How do you make money online?

If you do make money online, what is your method? Do you take those surveys? Do you write for someone? Do you teach courses?

If you don’t make money online, have you considered it?

I’m asking for me (out of curiosity) but also just hoping to start a discussion about what’s a realistic means of making money online.

I’ve noticed that some blogs can propagate some very unrealistic myths about how to make money online, and I want to start a realistic conversation about it.

Blogging, Marketing, Promotion, Communications Questions Answered

In honour of reaching 5,000 WordPress followers in 11 months, and because I need a distraction, if you have any questions related to blogging, marketing, promotion and communications, ask away.

I will answer questions that are blogging specific, or can draw from my industry experience if that better helps what you’re looking to learn.

Do you want to know the best free tools to use? Do you want to know why analytics are integral to growth? Do you want to know how many hits I get in a day? Do you want to know the best website to use for newsletters? Do you waant to know industry standards for communication distribution? Do you want to schedule a time for me to look through your blog and ‘Audit’ it, so to speak, to help make it user friendly? Whatever you want to know, ask away.

– Crickets –

Thoughts from 30,000 feet.

Can men and women be just friends? In 2019 it still seems as though the world really can’t grasp the concept of a man and a woman being friends without wanting more from one another. Platonic love does exist. Some friends are just there for you, to be there for you… regardless of what their gender is those desires to look after your friend are still the same.

Still, begrudgingly, the inquiries about ‘what really goes on’ between two people of the opposite sex as though a man and a woman can’t be in the same room alone with one another without tearing off their clothing.

I guess I should rephrase my question. Why can’t men and women be friends?

Stealing Vogue’s ’73 Questions with’

I don’t know about you, but I love watching those clips on youtube that Vogue does called ’73 questions with (insert celebrity name here)’. Even if I don’t like the celebrity, I tend to watch all of the videos anyway. You never know when you’re going to need those silly facts for Jeopardy’s tournament of champions!

Anyways, here’s my version:

