Web Time Wasters

Doesn’t this sound like 2006 in the best way? Skip to 1:26 to get past the self-indulgent ‘rock band behind the scenes’ stuff.

What’d you get up to this week, friends? I joined a choir a few months ago (part of knowing what makes me happy and adding more of it to my life) and we had our last rehearsal before a set of performances. And on Friday, I crossed Aerial Yoga off my New Things list! This weekend, I’m thrifting and helping Kenny and the boys take on the Sweet 16 Challenge. 

Awesome things from my sponsors

Andi’s blog is stuffed with helpful travel advice: tips for budget travel in Mexico, an insanely thorough guide to San Francisco, and how to prepare your cat for travel!

Michelle is talking about so many important things. As a no-bio-kids-for-me-thanks stepmom, I loved her podcast about deciding if you want to have kids or not. And her interview with Quirky Alone founder Sasha Cagen is great!

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5 business tasks you’ve been putting off that, yes, you need to do

These business tasks aren't super fun, but they're really important! Click through for social media tips, blog post ideas, and advice on improving your SEO.

Part of my job is telling people things they already know.

“Yup, you really do need a freebie to convince people to join your list. It doesn’t have to be a free ebook, but people don’t usually grant entrance to their inbox out of the goodness of their hearts.”

“Yes, you need to schedule a series of emails that goes out to new subscribers. I’m happy to look it over! But, yes, you do need to do it.”

“I understand that you think SEO doesn’t apply to you. But it does. Like, for real. Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean you can ignore it.” 

My clients are very clever, super successful people and a lot of the work I do is narrowing down and customizing online business advice. But sometimes? I’m just confirming the fact that, yes, you really do need to do that unglamorous business task. And, yes, it really will make a difference.

If you need a bit of that tough-ish love, read on.

5 business tasks you’ve been putting off that, yes, you need to do

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How To Help Other People Make You Happier

Can you enlist the people in your life to help you be happier? Yes! Sort of! If you're looking for happiness tips or relationship advice, click through for suggestions on how to make your needs and expectations known - lovingly.

It’s August 29th, 2004 and things are NOT going as planned. I wake up: zero ‘Happy Birthday!” texts. I open my email: three pieces of spam and one email from a colleague asking me to teach his Friday evening class.

I push through the glass doors of the school where I teach and my co-workers barely glance up from their grading. My work BFF pulls me aside for a quick gossip about our boss and points out I have a marker stain on my shirt. I head into my kindergarten class hoping this is some sort of elaborate ruse: A setup to lower my expectations before everyone jumps out and yells ‘Surpriiiiiise!’

Friends, there was no surprise party. My 26th birthday was commemorated with a voicemail from my parents and two belated emails from high school friends.

After I spent a few days sulking and eating my feelings, I realized there was exactly one person to blame for The Sad Birthday Debacle Of ’04.

Me.

Had I told anyone my birthday was coming up? I had not.

Had I given my roommate or my friends a head’s up that my birthday was a big deal to me and one of my love languages is ‘fuss-making’? Nope.

Had I done anything to make it easier for my friends to show me they loved me? No. If anything, I’d made it oddly hard. I’d created one of those “If you don’t know, then I’m not telling you” scenarios.

What if we made it easier for our friends and family to make us happy? What if we helped people make us happier?

Of course, a giant preamble: Really, you’re the only person who’s responsible for your happiness

In a perfect world, the people who love us add to our lives. They help us be our best selves. They’re interested in knowing what makes us happy. Once they have that information, they want to do things that will add more happiness to our lives.

That said, your best friend is busy. Your partner has hobbies. Your family members have lots of things on their proverbial plates. They all love you and want you to be happy! They do not necessarily have time to make your happiness a priority in their lives!

So let’s do our very best to hold two truths in our big, clever minds and hearts simultaneously:
1. People probably won’t know how to make us happy unless we tell them.
2. Even if they know how to make us happy, the people in our lives are not required to spend their time and energy making us happy every minute of every day.

Yes? Yes.

Now that we’ve established that, let’s talk about how we can help people make us happier.

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True Story: We’re Trying To Foster-To-Adopt

What's it like to foster-to-adopt? How is it different from international adoption? Easier? Harder? Click through for one family's story

Erin and her husband, Erin’s boys with the baby they were fostering

What’s it like to foster-to-adopt? How is it different from international adoption? Easier? Harder? A totally different animal? Today my longtime internet friend Erin shares her family’s journey of trying to foster-to-adopt

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Web Time Wasters

This is me in music video form.

How was your week, friends? I did the usual political ranting/calling/panicking/faxing and then wrote this. This weekend Kenny and I volunteered with CAIR, a friend introduced me to the exciting world of indigo dye, and today we’re entering the exciting world of grilled brunch. Grilled peaches! Grilled avocado toast! Funnnn!

Links for you!

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6 Clever Newsletter Tips To Get More People To Open Your Emails

Looking for newsletter tips to increase your open rate? Want more people to open your newsletters? My open rate is 15% higher than industry average - Click through to find out how I do it!

REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE-STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL.” Deleted.
“Better male health in the bedroom starting tonight!!!” Deleted.
“Circling back to see if you wanted to share my infographic?” Blocked.

I’m scrolling through my inbox deleting and blocking, my mind honed to a sharp, judgmental edge. Is there the slightest hint of spam or unsolicited pitching? YOU ARE DEAD TO ME.

And there, tucked between the Nigerian princes and the penis pills, is this subject line:

🎉🎉 I’m so excited for you! 🎉🎉

Whaaaat? Why are you excited for me? What’s happening with these celebration horns? Is something awesome happening in my inbox right now? Did I win something? Let me just fall all over myself to open this email right now!

Getting your subscribers to actually open your emails is both a science and an art. According to Mailchimp, email open rates range from 19 – 25%. My open rates are 38% – 65% <- that’s an un-humble brag in case you were wondering. Here are all my best newsletter tips!

6 Clever Newsletter Tips To Get More People To Open Your Emails

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