The daunting task of updating Three Sentence Movie Reviews.

It was very easy to import all my 1000+ movie review posts. Thanks for that, WordPress!

And now I have 20 phrases with an SEO score and 1068 without a focus keyphrase. If I did two a day, I could have this task done in a year and a half. And two a day seems like a tall order.

Turkey-shaped butter = holiday joy

My mom bought a turkey butter sculpture for Thanksgiving and she made the mistake of letting it soften before trying to remove it from the package.

We ended up with a headless turkey at our table which seemed rather appropriate and had me bent over laughing.

Lesson learned: take those butter sculptures from their packages when they are still cold!

The 60/30 Rule Report 11/18

Another week with not enough hours in it.

Part of the problem was that I had something Monday, (Librarian Book Group) Tuesday, (Business Fundamentals I) and Thursday (Birthday dinner, REI shopping) nights, which precluded me getting any work done on those nights. 

Business Fundamentals I is the class I am taking through Mercy Corps. The first class was last week and it was great! It was also three hours long, something I hadn’t quite realized until I sat down at 4 pm and realized 4-7 pm is three hours, not the two I was thinking. So there will be no blog work on Tuesday nights for five more weeks.

What did I accomplish this week? Ads finally showed up on the site! But they are only on the front page, not on any individual post pages. I poked around to try and figure out why they are not there, and eventually decided to wait a few days to see if they appear. That’s what happened with the front page.

I also wrote two posts, since I’ve pledged to myself to be officially “live” on December 1. That means getting up all the posts from October that haven’t been written since I’ve been working on the website.

I also decided I should figure out this SEO thing before I go any further with tagging posts. I starting reading an article et voila! my time had ended.

During my next session. I wrote two more posts, edited the previous posts I had written, and wrote drafts of three more posts. I’m still working on the flow of how to get things written and published. 

I read more about SEO and feel like I have a handle on it. I also signed up to be an Amazon Associate, so I can have affiliate links on my site.  I then went through and added affiliate links to my September top movies post. It took a long time. 

One of the things that makes tagging old posts and linking to Amazon products a very slow process is that my current monitor is 17.5 inches. I can only have one window visible at a time, which means I have to toggle back and forth a lot. Since I have three monitors at work (one very, very large) I’ve gotten used to having at least three open windows at once. Deciding that this one-window madness could not continue, I bought a 24-inch monitor. It should be available to pick up at Best Buy next Saturday.

My mental state this week has not been very good. I was disappointed not to meet my seven hour goal this week, and disappointed to not meet that goal for two weeks in a row now. Plus, I had a small flame of hope that I could avoid working at the paid job next week, but unfortunately, the work rolled in, so I must go to my day job on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  This more or less crushes my hope of catching up, hours-wise.

I’m also very tired. I was hoping to become more rested over nine days of not going to work. Now that resting must happen over four days of not going to work. Which, since it’s four days and two of those days are a weekend just like any other weekend, and the other day is full of family obligations, it feels like I must do all my catching up, resting and other various chores (Decorating for Christmas! Making a baby blanket! Shopping for the fall wardrobe! Getting a haircut! Writing back to people who have written me! Etc!) on Friday.

So I head into next week feeling defeated. I’m making progress, but I feel like falling behind. John Green’s video then, was quite on point.

John Green says that acknowledging it helps (I’m not really feeling that). He also says that prioritizing the most important relationships in my life is important. Okay, then, it was good that I spent time with Matt, and sang karaoke when I could have been doing work on the websites.  And I should not begrudge the loss of my Thursday to spending time with my family. 

He further says I should remember what actually matters. Which I guess is that I’m making progress, even if it’s not all the progress I want to be making.

I don’t really feel that, John Green. But I appreciate you for mapping it out.

Still not sure when I’m going to get a haircut.

The 60/30 Rule Report 11/11

This was the week where I got very tired. I had already gotten very tired last week, on Sunday when I collapsed around 4 pm. I used Monday to finish off the things I would have done Sunday night.

On Tuesday I downloaded my new 3SMR logo and put it on the site in all the places. I did not love it as much, once I got it up. The spacing is a little odd. But the whole thing cost me around $50 and it will do for now.

