10 Months of #MillennialLifeCrisis

It’s nearly 11 PM on the West Coast and I’ve been thinking about hitting ‘Publish’ on this post all day. Here goes…

10 whole months that I’ve been pouring my heart out to the internet. 10 whole months that I’ve questioned everything that I’ve written and posted it anyways. 10 whole months that I’ve spent meeting and talking to some of the most incredible souls I’ve ever crossed paths with. 10 months of learning – new facts, new perspectives, new understandings. It’s been one hell of a time, if I do say so.

I made this blog on a whim, with the encouragement of Knight. I wanted a place to rant about the things going on in my life and boy did this platform give me the opportunity to do that and then some.

As much as nothing has changed in the past ten months, everything has changed. I think of the sad shell of a human being that I was ten months ago, I look at myself in the mirror and see the resilient fighter I am today and I’m thankful for what I am becoming. I have a much better grasp on my anxiety (though I still struggle, I can control it a lot better) and I have much more of an understanding of who I am and who is important to me.

Why is ten months an important landmark to me? Because I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished in the past ten months. I’m proud of what this blog has become. I’m profoundly appreciative of the people I’ve met and the stories you’ve shared with me. I talk a lot about my appreciation for the WordPress platform because I wholeheartedly believe this blog has given a great boost to my confidence in the past ten months.

To those of you who’ve been along for the ride since the very beginning, thank you. I love you. And to those of you who’ve only recently found this blog, thank you. I owe you.

Ten months. I’m humbled. I’m grateful. I’m thankful.

To celebrate ten months of WordPress, here are ten facts about me:

  • I am female. (I am including this because there seems to be some confusion lately… with some people thinking that I am a man)
  • I have blue eyes and blonde hair and was consistently referred to as Barbie for the first thirteen years of my life because people told me that I looked like a little doll.
  • I will turn 31 next month, and even with all that has gone on in the past year, I will still say that my 30s have been infinitely better than my 20s thus far.
  • When editing someone else’s work, I can pick out spelling and grammar mistakes within seconds of reading it. When editing my own work, I can read it five times over and still not notice where I’ve made my errors. And there are always errors.
  • Recently, Geneva posed a suggestion to me that I consider writing an EBook. I haven’t admitted it out loud, but I am genuinely considering doing it, using it as a means to give out my marketing advice for free by having a company sponsor it. It’s all just a thought at this point in time, but I can’t get it out of my head since Geneva planted the seed.
  • I have a scar shaped like a Lightning Bolt on my thumb that my friend’s have referred to as proof of my being related to Harry Potter.
  • One of my most memorable moments was standing with Team Canada as they were presented their gold medals
  • One of my proudest moments was the day one of my heroes complimented me on my intelligence and told met that I was going to change the world one day.
  • As a whole, I do not believe that you ever fall out of love with someone. I simply believe that two people can understand they’re not meant to be together and that’s why they divorce. I do believe that love you feel for someone will always stay with you.
  • I like to eat raw onions. (Yeah, I had to end with this one)

Cyclical Marketing for blog growth.

*This is going to sound quite boring and dry, so please bear with me if you do bother to read.

Have you ever read a digital press release in which the company (Company A) distributing the release will link several different companies or organizations within the release?

Have you ever seen those links, taken the step to go to the linked company pages (Company B) and see what releases that company has put out? That company will have their own release on the same subject and at the bottom of their release, a link that takes you back to the initial company’s (Company A) website.

This is cyclical marketing. For every company you promote, you’re gaining more promotion in return.

In marketing, it’s one of the easiest, and smartest, things you can do to gain promotion and grow your audience. It’s a tactic that companies use all the time – whether money exchanges hands or not. It’s a tactic that I used ALL THE TIME at my previous job, in press releases, on social media and on our website. From something as simple as a tweet that says “Check out or Friends” to something as fancy as a “Here’s our 100 page Media Kit printed by Company L”.

It seems straightforward and simple… because it is.

It works for companies and can also work for bloggers. If you’re looking to grow your audience and don’t necessarily know how to go about it, I strongly recommend considering this as an option to try and increase your reach.


Here’s how I’d explain it:

First, you find your tribe. It’s cheesy, I know. Find your people (generally between 2-5 people is the optimal inclusion rate. When you go above five you run the risk of losing attention). These are people who’s beliefs may or may not align with yours, but they’re people who can put their own twist on a topic. Once you’ve found them, start a conversation about something that interests all of you. It could be a product review, it could be an outlook on mental health, it could be an opinion about pop culture, politics or religion… whatever it is, find one subject that all of you can write about. Make sure that it’s a popular subject. Don’t pick something obscure that people won’t want to read. The goal here is to pick a subject that’ll appeal to your audience, and to the audience you’ve not yet met.

