Fiverr? Really?

Okay, it’s time for me to be that guy again. All over Facebook I’m seeing these ads for Fiverr, the site that encourages people to perform services for the paltry sum of five dollars. They’re trying to get me to like their fan page, check them out and maybe jump on the band wagon. Sorry, it ain’t gonna happen.

The upside of Fiverr is if you’re looking for cheap labor this is your dream. This is the next best thing to opening a warehouse in China. What I’m having trouble understanding is what’s the motivation for the people offering the services. Perhaps they are desperate because of being unemployed and are unable to find income elsewhere which is understandable. Or maybe they just don’t value their work very much.

You have people offering everything from 45 minute financial advice videos, doing personalized original artwork, writing short stories based on your hopes & dreams, you name it. I’m sure someone’s probably going to offer to come to your house and clean your toilet.

I’m not trying to tell people what they should or shouldn’t do, that’s up to them. But you should really be careful when it comes to something like this. One of the worst things that could happen is you become successful, you’re swamped with cheap orders and now you’re trapped in a sweatshop of your own making (this happens on Etsy a lot!). A successful artist once told me,” Don’t sell your work so cheap that you are doing yourself a disservice. Once you’re known as the cheap artist that’s what you’ll always be.”

Help a business – with a blog comment?

blog comments
On the right blog post - your small comment makes a huge positive splash!

Recently I have realized how huge blogging can be in promoting one’s business.  Google loves blog posts.  Furthermore, Google really loves blogs that have user comments.  Since google is not human and cannot tell if a blog post is great or not, it judges by keywords you post with your blog and if they are repeated within the article’s content, and also if there are reader comments.

To use myself as an example, I am a psychic reader and healer, specializing in personal growth readings.  The phrase “personal growth psychic readings”  is a phrase someone may use in a google search, someone who may end up loving what I do!  2,920,000 results come up when you search this phrase on google.  Today I am on the first page of results for this search, the sixth result that is not an ad.  6 out of 2,920,000.  Why?  Thanks to a blog post I wrote on this topic less than a week ago that has one user comment.  Here is the actual post about creating lasting personal change.  If you view it, notice that I listed among the keywords for the post “personal growth psychic readings.”  I suspect that if I did not have that one user comment google would not have taken the post as seriously.  Who knows how high it may rise in google results if I get two or three comments!

If you would like to support one of the businesses my husband and I have, please comment directly on any blog post that relates to the business you would like to support. Even one simple comment can make a massively positive splash in today’s world of google and other search engines, so it doesn’t have to be the most profound observation you have ever made.  For your reference, the blog post subject categories are easy to find on the right hand side of this page.  So happy positive splashing, either for your own services or one of ours.

Oh how we love yelp.com

There are three main reasons why we love yelp.com.  By we, I mean 80% me Janet and 20% Lorenzo.  I am a huge yelp fan.  The first reason is that my psychic reading & healing practice is listed as a business in yelp.com under Chicago.  Here’s the page for my readings on yelp.  The client reviews on that page help many people to learn about my readings!  Also here’s the yelp page for our dog boarding business Barneys Home Dog Boarding.  At the moment, nobody loves us yet on yelp for that.  Someday!

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What businesses have you learned about on yelp?

The second reason “we” love yelp.com is that it’s a fantastic resource as a consumer.  We have found restaurants, used tire places, cupcake bakeries, a salt cave spa place, a pet supplies place, etc.  I almost always check out yelp when looking for something.  Not only has yelp helped me to find the best businesses, it has encouraged me to get out there and be more experiential and try new things.  Over the last few years I have written over 120 reviews on yelp.  Here’s a link to my own personal yelp user (consumer) account.

The third reason “we” love yelp.com is the bookmark feature within yelp.  If you create your own free yelp account, you can create unlimited bookmarks for yourself with notes to yourself about whatever you are bookmarking.  For example, you could bookmark “Nazareth Sweets” in yelp, and remind yourself to go here because it’s baklava heaven and that they will give you samples if you ask.  You can make your bookmarks private or public.  I have a very poor memory and my inspiration sometimes comes and goes, so this helps me to remind myself about places I want to go and why.

