|Journal Entry 1||19th July 2021|
The Insidiousness of the Mailing List
I was having a conversation with Ami of Undercover Superhero yesterday regarding mailing lists and their overall effectiveness. Ami was somewhat concerned as to whether she should have one or not? She had been advised that all ‘bloggers worth their salt’ should have a mailing list as it is the absolute must for raising brand awareness. Ami personally doesn’t want one – she simply cannot see how having one will aid her?
Many years ago, l used to have a lucrative brokerage business and although l had a large international website, l didn’t have a mailing list – but l did have a client list in my mobile phone directory, and it numbered close on to perhaps a thousand numbers. Every week, when new livestock came in l would text blocks of my client list the details and if they were interested, they could either email me or call me to express their thoughts on the matter. That client list was invaluable to me … but only because l was selling a commodity which was livestock.
The website was advantageous as it displayed what species l had available and my clients upon receiving my text could have a look first before they decided to contact me direct.
However back then – the prime reason for my ‘list’ was to sell to my clients. The text merely served as a form of l suppose ‘weekly what’s new’ letter. My website between the years 2004 – 2009 received between 20,000 to 45,000 viewings a month. Word of Mouth and my reputation for doing things a certain way got around and my website was always busy.
But l was selling either livestock or services, so l had something to offer direct to potential buyers of either or both.
Last month l unsubscribed from 13 mailing lists – all business oriented – the reason being that at times l would receive between 150 – 300 emails a week and it was way too much data overwhelm and time restrictive. Currently l am subscribed to one mailing list and that is to do with the course l am studying on and they still somehow manage to send me a ‘marketing sales advert’ every day despite the fact that l bought a bloody marketing course from them anyway!!
I can’t deny the benefits of having a good mailing list for businesses or traders who have products or services to sell directly, but l do struggle to understand if a non-trader/non-seller would actually really benefit from the same requirement?
Everyone today and way more so than in our yesterday’s struggles with time and the management of, we are continually overwhelmed with data and information and our brains can’t cope with everything. We bookmark items for further reading …. at the end of May l spent three days going through bookmarked items and articles from the Internet alone that l thought l would find the time to read – and l had to be brutal in the selection of qualitable reads and ditch the rest – l simply don’t have the time readily available to sift and sort through articles that l might find interesting, equally l don’t have the time to keep bookmarking useless mailing list emails suggesting, this, that and the other … l struggle to find the time l need to do everything l need to do and spend an hour a daily prioritising my day!
I don’t have a lot of time spare like many others and so l look for alternative and more efficient routes through the day to squeeze a few drops extra of time. Many of us are in the same boat – the days haven’t got shorter – they still hold 24 hours, but time does seem to fly by more quickly now?
We don’t always have time to read and worse than that is we don’t always have the time to read what we want to read let alone what we think we should read. So, time as a currency needs to be spent wisely. The other reason that l unsubbed from the mailing lists is that l found them to be quite insidious and invasive – yes l know, l gave the sellers permission to email me BUT some of these auto-services they use end up overwhelming people! One l was subscribed to was sending me nearly a dozen a day?? I couldn’t keep up … l still have perhaps 600 of these ‘great tip weekly advice sheets to go through – but where do l get the time??
I know this course l am on has a module aimed at creating them, but l feel that just because there are 5.8 billion email addresses in the world it doesn’t mean l have to add to someone else’s misery by adding my ten penneth worth to their inbox!
Personally, l don’t think l’ll bother, l will work on creating quality content for The Authentic Recycler and work on motivating traffic to the site – looking to encourage and secure readers that want to be there reading about composting and courtyard gardens – because NOT everyone is interested in those things – only true ardent composters and recyclers and courtyarders. The other reason is that ‘ l don’t have anything to actually sell’ and will only be displaying affiliate eco/organic/environmental products – so a healthy traffic to the site of likeminded readers is really the answer.
The true answer l think will lie in selecting the right social media platforms and not troubling an already time-stretched laden inbox with another silly newsletter that is going to be archived or bookmarked till the end of the millenium and go unread!
|Journal Entry 2||22nd July 2021|
Discovering the secrets to success …
|Don’t be upset with the results you didn’t get with the work you didn’t do!|
I have always believed in this philosophy!
If you want success you have to chase it down and that’s it.
Someone asked me the other day why l changed the Guy blog so much this year and became a little strange in my behaviours?
It’s a good question … the only way l can honestly answer it is that l needed to develop a business to make an income from. It wasn’t going to be a hobby business for some extra pocket money, it had to be a business to make an income from – l have an inheritance but that’ll not last forever, and l wanted to build an enterprise that allowed me to work from the comfort of my own home and once successful would liberate me from stresses, offer me contentment and give me something to really knuckle down into that l was truly passionate about.
