Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Up the Game

Whilst I have been recovering from my heart surgery, I have been attempting to improve the visibility of Epheria and trying to get a foot back in the SEO door since the flood of game stuff that happened.

Sometimes it just feels completely pointless, like I'm never going to make any progress, but the last couple of weeks I have actually seen a bit of movement, which is really reassuring and nice. The main thing I've been focusing on at the moment is making sure to post 3 times a week on all of my social media shet, and try to put helpful hashtags and use the word Epheria for search engine purposes, even though I don't really know that much about the technicalities of that stuff.

I've slowly been getting some more images to appear in search results, although the fact that I have to scroll half way down to see anything of mine is somewhat disheartening. I think the influx of outsider results has slowed down dramatically, and possibly almost stopped. I have a small flame of hope inside me that now the hype over that has died down, maybe the search results will start to fade and drop away, as long as I continue putting out new stuff of my own. Who knows, only time and effort will tell.

The thing that has pushed me the most to keep going with the updates, is the increase I have seen in traffic to my store. Before I started doing regular updates and being wary of my image quality, my hits were averaging at about 80-100 per week for both unique visitors and page views, which means that pretty much everyone who was visiting my store was also immediately leaving it before actually clicking on anything, which is NOT what you want.

In the last few weeks, not only have I had an increase in unique visitors, but the page views per person has gone up. I wasn't too sure how well it was actually working and if the increase was related to my posts or if it was from something else, but when I slacked off on the third week, I saw the numbers immediately drop back down and knew that it wasn't just a coincidence.

Obviously I got back on my game, because who doesn't like getting more website hits? Especially when it appears that a couple of the people visiting now actually want to look at my stuff. I think last week is the best week I've had so far since opening my store. I can't actually verify that, because I can't go back any further than this to check, but I'm like 99.6% sure.

Now I just need to figure out how to turn those extra views into sales...

Sunday, 17 April 2016

The Hole in My Heart and Epheria's Latest Struggle

Sup, bitches? It's been a while since I've written anything on here, both because I am just kind of bad at updating my blog/s and because I didn't know whether or not to mention my current health problems, but what the fuck ever, I'm doing it anyway.

A little less than two months ago, I found out that I have a hole in my heart (a 15mm ostium secundum ASD), which has been causing a fairly significant amount of palpitations, and lately starting to cause some shortness of breath and occasional asthma-like attacks. I've also started getting headspins pretty often, especially during exercise and stuff, which I think is my heart having trouble getting enough blood and oxygen flowing through my body, since it basically has to work overtime to start with anyway.

The problem is not super serious, but the right side of my heart is already slightly enlarged from the pressure and if I don't get it fixed, it will eventually result in heart failure and I'll probably like die or something. Yay! Anyway, testing and stuff has been going pretty swiftly and the next step is getting the hole closed. Luckily, my hole has been deemed suitable for a device closure, which means they can just shove a little tube up my leg and pop a plug in it, rather that splitting my sternum and going full open heart surgery on me, which I am pretty happy about.

If everything goes to plan, it should just be a ~45 minute procedure, they'll keep me in hospital over night to make sure everything is staying in place, and I'll get to go home the next day. I'll have to be on blood thinners for 6 months, but I should be pretty much back to doing normal daily stuffs after about 4 weeks. Now I just have to wait for them to give me a date. The doctor said it should be in the next 4 - 6 weeks, so I'm hoping to get this shit sorted soon, because even though everyone keeps being all like 'Yo, it's fine, don't worry about it', I've been pretty stressed out lately (because of this and some other personal shit), and it is super lame, but I'm trying to stay positive.

To add to the drama, apparently there is some sandbox MMORPG called Black Desert Online, and apparently this game has a town called.... Epheria. Are you fucking serious? What? I don't know how long this has been a thing, but I certainly didn't see anything about it when I was researching the name for my art brand. I have google alerts turned on for 'epheria' and several months ago I started getting some sporadic alerts for things like 'my fishing rod is missing' and shit, and got a little confused and was like 'Ahh, what?'

I didn't stress too much, because they were few and far between, and I assumed it must have just been a kind of shitty game that not many people played, but then they started getting more frequent, and now I get them all the time. Turns out this game only launched the same year as I launched Epheria, and was in beta and stuff, so I guess now it is more established and more people are playing it. I'm kind of at a loss what to do now because I'm not very good at marketing, and although a google search of Epheria used to return a bunch of my stuff, it is now completely flooded with images and forum posts of this game.