So that’s it.  Confessions of a yelp fan.  🙂

Why I love Charlie Parker, Jazz, Pandora.com, and my iPhone 4

Our cat YoYo relaxing by the heating vent

This is an “11th hour” blog post, just squeaking in as a “Wednesday” blog post.  Today was a series of unexpected bursts of creativity, leading me to half start about half a dozen projects.  Hopefully tomorrow I will have the kind of creativity that helps me to finish those projects!  Let’s just say I will have really big and good news for Friday’s blog post, God willing…..

I am now listening to a custom Jazz station I made on Pandora.com.  If you haven’t tried the Pandora.com website, I definitely recommend it.  It’s free.  There are occasional ads, but they are very rare.  You could upgrade to a paid version with no ads that is inexpensive.  But free is good.  You can make and save a virtual station based on music similar to any artist at all.  After such a creatively divergent day, the Charlie Parker station I have on Pandora is so perfect.  It is cheerful, as if to say, “Good for you Janet for starting six things today!  Why not!!!!”

Our cat YoYo relaxing by the heating vent
The heating vents are the best spots in the house!

I am listening to Pandora with my iPhone 4 right now.  I showed my lounging cats to my friend the other day with the “Face Time” feature, since she also has an iPhone 4.  That means you basically see live video during the call.  She got to see how cute and relaxed my cats are when no “strangers” are around.  This photo of our male cat YoYo is a good illustration of such a look.

OK so time to post.  Big news Friday!

Feed your creativity with Etsy, What is Etsy.com?

Art prints of Lorenzo Ross’ work are for sale on Etsy.com.  But wait, what is Etsy?  While Etsy is a hugely popular site, I believe it has a lot of room for growth in the future.  Etsy.com is like eBay for all forms of handmade art, sold directly by the artist, but much more.  Etsy’s fees for the artist are much lower than eBay, and furthermore they send adorable, encouraging emails to the Etsy “shop owners” to help the artists grow in areas like pricing, promotion, product photos, the psychology of sales, etc.  After all, just because you are creative and make a lovely product doesn’t mean you know anything about business.  Add that to the fact that Etsy is all about handmade, and it is a huge forum for shoppers who want something quirky and unique.  Etsy has a convenient search engine with easy viewing and buying, and the feel-good factor of communicating with and buying directly from the artist.

So as you see I could go on and on about Etsy, but we’ll save that for other blog entries.   So how can you begin to use Etsy?  You could follow this link to our PsychicUnicorns Etsy shop my husband and I have http://www.etsy.com/shop/psychicunicorns
While original paintings of Lorenzo’s cost hundreds of dollars, our prints with paper size 8.5″ x 11″ are $18.00.  Lorenzo will be doing a big range of styles in the future, so stay tuned.  While we can never constrain Lorenzo’s inspiration, upcoming art themes may or may not include diverse images of women, lions, cupcakes, cats and dogs, Obama, and yes perhaps even unicorns.

Feel free also to check out other art on Etsy.  There is a staggering range of art, as I said.  For example I love peacock feathers, and I have enjoyed searching for all the art that comes up when I search for peacock on Etsy.  You can just browse, or make your own Etsy account as an artist or as a shopper.  With your own Etsy account, you can choose an entire shop or an individual art piece as your “favorite.”  This helps you to remember things you like and may buy later, and also helps the artist because it increases their exposure to other shoppers, and validates they have a fan base.

Etsy itself will be just one of the many topics I cover on this Mon, Wed, Fri blog.  Future etsy-related blog entries will include more Etsy search ideas, and features on other Etsy artists.  Other blog topics I will have here are more about Lorenzo the artist, our rescue cats, our in-home dog boarding adventures, fun info about my life as a psychic, and our yummy Albany Park neighborhood, on the NW side of Chicago.  In the meantime, if you have any questions at all about Etsy, feel free to contact me and I will do my best to assist you, or you can go right to the source at http://www.Etsy.com.