“The Shelf Chronicles”

Shadowbend Studios’ “The Shelf Chronicles”

The Shelf Chronicles

BEETLEJUICE, BEETLEJUICE, BEETL… (Ut oh, I’m not going to temp fate by saying his name THREE times!)

Yep, it’s one of my favorite spooks… Michael Keaton’s “Beetlejuice”.  I have always said the only thing I disliked about the movie was the limited amount of screen time he got!  I would have enjoyed seeing much more of his antics on screen but I have to contend myself with having Beetlejuice as a referral agent for Shadowbend Studios now.

I have to say, with his copy of the “Handbook For The Recently Deceased” in hand, he does a pretty fair job of bringing in new business from the “other side”.

The only problem is… most of those new referrals are such DEAD-beats.  🙂

Photo Feb 19, 10 56 55 AM

Shadowbend Studios’ Client Showcase

Shadowbend Studios’ Client Showcase

Web Design Development Client Showcase

“Abert Entity”

It’s always a lot of fun when I get the chance to collaborate with other design companies and agencies.  For the Abert Entity website project, I worked with TWO other companies;  Mel Abert of Abert Entity and Bill Ewing of Bill Ewing Ads.  Mel was the client and gave us the creative direction he wanted to see the website go in.  Bill was the chief designer and came up with the look and feel and I was brought in to make the whole thing work properly in and HTML environment.

Working with a group can sometimes be difficult with many opinions and creative directions but this project went very smoothly and was a lot of fun.

From the Abert Entity home page:

In a nutshell, that’s Abert Entity. A carefully assembled team of highly experienced communications specialists with very impressive credentials all under one umbrella. People who have worked for major advertising agencies, graphic design companies and marketing firms. There are no juniors. No layers of people to wade through before you get answers or results. No wasted time getting up to speed. No massive departments increasing the overhead. No excessive fees. Just solid marketing plans and materials designed to enhance your bottom line.

Our services include the full gamut of marketing communications disciplines from ads to websites and everything in between.

If you’re ready for product or service marketing without all the wheel-spinning, give us a call.”


Monday Morning Marketing

“Your morning cup of marketing know-how”
Online Web Marketing

What to Do if Blogging Doesn’t Excite You (And When to Ignore the “Rules”)

By Ali Luke: Daily Blog Tips eNewsletter
In our survey last year, one reader wrote: I just can’t seem to get excited about blogging. I understand that videos are a must.”

This raises two key questions:
How do you get fired up to blog (or how do you recapture that enthusiasm if you’ve lost it)?
Do you have to follow the rules – the “musts” of blogging?

It seems to me that trying to follow all the rules is an easy recipe for losing your enthusiasm (and as I’ll explain in a moment, the good news is that you don’t have to take every piece of advice going).

Getting Excited About Blogging

While you may well be blogging for a purpose like making money or building an online platform, you want to enjoy the process, not just the end result.

A blog takes up a lot of your time and energy, over months or years. If you feel “meh” about blogging, then either you won’t get far, or you’ll have to keep on forcing yourself forward – which isn’t much fun.

While there are plenty of practical ways to recover your blogging motivation, if you never feel excited about blogging, you might need to sit back and take a look at what’s going wrong.

If you feel completely unenthusiastic about your blog, ask yourself:

1. Have You Chosen the Wrong Niche?

Perhaps you picked something that seemed like a good money-making opportunity, but you’re really not interested in it. Or maybe your niche was so narrow that you’ve run out of things to say.

2. Do You Interact with Other Bloggers?

I don’t just mean leaving comments or retweeting their posts. Do you go to conferences or meetups of bloggers? Do you get together on Skype, or exchange emails? Other people who “get” what we do can help us get excited about it.

3. Do You Need to Take a Break?

If you’ve been blogging for months and months, and it’s wearing you down, perhaps you need to take a few weeks off. (This can also be a good opportunity to assess what you might want to change about your blog.)

Not Every “Rule” is Right for You

Personally, I’d find it pretty hard to get excited if I tried to follow every single blogging rule I’d ever heard. Like:

  1. You should post every day if you want traffic.
  2. You need to leave loads of comments on every blog.
  3. You should email five new people every day.
  4. You must create videos.
  5. You have to build a really big audience before you think about monetizing.