Each of you writes a post. Each of you edits the posts. At the bottom of your posts include a note that reads ‘This post is done in paternership with Blogger X, Blogger Y and Blogger Z. To see their perspectives on these subject please click on the following links.”

Schedule your posts for the exact same moment. If you’re in different time zones, make sure that you’re aware of the difference so that you can pick an optimal time for everyone.

Your readers will read your post, and, if you’ve done your job well enough, have interest in checking out the opinions of those you partnered with to make the post. And each of their posts will direct their readers to you.

The Math:

Let’s say that you, Blogger A, have 100 followers. You’re struggling to reach a new audience and you’re looking for a means to grow your blog. You take on this opportunity. and find three friends to do it with.

Let’s say that Blogger X, Blogger Y and Blogger Z also all have 100 followers each. Whilst it’s estimated that roughly 10 percent of that audience could overlap, that sill leaves 90% of the audience who has not yet heard of you.

Blogger A (you), in one post, promotes Bloggers X, Y and Z to your audience of 100 people. In return, Bloggers X, Y and Z are promoting Blogger A(you) in each of their posts, which is 270 brand new readers being reached (300 people – 10% or, 30 people).

270 new people that are being reached without spamming, without purchasing followers, without being sneaky or underhanded. It’s just honest, open promotion. If you do it right, it works.


Key Points:

  1. You need to write about something that will garner attention, something popular, something that people will care to read your perspective of, and the perspective of others. So don’t write about how cheerios are gross. Pick a topic that matters. If you don’t, no one’s going to care.
  2. You have to post at the same time. If people click on the link to go to someone’s blog and their post hasn’t been made yet, the cyclical promotion will stop dead right there. So, if you’re in different time zones – say one of you lives in Florida and one of you lives in California, you need to schedule to ensure the Floridian posts at noon and the Californian posts at 9 am.

Cyclical marketing helped me, in my last office, grow the twitter profile from having 200,000 followers to 600,000 followers in just 12 months. Granted it was an established company so the brand name played a help in that growth, I did posts of this nature several times a week. Posts we paid for, posts people paid us for, posts no one paid for we just did as a means to reach new people and showcase our brand… whenever I saw a partnership that posed an opportunity for growth, it became a part of my Twitter calendar.

I have experience first hand just how much value these Cyclical marketing initiatives can benefit a company. Celebrities do this too! All the time! Now that you’ve read this post, you’ll realize it when you see it happening more often.

It’s simple. It’s smart. It works.

Yeah, yeah, yeah – for a subject that’s sole purpose is to make things sound better, cooler or more appealing, explaining the structure behind marketing is boring.

I want to talk about faults.

Because I have a lot of them. And I’m a firm believer that, in this life, if you own who you are (both the good and the bad) that is how you lead a fulfilled life. Being self-aware is also a means to get better.

When I talk about my faults, I don’t do it to be self-deprecating. I don’t do it for pity, or for people to feel sorry for me. I do it because I have a keen understanding of who I am and I do not believe that you can work past your faults or through your struggles if you do not own them. And I want to bet a better person.

  • I get angry easily. In life, in traffic, in line at the grocery store… and it’s not always easy for me to let it go.
  • I have a hard time forgiving. And I never forget. Things tend to haunt me, rather than me being able to move on.
  • I’m cranky sometimes. Actually, if you talked to any of my exes, they’d probably tell you it’s more than sometimes.
  • I’m a bit of a pushover. I have a hard time standing up for myself. A lot of the time I just say it’s not worth it, and as a result, people tend to treat me like shit. Which is probably a big contributor to my low self-esteem.
  • I swear far too much. Sometimes I can help it and sometimes I cannot. But either way, I’m aware of how often I swear. And I get really angry at myself when I do it front of kids.
  • I’m insecure about a lot of things. My intelligence, my appearance, my ability… to name a couple of things.
  • I like things to be my way. And I don’t always handle it well if I don’t get my way. Again, my exes could probably attest to this.
  • I let my social anxiety keep me from experiencing the things in life I dream of doing.
  • I don’t trust. But I am also too trusting at the same time.
  • I shop too much. I think that things will fulfill me when I know that’s not the case. But alas, here I am with all of these things that don’t bring me the happiness I am looking for. And, in the grand scheme of things, I don’t have all that much. Knowing that almost makes me more sad.
  • I use the faults and the hardships of others to boost my own confidence. And that makes me a shitty fucking person.

