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The Day You’re Reminded Who is Boss

The Day You’re Reminded Who is Boss

I’m not one for conspiracy theories.

I don’t think the Moon landing was staged.

I don’t believe that 9/11 was an inside job.

I don’t believe Ted Cruz’s dad was in on the Kennedy assasination.

But I do have privacy concerns.  And trust issues.  So when I got this email immediately after getting off the phone with Amazon after yet another no show Amazon prime delivery where I may have forfeited any chance of winning most polite customer of the year, I knew it was a message, message.

We know you are a Lady Gaga fan, Ian.  But in your case, Superfan may be a more apt description.  And we’ve got proof.

Care to see it?

We thought so.

Don’t fuck with Amazon.  They know what you like.  And how much.

And unlike you, they don’t care who knows.

 

 

 

 

You are Invited!

Launching a brand new, very experimental social network and app community over the next 10 days.  It’s called Bodhisattva, and you can join us here.

I’ve also started a new curated newsletter for my own daily thoughts and ideas using a very cool service called Revue.  (it’s a ton of fun to use, has a beautiful UI and makes curating content a breeze)

Check my first issue out HERE, and try to ignore the fact that I  haven’t gotten a haircut in about a year.   (good grief this is hard to look at – I did shave for the photo which is a step in the right direction :0)

Lots of exciting stuff to share…so stay tuned or say hi!

The Easiest Way to Build an Email List (content curation tools)

I’m often asked about the easiest way to build an email list from scratch.  What is the best way to start collecting subscribers and what tools, or technologies are most effective for beginners, these people will ask?

The truth is, that very rarely comes up in conversation.  I don’t really talk to that many people to be honest, and when I do, it’s usually about stuff I’m not really allowed to discuss on my blog.

But let’s say for arguments sake people really did want to know how to build a list without muss, fuss, mess or stress?

You know what I’d recommend?

Content curation.  It rocks.  And I love it.  And so too will you.

Remember a few years ago I used to write about using Flock to curate content?

Of course you don’t.  Which hurts my feelings.

Sometime later….I described the process of using Tumblr to do something similar, and it still works wonderfully well to this day.  (which is more than I can say for Marissa Mayer)

But for curating content AND building a list at the same time, your options were a bit more limited, especially if you wanted those 2 processes to compliment each other at the same time.

I want to share 2 simple services that not only kick ass, but are great for building an entire business out of thin air, using the content curation model.

The first, is Curated.Co.

The second, is Revue.

Both allow you to curate content quickly and easily around the web, create a community, and build relationships with the very people who published that content in the first place.

(a process I’m using to grow a few communities that is not only a lot of fun, but really amazingly effective for obvious reasons – it allows you to collect, curate and COMPLIMENT the work of other people in a natural and organic way to build buzz for your blog, brand and business)

I pay for both of the services above, both are an awesome value (Revue is much cheaper ($5/month) with smoother and sexier UI.  Curated is a bit pricer…..but far more conversion friendly and allows you to map their landing pages to your own blog/brand or domain) and highly recommend you check them out.

Send me an email if you’d like to know how I’m using each and I’m happy to share.

Or, just send me an email to say hi.  I get lonely and could use the company.

 

 

 

 

 

I’m often asked how I’m able to make such beautiful websites in such a short amount of time.

People will say –

“hey…..on top of your ultra busy schedule, and of your other really obvious amazing attributes and accomplishments, how are you able to make such incredible websites as well?”

Okay, no one has ever asked me that.  Even once.  Which hurts my feelings.

But they are going to start asking that of YOU.  (and here is why)

If you’ve ever wanted to create truly world class websites that look like you hired one of those zillion dollar fancy pants online agencies that sip cappucinnos while wearing Warby Parker glasses, Chuck Taylor’s &  “Feel the Bern” t’s……you really ought to check out Persona.Co.

I’ve been playing with their amazing, intuitive and really incredible web design tools for a few months now, and find creating killer cool and creative one page sites at 3am is the perfect antidote for my incessant insomnia.

Also, and I say this not because I am personally, but because I’ve heard this a friend – but i f you smoke a lot of pot (like my friend does) it really will make you feel like a design rock star.

I can’t speak to that personally of course, but I’ve been told.

(hey…….who stole my cheeotos)

As of this writing – it’s still in Beta – and 100% free……and 200% awesome.

Check them out here.

 

Do This (But Don’t Do That)

Do This  (But Don’t Do That)

File this one under trite, but true.

 

The only thing you really HAVE to do to launch your “side project” is build a list.  There is simply no other replacement strategy that works anywhere as well, and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying.

Not Twitter.  Not Facebook.  Not Tinder.  (although it’s a lot more fun on weekends)

I’ll give you a quick example:

A few days ago, I sent out an email to one of my “niche” communities, where the members (it’s a directory) are all “spiritual” service providers.   I asked them to share their biggest challenge when it came to building their brand, their audience, and their business overall.

Most said something akin to – “I have X amount of fans/followers on Y social network……but very few people buy my products or services when I promote them”

And when I followed up and asked…..very few of these people have an active newsletter email list.

It’s the ONLY thing that really separates those who are building fun, meaningful automated and PROFITABLE projects, from the vast majority who don’t.  (or won’t)

And it’s so damn easy to do these days…..it’s almost a crime not to start with a list.

The ironic thing, of course……when I look at my own business, the peaks and valleys, it’s almost always a straight line relationship to how often I mail my list….and how often I aggressively expand it.

A few years ago, I burned the boats.

Frustrated with my audience being mostly a “how to do I make money from home?” readership, and knowing in my blood and bones that this wasn’t the sort of community I had initially set out to the cultivate (even though……I was probably lying to myself, and was passively aggressively cultivating that sort of crowd anyway) – one day, I just nuked my list.

