We All Look for a New Thrill
I do. You do. Over sixty-five hundred books on Amazon have the word “thrill” in the title. Some people spend fortunes looking for a new thrill. New toys, games, cars, houses all temporarily provide a new thrill.
Danger offers a thrill if it ends in success. Drugs, sex, alcohol, even food may thrill for a while until the effects wear off and leave a headache, ten pounds or worse. My husband loves the thrill of winning a card game.
Unfortunately, the craving for more and more excitement never abates. However, it does not always have to leave a harmful effect.
Safe, Cheap, and Easy Thrills
There’s an easier and safer way to get a thrill if you blog – learn something new about an old program!
I’m not talking about a television program or an old program for a play you saw two years ago at James Madison High School. What I mean is a social media application like Facebook, a scheduler like Hootsuite, WordPress that you have used for five or six years, or a Plugin like Yoast SEO.
Digging Deep and Learning New Ways of Using an Old Program
Do you know everything about all the applications, programs and plugins you use every day?
I probably have my 10,000 hours in blogging already. As a result, I have gained so many skills, but I learn something new almost every day. And learning excites me. Does learning something new get your blood moving again? If so you are headed for an interesting and fulfilling life.
When I started blogging, the only familiar part of the screen was the white part in the middle and the toolbar across the top. I filled the screen with my amateur scribbles and clicked publish. I took courses but there is always way too much information to process. Mostly, I learned new tricks from bloggers who picked up a new tip and shared it. For example, I read that I needed to write in categories and tags. Months later a friend told me that if I clicked the blue edit link in the Publish section of the right sidebar, I could schedule my post for later. What a thrill. It changed the way I blogged. Years later I learned about alt tags. It could be that I’m just blind, but computer screens are so full of things to see, I miss a lot. Do you do that?
I do! I am thrilled when I learn something new about an old program.
A New Thrill This Week in Facebook
Bloggers all use social media more than average non-bloggers. Now, I use it as a tool and have it open constantly. In addition to blogging, I sit on the board of four non-profit organizations and help with social media in some capacity with all of them. This week I analyzed the FB page tab by tab with the representative of the company which manages one of our social media accounts. We learned so much together!
We discovered that when you click on the list of everyone who likes a post, you see whether or not they have also Liked your page. If they haven’t liked it, you click “invite.”
Our Likes measurably increased the month we learned that trick!
Also, we wondered who our followers were and where they live. We looked for that list in all the likely places.
Finding out who Likes your page is not intuitive. Do not click on the front page where it says how many Likes you have. You’ll get graphs. Don’t click on who is in your community. You’ll bring up the first person listed in your community. Don’t fall for the “Likes” in the left sidebar either. You will get statistics and a list of your personal Facebook friends.
If you know where to look it is easy to find who likes your page Go to settings, click the link on the left People and Other Pages. You’ll see who Liked you and on what date. Some you can like back. Most you have to add as a friend or message them instead.
One More Facebook Mystery Solved
Let’s go back to that uninteresting sidebar on the left side of Facebook. One of the links on our non-profit page led to a 404 error. How many people click there anyway? Luckily, we can fix it. Go to settings, click on edit page. In the middle section of the page go down to home, and you will see all the tabs on the front of your page. Some of them have little reason for existing. Now you can change them or remove them.
Now that you’ve played with the settings page, you can teach yourself whatever else might thrill you. Then write back and teach me!
Yoast SEO Premium Gave Me a New Thrill
Six months ago at the urging of my friend Daniel at ARRC, who redesigned and tweaked my self-hosted website, I started using Yoast SEO. It took hours to learn to make all the SEO changes. At the top of my WordPress screen is an indicator light next to the “Y” for Yoast. If everything is great, it flashes green.
Soon I got pretty good at fixing the SEO errors. Unfortunately, even with the help of Grammarly, I could not improve the readability if the indicator button indicated less than a good score. I tried everything I knew. Some bloggers do not care if their grammar works perfectly. However, if that matters to you, a red or orange indicator button will drive you crazy.
Yesterday all that changed in a flash.
As it turned out the SEO Analysis tab is the default for this program. In the SEO view, you can see in the picture above that the SEO analysis indicates that I don’t have a keyword set for this post yet. However, setting the keyword does not make the post more readable. Do you see the red readability tab with the blue letters? Important to note, everyone knows that blue letters mean that there’s a link, right? Duh! Yesterday I clicked the link and up popped the Analysis for readability. Amazing!
Click the Readability Tab Link
Most noteworthy, a new set of instructions appeared. Some of the indicators include a recommended percentage of compliance.
For example, “2 of the subheadings are followed by more than the recommended maximum of 250 words. Try to insert additional subheadings. Another example stated, “24.2% of the sentences contain a transition word or phrase, which is less than the recommended minimum of 30%.”
Especially relevant, if you want an example of what Yoast considers a transition word, then you can click the link. The list is not conclusive, so they did not always recognize my words or phrases as qualifying as transitional. Now, I’m thrilled beyond belief because now I don’t have to guess what’s wrong! If I choose not make the changes, I do it with purpose, not out of frustration.
Today I just discovered the eyes at the end of the analysis statements. Click on them, and Yoast highlights what the program considers as your errors! There again, once you know what the problem is, you can elect to correct it or leave it.
New Thrill Learning With Canva
Last month I shared insights on using Canva with our Networking Bloggers Facebook group. Today I used the photo filter for the first time. I was thrilled with how it came out. In this case, the filter made an easy, but subtle change.
- First, choose a template.
- Add your photo. It clicks in automatically into the space provided.
- The right side is an element (square) which was a dark beige to start. You can change the wording on the right to fit your needs.
- Next, I added another photo on top of the text and made it transparent. It did not look good with the color underneath, so I changed that color.
- Then, I added a triangle at the top to cover the triangle that was in the original photo but was too small.
- Finally, I added a filter to the photo to soften the look.
The picture below was my original FB banner.
Sometimes I just get tired of using Google to bring up instructions I don’t understand or wading through a training manual in which nothing makes sense because I have not used the product. I would rather jump into the application and use it immediately. My motto is to learn as I go on a need to know basis. Consequently, I am thrilled when I can learn a new trick on a program that I’ve used ineffectively.
Finally, what about you? What new tricks do you have to share? No matter where you are in your blogging journey, tips are fun and helpful to read. If you love to give and receive tips, I invite you to join our Facebook group at Networking Bloggers.