Growth. while it has always been something I’ve sought, is something that’s become more important to me this year than ever before. I want to be better. I want to work through my faults to become a better person – the best person that I can be.

My inherent flaws have become abundantly clear to me to the point that I can no longer avoid them.

I need to be better. Perhaps if I tell more people about it, I’ll be more inclined to make changes in my life to actually be better and not just talk about it…

A rant about digital marketing

Digital marketing is a difficult beast. Everyone thinks they can do it better than the next person and everyone thinks it takes little-to-no-effort to do that. Truth be told, if you want to be successful in digital marketing, you need to be willing to put the time and effort in. You also need the know-how to make smart, strategic decisions. Whether this is to do with business, or your personal ventures online, the odds of becoming an overnight success is about as likely as you beating Bianca Andreescu at the US Open.

Just because you say it does not mean that people should listen.

It’s a hard lesson to learn. It’s a hard lesson to teach. A few weeks back I was talking to a professional acquaintance of mine who was asking me to make a Facebook page for her business. She wanted to give me a $1,000 budget to make a Facebook page for her business that day and proceed to run Facebook advertisements throughout the next few months.

THIS IS NOT EFFECTIVE DIGITAL MARKETING. Though, by definition, it does meet the requirements of being marketing, is it worth the time, effort or money that it’s going to take? Hell no.

I cannot stress this enough. Just because you say it does not mean that people should or will listen.

If you know your way around the internet, what would your reaction be to seeing a Facebook advertisement, or advertisement on any social media platform for that matter, from a company that had no following, no established profile and made no effort to do so?

You’d probably think twice before believing anything that appeared in that advertisement, right? You’d probably make use of the brain in your head and opt for a business with an established profile on social media. Or, at the very least, one with reviews.

But this acquaintance of mine, she’s under the impression that if she pays for the Facebook advertisements, people will pay for her service. Actually, there’s a lot of people out there who believe this. It’s astounding to me how many people operate under the notion that if you throw money at social media, you’ll get what you want.

I’m using this story as an example because I think it’s an important belief that I’d like to quash. If you open a business profile on social media or WordPress with the single goal being to make sales, you will fail. You’ll likely fall flat on your face very quickly into your quest. If you start your own blog, or twitter, or youtube channel, etc.. with the sole goal of becoming famous, you will likely fail. You can buy the fanciest cameras and computers, all of the editing equipment you could ever desire, and it won’t matter.

People need to see credibility in the content they’re reading, watching or listening to. They need to see an established effort to make connection. They don’t just want productions… or opinions jammed down their throats with no character, humility or genuine nature to them. They want something real. If you fail to establish that real, you’re going to sink before your dreams of success will ever be realized.

I’ve been working in digital marketing for a decade. I’ve worked with social media accounts that only have 100 followers and social media accounts that have nearly 100,000. I’ve made the mistakes. I’ve felt the victories and I’ve seen what it takes to make an account go from 100 followers to 100,000. Let me tell you, there is no quick fix. You’re not going to sink $1,000 into Facebook advertisements and have a booming business. You’re not going to sink a couple of ‘Nice Post’ comments into the comment section of another blog and suddenly have enough money to buy a Range Rover.

If you want people to invest in you (because you are integral to this scenario), your social media following, your blog, your business accounts, any aspect of what is online that you are trying to market, you need to work at it. You need to make strategic decisions and take the appropriate time and effort necessary to grow organically. This applies to business. This applies to personal.

Be authentic. Put forth the necessary effort to actually participate in the realms you’re operating. If you don’t, you’ll never find what you’re seeking from social media, blogs, the web in general, digital marketing will forever escape you and you’ll continue to wonder why.

Beginners guide to wordpress analytics (and using them to grow your audience)

*Warning – this is an exceptionally long post.

You’ve heard of them, possibly from your boss, probably from sports and absolutely in gambling. Analytics have become a powerful force behind the things we do.

The process of collecting, storing and using data is not new. Scientists have been doing it for hundreds of years with research. It’s only been in recent years, however, that analytics have become an integral piece to business and life with respect to our computers and how we use them.

Why do analytics matter?

