Saturday, August 27, 2011

Opportunities during a Hurricane : My story

My first foray into online advertising was in 2003. Google had just introduced 'Adwords" and Hurricane Isabel was poised to strike. I got my Google Adwords account and seriously pondered what I would sell online. My only online marketing experience at that time was having Affiliate links to Barnes and Noble in 1999 and Amazon.
I did what every entrepreneur should do - be first to market and also take a risk. My first ad campaign had a  budget of $75 and used the keywords " Hurricane", " Hurricane Isabel" to advertise for all things the book "The Magic School Bus Inside A Hurricane by Joanna Cole ". These were the early days of Adwords and online advertising and the only competition I had for my ad was another ad that advertised a Carribean beach resort .

Business wise this was a poor decision on my part. During a Hurricane people are looking for information on disasters and maybe a ad selling emergence supplies may be a good idea but an ad selling books ( no matter how good) was a bad idea.

Learning wise that was the best $75 I could have spent for some real world online advertising experience. I was hooked. Instead of giving up I began to teach myself SEO and online advertising. Working on weekends and often late at night I built a great small business "shapra llc" and became a nights and weekend entrepreneur. The arrival of my second son and later the advent of Social Media prevented me from focusing on this business and the rest is history.


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