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Chris G. Williams Beware: I mix tech and personal interests here.

This year went by pretty fast. Actually the whole decade did. I celebrated my 3rd year at Magenic (back in June) and a few months ago decided to get back into the retail game biz.

Reality Check Games was the name I used back in South Carolina, and I sold that store back when I moved to Minnesota a little over two years ago. Sadly, they ended up going out of business (for a variety of reasons I won't go into here) a while back.

I thought and thought for a while on what to call the new store in Minneapolis, and ultimately decided to stick with what worked the first time. So... Reality Check Games is back in business.

My first step was to set up a website and start doing some ecommerce and ebay. I stumbled onto the nopCommerce cart one day when I was poking around in the WebPI from Microsoft. That's a whole other blog post (eventually, I promise) but if you're looking for a good cart solution, it's well worth checking out.

Anyway... I don't currently have a physical store front open, but I'm scouting out places around the west metro of the Twin Cities (that would be Minneapolis / St. Paul) and I've narrowed it down to a couple of locations. I figure to be open with a proper storefront by April or May. We'll see.

The website is up and running, so feel free to check it out at

As part of this process, I've also been messing around with Google AdWords (so far, other than Twitter and word of mouth, that's been my only advertising) and it's an interesting process... finding the right keywords, creating compelling ads, trying to translate impressions into clicks (and clicks into purchases.) I've been learning a lot as I go. Only time will tell if it's working.  Probably the most important thing I've learned about it so far is the use of negative keywords to eliminate potentially wasted impressions.

For example... If someone Googles for RPG then I would like to display an ad, unless that same person is actually searching for 360 RPG (or PS3 or Wii) since I don't currently sell video games, that would be a waste. Negative keywords help me to filter out searches I don't want. Initially, people searching for dice generated the most impressions for me, but once I realized I should probably block yahtzee, craps, casino and a few other keywords the impressions went down significantly. (Remember, this is a good thing. I only want to show ads to people who might actually be interested in my products.)

Finally, if you're a regular reader of my blog (or even if this is your first time here) I'd like to offer you a discount code for use on the site. If you see something you like, maybe a sweet discount will make it even more appealing. Just use the code: GEEKSWITHBLOGS for a 20% discount on your entire order (not including shipping.)

Happy Holidays!

Posted on Wednesday, December 30, 2009 11:33 AM | Back to top

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