Friday, August 14, 2020

Reflections on At the Fence



Hey all!!

During this time of quarantine and mask wearing I have taken some time to look back on my experiences with At the Fence and the changes that have come over the years.  When I started out I had 6 children all at home with the oldest being 24.  My youngest is now 19!!  With that being said, I started out my site with the intent of reviewing products and sharing my opinions with my neighbors (followers).  I chose At the Fence because that is where neighbors have shared information over the years.  When I first began it was reasonably easy to review things for children and teens.  I also homeschooled, so that was part of the products I reviewed.

Then, the children grew up.  I was no longer reviewing as many toys and games.  We managed to continue receiving books, cooking and baking items, jewelry, sporting goods, and clothing.  I also had seasonal themes where I did different Gift Guides.  Things sort of leveled out for awhile.

I also received paid posts.  This is where a company or individual contacts me with a pre-written post with links back to their site.  This is where I actually managed to see some income from my website.  I had a few paid ads in the sidebar, but not an abundance.


Fast forward now to 2020.  The quarantine really put a dent in my reviews.  More companies had fewer employees actually at their business to handle influencer requests.  Many were working from home and of course making less themselves, so sending out product was not the best choice for them.  I did mange to get a few companies that had games and things for families to do together during quarantine to work with us. I have noticed though, that more and more companies are focusing on the social media marketing posts, rather than actual website posts.  I am having to re-evaluate again how and where I want At the Fence to go.  Questions come up like - Is it worth keeping the website up?  Should I change over to strictly social media?  Will website traffic go back up once the quarantine and Covid are over? Many people are now shopping online rather than in store, how will this affect my site?  There is so much to consider as I am mapping out the future of At the Fence.

I have actually considered starting all over with new branding on social media.  I would have to do some research on different ways to reach people with social media during the pandemic.  Some changes I see myself having to make:
1. Instead of sharing links to stores, I would have to link to online shopping sites.
2. I would want to be sure to relate to people during this time of financial instability as well as all the stress they are under.
3. Needs have changed, so researching the different types of products and services people need now is a must.
4. I also have to motivate myself, because I am finding myself dragging at times instead of enjoying what I am doing.

Is social media going to be the best way to market now?  I am beginning to think so.  No one goes anywhere without their smart phone or electronic tablet of some sort.  Everyone is on social media and are looking for ways to connect.

So, while I have time I am going to consider my options as to where to go from here.  I have come a long way from when I first started At the Fence, but I would still like to continue in some way with what I have been doing.  Hopefully I can come up with some good ideas and go from there.  Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments, and as always thanks for stopping by, where neighbors share!!

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