I also made a foray into getting social media sites set up. That crashed and burned due to Facebook stuff. So I turned to revising the display style of the movie pages. Because starting a website when you don’t know much about what you’re doing means redoing a lot of stuff.

On Wednesday I sat down to get work done and I just couldn’t. I ended up watching three episodes of Anne with an E and eating oyster crackers.

Oh! On Friday I had 30 minutes at work where there was suddenly nothing to do, so I spent that time looking at other financial bloggers websites to see how they were set up. I took notes on four of them before the work rolled back in. So I got some work done on Female Financial Independence! That was great.

On Saturday I spent a solid three hours and accomplished much. I now have a Twitter handle, a Facebook page and (possibly) an Instagram account for 3SMR. And they all have the same name! @3SMReviews. I also finished revising all the website page layouts. They now all display 30 posts, and then go to pagination. In that process, I discovered four pages I hadn’t yet set up. 

I also now have a Mailchimp account for 3SMR. Yes, you can be on my mailing list. I also put a sign up form on the front page of 3SMR.

The last thing I did was poke around to see why the AdSense ads aren’t showing up on the site. The code is in the headers, but still: nothing. I’ll figure that out soon.

My hours this week totaled 5, which has me 1.5 short for the month so far. But I can probably make up that amount in the remaining days, provided I am not too tired.

The 60/30 Rule Report 11/4

Whew. This week was a tough week. In the Three Sentence Movie Review world, I’m cleaning up some details while also trying to revise old posts into the new format. The revision is very slow work, made slower by my 17-inch monitor. If my monitor was just a big bigger I could have two windows open, plus my spreadsheet and could speed up the process a lot.

Speaking of the spreadsheet. I have a spreadsheet of all 1000+ movies I’ve watched since 2007! Very exciting. As I tag the reviews I note the genre category/ies, if it’s recommended, if it has a female director or writer, and also the year the movie was released, as well as the decade.

The plan is that once I get everything in the new format, I can use that spreadsheet to help me make recommendations. I already know I’m going to have to go back through again and tag everything with affiliate links. Fun!  But then I can also add in recommendations.

Speaking of affiliate stuff, I read up on how to be an affiliate marketer. I learned that if you click on someone’s affiliate link, Amazon doesn’t care if you buy that exact thing that was linked to. Your cookie is good for a period of time (35 minutes) and anything you buy during that time will give the seller a percentage of the sales. (At no cost to the buyer.) I found that interesting. 

I took Friday off from work and was trying to figure out how I was going to do the shopping, the week’s cooking, the special entertaining cooking AND also spend four hours working on the sites. I needed to do four hours to meet my weekly goal. I knew I was going to spend all day Saturday at WordCamp and then Sunday entertaining, so things had to get done by Friday.

And then I realized that WordCamp is the WordPress conference. So the entire day counted as working on sites. Phew. This was a very good realization because shopping/cooking took up most of the day.

WordCamp was amazing. Three sessions in, I realized that every session I attended had a woman presenter. And that none of the questions asked by the audience were the type of ego-fellating questions I usually hear from computer people (ahem *guys* ahem). People even asked questions that could be considered dumb (“What’s a slider?”) and no one made fun of them for it. I didn’t feel like a tool for taking notes with paper and pen, instead of on my laptop. And the content ranged from very good to fantastic.

The last session I attended, which was about how anyone could give back to the WordPress, shed some light on my observations. Everything I experienced was by design. The WordPress community works very hard to be inclusive, kind, and to avoid ego feeding. Once I better get things up and running, I will look into how I can volunteer.

The 60/30 Rule Report 10/28

I guess I didn’t take a picture for the 10/28 report. Pretend you can’t see into the future

Another eight hours this week! I’m back on track for my hours per week goal.

I did all eight hours Monday–Thursday after I got home from work. By Thursday, it was rather grueling. 

Part of this 60/30 exercise is to do a trial of how it will be to come home from work and get right to work again. I learned that I need to have my dinner plated ahead of time. This week I often would not be hungry when I came home and I would get right to work. But then, around seven o’clock, the hunger appeared, but I didn’t want to stop what I was doing to get a plate of food, so I would eat bits of things. My goal next week is to plate my food for dinner when I am putting together my lunch.

