Lately I've started to feel a bit overwhelmed every time I stumble upon a blog post boasting about how this blogger built a six figures blog or that virtual assistant makes five figures a month. As if those figures really meant anything. Don't get me wrong. Six figures is nice. Seven figures even nicer. You have to pay your rent or mortgage, buy food and clothes, keep the electricity on and so forth. In the capitalistic world, you have to make some money to survive. What bothers me, is how many people define success by money and things. You don't stop to ask if the "successful" person is...

At my home, and the first six years at school, I was truly encouraged to creativity. I could access drawing tools, such as coloured pencils and basic watercolours, I had empty notebooks for writing and reading books was a big thing. All that raised me to be an imaginative and creative person, who keeps utilising her imagination throughout adulthood. It may be true that some people are more inclined for creativity, more equipped to have a vivid imagination. Perhaps their brains just work that way. However, I believe that creativity is something you can, and perhaps need to, train. As you can...

While I wasn't blogging, I also wasn't emailing my list. The last email I had sent in May, trying to dust up the stale list. It wasn't stale because of my subscribers. It was stale because it wasn't working for me. As with my blog, I had driven myself into a corner. After reading all the advice on how you should give more value and information and more this and that, I was trying to write emails that weren't... me. I was going against my own advice on not trying to please your audience, and it was not working out. Besides, I had set myself a schedule of weekly emails which was way too much....

I always find the "how to start a blog" type articles funny. I mean, don't you just start one? Free WordPress.com or Blogger. Or a self-hosted one, like mine. You publish your first blog post, and there you are, blogging. Then again, it's easy to feel like you cannot publish a post if your blog doesn't look exactly the right way. Or start a podcast without an expensive microphone. Not to mention getting into video creation, without having extensive knowledge about editing or owning a great camera. And how about getting your business up, without having the exactly same apps and website...

It's been a while. I'm aware of that. Almost a year! There has been breaks before, week or months. But this long? Never. The break started as your usual not-feeling-like-it. I wanted to redesign my site, but either I didn't have the time and motivation or I was out of ideas. Seeing the site reminded me of this, trying to blog reminded me of this. Suddenly it had been a month. Then another, and another, and another. Finally, I felt a bit ashamed to blog again. It had been such a long time already. What would people say? Would anyone even bother to read it anymore? I dwelled into Instagram,...

Entering your local grocery store you might not think about it. As you walk through the store, you are actually walking through a life sized and physical sales funnel. Here in Finland, the first thing in a store are usually the fruits and vegetables or the bakery. Fruits and veggies are colourful, fresh, juicy, inviting. The bakery hits you with a delicious scent. You didn't go to buy that freshly baked rye bread, but somehow it ended up in your shopping basket. The grocery stores place the most regular items in different parts of the store layout. The bread is here, milk is over there. You...

Since my older posts about getting rid of spam on Instagram and stopping and preventing your account from sending spam are still quite popular, I decided to revisit the subject with an updated post. Instagram has changed quite a lot between then and now. This includes many changes to the algorithms, which dictate the reach of your images. With all these changes, spam hasn't gone away. As a matter of a fact, spam has only evolved. Now you aren't only dealing with spambots, but also using spammy methods for growing otherwise legit profiles and their following and reach, is extremely common....

Did you know that Google alone processes now over 40,000 search queries on average every second? That is over 3.5 billion searches per day. Your audience and clients and fans and customers are online, looking for entertainment, information, products and services. Having a strong and clear online presence is what you need to reach the right people. A defined online presence is imperative for successfully marketing of your business and growing your authority. Creating a strong online presence includes various different parts. It isn't limited to only your website or having a presence on a...

One thing is clear. In the online time, being able to stand out, be heard, and influence is valuable. Way more valuable than many want to admit. Whatever you do, you are measured by your ability to influence. Influence is the capability to have an effect in the world, and make people hungry for what you say and do. Influencer marketing thrives. In it, the effort is focused on influential people, rather than directly on the target market. The influencers have the reach, and they can change minds, move people, nudge them to do things. They build connections, they make you want to be them and...

There's something alluring about new beginnings. A new year isn't really anything magical. Yet it feels like something new, something different. Better, even. Starting anew. Resolutions are made. More exercise. Eating healthier. The usual. I'm not into making resolutions, since they have a tendency to get derailed. By myself, or by the circumstances. Something comes up, and then I feel bad about not keeping up my silly ideas. Though I was thinking about something I could do better from now on. That is, not being so afraid of making a mess. You know those blog posts, about how the writer...

