I have just begun work on a new project, a blog, Blogging Photographer. It is just what it sounds like, a website about blogging and photography it will specifically focus on the benefits of combining the two by using blogging to supercharge your photography efforts online.
I am targeting a niche , so not just anyone that is interested in blogging, but more specifically photographers who are interested in blogging. Hopefully by doing so I will be maximizing my potential to catch a larger percentage of a smaller audience rather than a small percentage of a much larger one due to much less competition and more targeted content to reach a specific audience segment.
The website will cover everything from the basic priciples of blogging, to technical tips and how-tos, and even discuss some more advanced ideas such as using inbound marketing strategies like SEO and social media to drive traffic to your photography blog/website. [...]
The title of this post used to be 2008 A Year Revisited, that is how bad good a procrastinator I am. In a previous post I discussed my original intent for this site along with my goal of becoming self sufficient by 2009. Meaning I would be sustainably self employed with multiple streams of income, posessing a number of diversified investments/businesses and generally steaming forward like a freight train firing on all cylinders. Well 2009 rolled around and I was more Lionel than Union Pacific, needless to say I was a bit extremely ambitious in setting my expectations.
However I have been able to accomplish a number of my longstanding goals in 2008 and 2009 bringing me closer to my financial freedom. Most notable of those goals checked off my list was the purchase of my first condo. I started researching the Chicago real estate market before even arriving in the Windy City, and spent the majority of my free time doing so ever since. It was a bumpy ride for a while but everything ended up working out, and I bought my first bit of real estate near the bottom of what looks like ended up being one of the largest real estate sell offs in history. It was mostly dumb-luck. [...]
I have been swooning over the iPhone since the day it was released but was never able to convince myself that I could afford it. However as time went by, the phone and it’s applications got more advanced, while I grew more antsy.
My resistance the phone has only ever been the strain it would place on my financial well being. I was excited to check stocks on the train, look for the nearest bus stop at the bar, and compose an email at the beach.
The truth is this really is a revolutionary device and truly puts the worlds knowledge at your finger tips whenever and where ever you need it. (provided you have a data connection). Before I bought my phone there was a laundry list of things I had in my head I could do if I just had the phone. However I am finding something new everyday that I couldn’t do before that is just making it that much more of an amazing device.
I have about a 15 minute communte to my JOB downtown, in which I used to read magazines or merely stare out the window dreading, antcipating what the next 8 hours would have in store for me. Now I am able to stay up-to-date on my investments before the opening bell in the mornings, and my new goal is to use the 15 minute ride on the way home to compose a blog post everyday. Effectively using my time to be productive in thought, and document the day’s events rather than simply allowing the train to whisk me away from them.
Chances are if you have an email address, you’ve received a spam email or two spouting off some crazy message similar to the title of this post. Most likely you immediately dismissed the idea as sheer lunacy and clicked delete.
What if I told you the lunatic on the other end of that email could actually be right. What if I told you that you could actually make money 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and with almost no effort. You would probably call me crazy too!
At first this idea sounds impossible, a bold faced lie more likely, however in practice it’s actually quite common. I want you to close your eyes for a minute and imagine that you have all of the money you could ever need and you no longer are required to get up and go to work every morning. [...]
That is the question I wanted to find an answer to. I had been searching high and low for a source I could trust. Looking past the blinking advertisements and “Pro Bloggers” with no luck, I decided to reach out to someone I respect and look up to, fellow blogger Ashley Morgan.
Ashley runs Upstart Blogger a blog whose tag line reads “Successful Blogging Made Simple”, pretty much sums it up. I have been following his site pretty closely for the last few months and have been continuously impressed by the quantity and quality of its content. I have managed to read just about every article available and feel I have soaked up some very valuable information and lessons as a result. So I felt his was an opinion I could trust.
From my reading I knew that a significant portion of Ashley’s income at Upstart Blogger is attributed to an affiliate marketing campaign with his hosting provider, ANHosting. They happen to offer a two tier marketing program which means in theory he not only earns money from his refferrals, but could potentially earn money on their referrals as well.
