Thursday, May 30, 2019

Blogging is hard-Chapter 2: Making a schedule

Hello, and welcome to My Ambiance Life.
In today’s post, I want to take about blogging in general, not how to get started, not how to win at increasing traffic, but blogging in general.

Myths in blogging…
One of the myths I get when I am reading post from Pinterest, searching on Google, or anywhere else on the interwebs (Internet), is “blogging is dead”, “no one is interested in blogs anymore”, and phrases like that.
I am here to tell you that the way blogs got started might be dead, but the overall concept of blogs is not.  In fact, blogging is very much alive.  This is how blogging works for me….
You can do the following with a blog:
·         Use it as a follow up to a video
·         Offer products with the blog:  Talk about your subject, offer a free product (say a free guide), then if you are able, offer a course to further talk about your subject.  I have seen it a lot and it is something I am thinking about doing in 2020.
o   An alternative is to offer a service like freelance writing or graphic design service.  This also works if you are an organizer or party planner.
If you feel that your blog is dying a slow death, these ideas and many more can help bring new life into your blogging experience.  I not necessary say bring in traffic but help spruce up your blog.  Perhaps you are on a server that is limited, like Blogger.  Now I like Blogger and it is good for those who want to get their feet wet into blogging.  I have outgrown Blogger, as I have mentioned many times before.  I am also not a programmer, so Joomla, which is a website language that I would love to learn how to do, but WordPress is my go to language for the moment.  Maybe one day.  It is very easy to learn, and it takes no time to build up a website.

Scheduling a blog post, Part 1
I have learned something new in the past few weeks.  Schedule out your posts. There is a way for to do it on Blogger: 
1.       On the right side, you will see Post Settings
2.      Go down to schedule and click on it
3.      If you want the blog to post when you click on Publish, leave as it.  If not, click on Set date and Time.
4.      A calendar will pop up and you can click on a day of the current month or use two little arrows on the right side to advance a month ahead.  You can also click in the box for the current time or type in the time that you want.  Remember to highlight AM or PM.  Make sure you have the right time zone.
5.      Click Done when finished,
For WordPress:
This comes from WP Optimus (2014), but it still hold true today:
1.       Once you are finished writing your post, go to the right side of the panel of your post where the Meta-publish box is located. Click on Edit
2.      Set the date and time for when you want the post to publish.  The time will be listed as a 24-hour clock format, not 12-hours.  This is also called Military Time.  Ex. 1 PM is 13:00
3.      Click on schedule when finished.
Now you are able to schedule times for when you are on vacation, or too busy to write.

Scheduling a blog post, part 2

OK, the following was how to schedule when you blog post will publish to your blog.  Another thing I found out about scheduling is the art of writing when you feel the need to say something.  Christians call it, “God told me to tell you something that has been on my heart”.  Others say, “I have something to say, and I am not going to back down until I say it”.  Trust me, I do not have nothing to get “off my chest” (another saying).
We all have complaints.  In most Facebook groups I am in, it is having a rant, but there are tactful ways of complaining without getting chewed out by other.  I have learned the following.
1.       Do not say something just to get an audience.  In fact, do not expect for someone to respond with a “me too”, “I agree”, or “I feel the same way”.  Speak your peace and move on.
2.      If you journal, write the rant there.  You have gotten off your chest and you have left it in a place for you to see.
3.      Ask questions before you rant, especially if you are in a group setting. It is best to ask questions than to assume and get kicked out of the group.  You may still get kicked out, but at least you are not ranting blindly without all the answers.  Remember, there is no such thing as a stupid question.
4.      Calm down before typing
5.      If you are in a group setting and you are still angry, do not announce that you are leaving the group.  Just leave and let go.
When situations are treated with kindness, you will have a better result.
Scheduling a blog post, part 3: know when to write
OK, confession time:
I have set up all these day the type of themes I want to put in this blog.  Some weeks it works out great, while others, not so much.  It is embarrassing, and I do not have any hard copies to remind me of what I am supposed to write about.  For example:  I write my journaling prompts posts on Wednesday instead of Thursday, Motivational Monday becomes motivational any day, and so on.  The only thing that has been constant lately is that I do not write and post on Saturdays and Sundays.  I have a solution for that.  I am picking two days out of the week to write, posting them on the days that I pick (probably Monday and Wednesday or Thursday) Friday may be a bonus day, and I am scheduling them so that they automatically post.  Everything has been edited complete with pictures.
Why am I saying this:
My schedule is full, and I need to take time to do things carefully. 
My takeaway for this is simple:  take time for you.  I know I have mentioned some portion of that to you in the past few posts, but I am serious as always. 
Yes, I need an audience, clients, and viewers, but I also need me, and I need to continue my spiritual journey with God.
If you do not have that, then what is life.  I am not saying that life is meaningless, but your life has meaning and a purpose.  We all need to find that purpose and it is not always about making money.  I know I push making money, but you are not going to die if you do not make a 6-figure salary.  Make enough to allow you to save and to live on the daily.  This means if you need toothpaste, make enough to buy it.  Same with your home.  Make enough to afford a decent home for you and your family.  It does not have to be a 5-room mansion with a 3-car garage, it can be an apartment with a parking space, but not a one-room boarding house where all 6 of your family members sleep in it.  If this means you have stay in that one -room for a moment, fine, but aim higher.
In other words, you can change your situation.
Have a good day.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Journal Prompt: Dream Jobs as a Kid and an Adult

