Leaving Work Behind

How I Attracted 10,000 Twitter Followers in a Year (My 5 Step Process)

Written by Tom Ewer on January 31, 2013. 90 Comments

Flock of birdsJust a couple of days ago the number of people following me on Twitter went past the 10,000 mark. It was a big milestone for me and I was excited to see it happen — not only because it demonstrates that my brand is growing, but also because it represents a great deal of work coming to fruition.

The fact is that I have poured a huge amount of effort into growing my Twitter following. I have conducted a lot of trial and error experiments, more often noting failure rather than success. However, in spite of that I have still been able to build a relatively healthy following in just twelve months. At the time of writing I have 10,255 followers and according to my records I had just 552 at the start of 2012 (so please forgive me for the slight inaccuracy of the post headline ;-)). I am currently attracting several hundred new followers every week.

I have spoken about my Twitter strategies on the blog here before, so this post acts as a complete round-up and addendum — covering the most important aspects of building a following, ignoring the less productive things you can do, and filling in any gaps I have missed to date.

Before We Begin

What you’re about to read is pretty simple and straightforward but it really is all you need to build a considerable following. With that in mind, always remember to keep it simple.

Twitter never needs to be complicated — that’s part of its beauty. If at any stage you are contemplating some kind of advanced strategy that has you confused at the mere thought of it, take the safe and regressive road back to simplicity. You’ll be surprised at the results.

Just one other thing — the following steps are intended to be taken in order. It may be tempting to skip straight to the “empire building” section but the effect of your efforts will be far reduced. You need to demonstrate that you have a lively Twitter account with lots of engagement before you start going for the big win.

Step 1: Have a Great Blog and Brand

To a extent the popularity of your Twitter profile is determined by the strength of your brand — that’s why Lady GaGa has nearly 34 million followers at the time of writing. As such, one of the most important steps to building your Twitter following is to make sure that you’re growing your brand away from Twitter.

I cannot stress the importance of this step enough — although it can be tempting to dismiss it on the basis that you think you have a strong brand, the matter warrants careful consideration. What sets you apart from the crowd? What compels people to actively choose to follow you over any other number of people vying for their attention? You need to have a compelling answer to those questions in order to grow a sizeable blog, and by extension, a big Twitter following.

In reality this should be a bit of a no-brainer as you are no doubt looking to establish your blog anyway — the fact that your hard work in building a brand has a positive effect on your social media outlets should be a more of a bonus than anything else.

Further Reading

Step 2: Share Awesome Links

The activity on Twitter is largely divided up into two groups:

  1. General chit chat: acquaintances, friends and colleagues exchanging brief messages, either socially or professionally.
  2. Link sharing and interaction: a Twitter user finds an interesting article/web page and shares it with his or her followers via a tweet who then may comment and/or share it themselves.

One of the absolute fundamentals of building a popular Twitter profile is to become known as someone who shares valuable and relevant content — i.e. links. If you share too much irrelevant content or simply not enough, people are either going to ignore your tweets (or unfollow you) or be blind to them.

As such you should get into the habit of regularly sharing content. Be selective and focus on quality rather than quantity. Don’t just tweet out links because you think you should — do it because whatever you are sharing is going to be of interest to your followers.

That is one of the main reasons I have over 50 blogs on my RSS reader (and far more when it’s time for another edition of the LWB 100) — I want my Twitter feed to be a valuable resource. I curate and share the best content I find so that my followers don’t have to go looking for it themselves.

BufferThe best tool there is (in my opinion) for sharing links on Twitter is Buffer. It is a tweet-scheduling app, which essentially means that you can write tweets now that will be published later. This is one of the tools that stops Twitter from becoming a huge time suck. I like to combine it with the Tweriod service so that my scheduled tweets go out at the optimum times.

Further Reading:

Step 3: Interact

This is my favorite bit — communicating with your followers. You cannot undervalue the importance of interaction in terms of increasing brand awareness, not to mention the various indirect benefits that can result from you simply putting yourself out there.