  1. What was the name of the first person you ever had a crush on? Why did you like them? His name was Steven. He had a neon green velour sweatsuit that he wore to school every day and I loved him and his willingness to stand out in such a way when we were in second grade and being different usually got you bullied.
  2. What is one thing you regret having done or not done in your life? I don’t really have a ton of regrets. I guess that’s because I still have so many plans. Does it count as a regret if you still intend to do it?
  3. Which parent do you identify with the most? Neither. I try to tell people that I’m adopted because my personality seems to be the polar opposite of the parental units I came from and was raised by.
  4. What do you think you cook or bake the best? Brownies.
  5. If you could change your first name what would it be? I’m not too sure. Perhaps something more common.
  6. Can you hula hoop? I cannot. Hips don’t lie.
  7. What embarrasses you the most in front of other people? I don’t get embarrassed a lot.
  8. Have you considered running for president? Prime Minister, absolutely. #Canadian
  9. If you had to choose one thing you were most passionate about, what would it be and why? Sustainability… and leaving the world a better place.
  10. Who are you most envious of—real or fictional—and why? Cassie De Pecol, because she’s travelled to every country on earth and I would love to do that.
  11. Where is the most beautiful place on earth and why? Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada.
  12. Are ghosts real? Absolutely.
  13. Are aliens real? Probably.
  14. How old is the most expired item in your fridge? I cleaned it out a few days ago, actually. I threw out some mustard that had expired in 2013.
  15. What are your favorite style of underwear? Bikini
  16. What’s the saddest song you’ve ever heard? Oh, there are a few. I would say Augustana – Boston is high up there. Maybe Chris Stapleton – Broken Halos as well.
  17. How about the sweetest song? Christina Perri – A Thousand Years, Taylor Swift – Love Story, Ed Sheeran – Perfect… goodness there are so many.
  18. Do you know how to play dominoes? Probably not.
  19. What’s under your bed? Rollerblades, a suitcase and a butcher’s knife.
  20. Have you ever prank called someone? Absolutely.
  21. 100 kittens or 3 baby sloths? Sloths. Hands down. Sloths are so weird and adorable and perfect and I’d love to have them.
  22. Are you proud of what you’re doing with your heart and time right now? Wow, this question. Hmmm, if I am being totally honest with myself I would say probably not. No. Definitely not.
  23. Why or why not? This is a temporary stop on the journey.
  24. How many bones have you broken? Leg, wrist, a couple of toes, orbital bone, nose… a few, I guess.
  25. Have you ever won anything? Big or small? I won a scholarship when I was in University. Actually, I won three, but one of them was quite large. I’ve also one $1,000 on lotto once.
  26. If you could buy one material thing, and money was not an issue, what would it be? AUDIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII – I belong in one of those vehicles.
  27. What’s your favorite movie from your childhood? Angels in the Outfield.
  28. What food will you absolutely not, under any circumstances, eat? Pickles.
  29. What’s the best way to comfort you when you’re having a really terrible day? A hug and some french fries.
  30. Has anything/anyone every saved your life before? Yes.
  31. Would you ever adopt a child? I’ve thought about this a lot. I don’t really have an answer to it, though.
  32. What is one thing you’re embarrassed to admit you want to try? I don’t know… I don’t really have anything I’d be embarrassed to admit to.
  33. If you were a cake which cake would you be? Vanilla. I’m pretty bland.
  34. What is the most important material possession you have and why? I have a diamond necklace that I got for Christmas that means a lot to me.
  35. What is the most important memory you have and why? I hesitate to write anything here as being the most important because there are so many important memories in my mind. It sounds like a cop-out and it likely is, but I don’t have anything for this.
  36. When was the last time you cried? About three hours ago.
  37. How old was your mother when she had you? 36
  38. Which famous person would you like to be BFFs with? Kim Kardashian. Just kidding. That would be ridiculous. I’d probably pick to be best friends with JK Rowling. I feel as though she could teach me a lot about myself, about life, about writing, about everything…
  39. Is there something you wish you had said sorry for but never did? I’m Canadian. We say sorry all the time.
  40. Have you been on your first date? If so, how did it go? My first date was many, many years ago. I’m practically a grandma it was that many years ago. How did it go? It was amazing. It was the type of date that they write into movies and tv shows because it was just that perfect.
  41. If someone wanted to really understand you, what would they read, watch, and listen to? I’d send them to my wordpress. I’d say it’s the most accurate representation of what goes on in my head.
  42. Have you ever found a writer who thinks just like you? if so, who? So many! I think that’s one of the best things about literature. Finding someone you don’t know, who possibly lived decades before you were even born, who put words on a page in an eloquent manner that resonate with the feelings in your heart, it’s a magical feeling.
  43. If you could, would you take back your last kiss? Nah. He’s a pretty good kisser.
  44. Who would you like to see in concert? Michael Buble, Adele, Chris Stapleton
  45. What was the last concert you saw? The Dead South
  46. What was the last thing that made you laugh? I poured some Apple Cider Vinegar onto a spoon and watched the dog lick it and freak out at the taste. It was adorable.
  47. What are you craving right now? Strawberry Smoothie
  48. Have you ever been cheated on? Yes
  49. Do you believe in true love? I do.
  50. Favourite weather? Rainy days. Especially those in which you can hear the raindrops falling against the windows.
  51. Do you want to get married? It’s never been a huge priority of mine. I’m one of those ‘a piece of paper doesn’t prove your love’ type of folk. That being said, if the right person was in my life and he wanted it, I’d marry him.
  52. What’s your favorite pasta dish? I no longer eat pasta. Gluten free since September 2018.
  53. What color do you really want to dye your hair? I would love to go a little bit more blonde for summer.
  54. Are you a morning person? Goodness, no. I am a grouchy asshole in the morning.
  55. Tell us a story of something that happened to you after 3AM when you were with friends. I vaguely remember a drunken evening in which I took my underwear off in an alley behind a bar as my friend puked on the concrete next to me.
  56. Who was the last person you gazed at the stars with? Knight. I used to always force him to look up at the stars. I think he may have thought it was silly at the time, but looking back on it he’s probably thinking ‘that was nice, actually’ as he reads this.
  57. What was your biggest fear as a kid? is it the same today? I’m afraid of fire. Have been since I was a kid.
  58. Think of a person. What song do you associate with them? Rascal Flatts – Fat Cars and Freedom
  59. What are some of your worst habits? Snoring. Procrastinating. Talking bad about myself. Not believing I’m good enough, or worthy.
  60. Describe a good friend of yours without using their name or gendered pronouns. Smart ass who I desire to be more like, love their strength and appreciate their soul.
  61. Is there anything you should be doing right now but aren’t? Folding the massive pile of laundry currently being wrinkled in a pile atop my bed.
  62. What’s one of the cutest things someone has ever done for you? My brother named his kid after me.
  63. Are you planning on getting tattoos? I would like to get a spade tattooed on my wrist, an anchor tattooed on my foot and possibly a small cloud tattooed behind my ear. (Feet on the ground, head in the clouds)
  64. List some songs that resonate to your soul whenever you hear them. Frank Sinatra – That’s Life, Coldplay – Every Teardrop is a Waterfall, Otis Redding – Sititng on the Dock of the Bay
  65. If you were presented with two buttons, one that allows you to go 5 years into the past, the other 5 years into the future, which one would you press? I would absolutely select the future. It would be nice to see what happens for me – see if things turn out, know what I have to look forward to.
  66. What do you do when you’re sad? Hide in my room and avoid the world.
  67. What are some things you do when you can’t sleep? Play Clash Royale on my phone.
  68. Who is the last person you told a secret to? My nephew.
  69. What’s the best piece of advice you ever received? ‘A man is not a financial plan.
  70. What’s your favorite food? French toast
  71. What’s your secret dream? A library like the one in Beauty and the Beast.
  72. Do you have trust issues? Yes.
  73. Do you believe in soulmates? Possibly. Sometimes I do, sometimes I think it’s stupid.