I got a lot done, though. 3SMR is coming along nicely. It now has a lists page, and there are category descriptions for each category. (I think this helps with SEO?) I also picked posters to illustrate each of my genre categories and am excited that every single one of the movies on that page is directed by a woman. Katherine Bigelow has three separate posters. Women need to direct more action and suspense movies.

I also got some help on fivrr this week. That’s a gig economy website where people offer to do things for not very much money. I have contracted with a woman to make a spreadsheet of all the movies I’ve watched since 2008. This will help me with my tracking and recommending.

The other thing I did on fivrr was to have an informal logo design contest. I picked four logo designers (pretty much at random) and sent all four the same information about what I wanted. They all sent me back logos, between one and five logos per designer. For this, I paid $38.00. Total.  There’s one logo I really like so I’m going to contract with that designer to give me the logo in several sizes and also a favicon (that’s the square thing in the browser tab, next to the name of the site.)

Finally, I uploaded all my three sentence movie reviews posts from this blog to the new website. I was worried about that process but it turned out to be super easy. Now comes the very long slog of tagging all the posts into the new format. It takes me an hour to do about 20. I have 53 total pages. It will be a slow and steady wins the race project.

While the site is live right this second, I haven’t advertised the fact. My plan is to do a little site design and re-tag 20 posts each work session. Once I get to 100 posts re-tagged, I will officially “launch” my site.

Fours.*

I’m 44 today. It’s my fourth double number birthday and the second-to-last one that I can use my two hands to illustrate. (Age 66 will require an extra digit on both hands.)

Some age calculator at some time predicted I’d live to 89 years old. If that’s true, I’m halfway through my double number journey. But I could go at any time, This might be my last one, or I could have passed the halfway point at 33, or 22.

While some people might be put off by spending the day they entered this realm contemplating their exit, I feel a thrill of glee. The date and time of my death is probably the biggest surprise left in my life. There will be a lot of smaller surprises along the way, of course. And as long as my hands can keep working and my brain can keep working, I’m up for sticking around and seeing what develops.

Here’s to double number birthdays!

(Of note: this photo was really hard to take. I ended up setting the camera on the ledge that divides the kitchen from the living room and using the self-timer. Even so, it took six tries. Plus, I had to acknowledge that my hands don’t look like I’m 20 anymore. But why should they be any different than the rest of me?)

*An homage to Taylor Kitsch’s Tim Riggins in Friday Night Lights. “Fours” was how he referred to Luke Cafferty, who wore number 44. The inherent laziness of translating three syllables into one and then stretching out that one syllable to last as long as it would have taken to say all three syllables was one of the things that made Tim Riggins such a delightful character. 

This cannot stand! Packaging out of control.

I ordered three boxes of tiny binder clips, along with other items. The binder clips lagged behind and rather than hold the entire order to come in one reasonably sized box, I got this large box, a catalog, and a bunch of plastic filler material. 

This is a tremendous waste. I’d like companies to be charged for over packaging in this manner. I’d like to be able to check a box indicating that my items don’t need to be in pristine shape. They just need to get to me.

The 60/30 Rule Report 10/21

Whew!  8 hours this week. And that was with feeling under the weather on Monday and not hitting my 2-hour goal.

This week was my transformation week.  I went from feeling uncomfortable with the Jupiter theme to having something click. Tech support helped me make a page where all the posts went. And I finished most of the home page and set up the framework for all of the pages. It’s looking like a draft website now.

Also, I enlisted the help of my writer’s group and they wrote some tag lines for both sites. I put together a google survey and put it on Facebook. We shall see if anyone fills it out or not.

I’ve got a few cleanup things to do, but I think next week will be the week I import all my existing three sentence movie review posts. I’m very nervous about this. Importing posts has gone well in the past, but who knows if it will still go well when I do it this time.

And once things are imported successfully, there comes the long task of coding all the posts to the new framework. And will I have to download all the posters again? Time will tell.

How many three sentence movie reviews do I have, anyway? I just sorted my posts by category and it seems as though I have 1,080 posts tagged as three sentence movie reviews.  Yikes.