Tuesday, March 31, 2020

I am OK

Disclaimer: P. Lynne Designs is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Today is a random day of writing.  I have never had a day like this in quite a while.  Most of us have never had a day like this.  It is called social distancing. 
In many cultures that make up the human race, it is a necessity to gather together as a community.   In the United States, we must gather for:
Photo by Pixaby
  • Social events, such as sports, concerts and to worship
  • Family events.  Family is important to some people and it does not matter if they are biological or adopted.
  • Work.  We work for food, clothing, shelter, and enough money to buy the entertainment tickets, pay our tithes and offerings, and help out with family and friends. Note:  you do not need a car in most cases, but you do need to get some mode of transportation, such as a subway/train, bus, or Uber/Lyft/taxi services. Unless you manage to become an entrepreneur or work remotely from home through your job, chances are that you will be working with a co-worker or two.
Before I begin with today’s topic of discussion
I had originally titled this piece, “Corona, Corona” (those people of the baby boomer generation know exactly where the title was taken from, I am slightly younger than you). I wanted to take it in another direction.  I am not an expert on all things disease-wise and I do not want to get into a debate with anyone who is dealing with this strain (doctors, nurses, the CDC), so I am leaving out the details of this strain.  You already have heard what to do, and you know what your limitations are in terms of temporary restrictions and such. Each country is different, as well as each area of that country is different. Please be diligent and mindful of the rules and regulations that are given to you by the people who are in charge. In other words, be safe.
Now on to today’s blog post….
Like everyone, this virus has me on edge.  This virus is not good for the elderly and those with a compromised immune system, so I have a concern for my parents.
The world as we knew it.
On top of that, I temporary have a cat.  My nephew and his girlfriend are temporarily staying with my parents because they just had a baby and they are finding an apartment.  Gizmo is their cat, so they will get her when the time comes. 
I have two dates that I feel will be canceled due to this virus.   I am sure that everyone had that one place which was canceled due to Covid-19.  The first one happens every first Tuesday of each month.  It is a woman’s business group that I belong to.  I hope the meetings will resume in May.  The second date is a date I could not get out of in the first place.  It is jury duty.  I have to go unless the courts decide to delay jury duty, which I hope they do.  I avoided it twice in my life.  I also had planned on going to a scrapbooking event scheduled for this weekend, but it ended up being an online event anyway.
Ohio’s governor, Mike DeWine, has issued a “Shelter in Place” ordinance as of 11:59pm last week.  I have said this about Longaberger’s deadlines for shipping and sales campaigns before, and I will say again for those in the back, “who stops or starts anything at 11:59 pm it makes no sense?”  It is like any price with $.99 tacked at the end of a whole price.  You might as well put zeros at the end of the price ($5.00 instead of $4.99).  You might as well say 12 am instead of 11:59pm. What does that curfew allow me to do and not do? The same thing that I have not been able to do in the first place:  Eat in restaurants, go to movies, worship at church, shop at all hours of the night (oops, I thought that was the reason for online shopping, LOL), drive (unless you have a job to go to), and social mingling.  I think that is most of the country. 
The governor, as well as The president, does encourage everyone to work at home.  The problem is that most minority groups as a whole cannot afford to work from home.  This includes taking online classes that university students have to finish by the end of the semester.  Once done, they are officially on break until further notice.
The Walt Disney Company, which had originally closed its Asian parks, now has closed the North American and European parks as well.  This gives me time to properly plan my next vacation, which is making up for the one I had to cancel in October 2019 for travel to Disney World in Florida in December.  I will put up a report in my new Disney blog in May or sooner, so I will not bog down this blog or Home Prep (formally known as At Home with Tricia's Baskets). Meanwhile, Shanghai Disney is slowly getting back to normal, by reopening the market area, Disneytown first, the parks and resorts second. Disney has slated the reopening of both The Disneyland Resorts and Walt Disney World Resorts as of April 1st, but that all depends on Florida’s governor and the president, and the rule that governs this country at the time of the reopening.
(Update:  Even as I write this post, things have changed.  Everything is canceled at the Disney American parks until further notice.  The earliest booking you can make is for June 1st.  I am understanding that this is the time that the Reservation line for both resorts will be staffed.  Cast members (employees) will be paid until April 18th).
