• work life

    How to Write Faster (Bonus: You’ll write better, too!)

    Creating content takes time. If your business relies on fresh, new content (really, though, whose doesn’t?), you know how long it takes to take a piece from concept to publish. What if you could cut out a huge chunk of time, the chunk that often takes the most time, and still produce quality work? In the years I spent teaching writing, and in the subsequent years I spent consulting, the one complaint I’ve heard over and over and over again is this: “It just takes forever to get the writing done.” Said, of course, with a deep whine. I get it. Writing is hard. But, it doesn’t have to take forever.  However,…

  • work life

    Is September the New January?

    Have you heard versions of this? September is the new January! Fall is a fresh start! It makes perfect sense to me because, let’s be honest here, January is all about intention and often no action. Sure, we have big dreams. We set big goals. But, who wants to work on their beach body when there’s a foot of snow outside? Or dive into huge work projects when you know you have a whole year ahead of you? September reminds us that the year is coming to a close. That we have a smidge over one quarter of the calendar left to accomplish all those things we wanted to do.…

  • work life

    What I’m Working On…

    Have I ever mentioned how much I love my work? I write about pets! For a living! I couldn’t love a job more! So, what have I been working on? A colleague and I are writing a book to help other pet writers. This project is a deep passion and something we’ve wanted to tackle for ages. I am more excited about this book project than just about anything else on my plate. I can’t wait to share more when I can! Beyond that, I’m striving to launch two new blogs: Bark is the New Black, which is a lifestyle destination for every kind of mama, and The Zero-Waste Pet,…

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    There’s No Such Thing as Passive Income

    Well, technically there is… but NOT how it’s defined by online salespeople.  What is passive income? From BusinessDictonary.com: “Earnings from rent, limited partnership, or other sources of income (in which the earner does not take an active part), not including salary, wage, interest, or capital gain. Also called unearned income, passive income can be written off against passive losses.” There is a section of the U.S. tax code dedicated to passive income as it’s defined above. It’s this. In other words: Passive income IS NOT ebooks, info products, webinars, courses, downloads, workbooks, etc. that sell “in your sleep.” That isn’t passive income. See the official definition above, whereby the earner does…

  • work life

    Blogging Is Dead… and Other Myths

    How often do you hear it lamented, “Blogging is dead”? Just yesterday someone said that to me on a call, ironically, about her business blog. I’ve said this before, and I know I’ll say it a million times more, but just because you don’t like or understand something doesn’t mean you can bury it. And it isn’t just blogging that’s regularly declared dead. Let’s take a look at three of the most pervasive: blogging, Facebook, and reading.   Fiction: Blogs are dead. Fact: Blogs are thriving. In fact, by declaring blogging’s death, you’re likely hurting your business because this form of publication provides many benefits that you can’t accomplish in…

  • work life

    How to deal with criticism online

    Fact: Everyone online has an opinion about everything. Some of those folks are able to express their opinions in clear, constructive, kind ways. They’re able to have robust discussions with friends on social or in the comments section, and they understand that many issues have many sides so it’s easy to stay respectful of others since we’re all so different from one another. Then there’s everyone else. Seriously, though, trolls make up a small group. They’re just so LOUD. And they’re usually pretty good at isolating a personal issue and attacking, which can feel crushing… and raise our hackles.   Instead of fighting back, here are a handful of productive…

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    3 Things to Check on Your Blog ASAP

    While you focus on creating fresh, new, engaging content for your readers, chances are a few spots on your blog are gathering dust. It happens: You want to keep your blog fresh, of course, but that makes it easy to “set it and forget it” with your blog’s static pages.   Ask yourself a handful of Qs about your blog’s static spots: When was the list time you revisited your about page? Is your privacy policy up to date? Has anything changed with your email, social profiles, or affiliate programs? Is your headshot current? (Current = last 5 years NOT that awesome snap of you looking tan that one summer…

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    Does blogging have an environmental impact?

    Can you work online and minimize your impact on the planet? Whether your job is entirely digital or not, chances are you spend a chunk of your day consuming digital media. It’s inescapable. If you do create in a digital space or if you simply consume, the reality is that your tech habits do have a significant environmental impact. What is the environmental impact of social media? Can we use our online businesses to diminish our carbon footprint? Let’s look at three of the big problems and then consider ways to reduce that environmental impact: Tech Waste According to Rubicon Global, “Electronic Waste (e-waste) is one of the fastest growing segments of our nation’s…

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    Why You Shouldn’t Rely on Facebook to Build Your Audience

    Can you please hand me that rag so I can dust off my soap box? Facebook. Love it, hate it, or love to hate it, Facebook pervades every part of our existence. Facebook has never been in our daily conversation more so than now. I get that folks are upset. I get it. I do. Except… Facebook isn’t a charity. It’s not a nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting you with that classmate you kind of liked in the third grade, nor is it a community outreach program that links your birthday with causes closest to your heart. (I mean, it kinda does that, but still…) Facebook is a corporate entity…

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    Annoying Business Jargon: Avoid these 5 in your writing

    Meaningless at its worst, trite at its best, business jargon clutters up your writing. When writing anything–whether it’s an email or a proposal–your goal is clarity. Duh, right? You want your readers to understand what you’re saying. Toss in a whole bunch of annoying business jargon, and you risk losing the clarity of your presentation. So, what is some of the most irritating “corporate speak”? Here my five biggest annoyances: Move the dial: Also, move the needle. This means that the task or project has a visible impact. Remember the most important tenant of good writing? Show, don’t tell! Instead of saying something will “move the dial,” tell them how,…