While extended absences from blogging are “normal” for me… this last one was rather exceptional.
I was busy.
Like, really busy (I guess busy-ness is relative… anyways…).
My Brazilian co-workers were in town for a month, and the one brought his sister. The Brazilians are here to work, plan and meet with local clients, but I happily helped out entertaining the sister.
They stayed in downtown Windsor, and I don’t think I’ve ever driven into the city so much since I sold real estate more than a decade ago. There were dinners (the last one being here, a “Christmas” party on Friday night, which was also our 16th wedding anniversary), lunches, day outings and afternoon drinks. It was fun, the sister is a very special person, but it kept me really moving!
In addition to that, we also had some other things going on…
- SuperBowl Party (fun, but it was pretty mellow)
- We had a guy stay for a night from Nova Scotia – great guy – he bought 2 of our pinball machines, and they were picked up last week.
- I fell a little bit down the genealogy rabbit hole, as I’ve recently been in contact with my first cousin, once removed, whom I met briefly with last week.
- Us ladies went out to celebrate a friend who just published a book.
- Our Cleveland friends came up for a couple of hours, we met for drinks and apps on the Windsor Riverfront.
- Hung out with friends on Family Day.
- We had a plumbing issue in the basement.
- Plus of course, normal work and fun stuff; date nights with the husband, indoor golf, meeting up with girlfriends, etc.
It doesn’t look like a lot, but it seemed like every day I had at least three places to be!
So no, a little bit back to normal. We’re having a few people here on Saturday to celebrate (early) William’s birthday (and his co-worker, Zack), and because I was able to work a bit on the weekend, I hope to dedicate some time this week to working on a change in my business.
Life is good.
Busy week here… lots of time spent staring at the computer screen, although I did “ditch” work on Monday afternoon to read a book. I couldn’t help myself and it set me back for the entire week.
Did you know that the mind/body has limits on self-control? It’s not an infinite resource within us.
I can’t remember where I read that (and I don’t have the ambition to cite it, but feel free to go ahead and look it up yourself), but the idea that we only possess so much willpower and self-control makes me feel a whole lot better! It helps explain why I’m so “done” at the end of a busy day. I work with so much focus, with self-imposed deadlines and, let’s be honest… I try to avoid working Friday – Sundays – so I pack a whole lot in. It works for me, but the balance isn’t ideal… hmmm…
Few other random thoughts:
- The song in my head today is “Cherry Cherry” by Neil Diamond… WHY?? Help!
- It’s Super Bowl weekend – should be fun!
- I’m cleaning the house today.
- I need to make a clear decision on my work future or decide at least one direction – it’s nice to have options.
Life is good. Peace out!
Just a little work-related rant that I have to get off my chest.
I manage several Facebook Business Pages (one of them is in Facebook Business Manager, which I don’t recommend using – while it has gotten better over the last year, it’s still not as easy to use as the older version).
Here’s the thing… for whatever reason, Facebook users “choose” to follow a Business Page. Perhaps they work there, know the owners, are customers or (and most importantly) want to stay updated on what’s happening there, sales, specials, updates, etc…
These users can also choose not to receive updates, unfollow the page and even see “fewer posts like this”.
Over the years, Facebook has nearly eliminated the organic reach of Business Page posts – so essentially the users who follow the page rarely see posts in their timelines. Why did Facebook do this? To make more money.
To “reach” users, posts need to be “boosted”, and of course you have to meet Facebook’s guidelines for doing so, but lately, even boosted posts are reaching fewer people.
So, a few years ago, a post “boosted” targeting “people who like your page and their friends” (and a best practice is within a specific geographical area if the business is local in nature) would reach, say 2,000 people for $5. Now, these boosted posts are reaching only a couple hundred Facebook users.
How is this right? These users chose to follow these businesses!
It’s almost like the Business Pages exist (and yes, there are things that have to be done correctly) to be found in only Facebook searches – so now Facebook has essentially become a search engine for businesses, rather than a platform to socially share what’s happening in a business.
Further to this… people who run home-based businesses (such as Avon, Scentsy, Monat, etc.) post on their personal pages, promoting their products… and these businesses encourage this personal posting along with the following:
- Become friends with every single person you’ve ever met
- Post several times a day to stay engaged with your Facebook friends, so when they see you talking about the product, they won’t feel that you’re on Facebook just to hock your wares
- “Like” or comment on absolutely everything – let your friends know that you LOVE them, and hopefully they’ll buy whatever you’re selling
- Create online and non-existent “Events” for selling your stuff
- Offer free samples ad nauseam
- Try to get more people to work under you, selling your stuff
- Repost and share posts from the people that work under you (gotta show your support and promote them!)
Seriously… the posts by the people who sell for companies via their personal Facebook accounts is enough to drive people off Facebook. Crap such as “What’s your favourite season?” “What childhood tradition do you miss the most?” Crap, crap, crap.
Now, with that said, I understand that they are just trying to make a living, maybe even they have their own Business Page – but the parent companies recommend to post on their personal Facebook account to overcome the lack of organic reach on the Business Pages.
What affect is this having for the average Facebook user?
They are not seeing posts from businesses which they have “chosen” to follow
Their timelines are blown up with crap content from “friends” who are constantly posting crap and promoting their products constantly.
There is nothing that can overcome the lack of organic reach on Facebook Business pages as far as I can tell (with the exception of encouraging employees, friends, etc. to “share” the post if/when they see it – or creating a Facebook group to alert these people of a new post, encouraging them to “share it”).
For the people who “over-post”, “over-share”, “crap post”, “over-comment-and-like-everything” – unfollow them.
That’s it for now. Thanks for listening.
Not sure what it is about today, but I’m just annoyed… at everything.
My day has been filled with jaw clenching, growling and groaning. For no particular reason.
I don’t really like this about myself. I’m sure I’m not fun to be around (it’s just me and the Shank luckily, he has been sleeping through most of my bad mood).
I think I feel this way when I think a) there’s something else I should be doing, b) I don’t want to be doing this or c) I want to be doing something else.
I’d say a combination of the 3 is happening today. However, I’m done work now, am going indoor golfing in a couple of hours, so it’s time to get out of this funk, and hope it doesn’t return tomorrow!
It’s been about 3 months since I began to take action on changing my business, but yesterday was a big leap forward, as I received, at last, the final and most important “green light” to move forward.
So now I’m scared. It’s hard to put yourself out there! Especially since I’ve been doing what I’ve been doing for the same clients for so long – there is a significant level of comfort there!
I’m trying to approach this in the most efficient method, and if all goes well, my goal is to send out my resume before Super Bowl weekend.
I have a cold. I feel like garbage. It’s hard to focus, I can barely type.
While most working people can stay home, away from work when sick, as a self-employed person, I don’t have the luxury.
I’m super lucky to do what I do, and I believe that I’ve discussed the pros and cons of self-employment previously, but being sick is definitely a con.
There’s no one else who’ll do something for me. I’m paid monthly with agreed upon terms, so the show must go on.
What I do is certainly not life or death, but I do have a deep need to fulfil my obligations. I think in the 7 years I’ve been doing this, I’ve maybe only missed a handful of days here and there… and it wasn’t from illness, rather I’ve simply forgotten or there was a snafu in the software I use.
Today, I’ve just completed the basics – no preparation for the week ahead, no writing, no research… nothing. The thing is, a day like today really messes me up for the whole week… and what if I feel worse tomorrow? Or the day after? Ugh… I don’t want to think about it.
Well, now I’ve pretty much convinced myself to push ahead and do a little more. Great.
Then a nap.
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.