When I was focusing really hard on growing my Twitter profile I had one simple rule when it came to interaction: always reply. If someone sent me a message I always replied. To this day I still reply to probably 80% of messages, only not replying to those that are just simple re-tweets, automatically generated, or sent out to multiple people at the same time. Seriously — try me.

I also recommend that you build up a list of people whose radars you want to get on. Be sure to check out your list’s timeline at least once per day and fire off any pearls of wisdom that you can conjure in response to the tweets that you read. Don’t just reply for the sake of replying — you want to create intrigue, not inspire boredom.

Being so active on Twitter may seem overwhelming but it really doesn’t have to be — I probably spend no more than a collective 15-20 minutes per day on Twitter. If you tackle your tweets in two or three blocks of time — rather than constantly throughout the day — it becomes far more manageable.

Further Reading:

Step 4: Start Building Your Twitter Empire

By now you should have a solid brand, a good Twitter profile, and you should have been producing quality content and interacting with your existing follower base for at least a couple of days. In doing so you have laid the foundation for an effective targeted following campaign.

Now this topic deserves a post of itself which is fortunate because I have already written one: How to Get More Twitter Followers. That walks you through my process for taking what is the most important step to growing your Twitter following. I don’t think I would have half of the Twitter followers I have right now without having taken this step — it is integral.

Tweet AdderIf you choose not to take this step then you will probably find that your Twitter profile grows steadily and modestly. However, in order to accelerate your growth you really do need to use Tweet Adder — it was the main reason why I turned from getting a handful of new followers per day to tens and now occasionally hundreds.

Further Reading:

Step 5: Boost Shares and Referral Traffic

The final piece of the puzzle is to use your burgeoning Twitter profile to drive traffic back to your blog. It can be all too easy to forget that doing so is the main purpose of the whole exercise (beyond expanding your network and nurturing relationships), so make sure that you keep your eye on the ball.

First of all, you need to make it easy for people to share your content. With that in mind I have two plugin recommendations:

Digg Digg installs a floating social media share bar on your site so that a visitor always has the option to share. You can see in action right now just to the right of this post — give it a spin and share this post if you’d like!

Meanwhile, Easy Tweet Embed is a plugin that I co-developed which enables you to insert pre-populated tweets within links on your post (like this). I have found that this can boost the number of times your posts are shared by a considerable amount (30% and up). Here’s a brief video showing you how it works:

Beyond that, you need to ensure that you are sharing each new post on your blog effectively. I recommend that you tweet out new posts three times, with each tweet around 7 hours apart. This ensures that your post hits most of the time zones and gets exposed to your followers all over the globe.

You can do this manually with Buffer but the easiest method I’ve found is to use WordTwit Pro — a new favorite WordPress plugin of mine. It’ll set you back a few bucks but is awesome for maximizing the exposure of new posts in Twitter.

Finally, you may want to get your hands on Evergreen Post Tweeter — a free plugin (again, developed by me) that will automatically tweet old posts on your blog according to a set schedule. If you do decide to do this please make sure that you are selective in what old posts you choose to tweet out — make sure that they are still relevant or it will affect your followers’ perception of the quality of your tweets. Furthermore, do not abuse the power of the plugin — I personally recommend that you tweet out no more than a couple of archived posts per day, and only then if you are quite active. The ratio of third party content to your content should be weighted heavily against you.

Further Reading

Rinse and Repeat

That’s it! My complete strategy for getting 10,000 Twitter followers in a year. I referred back to two articles from the LWB archives on a few occasions above so if you want the full picture I recommend that you read them in full too:

You should now be set to build yourself a thriving Twitter profile. If you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to ask them in the comments section below. Alternatively, if you are a Twitter user and have any tips of your own, please share them below!

Photo Credit: moonjazz

The Importance of a Good Diversification Strategy in Online Business

Written by Tom Ewer on January 29, 2013. 33 Comments

Man at a crossroads

We should always strive for diversification in online business…or should we? (tweet this)

Generally speaking, I am a big advocate of diversification and recommend that all entrepreneurs have a well thought out diversification strategy.

