If April went by in a blink, then May feels like it never happened.

But it did! And while we’ve got a lot to show for it, the month ended with a post-holiday lull. Now we’re standing on a precipice, faced with a few different directions we can take.

That’s not a bad thing. This just means we need to narrow our focus on the kinds of products people need, rather than picking and choosing things we feel might be helpful for dogs and their owners.

That’s right — I’m talking about Stuff For Your Dog! And I’ll talk more about narrowing our focus in a moment. First, I want to tell you about the great month we had!

Let’s start with SFYD’s socials. We used a Just One More tactic throughout the month, where we tracked increases each week. Here’s how that played out:

  • Facebook: Kelly and I kept the social content rolling with the usual variety of content. Reach, engagements, and page likes have also risen.
  • Instagram: We spent most of the month putting a concentrated effort into our Instagram and it paid off with a hefty boost in followers. Now we’re working on how to make the most of it.
  • Mailing list: We’re in the planning stages of warming up our email list by inviting people to explore our blog and participate in surveys, so we couldn’t be happier about this!

That leaves our sales, which showed healthy growth month-over-month. We’re still working on boosting our conversion rates but have enjoyed increases in the following areas:

  • ATC (Add to Cart)
  • Reached checkout
  • Sessions converted

That’s a LOT of good coming from a month gone by in an exhale. Nevertheless, we’ve got work to do. Our gross profit and ad spend aren’t getting along well. We’re looking for the sweet spot so our Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) tightens up.

To do that, it’s been decided we need to narrow our focus.

During this time, we conducted split tests on logo designs, product description pages, and Facebook carousel ad copy. At the same time, we saw the majority of our sales were generated through our Google Shopping campaign, so we shifted our Facebook ad spend that-a-way.

Last month I talked about beautiful branding and design boards waiting in the wings. They’re still there — but there’s one more thing to check out before we take the leap.

If you’re familiar with the blue ocean strategy, then you’ll know where I’m going here. There’s nothing wrong with making a mark where the big-name sharks are: the boundaries are fixed and the rules are clear.

But the market of dog products is highly saturated, and there’s vast potential waiting in clear, blue waters. It’s the perfect place to test strategies, confirm our target audience, and hook tons of fish — without all the extra blood.

The rest of May was business as usual: Kelly’s choice of content to share and the infographics we’ve put together flowed smoothly and pulled steady, favorable results. Her and Dossy have also begun to focus on certain products that research has proven to be must-haves.

With eyes trained on SFYD, I didn’t write a tech piece for Panoptic… but it wasn’t for a lack of trying. I tossed around topics that just weren’t feeling right, and I also had to take a chunk of personal time off.

I don’t like taking PTO unless I’m extremely sick or about to die, so it shook me, mentally.

Despite that, I wrote three new pieces of content for SFYD:

The first helps people choose a harness that’s safe for their dog. While this wasn’t as harrowing of a process for me as choosing a leash for the newest member of my household, I still felt it was a good idea to lay out some of the basics in case any of our readers were in the same position.

The second is an article I’m especially proud of because I got to work on some interview skills at the same time. Not only did this professional give her upnod on the top reasons you shouldn’t shave a double-coated dog, but she also gave glimpses into her tried-and-true grooming method!

Lastly, I wanted to memorialize a Facebook post we made a while back. Kelly’s dog, Dice, was diagnosed with Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD), and he wanted to be sure other dog owners knew what to look out for.

Look, it takes work to ride momentum and keep the spark alive, especially when there’s still facets we want to test. It doesn’t always happen fast.

I believe we’ve got what it takes to keep it lit, shark-infested waters or not.