So now my brain is all like "Oh my god. Do I change the name? Do I just knuckle down and work on my marketing and SEO? Could this potentially become a legal thing if I DO keep the name? I don't know anything about this stuff, Jesus fuck, what do I do? This sucks!"

It kind of took me forever to come up with a name that I liked and fitted with what I wanted to do, and I've already put a fair bit into this whole Epheria venture, so I feel like changing the name would just set me back and I'd probably spend another 6 months trying to come up with a new name and just end up hating them all. I don't want to change it, and my plan was to just do my best to get my brand out there and get exposure, but now I'm paranoid about the legal side of things. Does anyone know about this kind of thing? I need to look into it, but I don't even know where to start.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Art Stuffs... How Do I Even?

I love doing arty shit for various reasons, but sometimes it's hard to be motivated. I want it to be something more than just this thing that I do sometimes, but it's usually really hard to tell if I'm actually making any progress or moving forward in the way that I want to be, and then I just sort of feel like I'm stuck in this rut and not achieving anything and it's really sort of depressing and makes me feel like shit.

So sometimes I take breaks, because I need to, and then I feel bad about taking breaks because it's not like I was working super hard to start with and deserve some time off or anything, even though my brain obviously needed to focus on something else for a while. It's a pretty horrible cycle, and it goes like this:
So on and so forth... for the rest of my life, probably. 

I guess I'm just kind of impatient with this sort of stuff because I don't see instant visible results, or get the sort of gratification or appreciation that one would hope for in such an 'industry', if that's what you want to call it. It probably doesn't help that I have such a fucking vast array of interests, and refuse to pick just one or two. I watch and read a lot about turning your craft into your business, and how to make moneys doing stuff you love, and all that shit, and one of the main things they always tell you is to stick with one thing. One thing.

People get confused when you do too many things, and they don't know what to think. Maybe they like some of your things, but not your other things, and then they get stuck on those things that they don't like, and that puts them off the things that they do like, and then their brain is just like "What the fuck is even going on in this persons head, because there is just too much shit and none of it is coherent, or relevant, and there is no constant theme or technique or medium like most artists are usually recognised by. Is this person even an artist, or are they just fucking insane?"

It's also really hard to explain what you do when you basically do anything and everything that you want to do, when you want to do it. Sometimes I want to draw cute little pictures of retarded robots and write a children's book, sometimes I want to try and make sexy and fancy as hell clothing and lingerie, and sometimes I just like to paint people bleeding out of every orifice on top of a burning house, while a pig vomits in the foreground. I haven't actually done that last one, but now I want to, because it sounds kind of awesome.

Do you see my problem here? I just came up with something completely retarded because I was trying to make a point, but now I've had the thought, and it is in my head, and now I feel like I need to create it, and this happens all the time. Except, that I either forget about it, and get annoyed about wasting an idea, or I write it down, or start making it even, and then I get distracted by another different idea and the same thing happens again, and next thing my entire house is full of these things, just sitting around, doing nothing, and taking up a LOT of space, but I can't get rid of them, because I still want to finish them.

But back to the point about sticking to one thing. It's easier if you just do one thing. You can concentrate more, get better at that one thing, maybe even get totally awesome at that one thing, learn how to market it, who is interested in it, how to write about it, and have an actually fucking answer when someone asks what kind of art you do. But I can't just do one thing. I can't even do just two things. Because if I chose something to concentrate on, there would be so many things that I would then be neglecting. So many things that I enjoy and want to do, and want to have be a part of my thing.

I want to be known for these things too. I don't want to just pick something to try and turn into a business, and then do the rest on the side as a hobby, because businesses are fucking hard work, and I don't even know if I would have time to do those other things on the side. Not to mention the pretty much impossible task of choosing which thing would be the best to try and make money from, and then the very real possibility of putting in all that work, maybe actually getting somewhere with it, and then deciding that I should have chosen something else.

I need to combine as many of these things as I can into my business, because I already have other things that I want to do in that free time. Circus, reading, playing video games, going to the gym, gardening, trying to learn BJJ so I can choke bitches, and pretty much everything else that is fun. It would also be nice to spend some of that time with my boyfriend, and my family, and my friends, and there's just not enough hours in the day, but I still waste the majority of them thinking about this stuff, or distracting myself from this stuff, because I just don't know what to do.