How to stay productive during a typhoon (and other days you don’t feel like working): productivity tips you can count on

Given my decade of living overseas and moving around pretty regularly, I didn’t think relocating to Tainan (Taiwan), a city I’ve already lived in for many years, would eat up too much of my productivity time. It only took a day to find an apartment, another day to pick out and order furniture. What I didn’t count on was the …

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Why Portland needs to get a job, and how “follow your passion” is terrible advice

Growing up near Portland, Oregon, son of ex-hippies with New Age beliefs, I was raised to believe in following my passion. I read The Alchemist and Jonathan Livingston Seagull and the Celestine Prophecy. Way before The Secret brought positive intention and manifesting desires to everyone, I stewed in the Northwestern liberalism that demanded I stay true to my passions, no matter …

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The easiest way to create content for your blog: and why you should never do it.

Your blog thrives on content. If you have an online business of any kind (including promoting your art or writing), you need fresh content so that Google, and potential fans, can find you. But writing it all yourself is tiresome and you have to think of new ideas and catchy headlines, and hiring someone to write articles for you doesn’t …

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The two types of self-publishing websites for indie authors: those that support you, and those that screw you

Websites for self-publishing authors can be divided into two camps. 1) Those offering authors services They write posts to get you to buy their book formatting, book conversion, book covers, author websites, book marketing, etc. 2) Blogs run by indie authors themselves These are full of tips and tricks and useful content. They teach you how to do things, inspire …

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How to win more bids or choose a provider on Elance, Guru and other freelance sites

I’ll admit I never fully got the hang of bidding for freelance work on Elance, Guru or Freelancer.com. You need to send a proposal, pick a price, describe your qualifications – and compete with dozens of other freelance providers. I got picked a few times, but not consistently. That frustration is probably why I developed my own service businesses instead, …

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Are you an artist or an entrepreneur? Is one better than the other?

Recently a lot of people have been telling me I’m an excellent entrepreneur. It’s not a compliment. They usually say it when they’re disagreeing with my advice. I work with artists and authors, and I tell them what they need to do to be more successful, to sell more books or paintings, to gain more followers, to look professional online …

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10 counter-intuitive rules for starting a freelance business that you’ve never heard before

I’ve been running online businesses for about a decade. For most of that period, I did what everybody else did. I sold myself. I talked about benefits and what I offered. I made special deals and discounts. I advertised. I was desperate, and I tried everything. But this year things started turning around. I learned some neat tricks by watching …

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To be inspired, or inspiring? Late night thoughts on writing, literature and blog authority.

Today was a lazy day for my brain. I woke with a slight migraine so I couldn’t get much work done. Instead my wife and I went to a movie (RIPD) and then snuck into another one (World War Z). I consumed 6 large gingersnap cookies and a double espresso, then at about midnight we came home. Sometime during these …

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