Disclaimer:  This post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links within the post, I may receive a commission for your click and purchase. You do not have to make a purchase to enjoy this post, I only highlight products to help with the cost of running the blog, and I only post links to products relevant to the topic in that post and to companies I use and trust.”

 Today is Journaling Day.  I am loving this day. 

In case you are new here, this is the day where I give you a journaling tip and journaling prompt.  It gives you ideas on what to journal on in case you get stuck.  It is not a requirement to read this blog as I have other days that have no participation.  It may change once I have this new website online.  Just Kidding, but I will have more things that you may want to do in your journaling journey.
Tip for Today: Do not hesitate to convert an old planner into a journaling planner.
I find this to be a much-needed idea because I am starting to become a hoarder of notebooks, planners, and journaling books.  I still journal online (actually, in MS Word), but I also am finding myself making journals on gratefulness, blog posts that I want to write about, and so forth. 
A type of journaling I also do is called list journaling.  It started out, I think, as a way to making a bucket list, but for me, it has become much more.  I write down things in the following list order:
·         Books I read
·         Library books I looked at (which is different then the books I read)
·         Things I want to do for my business
·         Crafty things I want to make
·         Future blog posts so I will repeat the title of the subject
·         Vacation points
·         Being grateful
Some I check off, while for others, it is a list. 
Currently, I use anything from journals from Dollar Tree, Target, and Erin Condren.  I talked about the Erin Condren Petite Journal in a video two months ago, and I absolutely the smallness of the journal.  The journal do not too many pages, which is good for short-term journaling.  Sometimes you may want to journal events such as a wedding you are planning, a pregnancy, or even a trip of a lifetime.

