My Favorite Business Model for a Breakthrough Digital Business

It was the end of 2008. Something you might remember about that year — in October, the markets took a nasty fall and the global economy melted down.
I was the sole breadwinner for my family. The company I worked for was going through round after round of layoffs. The well-paying, secure job I’d had for five years looked likely to evaporate underneath me.
I had some savings, but not a ton. I had a mortgage and preschool for my three-year-old to pay for, as well as silly habits like buying groceries and having health insurance for my family.
I had been noodling around with business ideas, but I hadn’t gotten serious.
In the final few months of 2008, I had to get serious. Early in 2009, I took the leap. Here’s how I did it.
My year of living dangerously
In 2009, I felt a lot like a chicken trying to cross an eight-lane highway. It was theoretically possible, but there was a non-optimal level of stress involved.
The first thing I did was hang out my shingle as a freelance copywriter.
In a lot of ways, it was wonderful. I worked on fascinating projects that I cared about. I had lovely clients who actually listened to me. I was able to implement content strategy (which I learned, incidentally, mainly from Copyblogger), instead of sitting in endless meetings talking about it.
The main downside for me was the “you don’t kill, you don’t eat” freelance model, in which I was endlessly

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Tim Ferriss on Finding and Focusing On What Truly Matters

Tim Ferris broke into popular consciousness nine years ago with the release of The 4-Hour Workweek. He’s gone on to create a series of books based on the “4-Hour” concept.
That’s in addition to a wildly popular blog, podcast, and even a TV show. But in economic terms, all of that pales in comparison to Tim’s success as an angel investor; he’s scored early positions in Uber, Twitter, Evernote, Shopify, and Facebook.
So, it was somewhat of a shock to hear that Tim is stepping away from new investments. And you’ll be more than a bit surprised to hear what he’s focusing on next, and more importantly … why.
Listen to this Episode Now
The post Tim Ferriss on Finding and Focusing On What Truly Matters appeared first on Copyblogger.

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How to Write a High-Value Lesson Plan that Makes Your Course Easy to Sell

The demand for online education is exploding.
The global market for online courses is estimated around $107 billion. A mind-boggling figure, right?
Imagine stuffing one-dollar bills into a 53-foot truck. Depending on how crumpled your bills are, you’d need around 1,000 trucks stuffed up to the roof to transport those 107-billion dollar bills.
Would you like one of those trucks to deliver a heap of money to you?
Then you must create a lesson plan so valuable that students get excited about buying your online course.
A high-value lesson plan motivates people to both study and implement your advice. It makes students so happy about their newly acquired skills that they tell all of their friends about your course. That’s how your course starts selling like hot cakes.
Ready to get started?
Step #1: Carefully assess your students’ needs
When developing a course on your own platform, the most logical starting point often seems to be your expertise.
How can you teach your skills to others?
This common approach is asking for trouble. Big trouble.
Because it’s hard to create a valuable learning experience when you think from your own perspective rather than from the student’s perspective.
Think about your course buyers first:

Who will buy your course?
How will the course transform them?
Why are they interested in this transformation?

Imagine, for instance, that you’re a social media expert, and you want to create a course to share your Twitter knowledge. You could answer the three questions

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4 Surprising Ways You’ll Profit from Building an Online Course

I had no idea what I was getting myself into back in the fall of 2009.
The only thing I knew for sure was that I was feeling antsy.
I had been running my design and marketing business for almost two decades. Over almost twenty years, I had helped every kind of client with every kind of project. Truth be told: I was getting a little bored.
And boredom, as far as I’m concerned, is Enemy #1.
Up to that point, my business was strictly offline. I had a web presence, but it was a brochure site. You know, a “here’s what I do and here’s how to contact me” website with no content, no audience-building component, no connection whatsoever with the people who landed on its pages. Old school.
The thrill was gone from my current career. Something had to change. So I started searching.
And exactly one Google search later, I landed here on the pages of Copyblogger.
It just so happened that I stumbled onto these pages in the weeks leading up to the launch of one of the early versions of Teaching Sells, the online course that taught online course building. It’s the product that helped establish the company I now work for.
I signed up for Teaching Sells as soon as the doors opened. And I dug right into the materials. All five months’ worth!
As I watched the videos and did the worksheets, I filled a folder full of notes. I worked overtime to consume every lesson.

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Should You Still Start a Podcast? (Ask Yourself These 3 Questions)

As Showrunners, we understand that the act of creation and publishing brings about detractors — sometimes more aptly referred to as haters.
To thrive in this space, we need to wear our first (and subsequent) negative reviews as badges of honor. This is part of the game and an integral part of being a Showrunner.
But what happens when the medium itself begins to make its own waves? It seems podcasting, as a medium, has reached a point in its life when it is beginning to take it on the chin.
From small jokes to snide remarks, we are seeing the first wave of this beginning.
On this week’s episode, Jerod and Jonny discuss one of the more recent and more popular articles aimed at today’s Showrunner.
Immediately following a whirlwind book promotion of 40+ podcast interviews, author Ryan Holiday took some downtime to deride the very medium he used to drive book sales.
Ryan’s article titled Please, Please, For The Love of God: Do Not Start a Podcast, is the topic of discussion in this week’s episode — and it’s a fun one.
Luckily for everyone involved, Jerod and Jonny go beyond Ryan’s article and discuss the three questions you need to answer to decide for yourself if you should start a podcast:

Do you have a desire to connect with an audience about a topic that is important to you?
Will the content you share educate, entertain, or inspire the people in your audience?
Can you commit to creating

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The #1 Reason You Get Writer’s Block (and How to Fix It for Good)

‘That’s it – I can’t do this anymore!’
I was six months into my copywriting career, and I was ready to give up.
Here’s the crazy thing: I was making good money at one of the largest email marketing companies in the world… a $600m-a-year behemoth many people call the “Harvard of direct response copywriting.”
It was a dream job for anybody aspiring copywriter… and the perfect place to learn the skills I’d need to make SERIOUS bank in the years to come.
Yet I STILL wanted to quit.
I couldn’t handle the frustration.
You see…

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Mad Marketing 106: Positive People, Content Cultures, and More

It’s podcast time my friends, and in this episode of Mad Marketing, I’ll be addressing the following subjects: Why I’ve elected to surround myself with positive people, and how watching the recent election was difficult based on the fact that so many generally happy and positive people changed their tune, even to friends. The interesting…
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Lead Assign: Cost, Competitors, Community, & More [VIDEO & PODCAST] One Last Tool

Is your digital business efforts in need of a tune-up or major overhaul? If you’re ready to get your sales, marketing, and service machine up and running, you’re going to need just the right …
The post Lead Assign: Cost, Competitors, Community, & More [VIDEO & PODCAST] One Last Tool appeared first on The Sales Lion by Marcus Sheridan.


How to Set Up Your Home Office So You Can Be a More Productive Freelance Copywriter

I hate to break it to you:
If you’re a freelancer, the world is against you.
Well, maybe not the whole world.
But your partner, your family, email, Netflix, Facebook, the dog (or cat), the neighbors, your friends—they’re all against you.
It’s not personal. They’re against me too.
Oh sure, your friends and family say they want you to succeed as a freelancer.
But their actions tell a different story.
The people who love you are among the constant distractions that keep you from getting your work done.
Same with the dog. Or cat.
And email, Twitter, Netflix,

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