… and so on.

Some of these “rules” are useful advice in some circumstances. (Number 5 is just plain wrong, but some new bloggers think it’s true.) But there’s no single rule that’s going to make your blog succeed or fail.

If you’re struggling with a particular rule, like “you must create videos”, then ask yourself:

1. Is This Rule Out of Date?

Sometimes, advice changes, either as the blogging world itself shifts or as bloggers learn more about what does and doesn’t work. When I first got interested in blogging, blog carnivals were a big deal; today, you hardly ever hear about them.

2. Is This Rule Ignored By Other Blogs?

How many big blogs can you think of that don’t post anywhere near daily? Jon Morrow’s Boost Blog Traffic and Glen Allsop’s ViperChill both come to mind – both highly successful blogs.

While we do post daily (Monday – Friday) on DailyBlogTips, we don’t advise all bloggers to do the same. If you enjoy posting frequently and your audience are engaged, by all means stick with it – but you might want to ask your readers what they want.

3. Is This Rule Making You Want to Quit?

If the thought of producing videos makes you shudder, then it’s probably not right for you. While it’s a good idea to take a step outside your comfort zone, don’t let the rules force you away from blogging (or put you off even getting started).

There’s no single “right” path to success as a blogger, whatever some gurus might have you think. If the rule is getting you down, then it’s time to ditch it.

How excited are you about blogging? And what’s the worst “rule” you’ve come across (and perhaps even tried to follow) during your time as a blogger? Let us know in the comments.

original source: Daily Blog Tips eNewsletter

“The Shelf Chronicles”

Shadowbend Studios’ “The Shelf Chronicles”

The Shelf Chronicles

This week – The POWERPUFF GIRLS!!!

Powerpuff Girls

Sugar, Spice & Everything Nice…. The PowerPuff Girls!!  Defending Shadowbend Studios since 2005! 🙂

Shadowbend Studios’ Client Showcase


Web Design Development Client Showcase

From the home page:
“Ship Your Car & Logistic Services looks forward to providing you with reliable auto transport services that you can count on. We provide auto transportation for corporations, governments, individuals, and nonprofit organizations.

Please visit the rest of our website, take a look at our Domestic and International shipping information, and when you are ready to experience what it is like to have your questions clearly answered without feeling pressured, then take 30 seconds to Request A Quote.”

Monday Morning Marketing

“Your morning cup of marketing know-how”

Online Web Marketing

“Five Practical Steps to Recover Your Blogging Motivation”

by Ali Luke

It happens to almost every blogger at some point.  You start losing interest in your blog. You get busy, and you post less frequently. Perhaps you take a week off … and it becomes a month, and then three months.

It can be really tough to re-motivate yourself, especially if you started blogging with high hopes of a six-figure income within your first year, and you’ve been faced with the reality.  There’s often a lot of work between where you are and where you want to be.

But you know, of course, that if you give up now, you’ll never succeed.  Here’s how to get your motivation back.

Step #1: Look at Your Non-Blogging Life

Let’s face it, there’s a lot going on in your life – and you may find that some things are interfering with your blogging.  Maybe you need to drop or cut back on another commitment.  Maybe you need to improve your organisational or time management skills so the rest of your life doesn’t crowd into your blogging hours.  Or maybe you need to take care of yourself before taking care of your blog – it’s hard to focus if you’re stressed or feeling low.

Even at times when it looks really hard to fix things, find a way to take one small step forward.

Step #2: Write Down What You’ve Achieved With Your Blog

Even if you’ve only been blogging for a month, you’ve achieved a lot.
For instance:

  • You got your blog online – that’s more than many people manage!
  • You wrote at least one post, and probably quite a few more.
  • You got your first readers (they still count if they’re family and friends).
  • You probably connected with other bloggers in your niche on social media or forums.

When you only look ahead at the distance between you and your goals, it can feel like you’ve got a huge mountain to climb and you’re right at the bottom.

But when you look back at what you’ve already accomplished, you’ll see that you’ve climbed a big, steep section of that mountain already.

