Funny girl cartoon illustration on bike in Central Park, by Joana Miranda

These days I’ve been burning the midnight oil even more than usual.  The reason?  I’m playing catch-up trying to master the art of SEO and related business growth tools.  Mostly, what I’ve learned so far is just how much I don’t know!  (For those of you even more in the dark than me, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.  It’s what gets you seen on the internet…and these days, since we’re all absorbed in our devices, it might just be the only way you have a chance to be seen. Period.)

Since I’m no expert, this is not going to be a tutorial on SEO.  It also won’t be a tutorial on how to gain 40 million new followers on Instagram or Pinterest.  If I crack those ceilings, I promise I’ll share how I did it.

No, the only things I have to offer are the following tips:

  1. Even though it can be frustrating, it’s much more rewarding in the end to tackle what you need to learn rather than farming it out to an expert.  Keep in mind that no one will care about your business or your product more than you do.
  2. Read everything you can about the issue you are trying to solve.  Reach out to the experts to see if they will offer guidance, but be very wary of people claiming that they can give you shortcuts to overnight success.
  3. Overnight success is a myth.  Malcolm Gladwell does a great job of debunking that myth in his book Outliers – The Story of Sucess.
  4. Do what you love and the money will follow?  That statement should be followed by rinse, repeat, rinse repeat, rinse repeat…(and read Outliers!)
  5. Connect with others in real life.  Offer to mentor someone who knows less than you do. Give of your time and attention.  The only true legacy we leave behind is in the lives of the people we touched.  Make your legacy a positive one!

How about you?  Where do you want to be, and who will you help today?

P.S.  I’m a self-taught illustrator and I love what I do.  I’m also self taught as a photographer and photo editor.  The image above was put together using my favorite photo editing program – Corel Paint Shop Pro X8 (which happens to be a lot cheaper than Photoshop, but still has many of the same bells and whistles.)



    • Joana says:

      Hi Helen,

      Are you guys up in Rhinelander? I used to find that tour sort of depressing – Andy loved it since it gave him a chance to play golf up in the North Woods.

      I’m working on getting people begging for my work, too. So far I feel like I’m the one doing the begging, though. 😉

      xox – Joana

      On Thu, Oct 5, 2017 at 12:06 PM, JOANA MIRANDA STUDIO wrote:


  1. Helen Reich says:

    I’m going through quite the dry spell lately, so I’m begging, too. Yes, we were doing the North Woods tour. Some things have improved. I used to call it the Bad Food Tour, but it’s now possible to find something good, once in a while. It was a real quickie this time, not much time for hiking, etc. There’s now a bona fide cool boutique in Rhinelander. By the time we get there, they always have a big summer clearance sale. I almost always buy something.

    • Joana says:

      Hi Helen,

      This tends to me my “dry spell”, too. On top of that, ever since I changed my focus from “fashionista illustrations” to cartoons and more cartoon-oriented illustrations, I’m having to work to build and reach my new target audience. Fingers crossed that the SEO work and other social media work I’m doing will pay dividends soon.

      I remember a really nice boutique in Rhinelander with jewelry, clothes, and some home goods. I bought our wall clock there one year – and we still have it. Maybe we’re talking about the same place? I’m glad to hear that there are some better food places, too! That was certainly a low point on the tours for me, too.

      I’m off to Morristown today for a concert with the NJSO. The train ride is pleasant, but as usual I’ll have to first endure Penn Station. Uggh.

      XOX – Joana

      On Sat, Oct 7, 2017 at 3:44 PM, JOANA MIRANDA STUDIO wrote:


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