Quite simply, analytics matters because they work. You can be overwhelmed with data and the value of it may be unattainable. Applying analytics creates insights. Human brains were not built to process the amounts of data that are today being generated through social media, sensors, and more. So analytics allow us to compile data in an easy to understand format to use it in our favour.

With wordpress, analytics are essential to understanding your audience. If you’re here as a hobby-blogger, then you likely won’t desire knowing any of this. But, if you’re openly, willingly trying to grow your blog, analytics are an important piece to doing so.

WordPress has laid out analytics in simple graphs and charts to make it easy for every user to understand. Here are some of the ways you can use wordpress analytics in your favour.

UNDERSTAND WHERE YOUR AUDIENCE IS FROM

For me, the vast majority of the audience that reads #MillennialLifeCrisis are from the United States. Second behind the United States is the United Kingdom. This information is important to note because if you want the most people possible to see your blog posts, you want to be posting during the hours in which the most people will be awake.

The ‘Magic Hours’ for distribution of communication are between 11:30 am-2:00 pm and from 7:30 pm-8:30 pm. These time frames are widely used by companies around the world as windows in which to distribute their information. So, if the majority of your audience is from the United States, schedule your posts to be released such that they’ll fall within that window. If the majority of your audience stems from Australia, try to schedule your posts to be released during that window… from an Australian time zone.

UNDERSTAND HOW PEOPLE ARE FINDING YOUR BLOG

Use the “referrers” section to understand how people are finding your blog. In many, if not most, cases, the majority of referrers will be wordpress.com readers. This is because when we come on wordpress, we browse each other’s blogs. But take a moment to also understand where else people are finding you.

For me, I don’t have a facebook account for #MillennialLifeCrisis, or personally. So, seeing that 6 people have been referred to my blog today from Facebook shows that people are taking my content and sharing it to their facebook pages. This is not only a huge compliment, but can also show me that it might be a valuable thing for me to create a facebook page for which to share my content.

Take note of that listing on the bottom as well. ‘Search Engines’. Though it’s a small number, only two referrers today, it’s an important number. What ‘Search Engines’ is telling me is that two people were able to find my blog through their search of a subject on google. This is HUGE! If your blog posts can crack the google system, this means your content has the possibility of reaching an even greater audience than wordpress users because your blog posts will appear when people search the subjects you’re writing about.

‘POSTS & PAGES’ CAN TELL YOU WHICH OF YOUR POSTS RESONATED MOST WITH YOUR AUDIENCE

Review the ‘views’ listing under posts and pages and allow this to show you what posts have resonated most with your audience. By flipping between “Day” to “7 days” to “30 Days” all the way down to “All time” you can see which of your posts have received the most attention, not just on the days in which you posted them, but have continued to receive attention even though you might have posted them three months ago.

Knowing which content of yours has ‘withstood the test of time’ and not just fallen into the back pages of your blog can provide you insight towards popular topics. Popular topics help provide subjects you may wish to follow up on, subjects that could gain interest should you take a deep dive further into.

UNDERSTANDING YOUR ‘INSIGHTS’

This section tells you the most popular day of the week and hour of the day. Please note that this section will change/update weekly. But, if you’re someone that perhaps only posts one blog post per week, reading this insight might suggest that Monday is a good day to post next week.

Not only are ‘Tags & Categories’ how most people find you through WordPress, but they’re also how your blog finds its way into search engine listings. Using proper tags of your content can make a big difference so far as to who finds your content. So, if you’re trying to grow your audience/readership, ensure that you’re properly tagging your posts, and you’re reviewing this section of your analytics to see which tags/categories are gaining the most traction.

Case in point of proper categories being critical – posts that have been made to #MillennialLifeCrisis that I did not categorize have provided the lowest amount of traction to my blog.

If you’re unsure of which tags or categories to use, I recommend using the ‘search’ function to search tags and categories similar to the content you post. If you post reviews of music, search ‘Music’, ‘Music Reviews’, ‘Rock & Roll’, and so on and so forth. You can see which tags and categories have the most updates and gain the most traction.


Honestly, I could go into analytics all day long. There’s so much to make use of and so much to learn from. I think the most important lesson to take from your analytics, though, is that if you really want to grow your blog/audience/readership, they’re abundantly important.

Perhaps I’ll make another post like this further down the line. For now though, I think this is a good starting place.

Use your analytics wisely and they’ll be one of your greatest tools to blogging, communication, distribution, social media and online business in general. It’s all in using what you’ve got in front of you!