Step #3: Set a New, Short-Term Goal

Many bloggers have eventual goals like “quit my job and live off my blog” or “make six figures a year.” But what would you like to achieve with your blog in the next three months?
That could be:

  • Launch my first ebook.
  • Get 500 subscribers to my email list.
  • Make $100/week.

… or almost anything you can think of that’s realistic and achievable.

Step #4: Create a Plan for the Next Month

It’s tough to be motivated if you have to come up with new ideas every time you sit down to blog, or if you have no idea how your daily efforts will fit into the bigger picture.  So make a plan. Do it on paper, in a spreadsheet, with an app … whatever works for you.

You don’t have to map out every single post in detail, but do make sure you’ve got enough ideas to see you through the month – and try to write plans for some of them.

Also, look for one way to take a real step closer to your short-term goal. So, if you want to earn $100/week, pick a great affiliate product that you own and can market, or start offering consulting, or write the sales copy for your first ebook.

Remember, other bloggers have succeeded, and you can too.

Step #5: Talk to Other Bloggers

Whether it’s on Twitter, at a local event, in a Facebook group, in a forum, or even in the comments on DailyBlogTips, chatting to other bloggers can be hugely motivating.

If you’re on Twitter and need a bit of encouragement, tweet met at @aliventures. But don’t stop there: search for other people tweeting about your topic, and follow someone who has roughly the same number of followers as you. Check out their blog, and tweet them to tell them you like it (assuming you do!)

And if you’re struggling today … leave a comment below and tell us why you’re not feeling very motivated.

If you aren’t struggling, look at the comments and leave an encouraging message for someone who’s having a tough time with their blog.

source: dailyblogtips newsletter

The Shelf Chronicles…

Shadowbend Studios’ The Shelf Chronicles
The Shelf Chronicles

This week’s episode – Phineas And Ferb!

As a kid, I grew up watching the likes of “Speed Racer”, “Kimba The White Lion”, “Astro Boy”, “Ultraman” and “The Banana Splits” so I have some experience with quality Saturday Morning kids faire 🙂

When my children were born I was exposed to some of the typical broadcast shows for kids and enjoyed most of them (if for no other reason than to watch my children enjoying them);  Dora The Explorer, Teletubbies, Jacks Big Music Show, etc.  As my children got older their tastes started to develop and lead them to some shows that ultimately would be family favorites.  Phineas & Ferb is one of those shows.

Excellently written, funny and with a host of pop culture references (some of which need explaining to my children!).  Phineas & Ferb is entertaining enough to warrant watching over and over again, so when (on a field trip to “Toys R Us”) I ran across this nice set of Phineas, Ferb, Doctor Doofenshmirtz (the chief “bad guy”) and Perry the Platypus (who doubles as a secret agent) I knew they would be a welcome addition to my collection of muses!

Hey…. where’s Perry!

web design & development muses


Shadowbend Studios’ Client Showcase

Web Design Development Client Showcase

“A-1 Hour Service”

Lori and Jim Perry of A-1 Hour Service are some of the nicest people you will have the pleasure of meeting.  “Salt of the earth” types, and Jim is extremely good at what he does.  And what Jim does is plumbing, heating and HVAC work.

From the home page of their website:
“A Customer is the most important person in our business. You are not dependent on us, we are dependent on you. You are not an interruption of our work, you are the purpose of it. Our service is not a favor, you favor us by letting us serve you. Bring us your needs. It is our privilege to handle them.”

Thank you for giving A-1 Hour Service the opportunity to serve you and fulfill your needs as a customer. With over 30 years of experience in this industry, I know the true importance of our customers and realize that you are responsible for driving our business and making it a success.

A-1 Hour Service services the needs of Solano and Yolo Counties with 24/7 emergency service and is a member of the Better Business Bureau and our local Chamber of Commerce. We are also Certified Technicians for Noritz tankless water heaters and Certified in Gas Piping for TiteFlex, WARDFLEX and Butt Fusion.”

Anyone looking for plumbing and HVAC installation, maintenance or repair would do well to contact the good folks at A-1 Hour Service.


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