Adioma Info-Graphics: How to Turn Your Prose (or Process) into Pretty Pictures in 5 Minutes Flat

Who else is spending hundreds of dollars a month on info-graphics, visualizations and other over-priced graphic design services?

Probably no one reading this.  And let’s stop all of this hate for graphic designers, too.  They are generally nice people who deserve to be happy.

But somewhere out there probably IS spending too much on infographics every month.    And if you some how stumble on this blog, THIS post is for you.  You’re welcome.  For everyone else, Adioma is a great tool for quickly and easily creating cute, compelling and high converting content that audiences seem to love – and that take mere minutes to build.

Watch this quick video to see how.  (spoiler alert – I end up in an uncomfortable looking bed with badly defined heartburn)

adioma visualizations.


The Short Version: An Ingenious Idea For An Original Newsletter

This is a pretty cool idea for a newsletter – the author takes a topical story, outlines it, and then argues for both sides of the issue in a “for” and “against” section at the end of the synopsis.  She then curates some additional links to other authoritative sources on the topic from around the web, so that readers can dive in and do some more research on our own.

In an era where most of us are stuck in our echo chambers and virtue signaling circles of one type or another, I found this refreshing – neither succumbing to steel-manning or straw-manning the arguments or opinions – and presenting a pretty cool resource for getting a glimpse on what (and why) others may think on the other side of the street.

I still believe the moon landing was faked though.  And that we probably live in a giant simulated universe where none of this really matters.  Thankfully she hasn’t covered either of those topics yet.  So for the time being, I’m not selling my trump proof bunker with a cardboard cutout of Neo to keep me company.

 

 

 

 


The Reason Rational People Don’t Believe in Ghosts

It’s not that they don’t really exist. It’s that when people put together a list of the best 9 cases that they may be real, they run out of good material at 8, and then just use the same exact story for 9, too.

Why not just change the title of this list to “The 8 most convincing cases……” rather than “9”?

As someone who wants to make ghost hunting great again, this really drives me nuts.


The Biggest Mistake I’ve Made With “Authority Sites” (And the Easiest Way to Start an Online Agency) (Audio)

The biggest mistake I’ve made when trying to launch a new directory is most definitely a focus on selling featured listings.

It’s a slippery slope of insecurity and perpetual fear when your monetization model requires you keep on delivering “value” to your featured listings that surpasses the value that “ordinary” (read: free 🙂 listings get by a factor that far outweighs what folks are actually paying. In my experience, people paying $35 a month for a featured placement, when there is a “Free” alternative, expect exponential returns on that $35, and will harp, harass and harangue you to keep adding new reasons for them to re-up, month over month.

When you enjoy pleasing people like me, that can be a really difficult way to launch a new community, as you find yourself spending hours, days or even weeks trying to appease the same small group of people, who in total, are really only adding negligible income to your business. (and you are doing cartwheels trying to convince them to keep their “featured” listing – when you could be eating frozen yogurt and watching Larry King re-runs instead)

There is a better way though. And this is it. (the short audio above 🙂


9 Steps to Writing a Book in a Weekend: (And An Amazing New APP for Aspiring Authors Who Hate to Write)

This blog post will have the most spelling errors I’ve ever published in one place. And that’s saying something. Only this time, they are by design – or at least, left intact to demonstrate what you can expect from a killer cool new transcription app designed for interviews – that I find MUCH more useful for authors and content creators.

The app is called Cassette, it’s free, and you can see it here.

(I’m using the paid version, which is $10 a month and gives me 3 hours of voice to text transcription, which is ridiculously inexpensive – many services will charge that for 15 minutes, although in fairness, their accuracy is going to be 100%, where Cassette’s is not yet there)

So here are the 9 simple steps to write a book in a weekend using this approach.