My advocation becomes even greater when we wander into the realm of online business, which so often promises money-making miracles through short-sighted snake oil strategies. Although I may be just 27 years old, my entrepreneurial spirit is perhaps of a more advanced age and I am always on the hunt to diversify my income streams whenever possible.

However, I have recently started to think that my near-obsession with diversification may actually be stunting my growth. As such I thought it would be pertinent to cover the topic of diversification in online business here on Leaving Work Behind. It doesn’t matter whether you are completely sold on the concept of having a diversification strategy or have never even considered it before — this post applies to you, your online business, and what direction you should take next.

Why Should We Have a Diversification Strategy?

If we consult the dictionary we find that diversification means to “make or become more diverse or varied”. If we take that back one more step we find that diversify means “to show a great deal of variety”.

So how do we apply that to our online businesses? I can’t of course be talking about diversification of race, age or sex, as for the most part we are running one (wo)man operations. No — I am talking about the diversification of income streams.

Why is that so important? Well call me a pessimist but I live with a healthy fear that the rug could be pulled from under me at any given moment. What if I lose a couple of big clients? What if you guys suddenly realize that you find me really dull and go read someone else’s blog instead? What happens if my business is built around a single stream of income and the well runs dry?

That’s what drives me to obsess over diversification — the concept of having separable streams of income makes me feel far safer about my business’ long term stability. I believe that we should all carry my aforementioned healthy fear and wear it as a badge of honor; as a sign that we are aware of what could happen, and that we’re striving to mitigate what could otherwise be a disaster waiting to happen.

The Problem with Diversification

It may seem like the issue is defined and resolved in that last paragraph, but in the last few weeks it has become apparent to me that diversification represents as much of a problem as it does a solution.

Successful Freelance Writing Online

A move away from diversification led to the successful launch of my information product.

This goes right back to around Spring 2012 when I was considering what project to work on next. I was on the verge of starting a completely new blog — something in an entirely different niche to Leaving Work Behind. I felt that this would be good for diversification’s sake, but thankfully I came to my senses and decided to re-commit to building LWB (as marked by my re-launch at the end of May). At the time the only contribution LWB was making to my business was as a referrals machine for my freelance writing business so it was hardly tapped out in terms of its potential (which November’s successful launch of my freelance writing guide thankfully demonstrated).

This is one small example as to how an obsession with diversification can potentially stunt your business. If I had launched that blog I may never have started work on my guide, and as we speak I might have two moderately successful blogs and not much money to show for it. What’s the point in having a diversification strategy if you have multiple poorly-performing income streams as opposed to a single lucrative income source?

That brings me up to present day as I ponder once more on the topic of diversification. I have an Evernote folder containing no less than seventeen different ideas for future projects, and in the next couple of weeks I intend to pick one and make a start. The question is, which project do I pick?

Weighing Up Diversification Against Short Term Returns

I should ask that question in the context of what I already have built. Let’s take a quick look at December 2012’s income report:

I have what are arguably two relatively distinct income streams of which one is pretty likely to cover my bills and the other is a promising up-and-comer. So to take us back to those aforementioned future projects, where do I go from here?

Of the seventeen ideas there are five projects that I am particularly keen on. Let me give you a brief overview of those five (without revealing what they actually are — where’s the mystery in that?):

If I was 100% committed to diversification I would definitely go for the final option. If on the other hand I was more inclined to maximize short term income and wasn’t concerned with diversification (nor risking the ire of my audience by marketing another product or service), I would go for either the product or the service. Finally, if I was inclined to continue building the LWB brand without feeling uncomfortable with the prospect of “selling” to my audience again, I would pick one of the traffic-boosting options.

So essentially the question is, should I take the longer and rockier road with the possibility of a more diversified income stream down the line or capitalize on what I already have and look to build upon it for more easily leveraged profits?

What This Means for You

Let’s take a step away from my own personal dilemma for a moment and focus on you. Whilst I may not know what stage you are at with your online business, I can assure you that diversification is almost always relevant.

