Category: Granny on the Net

Beyond writer profits…

Writers coffeethere’s got to be a connection between writers and coffee.

It’s more than just a favorite drink. Writers consume coffee and produce words. We function on nothing less than a full pot. However,  I’ve just realized that our pots come in various methods of Brew options.

Some prefer French press.

Made just one cup at a time, this time consuming option gets you up and moving, away from the desk.. You really can’t prepare a proper cuppa, without concentrating on the task. It consumers you for the five minutes required to brew your cup. Five minutes of life in the moment.

Drip pot refined.

Who needs a single cup?

Then there’s the whole half a pot dumped down the drain… Oh how I hate wasting that half pot of Brew. And then… The concept of how much coffee should you drink comes up in crowds.

But I’m a writer…. Should I not consume the Brine of the writer?


Not since my grandpa sat at the kitchen table and watched it Brew. I guess I thought perked was an old man’s coffee. Like writing your words twice… Perking just reiterates the process. Relentlessly exposing coffee grounds to abuse and boiling the spirit out of them.

In honor of Jack….

I’m a pretty simple girl, but I do like flavored coffee. My exposure to excellent coffee values came early in the game. One morning I prepared a pot of coffee using my favorite blend and my first coffee customer was Jack. He took one sip and threw it out. He said, what the heck did you do to the coffee? So I told him is used a flavored blend. He made a fresh pot of the old stuff and said, “Don’t make that crap. I like plain coffee.”

I learned early that coffee is important. And not just any brew will do.

Writer coffee matters. French press hits the spot.

He asked if I was Pushing Too Hard…

That’s the question… Are you pushing too hard?

It had been several months since my last vacation, and with a new business, 3 weddings, and moving to a new town in the offing, he wanted to know if I was pushing too hard. Maybe? Probably? Don’t we all…

Then he said, “What’s it like pushing through the pain, struggling with sleepless nights, and not feeling good about your life when you wake up?”

Isn’t this normal?

I stepped away for a moment and looked around the room.

This is my favorite room in the house, and I couldn’t tell you one single thing I liked about it… Why not?

Hurry up and push through this
I settled back in the chair and looked at him across the table…

Look, I know you’re pushing too hard.

I watch you. I see you pushing past the pain, through the sleepless nights, living in that world where you go. I’ve done it too. I’ve done it recently, but I want you to know you don’t have to be always pushing too hard. Sometimes, you can step back and enjoy the benefits of your rush.

It doesn’t have to be every single day of your life that you’re pushing too hard.

That’s what he said. And I listened. I heard him.

I took a deep breath and looked around me… I had accomplished much. And there was more to come.

favorite placeI settled into my chair, leaned back and looked for one single thing that I loved about this room. What was it that I appreciated about my life.

There was family.

There were friends.

There were some things… But honestly, I looked around and realized there was absolutely nothing beyond the people in my life that I wouldn’t be more than happy to leave behind. Why was I working so darned hard?

I considered the coming winter and remembered the cabin where I’d spent a little time the year before. Not long, just a few days when I could kick my feet up and read a book. Enjoy the morning with coffee. And appreciate the flowers a friend brought me one wintry afternoon. I remembered the feeling and I wanted it back.

Business was Booming Back Then.

So… What was the difference?

pushing too hardAs hard as I’d worked the past several weeks, my marketing wasn’t done, and my website was lagging behind, and everything seemed to be losing ground along with me… I was losing ground.

I needed inspiration. Rain splashed against the window and I realized that I wanted to observe the world around me and notice the rain coming down.

I get even MORE done when I slow down, back off, observe what’s going on, stop rushing and simply . . .

.He said what I was thinking and I couldn’t imagine a better solution to the struggle I was facing. A three day weekend coming up and my daughter needed someone to take the kids… I could do that, and take them to the cabin.

I made the call.

Three days and four nights at the cabin with nothing but books to read, games to play, laughter, and good food. I knew exactly what I needed to do. And it was going to be fun. The outcome would be worth it.

How many useless things fill up your day?

The last night I lit a candle, refilled my coffee cup, and sat back to enjoy the evening. The kids were in bed, and it was just me and my thoughts to absorb the atmosphere. I felt relieved. Inspiration was overflowing and I knew that going back to work the next morning in the city, I’d be fresh and ready for the job.

For all the hustle and bustle, I loved my community, and the people. I could even imagine the coming move with anticipation. And I was ready. I was ready.

The significance of the moment spilled over, the silence overwhelming me, and I sat there dripping tears. The realization that I’d been able to walk away from it all and leave it behind me for a time, and gain more clarity made sense. But more than that… It helped me to realize the importance of my own downtime.

I needed time away to find the message again.

