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Every January, WordPress send me a summary of blog statistic which always makes for interesting reading.  Taking up around 200 hours a year (4 hours per week) it is a big time investment, but I think it is useful given all the thought that goes into what we do.

So, here’s what caught your fancy in the past 12 months… drum roll… our top 5 posts were:

Say hello to our new, reusable, clear tealight cups    
Choosing the ‘right’ candle… it’s all about the burn time    
Why the white beeswax Queenie?    
Beeswax candles are better value than soy, palm or paraffin – the facts & figures    

Roll Your Own Christmas trees

   

The top 5 search terms through which people found our blog were

  • when things go wrong as they sometimes will
  • mona tasmania
  • the most romantic picture ever
  • porcelain dome tealight holder
  • queen b candles

Go figure!  Those were a bit of a surprise to me.

The top 5 countries from which visitors to our blog came were:

Australia FlagAustralia  
United States FlagUnited States  
United Kingdom FlagUnited Kingdom  
Canada FlagCanada  
India FlagIndia  

And, the busiest day of the year was November 15th with 502 views. The most popular post that day was Feedback to bring a tear to your eye.

If there is something you loved particularly, something you’d love to see more of or any tips you have for a better Queen B blog, please comment or let me know.

Here’s to a fabulous 2013.

Cate xx

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There are some aspects of social media that I get, and some that I don’t.  Twitter, for example, I don’t get.  I have nothing useful to say in 160 characters.  I don’t find much of what anyone else says in 160 characters that useful either.  It’s a little too like shouting.  Yet I have a friend who has built a multimillion dollar business from the ground up who tells me that a large part of that success is because of Twitter.  One day I hope to get it.

Blogging, where I can be verbose and give waaaaaayyyyyyy too much information I get.  I get feedback (which I love).  It’s engaging.  I think it lifts the veil a little on Queen B (not that there’s too much mystery there).  It’s like sharing something with a friend… it makes you feel closer.  I am not interested in “running a business”, I was to make a difference to people’s lives.  I am not overly interested in flogging candles.  I want to light up your dark times (and the romantic ones and the light ones in between).

Anyway, on Wednesday I was chatting to Working Bee and telling her about the online world and how it has changed the nature of business.  We’d been tidying shelves and found these beautiful, little tealight cylinder hurricanes that I had bought months ago and I had never put online.  So, we photographed them and we put them up on the website.  We sold six within an hour and another 12 within 24 hours of the product going live.  Mind blowing.  And that was before we even blogged about them.  Or put them in a newsletter.  Or tweeted about it!  And before the whole idea even went viral.  Who would have thunk it?

Here they are

Cylinder hurricane tealight holders x 6 (tealights not included)

 

I think what people like best is that it’s only $34.95 for the 6 holders.  And it’s spring – so we get to play outdoors again.  Oh, and it’s Australian Year of the Farmer and buying Queen B candles supports our farmers… but more on that later.

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Queen B beeswax candles are made with 100% pure Australian beeswax a pure cotton wick and copious amounts of hand made love. We stock beautiful and stylish candle holderspersonalised candlesvotive candles and pillar candles that nourish the human spirit and our environment.

 

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The email below is the text of an email sent to me by WordPress in early January.  Their comments in black, mine in orange italics!

Crunchy numbers

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 5,600 times in 2010. That’s about 13 full 747s. [or about 1/10th of the inhabitants of a beehive… not quite as sexy sounding]

 

In 2010, there were 65 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 67 posts. There were 154 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 161mb. That’s about 3 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was November 10th with 395 views. The most popular post that day was Now THAT’S a thank you note….

The part I found most fascinating was the following

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Now THAT’S a thank you note… October 2010
2 comments

2

Why the white beeswax Queenie? October 2010
5 comments

3

Beeswax tealights – we put Queen B (and the others) to the test July 2010
6 comments

4

About Queen B October 2009

5

50 Kris Kringle gifts <$25 December 2010

 

So how fascinating is that?  Out of all the revealing, heartfelt, witty, intelligent, insightful things (!!) that I wrote last year, the one that was viewed the most was about a thank you letter (sent to a customer who gave a gift of Queen B candles).  Being someone who loves to analyse things (and wanting a full beehive complement of blog viewers in 2011!), I pondered why?  Is it that everyone loves a bit of good news?  Do Queen B blog readers have a latent fear that they don’t say thank you enough and want some tips?!

Penny for your thoughts…

– what do you enjoy reading on the blog
– what would you like to see more or less of?
– is doing a blog worthwhile, or should I reclaim my life and just focus on making beautiful beeswax candles?

The best/most helpful/insightful response (as judged by me!) will receive a selection of Queen B candles (as chosen by me!) to the value of $200.  Winner announced on Friday, 18th February 2011.


