Business

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I’m Doubling Down on Patreon

The first time I learned how to burn a CD was mind-blowing. It was 1999 and YouTube didn’t exist. Most of the web was brochure sites with marquees and hit counters, so there wasn’t a great place for learning how to do literally anything. Instead, my cousin came over and showed me. He brought a blank CD, opened software on my computer, dragged the songs I wanted into this window and clicked, “Burn.” A few minutes later, BOOM. I had my very own mix CD. What jumped out at me the most was how easy it was when someone was there to show me the way. I felt accomplished.

That experience did 2 things for me. It allowed me to have a very successful mix CD business in high school, and it made me realized I just needed to try things in order to learn them. I felt empowered by the fact that someone showed me the way.

I want you to feel empowered too. That’s why I started on Patreon.

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Connecting Through Social Media

The Social Media Tools I’m Using

2018 continues my search for finding a good social media management tool. A while back, I wrote about using Buffer Pro and what its been like for me. I’ve since moved away from the pro version, because there were a few things that I really didn’t like about it. The first was how much manual work was needed for me to repeat posts. The other was a pretty terrible bug that voids URL arguments. That means if I had an affiliate code attached to a link, because Buffer adds their own stuff to the end of a URL for stats, I wouldn’t get credit for links, or purchases. Buffer literally cost me money over Black Friday weekend. Today, my setup is janky at best and I continue evaluating solutions, but here’s what I got.

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Hosted Platform vs. Your Own Platform: How Do You Choose?

When I was in grammar school (or primary school, depending on where you live), we had a fenced-in slab of pavement where the students could play during recess. It was…kinda boring, but it was highly unlikely we’d get hit by a car. We were protected. There was also this HUGE, open field across the street. On good days, our teachers would supervise us as we crossed the street, to the heavenly field where we could run free. Those were the highlights of recess. We could do basically whatever we wanted, from play soccer, to just run around. We had freedom, even if it was at the expense of a little safety.

Now that I’m an adult, recess is a long missed part of the day. But I still have a similar choice when it comes to a lot of things: do I want to be sheltered & safe, or do I want freedom, even if that freedom lets me break things? A hosted platform vs. something self-hosted like WordPress is one of those choices.

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CaboPress: The Business Conference I Needed

When you tell people that you’re going to Cabo San Lucas for a business conference, you get some funny looks. Well, you get one specific look: “Oh sure. I bet you’ll do a ton of work there.” It’s easy to think. I mean, we are in paradise. Our sessions were in pools. We had afternoons off. But let me tell you: CaboPress is the best business conference I’ve ever attended, and exactly what I needed.

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Now Hosted by Liquid Web!

The Hosting field is an ever-changing landscape that requires constant evaluation to make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck…OK maybe that’s not necessarily true for most folks, but while transferring sites is a bit of a pain in the neck, I still like to make sure I have tried my fair share of web hosts so that I can offer the best recommendation. It’s why I’ve moved this site a few times, and why I’ve moved it again. This time, to Liquid Web.

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Trade Secrets to Help Build Something Wonderful in 2017

I imagine building product is like building anything else. Let’s take a recipe for lasagna. Sure there’s a basic set of instructions you should follow, but everyone probably does it a little differently. Everyone has their own method for layering the pasta, or what sauce to use.

When it comes to building products, the same thing is true. The only difference is there’s no cookbook. There’s no set number of steps you can take to get from start to successful business. The best thing you can do is the same thing I do when I try to cook: talk to the experts*.

*The expert in this case is my Italian mother. Thanks mom!

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Not Everyone Needs a $10,000 Website (and that’s OK)

Let’s set the stage. You want to take a trip to the Grand Canyon with your family of 4, but plane tickets cost $1000 each. Plus there’s the hotel for a week and food, not to mention other expenses. Instead, you decide to take a few extra days off work and drive there because it would save you literally thousands of dollars. What if someone told you that if you can’t afford to fly, you shouldn’t go? Now think about this: you just started a business and you know you need a website but you can’t afford a $5-10K one. Someone you know says they can make a website for $500 using WordPress and a page builder. Are you wrong for accepting that? I say no.

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