I have no desires to become a six figure blogger, and l am not interested in being a millionaire suddenly overnight, l am a bit more realistic than that – l just want to be able to create an online income that maybe can eventually generate £50K a year, l would be happy with that. I am not after yachts, or lamborghinis, or ridiculously overpriced holidays or 20 bedroomed houses – that has never interested me – l just want to make an income through sustainable and passive methods and that’s it.
Making money whilst you sleep is something that has always appealed and why wouldn’t it? I have a Redbubble shop and l have had it since April 2016, so just over 5 years now and how much have l made profit in those 60+ months? £125 – which is nothing ….. but l made that by doing nothing. I discovered that if l actually worked at it as in promoted it l made passive income …. l have been lazy … but no more.
I am okay with people, but l don’t do crowds and or retail anymore. I have a lot of skills with quite a few industries but mostly those skills are hands on, although l do have experience with advertising, marketing, and promotions and whilst l did have an online business for nearly 20 years – it was predominantly still very much a brick-and-mortar business with just an attached website that was huge.
Clients used to view what l had available for sale, so sure ‘online’, but not digitally so. The online business first went online in 2004 and stayed online till 2010 and that is already a good few years ago – much has moved on since those days with the Internet and so on.
The business l wish to create is an eco-organic blog which will focus on my passions and interests concerning the environment, composting and cultures and mostly along those lines … a very specialised even if marginally ‘broad’ niche and trust me perhaps not one of the easiest genres to make money from!
I love writing, and have been writing for fifty years, it awards me a great deal of pleasure – when l first began blogging l had a vision of having all of me under one ‘roof’ so to speak, my personal side, my thinking side, and my business side. But this year l discovered that l couldn’t effectively do that with one blog … l was either being naive to think l could or l am ahead of my time.
BUT what this did was cause me to dig very deeply into everything l thought about with my life … along the way l experienced several epiphanies and these enabled me to find my purpose and direction again … l had been lost for a while in 2020 and this year has become ‘my DO IT NOW year’.
Also, l have changed significantly as an individual – l became somewhat cynical to blogging as a whole, l started to develop authenticity issues which became quite overwhelming for me, and l came to realise that this was the inner business me shouting to be let out. I had noticed other glitches, like leaning less towards writing and reading creative fictions and finding more entertainment in factual documentation.
For the last three years l have been purchasing courses with regards digital online business opportunities like becoming an Amazon seller, an eBook writer, an eBook consultant and marketeer, various confidence courses and more recently a large blogging/marketing course. I was looking for the ‘right’ window for me … l wanted to make an income from a blog l was passionate about – l wanted to monetize my ideas – that’s what l want to and l have to do, but it had to be the right approach. All these courses l have and am now studying have something of value and l want to be able to combine those teachings towards success.
The 3 Sides 2 1 will be principally looking at all the courses l have and their motivations and documentations to support creating an online business.
There are things l want to do like writing eBooks and then marketing them to sell which is an incredibly detailed process, but once mastered it’ll be l think of interest to other eBook writers and sellers alike. 321 will be ‘my guinea pig’ for trialling exercises and project modules out. I will write about them in this series.
The blog is and will become mostly a form of ‘personal workshop space’, that’ll not be everyone’s cup of tea but there will be series that might interest other people looking to perhaps monetize for themselves. Because l want to create an environmental blog l transferred the gardening series to here so l could examine the basic posts l create to see how l could best improve them for a business blog. I volunteered to work in a nature reserve because l want to rekindle my passions again and reduce my ever-growing stress.
But l want to succeed with my business, and this means, that you have to become very focused on your success and in that process, you change when you realise that there are some things you might be personally against – BUT in order to succeed and make your vision a reality you have to adapt and evolve even more quickly than you might have already done.
I realised that to achieve success at my now much older age, l had to become a proper problem solver, l had to start to look at things with different eyes again, break away from regular routines, examine processes that might be alien to me and accepting that we all make mistakes and learning from them and NOT making them twice.
Years ago l was an entrepreneur and l loved everything about it … but l have moved on from that and l must relight that fire – l want to create a blog that helps people in a practical way that enables them to solve problems of their own and whilst the Guy blog looked at elements of that in the entertainment side, it wasn’t always making me happy. This blog will be hopefully read and viewed as more of a problem solving exercise, where like minded people can talk and discuss thoughts and observations and the processes l learn here l will implement into The Authentic Recycler.
People teach people, we learn from people – that’s one of the truest facts of life with regards people and especially communities of like minded people. We learn from each other. That’s basically what this blog is looking to promote – an exercise into the learning curve. The 3 Sides 2 1 isn’t just for people who might wish to monetize their blog or make money online through other formats, it’s also for people who like to talk about blogging and hopefully makiing sense of things.
There are MANY ways to make money online so many ways – but as l have discovered over the last nearly four years is that not all methods are right for everyone …. webinars and vlogs might be absolutely awesome for some people, but not others, developing online courses again great for many others, but maybe not me or you. Podcasting may not be everyone’s cup of tea – but it will be someones.