Be your own celebrity and ask yourself these questions too! Some of them are really interesting to stop and think about. Also, though, I’d like to read your answers too. So if you put this on your blog let me know!

Life and times and unimportant things.

My thoughts are all over the map tonight. I just need to write some of this down to get it out of my head.

If I could sum up job hunting frankly, it is a lot of trying to prove your worth and value in this world to people who really don’t deserve your time.

I was denied Unemployment Insurance due to receiving a severance payment from my last employer. It really doesn’t matter that I paid 1,000 or more, per year, every year for the past decade to Unemployment, for (god forbid) an instance in which I did find myself unemployed. They took my money and now I don’t get it back. Oh well, I guess that’s the way the cookie crumbles. What I have left is what I have left until I find a new job.

I was also red-flagged medical insurance from two separate providers. See, here is the flaw in the system. When you don’t get medical insurance through an employer, you’re required to fill out a lot of forms and explain a lot of things about who you are, what your health is like and what your family history is like. So when they ask for me to list every medication I’ve been prescribed in the past 12 months I’m given a giant red-flag to the company. They’re not telling me I can’t have insurance, they’re just never going to tell me I can. Oh well, I guess that’s the way the cookie crumbles. I will pay for what I have to until I find a new job.

I’ve been struggling a lot lately. Job hunting is really weighing on me. The Hiring Manager for a job that I was passed-up for well over a month ago has been revisiting my LinkedIn page and I can’t help but want to send him a message saying ‘You know I can see you’re viewing my profile repeatedly, right?’ That’s a definitely struggle I have with the older generation. They can’t seem to clue into these simple concepts. If you’re going to turn me down for a position with no explanation or reasoning why, after you’ve told me I’m one of the final two candidates, why are you reviewing my LinkedIn page three days in a row, over a month later? Feeling bad about the person you hired? Or do you just genuinely not know that I can see you’ve viewed it?

My mom seems to be in good spirits the past few days, which is nice. I wouldn’t wish on anyone what she’s been going through and I know there are people in this world who have it so much worse and have had it so much worse. I’m glad to see her spirits lifting, and I’m glad to see a smile on her face again, even if it is only for a few fleeting moments at a time.

Derrick, the aforementioned roommate, has continued on his streak of making stupid/bad decisions this week. I’m beginning to think that he just prefers to make stupid decisions so that people take pity on him and do things for him. I could be way off, but it seems like he’s mastered the art of getting other people to do things so he doesn’t have to.

I’m still annoyed/bummed/frustrated that my autoimmune blood work came back negative. Though I was exceptionally anxious for the results, I was most definitely hoping for a diagnosis. At least with a diagnosis, I could finally know what is wrong. At least with a diagnosis I could learn what to do to fix, or minimize the issues I’ve been having. But no, now I have another test that says, on paper, I’m an otherwise perfectly healthy human being.

I got really pissed off at a rude Hiring Manager the other day. She was being exceptionally callous on the phone and I was trying to, as they say, ‘kill her with kindness’. It wasn’t working. It reached a point where she said ‘Tell me why you deserve this job’. I responded with ‘How about you tell me why you deserve my talents, expertise and intellectual property?’ It’s safe to say after a response like that that I won’t be hearing from that company again. Oh well, employers who take the high-and-might platform aren’t that great to work for anyway. #JobHunting

I broke my toe a few weeks back and I’ve really been having a frustrating time waiting for it to heal. I’ve been trying to not walk too much, but now that it’s finally spring, I really want to get outside and enjoy the nice weather. It’s not too too cold in Canada, so it’s time to take advantage of the fresh air. Heal toe, heal. (No pun intended)

Unrelated – I want to find friends, or at least acquaintances, who watch Jane the Virgin. I’ve been obsessed with that show since it first came out. Now that the final season has just started airing, I need someone to gossip with about the show and make predictions as to what’s about to happen. If there’s any Jane the Virgin fans out there – holla at me!

