пятница, 21 августа 2015 г.

Everything goes as planned

I'm in Moscow now. I've been here since August 9th. I had 3 job interviews on the first week. The very first interview got me a job. So, I only spent one week looking for a job. I've been working since Monday, August 17th.

I live in a hostel for now. It's called the Apricot hostel, and most probably I'll have to stay here for one more month. It's located in the very centre of Moscow. The hostel is OK in many respects. The only thing that bothers me here is that one of the hostel's administrators is an idiot, who plays video games every night and shouts out loudly periodically, so sometimes I have hard time sleeping. The good thing is that at my new job the time the work starts is not fixed. So I can sleep more when I need to.

четверг, 19 марта 2015 г.

On developing a habit of writing every day

Yesterday I decided that I need to write every day. The goal should not be the certain amount of blog posts per week. The goal should be just writing, say, a paragraph of text every day. What I do with this text later, is not important. What’s important is that I write every day. With this goal in mind I created a text file on my Mac in which I’ll be writing every day. Even though the texts in this file are not necessarily meant to go to my blog I think the frequency of my blog posts will increase just because I write every day.

Another thing I’d like to mention is that when you write for a blog you may find yourself struggling to figure out what you should write about. Not all of the things you can write about are going to be appropriate for your blog. When you write for yourself, this problem doesn't exist. Writing only for my blog for the past month I found it hard to develop a habit of writing every day. From now on I’ll be trying a new approach. 

среда, 11 марта 2015 г.

One big mistake I made on G+

The main reason I’m on G+ is that I want to create a marketing platform for my products (which are nowadays my apps for iPhone and iPad).

As my products may change with time I figured that I should promote a profile with my name on it instead of a business page. That way I could build my marketing platform now in order to use it later for advertising whatever products I’ll have in the future. And I will never have to change my profile name. If, on the other hand, I had a business page called, let’s say, ‘KG’s apps’, I could only use it for promoting my apps and nothing else. So, in order to have more freedom in future I chose to create a profile instead of a business page. That turned out to be a mistake.

First of all, I could have created a business page with my name on it, and it would look almost exactly like a profile page. Secondly, not so long ago, when I started thinking about my content strategy and the ways to automate content curation, I found out that ‘Buffer’, the most convenient way to schedule posts on G+, can only work with Google pages, not profiles.

There is a not so convenient way to schedule posts on Google profiles, though. You can do it with a help of DoShare Chrome plugin. The catch here is that it only works when your computer is on. That would be OK with me (my computer is on all day long), but the problem is that my target audience is in the USA (people from USA buy much more of my apps than people from other countries) and I am in Russia. That’s a big time difference. So, in order for it to work I’d have to keep my computer turned on during night time. That’s too much trouble for me.

I already spent 2 months promoting my G+ profile and accumulated more than 3500 followers. Now I’m going to start from scratch with my newly created business page. That sucks! But I figured that, without the ability to schedule my posts, in the long run I will lose much more than 2 months of work.

The moral of the story: if you plan to use G+ for your business, even if you don’t know yet, what that business will be, don’t use a profile. Use a page. Don’t repeat my mistake.

UPDATE 2015-03-17
I started promoting my business page with my name on it, but soon found that having the profile and the page with the same name is confusing. So I renamed my business page and dedicated it entirely to my Stream Journal app. I think, in the future, when I have other products, nothing will prevent me from promoting them through this page, even if I'm not able to rename it again. 

среда, 25 февраля 2015 г.

You should give your best work away for free

For the last two weeks I’ve been working on a new journaling app. It’s going to be the best one of all my apps. I was thinking of, maybe, pricing it at $4, because it’s going to be so good and useful. I thought maybe I’d make a bundle of apps. When my new app is ready I’ll have 3 productivity apps. One of them costs $1, another - $2, and the new app will cost $4. So I thought I could sell the bundle of three apps for, say, $5. But then I was reminded of something I already knew, but forgot: you should give your best work away for free.

Just couple of days ago I read an article by Gary Vaynerchuk on this topic. And I thought to myself: “Of course! How could I even think about selling this app? This app is going to be so great that I should definitely give it away for free”.

Now, it may be counterintuitive, but if you think about it, you’ll realise that this is just common sense. People should know about you by your greatest work, not by your average work. Sell your average work, but your best work should be given away for free.

Of course, when you give something away, you have to be strategical about it. It’s not about being Mother Teresa. You need to get something in return. My plan is this. In my app there is going to be a little button, called “Info”, which will be linked to a page on by blog. On that page I’ll explain in detail, how to use my app properly. I will ask for reviews and for comments. People will see what I’m all about and maybe even buy some of my other apps. The goal is to increase awareness about me and my blog.