1 install casette
2 outline your book (content cornerstone)
3 record your answers
4 upload text file
5 edit your text file
6 post to Reedsy or similar service (I keep calling this “Reedsly” on the audio – just pretend to slap me when you hear it and I’ll eventually get it right)
7 use Canva for cover (or outsource if you prefer)
8 price your book
9 submit to kindle

This not only CAN be done by anyone reading this, it could be a life changing, game breaking process flow for any teacher, trainer, content marketer or aspiring author who loves to communicate, but hates to write. (which is most of us, including…..on many days, me! )

I have included the raw text of the 13 minute recording I did a few minutes ago to outline this process, below. You’ll see there are a fair amount of hiccups, some weird words that ought not be there, a bunch of (HESITATION) tags, and other odds and ends, but the file below is pretty damn close to the exact words I spoke with my IPHONE on my desk, as i paced around my living room with a cup of coffee and bad bed head.

I didn’t do a word count below – but that’s a lot of content to work with – and again, I didn’t structure this really well, or plan it out very carefully – two things you’d probably WANT to do if the resultant file was going to be published on Amazon, or for a course, etc.

Again – I may have edited like 4 or five words – added some line breaks (as i emailed this to myself and it came in a jumbled mess) – but pretty much, the entire file below could be edited in 60 minutes, and if I structured it a bit better, could be a chapter on any sort of “how to do X” style book that are growing more and more popular on Amazon. (short books – inexpensive books – and books written for credibility + cache are becoming some of the most popular categories on the platform)

Check out Cassette Here. Again – it’s free – they give you 30 minutes to record whatever you want (this below was 13) – and there is absolutely no financial incentive to recommend it, other than I think it will serve some of you, very very well.

Hey guys so in this really short audio we’re gonna look at the fastest way to write a book now I’m actually gonna be demonstrating the exact a tool that I recommend you use. %HESITATION which you can download for free it’s a free app it’s awesome. %HESITATION I just start playing with it a few days ago
I’m actually paying for this but you can do the steps in this process. %HESITATION for free %HESITATION and I’ll outline that a little bit glove so basically we’re gonna write a book in nine steps. %HESITATION.

You can literally do this in a weekend then you could have your book published on Amazon if you start on Friday by Monday. This is contingent of course on people doing their job you can get this done in a couple days so in other words Amazon may or may not take longer than I %HESITATION assume or that I outlined but in my experience. The time frame on outlining this is very doable and actually %HESITATION within the realms of expectation Alright?

So here the major step step one if you’re going to install a and a free app on your iPhone or your phone and it’s called a cassette.
You can find that there’s a link below but it’s cassette dot design. And this is actually the tool I’m using right now to record this. And the %HESITATION act is designed to record and transcribe interviews they actually built this for designers but why they didn’t. Build this for authors or content marketers I’m not really sure that’s really. Who their ideal audience ought to be. So. I stepped to do you have the app installed step two is you want to outline your book so you know right I mean I’ve covered this. %HESITATION ad nauseum on my blog with various %HESITATION PDF and giveaways and blog posts on how to outline a book you can use the content cornerstone approach you can use the content cornerstone approach you can use the. Launch it with less approach which is – You know just six or seven simple steps to. A. You know would writing a book from scratch.

So again these are designed to be. Shakespearean plays or Hemingway I ask. Pieces of prose or war and peace style. %HESITATION them you know. Books they’re just designed to be. %HESITATION short informative. Teach one thing help make people better %HESITATION style %HESITATION book state you are very very popular on Amazon. These days so again one of the key psychological. %HESITATION pieces to this process is not over thinking it not getting stock. And. %HESITATION you know. Paralysis through analysis you don’t wanna try to write the perfect book you want to try to help people you want to share your experience. And you want to express. You are expertise or authority and the nature market or %HESITATION. Areas that you know you want to teach so again that’s the other component is think of yourself as a teacher not as an author when you’re creating this %HESITATION outline or content cornerstone. %HESITATION and you will get far faster or for further far faster than if you try to. Said ness. %HESITATION your book. Through the eyes of an author. Alright so now the third step to this process is record your answers. So essentially all you’re gonna do is. Take that outline. And let’s say you’re using the queue when I approach which I think is probably the easiest years going to ask questions. You know twenty one questions about acts. And then you’re going to you’re you’re were acts is your area of expertise. %HESITATION or you know whatever professional %HESITATION passion or purpose or whatever it is that you are. Writing and you’re just gonna would take twenty one common questions that people have about acts. You can answer them. Right so that is that there is a very you know that the basis of your book I mean that is the vast majority of the content. That you are going to be %HESITATION you know creating for this particular project. Alright soo step for is we’re gonna go back to the you’re doing all of this the recording in the this design. %HESITATION. Or cassette dot design aft so it’s actually called cassette so when you’re done. You’re just gonna upload your text file.