Does anyone else struggle, at times, with simple actions? This morning I had a really difficult time just crawling out of bed. I’ve been feeling myself slip deeper into a depressed state as the months go on, but I’ve been trying to fight it. Today though, today was a rough start for me. I wouldn’t say that I’m suffering from depression itself, I would just say that I’m struggling to cope right now. I need an outlet, or a sign from the Universe to let me know that everything is going to be okay.

Okay, I think that’s enough confessions for one night.

Applying for jobs is a frustrating process.

I miss the days when you could walk into a place of employment and ask for an application. The wonderful soul working there would hand you a piece of paper and you could fill it out. That’s it, that’s all. And then, your ability to get an interview was measured based off what was listed on your application.

Those were the good ole days.

Yesterday I spent one hour and fourteen minutes submitting an application for ONE PLACE. ONE PLACE. They had my resume and cover letter submitted through LinkedIn. Once that was submitted I was sent an email exclaiming that I needed to “apply” and that those who applied had a 60% higher chance of getting an interview.

I thought that I had applied – silly me.

Nevertheless, I bit the bullet, clicked the link and started to ‘apply’. What followed was more than thirty minutes of every question that could, and should, actually be asked during a job interview. What would you bring to our team culture? If we have a staff game night, what game are you bringing? What is your biggest weakeness? And on, and on, and on.

This got me thinking… if you’re asking these questions to candidates during the application process, what do you actually ask during a job interview? Or do you even host an interview? Maybe you just make candidates jump through so many hoops that whoever is left standing at the end, you think ‘yeah, they put up with all that shit, we better hire them’.

Following the thirty minutes of job interview questions that I had to fill out, I thought ‘I’m done. Thank goodness’. I went on to researching more positions I’m qualified for and just a few short minutes later heard my phone beep with the email noise.

It was this company, again.

‘Please complete the pre-interview cognitive assessment test’, the email read. ‘Candidates who complete this test prove they’re intelligence and ability to work and therefore have advantages over candidates who don’t complete this assessment.’

Well, shit. I don’t want to have gotten this far into it and not completed the application now. So, I caved… clicked the link and started the test.

What I got was thirty minutes of infuriating math and pattern questions that have nothing to do with marketing, communications or public relations. My ability to determine what symbol comes next after a row of 20 symbols, that’s going to make me a better public relations specialist? My ability to remember the ‘FOIL’ technique to do timed math equations, that is going to make me a better marketer?

I don’t understand this company. I don’t. An ability to answer math questions or complete pattern recognition does not measure my culpability in an office environment. It does not tell you if I can write press releases, it does not explain whether or not I can handle stress. It tells you that I paid attention in math class when I was in school.

Job hunting is infuriating. When did it get this why? Why did it get this way? What is the point of even having a resume and cover letter anymore if all that really matters is how well you can jump through these hoops for a potential employer? What is my actual education and experience worth right now if pattern recognition is what makes me a beneficial employee to an organization?

I’m ranting. I know that. I know that I just need to suck it up and deal with it. I swear though, I swear right now that if I ever become a hiring manager or have a role that involves being a part of the hiring process in an organization EVER, I will make it simple. It will be basic. We will measure candidates for their qualifications and their education and we will be efficient. I’m not going to waste the time of job hunters. That pisses me off. I will do it better.

Okay, I better go back to my job hunting now. Crossing my fingers that it’s a little less infuriating today.

Side note – is instagram down right now? I can’t get on mine at all today. Or perhaps, maybe my account got blacklisted? I don’t know.

Okay, bye.

Day 32: February, how did you get here so quickly?

Today is not going well for me. My anxiety is skyrocketing to the point where I’m struggling to catch my breath. What’s triggering it? It would be nice to know. How is it February already? Where is the time going and why does it feel like it’s slipping away from me faster than sand running through my fingertips?

More questions. Every time I get anxious it seems as though all I am filled with is questions. Questions, questions, questions. It’d be nice to have some answers for a change.

I don’t tell people about my anxiety. I haven’t really ever. I’m not ashamed of it, I just don’t know how to explain it. Talking about anxiety to someone who doesn’t suffer from it really doesn’t understand. Trying to answer their questions just seems like an arduous feat I’m not capable of at this stage in my life.

We’re a month into the year and all I can feel is that I don’t have my shit together.

My mom starts chemotherapy on the 7th and though I know they caught her cancer early and I know they’re incredibly optimistic she will come out of this clear and healthy, I’m still scared.

