Create your own website for less than US$50

I would fully recommend following along with your own testbed so you too can conduct similar experiments with my instructions. Even if you find it isn’t for you, there will be the satisfaction of creating your own website that might translate to your local club – or if you are feeling particularly entrepreneurial, you might even be able to sell it as a blank site that is already set up. …

The Valentine's Day Mascara...

Yes I am late in promoting to the Valentine’s Day market – I was working on setting up the site, and it kind of snuck up on me.

I would like to begin by saying that after 32-years of marriage it has faded in importance, but truth be told, it was never our thing. I convinced Jayne even before we were married that buying flowers was an admission of guilt, with no exceptions. This did lead to an awkward moment when given flowers to give to Jayne from a work colleague – standing at the bottom of the driveway explaining their origin before she had an opportunity to throw things at me. But otherwise it has certainly worked in my favour.

You could say that I am not a romantic …but I do believe in the rights of others to be.

The Product:

So I have thought of a product, and today’s the day that I send it to market, 11-days before the day, which will only give me about four days to promote it. It’s the first idea, so I don’t mind it being short. Let’s see what we can learn…

The product is a cut-vinyl sticker customised with the customer’s choice of initials in red.

…like this

To create the artwork was only twenty minutes, and the majority of that was font selection.

I then went to the free stock library and searched for five images that I could photoshop the design onto as mockups – this took an additional hour and ten minutes.

This is what I came up with:

I actually already had the domain name from some half-arsed experiments from last year, so I created a product, cleared all the old experiment stuff and added the images I had created. This took me thirty minutes, but if I was setting it up from scratch would have been around three hours I suppose.

I then spent two hours creating a landing page – which looked like this

…I remember reading somewhere that faces worked well, so I found the panicked face of a Ned at Pixabay.

I sent it out to my my family for feedback and didn’t get a response, so decided to push ahead.

My idea was to do paid Facebook Ads, so I created a graphic, remembering that they don’t like words in their images, and using my concept of “What should Ned do?

I get very confused about Facebook Ads to be honest. I have setup a business manager in the past, and even run Facebook campaigns for customers, but there is a confusing mix of assets, accounts and pixels that all need to line up to get there.

…so this is where it all started to unravel.

I created the ad, copying and pasting from a word file I worked on to polish the content.

When  it came time to publish it, I received a prompt asking for payment details, which I entered – I had already done that for previous campaigns, so this may have been a hint that I was going down the wrong track.

I hit the publish, so I sat back while they reviewed it, counting the infinite dollars I was going to earn with such a novel idea.

…and it was rejected.

This is the reason they gave:

Circumventing Systems Policy – Ads must not use tactics that are intended to circumvent our ad review process or other enforcement systems. This includes techniques that attempt to disguise the ad’s content or destination page. Please read through our Policy for more details including a few examples of do’s and don’ts.

I have no idea what that means – and there’s no discussing it with anyone.

The Facebook page says you can’t:

  • Use unicode characters or symbols in ad text with the intent to obfuscate words or phrases
  • Restrict Facebook’s access to an ad’s destination page
  • Attempt to create new advertising accounts after we have penalised existing accounts for violations of our policies

I was gobsmacked – I wasn’t doing anything spurious.

The two things I came up with after racking my brain were:

  1. I copied and pasted the copy from Word, including two ellipsis’ (the …) which might not have translated into unicode characters, or
  2. that second payment setup may have meant I put the planet printed account into the wrong spot.

Either way, I lost my skinny window of Valentine’s Gold opportunity when after trying it again, my account was blocked.

So I am now a hardened FB crim, living the outlaw life, giving it to the man.

…although I was allowed to put an ad on Facebook Marketplace

…and it tanked

Lesson’s learned:

  • Never use fucking Facebook for ads! …actually I probably will – perhaps what is needed is to read the instructions. I certainly won’t rely on them though.
  • I might leave the pop-up shop idea until I know more about promotion. I am better with sticking with what I know – and that is building a brand – which takes time – like the Jim Dobbin is a good man sticker from quite a few years back.
  • I need to work on my store presentation – PLEASE give me honest feedback …I think it lacks a “wow I want to buy this” vibe


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