More important, I needed time away to find the value of my message and the reason I wanted to share it.

With clarity I returned to the city the following morning… The grandkids had a wonderful time, and I felt refreshed.

I remembered my message and there… In front of me, on the back bumper of someone’s car was my message in clearly defined white letters.

Make a difference…

The thing is… I rarely feel rushed. Even when I’m pushing every one of my own buttons, I feel like I’m accomplishing great things, and in a regular amount of time. I usually only work on productive projects, and I feel good about what I get done.

Sometimes, I put in too many hours, but isn’t that pretty normal?

Still, I’m learning that when I’ve had some down time. Some time to just be with myself in nature, and enjoy the grandkids, or have coffee with my kids… I feel better about everything around me, and I believe… I may be wrong here, but I believe I make a difference for others and that I probably change lives for the better during those times.

I believe that I genuinely make a difference.


What about you? Do you feel like you make a difference?

How would it feel to slow down?

Perhaps you need to visit with someone who can help you to catch a glimpse of your inspiration again?

I would love to be that person!

Let’s have coffee and I’ll help you find that balance in life that allows you to get more done, feel more inspired, and accomplish greater tasks.

Let's do coffee!

New Books Published

Today was the day!

They arrived. A tiny box for several books, but I suppose it was big enough, when I opened it four new books fell out onto the table. I was so ready to look through them… You see, when you read your own writing in book format, you’re no longer editing.

You may find a mistake or two (I found three in one book), but you’re not reading for editing purposes. You’re reading because the story captivates you. And you have to turn the pages, just like everyone else. You want to know what happens next. And you’ve forgotten what you wrote about by the time it hits the press. Not everything… But most things.

Jan VerhoeffEvery page you turn, you read something you don’t remember writing. Even if the stories are non-fiction and you lived them, as the reader you can get right into the process.

Funny thing is, on the Influencer… I caught myself taking notes. Now, there’s a concept. I already knew this stuff well enough to write it once, and I’m taking notes! Whew! What kind of information is that?

The story here…

A while back in a writer’s group with a bunch of writers, editing a book of simple, non-fiction stories for another writer, we caught ourselves editing the edits. The depth of the story was sucked out of the writing when we edited so completely, removing all the writer’s deep, well-thought-out words that defined his characters and his stories. And yet… When we got the book back, there were 11 mistakes in his book. Eleven. We found 11 mistakes in the 179 page book that we missed while we were removing all the -ly words, that, just, and, the, and any other word we deemed superfluous. But would the readers have noticed those words?

Maybe. But none of those words would have sucked the life out of the reader had we left them in the book.

And now… I know why. As a writer, those superfluous words define who you are. They distill your voice and place you in the head of your reader, lifting them out of their own thoughts, and into yours. The key to writing a great story isn’t removing all the ‘gotcha’ words that you might have added as you write, but rather it is creating a story that flows from one page to the next, captivating your reader with every single word.

You influence your niche when your words captivate their minds, steal their hearts, and warm their souls.

And that my good and faithful reading friends is what I believe every great writer does. So, let me know if you found a misspelled word if you must, and I may change it in the next edition. But please, take a moment to be captivated, warmed, and stolen away from the struggles of life, so you can enjoy the stories written between the covers of my books.

Let me influence you.


3 Blog Tactics for Driving High-Volume Traffic

…and getting better conversion than EVER before.

When I started this website, I wasn’t sure what ‘online with Jan’ meant, other than an opportunity to connect with a different audience than my usual web-development clients. Then one day I realized there was a key value, and important difference between the average person online who might be looking for someone like me, and the chaotic adventure seeking marketing crowd who sought out my web-design business.

actionable contentThe key component of those who seek out online with Jan over the web-designer has something to do with the bold glory of Grannies on the Internet doing what Grannies do. We show off our kids, and share our crafts. Only, my craft is web design.

The Grannies who seek me are searching for information about their websites, the details about marketing their products and crafts online, and the excitement that comes from knowing people who make a lot of money doing what I do. Those ladies know that to make money themselves, they have to rub elbows and knock knees with folks who do make money online. But they don’t necessarily want to hang out with the college crew techies who generally make up that notable sector of society.

It isn’t that we don’t like the college age boys and girls, we love them! But we’re not cougars, and we prefer tea and crackers over GMO cakes and designer coffees – well, they do. I still like my designer coffees.

The thing is… I have a lot of techie experience, and I can write about that, but I prefer to give credit where credit is due, and write what is of interest to ME while sharing the techie information of my young buddies who have put a lot of thought and effort into building their tech business. With more than 20 years of technical background, web design, graphics, and getting to the bones of marketing online, I understand the important aspects of tech, and what it takes to be successful. I want it all!