I’ll publish the app page soon, so follow me on any of the social networks that I use, and I’ll let you know when it’s ready. I have to make the page before I publish the app. After that it will take 1-2 weeks to eventually publish the app. During that time I’ll do my best to promote the page.

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading.

понедельник, 23 февраля 2015 г.

Do I really need to participate in circle sharing on G+?

They say you should do this to increase the number of followers, but what’s the use of having a lot of followers when not so many of your followers actually care about what you have to say? They also say you should engage with other people, talk to them about the stuff that interests them. That has always been the hardest part of social media for me. But that part at least works. Most of the people who +1 my posts or comment on them are the people who's posts I previously +1’d or commented on.

That makes me wonder what the use of circle sharing is. Why not skip that part and go right ahead to engaging with people you don't know? If they are interested in you, they will circle you back, right?

You know, I try to promote my apps. So I devised a plan for this. I add people, that have something to do with Apple, to a special circle. Usually I find these people in communities dedicated to Apple devices or apps. Then I try to engage with them. The hardest part with this approach is that these people are not very active on G+. Many of them didn't post anything ever.

So here is my dilemma. It’s easy to grow the number of your followers, but that doesn't mean you will sell more stuff. On the other hand you can go right after your target audience, but it’s really hard, because they are not active. Maybe G+ is just not a good place to promote apps?

Circle sharing is easy. I could do it just in case some day I understand its usefulness. For now all these blue circles make my profile page look ugly and my circle sharing activity feels pointless, because it doesn't lead to more sales.

Maybe there is something about G+ and social media in general, that I don't get. If you think so, let me know in the comments below.

понедельник, 16 февраля 2015 г.

Having passive income is like riding a bicycle

Originally, after quitting my job in August 2014 my plan was to learn iOS programming and become a freelancer. That would set me free, I thought, and I’d be able to travel the world and work from wherever I wanted. That was a nice dream. But now as I’m getting my first bucks from the AppStore I tend to think more about creating streams of passive income instead of working for someone else. To start freelancing now seems to me like robbing myself of a big opportunity. I have lots of ideas to work on. All I need is time. I live with my parents and I have enough money saved from my previous jobs to live like that for the next 2-3 years. I mean I don’t want to live with my parents for the next 2-3 years but I certainly could if I really needed to. So I have the time. Now the question I keep asking myself is do I really need to work for someone else when I can work for myself. The only thing that still keeps me looking for a job is that creating a passive income seems to be such a slow process. So, right now I don't really know what I should do.

Meanwhile I was thinking about passive income in general and came up with a good way to explain to myself what it really is. Many people have misconceptions about passive income. Mainly they think that passive income is all about laying around on some tropic beach while getting tons of money for nothing. When you think like this, creating passive income can’t seem to you an honourable goal.

Some people point out that passive income is a myth. You still need to work to keep the money coming. You can’t passively beat your competition, they say. You can’t passively maintain a community around your business. And so on. All that is true.

For me passive income is not about getting money for nothing. It’s not about not working at all. It’s not even about working hard now in order to not work later. For me passive income is all about work. It’s a way of working. A smarter way. That’s all it is. It’s not about not working, it’s about working smart.

And here is the analogy I came up with. Passive income is like riding a bicycle, while having a job is like running. Yes, you need to push the pedals while riding a bicycle. But it’s easier than running. And you can move faster and cover longer distances. Also you don’t need to push the pedals all the time. Sometimes you can just relax, and you are still moving. Of course, if you relax for too long you will stop. But you can’t say that bicycles are useless because of it.

So, bicycles are good. The only bad thing about them is that you have to learn how to ride them. And in the process of learning you are likely to fall many times. That’s the reason why many people are not working on creating streams of passive income. They prefer running. It seems safer to them. And you know what? I’m not in the position to say that they are wrong. As of today my only stream of passive income brings me pennies. And I don’t have a job. I’m not making money. Maybe I’m wasting my time, while my peers are working hard to buy houses, cars and other stuff. Maybe they are right and I’m chasing some stupid dreams, that will never come true. I don't know.

All I know is that I hated all the jobs that I had in my life. And if I find another job, it is very likely that I’ll be hating it too. Maybe it’s time for me to try something new.

суббота, 14 февраля 2015 г.

Just an idea

Yesterday I had an idea that every time I read something, I should look for good/interesting/usefull phrases and write them down, so that later I'd be able to remember to use them in my own writings. For this reason I created a special page. There I'll be collecting these phrases.