You have set up an email list with that service everyone said would be great for you. You created perfect opt-in gifts. You built great looking forms, and alluring landing pages. You wrote a blog post to tell about your new opt-in and shared the living daylights out of it. Then, something awesome happened. People subscribed. Not just one person, not only two. But hundreds of people. However, you soon notice they didn't actually ever confirm their email addresses. You just have now a list of unconfirmed emails laying around. What the what? There are many reasons why this might happen. The...

I have been mulling over leaving Twitter and Facebook, or at least using them much less. The thought on Facebook has been there for a while, because to the service is bringing people's awful sides out and the algorithms are making choices in my behalf. Over at Twitter the things have been getting worse and worse too. While bullies and white supremacists are reigning, the folks in charge of the service are sitting on their hands. Either they are ignoring the complaints, or are making pointless technical changes. And now, with the 280 character long Tweets enabled, my Twitter timeline is a mess...

Have you ever tried to follow step-by-step instructions to notice that the steps didn't produce the results you were promised? And when you asked about it, you were told that you just didn't want it enough, or didn't really take every step. It's you, not the instructions. That is quite enough to send to you self blaming and depression, thinking you just should quit right now. If this didn't work, why would anything else? However, not all steps apply in all the situations. You might not be able to take certain steps, or have to modify them to meet restrictions. This isn't some sort of an...

What if the problem isn't the one you think it is? These past days Twitter has been boiling. Twitter announced that they are testing double length, 280 character long Tweets. In their own words, it was to give us users more characters to express ourselves. The response has been less than enthusiastic. Many call Twitter out for not addressing real issues, like harassment and racism and bot trouble. Meanwhile, some have Tweeted that those who oppose the longer Tweets shouldn't worry. They don't have to use all 280 characters, and can continue making 140 character long Tweets. Doesn't solve the...

You may have noticed these orange buttons on my site, with text "Become a Patron". If you click the button, you are directed to a page where you can choose between something called rewards, and different tiers varying from $1 to $100 (or more) per month. What is this Patreon thing, then? Patron means many things, including a (repeat) client of a store or a hotel. It also means a person who, especially in form of money, supports another person or a group. Kings, popes and other people of power, used to support artists and pay for them to create their art. This is commonly known as art...

Email lists are the hottest hot in marketing these days. At least they are amongst online entrepreneurs, bloggers, coaches and such. It seems like a must to build an email list, in order to find leads, sell goods and build traffic. It's no wonder. With social media services having turned into megaphones for the loudest, and the constant mess of everyone fighting about something with each other, there's something soothing about sending your message straight into someone's inbox. I have an email list too. It's a small one, and my open rates are high. The latest email I sent was opened within...

It's been almost twenty years since my last French lesson. I wasn't a very motivated student, for many reasons. I had personal issues that were gradually killing my enthusiasm in learning. And the standardised learning and testing felt unfair and stiff to me. I learn differently. Thus, through all these years, I was losing the little French I knew. In these years I have now and then tried to get back on learning French. I've tried different methods, nothing really working. Perhaps my motivation hasn't been quite there. I have used Duolingo before. I did previously, for a little while,...

"Twitter threads are like hard to read blog posts. I miss blogs." I know, they are hard to read. Annoying. I often skip them, because I use Tweetbot and it doesn't fare well with threads. It can render them completely unreadable, especially if there are any replies to the Tweets in the thread. I have a complicated relationship with Twitter threads. I share them, but mainly refrain from writing them myself. I know I can be wordy, which would make my threads longer than ones you've seen. Plus since I don't like them that much, I don't want to submit my followers to my overly long rants. Hey, I...

I'm starting a podcast. Yes, you read correctly. The writer girl is going to start talking. And yes, it's a work in progress. First of all, I'd like to have a good start. Make a solid first episode, with quality sound (not too quality, I'll come back to this in a moment), and have impactful cover art. This all doesn't happen in a day, at least not for me. And then I have stumbled upon the big question about podcast hosting. Not that there weren't options. Maybe there are too many. Besides, it gets a bit confusing. I have been doing lots of research about podcasting, and I wanted to share...

Too often I see websites created just because. Just because everyone else has one. Just because someone said it's good for marketing. Just because. Those websites generally fail to generate traffic or conversions. This is because their existence doesn't give anything to the people using the web. There's no reason to visit and revisit the site, nor to click on any of the links within it. Here's the question to ask: Why would anyone use this site? We all have different reasons for visiting and using websites. The practical reasons, such as need for finding certain information, are most promoted...