So you’re going to save it to whatever your favorite %HESITATION. Editor is for editing the. %HESITATION exported text files so in this case I’m using notepad I’m actually upload the example of of my notepad file that was generated by this recording for this blog post we’ll see how it comes out. %HESITATION. Steps six why said you’re you’re gonna add your text files what I. Just a little bit more detail %HESITATION. All with this step in my experience you’re gonna get basically a. Eighty to ninety percent accurate transcription of the audio so when I’m done with this particular audio. A lot of this is going to be verbatim what I said did the resultant text file but some of it’s going to be got weaker so it’s not all going to come out perfectly she’s gonna want to edit that so it’s not a straight %HESITATION transcription %HESITATION you know put perfection experience is going to be some editing on my side required but really not much maybe ten to twenty percent of this would need to be pretty it up and %HESITATION you know. Perfect did for an audience. Or at least improved for an audience. Alright so. %HESITATION

Step Seven: I am I actually gonna reverse what I have in my notes from seats %HESITATION stopped six inch or seven eight %HESITATION is just going to canvas dot com and create a cover.

So the easiest when you can hire someone to write to create a cover for you you can pay a hundred box you can go to a fiver place like that pay five or ten dollars I think the absolute easiest way to do it and it’s free it’s just going to camp a dot com. They have lots of great cover templates. %HESITATION pick one you upload your own innate scraped something nice simple don’t stress about it don’t you know don’t spend three days trying to perfect your cover. Create a cover and be done with it and Kanva dot com is really a great way of doing that for non designer types. Like myself and presumably %HESITATION most of the folks listening to this the %HESITATION. The other. Kathy I I would offer to this is %HESITATION if that doesn’t seem like something that you want to do just pay for it I mean I’ve had plenty of covers designed one five her for five Bucks ten Bucks. %HESITATION. You know if you look at summer I’ll even post some of the covers.

Now on this post so you can see the cost nearly five dollars. So yeah I mean you can get a good quality cover for five or ten dollars arts that. A a I think I’m on now might have this %HESITATION messed up but %HESITATION go take your text file that’s been. I added it and just go into a tool again free like read slowly and just format your book for kindle so just create chapters take this text file just break it into %HESITATION you know it’s a chapter so.
Once once that is done you actually have a a file that is ready to be exported and published. Two candles alright to step nine. And again I’m sorry I don’t have a numbered list, I just have a list so I may be getting this wrong but I think it’s that nine issues price your book.
I have a whole module in terms of. %HESITATION. You know in terms of my own. %HESITATION course on pricing books I always it means you have to decide what the motivation is right in the book of you trying to get make money are you trying to get downloads he trying to you know gain credibility I mean in most years cases for me the best approach is to price the book as. As inexpensively as possible to get the most amount of eyeballs in front of your content so if you want to greatest possible audience which I think for most folks is the smartest strategy you wanna price your book at two ninety nine or less.

In lots of cases I’d recommend ninety nine cents and in many of those cases if you can which you can I will say parenthetically you wanna price your books. For free you wanna make it free there are a few extra steps to getting your book are published for free some folks have had trouble I doing that as Amazons. Stated policy I believe as a two thousand seventeen %HESITATION.

