Skip to main content

Jackass of All Trades

I’ve been meaning to do more writing since, well, forever. I mean, it’s not like I don’t write anything at all. If you add up all the message board posts, emails, song lyrics, and shopping lists I periodically write, there’s a decent amount of writing going on. But I think you know what I mean.

That’s why I decided to start this blog. I’m going to try to get into the habit of writing new posts at least once a week, if not more. It’s certainly not a hard goal to achieve – now if I said I was going to climb Mount Everest once a week, that would be hard. But this? C’mon man.

Mount-Everestresized

But that brings me back around to a mind-crippling question. What should I write about? On one hand it makes sense to have a common theme. Maybe this could be a music blog. Or a politics blog. Or a sports blog. Or an ultra-specific niche blog solely devoted to the question mark. ? But I take some pride in having all kinds of interests, so my blog should be about all kinds of things. I can’t just write about music, for example. I think I would probably just lose interest. But if I have so many interests and can write, then what’s the problem? I should have more blog topic ideas than your average Joe Blogger, not less. It’s kind of an enigma.

Random Musical Interlude – check out this masterpiece by The Beatles, and really listen to the song structure and melody – brilliant! I’ve been listening to this song (and album) a lot lately. And it’s just an album throwaway track, not even a single. Yup, these guys could sit down and whip up a song in an afternoon just because they needed one more for the album, and it would still be better than most band’s best songs.

Now, back to my existential crisis, or whatever the hell I was whining about up there. Listen: to hell with it. I am going to write about whatever I want to write about. It’s the only way this is going to work. Please follow me anyways!

Lately, I have been obsessed with the nebulous world of “online marketing”. (Insert trademark symbol here). It’s time to start an online business of my own. I’ve been doing a lot of research, and I have a lot of ideas. Some are better than others, and it will take a while to sort through it all because there’s just so much to learn. I can definitely say I don’t want this to be “another online marketing blog” (insert another trademark symbol here). But it’s what is on my mind a lot right now.

So if someone stumbles on this post later on today, or many years down the road when I’m a rich and famous hermit living in the Hollywood Hills who nobody has seen for 4 years, here are a couple of places I suggest you start.

The first is Pat Flynn’s ‘Smart Passive Income‘ website. The blog, resources page, and podcast are all top-notch. Pat seems like a cool dude, and has provided a lot of tools for people just starting out. He legitimately wants to help you succeed.

spi-artwork

Another great resource: the Warrior Forum.

Awesome freelance resources: Freelancer.com, Upwork.com and Fiverr.com. Great sites.

I don’t know what the future holds, but I am definitely going to write an e-book or two, keep updating this blog (right?), perhaps pursue some freelance writing or design gigs. I’ve already been playing around with affiliate marketing. I guess that is ultimately the thesis of this blog post: You don’t just wake up one day and decide you’re going to make money on the internet, at which point you walk through a door, get handed a blue pill, and push the “Free Money” button. There is no one simple answer. Nothing in life is easy, and there are literally dozens of ways to pursue your goals online. Like trying to figure out what the hell to write your blog about, you just have to do a lot of research, filter the information through your own sensibilities, employ some trial-and-error methodology to see what works for you, and go make it happen. The odds are, what eventually clicks for you in the end is probably not something that was even on your radar in the beginning.

And so it goes.

 

Banal Drudgery: The Force Awakens

In the mid-90’s, I was a student at York University in Toronto with access to a 24-hour computer lab. Its main purpose was to write and print essays, but at some point, I became aware of this crazy new thing called … The Internet. I quickly became fascinated by it, and even created my own website at the time. It would be hilarious (not to mention embarrassing) if I could look back at it now. Basically just a few short stories and links to other sites. I even had a little red notebook where I wrote down URL’s to my favourite sites and links (there was no Google back then!), right down to their full-length addresses (fictional example: www.picturedatabase.com/vb323312/altr/icons/tv/thesimpsons/homer.html). My, how times have changed!

I recently visited the local library to pick up a DVD. Revenge of the Sith. That movie pissed me off so much when I saw it in the theatre, I never bothered to buy a copy, even though I had all the others and am a big Star Wars fan. But I was watching the first 6 films in order to prepare for The Force Awakens (it’s really good, by the way … go see it!), and, well, they had a copy. But while I was there, a book caught my eye: Laptop Millionaire, by Mark Anastasi. So I checked it out along with the DVD.

anakin

Since those early days, I’ve been an avid internet junkie, and have always thought that “someday”, I would use it to make money. Cause I’m a smart guy, and use it all the time. Maybe next week, next month, next year. But it just never happened. Why? Because I never made it happen. It is only a series of tubes, after all, these interwebs. We the people are what bring the whole thing to life. The tool and the opportunity are there, and they’re spectacular. The variable is us.

I read Tim Ferriss’ The Four-Hour Work Week (and loved it) a number of years ago, so I was familiar with the basic concept of the “get rich quick on the internet” book. I know there’s a million of ’em out there. But Laptop Millionaire really got me thinking. So I came up with a plan, and starting researching. Initially, it was a pretty simple plan: write and sell an e-book. I still intend to do that. But I quickly became overwhelmed at the vast amount of information out there. I’m still working my way through trying to get a handle on things like SEO and AdWords, while trying to figure out what to write about in my planet-spinning, life-altering e-book, what domain to host it on, how to market it on Twitter, etc. etc. etc.

At any rate, it’s been an interesting night. I found myself reading message board posts about online marketing, thinking about buying and selling websites, working as a freelance writer (how in the hell did I never hear of Fiverr.com before?!), and a bunch of other things. Then I came across an article for writers listing WordPress as a valuable asset. And suddenly I’m writing a blog. I still have to go back and finish the message board thread I had been reading, and finish editing my freelance website profile. The tabs are both still open. If you had told me this afternoon I’d write a long-ass blog post tonight, I would have said “You’re Fucking Crazy!” In an Axl Rose voice.

axlrose

Money really doesn’t mean much to me. I mean, it’s a pretty cool concept and all, much better than carrying my sheep around town trying to find somebody who will trade me 3 chickens and a toothbrush for it. But it is one element in life that completely overshadows so many other important elements. I just know that I need it to buy things. And there are a helluva lot of things I want to buy. And the concept of the book is so goddamn beautiful: sell products or something of value, rather than your time. Because time is a finite resource. There’s never enough of it in a day, and in the end, not enough in a lifetime.

The_Persistence_of_Memory

Plus, the internet is the greatest selling tool ever invented. I have created a couple of websites in the past, so I have some experience with HTML. It was never really intuitive, but I managed to get by with a lot of trial and error. Somebody recommended WordPress to me a long time ago, but I just never got around to it. I will definitely check it out now, and am intrigued by the combination of blogging, website design, and internet sales. I definitely need to do more writing. We’ll see how much I continue to blog going forward. It may be a lot, it may never happen again. The unknown, is unknowable.

Ahhh, the bittersweet taste of sinister cinnamon. The opening line of a poem/weird creative writing experiment I wrote a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. I will find a way to earn money online, and replace the banal drudgery that is my current occupation. But this blog is not about money. It’s about art, and life, and writing, and passion. I haven’t felt this optimistic in a long time. So if you’re still reading this, thank you for doing so. And just remember to do something you enjoy, every day of your life. Cause it is apparently possible to completely turn to the dark side in about ten minutes. Life is the ultimate page-turner. You just never know what’s going to happen next …..

 

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)