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Monthly Archives: October 2014

Maybe Affiliate Marketing Isn’t For You

Published October 31, 2014 - 1 Comment
Hand-picking-a-red-apple-from-a-tree

Low Hanging Fruit

Every once in awhile you have to take a step back and see what’s working, and what’s not.  For me, it’s the question of affiliate marketing, and it’s definitely not working.  Anyone who thought that they were going to sign up for a bunch of affiliate programs, create some links, and fire them out into the vast internet probably knows this already… it ain’t that easy.  Even the low hanging fruit isn’t nearly as deliciously attainable as you might expect it to be.

It’s absolutely true what they say.  Focus on your content first, and building an audience.  Then, and only then, work to monetize your channels.  If you try to do it any other way, you’re looking at a lot of time spent spinning your wheels with nothing to show for it… and the frustration that comes with it.

Happy HalloWEMO

Published October 30, 2014 - 0 Comments

watchEarlier this month I wrote about being asked whether I was interested in creating a video to showcase a product from Belkin called the WeMo Motion + Switch.  It was exciting to be asked, but a little daunting at the same time.  I’ve never made anything other than silly little single shot videos.  This was something that would require multiple shots and editing.  I know the iMac is capable of it, but I’m sure not!

The concept changed a few times until I sat down yesterday in my newly creepified living room, and started shooting.  It was fun!  I wrote a script.  Recorded it.  Moved my props around repeatedly while going back and checking the camera viewing range.  I even rigged a giant spider from the ceiling that I could lower during the filming!  I shot my little film in different filters, with different results.  Finally I settled on some rough footage that I was satisfied would just have to do.

Then Jess came home.

Neither one of us are graphic artists, but she has a knack for these things that I definitely do not possess.  She took the raw footage, added overlaying audio files, a trailer and credits.  She took my chunk of rock and turned it into a polished jewel worthy of an Academy Award!

Kate Upton will now present the award for Best Director to… Stephen Belyea!  I’d just like to thank all the people who poured their heart and soul into this project, my fans, my mother and father who stood with me all these years, my sister, my beautiful children, my agent… wait!  Stop the music, I’m not done!  There are still people I need to thank!  My agent, oh I said that already.  Umm.. my publicist… all the people at wardrobe.. my hair stylist.. Oh God! Don’t forget about Him!  Wait! Wait!  Thank you, Academy!  I love you.  Good night!”

Thanks Jess!

Cpl. Nathan Cirillo

Published October 23, 2014 - 0 Comments
Cpl. Nathan Cirillo

Cpl. Nathan Cirillo

Many of the world’s problems seem so far away. We often forget just how fortunate we are to live in a country as great as Canada.

Yesterday we were reminded that extremism is not confined to any particular region.  A soldier’s life was taken.  A nation’s collective innocence was shaken.  If it can happen over there, then it can happen over here.  It has happened here.

Whatever the goal of yesterday’s attack was, it did not succeed.  Canadians are not afraid.  If anything this has only hardened our resolve.  Evil exists in this world.  We are stronger.

Rest in Peace, Cpl Cirillo.  You will not be forgotten.

The (Long Lost) Art of a Great Mixed Tape

Published October 21, 2014 - 2 Comments

love mix tape resizedRemember mixed tapes?  If you’re reading this blog, then chances are you’re old enough to remember them.  I was talking with someone yesterday about the process that went into creating those carefully crafted masterpieces of emotional soul-baring.

Picking out the perfect songs… putting them all in order to tell a story… This is when we met… this is our first movie… our first kiss…  running out of room mid-way through a song and having to decide which one to cut and redo the mix…

Oh yes, this was a process.  An art for some.  A mild obsession for others!  A sub-standard mixed tape was not an option.  Perfection was a must.

I find it a little sad that future generations will never experience this.

How I Use Buffer App to Maintain My Social Media Presence

Published October 12, 2014 - 0 Comments

bufferI’ve had a few people ask recently whether I sleep.  Of course I sleep!  Sometimes I sleep too much.  But it’s easy to see why someone might think that.  If you see a tweet from me at 2am or 4:30am chances are that you’re going to assume that I’m awake and tweeting for some particular reason.  While it might be a correct assumption on any particular day, it’s probably more likely that what you are seeing is my use of the web service Buffer to schedule my tweets and posts throughout the day and night.  Why would I want to schedule my tweets?  Sometimes my brain is full of silly little things that I’d like to share.  It doesn’t make sense to send them all out in one big bunch.  Better to spread them out.  Twitter is chaotic and most of us follow too many people.  It’s easy to miss something.  Using Buffer I can spread my thoughts out, and schedule them for the times suited for reading.  Notice how those after hours ones generate questions?  People are reading those.  🙂

Another great use of Buffer is the built-in analytics that quickly shows me which tweets were replied to, favourited, or re-tweeted.  It’s nice to see which ones are successful… although the downside is that some tweets don’t quite measure up in the real world as they did in my head  🙂

Buffer isn’t just for Twitter either.  You can link your Facebook, Google+, or Linked In accounts as well.  It’s great for staggering posts across different social media networks, and really allows me to be much more productive.

I’ve put together a short Buffer tutorial.  I’m trying to get more used to speaking during these tutorials, and it’s not as easy as some people make it seem.  Trust me.  The end gets a little rocky, but after no fewer than 10 attempts, this was as good as this one was gonna get!  I’m striving for improvement, not perfection.  So go easy on me if you decide to leave a comment.  🙂

Thanks for reading!

