General Topic: > Be Better Now

Summary: Here's what's going on at Be Better Now including the next charity update and Posts of the Month

Each month, I give readers a sneak peak of some of the details that goes on behind the scenes at Be Better Now.

My life at the end of March is typically chaos... and this last month was no different.

There was an annual pharmacy convention (my wife's a large part of it) which is a week of travel. In the past, I would go with my wife and there would be little done (when am I going to get another chance to see the San Diego Zoo). In the future, I'll probably stay home with the kids (though an argument could be made they'd want to go to the zoo too). Either way, there's not going to be much work done.

In addition, I have a birthday at the end of March. Birthdays should be wonderful things, but they aren't when you are already a week behind. Finally, there's the looming April 15th tax deadline. As much work as I do in February, and it's dozens of hours, there's always more in March to do.

Enough kvetching (and enough Yiddish). Now you know why there haven't been many articles in March.

What's New at Be Better Now?

Usually, I have a few site enhancements to share. This month, I have nothing.

Why even mention it? I want to guilt myself into getting some enhancements for next month.

Overall, I'm happy with the look and feel of the website. I'd rather focus on increasing traffic. Which brings us to:

Be Better Now Traffic

I wrote a guest post over at Personal Income. It was a quick guide on how to become a millionaire.

Last month, Be Better Now had 346 visits for 568 page views according to Sitemeter. That's a drop off from February. However, the guest post on Personal Income came on March 31st, and brought 85 people on April 1st. People kept coming after that. So despite not publishing a post in April, traffic is already almost half-way to the February high.

Charity Update

Each month, Be Better Now gives money to charity. Last month, I gave money to the APhA foundation.

The amount that I donate is based on traffic to this website on a formula. That formula would have resulted in a 70 cent donation due to the small traffic. Instead of donating 70 cents, I donate $25 and they go back on the list for when traffic is more meaningful.

Next Month's Charity is...

Jimmy Fund

Baseball season is here. As a fan of Boston sports, my attention is on the Red Sox. If there is one charity people associate with the Red Sox, it is The Jimmy Fund. The Jimmy Fund is well-known in the Boston area, but for those of you who might not know of it here's a description from their "About Us" page:

"The Jimmy Fund solely supports Boston's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, raising funds for adult and pediatric cancer care and research to improve the chances of survival for cancer patients around the world."

It seems the focus is on the pediatric cancer and if there's one thing I can get behind, it's helping kids with cancer.

In Case You Missed It...

Of course all the articles on Be Better Now are awesome. Some are just a little more awesome than others. For that reason I thought I'd use this space to highlight a few of the articles that you might have missed last month. And since I didn't I publish that many articles, it's going to be a short list:

As always, I am flying by the seat of my pants with this. Your feedback in the comments below is always tremendously appreciated.

This post involves:

Be Better Now, Monthly Goals, Monthly Review

... and focuses on:

Summary: Here's what's going on at Be Better Now including the next charity update and Posts of the Month

Each month, I give readers a sneak peak at what goes on behind the scenes at Be Better Now. I've only done this once before, so your feedback in the comments below is always appreciated.

Overall February was a busy than expected month for me. We got about 17 feet of snow, which lead to our child care being canceled. When that happens, I suspend work to watch the kids and try to squeeze in time to shovel snow. February is a short month to begin with, so losing another 4 days really takes a toll.

What's New at Be Better Now

I've updated several articles that form a core foundation at Be Better Now. Many were small changes, but The Ultimate Guide to Financial Freedom got a solid makeover. I also made some changes to How To Save Money on Almost Anything!

The other big change is that after publishing more than 40 articles over almost every business day since launch, I'm taking one, sometimes two days off. With my current schedule, it is unreasonable for me to deliver the highest quality of writing five days a week, while updating older articles, and writing guest posts for other websites. It is biting off more than I can chew. For that reason, I'm looking at publishing three or four articles a week with the other days marked for other articles.

Traffic & Charity Update

Last month's charity was for the Washington Chapter of the American Parkinson Disease Association. You can read about: why I picked that here.

Last month, Be Better Now had 587 visitors, a growth of 128%. Our mail list grew to 10 people and there are 7 RSS readers. These numbers are small. The money I donate to charity is a percentage of these and it would add up to $0.86 cents. However, I give at least $25 and I put the charity back in queue for when the traffic is better.

This website is new and I've given almost no promotion. It is almost like a garage sale in the middle of a desert. Traffic is going to understandably be small.

However, I expect traffic to continue to grow for some time. I built another website where I have 100,000 monthly visitors, 500 people on the mailing list and nearly a thousand RSS readers. Using the same charity formula on that website, I'd have donated $118.

