Archives for July 2005

Everyone Will be a Savvy Solopreneur in 10 Years

This post is by Michael Pollock, the original owner of Small Business Branding. Yaro Starak now owns and produces the latest content for this blog.

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Wired Magazine – We Are The Web:

"2015
The Web continues to evolve from a world ruled by mass media and mass
audiences to one ruled by messy media and messy participation. How far
can this frenzy of creativity go? Encouraged by Web-enabled sales,
175,000 books were published and more than 30,000 music albums were
released in the US last year. At the same time, 14 million blogs
launched worldwide. All these numbers are escalating. A simple
extrapolation suggests that in the near future, everyone alive will (on
average) write a song, author a book, make a video, craft a weblog, and
code a program.
This idea is less outrageous than the notion 150 years
ago that someday everyone would write a letter or take a photograph." (emphasis mine)

Why wait?

Beta Testers Wanted for Three Steps to a Revenue Generating Podcast

This post is by Michael Pollock, the original owner of Small Business Branding. Yaro Starak now owns and produces the latest content for this blog.

>> Return to the Small Business Branding front page <<

I’m putting together a short telecourse (that’s a class via telephone) on how to launch your own podcast, and I need about 10-15 beta testers to participate.

Here’s the run-down (subject to change slightly):

Course Title: Podcastelicious: Three Steps to a Revenue Generating Podcast (title subject to change)

Number of Classes and Class Subjects:

  • Class 1: The Podcasting Opportunity: Why Every Solopreneur Should Be Podcasting
  • Class 2: Step One: Develop Your Podcast Strategy
  • Class 3: Step Two: Master the Technical Stuff
  • Class 4: Step Three: Promote Your Podcast

Cost: Free

Your Commitment: As a beta tester, I count on you to:

  1. Engage fully in every class – No lurkers allowed.
  2. Provide honest and objective feedback – Don’t be afraid to be critical. At the same time, don’t come to the course expecting a finished product.
  3. Help me fill in any gaps –  If you think something’s missing from the course, I need to know that.
  4. I’ll be recording the calls, and your participation is your consent to be recorded.
  5. You should expect a small investment for materials (microphone, software, etc). Somewhere between 50-100 dollars is realistic.

Dates/Times:

  • Class One: Thur, Aug 11 @ 8:00-9:30 pm EST
  • Class Two: Thur, Aug 18 @ 8:00-9:30 pm EST
  • Class Three: Thur, Aug 25 @ 8:00-9:30 pm EST
  • Class Four: Thur, Sep 1 @ 8:00-9:30 pm EST
  • Note: Classes may not last the full 90 minutes, but please commit to those times.

If you have any other questions or would like to participate, email me. I’ll collect some brief info from you and provide the conference call number we’ll be using.

Technorati Tags: podcasting

Revenue Opportunity for Designers

This post is by Michael Pollock, the original owner of Small Business Branding. Yaro Starak now owns and produces the latest content for this blog.

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A recent comment from Laura:

"I am finally blogging now, because I had to get over its techie-ness to
research it for my company for a project. But you’ll notice my site is
still unfinished (haven’t done anything with graphics or the gutters)
because fixing this seems like a major techie project for me! I’m
slowly but surely consulting the support site to learn how to customize
my blog."

Any graphic designers see an opportunity in that? How about creating some screencasts for people like Laura, who may not want to pay for a complete design package but wouldn’t mind investing 40-50 bucks to learn how to do it herself.

Find a thousand people like Laura, and you have a nice revenue stream. With 50 milliion blogs out there plus a new one every two seconds, it shouldn’t be that hard.

Could you create a half dozen short screencasts to help her customize her site? Something like:

"How to Customize Your Blog in 10 Easy Steps."

Feed your network in bite-sized chunks. Fuel the do-it-yourself economy.


design
screencasting
passive income

ScreenCast – Understanding RSS and How to Subscribe to Blogs

This post is by Michael Pollock, the original owner of Small Business Branding. Yaro Starak now owns and produces the latest content for this blog.

>> Return to the Small Business Branding front page <<

I read a great article by Keith Robinson titled: Fixing (RSS/Atom) Newsfeed Subscription. His basic statement is blogs, RSS, etc. are way too techie – too much geek-speak, and it’s slowing down adoption of the technology.

I agree, and here’s a short screencast (15 minutes) to help folks better understand RSS and subscribe to blogs using My Yahoo or Bloglines. Hope it’s helpful. 

Technorati Tags: rss
screencast

Download Page for lame.dll

This post is by Michael Pollock, the original owner of Small Business Branding. Yaro Starak now owns and produces the latest content for this blog.

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In today’s podcast, I mentioned the lame.dll mp3 encoder that you need to use with Audacity but forgot to provide the link. So, here’s the download page. If you’re going to use Audacity to create mp3 files, you’ll need to download this file.

Technorati Tags: podcasting freeware audacity savvysolocast

10 Tips For Writing Better Articles

This post is by Michael Pollock, the original owner of Small Business Branding. Yaro Starak now owns and produces the latest content for this blog.

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I actually wrote this article a few years ago (before blogs rose to prominence), so it may seem a bit out of date. I think there’s still some good tips in it though, so have at it.

10 Tips for Writing Better Articles

Writing articles is a great way to create exposure for yourself and your business. In fact, I’d suggest it’s one of the best marketing tools you can use. Webmasters and newsletter publishers are always looking for good content. Further, aside from your time investment, it’s completely free advertising.

Here are 10 practical tips to ensure your articles get published and read by others.

1. Write to serve.
Before writing an article, ask yourself what problem it will help others solve. Some of the more common issues people deal with revolve around a lack of something, whether it’s time, money, self-confidence or just joy in life. How will your article help with these issues.

2. Grab their attention early.
If possible, intend to "hook" your reader right from the get-go. Ideally, your title should be the hook. When creating the title, ask yourself if it would make you want to read the article. Your first paragraph should also serve as a hook , as well as a general introduction to the article content.

3. Write to one person only.
Forget the fact your article will be read by many people and write to only one person, just like I’m doing with you now.

4. Keep the flow logical.
Don’t bounce around from one idea to the next. Each paragraph should logically follow the next. Although there may be different ideas expressed in each paragraph, they should dovetail off each other.

5. Use quotes to support your main idea.
Quotes from famous people are a great method to reinforce your ideas. They help you make your point and add credibility to your overall message. I use the quote library found at Motivation Mecca http://www.joshhinds.com or Uinspire at http://www.uinspire.com

6. Keep your paragraphs short.
Ideally, 4-6 lines per paragraph is what you want to shoot for. It looks and feels much more appealing to the reader to see "bite-sized" paragraphs.

7. Inspire action in your article.
If your article is, in fact, intended to solve a common problem, give people practical suggestions for taking action. Remember the formula "insight + action = growth."

8. When possible, tie your message to everyday activities.
A good example of this is "life is like a box of chocolates." Make it easy for your reader to relate to your ideas. That will also make it easier for your reader to apply your ideas in their life.

9. Summarize the article in the final 1-2 paragraphs.
Briefly summarize the main points of your article, how people can take action from the information and what results they can achieve.

10. Don’t forget the resource box.
Provide a brief resource box following your article. It should tell a little about you, your business, how you serve others and how to contact you. Be sure to include your URL and email address with an invitation to contact you or visit your site.

Using these 10 tips should help you write powerful articles that get published and read. Above all else, remember this. A writer writes. So – first – be a writer in your own mind.

Technorati Tags:

Testing Qumana

This post is by Michael Pollock, the original owner of Small Business Branding. Yaro Starak now owns and produces the latest content for this blog.

>> Return to the Small Business Branding front page <<

The other day I tested Blogjet, and it was pretty good. My last couple of posts (including this one), however, have been done with Qumana, and I like it as well. Here’s the skinny on it from their site:

"QumanaLE helps writers quickly capture, organize and edit chunks of   content. Users drag-and-drop pieces of text, links, pictures or images. Then,with one click you can add Technorati tags.

"Edit and publish the blog post … to as many blogs as you wish … or save   it as a draft to work on later. Turn your content into a draft Word document   by saving it as HTML or RTF and opening the file in Word – or QumanaLE –   later."

Arieanna, who evangelizes Qumana over at their blog, wrote me yesterday to mention the benefits of Qumana over Blogjet. Here are some of them:

1. Qumana has a cool little "drop pad" that allows you to highlight and drop stuff into it. Stuff like graphics, links and entire portions of text. Pretty much anything you can find on your screen is fair game to drop in the drop pad for later posting. Very cool.

2. I also like that Qumana will insert Technorati tags into your post. Simply chose your tags and click the Technorati Tags button.

3. Ted asked previously about spell checker and grammar checker. Both Qumana and Blogjet provide spell checker and a thesaurus, but no grammar checker.

For now, Qumana is a free download. I don’t recall seeing if it’s on a free trial basis or free forever. Definitely worth giving a spin.

A few things I’d like to see added:

1. Ability to do trackback pings (Blogjet offers this). Very important feature.

2. Del.icio.us tags. Nice to have.

3. A one button click for beginning and ending quotes. Nice to have.

4. Access to the HTML for the post (Blogjet offers this). Nice to have.

5. Post continuation. Very important feature.

Technorati Tags : qumana, productivity,

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