So what’s new in LG’s world…
Our annual Super Bowl party went well – we actually didn’t have 50 pounds of leftover food that we had to throw out, the game wasn’t very exciting, but I did end up winning some money. If either team scored 10 more points I would have won over $400.
I think we’re in about our 6th week of the indoor golf league. It’s good to get out of the basement once in a while.
William’s 50th birthday is coming up soon and I’m torn about what to do… a couple friends over? A few friends over or just have a big old bash? I have to figure this out in the next week!
We’re now in the home stretch for our upcoming vacation. I’m really looking forward to it to say the least. However, it takes me about 60 hours of ‘extra’ work over a two week period to ‘be gone’ – so needless to say, I’ve been working a lot lately – but as William reminds me, ‘it’ll all be worth it’.
I hope it’s one of those vacation where the days are long, leisurely and completely stress free. I’m not worrying about wearing a different dress every night for dinner. I’m not bringing a ton of jewelry, 6 purses or 5 pairs of shoes as I have in the past. Nope. Two bikinis, shorts, t-shirts, tank tops and a few items that could pass as ‘casual’ and one ‘formal’ item.
Well better get to it!
So with secret blogging skills out, I thought I’d share with you something that makes me shake my head.
A little background…
For my various clients I used to pay for stock photos from one of the big companies. I spent hundreds a year on photos. It was annoying.
Even more annoying (and beyond) was a few years back when I accidentally used a random pic from Google images on a blog post (I often would do some recon on photos I wanted to use and would save them for reference) and was sued by the stock company who owned the image (the company I probably gave more than a thousand bucks to over the years…)
I was able to negotiate down the fee without having to go to court, but still, it was ridiculous. Since then, I use only ‘free’ photos that are copyright free, no attribution required images. Yay.
However, (and this is my point) often the photos are crap. Like craptacular. Like super crap.
Searching for an appropriate photo for a blog (an essential element!) can sometimes take longer than researching a topic, writing a blog, editing and the actual posting.
- Too ethnic (as example: searching for ‘kids playing’ and only finding barely clothed perhaps homeless children playing on a dirt road is certainly a third world country.)
- Not ethnically diverse enough
- They are just crap
Case in point… searching for ‘saving money’
This little gem appeared…
A spoon balancing on a calculator?
For whom could this image possibly be relevant? (Of course suggestions welcomed… please leave a comment)
Then there’s the overuse of keywords… meaning the contributing photographers (bless them all for saving me hundreds a year…) load the keyword description with every imaginable word that could possibly (loosely) be related to the image.
A search for ‘saving money’ also resulted in this bit of stock photo wizardry:
Again! Who would use this photo and when? Bandaids on a clock face? Ohhh, how deep in symbolism! Thank goodness someone added the text ‘time heals all wounds’. How profound!
Then there’s this guy…
I’ve seen this guy so much in free stock photos that I call him Uncle Frank.
Regardless of my search criteria (and my clients vary greatly in their stock photo needs!), Uncle Frank appears in my searches approximately 4 out of 5 times. It’s comforting really always to have Uncle Frank there for me, although he has some pain management and apparent depression issues…
Other times I just don’t know what’s wrong with poor Uncle Frank.
Oh, how I worry!
So now the caveat… I’m grateful to these photographers for generously donating their time and sharing their talent. (I’ve actually used several of Uncle Frank’s benefactor’s images) I appreciate the free use of their images greatly as it saves me money.
You just gotta say.
Okay, here’s my secret, and if you know me as a blogger, you should find this particularly humorous…
I’m actually somewhat of an ‘expert’ blogger.
I can hear your laughter from here!
Perhaps a bit of a self proclaimed expert, I’ll give you that… but in reality I train people and companies to blog and teach them why it’s important (improves organic search results, Google indexing, the best place to share company culture, excellent content for social media sharing… etc. etc. etc.).
Again, I can hear you laughing.
I teach them all about best practices for search engine optimization, (customized URLs, keyword placement, categories, tags, excerpts, meta data, focus keyword, images, alt text, descriptions…. etc. etc. etc.) good readability and style (bullet points, H2 headings, length, reading level… etc. etc. etc.) and content (what to write about, when, call to actions, modes and methods… etc. etc. etc.).
Surprised? Yeah, me too, lol.
Just today, after more than a month, I’ve finally finished the ‘system’ that I created which can be used for new clients as it’s general and not industry specific. I’m pretty freaking happy about this. It’s a awesome to have done.
I feel accomplished and like there’s a load off. Yay. However, now I’m starting on a new system for social media…
Life is good.
So after being completely sloth like yesterday, surprisingly I wasn’t ‘raring’ to go this morning. (Normally after a day filled with sloth-like activities, I feel the need to be hyper productive.)
I got a late start to my work day (like 8:15am. Egads!), had a meeting a 9, then I took care of some daily business basics.
