Happy New Year!
This is my first official opportunity to tell you that since I’ve been on vacation for the past two weeks.
Want to know how I celebrated the new year?
I sat in front of my TV watching movies. I tape everything so I can fast forward through the commercials.
I love the movies on the Hallmark and Lifetime channels. Occasionally I’ll find a good one on HBO though.
I don’t go to the movie theater anymore due to my hearing loss. It’s never fun when you can’t understand what they are saying and you miss half of the scenes.
My Two Weeks Vacation
The last half of 2014 was just so crazy busy for me that I felt I needed a break.
I had a long list of things to do while on vacation; personal and business related. Since I had a water leak last month and am now walking on concrete in parts of my house I have to get a new floor.
I’ve been shopping, setting appointments and getting estimates to have ceramic tile put in my vanity area, my closet and a small storage area off my bathroom. I’m also having the carpet replaced in my living room and my bedroom. That’s kept me busy running around.
During the week of Christmas I spent two whole days doing nothing but watching Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel. They just have the best movies during the holidays.
While I was off I also cleaned the grout on my bathroom floor, it’s white ceramic tile. It took me five hours and thank goodness I don’t have a big bathroom but it looks like a brand new floor. That grout can really get dirty over the years. It really looks great now.
Upcoming Personal Jobs
Since deciding to put down new floors the first thing I want to do is paint my condo. The entire house too, even the closet. It’s been about 15 years since I did it last and I could use a big change.
Still trying to decide on the color but I “think” I know what I want. Funny how you find paint samples but when they mix the paint and you bring it home to test it on the walls that it never turns out to be the same color. That’s been very disappointing and a huge waste of my time.
The painting will have to be done before I can have the floors put in. I got some bids from a couple painters but had an additional expensive pop up so looks like I’ll be taking some time off to do this myself. My plan right now is taking the 22nd through the 25th to paint.
The added expense I was talking about are my air ducts. They haven’t been cleaned in years so I had them come out and give me an estimate. They are pretty bad so they’ll be here on Tuesday to clean those out which I’ve been told should take just a few hours.
One more unexpected issue arose just this past weekend. Looks like the sewage line right under my condo and my neighbor’s busted so guess so let’s just say it’s been a very unpleasant weekend at my house. The plumbers will be here today to figure out the solution to this problem. Gosh I hope they get it resolved today.
Moving Into 2015
During my time off I also did some re-evaluating as far as blogging and my business goes. Yep, with each new year I believe this is the best time to step back and take a good look at where we’ve been, how things have been going and what direction we should head next.
Here are a few things I’ve decided to do:
When I started this blog on June 19, 2009 I religiously posted three times a week.
In November of 2010 I started a second blog that was specifically related to a course I was taking at that time. One blog is hard enough to keep up with but I found having a second one was taking even more of my time.
Since I now had two blogs in two totally different niches that I was trying to stay on top of I decided in June of 2011 to only post twice a week here. I kept that schedule until this past October.
I was eager to finish my course, Build a Blog Community. I wasn’t able to allot the time needed to devote to finishing that so after much consideration I decided to back down to only posting once a week. I devoted the rest of that time to working on my course.
My goal is to build up my consulting practice even more and I have another direction I am eager to pursue. Because of that I plan on sticking with this schedule for now. I’ll continue to publish my post each week on Monday morning.
We all know posting two to three times a week is important but we also have to work with a schedule that’s best for each of us. Writing is just a small part of it and the promotion is where the work really begins. Right now this just seems like the right thing to do for me personally and how I intend and desire to grow my business.
I’ve done quite a bit of research as far as Facebook is concerned and I’m going to discontinue posting to my Business Page.
I don’t overly promote on Facebook anyway because as you all know I’m more about the relationships. I do much better connecting with people via their personal pages instead of business pages anyway. With the changing of Facebook’s policies and algorithms they have clearly stated that our content will not be seen much at all.
If I’m going to have to pay to have my content seen I would rather just spend my money on their advertising platform instead.
That’s my personal preference of course but something I’ve given a lot of consideration.
If we are not currently connected on Facebook through our personal profile then send me a friend request but also send me a message. I get a lot of requests and I like to know who I’m connecting with and why we should.
If you’ve sent a friend request in the past and it hasn’t been approved then that’s probably the reason. I’m about the relationships and of course you should be as well. Trust me when I say you’ll stand out more when you send a message too.
You can find my Facebook personal page here —> My Facebook Personal Page
Methods of Generating Traffic
I love blog commenting and social media, those are my two favorite methods to drive traffic back to my blog.