Today’s prompt:  Employment
Question from 300 Writing Prompts:  As a Kid, what Job did you Dream you would have as an ADULT? What job do you have now?
Yes, it is one of those two-part questions, but I like this question because again, it makes you think about what is going on in your life.
This is an optional question from me:  Are you happy in your current position at your job? 
This is even harder to think about because you are deciding if you should change your future.  There is always something you can change about your jobs, such as hours worked, the location, or even your boss.  Some are easy fixes while others are harder to fix.  It may mean that you have to leave your current position, ask for a higher raise, or add on new responsibilities.  Remember that one year, 5-year, or 10-year plan?  It might be time to dust it off and take action.  Remember, talk is cheap, but the action is expensive.
So it is my turn….
I was first asked this question at the age of 6 years.  I had 3 dream jobs:  A teacher, an Actress, and a dancer.  I took the lessons for dance, I learned all I could to become a teacher, and I thought I would wing it as an actress because I thought that I was a natural at it, thanks to mom, who thought I was.  I was so dramatic as a child.
Later, around 8, I added nurse and model to my list of occupations that could go after.  By 12, being a mommy was added.  Before you ask, nothing was achieved by the time I was 25.  I was a preschool teacher for a few years, but the others, it was a no, and you can read about what I did in my life over several blog posts.
What am I doing now, and am I happy with the outcome…
I am a single person with no children.  That I am not happy with.  I am in marketing, a graphic designer, a writer, and a stationer.  This I am happy with. I am finally doing what I was meant to do in the beginning.  I do not think I would be happy as an actress, I am too short as a model, and I still can be a teacher, just not a teacher of children.  I am still holding on to be a mommy.  I am an aunt at the moment. 
As a person who can do all that I am doing at the moment, I can teach a person how to do what I do.  I am teaching now as I write this.  I am giving you tips on how to journal, such as what materials to use, and what I use.  Teachers make you think, which is what I am doing now.  Teachers give students ideas, which is what I am doing now.
One last tip:
If you think what I wrote is short, it is, because I have written my employment life story throughout this blog, My Ambiance Life. I do not like to repeat myself unless it is necessary. Besides that, I want you to write your own work life story.  What you have to offer people, especially young people?  I want everyone to remember this as you are writing your work life story:
Your story can make you or break you.  you can see your way through or get you to change.  The results are the teachers that allow you to tell your story.  Your story is not fiction, it is a true story.  Talk about the time that you did not have any money and when you were ready to give up, a job came along and save you from doing something that should not be doing in the first place.  Talk about the time when you wanted a raise in position, but the supervisor thought you were not ready and why.  Talk about the customer that you help, and you felt grateful for your job, but also talk about the customer who made you so mad that you had to remove yourself.  I had one such customer when I was working for Archiver’s, a Memory Store in 2009.  Your story may be someone’s saving grace and to let them know that they are not the only one who has not gone through that. 
That was my takeaway for this post, and I will leave you for right now.  May God bless you on your journey to journaling, on your job, and in life in general. 