What I wanted to know was how important this second tier was to his overall blogging strategy, and if the income from this second tier was worth finding a reputable company I was willing to promote that offers such a program.
So I shot him an email to ask him exactly this. He replied with some great advice that answered a lot of questions for me, and I think it is really worth sharing… [...]
The goal of KirkHatesWork is to provide a venue to document my journey from an employee breaking free from the rigors of 9-5 life to a financially secure and self employed entrepreneur, but I have never actually shared how I plan to go about doing so. Many entrepreneurs have come before me attempting a similar feat, and there have been just as many opinions about the best way to do so. The following is mine…
The vast Majority of people falsely assume that working for a large corporation is the safest way to make a living, but what happens when your employer downsizes and you get laid off? What will you do then? You have no control and no say in the situation, your only option is to accept it and move on. Becoming self employed puts the power in your hands, quite literally, you will fail or succeed based solely on your own actions, abilities and determination, rendering the above scenario inconceivable. [...]
I can not tell you how angry I get using the automated phone systems large corporations have put in place. They are usability nightmares. I have been hung up on, stuck in endless loops, and even listened to the system crash as the voice read off its last dying error messages; the systems are slow, they never understand what it is you are saying, and the worst part is that in an effort to cut costs, places like Bank of America whom I have a personally vendetta for have now removed the last line of hope. Dialing a zero no longer gets you to an operator. You are absolutely stuck in automated HELL unless you hang up start all over and wade through that war zone again.
So when websites first started coming out with the “Live Help” buttons a few years ago, I was elated. ” Screw sitting on hold for 15 minutes wasting cellphone minutes”, hop online and talk to someone instantly; it was a much more satisfactory way of getting to a real live person, quickly and efficiently. [...]
Guy Kawasaki is an entrepreneur, venture capitalist, marketer and all around business guru. He recently gave a speech at the 2009 NAIS Annual Conference a conference for teachers that included a great list of lessons he has learned along the way to become truly innovative – in business, in education, in life. (This excerpt has been edited for content.)
- Make meaning. The people who wake up in the morning wanting to make meaning usually succeed. The people who want to make money usually fail. Those who perpetuate good things, cause good things, or end bad things – those are the innovators.
- Make a mantra. “Most organizations make mission statements and most mission statements suck.” A mantra is no more than two or three words. For example, Wendy’s should be “healthy fast food;” Nike stands for “authentic athletic performance;” eBay represents “democratization of commerce;” and Target could be “democratize design.”
- Jump to the next curve. Don’t be satisfied battling it out on the same curve. Macintosh created a whole new curve, not a slightly better DOS computer. The telephone was not a slightly better telegraph, it was a whole new curve. Most organizations define their business on the curve they’re on. If you truly want to be innovative, it’s not about doing things 10 percent better – jump the curve to do something 10 times better! [...]
With the new theme, comes a renewed spirit and a laundry list of new improvements to the blog both technically and metaphorically speaking. In an unfortunate series of events I put Kirk Hates Work on the back burner last year shortly after I was hit with the idea to create the site. Other projects, and other areas of my life were begging louder for my attention, and although it may not have been deservingly they received it.
I started Kirk Hates Work as a way to document, organize reflect, and nurture the many ideas, business ventures and thoughts I have about financial inependence. It was my goal to use Kirk Hates Work as a sort of fail-safe for these ideas, a place that if all else failed, would always have a purpose, would always be a success — as long I stuck to it. Because its success is independent of outside metrics… Its success is solely determined upon my interpretation of it as a resource, as a tool for learning.
The only way to fail in my mind was by not actually proceeding. Sure enough that is exactly what happened. I got busy with a number of other projects, and pushed Kirk Hates Work off, when in reality, it was during these times that I should have been posting every day, taking notes about what I was learning, and recounting my experiences. It was exactly those parts of my life, that I was creating this blog to capture, to inspire, to learn from… [...]