If you are just starting out it may not seem that way (as you have no income to “protect” yet), but at that stage diversification is vital so that you increase your chances of hitting upon a winning formula. After all, I had toiled away for six months, created three completely different websites and written tens of thousands of words before I started earning anything from my online efforts — it was perseverance and a willingness diversify my efforts that got me to that point. Let’s not forget that my initial foray into freelance writing was a complete shot in the dark — what was that if not diversification?

And once you gain some traction, quit your job and commit wholeheartedly to your online business, diversification immediately becomes a major issue (or at least, it should do). Because you have no job to fall back on, it is of vital importance that you look to create separable income streams so that you are covered if one should fail. One cannot diversify too early (as you must first of course create one stream of income before you can consider building another), but as soon as you are paying the bills and feel relatively “safe” you should turn your eye once more to diversification. That is essentially the crossroads that I stand at right now.

Finally, once you are running a highly successful business, your ability to diversify is often defined by the decisions you have made up to that point. If you have always committed yourself wholeheartedly to developing one stream of income then implementing a diversification strategy will probably be quite difficult, but if you have always acted with diversification in mind you may already have a well-diversified business. That in itself is one compelling argument for creating divergent income streams from the earliest stage possible.

So What Am I Going to Do?

The answer to that at this point is “I don’t know”. There is certainly no right or wrong answer to my dilemma — there is only the direction I take and the alternatives I leave behind.

And to complicate things even further, it is not simply a case of “to diversify or not to diversify” (sorry Shakespeare). Other factors come into play, such as the stability of your existing income stream(s) and your immediate financial goals. For instance, if you have a really solid income stream then implementing a conscious diversification strategy is arguably not as important as it would be if your existing business model was built on foundations of sand.

With all of the above intricacies of the topic laid out, I turn to you. Your honest and insightful advice never ceases to amaze me, and since you have a front row seat to the development of my business it only seems right that I appeal to you for your feedback. So what would you do in my shoes? Would you capitalize upon what is already there, or look to create something entirely new in the name of diversification?

I’d love to know what you think so please do not hesitate to leave your opinion in the comments section below. Furthermore, if you have any questions about diversification or would like to share your own musings on the topic, please do not be afraid to ask and/or share!

Photo Credit: timtom.ch

Get Paid to Write (in 3 Steps)

Written by Tom Ewer on January 25, 2013. 39 Comments

TypewriterI get a lot of emails from people who are just starting out on their online freelance writing journey and feel utterly overwhelmed by how they should start.

Having been a beginner freelance writer myself not so long ago, such memories are still fresh and I can empathize. When I was starting out the very concept of getting paid to write was completely alien and the idea that I should approach people and sell myself as a professional writer was almost absurd. It’s easy to become paralyzed under such circumstances, as you may well appreciate.

With that in mind, I want to break down the process of getting started as a freelance writer into the most basic steps possible. Whilst you can take your approach a great deal further than this, I am going to cover strictly the “must-dos” and push all the rest to one side. If you want to get paid to write but are feeling paralyzed by the perceived enormity of the task ahead, this is a great place to start.

1. Write Great Samples

Forgive me for stating the obvious but you’re not going to get paid writing gigs without first demonstrating an ability to write. As such, putting together some samples is of utmost importance.

However, most beginner freelance writers subconsciously define the word “samples” as “work that I have previously done for other clients”, and immediately see an unavoidable roadblock in their journey to freelancing success. After all, how can you win your first client if you have no samples? The simple answer lies in changing your definition of “samples”.

Put simply, a sample can be any piece of writing. It could be a front page article in The Times or a 200 word stream of consciousness on the back of a napkin. You probably already have samples and didn’t even know it. For instance, I got my first freelance writing job off the back of the blog posts on Leaving Work Behind and nothing else — and the posts weren’t even related to the job I was applying for.

