Anything I write that has to do with writing will be in From Pico's Pen, my author's blog. Everything that doesn't fit any of the sites I write on will be here. This is my practice. I could have kept it private and farmed out the good stuff but I found my readers like too much of it to do that. It isn't a diary because there are things I keep to myself but you can learn a great deal about me from the randomness you will find here.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Weird Day

Yesterday and overnight we were buried by yet another blizzard. That is why I'm not at work and neither are any of the boys. The Internet is working more miss than hit. I've been trying to upload the above picture for a new customer service story collection on Hubpages. I'm giving it another shot as I write this. I'm surprised it loaded up here. Francine and I staged this one. She is supposed to be looking shocked at where a customer service representative just transferred her.

My great accomplishment of the day is repairing, at least temporarily, my broken snowshoe. I spliced in some tin from a tuna style chicken can. I'm sure it will fatigue and break after awhile but for now it's usable. Important right now because we have so much snow that our hydro poles look significantly shorter.

More writing to do before the day is out whether I can use the Internet or not. Hopefully we can saw the magic words that will inspire our provider to solve the problem.

Hooray the picture is on Hubpages now. Four more pictures to go before it is ready to be published. Not sure that will happen today but fear not progress is being made.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Advertising Going Forward

Since yesterday I've had a chance to clear my head concerning my advertiser disappointment. It is a setback but not really a disaster. To date that was nothing more than potential because I hadn't gotten any sales through them yet anyway. I'm still learning and the lessons learned will make my efforts better in the future.

I will likely sign up to be an Amazon affiliate again in the future. I learned how to work with their ads and their system. Future efforts will take a lot less effort than the first time around. There are some prerequisites on my end though. First we have to get our Internet provider to give us a stable connection. This winter has been horrible and right now there is obviously something wrong with it again. I can barely do anything online. I am hoping that I won't have too much difficulty posting this and posting links on social media. I'm not sure how long it will take for them to make repairs. I'm not optimistic from past history. Once that's fixed I still have to have a block of time where I can reset everything up within a couple of days. I want my full 180 day second shot.

One thing that disappoints me with Amazon is that I can only serve Canadian readers. That is slightly less than twenty percent of my readership. More than half my readers are in the USA. I get a significant amount of traffic from the UK as well. It'd be nice to have something that is useful to those readers. Besides that I get traffic from all over the world and sometimes they do respond to ads. I've earned a few pennies from readers as far away as Japan and Argentina. I wish Amazon would set things up so that I could earn from everyone's legitimate interest.

If my traffic remains stable I should continue to make five bucks per month through another advertiser. I will do a little optimizing to see if those will perform better. Apparently I haven't got them in ideal spots. Not too worried about it at this point. That's five bucks per month I wasn't earning last month. Continued growth would mean an increase there as well.

My big hope is to find an affiliate program for bike parts that would enhance Pico's Cycling first and foremost. I struck out with Bike Nashbar in the USA which really disappointed me. They would be almost ideal. I also struck out with Black Dog Bikes in the UK. Well maybe I struck out or maybe they just ignored me. They didn't respond to my effort to sign up. At any rate the quest continues.

The picture above reminds me of warmer weather. Moncton announced in the paper recently that the snow accumulation this winter is a record 147 cm. The old record was 109 cm in 2011. More than 400 cm have fallen which is double the normal winter snowfall.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Frustrating Setback

Chose the picture because of the evil grimace. Had an advertiser pull out on me and it hasn't left me very happy. Not all is lost but it hasn't put me in much of a writing mood. I can re-sign up with them later but I have to remove and or redo all the existing ads already on all my sites - as if I haven't got enough to do. What probably got my goat the most was the condescending email they sent me, inviting me to re-sign up when I start getting consistent site traffic. Well, I am getting consistent traffic and consistent growth in that traffic.

I first took out some of my frustration on wood with my splitting axe. After that I cranked up an old offline medieval warfare game, we have on our computers. I beat up on the toughest computer character I've had to deal with to date. The game is called Stronghold Crusader. I honestly thought Richard the Lion Hearted was supposed to be the toughest but I took care of him some time ago. His castle isn't that tough to breach. The Wolf on the other hand knows how to build a defensive castle. He's the only character that has been able to hold off my initial assault. He really didn't have anything left though, when I stripped my castle of defenders and brought in a second wave. It was a blood bath, but I do feel better. Maybe next time I'll try to defeat him with a little more finesse. The only enemy I haven't fought yet is Saladin and Wesley's beaten him before. He has his strengths but I don't think I'll have any trouble.

Tomorrow I get up and go back to work at my writing and everything else I'm doing.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

March Is Out of the Gate

The plan is to make this month a big writing month. February was another record setting month for readership especially on Pico's Cycling - Tales of the Road. A record 1541 page views over there. I only really  promoted the site on social media for the first half of the month or we might have topped 2000. The lead article destroyed the previous single article record. Our old record was 107 views on an article promoted something like three different times. This article hit 329 with only one media push. We'll see whether this will be sustained in March.

Internet right now is a sore spot. Ever since the last blizzard came through our connection has been extremely unstable. It might be fine for a minute and then gone the next. I don't think we are going to be able to avoid a service call to the provider. This really throws a monkey wrench into me writing. Sometimes I can post and sometimes I can't. It really hurt my output on this site. Several times I posted a book review or something else and then when I came here I lost connection for the rest of my available writing time. This is extremely frustrating. I'm amazed I was able to get the cycling webzine all loaded with photos in time for publishing.

I joined a website called Chatabout where I earn points which can be turned into cash. Not sure how much time I will spend there. It did have a side benefit though. A long time online writing friend noticed my arrival and told me about two sites which would pay me for short articles. I'm hoping to check that out today. Apparently all their current content writers are female and adding me as male perspective has the interest of the site owners. The pay isn't spectacular but it is better than what Bubblews gives me right now.

As always I have a lot of my plate, but I look forward to a great month.