Personally, I think this website is a lot better than that one, so I have high hopes it can do even more traffic.

Next Month's Charity is...

APhA Foundation

This month is the annual American Pharmacists Association (APhA) meeting. In high school and college I was a pharmacy technician. My wife is a pharmacist. The APhA Foundation is a highly-rated charity according to Charity Navigator. Thus they are a very worthy recipient of our support.

This month they are hoping to make people aware that they can sync their medications. Some people have different doctors with different medications and their refills are due at different times. The program at Align My Refills is designed to help people sync them up. This way consumers don't have to make many trips to the pharmacy. It also makes the pharmacists lives easier too. Win-win. I'll let their video explain it:

They also have a very cool infographic here.

For the most part, the charitable cause is to just make people aware of the service. However, we'll support the APhA Foundation with the monetary donation just like we do with all the charities we support.

In Case You Missed It...

Of course all the articles on Be Better Now are awesome. Some are just a little more awesome than others. For that reason I thought I'd use this space to highlight a few of the articles that you might have missed last month:

I'll let those articles be the final word on February 2015. Let's make March 2015 awesome!

This post involves:

Be Better Now, Charity, Monthly Review

... and focuses on:

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Summary: Here's what's going on at Be Better Now including the next charity update and Posts of the Month (Tweet This!)

Each month, I thought I'd give readers a sneak peak of some of the details that goes on behind the scenes at Be Better Now. As this is the first report, I expect it to be a bit of a litmus test. Your feedback in the comments below is always appreciated.

(Usually the report will be earlier in the month. This one is almost the latest it can be because the 2nd Friday of the month falls on the 13th.)

What's New at Be Better Now

Because the website is so new, there's a lot of room for improvement. I wasn't keeping track of every improvement, because it hadn't occurred to me to write about them until just now.

Over the last month, there were a couple of major changes. I learned now to make nice rounded corners in HTML that should work in most any browser. So now you get nice blue bubbles in the section and article summaries as you can see here. It replaces a bright yellow box that had a dotted blue square border. Small changes make a big difference.

The bubble box redesign continued through to the search button, some tip boxes (such as the one here), and even the heading on the right column.

I've also added social bookmarking icons in the top right of the site. They've told me that they are lonely, so please play with them if you have the time.

I added related articles to the bottom of every article. I'm hoping that another article will catch your eye and you'll stay virtually trapped here forever enjoy learning something new.

I've still got a list of things that I'd like to do about a mile long. I've got to balance that with creating great articles that you'll love. However, I feel good knowing that the website is approximately 217% better than it was a month ago.

Be Better Now Traffic

In future months, the traffic report will (hopefully) be much more exciting. In January, I launched this site with almost no promotion and it looks like it.

I'm sure that sounds crazy. Why put all this work into it and not promote it?

Be Better Now wasn't where I wanted it to be for a big public launch. I want people to see a quality product that they love coming back to everyday. Be Better Now still isn't there. I'm not sure if it truly ever gets there. I think it is just an ongoing journey of improvement that I need to appreciate.

If you are reading this, consider yourself as one of the lucky few who knew Be Better Now "way back when." For January, Be Better Now had 257 visits for 407 page views according to Sitemeter.

Charity Update

Each month, Be Better Now gives money to charity. In January, I chose to give to Best Buddies. Tom Brady's charity to help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The amount that I donate is based on traffic to this website on a formula. Unfortunately that formula would have me donating roughly 30 cents to the charity. I had an idea that would happen so it gets $25 now, and put to the front of the line when traffic gets to a level where they can expect a $200 check.

The not-so-subtle message, I am sending here is: Tell people about this website so we can make some money for charity.

Next Month's Charity is...

Washington Parkinsons Russell Wilson

After giving money to support Tom Brady's Best Buddies charity last month, it seems only right give money to something that Russell Wilson supports, the Washington Chapter of the American Parkinson Disease Association. If that seems a little random, Suzanna Eller, the President of Board of Directors, is an old friend of mine who I've kind of lost touch with.

So if I can give some money to worthy charity, connect with a friend, help a region with a tough loss, and show a little good sportsmanship... why not?

The only potential downside is that Suzanna has been extraordinary successful at everything she does. When I tell her about this, she'll probably send a flood of traffic taking down the site and my bank account. On the flipside, if traffic is once again too low to be significant, we'll do what we did with Brady's charity... send on the $25 and push it just under Brady for a future month when things pick up.

In Case You Missed It...

Of course all the articles on Be Better Now are awesome. Some are just a little more awesome than others. For that reason I thought I'd use this space to highlight a few of the articles that you might have missed last month:

With that, let's finally put January 2015 in the books. After all, it is already halfway through February!

This post involves:

Charity, Monthly Review

... and focuses on: