Discover Which Of Your Products Attract Customers

This idea (quoted below from Society6) is smarter than it appears on the surface. I would not suggest Facebook as the only (or best) option to place the survey. I would not pay for boosting the post or using Facebook services to create the poll either. You can do it yourself, without spending anything but some of your time.

    • Create this as an image file with a few of your art creations displayed. (Come up with a few unique, different from each other creations).
    • Write up the information about this being a survey to measure the saleability of your artwork. Keep the explanation simple, short and readable.
    • Play with the image sizes for your artwork. Not too small and yet not so big people will be happily making copies rather than spending something to buy your original images or product.
    • Combine the explanation text and your images into one web graphic which you can post to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, the sidebar of your website, anywhere…

You get to promote your work, your site and get information from the survey itself. Promotion without feeling like you’re selling anything is brilliant and works much better than straight sales promotion people are trained to ignore due to overkill.

What other ways can you create a promotion like this? Contests and giveaways, but those require more organizing and a prize to be sent. Simple is better.

2. Run a very simple survey on Facebook

A quick and easy way to survey is to setup a 4-design block of artwork and ask people to rank them in order of favorite to least favorite. Repeat as many times as necessary and narrow down to the most purchasable artwork. While a quick test of likes & comments is a good indicator of interest, you may discover differences between something people love and something people would actually hang in their homes. You want to lead with compelling work that is also likely to be purchased.

 

Fixing Things Again

It is so much easier to fix things on Blogger and import posts from Blogger to WordPress, than to deal with WordPress. I think that’s kind of sad. But, I am pulling this site back together, from assorted parts which are here and there on my hard drive and stashed away online in places like Blogger (blogspot). So far the posts from Blogger are up and loaded with images, intact. I was not expecting it to be so easy.

I still have all the old WordPess back up files which I will have to play around with. WordPress will not like them as they are, they are big. I can export them as big files, but I can not import them back again as big files. Even though, they are the same files.

I am wishing myself luck, and patience.

What Kind of Software is WordPress These Days?

WordPress removed the Link Manager which had a simple built in bookmarklet to add links to your site, in existing categories, with tags. It was a nice, simple feature to keep a list of resources (links). But, it was removed from WordPress a few years ago.

I use the Restore Lost Functionality plugin for links now. He added the bookmarklet too. Might do the same for PressThis now that WordPress has decided to remove that function too.

Seems a silly decision when so many sites are using content curation. The bookmarklet made it easy to turn content from other sites into a full post without having to leave your web browser. I use it a lot.

However, I have found PressForward, which does have a working bookmarklet (and extra features) for WordPress content curation. I’ve been using PressForward for about two years now and suggest others take a look.

WP is really becoming software for developers only. I keep looking at other CMS which are more publisher friendly. WordPress is losing that.

On the other hand, the new function for adding links in posts really irritates me. It gets in the damn way! Why can’t they decide to get rid of that instead?

Is WordPress still the best choice for web publishers? I don’t think so but I have not found another CMS to trade up for, yet. b2evolution is my top pick and I would have kept using it if it handled images differently.  However, the way things are going it could yet be a trade off between WordPress not handling links well and b2 not handling images well. I probably use links more than I do images.

The Joomla Image Upload and Post Editing is Bugging Me

I am trying. I have made progress. But, the Joomla post editing and image uploading are not very user friendly. I feel like I’m working with a sluggish elephant.
I don’t know yet about template changes. I’m leaving that until the end as I go through the guide I’m using to get around Joomla. It is quite different from WordPress, especially in the beginning. My big break through seems to have been understanding that everything has a category, not just your blog posts, or links. It does add more function to your site, what you can do with what you have. But, it also makes it complicated. When you have a glitch it becomes a real job to find the source because there are so many places to look. As a beginner I’m finding it very time consuming.
Last week I was at the point of giving up and trying yet another CMS. But, I stuck it out. I did find the problem that time but, the same solution did not fix (what seems to be) the same problem on two other sites. 
So far the post editor and image uploader are bugging me every time I post. Maybe some of that will be fixed with a different theme/ template. But, with all the function in Joomla why is it so hard to do the simple things? I’m at the point of disliking using images with my posts. 
Also, I am discouraged about the link thing. I left WordPress because it was becoming focused on commercial sites and web developers with clients rather than individuals building their own site. As I get to know Joomla I see the same trend here. The link manager was taken out of the core CMS. Why remove a feature people might actually like to use? Because web developers don’t want anything Google SEO says it doesn’t like.
Most of Joomla’s extensions (plugins, if you prefer WordPress speak) are premium. Sure there are some outdated free extensions, but they tend not to work, or even upload into Joomla 3. Other free versions are so limited the point of them is just to make people realize there isn’t any point to doing without the premium/ professional extension. 
I miss having spellcheck when I write a post. I can’t even use keyboard shortcuts in the post editor. So I need to open the code editor to cut and paste or add text to any post with HTML. I did look at post editors and related extensions. That was a land of confusion in itself. Most of them combine a template maker into the whole process, as if that will fix everything. But, I did not find any of them which were just post editors which would work with my existing posts in Joomla articles. Two which I might have used wanted to import everything and make second copies for the extension. Then you (I) have to remember to use the extension to make every post I write from then on. Well, what if something goes wrong? What if the extension is abandoned, dies with some fatal error, etc? Where would that leave me and all my posts, not quite in Joomla but sort of in Joomla? 
I have yet to find a way to schedule posts. Everything has to be made a featured post in order to show up on my site. Then every new post is either published or not published. There is no way to schedule a date for it to post. Yes, I can leave posts sitting outside of featured but I would really rather not have to remember to post them, or need to be online in order to post them. (I do like to get away the odd time and leave the electronics behind).
I think that’s everything bugging me. Possibly more will come to mind between now and now when I post this. 
If I hadn’t bought two books (print) to help me figure Joomla out… If I hadn’t spent money on 3 premium Joomla extensions (and not found any of them to be what I had hoped)… If I hadn’t spent months migrating and renovating my sites since leaving WordPress (late last year!)… I think I would stop using Joomla at this point. But, there should be a point where you don’t go back and stick with your guns, right? 
Anyway, what else would I try? I’ve been through almost a dozen CMS since last year. I do know, I am not going back to WordPress. The problems with WordPress are still there. The time of the independent web publisher is getting tougher, but not drying up yet. However, I am watching for that big chunk of meteor rock falling from the sky.

Bookmark Files From Scratch

Several things may be driving you crazy but, if links, text files and bookmarks are one of them, I have some help for you! (Little things help a lot, right?)
After spending a lot of time trying to import my old WordPress bookmarks into Joomla I found the best way was to create a text file with just the links, all code scraped out. Then create a new file with Notepad using the code I have cut and pasted in a screenshot below:
Screenshot from It Still Works.
Cut and pasted the text also, because I’ve seen how easy images disappear, wander off and generally get lost. I want to remember how I finally got this far, no doubt I will need to do the same again with other links from my other sites moving from WordPress to Joomla. 
If you feel confident with HTML, you can create a bookmark file from scratch in Notepad. Begin the document with . Then, enter the title as Bookmarks and the header as

Bookmarks

. Then, begin a list with the

tag. Each item of that list should be denoted by a

tag. Then, describe the link via an tag. For example, if you wished to create a bookmark link to http://www.google.com, your tags after

would look like this:

Google. Finish the file with a closing

tag.

So, maybe this will help you, or you may just wonder why someone would do things this way and spend so much time on links few people will actually look at anyway.
Keep wondering, it’s good for you.

Moved the Site to b2evolution

Just moved the site over from WordPress to b2evolution. People have asked me why, a few times. There are a few reasons. But, for now I am fixing glitches with moving to another CMS. I like b2 and I don’t think it will take me long to get to know how it works and where things are now. Meanwhile, images are mostly not working. Categories and tags did not make the import, not sure why. So I am manually going through my posts one by one to renovate a little. What usually happens when you move to a new place… you renovate to make it look more like the old place. 🙂 People are funny like that.
Making my life easier, I have added comments from the original post to this post. I have been moving my site content to Joomla. It’s a different set up from WordPress and b2evolution but I think it will be more active and user friendly.  Still need to fix the images with posts (that was mangled by WordPress) and add my links which I will end up doing manually, one at a time. But, I hope this will end the project of moving from WordPress to some other CMS. It has been a longer adventure than I expected. 
Here are the comments:

Comment from: Jane Gassner [Visitor]

Jane Gassner

I lost the entire archive of MidLifeBloggers.com and JaneGassner.com sometime during the holiday season. It was one of those, “you only have 24 hours to migrate” and for various reasons, I got in at the 25th hour. I couldn’t decide how upset I should/would be. MidLifeBloggers was a longterm venture that still got a lot of hits. JaneGassner.com, not so much. But MidLifeBloggers was old business, and I had said everything I wanted to about midlife and beyond. Jane Gassner had the potential to be new and, if not shiny, then gaining a slight glow about it after time. So I’m redoing JaneGassner.com but starting anew. It’s springtime, and perhaps that’s influencing me to not try to make it as it was. Considering that it wasn’t that successful, it’s probably a wise decision.