Most schools are closed at least until April 13.  Some are even out for the summer.  I know that Columbus Public, one of the largest school districts in the state of Ohio are out until April 13.  If extended, this could mean that they will be out for the rest of the school year.  Until then, most school districts, including Columbus are providing home school assistance.  
There is so much more that we do not know about this virus.  If I happen to sell something during this crisis, I am wondering how I am going to deliver it. Am I going to be able to go to the post office?  Of course, there is the Disney event that I would like to attend in May.  I just found out that they opened up another date for it.  It is now a day date of May 12, which is actually the day before the date of May 13, which is still sold out.  May 14 is still available as well.
Things to do if reading books, watching television, and using social media get you down:
  • Organize.  Now it the time for spring cleaning.  “You have junk.  I have junk.  All of God’s children got junk.  Before this virus is over, we going to get rid of our junk, and then we going to walk around a clean house.  A clean house.  A clean house.  We going to walk around a clean house.”  Shout out to that verse based on the Negro Spiritual, “I Got Shoes.”  I hope I do not get kicked out of heaven for that.   But seriously, get rid of the junk, open up the window, and clean.  Get rid of the cobwebs while you are at it.
  • Take up a new hobby.  Have you always wanted to learn something new?  Now is the time to learn how to get yourself promoted if you have a job or think that drawing Mickey Mouse is cool.  There are free and paid courses online that will teach you. 
  • Side hustle.  Do you have that drive to start a business?  You may not be able to go out and look at spaces to rent. (Now is not the time anyway and it is not the first thing you do when starting one).  You can start a babysitting service for people who have to work during that time (even though my lovely governor is trying to poo-poo that plan that states you have to apply for a crisis license to keep children during this time).  How about a virtual assistant?  Freelance writer or graphic designer?  Offer your expertise with an online course.
  • Catch up on sleep.  OK, this is a stretch, especially if you have kids.  I am speaking from the experience of a single woman with no kids, I can do this.  I am also speaking from a person who has a business I work from home. I may not be able to see clients (unless I do video conferencing, which I have not set up yet), but at present, I can catch up with sleep.
  • Update something on your computer.  One of the things I am tackling while I am in a sort of downtime, is updating my blogs.  As I have explained before this pandemic, I want to switch platforms.  I am now officially in a love/hate relationship with Blogger, and I have read another blogger website, and I want off this train called Blogger.   I have said that Blogger is good for the person who is starting their blog, but you do not have to stay there.  Hopefully, this will be completed by the end of next week.  I started last night, looking at WordPress themes, and I think I will be using the same theme that I have used for my P. Lynne Designs website (which is almost completed), and it is a paid theme, that uses Elementor and I think it is a go on that.  I saw some that I might use for my ATWTB/Home Prep blog, and my newly decided Disney blog.  But one blog at a time, when you have to finish your website.
  • Home and Business Projects.  This is not to be confused with the home organization, though it could contain organizing with the project, depending on how you will use it.   I would start off with this:  Name your project and ask yourself “if money was no objection, what would that project look like”?  Is it a big or little project?  Big as in it will cost over $350 or whatever budget over your minimum projected cost, little as under $350 or below your minimum.  I used $350 because that is my minimum for a big project.  Minimum looks good on paper to me because I can always get $350 from my personal, personal bankers, my parents if strapped for cash and it is an emergency.  Why not $500?  Because this is the amount that if I had an emergency, my father would pay, but would get mad at me for not having in reserves.
There are really a whole host of other things you can do while you are stuck inside.  I have a cousin whose daughter is learning how to tap dance.  She takes it anyway (FINALLY, I am not the ONLY tap dancer in the family), but while she is away from her dance teacher, she is still learning.  Speaking of learning, many schools have home school for their students, this is the time for you to learn what your child is learning (remember CORE math, anyone?).  Learn a new skill.  There are plenty of online courses to take at little to no cost. Take a drive.  Yes, you can go outdoors without coming into contact with people.  It depends on your government's curfew.
As for me, again, I am doing my part. I had to get a couple of items from the grocery store today.  Nothing major, some tomatoes and a favorite black bean and corn salsa that I use as a sauce for spaghetti/ramen noodles.  The Starbucks in that store was open, so I used my rewards card to score some major points on my Cookie Crumble Frap.  I will be online shopping.