All l want to do is find what works for me, how can l get from this blog to the business blog in a way that makes me an income? That’s what this blog is about, that’s the idea and that’s the journey, my journey and hopefully some of you will walk with me and we can discover the secrets to success together.
Why did l become so strange and change? Because l had to.
|Journal Entry 3||26th July 2021|
The Highs and Lows of the Bloggercoaster!
|“Do not fear failure but rather fear not trying.”|
Roy T. Bennett
Whilst l don’t buy into the concept of writer’s block – l don’t deny that at times writer’s can suffer with drops in motivation – that is perfectly natural. The days when you are not feeling the love and the enthusiasm to sit and create a post. It happens to many writers – you might not awaken to the day ‘sunny side up’ , ‘bright eyed and bushy tailed’, instead you are feeling like curling up on the sofa and tucking into a slice of your favourite cake – because everyone loves cake right?
Many writers new to blogging give up within the first 4 – 9 months of starting a new blog for this very reason alone. Equally many writers don’t even start a blog because they fear they will not be able to keep their motivations high enough to actually create with any kind of regularity.
A perfect example is my ex Suze, she has been wanting to start a blog of her own since 2019 and has she? Nope. A blog was created for her last year here in WordPress and the site remains dormant still because she can not gather up her motivations to begin the journey! She fears the unknown …. “What happens if l dry up, what happens if, if and more ifs?
Well, none of us know till we try … the least we can do is try. How do we know what we can achieve if we don’t at least try to do our best?
I am fairly lucky in the Guy Called Bloke blog, l always have something to write about and if l find l am struggling at times, l can fall back on a weekly series and create something there, but l haven’t experienced anything demotivating there yet.
In this blog, it is slightly different – The 3 Sides 2 1 is mostly an experimental blog, a sort of workshop to the business blog that is due to be launched later this year. This blog is still in its early days, defining its position and finding its feet. Not all the series it will offer have started yet, so in this current phasing – it might come across as a bit higgledy-piggledy. It’s not, but it might be seen as that by readers and l can understand that all too well.
It can be hard to find content to write about on a regular basis, it’s harder on those looking to create on a daily basis as it is especially if you are not responding to prompts or writing in set series. I know writing in two blogs at present can be hard, and my goal at the end of this year will be to write in three blogs daily – which is why l am generating my motivation as l am now, writing in two blogs to keep a momentum going. It ‘s harder than l thought it was going to be but not, if that makes sense. It is easier here in 2021, writing in two blogs daily than it was writing in three blogs weekly in 2017 when l first ever started blogging and had three blogs and had to delete two within months because of overwhelm.
However, by maintaining one blog only since 2018 and becoming aware of blogging as an activity and learning from all the curves it awards the patient am l now finally confident enough to even contemplate three blogs again.
The hard bit for me at the moment is keeping the definitions apart – the Guy blog is personal journey, 321 is workshop and exploration and TAR will be business only and all three have very different writing guidelines and goals and expectations from me. So keeping my motivation together and ‘up’ is a real challenge. A real emotionally charged rollercoaster or bloggercoaster! It’s not impossible but it’s not easy – and that’s just with two active blogs. I suppose the hardest challenge is yet to come when l launch the third blog. But like most things, the more we practice, the easier it becomes, so maintaining three blogs daily with three distinct writing schedules will become easy also.
Currently working on the third blog is proving difficult because l am endeavouring to break in a new theme which is Dicot and it is baffling me at present because it is so very different from what l use in my other two blogs – Baskervilles 2 which as a theme l really like as l am a very visual person – l need colour and images and things – but the business blog needs to look a bit more sleeker l think. But Dicot is giving me brainache! I’ll get there, but it’s a bit of a pain. The theme just doesn’t feel right … and once again we are looking at a case like that of Goldilocks and the Three Bear’s Porridge – finding one that is juuuust right is all that is needed!
Although l might look for a different theme – l don’t know just yet. To some it wouldn’t be important, but to me it’s the starting point – whatever we are doing, all of us need a starting point like writing a story – however you start it you still need three main parts, a beginning, a middle and an end. Doesn’t matter how you write your story, but you still need those three whatever!
I work to the same theory with blog creation – Ideas, Theme, Content – the ideas for the blogs are always first – the name, the structure, the categories, what will appear in the menus, the series. The Theme is the stumbling block for me because sometimes ideas and theme will clash – you know l think about the third blog and it is an environmental blog dealing with specifics and therefore l know what l will be writing about, but because of the visuals they can cause me the biggest obstacles. Once those are sorted, the content just flows anyway. Therefore for me Theme is everything and why not? Afterall in this case of comparison, the Theme is the plot – it has to make sense.
Oh well, slowly but surely – things are getting there and here too. It’s not a big problem, it never is. My motivations are still high – so l am happy.
| Good, better, best. Never let it rest. ‘Til your good is better and your better is best. |