Under my on-line hood: some philosophy + a bit of gear
Seth Godin explained where his blog comes from, and his answers matched with a lot of the questions that I’m often asked.
Here’s my version:
I write every article here and anywhere that has my name attributed to it. Always have, always will.
I write every line of every book. That may sound obvious, but you might be surprised at how many books are ghostwritten.
Everything I post to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram comes directly from me. I pre-schedule a few inspirational one liners to run twice a day (I do this through Hootsuite, which I adore. I pay for their pro-plan, not because I use all the features, but because I’m appreciative of the service.) Same for WiseStamp. I have a maxed out Facebook “friend page” (because Facebook limits this to 5000 people, harumph,) and a Fanpage. I post the same content to both pages. Angie handles Pinterest for me.
If I recommend someone’s work or services, I know them, directly, and usually, I know them well. I’m a very reluctant affiliate — I rarely partake in affiliate fees to promote people’s programs or products. I’ve only been an active affiliate for two programs in the last year, Marie Forleo’s Rich Happy & Hot BSchool and Pace & Kyeli Smith’s World Changing Writing Workshop. I have experienced their programs first hand. I help promote programs of people I know personally and even though kickbacks are offered, I bow out. Because free love feels good, and it keeps things simple, especially expectations.
I only point to KickStarter projects if I’ve donated money myself. Like this documentary, I’m fine, which the world needs to see.
If I endorse a book, I’ve read it.
I don’t have guest contributors on my site. I’m a purist. Or a control freak. Both.
I publish when I’m inspired, and I try to get inspired twice a week. I’ve tried to be all regimented and reliable in the past but it just wilted my inspiration. So my editorial calendar doesn’t go out much further than a week. Though I’d like it to. Someday. Next week. Maybe.
Every email received is read, and beyond customer service issues, I read it all personally. If I responded to everything, I wouldn’t be able to write, eat, or read my boy bedtime stories. However, as cheeseball as this may strike you, with every personal email I get or purchase notification, I speak out loud, “Thank you for that...Jane…Joey…Clementine.” It’s the best I can do. Point is: I don’t take any of it for granted, not one thank you, not one book or program that someone spent their good money on. (Except for four paragraph emails that incisively explain how one typo in my article threw my whole theory and integrity into question. I say something else to those ones.)
On my bus: Angie Wheeler is my Online Business Manager, and she oversees a VA who helps with data-entry type tasks, and sometimes a coder when we need one in a pinch. Angie does a lot of our graphic design now, which I meticulously art direct. I’ve been with the same accountant for years, have a bookkeeper, and have worked with two thirty design on a dozen sites. I’m coached by Hiro Boga and Chela Davison. Praise be. And there are many friends and geeks of all kinds that help me pull off crazy stuff and stay sane’ish. Deep bows.
Gear: we’re now using Office Auto Pilot for contact management and Ultracart for e-comm. And Evernote has revolutionized how we stay organized. I should have started using it ages ago. (Get the book: Evernote Essentials by Brett Kelly.) Gmail is God. WordPress is Goddess. I have a MacBookPro loaded to the max with memory and ram, which I hook up to a biggie Mac monitor. I also have a Mac Air that I take on the road with me. That was a smart buy. I have an iPad that is waiting for me to make use of it.
I don’t pay much attention to SEO when I write posts — I prefer poetic over Google-friendly, but I do take it into consideration when I tag my posts. Generally, I don’t play the SEO game, I’m more interested in broadcasting my work, so I’m happy if it gets republished. Once and a while, I create original material for PositivelyPositive.com I also share my work on EcoSalon.com, TheDailyLove, Mothering.com, and soon on BeliefNet.com.
I use a week-at-a-glance Moleskine daytimer + address book. Paper and pencil. Forever. We also use TeamWorkPM for some project coordinating. But by “we” I mean Angie keeps trying to get me into an online management system (because I keep asking her to,) and I like it for a week and never visit it again. Paper and pencil forever. I have a hand-drawn mind map of business areas and creative projects and a sticky note of how I want to feel tucked in my daytimer and those two pieces of paper guide the ship.
I’ll write much more about my creative processes in the future (with joy!), and my “people approach” (be kind,) and I’ve received a lot of “What’s your day look like?” kind of questions. Answers to that are coming. In short: I walk my boy to and from school just about every day. I drink herbal tea all day. One of the best things I did for my creative ass was invest in a great chair. And I stay up too late, like, all the time. Despite being nocturnal and needing to be up early to feed the household creatures, nine times out of ten, I feel deep joy when I wake up.
I asked Angie if we should add anything to this list. She said, “…add that you don’t use a rule book or map or a certain series of steps — you are open to new ideas of getting content out there and connecting with your people. You’re flexible, easy and creative and that is part of what makes you so successful.” I wondered what I was doing right. So there you have it.
Nitty gritty gratitude,