Here’s a brief list of the type of samples you can produce right now:

  1. Posts on your blog (as mentioned above)
  2. An article written in a word processor (just pretend you’re writing an article for a client)
  3. Guest posts on other people’s blogs (download my guide to guest posting)

With the solution of where to procure and how to produce samples out of the way, I will leave you with perhaps the most important piece of advice when it comes to freelance writing — your chances of winning a job are most affected by the quality of your samples. Work hard to ensure that your samples are as good as you can make them and you are far more likely to see a positive return from your efforts.

2. Write Great Pitches

First of all, let’s dispel the myth that there are no freelance writing jobs out there for people who are just getting started. If you are willing to be paid $20-$30 per hour to write whilst you build your reputation then there are no shortage of opportunities, and you can ramp that figure up very quickly after a matter of weeks if you apply yourself.

If you want to know more about finding freelance writing jobs online I would recommend that you read the following posts:

Now let’s talk about great pitches. If “write quality samples” is the best piece of advice I can give you, “write great pitches” follows just behind it. These are the two key pieces of the puzzle — in theory, if you have perfect samples and a perfect pitch, you can land any freelance writing job on offer.

But what makes a great pitch? Well, if you’ve read the first post listed just above then you’ll already have a pretty good idea — here’s a direct link to my tips on creating quality pitches if you haven’t.

3. Improve as a Writer

So many people tell me that they can’t write “naturally” or in a “conversational style”, or that it takes them a long time to write an article. In fact, these are the most common excuses I read for people not getting into freelance blogging, as if the aforementioned abilities are in some way innate and unobtainable.

But back in the real world, nothing could be further from the truth. Let’s not forget that I only started blogging in June 2011 — have you checked out any of my posts here on LWB from back then? Whilst I have gone back and edited a lot of them (out of embarrassment), you can still find the occasional gem that reveals how fresh I was to the world of blogging. My point is this — someone who makes their decision as to whether or not they should be a freelance writer based upon anyone else’s ability is looking at the issue from the wrong perspective. The simple fact is this — you are in control of how good a writer you become.

OutliersLet’s take a moment to consider the now infamous “10,000-Hour Rule” popularized by Malcolm Gladwell’s fascinating book, Outliers. The principle of the rule is quite simple — in order to become “great” at something, you must put in 10,000 hours of quality practice. Gladwell asserts that this theory debunks the notion that some people are simply more inherently talented than others. And whilst I believe that our genetic makeup does still play a part in our “natural ability” at any given thing, I for one consider my fate to be far more in my hands than anyone else’s (tweet this).

To come back around to freelance writing prospects, this means one thing — if you want to become a better (and therefore more successful) writer, you need to put in the practice. No excuses, no “but I’ll never be good as so-and-so” — concentrate on your own ability and how improving it will lead to your own success.

How do you do this? I have three recommendations:

  1. Yahoo! Style GuidePurchase and devour a copy of the Yahoo! Style Guide. I consider it compulsory reading for anyone producing content on the web.
  2. Read. Subscribe to blogs with quality writers and learn from them.
  3. Write. Put what you learn into practice on an ongoing basis — whether or not you’re being paid for it.

That’s it — rinse and repeat.

What Else is There?

Above I have outlined what I consider to be the three key steps to getting paid to write. As I alluded to at the start of this post, my guidance above is intended for those who are feeling utterly overwhelmed by the prospect of becoming a successful freelance writer. Whilst there is plenty more that you can be doing, these three steps represent the barebones necessities.

I have not written this post as some kind of “freelance writing is a piece of cake — just do these three things” quick fix. In reality, there is more than you should do to improve your chances. But if you start with the above three steps then add layers as your confidence permits, you will no doubt reap the rewards down the line.

If you’re interested in finding out what else you can do then I would recommend you explore the other articles on freelance writing that I have published here on the blog. And if you’re ready willing and able to commit to the world of freelance writing then I recommend my freelance writing guide.

One more thing — if you have gotten value out of this post and know of anyone else who might benefit from reading it, please take a moment to share it with them — via email, social media (click here to tweet!), or any other means.

