Udemy Course Update!

So! I was able to finish another free course- this was an Excel Quickstart Tutorial Course, meant to really be a very quick and dirty absolute beginner’s course. I think it was pretty good- I don’t have Microsoft Office on my computer, because I have OpenOffice instead, and I wasn’t able to perform the quizzes in this course, but pretty good! I had used excel spreadsheets before at work, but extremely sparingly, and had done a lot of things manually and with a lot of errors that I had to then correct, also manually. This course made it pretty easy to see where I’d gotten it wrong, although I will probably have to use a tutorial or helpdesk the first few times I try to use it in a professional setting.

Since I have OpenOffice, I will also probably have to look up tutorials for people explaining how the two programs differ, but, I mean, it looks mostly the same, I just couldn’t figure out where certain things were.

Anyway! I have a cool signup link for Udemy again! It does benefit me by I think like $5 of Udemy credits per person who signs up for the first time using that link, but only for the first six people. I would be using those course credits to enroll in some of the coursework that is paid-access- since at this time Udemy isn’t accredited, I don’t feel totally comfortable paying for its services using real money. That being said, you might as well use it if you haven’t signed up for any courses before– there are a ton of free courses on a variety of subjects and I’m definitely going to continue using it just for the sheer joy of learning something even remotely useful or interesting.

Udemy SEO course by Moz review!

Alright well! Obviously with Halloween and various personal events and whatnot, it took longer than I expected to finish the course I mentioned, BUT:

Do I Recommend This Course: A Short Essay By Me, A Sharo

Yes actually! Okay, does it assume that you already know some basic, introductory-level terms and phrases and programs/services? Yes. I feel like a link to a glossary or even an Intro-to-Intro lecture explaining some of these basics would have been super useful, and since there wasn’t one I’ve basically been going back over my notes highlighting things I don’t immediately understand so I can research them on my own. A level-zero beginner like me should have probably looked for an even more basic course first- however, none of the content of the lectures was so incomprehensible that I couldn’t follow along with the concepts, despite having blank patches here and there. Somebody who’s even very slightly more educated than I am about this subject will not have this problem.

One thing that was a little confusing a handful of times was that they referenced rules, programs, or sites that might not apply anymore- some of this content is from as far back as 2014, and for a lecture series that mentions periodically that rules and practices are constantly shifting or changing, this is kind of disheartening. At one point they mention using Google Plus to see if somebody is a trustworthy subject matter expert like… come on bruh, haha… that’s not a sentence that aged well.

Is this all information that artists, especially artists with web-based businesses, can use? Yeah I think so! I’ve started making changes to this site based on the info in the lecture course, and while it’s too early to tell if it’s having the kinds of effects I’m looking for, I was hit with a number of ideas for ways SEO type info can help with future projects and business ventures. Is this course going to be the THING that gets your art out there in a way that actually means making the kinds of sales you’d need to survive AS an artist?

Hrm, we’ll see, of course. But here’s the link again, since it certainly can’t hurt to learn this info! As well, I noticed that when I finished the course, I got this thing that popped up that said I could get credits that could go toward paid courses (most of the courses on Udemy seem to be paid, but this one is free.) However, I did not do the thing that would have led to the free course credits, so, ahaha, maybe the next course I do will have that same popup and I can put the link here so people can sign up for other, similarly free courses through me. I’m actually enrolled in a couple other short courses right now, so we’ll see how that all goes!

 

Just a quick side note-

-I decided to take an introductory online course for SEO on udemy and I’m really enjoying learning again. It’s been eight and a half years since I was in a college class or had to really learn anything in earnest, outside of small, minor skills or trivia here and there.

But anyway! SEO is so far really interesting, because it’s kind of hitting that middle ground between “marketing for humans” and “learning how computers think,” which are both subjects I’m very interested in. Plus, it’s giving me a look at skills that I definitely will need and want to have for if/when I manage to start that business I’ve been thinking about starting. And even before that, I think it’s the kind of skillset that a lot of artists could definitely benefit from having both in regards to their personal brand and in gaining access to the types of valuable work that can be done remotely or as a single contracted gig.

I’m about 65% through the course itself (it’s 3.5 hours long, but I haven’t been able to sit through it all in one go due to various reasons) and I think that someone who has more experience with SEO would definitely be able to get through the whole thing in less than a day. But! For someone like me, who has zero prior knowledge or experience other than knowing what SEO is conceptually, having it in this form is really helpful- I’m able to pause it and rewind to take down more accurate notes, and giving myself time between the lectures is giving me a chance to review previous notes and try to look up answers to questions I had about some basics that seemed to be understood implicitly.

If you’re not like me and don’t have to take physical paper notes in order to hammer in the lesson though, this is the sort of thing you could do on your bed at any time of the day or night. It also looks like there are paid courses for the same kind of thing available, too- not sure if those come with an “official” certification or if, like the free course, there’s an “unofficial” certification you can get for them, or if there’s a real or major difference in terms of skill level/job attractiveness between the two. I’ll post a more full review along with a link to the course once I’m done!

Sharo’s Creative Funding Chronicles Pt 4

WELL… HM.