With the push of a button, I blew up my business.

And I don’t mean that in a Kim Jong Il sort of way.   There was no mushroom cloud of death and destruction.

Only the creepy sound of silence when I had a 3am stream of consciousness idea or inspiration to share.

I don’t regret this….as my own interests have always lied outside of the internet marketing guru building space, but it adversely affected my income in a serious and significant way.

But that’s not really what was challenging about NOT having a list of 15K + people to email everytime I had something to say or service to sell.

It was the sound of silence that was so scary.

The idea that no one cared, yet again.

And while I’ve built a whole new audience in some other areas over the last 12 months, and have built a new (smaller) list for my “entrepreneurial” audience as well, I still feel the pang of regret every time I publish something new here.

Because I know it ain’t gonna get read as often as it used to.

Which does offer up some freedom you lose when your audience is much bigger.

For example, there is less downside to admitting that I woke up at 11am this morning and am typing this wearing the same clothes i slept in.

I also had a dream about Ted Cruz, too.  

It was really weird, i can’t quite remember the whole thing but we were arguing about something and I remember hitting him with a shovel.

Then I woke up and started my day.

You can’t really say that when you have a list of 15K thousand people potentially reading  it.  Because statistically speaking, you are going to have a fair amount of readers who think hitting Ted Cruz with a shovel is a bad idea.

So there are benefits to not building your list, especially if you aren’t a fan of being visited by the Secret Service before 11am.

For the rest of you, start building a list.

Later today, I’ll share a few super simple ways to build a list using some super cool (and free) tools that very few people are talking about, and yet…..can totally transform your passion project from pitter patter to profitable in rapid fire turn around time.

(I also have a brand new ASK ME ANYTHING audio feature folks are using on some of our other projects – you can simply record a question directly from your screen and ask me anything you want, and I’ll record an answer for you 100% free.  I just need to modify it for my own blog – and will post that link tonight)

 

 

 

3 Kick Ass Tools That Will Make You a More Productive Writer

The_Most_Dangerous_Writing_App

I’m addicted to finding cool writing tools to play with to turbocharge my productivity.

I’m also addicted to WAWA Coffee and cheap red wine, but I’m going to talk about those in another post. (and again with my court ordered Shrink on Wednesday at 2)

I want to share a few simple productivity hacks that have really improved my own writing output. There are lots of tools like these, but I really enjoy discovering something new and then immediately being able recognize the results that emanate from putting them to good use.

#1: The Worlds Most Dangerous Writing App

This is an awesome and free app that is somewhat similar to having a friend standing behind you on the diving board when you were in grade school….and too scared to swim.

My friends name was Robbie Hawkins, and he used to push me in, even when I didn’t have my little elbow floatable wings on, until my older sister beat him up on the second day of first grade, which was awesome, and one of the reasons I’m not a good fighter today. Although, if I saw Robbie today, i’m pretty sure I’d get him in a rear naked triangle choke in under 3 minutes and pretend not to hear him tap.

The most dangerous writing app is like your personal Robbie Hawkins.  And you don’t need a big sister around who in a playground scrum, is not afraid to lead with her head. You simply start typing…..and working, and thinking and data dumping your prized prose into pretty pixels, but don’t dare stop…..because if you do, it disappears.

Said differently – it’s an unforgiving way to sit down and work, because if you’re prone to long unplanned wolf blitzer popcorn breaks like me in the middle of the workday, you’ll reliably lose everything you wrote in 7 seconds or less. (I think if you stop typing for 5 seconds….your work self destructs)

Def give it a try – I love it and like most approaching middle age men who wonder WTF happened to our lives, I don’t do my best work under pressure.

2 – Reedsy  

Reedsy is an awesome way to quickly and easily convert your content into beautiful ebooks….100% free.

I knew of Reedsy as a marketplace for authors/editors and folks who were looking for professional publishing help, but they recently released this really cool, totally free and 100% awesome way ebook formatting platform which really works wonderfully well. (and is dead simple to use)

If you are sick and tired of paying some girl in the Philippines $5 to edit your books on Fiverr, only to find out she doubled the “gig” because you went over the 20 thousand word count, Reedsy is a great free and far superior alternative, and a great way to give the wider world the middle finger….and show you are proud to be an American as well.

(PS – I love the Philippines, I love Fiverr and I only wrote that because Donald Trump promised to re-tweet it to the Aryan Nation, which I’m told is great for SEO)

3 – Transcribe.

This is a killer cool tool for transcribing interviews into content you can re-purpose for a myriad of marketing masters. On the surface, it’s obvious utility is for turning audio interviews into transcripts, which is does really, really well. (see the UI of the tool to see why)

But I’ve been using it in some other interesting ways as well. For example? I’ll record a 10 minute audio that I KNOW going in (depending on the time of day…..see the caffeine and wine addiction caveat above) I won’t be releasing as is, to my list. Instead, I’ll load that audio into Transcribe, type out the text, and then either edit the result into a PDF, article, blog post or even a short free Ebook for Amazon.

(you can dump the text above right into Reedsy and have a well formatted, short read ebook finished in a short afternoon)

Really very cool and reduces the need for outsourcing a lot of the work that folks may not have the budget for in the beginning. (you can also add a team to your Transcribe account, cutting back dramatically on your own outsourced costs & time sink to get content creation completed…….even if you have no plan on doing the edits/transcriptions yourself)

So there you have it.

3 great tools that will increase your productivity, even if you want to kick Donald Trump in the baby makers, like me.

( but just once, and only with sandals.  Which means it stings for a few hours,  but doesn’t do any permanent damage.  Just Ask  Robbie Hawkins.  I’m sure he’d agree)

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