I hope you take some lessons from this self-quarantine situation.  Learn how to appreciate all that was given to you before this time, like freedom, perseverance, and a job.  Survivor, the television show needs to go off the air after this because we would have all survived Quarantine 2020 like nobody’s business, and Phil needs to find a new job.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

A Brand new blog, Maybe?

ello, my name is Patricia.  I am a single person with 2 nieces, 3 nephews,  and love for Disney. I aspire to work with any company that I (1) believe has most of the values that I cherish, and (2) I have had a good rapport with now and in the past.  These qualities fit Disney for me.  I am a little bit Disney crazy.
So, when I tell you that I am going to start my second blog about going to Disney when you only have nieces and nephews, you might think that I am a little crazy to do that.  My first blog closed, not by the web host's hand or Disney’s but mine. 
The first blog was named cutely, but long-winded “Travelling to the Mouse’s House”.  Yes, Travelling was spelled with two “Ls” in it because I could not decide if I was misspelling the word or trying to be funny about this spelling. 
What was it all about?
Photo by Pixabay
It was at first about the misadventures of an Ohio woman and her family trying to get to Disney World. When I was a child, I lived 2 hours from Disneyland in California, and I loved it when the family came to visit, and we would make that track up to Anaheim, and visit Mickey, Minnie, The princesses, Donald, Goofy, Pluto, You know the rest, and had a ball.  Then we moved to the East coast and New Jersey.  If you want some non-Disney fun, this was the place to do it.  Finally, when I was 12, we moved to Ohio, and I have been here since that time, and I have been to Disney World a couple of times.  I was also part of Disney Vacation Club, which was a treat in itself, but I had to let it go due to financial reasons.
So that is what the blog was all about.
If I were to start another blog….
…. It would be something like that.  A woman and her family trying to get to Disney World, but it would not stop there.  I would talk about Disney, my views on Disney, and I would even take you along on my Disney trips.
Finding a name.
If I were to start another blog about Disney, the first thing I would have is a name without the name Disney or any of its trademarks in it.   Disney frowns on that sort of stuff.  In fact, unless you are approved by a company, rather is a big company like Disney or Amazon, or a small home business like mine, P. Lynne Designs, you would have to get permission to use the name.  So, since I have a business, I am not going to bother about the step I have to take in order to have something like “Tricia’s Wonderful Disney Blog”, or “Tricia’s Mickey Trip”.  I will revile the name at the end of this blog post.
Finding a purpose.
If I were to find a purpose about this blog, it would be all things, Disney, right?  Yes, but I have to present it like, professional and stuff.  I cannot be selfish about this blog either.   I cannot talk about my family all the time, nor they would want me to either.  Since almost everyone at one point or another want to at least visit Disney World once, I have to make it that way.  So here is a rundown of some of the things I want to talk about:

  • The parks
  • The resorts
  • The food
  • The special events in the park
  • Other theme parks.  Disney is not the only one with the theme parks in the Central Florida area.
  • The merchandise.
  • Disney Plus
  • What’s showing in the Theater
  • Disney Cruise Line.  You know they have one
  • Disney Vacation Club.  Not too many people know about this, but it is a good investment if you visit Disney World Resorts often
  • Other Disney Parks.

OK, that is a few of some of the things worth mentioning.  Of course, I can talk about any and all of them, and I will at some point.
I do not want to be a repeater.
One of the problems with my last blog about Disney was I live up north, while Disney World is down south, and I felt that since I was not going to the parks much, I was only repeating what was in the news.  Yes, I want to report them, especially since I do not live in the Central Florida area, but at what point do I want to sound like I grabbed the news from the internet and run with it.  I am determined not to let that get in my way again.
When you feel like you are in a place in your blog that sounds like you are repeating old news and things of the past, remember that not everyone is seeing it for the 1000th time, report it like it is your audience’s first time hearing about it. In other words, put your spin on the news.   To give an example, unless you are not a Disney fan, everyone is going to report on the rise of ticket prices in the Disney parks.  Report that, but put your own spins, such as your summary, good or bad, talk about your budget as you plan your next trip as a Disney fan, or a parent with 2.5 kids and a dog who needs boarding. I have grown as a writer since my days as the owner of Travelling to the Mouse’s House.
Finding an audience.
One of my other problems is when you live as “an introvert with extrovert tendencies”, as my pastor says, is marketing this blog, and this should not be a problem, but it is.  The point is not to make it a problem.  Disney has its fans, and fans for not take lightly when you belittle their happy place.  No one does, when someone talks bad about that thing they love.
