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State of the Hub: CommuteByBike.com!

by Josh Lipton

Screen shot 2010-10-26 at 1.46.43 PMThis weekend, we are announcing some big news. The stewardship of CommuteByBike.com is being handed over to us. The previous owner, editor and primary blogger, Arleigh, passed it on to us, in part due to the stress and issues surrounding a bike commuting accident. Given these circumstances, the transfer of the blog to us were quite sudden and we are working to rapidly adjust and bring it into the blog into the fold. While Arliegh is stepping away from CommuteByBike.com’s stewardship, she will still remain involved. At the same time, she plans to maintain her other blog site, BikeShopGirl.com.

We are quite excited about this opportunity to push ahead with CommuteByBike.com from a variety of standpoints. First off, it is a great next step in our overall involvement in blogging. Having started with BikeTrailerBlog.com four years ago and recently adding in UtilityCycling.org and our blogging here at BikeShopHub.com, we’ve become comfortable in the realm of a variety of blogging strategies. Blogging has become an important part of our company’s marketing strategy, our interest in bicycle advocacy, and a lens to stay in touch with all of the new things happening in cycling.

CommuteByBike.com offers an extension to the success we’ve seen with our blogging at UtilityCycling.org. Utility cycling represents a major realm of cycling which we contrast to sport cycling and recreational cycling. Within our focus on Utility Cycling, bike commuting is the largest segment. With that, taking over a blog focused on bike commuting is quite ideal.

CommuteByBike.com has been a blog that has thrived within three areas: (1) Offering up reviews on bike commuting products, (2) posting relevant news about events and issues related to bike commuting, and (3) offering up essay style posts with thoughts, ideas, and inspiration for bike commuting. As we look into continuing on with this effort, we are quite excited by the opportunity represented by the first two aspects of the blog. Most of our blogging activities at Utility Cycling and Bike Trailer Blog have been focused on essay style writing and we are quite excited to be getting into the realm of product reviews and bike commuting news updates.

cass-gilbert-and-joe-murrayOn another front, we’ve gotten a couple of new sales initiatives going. We’ve resurrected the demo products section of the site, where we offer up slightly used products that we’ve been testing. As we’re getting going with CommuteByBike.com, we figured we would be doing more product reviews, and this will be a great way to be testing a whole lot of stuff and selling it when were done.

We also had the idea to launch a new type of sale that we are calling the Zinger sale. These sales are discounts on a single item that we happen to have quite a few of in stock at the moment. These sales run for about a week and offer up a discount of around 10 to 20% off. Along with starting the sale, we’re writing a quick product review and updating the listing.

This week in the Stuff Department:

  1. Our bike trailer display got drywalled, painted and lighting. Now we need to set it up and get stairs up to it.
  2. Our photo booth got drywalled. Now we need to erect the tent and get some good lighting solutions figured out.

and in Programming:

  1. Cleaned up our “blurbs” tool. This is a tool that allows us to write a message about a sale on the shops and publish it to multiple categories and product listings through out the shop.
  2. Cracked the door open on launching our 4th specialty shop BikeTechShop.com by doing some of the underlying coding and making a plan of attack.
  3. Re enabled our demo products page.
  4. Introduced a tab view to separate out the images and videos display on the product lisitings.

tall-extrawheel-advertand in Manufacturing:

  1. Stu’s back to work after two weeks living it up in Hawaii, getting back in the groove sorting through some backlogged metal working projects for Flagstaff customers.
  2. Got our first batch of unfinished Wandertec BONGO load beds in from Distinctive WoodWorking. We hope to get the finished ones in next week.

and in Shipping & Customer Service:

  1. We started working on automating our PayPal and AmEx accounting by exporting the data into Open Office to run comparisons against our QuickBooks.
  2. Robin A. started taking on more of the customer service emails and phone calls

and in Internet Marketing and SEO Strategies:

  1. As noted above, we got underway with blogging at CommuteByBike.com.
  2. We finally started showing successful sales (conversion) data from our shopping network feed tool, GoDataFeed.com.

The Super-Duper Deals:

The Bike Shop Hub’s Blogosphere:

 
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