The reason why you haven’t made an app yet

I had the idea for my podcast long before it actually launched. In fact, I even had “launch podcast” on my to-do list for months, but it just kept getting pushed to the next day, and then the next day. It never actually got done.

But while I was procrastinating, I started thinking about the actual logistics of creating a podcast. What would I need in order to launch this project? I’d need basic things, like a microphone, and guests.

Eventually, I changed my to-do list. I took off “launch podcast” and added a small simple task: get a microphone. That one was easy — it took just five minutes on Amazon.com.

The next day, I added “find guest for podcast” to my to-do list. I shot out four emails to potential guests that afternoon, inviting them on the show. It took about ten minutes. Check.

Then, I figured out all the other individual steps I’d need to get my podcast published. I thought about things like audio recording software, editing tools, and a podcasting plugin for WordPress. My to-do list filled up with items such as “write podcast description,” and “get intro music.”

Two weeks after my microphone arrived, I launched the Novice No Longer podcast.

So why did it take me so long to get started? Was I just being lazy? Continue reading

Why massive web traffic is mostly worthless

The other day, I was browsing Reddit when I stumbled upon a question in r/blogging:

reddit-blogging-question

I got this! I got this! — I thought. I shared my story: how I managed to use my old personal blog to escape the retail world and get a staff writer job at Laptop Magazine.

I got a few upvotes out of it…but more importantly, there were a lot of great questions. One of the things I saw asked, time and time again, is how bloggers can get more traffic to their website.

The problem is: this is the wrong question to be asking. Continue reading

024 : Becoming a life-long learner with Scott Britton

Scott Britton Life-long LearnerI first met Scott Britton when I took his in-person Skillshare class titled “30+ Life Hacks to have more money, time, energy, and well-being.” Since then, he’s built himself an empire, building his blog Life-Long Learner into an amazing resource for people wanting to build the life they want.

On this week’s podcast, I talk to him about his journey, and about how he transitioned from business development into online marketing. This interview is full of actionable information.

Continue reading

022 : Why you should have started a blog yesterday

Dann Berg by Michael ShaneIn this week’s podcast episode, I share how I escaped the retail world and got into tech journalism. It’s all because of a little personal website I started. I also explain how you, too, can benefit from starting your own website — even if you don’t want to get int journalism — and how to do it.

This is a special edition of the podcast because there’s no guest, it’s just me! I ended up getting so much feedback and so many questions about last week’s podcast that I wanted to tell my story in more depth.

If you don’t yet have your own website, you need to listen to this episode. When you’re ready to get going, I’ve embedded the first tutorial in my video course.

If you found this helpful, please use my Bluehost affiliate link to get your hosting and domain!

Check out the rest of the videos here!

Continue reading

How to quickly make GIFs and become an outsourcing master

Using GIF Brewery to make a GIF

I still have the chat logs from my endless hours spent on AOL Instant Messenger back in high school (2000 – 2004). I rediscovered them recently and spent about ten minutes reading before I couldn’t go on any further. Every other word made me cringe.

There’s a very specific reason why I was cringing: I remembered exactly what I was thinking as I had those conversations, but that is not at all how it came across as I looked back at things. I thought I was properly communicating my thoughts, but everything was actually coming out all wrong. I wasn’t being witty, I was just being a jerk.

I’ve become slightly better with words since then (I hope!) but there’s only so far that text chats can get you. When you’re trying to explain something to someone, there are times when words aren’t enough. You need to show them.

But when you’re not sitting right next to that person, showing can be difficult. There are a few different ways to solve this problem. Chris Ducker, of Virtual Freedom, crafted what he calls the VA Training Trifecta, in which an entrepreneur can either text, audio, video, or some combination therein to communicate tasks with virtual staff.

But there’s another powerful tool that I use nearly everyday to quickly show people exactly what I’m talking about.

I’m talking about GIFs.

A GIF is the perfect communication tool for describing small bits of dynamic information, like how a button animation should work or the way something is working on your computer. You can guarantee that whoever you’re talking to can see exactly what you’re seeing, and it’s much easier to show rather than trying to describe the problem with words or going through the hassle of creating a huge screencast.

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, a GIF is worth over 9,000!

I’ve perfected a system that lets me make GIFs on my Mac in about 30 seconds. I’m going to show you exactly how I do it. Continue reading