The job hunt has become more frustrating by the day. Step 1 – Upload your resume. Step 2 – Rewrite everything that is listed on your resume in our form. Step 3 – Answer a bunch of questions that we should be asking you in an interview but don’t because we’re not going to interview you. Step 4 – Waste a lot of your time.

And, for the interviews that I have had, I’m now playing the waiting game. And the waiting game sucks. Everything feels unsettled. Everything feels out of place. It’s as though the world is off-kilter and I just can’t keep my feet firmly planted on the ground. Life happens.

Waiting for this to pass. Hoping it passes soon.

I really need to stop pouring my thoughts out to the internet.

Late night thoughts: My mind won’t shut off.

It’s easier to do math with a calculator than it is to try and do it in your head. It’s easier to listen to audiobooks on your electronic device than it is to actually sit and read a book. It’s easier to drive to the store than it is to walk. It’s easier to assume the worst than to put your trust in someone, even if that someone is someone that you love. It’s easier to judge someone for who they ‘appear’ to be rather than who they actually are. It’s easier to go along with everything then it is to stand up for something you believe, even if it isn’t something most people do. 

Society chooses to do a lot of things the easier way. Why? Laziness? Or convenience, I guess. It’s convenient to bust out the calculator rather than trying to multiple 70×70 for most people on their own. So, if you don’t have to then why would you?

I’ll tell you what though, this restless mind of mine cant ever accept anything as is. I can’t help but believe there’s a time when convenience crosses into an inability to do anything for ourselves. Sure, technology is great. GPS relieves a lot of headaches. But there are people in this world who are driving that still can’t read road signs. Calculators are great; they’ve given us the assistance to solve many of the universe’s greatest questions, but the amount of people in this world who can’t do simple math in their head is alarming. Just about a week ago now I had a cashier whose register was broken and she needed to pull out a calculator to do $3.00 – .32 cents. 68 cents lady. It’s $2.68.

There’s a lot of talk. Everybody’s got words. But the lack of actions, that’s something that bothers me. So many are so quick to judge the homeless man as a ‘dirty rotten scoundrel’ who is clearly unintelligent and brought his situation on himself. Because believing that what is expected, what is believed of him to be, that is far easier than actually getting to know that he’s a war veteran with a masters degree who, thanks to situations beyond his control, lost a whole lot more than his belief that people will see the better in him. Believing the dirty rotten scoundrel of it all is so much easier than actually having to care… to take notice, and to be forced to think about what actually happens in this world.

All I’m saying is that sometimes a little math is good for the mind, and, a little truth is good for the soul. Reading books is not for punishment, but rather for expanding your horizons of what you ever believed possible. Questioning is never a negative, and getting to know someone is always a positive. Even if it’s just to learn who you don’t want as a part of your life, everyone’s got a story to tell. Convenience is great but sometimes it’s nice to take the road less traveled. 

You don’t always have to take the easy way out.

Day 20: When can I stop counting the days?

If ever there was a day, a moment, a time in which the steps could be taken – in which I could run away and leave everyone and everything behind, this is it.

That’s the dream, though. Right? Leaving the world you know behind in search of a beach town somewhere that you can sell fruit to tourists and live out your days worry free? Perhaps travel the world and never look back. That was always my dream.

With each passing day I get closer and closer to the move-out date for this apartment. The idea of moving out of this apartment excites me but also scares me. Not having a solidified place to move to is worrisome. Where will I go? How will I support myself? I don’t have answers. The only thing I do have is more and more questions.

Yes, it will feel exceptionally good to leave these weathered walls in my rear-view and truthfully, it’s a tad exhilarating to not know where I’m headed next. But, the sensible side of me is tapping at my cerebral cortex and politely saying “Make a plan! Make a plan!” At any given moment it’s difficult to decide which of my two seemingly-opposite viewpoints are winning.

I wish I had answers. Do I need a job to be happy? Is there more out there for me?

I wish I knew more.

My resolution for 2019 was to make sure that each day was better than the last. So far, I think that I have accomplished that. Everyone has their ups and downs, yes. But, the exhilaration of giving away all of my things and leaving this life is far more appealing then any down I am feeling at the moment.

Maybe I’ll travel the world. I’d like to start in Cambodia. How fantastic would that be to just get on a plane next month and say goodbye to comfort zones? Here I go again with more questions.

I am finding though that some questions are better than others. Some questions leave more room for the future than others. Some questions leave more peace of mind than others. Perhaps that’s the balance of life… knowing what to ask yourself and what to leave unanswered.