For me, that is no problem.  I will report the good, bad, and ugly about Disney, but I will exercise more on the side of good things.  I do not like hearing about the Walt Disney Company’s greediness, being expensive, and trying to monopolize the world.  Do you think that we as fans don’t know about it?  The difference between a fan and a hater is we are willing to look past the company’s faults and failures, and little ticks, while finding the good in that little tick.  In Disney’s case, it is that little tick that might mean a new ride, a new resort, or even better service.
As you explore whatever you are willing to devote your new blog too, help your reader become a forever friend of your blog.  You may have to report some bad news, such as your new crafting tool having some first-time flaws issues, your favorite Harley Motorcycle has a recall, a new rule that demonetizes your blog and takes away some of your devoted readers, but at the same time, report that   Overall, you want your reader to be informed of a profitable solution that does not cost them a lot of money for the fix.  After all, you are here to help, inform, and to educate.
workaround instruction how to call customer service, or that minor little discover you have made yourself that hopefully does not violate EULA (End User License Agreement).
This is by far the hardest part of owning a blog, and although I am not an expert in this, I would like to educate and do research on how I can fund my blog.  This is what I am working on with the other three blogs, and I can say that it is not easy.  I will post a longer post on the monetization of blog posting, but there are the ways I am doing so:
            Affiliate Marketing- this is promoting business and its products.  The biggest affiliate is Amazon, but there are others, such as Sale-a-share, CJ Affiliate, Clickbank, and many others if you do not want to get into Amazon.  You can also go to a company to see if they have an affiliate program.   One example is I am a marketer of the Amazon Affiliate program, which has many facets, including being a seller.  I have a seller’s account.  Whenever you see this notation on a blog post,
“Disclaimer: P. Lynne Designs is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. “
Photo by Pixabay
On my blog post, it means that there is a product that I am promoting on that blog post.  It also means that I get a commission from your purchase, but you do not have to buy the product.  I have to by Amazon and the FTC that governs all affiliate programs, including Amazon’s. 
            Freelancing:  I am a freelancer is both writing and graphic work.  My specialties are Blog post, ghostwriting and regular document writing, and resume writing in the writing industry. Logo, stationery, cards (Both Business and Greeting Cards), invitations, and copywriting for Graphic Design.  This does not mean that I do not like a challenge.
The key is to learn how to set your own prices.  Setting them too high means no customers, but setting the prices too low also means no customers.  Set your ground rules, but offer something unique makes a returning customer, and they will bring new customers to you.
            Sponsorships and advertising:  I find that this is the oldest way to monetize your blog, and it is done by marketing another person’s product or concept. 
            Create a course:  People love to know how you made a buck or two, why not sell in the form of a course. You have something that is very valuable to the general public and plus it is a tried and true concept.  For example, I am always intrigued on the notion of getting to a million-dollar business while in my underwear.  This was the first course I bought in the early 2000s.  The concept is sound, and it was the same marketing concept I paid thousands of dollars for at the university I graduated from in 2003 (thank you Dr. Otte and Franklin University- I will be back for my master’s degree).   Anyway, I paid for this course, and I did not see any value in it because I had already learned it some months earlier, but that does not mean that another person who did not know this marketing concept could not benefit from this man’s teachings.
Today, I do not know how many emails I have gotten of people selling their concept of making a few extra monies for the bank account.  I also have taken 3 courses from a woman, named Renae Christine, who have some of the same principles as my former university, but the difference is she throws in a different teaching technique than any of my instructors did at the school.  There is also Freelance University, that I am attended right now, and it too teaches you how to freelance. 
The point is how to market the course and what to charge,
Selling a book or a product:  This my last point on the subject.   You can publish an e-book or a regular book, which is very easy if you go through sites like Amazon.  It used to take months to write down a concept, edit, and send it to a publisher. You can now email it or send it through Amazon’s vast website.  I briefly touched on products earlier.
So, to put it together:
To recap:
  1. The concept of your blog
  2. The approach or plan for the blog
  3. You know your audience
  4. You have the name of your blog, and
  5. You know what topics you are going to cover.
Your blog is only halfway there.  If you are going to make some money with the blog, then you need to find ways to do that, and it varies from person to person. 
Let me know what you think about this concept of starting a new blog.  Is it something you are interested in the comments section.