Monday, May 6, 2019

Goals for May 2019

Today, I am going to talk about my goals for this month, May 2019.
For those of you who are first-timers to my blog, I am displaying my goals as a way of being accountable with myself and to others.
Now some people do not care to hear about other people’s goals, but on this Motivation Monday, I feel that if I can work on my goals, so can you. So if this is not for you, please skip this blog.  I am finding more and more bloggers are saying that, and it is perfectly ok to skip.  Not everything I talk about on my blogs is going to be for everyone, but I try to reach the majority of people.
There is another reason:
I am not going to spend too much time on this, but, as an influencer, it is important to be able to influence people.  Influencing includes anything that I do for my individual blog, to my Instagram and other social media accounts, to anything that a sponsor wants me to do for them.  What I love about being one is when it comes to sponsored posts, I can pick and choose what I want to talk about, but at the same time, there are certain requirements I need to meet in order to be effective.  So, with that, my goals are as follows:
·         Social Media:  Instead of targeting all of my accounts at once, I decided to concentrate heavily on one account, while still working on the others.  You always need to work on these accounts if you are an influencer.  Why? Because when sponsors see your numbers, they will ask for you specifically.  You also do not have to pitch as hard to get them to see you.  This does not mean that the moment they see 1000 followers on your account, sponsors are going to immediately fall in love with you and your content.  There are other things to consider because what you have to offer still may not be a good fit for you or the sponsor.
o   Instagram.  Last Month (April): 714.  This month: 750 Up by 36 new followers.  I was working on Instagram because this social media platform is quickly growing in general.  People are starting to share more pictures.  Sponsors love it because the influencer can show their product in action, through photos and video.  By the way, I shared my first video.  It was a happy accident because it was an accident.  I am not the person who likes her cat niece hanging around craft tools in their working position.  I was working on a bookmark project, and while trying to watch out for Gizmo and loading paper into my Cricut machine.  Hit “go” on the machine and the mat went one way, the paper when another way.  I tried to hit pause and got a nasty paper jam.  It took an hour to clear it, and while doing so, I am posting to my Cricut groups about it, looking up on YouTube and Google on how to clear it.  Finally, customer service said to email and upload a video.  Well, after taking a craft knife and a small kitchen knife to it, I got the paper jam free.  Later on, I decided to upload to Instagram, and VOLIA, I got 20 likes, 10 more followers, and a comment, my first comment.  I have comments about that later on.
o   Facebook:  No change except I added one person.
o   Twitter: (April) 1,683 This month: 1,679 Humm, I lost a couple.  Just to know I am still trying to figure out both Facebook and Twitter, and they were the first social media I joined.
o   LinkedIn: (April) 358, this month: 362.  I gained 4 followers.  Consider that this is the account that I will probably work on next month.
Notice, I never mentioned Pinterest in this month’s report or last month’s report.  Guess what?  This is the social media account that needs no help at all.  I am also not mentioning YouTube, not for the same reason, but I want it to grow organically, mentioning the channel in my blog posts, on YouTube growth groups on Facebook, and so forth. 
I am also not mentioning my other blogs for this month.  I am still working on getting them to the WordPress platform.  I have the basic bones of the sites, such as securing them because Lord knows that I do not want another disaster like my first P. Lynne Designs website.  (May she rest in peace for the moment). This will come in the form of individual reports in the coming days.
As for My Ambiance Life, As I told you, the new address is going to be (please do not go to this URL as of yet), and the security is set.  As soon as I get finished with P. Lynne Designs, the new one, I will start the backend of this new site.  Hopefully, it is this week and if not, Next week.  Things got a little bit behind because of life and I was working on some bookmarks for Mother’s day.  My goals are to be completely finished and ready to roll out some posts for WP My Ambiance Life within the next couple of weeks.  I will keep this one up, which I am calling Blogger My Ambiance Life, for about a year, so that anyone who is currently subscribed to this blog can find their way over to WP My Ambiance Life.  I will have links to each blog on the other blog’s site.  So does that means I will have 6 blogs?  No, it means I will still have 3 blogs, with 3 blogs as archived (older) blog posts.
Well, that is it for today’s post.  The Takeaway for today is:

1.       Do not be afraid of telling anyone your goals for the month.  At the beginning of the post, I mentioned that not everyone will be in turn with what you are trying to achieve, and not everyone should read what your goals are.  I am making mine public in case someone is thinking about doing goal setting this way. 
2.      Do write it down somewhere is this is not public information. By the way, it is, if you know how to look up stats.  Anyone can go to a free website, such as Alexa (not the AI from Amazon) and pull up stats on a website.  Alexa is not totally free, but there are some features that require a pro account.
3.      Have some idea on why you want to keep track of your website stats (such as growing your account for fun or work-related). Do not pull up your websites and social media stats if it means nothing to you.
4.      Finally, if you do want to increase your following, you need to engage.  What do I mean? You need to do the following:

o   Post content.  Not just any content.  Post content with a purpose.  That 5-minute clip I posted of me having problems with the jammed paper was meant for a customer service rep at Cricut, but it turned into a “you can have this problem too” moment.  I will be posting more short video clips in my Instagram now that I know how to do it.
o   Answer all comments.  Let me rephrase that.  Answer all comments that make sense.  Now, all comments are going to be related to your post.  I go be the “read and move on” approach.  If someone is cursing at you and making threats of any kind, report them, ASAP.
o   Comment on almost everything you read.  Again, some content is not worth the reply.  If you enjoy that person’s post, at least say that.  It helps them to know that you at least clicked the link to read it.  I usually replay with TFS (Thanks for Sharing) or Enjoyed your post.  If I have something further to say, I will say it at that time.  If I did not enjoy it, I move on.  Also, please like it and share when you can.
o   Finally, subscribe back if someone subscribes to you, or at least check out their profile.  If they have at least 2 things in common, and they go by your values and beliefs, sub anyway.  If not, some people go by the “sub for sub” rule.

Well, I am finally finished. Have a great day, you are more then enough, and God bless you.