Total Trivia is not really working out as anything other than a warmup for closely related (owned by the same company if I am reading this correctly) KO Trivia, which is an elimination-style trivia tournament app that mostly uses the same questions and answers as Total Trivia. I’ve been mildly successful- I’ve won small amounts of money, maybe 5-6 dollars total when it’s all added up over the past two weeks- and it’s something I see myself continuing to utilize. Still not a perfect fundraiser, but it seems like if you’re 100% lucky with the answers you could theoretically win something like 26 dollars a day not counting prizes that are smaller than a dollar or ‘intangible’ like extra lives. In April they had regular larger tournaments, which might not be available during May because I haven’t noticed any, but you could win the larger tournaments for 100$ a day, 1000$ a week, or 10000$ per month. If that’s a regular feature, that’d be pretty great. Also, you watch an advertisement to gain access to the trivia tournament, so literally all play is free, and you can watch an ad for a second life- meaning you’d only need to use any of your stored lives if it’s something you really want a third life for.

I’d recommend it to anybody who wants to make a little chunk of money on lunch breaks or after work, since even if you lose, you’re building the skills for earning more lives for the stockpile later.

Other tidbits: opened up a Fiverr account, not feelin’ extraordinarily hopeful since the rates I charge on it are the same as the rates I charged for Everybody Loves Chlamydia, but we’ll see. I’m thinking of opening up an Etsy store but my crafting attempts keep getting thwarted- I’m looking at specifically painting/decoupaging little wooden boxes for this, maybe some other types of things. Again, we’ll see!

Sharo’s Creative Funding Chronicles Pt 2

Not a lot to report. Largely this update is to keep track of the date I started the second app I’m cautiously attempting to play for personal gain : Total Trivia.

I chose it because the ads on Lucktastic made it seem like a faster, non-chance-based alternative. (The idea being… either I play for things that are of immediate value to me, like Amazon gift cards and stuff I’d purchase anyway, or I play for things that I wouldn’t necessarily need or want and either sell locally or like, through Ebay, or possible- depending on the kind of items- repurpose them into artworks or other things that might be sold.)

So far I do like the ability to play a bunch of trivia games for free or for “watch this sponsored ad,” and so far I don’t like that it has an option for you to purchase “discount tickets” (in-game items that are used to purchase more chances to answer questions and accrue points towards the final score.)

Hm, I’m not sure. I’ll hold on to it, since I’m not expecting to be great at it on my first day, but I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be holding onto it. Also- wow, so y’all really want your players to know trivia about your sponsor, Kamikoto Knives, huh? I’ll admit, if I gave a darn about knives or cooking I’d probably be tempted.

Edit: I forgot, but- in case this stirring endorsement convinces anyone to download or play this app, try using my referral code ” sharofeels ” and see if that benefits you. I’m not actually sure if it will or not, so comment if it actually gives you anything or what.

Edit #2: Mispelled the name of the knife company!

Sharo’s Creative Funding Chronicles : Pt 1

As anybody who’s thought too hard about it will tell you, certain things- websites, editors, writing and art equipment, etc- cost money. Since my salary has to go strictly towards various living expenses for the foreseeable future, I’m embarking on a financial journey, looking for alternative ways to raise the kind of money I need to both sustain my work and pursue my creative career. Hopefully, keeping track of the various methods I try don’t just help me, but also provide a decent reference for any creative professional or creator out there who might be in a similar situation.

That being said, as of today, March 25 2018:

So far it’s not going great. I follow the Pennyhoarder Facebook page at the moment, although I generally don’t actually click through to any of the articles… so, probably shouldn’t be following it. I can’t help it! I can’t fathom half of what they post.

Anyway. An article caught my eye recently that had a list of Android apps that you could use to make money in one sitting, and I did take a look at that one. Some of the apps were, hm, not suitable for me personally: driving for Uber or Lyft, selling unwanted possessions, that sort of thing. However, I did find an app that seemed kind of promising, and I decided to try it out: Lucktastic. It’s basically an app for free virtual scratch-off cards and sweepstakes- you can earn real money, or in-game currency (tokens,) or entries into various ongoing sweepstakes. You don’t have to pay towards any of it, because it seems to be funded exclusively through advertising, although I could be wrong on that one. You do have to provide a certain amount of legal information in order to register to redeem any winnings, though.

As of today, I’ve been diligently playing it for about ten or eleven days (I should have kept track and I didn’t think to do so, alas.) As of today, I have accrued a little over 12600 tokens- so, enough to gain a yearlong subscription to Cosmopolitan Magazine, which is a thing I do not have space for at this time- and won a combined total of $1.25, which is 75 cents too little to actually redeem. (The bottom limit appears to be $2.)

Pros:
Again, not having to actually pay for anything is pretty ideal for any kind of gambling thing. I’ve also seen a handful of interesting-looking apps advertised on it, some of which might actually be useful towards this fundraising goal. And if you can find it in yourself to dedicate anywhere from 15-45 minutes of your life to this, every single day, in a month you can probably farm enough tokens to get a 25$ or 50$ gift card for Amazon.

Cons:
I don’t actually mind having to see ads to literally do any of the features on this app, but the screen flashes between various dark and bright loading screens, kind of without warning- if you’re prone to migraines or have light sensitivity at all, probably should skip this one. I’ve had four notifications on the main screen for over a week and I can’t figure out how to make it not say that I have unread messages. And this should go without saying, but if you or anyone in your family has a history of gambling addiction, it’s not worth the download.

Overall it’s a vaguely fun little app, if scratch-offs are your preferred method of gambling or wasting time- to be honest, it doesn’t seem to be for me. I’m probably going to try to hold out til the end of the month before I delete the app, but that is mostly because I try to be a completionist and they’ve got me feeling like I’ve already invested ten days of my life here. But if you’re looking for a time-waster and don’t want to give Candy Crush or Fruit Ninja any more of your eyeballs, it’s a pretty decent way to eat up a wait at a DMV or dentist.