I intend to expand upon those this year though and hopefully get my face in front of perhaps an audience that doesn’t know who I am.
I spent the afternoon one day last week visiting some forums because I feel this is a great place to help others like I do through blog commenting but perhaps introduce myself to people who may not have heard of me yet.
I must admit that the forums I had on my list don’t seem to be as active as they use to be. I am of course much more interested in forums that do have the topic of blogging included so if you happen to be visiting any right now that you feel are pretty active and the people are nice and helpful then please be sure to mention them in your comment.
I’ve had some bad experiences in the past with some forums, I find that the people who hang out there the most are more ego driven and rude. I’m hoping that was then but not the case now.
Please do let me know if you have some favorites and I intend to be adding those to my list of places to visit this year.
Guest Posting and Interviews
Guest Posts on My Blog:
I will continue to have guest posts again this year here on my blog. As a matter of fact, I already have several lined up through July.
They will continue to go live the third Monday of the month and they remain by invitation only. If you would like to be a guest here on my blog then all you have to do is be a regular reader and commenter.
Your blog has to be a topic that the majority of my readers enjoy and if it is then over time you will eventually receive an invitation from me. I prefer to let my readers shine before anyone else.
That means next Monday will be the first guest post of this year and I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Me Guest Posting on Other Blogs:
I occasionally write guest posts for other people’s audiences.
I’m very comfortable writing for my audience because I feel like you are at my house. If you like what I share then perhaps you’ll come back but if you don’t then that’s okay too. When I’m invited to someone else’s home though I don’t want to let them down since that’s not my regular audience so I’m a bit more nervous about committing to that.
When a friend approaches me who knows how I write then I’m much more comfortable accepting their invitation. I’m still nervous about the whole ordeal and how their audience will accept me though.
If you do send me an invitation to write a guest post for you please know that I need to be given advance notice, at the very least a month. I can’t whip out a post in a day, it takes me a little longer than that when I’m writing for others. Plus I have a lot on my plate right now so I need to make time to fit this into my already busy schedule.
I have decided this year to not accept any guest post invitations if there is no way for me to be notified when someone has commented on my post.
I am only familiar with the WordPress commenting system and plugins can be installed that can notify me when someone comments on my post. Some people have it set up so that you can login and get notifications. Any of the other commenting systems don’t have these features or if they do I have to sign up with them and learn how to use them which I just don’t have the time in all honesty.
I’ve found it extremely difficult for me to keep up especially months and years down the road.
I do have two guest post invitations already in the works:
Jane Sheeba asked me to write a guest post for her last summer. At that time I was really trying to finish my product so I had to tell her it would have to wait until I could get it released. We decided to wait until this year so my guest post for her will go live this Friday, January 16th. Hope you’ll stop by.
Sylviane Nuccio is another very good friend of mine and she has asked if I would write a guest post for her. That one will go live next month in the personal development category.
Like guest posting, people ask me to participate in interviews as well. I’m also happy to do that too because we all know the more you get in front of other audiences the more it will benefit you right!
Again though, I need some advance notice because even if you feel there are only a few questions it takes me awhile to put my thoughts together. That goes for requesting testimonials as well. My time is precious and I have it all scheduled out.
With the new year upon us I do have one interview coming up this month:
Corrina Romas is going to be doing an interview series starting this year and she’s asked me to participate in that. I have accepted and that interview will go live the last Wednesday of this month.
New Business Partnership
Just this past November I had the pleasure of chatting with a gentleman by the name of Roger Gauthier.
He commented on the interview series I had done with the six authority bloggers on Facebook and then visited my blog and opted in.
In my welcome message I let my new subscribers know that if they have any questions at all to feel free to ask away. Roger did and we pleasantly chatted via emails.
He was out of the country at that time so we actually spoke on the phone the following week upon his return. I will just tell you right now that he really did impress me.
The businesses he’s been a part of, his view on life, the advice he offers were all just priceless.
Roger and his business partner have created a site called Entrepreneur’s Pit Stop. It’s a place that entrepreneurs can come who are new to the online world and need help in certain areas setting up their businesses.
They have gathered some very impressive people to be a part of this site and Roger invited me to be the “expert” in the blogging niche. I’m never comfortable with that title but I’m thrilled to be a part of his site.
At the time I’m writing this they just recently re-launched the site and are finishing up the final touches. I’m just eager to see how many more people I’ll be able to help in the area of blogging this year due to being a part of this awesome platform.
Of all the things I’ve done online to this day, blog commenting is still my favorite. If money wasn’t an issue and I could spend my time reading blog posts and commenting then that’s exactly what I would do with my time.