Web Design

#1 Blog Tactic for Driving High-Volume Traffic

When you write your blog posts, write what you know. There’s a new fad going around where people try to write about things they don’t know about, and want to give advice in areas where they have no expertise. Trust me, that will be short-lived, and won’t accomplish much. In fact, those lovely folks will probably forget to update their websites at the end of the year, and they’ll all be available for someone else to manage next year.

Write about what you know and drive traffic that is truly interested in reading what you write. 

This is a key component to driving high-volume traffic and making solid buyer conversions from that traffic. When you’re writing for people like you, who like what you like, they won’t have to hunt for an expert in their area of expertise.

Some key elements of writing what you know come from these questions, below. Take a moment and read through them, then answer them, honestly. You’ll notice a thread of interest flowing through them, and that interest is YOU, and people like YOU.competitive advantage

  1. What kinds of food do you like to eat?
  2. Where do you spend your down time?
  3. Who do you hang out with in the afternoon?
  4. What do you do when you want to kick back and relax?
  5. What movies and television shows do you watch?
  6. Who do you call when you want to talk?
  7. When do you feel the most energetic?
  8. What kind of music do you listen to?
  9. If you could do anything you wanted for 3 weeks, what would you do?
  10. Where would you go if you were given a vacation – to anywhere?

Write about those things and see who finds you! I bet the people who find you will become good friends, and will like several of the things you like to do. In fact, they’ll probably enjoy so many of the same things that they connect through your blog, leave you messages, and share your blog posts with their friends.

#2 Blog Tactic for Driving High-Volume Traffic

make money onlineWrite something you’ve already read, BETTER. I get about half of all my traffic from organic SEO. That’s search engine optimization for those who don’t know. People search something on Google, or Bling, or Yahoo, and the first page that pops up is my page, with an article I’ve written and shared. Almost as often as I have one hit the top of the Search Engine Pages, I realize that I’m not the only one who wrote about that topic. And my article may not even be the longest, but it’s the BEST. It’s the best because I’ve used keywords, added content that adds more value, and increased the readability of the article with sub-headers and bullet points. These come natural for me, and I use them in almost everything I write. But the best part is that those sub-headers and bullet points also add searchability, and bring my content to the top of the page.

Include plenty of optimized graphics in your content as well. The more graphics you have with searchable keyword titles and alt-text, the more likely people are to find your content.

Don’t hesitate to use ads that drive traffic to specific items in your content, and add qualifiable alt-text titles to those graphics, because they help move your traffic where it need to go.

#3 Blog Tactic for Driving High-Volume Traffic

$7 Business ModelPeople get to your site one of five ways:

  • Direct (type in the URL)
  • Email (clicked from an email)
  • Referral (clicked a link from another site)
  • Social (saw it on Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
  • SEO (sent from a search engine)

And SEO blows all of the other 4 out of the water for creating sustained traffic. Let’s go one by one.

SEO is a great way to be found, via search engine. When you create a baseline for searches using keywords, meta tags, and comprehensive descriptions of your page, the next step is easy. Optimize the titles and sub-headers of all your content. People look for ideas, topics, concepts, and when you write articles with titles, sub-headers, and keywords that use the same long tail phrases as the concepts, topics, and ideas people search for, the search engines refer them to your website.

I’ve been called an SEO Hustler because I capture concepts in titles and use long tail search phrases to identify my content. That’s okay with me, because it works great. My readers find me on Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines, because I’m readily available, showing up with the same phrases they seek.

  • Most people won’t know your URL.

This is a key concept, because many can’t spell your name, they won’t know exactly what your URL is, and they really won’t know to search for you at a .net, or .org. So you really need to focus more of your content on keyword phrases.

  • Your Email list won’t hold everyone interested in what you offer.

Even at 100K people on one of my lists, I still don’t have EVERYONE who might be interested in that particular topic on my email list. They’ll need another means of locating my content, finding my website, and buying what I offer.

  • Referral traffic may account for 1% of my overall traffic, even when I’m viral.

Viral promotion, the hit and miss variety of click and share on most social media is a form of referral, and EVEN with that, I’m only at 1% of my overall traffic. That 1% isn’t high-conversion, buyer traffic that makes me a lot of profit.

  • Social media numbers dominate no market, although Social Media Marketing.

Social Media Marketing adds incredible value to your business online, by driving return traffic, and yet — the traffic driven from social media, even when your content goes viral is of little overall benefit to the growth of your online business.

Primary traffic always comes from Search Engine Optimization, due to content development and the quality of content you share on your site. The overall VALUE of your website is based on the content you share and the traffic you incure on your site. Build content, drive traffic, improve your value.

Content Development

Hey, take a quick minute and visit my Author Page on and check out my publications. Below are book covers and links to specific books.
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