When I checked my schedule for the day, I wanted to cry…
Advance Blog SEO
Post – Tourney & March Break
X Google Plus Images
eNewsletter & Update Contacts
Bah! Before I got started I needed to run a few errands in town and I decided to also walk Shank before picking up Halia… well I didn’t get home until 11:30 and I forgot to do one thing which I’ll have to go into town later today or maybe tomorrow. Arg! Rats!
I started working my way through the list of to-do’s – but I’m really tired… I didn’t sleep well last night after being so slothful yesterday. Boo! Now it’s 3:30 and I still have one big item on my list to accomplish before I can feel my work day is done.
That’s all… back at it. Thanks for listening. Life is good.
Kind of a weird week.
Last week-end I felt super productive and accomplished… taking care of a lot of little things like preparing my HST, compiling all our 2015 house bills, getting the dining room table set up and more.
This week I felt like I was drowning in work… one thing would come in, then another, then another… (Especially from one client) I’d think ‘okay, I’m almost done for the day’ then an odd request or six would appear in my inbox. I think I had a total of 5 meetings (one not working out due to a poor internet connect), and one I skipped because it can wait.
Frustrating to say the least. Annoying.
So now I’m having to work a bit today, but hopefully not tomorrow. Next week is already looking busy with the end of the month quickly approaching.
I’ve got to find a better balance!
- Played in the indoor golf league – couldn’t hit my driver further than 160 (UGH!), but I played okay otherwise.
- Got together with some girls for Rachie-Roo’s birthday – pretty fun
- Had a relaxing couch night last night.
- Tonight we’re having a couple of friends over for a nice steak dinner and likely some pinball and hot tub.
- Tomorrow is all about football. We invited a couple of couples over, but neither are able to make it… all good.
Here’s the dining room table and chairs from the TN house…
Life is good.
I’m just not having a good day…
I slept well, got an early start and the dogs aren’t bothering me too much (it’s really cold out and about 1.5 foot of snow) today.
My clients are really not on me today (well, except one, but that’s okay).
I just feel… annoyed. Like I’m gonna snap. Like I wanna face kick a bitch. I also have a lot on my plate this week and I’m irked because:
- Some people aren’t getting back to me
- There are some things that I really don’t want to do (mostly because no notices, comments or seems to care that I do them)
- I don’t feel that great and I don’t really want to do anything! (maybe read and watch TV)
What’s a person to do? Head down? Tomorrow will be better? Take care of what I can and let the rest go?
Geez, real sage advice there LG.
I have golf indoor golf league tonight… maybe getting out of the house for a few hours will do the trick (now that I think about it, I haven’t left the house since Saturday…).
Have a lovely day.
8 days to start one of my new year’s resolutions… to blog more of course?
So how is this going to be different? How am I actually going to recommit to blogging?
Well, let’s start with a little backstory…
Although a couple of my clients ‘were on a break’ in the late summer, I was still feeling overwhelmed work-wise, which was obviously affecting me social-wise and energy-wise.
Because I started off slowly with only one client, then added another, then another… until now I have 6 plus occasional ‘sub-clients’ and/or temporary contracts, I always felt the need to ‘get everything done’ in one day.
Not possible! My notebook where I kept track of my to-dos was an ugly reminder of that I couldn’t possibly do it all in one day. So I started keeping track on a document – the things I had to do (colour coded of course!) and for each client. I also kept track of how many hours I was working in a week.
For years I really believed that I worked part-time… not so much I soon discovered! My hours varied from 35 a week up to more than 50! Indeed! Certainly not the ‘jobbie’ I thought I had!
Just by keeping a better record of what I actually did for any given client (well, except my main contract, as that is a weird, bigger job) made me better able to organize my time better. I also noted that I was fully engaged in ‘scope creep’ – doing way more than what was outlined in my original contract proposals.
After a few months I realized that I was really, and I mean really working way too much for one particular client compared to the others (except my main contract of course), so I documented what I did for them in comparison to a) what I do for my other clients and b) what I originally agreed to do. So I asked for a raise effective in 2016. (I also gave them other options, such as simply handing over all the passwords, training someone within the company to take over, etc.) A big raise – nearly double, which was better aligned with how much I make per hour for my other contracts (except my main contract… need I say that again?).
So… the point… I think if I add my own personal goals and to-dos for the week into my schedule I might actually accomplish them. On today’s list ‘Blog’ and ‘French’ and ‘Exercise’ – but more about that later. We’ll see how this goes…
Why do I want to get back to blogging you may wonder? Well, it’s really now tor ‘you’ (whoever you might be! I only know for sure of 3 people that might read this, and I may have lost them over time!), it’s for me.
While I do like Facebook – I can’t stand the ‘hey, look at me’ aspect of it. It seems I only post when I’m doing something fun, and I’ve always felt that a blog is a more authentic way to record my happenings or thoughts. So there.
Thanks for reading this… more soon!