Those that blog for pure enjoyment or are doing this just part-time have the option of visiting blogs and commenting just for the pleasure of it.
If you’re running a business though and use your blog to get in front of enough people you really need to focus more on what will bring you the desired results.
To me blog commenting is still a very vital part of growing your brand and getting in front of the right audience. It leads to networking which can bring about opportunities that can benefit you in the years to come. Just like it has done for me and I hope for you as well.
I’m constantly getting requests from people who want me to contribute my thoughts about their posts. I’m always flattered they want my opinion or thoughts but since I get a lot of these types of requests I’m finding that I just can’t visit them all.
I hope each and everyone of you will understand that if I don’t make it by your blogs on a regular basis that I have just flat run out of time or steam. My blog isn’t my business but it’s the marketing tool I use to get myself in front of the right people.
I have to focus on the part of my business that brings in the most income so moving forward and concentrating mostly on that this year will be my main priority. I do love commenting though so I’m still going to be very active and do my best to keep up.
Goodbye Thankful Thursday
People seem to have enjoyed my Thankful Thursday posts, especially when I mention one of theirs. I enjoy blog hopping and learning so many new things. With my Thankful Thursday post I decided to share five posts I wanted to make sure my readers didn’t miss. It went live on the last Thursday of each month.
I had to discontinue it for the last few months due to my schedule and the holidays falling right on that particular post day.
Since I’m changing my posting schedule to Monday’s, Thankful Thursday isn’t an appropriate title any longer wouldn’t you agree?
I’ve really given this a lot of thought so what do you think about “Magical Monday”? I kind of thought Magnificent Monday was a little long but wanted it to have a catch to it ya know!
If you have any other suggestions I’m all open. I’ll keep this on the same type of schedule as before but posting it on the last Monday of each month.
My Tagline and Header
Did you notice my new tagline? Probably not since you’re probably so use to seeing my other one that it might not have caught your eye or seemed like a big change.
I’ve been wanting to change my tagline for years now. “My mission is to help you achieve success online” is really generic and doesn’t speak of what I’m all about although helping people is still what I do. I reached out to the man who I knew could really come up with a good one and that was Don Purdum.
Don very quickly sent me eight to chose from but we both seemed to like this one the best. My new tagline is “Showing Bloggers How to Grow a Blog One Relationship at a Time”. Pretty good right?
Don is the man and I can’t thank him enough.
I’m working on getting a new picture of me made. The one in my header is five years old now but the good thing about it is that I look exactly the same. I haven’t gained any weight, my hair style is still the same plus it’s not greying yet, yay!!! Yep, that’s my natural color guys! Boring right!
I had a fabulous lady help me on Fiverr with some I had taken. I wanted her to remove the background but it was harder to do because I had too much going on behind me. I think I’ll wait and try taking a few more. I’ll get a new one up this year though.
I’ve been wanting an opt-in box below my post for a few years now. I had one made when Steve created my graphics for my product site but I couldn’t get it set up with Aweber. I’m really bummed about that too.
Last week I went in search for some alternatives and decided on OptIn Monster. Unfortunately I immediately ran into some issues and emailed support.
They helped me with one of them but we haven’t resolved the second one yet so it’s not up. In the meantime I do have one below this post but went in a different option for now. I’ll continue working on this when I have the time and hopefully before the end of the month I’ll have this in place.
If I end up using this plugin then I’ll write a review about it. I think it will help in case you happen to be looking for something like this as well to add to your site and you’ll know my thoughts about it.
Test test test right!
3,457 Words Later
Okay, this was a l-o-n-g post so I apologize for that but wanted to just share with you what I’ve been up to and what I’ve been working on behind the scenes since taking some time off.
What I have planned for this year and the direction I am planning on going.
I really enjoyed my time off and sorry I haven’t been around, not to comment on blog posts like I had hoped to do. I haven’t been on Twitter at all so thank you to everyone who tweeted my stuff these past few weeks. I usually personally thank everyone but I hope you’ll forgive me this time.
I haven’t been on Facebook hardly at all so if I missed wishing you a happy birthday I hope you had a fabulous celebration. I just needed this time to focus on what I needed to do and some things just took much longer than others.
I hope you had a fabulous holiday, a great time ringing in the New Year and it’s started off great for you. It’s the second full week of January now so I need to get back to work and dive right back in.
Thank you so much for stopping by and I do hope you’ll check out my guest post this Friday on Jane’s blog.
Have a fabulous week, I’m always anxious to hear your thoughts, I appreciate you sharing my post and I would love to know what you’ve been up to. Not that those who don’t know me will be that interested but you just never know right! LOL!!!
Happy New Year!