Entrepreneurs: This 8-Letter Word Will Revolutionize Your Productivity

in a laundromat, a man has his upper-body stuck in a dryer, his legs are flailing outside the machine

If you’re an entrepreneur, does any of this sound familiar to you?

  • You’re trapped in Outlook for up to seven hours each day.
  • You want to launch a podcast, but you have no clue when you’ll be able to edit it.
  • You only have time for a fraction of the marketing you need to do to promote your new blog posts.
  • You are afraid to customize your website design since there is a chance you’ll mess something up with the code (and spend the weekend fixing it).
  • Conversions on your product landing page are dropping — and you desperately need to optimize it.
  • You can’t remember the last time you didn’t work on Sunday.

Fewer than three years ago, this reality was all too real for blogger, podcaster, and business owner Chris Ducker.

He worked 14-hour days chasing his tail around to make a living while becoming a complete stranger to his family — until he found a smarter way to run his business.

Read More…

Beyond Niches: Tap Into This Psychological Driver to Create the Ultimate Message

close-up portrait of a smiling woman

The number of blog posts published every day is absurd.

Let’s just say it exceeds the population of the four largest countries in the world and be done with it.

Maybe that’s true and maybe it isn’t. The point is — and we all know it — the volume of written content online is overwhelming.

And let’s not forget about other media: videos, podcasts, Google+ Hangouts, photographs, et cetera.

Shock is one way to describe our reaction to the tonnage dumped each day.

Despair is another — especially for content producers who want to find an audience.

The conventional advice is to find a viable niche, the territory competitors have overlooked. Once you occupy that ground, you will stand out — you will rise above the noise.

That plan leaves us jockeying for the content gap, looking for a way in. Miss your opportunity, however, and you are just another contributor to the landfill that is the World Wide Web.

But you can do better than that.

Read More…

Master This Storytelling Technique to Create an Irresistible Content Series

man telling a story at a cafe

In this cold, hard, commercial world, everyone is looking for answers online.

We are all “searchers” looking for the best way to solve a problem or satisfy a desire.

And we are ruthless …

We make split-second decisions about clicking a headline.

How does your website look at a glance?

If you try to consummate the fragile exchange of attention and education too quickly with a “buy this” button, you’ll likely lose long-term prospects and lifetime sales.

The reality is — whether you sell garden hoses or reputation management services — you have to master the know-like-trust factor first.

How do you accomplish this vital component of content marketing?

Read More…

13 Reasons to Be Pretty Damn Euphoric You Are a Freelancer

American flag

There is a good chance that by 2020 you will be self-employed.

An old Intuit report estimated that by that time nearly 40 percent of Americans will make their living as temporary workers — that is, as freelancers, business owners, or independent workers.

This could be good news.

Those who are not freelancers often look at those who are with a trace of envy. From the cubicle, the grass certainly looks greener. It is the life that you could have. And should have.

If only.

Read More…

Google Glass Offers a First-Mover Advantage You Shouldn’t Overlook

close-up of an eye wearing Google Glass

Have you ever wondered what the subreddit “ShittyBattleStations,” hammerhead sharks, and the Internet have in common?

Yeah, me neither.

But I recently discovered that the three seemingly unconnected entities all stretch my sense of nostalgia.

ShittyBattleStations is a subreddit where people share photographs of their gaming environments. Imagine bad camera angles of a bean bag chair, milk crate, high-powered computer, and a gallon of water.

It’s a place for snapshots of a subculture interested in avoiding the complex world — a subculture that reminds me of my own sad attempts as an adolescent to master Donkey Kong, since people scared the daylights out of me.

And I’ve been a fan of hammerhead sharks ever since Momaw Nadon’s cameo in the original Star Wars.

The Internet? Well, in the beginning, only a select few were entertained by slow-loading, grainy information and pixelated images. I stood aloof, fearful.

“You mean, like, I could talk to a stranger in Singapore?”


“I do believe that is terrible.”

It’s safe to say I’ve gotten over that anxiety, but a recent development has caused some of it to reemerge …

Read More…

Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Writer? Answer This Question to Find Out …

Image of Walt Whitman

Let’s say this:

You’ve been a graphic designer since high school, went to college, and got a degree in computer science. During that time you’ve dabbled in writing. You have a blog. You don’t publish frequently, but when you do, you get traction.

Or how about this:

You are middle-aged woman who’s been a successful CPA with a large firm for 10 years. While the pay is divine, you are not entirely happy. In fact, if pushed, you’d probably say you hate your job. You’ve been breaking out the journal before bed each night.

Here’s another one:

You own a business. It’s septic tank installation. One you inherited from your father. Septic tank installing is all you’ve ever known. But a little over two years ago you were involved in a tragic accident. And you think the story needs to be told.

Each scenario above is based upon a real-life conversation I’ve had with someone. I’ve changed the details to protect privacy, but it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you understand what I’m trying to do.

At some point in the conversation these people ask me: “Should I become a writer? Do I have what it takes?”

Read More…