This month’s expat journal: “Living in the Philippines July 2013″ may not be as long as my previous two months. I have a lot going on and I’m feeling kind of rotten but that will be more for next months entry. It has to do with those shortages I keep talking about. Medication I ordered a month ago from Canada has not yet arrived and it is causing me some hardship at the moment.

Still, I don’t want to miss a month of my expat journal so I will do the best I can.

Living in the Philippines July 2013 as Rusty Ferguson

I have needed to reinstall Windows for the last two years. I finally threw in the towel on that and did it. That happened late inFlower Living in the Philippines July 2013 July but has slowed me down. I still don’t have all of my programs re-installed. I really need to get Quicken installed but my time is so overtaxed right now.

I wasn’t able to travel in July of 2013 so that severely cuts down on exciting things to blog about. That seems to be a problem for the website too. It saddens me. I can’t help but recall July of 2011 when I made several trips around that time. Two trips to Bantayan Island within three months and that wonderful trip to Palawan Philippines.

Instead, July of 2013 left me wondering if I will ever be able to travel like that again. Will I ever be able to go to all the other places in the Philippines I would like to visit. Honestly, I kind of doubt it. One of those cases where I’d like to be wrong.

Perhaps all that activity of July 2011 was just too much sun for someone with my health problems. It was the beginning of the issues with my skin, where it turns to plastic on my hands and feet.  My hands are mostly healed which is great because it brought much pain. My feet are better but I can’t walk much. I think though if the blogs were making money, I’d be getting out there.  I just don’t know if they ever will again. Perhaps Google didn’t just penalize my site but me. For now, if you can’t rank in Google, your dead on the Internet.

Wet Yellow Flower in the PhilippinesI also find myself wondering about my own mortality.  I haven’t said it before, but I think I’m dying. You see, about 10 years ago a doctor told me I had about five years left. I use to enjoy scoffing at that as the five years went by. Not being able to walk, means not being able to exercise. Not a good combination at all. One seems to be making the other worse. Okay, I’ve said now. The only question is will this paragraph remain before I publish the article. If not, you’ll never know.

Oh, I don’t think I’m going to die soon, I just wonder if things are going to get better or will they just keep on with their slow decline. I suppose time will tell. I can tell you this much. I ain’t quitting, I’m not throwing towel. If Google and lupus want to make my life difficult, they can but I’ll fight to the end.

Finances are still tight. I think finally this will be an easy month and then something else fouls that all up. That happens no matter where you are things would be much more difficult financially if I lived in the USA.  There is just no comparison.

Focusing on Social Marketing in July of 2013

I’ve been spending a lot more time on Google Plus these days.  Quite frankly as I learn more about Google Plus, FaceBook just is totally inadequate.  Many on Google Plus are very negative toward FaceBook. They love to make jokes about FaceBook. They see it as one or the other. Good, I hope more of my competition continues to see it that way while I continue to do my best to work within all the social networks.

I am very unhappy with FaceBook though. They now want $40 to fully distribute any post I make on my PhilippinesSocial Marketing Traffic related FaceBook page. On other pages, it is $10 usually. The reason they ask for more there is because I have more followers. I paid for a lot of those followers. Followers that no longer see very many of my post there. They completely infuriates me with FaceBook. Yet they constantly try to get me to promote my page with more ads. Why I ask? So they can not share with more people?  Okay, Rusty….. Calm down before you blow a gasket. Keep it up FaceBook, you’re driving people away.

Even if not for that issue, Google Plus is designed in a way to help you connect with other people that are interested in certain topics. If you’re interested in a hobby, Google Plus is the best place to be. The number of social marketers on Google Plus is mind blowing as is the number of Photographers.

Google Plus does a wonderful job with Photographs, you can even upload a series of photos say of a water fall. G+ will take those photos, combine them together into an auto animated photograph. The falls will move!  Pretty amazing. I might try doing that with some pictures I took of Juliet, my Filipino monkey and see how it comes out.

After five years or so on FaceBook, I have 1049 friends on my personal page.  Within a month on G+ I have almost 4000

Pretty Filipina at Odlot Hideaway

Pretty Filipina at Odlot Hideaway

and it will be over 5000 in another week or so.  FaceBook limits the number of people that can friend you. Google Plus does it just the opposite. You can only follow 5000 people but an unlimited number of people can follow you.

It isn’t my intent though to discuss how to use Google Plus on this site. I do that on my marketing site, a site moving away from SEO and more toward social marketing.

Still, business is not going well for me. My main source of income is my eBook and I’m selling very few these days. It is because I have no traffic from Google’s search engine. I have some on this site but not much. Cebu Experience still get more traffic but it comes from Bing and Yahoo. The amount of search volume on those two sites is so low that it just doesn’t provide enough traffic to do me very much good.

Even though I offered a way to get the manual at one half price, still no one took the offer. That shocked me. I have been offering a coupon for the month of July as well. Nothing, only affiliates have sold the manual and at full price. I will discount those special offers very soon. The issue isn’t pricing, its about getting new visitors and I need to do that via search engines. Until I’m able too, that forces me to focus on Google Plus.

I had to increase my cost last month too. The very cheap web hosting I have for Cebu Experience and most of my other sites wasn’t sufficient to keep them online. I had to upgrade to a virtual private server that will cost me just over $80 a month. The $25 site just couldn’t handle it.  Exciting Cebu is on a much better solution and cost me another $30 a month. It is a much faster website but the hosting company has many limitations. Limitations that prevent me from moving my sites off of Hostgator and to WPengine where Exciting Cebu is hosted.

Rippln Rusty

My growth in Rippln has slowed significantly but I remain excited about it. It has the potential to explode and I hope that it will. Only time will tell. I’m still promoting it on G+ but for now, unable too on FaceBook as they blocked all links to the Rippln site. I find that humorous.  FaceBook doesn’t want its network used to promote this up and coming social network. They won’t be able to stop it.

Rippln has over 1.2 million member now. Its too late FaceBook, you can’t stop it. I’m developing a site that will allow meHow To Make a Ripple to resume promoting in on FaceBook. The site is nearly ready. Though I’m still lot allowing it to be indexed that will change in the next week or so. I will send people to my website that fully discusses Rippln rather than direct to Rippln.  I wonder, will FaceBook block my site as well?

I even have a page for Rippln on FaceBook but never made it available to the public. I will soon. I didn’t because I sensed FaceBook’s dislike of Rippln. So I didn’t work on it. Now though, I need to develop that page too.  I’ve added a tool that will require people to like my pages on Facebook before they can see them.  I have not implemented it yet but will soon.

I have been very busy for the last 30 days. Working like a hamster in its tumbling spinning wheel. I just hope that I can actually get some place rather than staying in the same spot. I know I won’t quit. I will fight on and I do believe it will eventually pay off.

Summary

So much for not being long but then I moved into other topics didn’t I. I hope these topics do not bore the heck out of you. One topic that always seems to get a lot of attention is when I write about scamming Filipina. I’m just not going to write only about what I know will get attention and engagement. Opinion pieces do better than information about the Philippines. Still, I find it important to make this site a place for information about the Philippines, even when its not sensational.

Stories about people getting arrested do well too. They keep bringing in traffic and I will sometimes cover those but only when I can find some instructional value in them. For the most part on some new aspect of Filipino culture or living in the Philippines that I have not discussed.

I’m much more interested in providing information about the Philippines. My favorite topics are traveling in the Philippines. I hope that I can return to that someday. So many places I want to see. If my budget improves, I will go my body will just have to follow along whether  it likes it or not. My mind is going.

By Rusty Ferguson

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