Making Internet life manageable

Email advice for writers and other humans…

  1. Unsubscribe. Click unsubscribe on every email you get that’s not from family/friends, work, church, or some other group you need to engage with. Really, I guarantee you won’t miss a thing and you can always go to their website for goods and info. And, who knows? You might have more time for family/friends, work, church, or that group you like to engage with. I think here about hospice nurses I’ve talked to about the last wishes of the dying. Patients talk lots about family/friends and love, and they remember the fuzzy ol’ golden retriever pup, but no one has ever heard a dying wish about the Bed, Bath, & Beyond email that was missed. Wake up. Show the world and your family and friends what’s important by doing it. And if you meditate? Wonder about how our ancestors survived without an email coupon code from Best Buy. “Good on any order over one hundred dollars.” If they don’t have a pointer to unsubscribe in their email, them write the word in the subject box. Or set up anything from that sender to automatically delete.
  2. Marketing. Think about the most basic marketing tactics: every one is used on you each day in a hundred ways. I was on a site recently when a pop-up appeared. I have nothing against pop-ups and have used them myself, but the tactic bothered me. This was for a BLM tee shirt. Underneath the picture of a shirt were two options: “Yes, I totally support BLM. Send me to the order page!” Or “No thanks. I’m not interested.” What do you click on? Really? You’re not interested in Black lives? What kind of a schmuck are you?
  3. Everyone is selling something. Know this: everyone is selling and most people will use any possible tactic to convert you and your wallet from being a ‘lead’ to a ‘buyer.’ It doesn’t mean you can’t buy or browse; just be aware that forces are moving you to spend money.
  4. Free workshops. Oh, man. I write, I do woodwork, I podcast, I play guitar…and I love a dozen other things. For each of these, there are online workshops, classes, email letters, and every other invention to shortcut the process. I’ve tip-toed through a few, and TO A ONE, they waste my time. I recently listened in on a 60-minute webinar about selling books on Amazon. I’ll funnel it down for you so you don’t have to go through a 60-minute droning sales pitch: go to the number one book in your category and MAKE YOUR BOOK EXACTLY MATCH THAT BOOK. That’s it. I’m glad it was free. It takes some work, but most workshops, and webinars, and newsletters offer nothing that can’t be had for free from any of a handful of websites or a few library books. The online classes are often poorly done, and, if they cost, are almost always over-priced. I always think of guitarist Eddie Van Halen when I see these offerings. As a kid – a classical pianist – he played guitar 10, 12, or 14 hours a day and made a gadget to slow his turntable down so he could figure out guitar solos note by note. This is what you do when you want something. There is no $597.00 online program that shortcuts this process. Not a one.
    My advice? Write a lot more. Cut a lot more dovetails. Do another 147 scales.
  5. Beware the robots. We’re inundated with robotic advertising and invites. Let me tell you, these computer algorithms and robots? They’re smarter than you and me. 
Smarter than both of us put together. If you use the Internet, they know who you are, what you like, and who you like to hang out with. In no way am I saying not to use the Internet…but learn how companies manipulate you so you can ignore their adverts and invite.

Big picture advice for doing anything while hoping to accomplish something

When you are doing something, you are not doing something else. Make sure the something you are doing is essential or moves you toward one of your BIG goals. Know that for every BIG goal of yours, there are a thousand rabbits, munching around the fence line, waiting to distract you with trails cut through tall grass where you get lost. Don’t chase the rabbits.

How to wipe out 99% of all internet crap

Know who you are, know what you want, know what you can afford, know what you need, know where you want to go, and who you want to be. Ignore everything else.

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