03/28/17 @ 09:27 pm

Comment from: laura [Member]

I really like history so that part of it would be hard for me. But, I have thought about just starting fresh too. Moving a site is never completely smooth and simple but I’ve been trying to move old content and have not made time to write new posts. That is kind of backwards. Starting fresh might have been better than trying to preserve old content (that mostly only matters to me).

03/29/17 @ 12:18 pm

Comment from: laura [Member]

I like your new site. Writing something for writers has it’s own challenge. It makes me doubt myself and compare myself with others too much. I thought about closing this site. But, I do like writing it. So… here it still is.
You have doubled images in posts with WordPress featured image. I kept having that problem too.

Using Deep Captions

4. Use “deep captions”Studies have shown that image captions are consistently some of the most-read copy on a page. Try pairing a strong image with a “deep caption.”Deep captions are two to three sentences long. That’s long enough to intrigue your reader to dig into your whole article.

Source: 8 Incredibly Simple Ways to Get More People to Read Your Content – Copyblogger –

This was the most interesting point for me because I don’t use any captions. But, I do read them on other sites, especially when I’m skim reading. Most people are skim reading. I know it’s not just me any more. Ha! to those who laughed at me for admitting it back then. I was just an early adopter, yet again. Not that I promote skim reading as a good thing. There are times I’ve missed the relevant point due to skim reading. But, that is partially the fault of the writer. We should be writing for skim readers these days. We know most people are skimming, not reading your every word.

Write for the skimmers and maybe they will become readers.

Meanwhile… I’m going to think about writing captions. But, I’d have to add more images for that to work and I’ve been trying to skip the images unless they really have some relevance. As a skim reader and a web publisher, I’m really tired of images there for the sake of having an image with the post. I still think an image should be included in a post for a reason other than adding colour to your post.  Otherwise you could just post a generic image with a link to your site.

Time to End Picture Book Blogging?

I think its time to stop posting images with every post for the sake of having an image with every post. Unless your site is showcasing your art, illustrations and photography, most of the images posted are just decoration. How many stock images do you really need to see in a day?

We are adults, we read books without pictures on every page. Usually the only pictures are on the book cover. Magazines and newspapers run images with articles but not random, meaningless images. Isn’t it time to put away the pretty pictures in our sites too?

Unless an image is required to illustrate a point or give directions, why are they needed? I know people think the images help with SEO, but do they really?

Want your site to load faster, dump the picture book images.

Often the image is something barely relevant to the topic. It does nothing but add colour. We are not children. We don’t need colourful picture books.

Treat your readers like the adults they are and put away your picture book blogs.

Photography Replaces Writing

photograh

This was my Twitter post today. What do you think? Will written content lose it’s place to photography? I think it already has.

Most people want to get news and information in seconds. The image with a story, is the story. Writers post images to illustrate the story, or a point in the story, or just to add something visual. Photographers, capture the story in an image. Of course, the image can’t give all the information. However, people see the image and decide they know the entire story.

They might read photo’s caption, if there is one. They might read at the headline, once or twice. Headlines are easy to find in the content, easy to read too.

Headlines and subtitles can give some detail but they weren’t written to tell the whole story. These days the snippets of written content might be all anyone reads to form their opinion and decide what the writer/ journalist was communicating.

The Internet is changing how we read, how we gather information and how we evaluate what we find. Details get missed. Assumptions are made and stuck with religiously. Kind of like the Emperor’s Clothes. If everyone says so it must be true. We don’t have time to gather facts and come up with our own opinion. It’s easier to take up the popular opinion and defend it as truth because if it’s wrong… we might look stupid.

So much is changing. Writers need to become photographers or image makers if they want their content skimmed/ read at all.

Do Modern Photographers Need Ethics?

During this year’s World Press photo contest, about 20 percent of the entrants that reached the second-to-last round of judging were disqualified for significantly altering images in post processing and Giovanni Troilo was stripped of a first prize in the face of charges of misrepresentation and posing images (the photographer said he had “made a mistake,” but had not intended to deceive). In the vigorous debate that followed, some ridiculed the concept of “objective photojournalism” as philosophically tenuous in a postmodern world.

Source: Posing Questions of Photographic Ethics – The New York Times

Posing versus factual photography. Where is the line drawn between getting a good looking photo and showing the truth in images?

People take photos of everything these days. A photograph used to be something to illustrate the truth, the situation as it is but that changes as people get tempted to get a photo that sells, that makes the story look more interesting. Photographs can lie, or at least trick people into believing things which are not true.