Queen B beeswax candles are made with 100% pure Australian beeswax a pure cotton wick and copious amounts of hand made love. We stock beautiful and stylish candle holders, personalised candles, votive candles and pillar candles that nourish the human spirit and our environment.

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About 6 weeks ago one of our customers contacted me to tell me that I really needed to get Queen B candles reviewed or featured on The Design Files.  I looked it up and started an email to Lucy the editor and then as life would have it, the phone rang, the email pinged, a candle-maker called and I forgot all about it.

A few weeks later the same customer emailed to say congrats.  The Design Files had written about Queen B candles.  I checked my sent items to see if I had actually sent something unknowingly (yes, I am sometimes more productive than I realise!), but there was nothing there.  Angels had intervened!  I emailed Lucy to say thanks and she had found out about Queen B from our friend Joost.  Funny how these things work.

Lucy then ran an online giveaway for her readers and it was such a roaring success, that it crashed the comments server!  You can see the comments here – http://www.thedesignfiles.net/2010/03/queen-b-earth-hour-candle-giveaway.html – and here – http://www.thedesignfiles.net/2010/03/qyeen-b-earth-hour-giveaway-part-2.html.

I learned a lot from reading the comments – and on the basis of the feedback will make some changes/improvements to the information on our website.  I was also struck by the sheer number of people who commented.

Often with Queen B, a lot of ‘brainstorming’ goes on in my own mind.  I am quite good at seeing both sides of an argument, but that then makes it difficult to come to a decision!  How much easier would it be to have lots of feedback from the people who ultimately keep Queen B afloat?

So, we’re going to have a weekly giveaway on Queen B.  It won’t necessarily be huge, but hopefully it will encourage lots of you to subscribe to see our blog posts (the ‘Subscribe’ box is to the right) and to post comments and feedback.  I am mindful of the fact that I would like to have loyal customers reading the blog (not just people wanting freebies), but the purpose of this blog is to record some of the Queen B journey and to educate – about beeswax candles, and running a small business and what we’re up to – and it would be great to have more people on that journey.

I’ll do a post shortly with our first giveaway.

Feel free to post your comments to this or any other post.


Queen B beeswax candles are made with 100% pure Australian beeswax a pure cotton wick and copious amounts of hand made love. We stock beautiful and stylish candle holders, personalised candles, votive candles and pillar candles that nourish the human spirit and our environment.

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We are usually blessed to received lovely emails in response to my (newsy) newsletters, BUT after our last one, I received some negative feedback.  It read:

“Your email was way too confusing and LONG.  And the last one was too and I didn’t read it. Don’t expect people to read through all of it.  We’re too busy doing other things than read a long, windy emails spruiking products. Just a casual comment to help with you further marketing.”

Very to the point!  As it doesn’t happen often, and it was from a customer who actually purchases our pure Australian beeswax candles (ie someone who I can assume likes what we do generally) I gave it a lot of thought. On most points, I think his comments were probably true – yes, my newsletters are long.  This is because I like to share what we are up to.  To share the journey (so to speak).  I also don’t expect people to read through all of them… although I am absolutely touched and delighted to hear back from people who do.  I think that is a real privilege.  It is one reason why they end up being too long… because there is so much to tell you.  Perhaps boring to some, but real.  What I want people to know is that small business, and particularly running a small business hand-making 100% pure Australian beeswax candles, is incredibly rewarding, but a tough road.

The part of the feedback that hurt was that he thought they were ‘long, windy emails spruiking product’… which firstly proved to me that he hadn’t read most of my emails (as indeed he said), but made me worry that that is what people think my newsletters are.

To me, newsletters generally have a couple of goals:

1. Share a story/our journey, give an update, tell an anecdote etc; and/or

2. Try to sell product

In my own (biased) mind, I have always tried to err heavily on the side of the first goal.  Ultimately I feel that if people appreciate what you’re trying to do, appreciate your product, understand all of the thinking and integrity that goes into creating it, they will support you… ie buy product.  I don’t think that people buy product because you tell them to in a newsletter.

That said, whilst this business has survived on love for a long time, that won’t keep paying our commercial rent, beekeepers, wick manufacturers, Australian printers and wages for much longer.  So, yes, I do try to sell product… but I always try to do it in a way that is gentle and encouraging and relevant, rather than spruiking.

Having said all of that, I have decided to make some changes to our newsletter…

If you do read our newsletters, you will know that I have lots to say!  I will now say a lot more of that on my blog.  So, if you want the gory detail you can read things in detail on the blog.  If, however, you want the highlights of what’s going on in our world, you can just read the newsletter which will keep you up to date (briefly) with what we’re doing and what’s new.

If you have any thoughts on our newsletters, please post a comment below.


Queen B beeswax candles are made with 100% pure Australian beeswax a pure cotton wick and copious amounts of hand made love. We stock beautiful and stylish candle holders, personalised candles, votive candles and pillar candles that nourish the human spirit and our environment.

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