Photo Credit: splorp

Why You Shouldn’t Chase Your Dreams

Written by Tom Ewer on January 21, 2013. 40 Comments

Mount EverestYou probably dream of the day when you can quit your job. Perhaps you’ve fantasized about walking out of your place of work, never to return. I know I did — my intense desire to quit my job and launch my own business served as a huge incentive for me when I was getting started. So why not chase your dreams?

Over the past several months I have noticed that many would-be LWBers are crippling their chances of achieving that ultimate goal. Even worse, a lot of the “quit your job” blogs out there promote the very fantasy that ruins so many people’s chances of making it to the promised land.

In this post I want to explore the widespread fallacy that underpins so many people’s efforts to quit their jobs and make money online, then offer up an alternative that can work.

Why You Shouldn’t Chase Your Dreams

Dreams are hard to come by. They appear in our sleep as they see fit and dissipate just as readily. We have no real control over them.

That’s a dream in a literal sense, but they share many similarities with the type of dreams that we all consciously have — dreams of aspiration and achievement. Perhaps the most important similarity is that your conscious dreams are just as impossible to “achieve” as their subconscious counterparts. By this I mean that one doesn’t simply fulfil their dream in one fell swoop — on the contrary, dreams are in fact realized by the culmination of many actions.

Think about it. Can you think of one dream (of yours or anyone’s) that has been fulfilled overnight? When an athlete breaks a world record or wins a gold medal, was that an overnight achievement or the result of years of dedication and hard work? One could perhaps point to lottery winners as an exception, but I for one do not intend to rely upon luck as the harbinger of dream fulfilment.

So the problem that many of us face is that we are chasing dreams — goals that are impossible simply to “jump to”.  And ultimately we give up because the dream just seems so far away; so intangible. Like a state of living that we were simply not “destined” to experience. The issue is in fact quite simple — if your goal is simply to chase your dreams, you will almost certainly fail. How could you not? By reaching for the stars you are setting yourself up for a fall.

Embrace the Process

SpaceshipContinuing with the space analogy, consider this — if you’re going to shoot for the stars, you best learn how to build a spaceship first. You’re going to need a space program for that too. What I’m saying is this — don’t chase your dreams; build towards them (tweet this).

Take my journey so far as an example of how this can work. Back in May 2011 my dream was to quit my job. It seemed all but impossible — in fact, until I handed quit my job in December of that year, I had a persistent little voice in the back of my head telling me that it simply wasn’t possible. But instead of being intimidated by the concept of quitting your job (because let’s face it — it is an intimidating proposition), I instead started doing things that would get me closer to my dream. I was building my space program, not trying to build a rocket.

Quitting my job was a big step, but it certainly wasn’t the end of my aspirations. Next I needed to establish a viable business that could support my outgoings. In January 2012, my first month of fulltime self-employment, I made less than $1,000. My outgoings were more like $4,000 so I had a big gap to fill. But I didn’t shoot for the $4k — instead I concentrated on the short term steps I could take to increase my income. My earnings fluctuated over the following months — I took steps forward and steps back — but my earnings have stayed consistently above $4,000 per month since July 2012. I couldn’t have achieved that in February, but I knew that if I built towards it I had a good chance.

Freelance writing enabled me to quit my job and build a viable business. Now it offers me opportunities (both directly and indirectly) to increase my income further and diversify. My achievements in freelance writing have far outweighed my expectations. Consistent application got me here, even though the current outcome would have seemed like a pipe dream just a couple of years ago. I didn’t chase my dreams — I simply applied myself in what I felt were the right areas and built towards them.

Climbing the Mountain

Sir Ranulph Fiennes

Sir Ranulph Fiennes

I recently finished reading the autobiography of Sir Ranulph Fiennes — one of Britain’s most celebrated  explorers. One of the chapters focused upon his first attempt to scale Mount Everest and I was struck by the process required.

Getting to the base camp is a challenge in itself, but one must actually partially ascend and descend the mountain multiple times in order to acclimatise. It is only after that period of acclimatisation that you can head for the summit.

