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Over the last several months, updates have been pretty slow here. That’s not because I don’t have any plans, or that I don’t know what I want to write, or that there is nothing to update. In fact, on this site, there is TONS I want to update, I have several blog posts written 80% finished, and quite a long list of posts I’d like to write.
Sadly, my issue isn’t creativity or lack of focus, it’s a complete lack of time. First off, I’ve gotten a new job, and I’m incredibly happy with it, and want to focus and do well at it.
Several months back, I got hired as an SEO Consultant at iProspect in Copenhagen (fancy face on their “Who we are” page included). I love it. Apart from the “normal” SEO work that you would expect to do (and a growing love/hate relationship with Excel), I also get to flex a lot of muscles when it comes to YouTube SEO, and even have a chance to use my MA in Design a bit here and there, with things like infographics, presentations and such. I’ve also written 2 posts for the Danish blog on the website so far (in Danish obviously), here and here.
Another added bonus, is that about a year ago, Aegis Network (whom iProspect is a subsidiary of) merged with the Japanese media giant Dentsu, to create the Dentsu Aegis Network, something I didn’t have a clue about until the job interview. As I want to move back to Tokyo sometime in the future, this was obviously just another great benefit. It’s also great working with some very major clients, and seeing your work end up on sites that get millions of visits a year.
But of course, this also takes away a ton of time. I’ve been learning a lot of new software (BrightEdge is pretty damn cool, I might add), working my way through taking 4 different Google certificates, and have had to read a new book or two.
As my chances of finding work again Tokyo are increasing (in the long-term prospects), I’m also studying Japanese again, with the aim of taking the JLPT N3 (Japanese Language Proficiency Test – New Level 3) in a year. My Japanese is pretty decent in a conversational situation, but the test focuses very heavily on grammar and kanji knowledge, areas of the Japanese language I’m certainly not very good at. In fact, it doesn’t include writing or an oral segment at all, so every part of Japanese I’m good at is excluded, and every part I’m bad at, is focused at.
Officially, JLPT N3 is described as:
・One is able to read and understand written materials with specific contents concerning everyday topics.
・One is also able to grasp summary information such as newspaper headlines.
・In addition, one is also able to read slightly difficult writings encountered in everyday situations and understand the main points of the content if some alternative phrases are available to aid one’s understanding.
・One is able to listen and comprehend coherent conversations in everyday situations, spoken at near-natural speed, and is generally able to follow their contents as well as grasp the relationships among the people involved.
That doesn’t sound all that impressive, but in actuality what it means is: You’ll be able to speak, understand, and write in pretty much all every-day situations, but will still have difficulty with advanced topics such as discussing politics, philosophy, reading serious newspapers, and the like.
It’s a frustrating exam to study for, however, as it isn’t really routed in being actually able to be conversational. The Japanese language tests (the ones they use in their own Universities too, for students studying foreign languages) are heavily focused on grammar. A lot of grammar. The fact that the official language test for Japanese doesn’t include a single oral test, and that you don’t have to actually write anything (it’s all in “fill in the blanks” or “multiple choice” type questions), speaks volumes of this. There is only 30 or so minutes for “listening”, where you have to answer certain questions spoken on a tape.
I’ve met more than my share of people, who have passed N3 or N2 of the JLPT, but aren’t actually able to speak Japanese with anyone. Sure, you may know 1500 Kanji (the Chinese characters used by the Japanese), but it’s not about how large your vocabulary is, it’s all about knowing the right kind of words.
Compared to that, the Beginner Level exams I had in French in High School were far more complex. Just take a moment to ponder that. My High School beginner exams were more complex than the national language tests of Japan. And they wonder why the entire nation has trouble learning English effectively (something of a national shame).
So yeah, that’s taking up a ton of time too.
At the same time, my personal schedule has also filled up a lot more. After my recent Reddit AMA, I’ve started having a lot more consulting YouTube SEO work. That’s awesome on many levels too, as it’s great seeing smaller YouTube channels grow, and also a lot more fun working on SEO related to topics like gaming or vlogging, compared to the more strict guidelines you encounter with larger companies.
The Reddit AMA was a big success (in my mind, at least), and I plan on doing something similar in the future again.
If you’re here now and then, you might also have noticed that the site has been redesigned, something that has taken me ages. I’ve also moved over to TrafficPlanet hosting, after I simply had enough of the many problems I had with my previous host, WPEngine.
I’ve also had planned, and still plan to do, several updates to the Rankify YouTube Advanced course, but again, time is a limiting factor here. For a while now, I’ve wanted to update 2 lessons (as they’ve become outdated), and also add around 3 new ones. When those updates happen, I’ll be sure to post an update of course, as well as contact those who have already purchased the course.
Then there’s the random small things, like (trying to) switching over to a Slow-Carb diet, and working out with Kettlebells in the morning, to get rid of my annoying beer belly. Being a very skinny guy like me, it just looks pretty awkward having a rather large belly sticking out. If you think that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s what Tim Ferriss tends to recommend – I’m a huge fan of his (in particular, our shared views on effective learning), and you should be too. If you don’t know his blog, check that shizzle out right now!
Last weekend I also had a great visit from Japan, from two girls that I know, one of whom is very dear to me. It was an absolute blast, but it also took up 3 full days, not to mention a hell of a lot of cleaning up my apartment, being an additional sleeping mat, and so forth.
Oh, and I’m also trying to learn C#, as I have a few software development plans, ranging from games to SEO related stuff. I’ll be sure to follow up on that, if any serious developments happen.
The last bit of awesomeness that I want to talk about, is about my new blog post, called Social Outreach on YouTube, over at Matthew Woodwards blog. I’m a huge fan of his site, and his honest and straight-to-the-point reviews of services, tutorials, and everything in between.
So when I reached out to Matthew a while back, regarding having a guest post on his site, and he said yes, I was quite the happy camper.
If you don’t know of his site, and you’re interested in online marketing and SEO, you should definitely check it out. Matthew has been a great inspiration in my own venture online, and I’ve learned a lot from his site.
And hopefully in a better state than Arnold Swarzenegger has been in the latest terminator movies. As I hope you can see, it’s not that this site is forgotten, or that I’ve “run out of ideas”. Rather, it’s that everything is going so well, I simply don’t have a lot of free time.
If I want to include some spare time for my hobbies (reading a bit of Japanese manga, playing Battlefield 4 now and then, and watching the odd TV series), there’s simply not a lot of time leftover, especially if I don’t want to become an asocial hermit.
But I’ll do my best to tighten up my schedule, figure out some priorities, and “get shit done”. See you around!