Name: Garrett Yamasaki
Business Name: We Love Doodles
Describe your business:
We Love Doodles is a dog blog that’s dedicated primarily to Doodles (Poodle mix dogs), Goldendoodles, Labradoodles, Bernedoodles. Whether you have a dog, are looking to rescue or purchase a puppy, or want to learn more about Doodles, we’re here to help.
Tell us about your self-employment journey.
I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur and work for myself. From a young age, I was designing websites and running my own tutoring business – all while working for Starbucks. The more I started diving into Search Engine Optimization, the more I loved it.
The first nine to ten websites I ever built completely failed. However, each project taught me something new that I used to create WeLoveDoodles.com. Today, we have over 25 people working for my website from writers, virtual assistants, and even veterinarians.
What area of your business are you most passionate about?
I am most passionate about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). My job is to write an article that will not only help my users, but will also rank on Google. In turn, people will organically come to my website and I can make money via ads.
I also own a 3-year-old Goldendoodle puppy named Kona. I started my blog as a way to document our journey together. It just so happens that everyone else wanted a mostly non-shedding, hypoallergenic dog. My blog has become the go-to for Doodle information.
What’s the most valuable thing you learned early in your career that has contributed to your success?
Failure is important. It’s very unlikely that your first time trying something will be extremely successful. People have a negative connotation that failure means you’re unsuccessful in life. But every time you fail, you’re learning a ton of information that you can use for your next project. My website wouldn’t be successful if I didn’t fail the previous ten times in other niches. Fail fast and learn.
How are you pivoting your business during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Since COVID-19, web traffic has actually increased despite decreased ad spend. I can’t control ad spend, so I am focusing on gaining as much website traffic as possible. In 2021, we will publish close to three million words on our website – which should increase the number of keywords we rank for. Thus, the traffic to our website.
What’s a recent project that you’ve worked on that you’re really excited about?
I recently launched a slicker brush for dogs. I’ve been working on this product for approximately 11 months now and finally got it to market! I personally feel that this is the best slicker brush on the market at an affordable price point.
What advice would you give other self-employed people?
Running your business as a solopreneur is lonely and lots of hard work. Nobody really understands what you’re going through on a day-to-day basis – since you’re the person in charge of marketing, advertising and hiring.
My number one piece of advice is to always have some type of outlet to vent your stress and frustrations. Whether it is meditation, yoga, running, video games or talking to people. Always have an outlet that will instantly make you happy and take your mind off things.
How has forming an S Corp helped you level up your business?
An S Corp helped me save on taxes. Additionally, using Collective helps me with areas of my business that I am not an expert in (also taxes!).
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