The analogy is compelling — the simple fact is that you cannot just climb straight up Everest without first taking multiple steps both towards and away from it. I’m sure you can see how this relates to the fulfilment of your dreams.

There should never be a point at which you give up on your dreams — only reassessment. If you want to reach the summit but you can’t get past the base camp, perhaps you need to acclimatise for longer or make shorter journeys to waypoints that are more easily reached.

What’s Your Dream?

We all have dreams. Some of us will fulfil them and others will not — the big difference maker will be about your approach. Are you going to shoot for the stars or start working on that space program instead?

I want you to do something right now — I want you to figure out what your next step is. What gets you one step closer to your dream, no matter how small of a step it is? Tell us your dream and share your first step in the comments section!

Photo Credits: Kappa WayfarerFlying Jenny and Wikipedia

Does Your Online Business Fizzle?

Written by Tom Ewer on January 18, 2013. 60 Comments

FizzleIf you’re a regular reader of Leaving Work Behind then you will know that I’m not into unscrupulous sales tactics. The fact is that I am not much of a salesman — I feel much more confident either creating or talking about something that I think is really good. That way, I can largely just let the product or service do its job.

With the above in mind, if you have any kind of aspiration to build an online presence and subsequently leverage it to make money, you’re going to be interested by what I have to say today. That should cover just about everyone, so read on!

There are affiliate links on this page. If you purchase a product through one of them, I will receive a commission. It will cost you nothing extra. I only ever endorse products that I have personally used and tested extensively. Thank you!

18 Months, 2 Blogs, Six Figures

Corbett BarrThere’s this guy I know called Corbett. You may have heard of him.

Going back a few years, he had a site called CorbettBarr.com in which he revealed details of his quasi-nomadic lifestyle. Next he launched Think Traffic — a site you should probably be subscribed to (if you’re not already). Then he launched a product called Start a Blog That Matters — by a distance the best course/guide on blogging that I have ever read. In fact, I used it as inspiration to re-launch this very blog in May 2012.

Corbett has a lot to offer to the likes of us — he was in fact one of the first people I came across when I first decided that I wanted to leave work behind in May 2011 and is featured in my recent With Thanks To… post. His manifesto — 18 Months, 2 Blogs, Six Figures — was pretty revolutionary for me in terms of helping me to understand what is possible in the world of online business and location independence.

So when I found out that he was working on something new — something big — I knew that I had to take a look. I wasn’t disappointed.

Introducing Fizzle

Corbett’s already released some great products; the aforementioned Start a Blog That Matters being one of them. Given the type of guy that he is, it is no surprise that this new project is a huge step above what we have seen previously.

In short, Fizzle is a membership site packed with video tutorials on how to create and develop your own online business. But putting it that dryly doesn’t really do it any justice — I have rarely come across something as well constructed and beautifully polished as Fizzle:

Fizzle

It’s pretty.

The site features a whole bunch of video guides and interviews, with about 20 hours of material online at the moment (and plenty more to come). Here are some of my favorites:

Each topic is broken down into bite-size videos which is a totally inspired move — one of the reasons I am typically not a fan of video is because a sixty-minute clip just seems like such a big commitment. Watch a 5 minute clip here and a 10 minute clip there however…that’s something I can handle.

I’ve only watched perhaps a quarter of what’s on the site so far but I’m completely hooked. That is in no small part down to a certain Mr. Chase Reeves — one-time designer of Think Traffic turned Fizzle presenter/guru. I can’t fault Corbett and Caleb Wojcik for their video style, but Chase manages not only to make the material interesting, he’s also highly engaging and funny to boot.

Chase Reeves

Chase, seen here practicing his overhand finger pointing technique.

Access to the site is just $35 per month and the first month will set you back just $1 — no strings attached! The fact that you could attempt to digest it all within a month for $35 is really quite ridiculous, given that you could easily split the material up into multiple information products, each individually retailing for more than that. Corbett and his team are onto a real winner here.

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