Taylor Swift – Shake it Off

Published October 7, 2014 - 0 Comments

taylor-swift-shake-it-off-video-2-2014-billboard-650

I’ll be the first to admit… I’m one of the people who used to enjoy Taylor Swift’s music, but over the years became quite tired of having her life’s up and downs turned into the latest track from her album. I still think she’s talented.  I just don’t want to hear about every single boy toy that comes into her life.  I suppose this means her current song is directed at me, just as much as anyone else!

But Shake It Off is catchy!  And the video is cute!  I like her self-depreciation, and it almost makes me feel bad for the girl.  Almost.

The video even features past contestants from So You Think You Can Dance, which is always fun to see.  See if you can pick out your favourites!

Hey Stephen, would you mind following back? … AGAIN?!

Published October 6, 2014 - 5 Comments
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WeMo Switch + Motion

What an interesting week!  I noticed a message pop up on my Twitter feed asking me to follow them.  Sound familiar?  Yup!  Just like my previous post about ABC’s Selfie TV show noticing my tweet, apparently someone else has too!  This time it’s the fine people at WeM0, a line of home automation products from Belkin.  I’ve already written about their WeMo enabled Crock-Pot, and tweeted about some of the different switches that they make.  We currently own two of the standard WeMo switches, and they’re great.  We have our TV and a lamp hooked up to them, and we can turn them on or off from anywhere with an internet connection.  Trust me when I say this… a certain 12 year old in the house is convinced that the TV is going on the fritz, or that there’s a ghost.  I mean, how could it possibly be ME turning it off and on?  I was at work!  😉

But I digress.
Apparently WeMo would like to send me a free WeMo Switch + Motion, if I’d be willing to make a video of how it could be used for Hallowe’en!  How awesome is that?!  My brain is already spinning with ideas.  This switch is motion-activated, so anyone coming up the driveway is going to be met by something… scary!
I can’t wait!
WEMO @WEMO

@smbelyea Hey Stephen, would you mind following back? Got a question for you… (You’ve done this DM thing before!)

WEMO's avatar

Thanks! That was fast! We’d like to send you a free WEMO Switch + Motion, if you’d be so kind as to make a brief home video showing how…

WEMO's avatar

2/2 …you could use them for Halloween! (Maybe a way to surprise trick or treaters?) If you’re interested, send us your shipping info!

smbelyea's avatar

Absolutely!  And Thank you!

WEMO's avatar

Fantastic! (Don’t forget phone + email, too, just in case.) And you’re most welcome 🙂   Looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

smbelyea's avatar

This will be fun! (I already torment the kids with the regular switch. I had them convinced the TV was on the fritz. They still don’t know)

WEMO's avatar

Haha! Shades of “Poltergeist”! Oh, you’re devious! Can’t wait!! 😀

Hi Stephen, could you please follow us… ?

Published October 4, 2014 - 1 Comment

Selfie-poster-season-1-ABC-2014@smbelyea Hi Stephen, could you please follow us so we can send you a direct message?  – @SelfieABC

It’s not every day that you see a request from a verified Twitter account asking for you to follow them – especially one for a TV show.  My first reaction was “Uh oh.. what did I write that pissed them off?”  Sometimes when I sit down to write a tweet (or even a blog post) I’m not always prepared for the reaction I may receive, and I’ve removed more than one tweet/post over the years after more careful reflection.  Tis the nature of the beast, I suppose.  So I began following @SelfieABC and waited for whatever message they wanted to send me privately.  It didn’t take long.

Hi Stephen! We want to use your tweet in a Selfie promo! Can you please fill out our consent form by Monday 9am PST? bit.ly/ABCForm – @SelfieABC

Here’s the tweet we’d like to use: twitter.com/smbelyea/statu…. Please let us know if you have any questions. Thanks! – @SelfieABC

Well now.  That was unexpected!  Curious as to what it was that I had originally tweeted that caught their eye, I clicked on the contained link.

Selfie finally aired this week.  Looking forward to seeing it become a weekly show! @SelfieABC pic.twitter.com/olxdx6a4HB

Aaah… OK.  I remember writing that one!  And it’s true… ABC had released the Selfie series premiere online weeks before it aired on regular TV.  In fact, you could actually watch the entire thing from within Twitter.  Not just a link to the ABC page, but the entire show opened up right in your Twitter client and ran flawlessly.  It was impressive.  But then the waiting began.  I wanted more.  The first episode made me laugh.  I’ve always loved John Cho (Harold and Kumar movies, Flash Forward, Star Trek) but until Guardians of the Galaxy, I’d never heard of Karen Gillan.  I guess some fans of Dr Who would be familiar with her work, but not me.  That being said, she’s funny!  And super cute, too.  So I’ve been waiting patiently for ABC to air the premiere, and get on with the rest of the season.

That brings me back to my tweet that was noticed.

There wasn’t much to the consent form.  I was asked for my name, Twitter handle, and the text of the tweet.  And of course the obligatory checkmark that indicated that I had read and understood the 14 pages of legalize that I quickly scrolled past to get to the bottom.

So I’m curious to know what they will do with my tweet.  Because I don’t have cable, I’ll probably never see whatever promo they’re using it for.  But just in case you’re channel surfing and see something from @smbelyea on Twitter… yeah, that’s me!

Twitter super star since 2007.