They don’t accept free books they certainly do and you can see.
You know all the free books that are for for you know that are available on Amazon I have free books on Amazon dot currently in pen names and some %HESITATION you know in some community projects I’m involved in so there are a few steps to making a book free %HESITATION sometimes I knew some. People who have worked with me in the last few months are still having trouble getting a Amazon to accept other book as a free books %HESITATION but in general. Most people %HESITATION who followed the you know getting your book published on Amazon for free and up achieving that. %HESITATION.

And it will walk through those steps for those of you who want to do that so price your book again %HESITATION unless this is purely a profit clay for you I recommend. Two ninety nine or less. And then there are the final step is just submit your book and you’re done. So you have the books admitted %HESITATION and then you just wait and this is what I started with %HESITATION in terms of the public central delay is how long it takes. For Amazon to actually accept and publish your book typically it’s not long I’ve had %HESITATION Europe in general the experience for me has been twenty four hours or less. Sometimes people seem to have. %HESITATION you no longer wait times and that I’ve had a couple people again growth in the last few months had seventy two hours. %HESITATION but you know that’s out of our hands so essentially you just. Sort have to be patient but twenty four hours as a general rule is a good %HESITATION rule of thumb for how long it’s gonna take so essential if you started this on a Friday%HESITATION you should be done and have your book live by Monday or Tuesday


Some Quick Thoughts About Trump

People often ask me my thoughts on the Trump White House, and how I think that may affect online entrepreneurialism, capitalism, creativity and doing work that matters most in the world, at this particular moment in human history.

In the interest of 100% transparency, no one ever asks me any of those things.  Which hurts my feelings.  Because I’d love to talk about them.

Here is the thing, though, as I watch our President’s 2/16/2017 afternoon news conference.

I find myself 50% entertained.  50% outraged.  and 50% terrified.

(and to all you math haters who want to quibble about carrying the 1 on my percentage totals, i’m using alternative arithmetic.  Losers)

I do believe, much like Eckart Tolle says so well, if you want to do great things, the time is NOW)

And not because there truly is no other moment that matters.

But because there is like a 42% chance our career as a species may be coming to an unexpected, ignonimious and orange end.

I remain hopeful, of course.  But hope and promise, as Chris Cornell says so well, do fade.

Do note that i’m still wearing the same socks as I had on yesterday, and it’s almost 2pm.  So my opinion really ought not matter all that much.

 

 


What is Content Curation?

What is the difference between CURATING content, versus CREATING content? Which is easier when starting something new? What are the tools, techniques or technologies that are best suited for launching a new project with curated content?

Content curation is one of the absolute easiest ways to quickly, easily and ethically “create” new content for your blog, brand or business, without having to sit down and write really long form articles.

A really good example of a content curation platform is TUMBLR. (notwithstanding the mess Marissa Mayer + Yahoo made out of it when they arrived 🙂

On Tumblr, you could (and still can) create a brand new blog, with hundreds of cool, creative and compelling content items, in a day or two, giving you the appearance of expertise and authority (or just making you look super creative and insteresting yourself, even if you’re blogging at home in boxer shorts and bedhead like me) – ALL by re-purposing the creativity of others in the community in an ethical and encouraged way.

(note: 80% of people will never know you are using Tumblr if you set it up right, and when they see all of the cool and creative posts on your blog, will think that it is content you CREATED, rather than CURATED. You obviously don’t want to pretend that curated content is YOUR content of course, but most folks can’t distinguish, and you get some unearned creativity superhero points just by using the platform in this way)

So here is a short video I did on using Revue for curating a newsletter, which is being positioned as the Tumblr for Newsletters.

If you are looking to set up a curated newsletter, I’ve used a bunch of the tools out there (including Curated.co, Volleyy, et al….and Revue is free (or super low cost) beautiful, fun to use and an amazingly easy way to share what you love, and connect with the content, and community of your professional peers as well.

Check out Revue here, or watch the video above to see how I use it on one of our community projects.

LAUNCHiT! Directory Marketing Model


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