trawl through your website and look at every botton and every link and check it's correct or, in this case, that it actually exists. Then you need to change it if it needs changing. Then you need to spend time on your live website actually clicking each link and button to make sure they are working (Or as I sometimes do when I need the WHOLE website checking - I bribe a couple of good friends who won't rib me if something is supidly wrong with beer).
Before you ask.
STILL NOT FINISHED.
Where else do you put a link to the booking page on your website? In your Facebook bio, Instagram, Linked In? What about any posters and leaftlets?
Once again they are not going to change themselves. You have to log into everything and change everything. Change and reprint posters and leaflets and, if it's not too soul destroying, go back to the shops and as ask if you can change it or, as in my case, you won't bother with that part as it means talking to random shop owners who you aren't even sure put the first one up.
Are we finihsed?
Every now and then a visitor to my website is still taken direct to my 'oops somethings wrong' error page. I know that this most likely means they've clicked on a link somewhere out the in the eternal internet where nothing can ever be deleted. A link that clearly no longer exists. I don't know what link or where it is. So I can't fix that one. I just console myself with the idea that at least they are then on my website and the menu links at the top of each page all currently work so if they wanted to they could potentially still find what they were looking for.
Do you now see how endless it is...how everything cascades and expands infinitely...like it's own little universe.
I'm going to sit here for a little longer and then make a break for the house during a lull if I can.
I'm not going to lie. I'm probably not going to tick anything off my list tonight.
P.S. Do you want to know the punch line is? This was supposed to be a blog about why water was good for you and why you should drink plenty of it...