Freelance Portfolio: Business

Freelance Writing Funk? 3 Mindless Productivity Hacks from a Pro

How scribbling a few vivid words or phrases—“word seeds”— on a story or article idea can prompt your brain to work on expanding them, often to a rich level, while you dawdle. Published in February 2020 on the excellent Make a Living Writing site.

Texas Banker Teaches Classes on Painting Your Pet

Another script I wrote for Chris Guillebeau’s Side Hustle podcast, where he discusses people who have started successful and often fascinating side jobs. This one profiles a Texas woman who was a banker and MBA graduate who had a mild interest in art, leading to her teaching art in school districts to teaching dynamic painting classes on the side. And the popularity of those classes exploded. Published in November 2019 on the Side Hustle School.

Friends Build Water Filtration System for Outdoor Hydration

Another script I wrote for Chris Guillebeau’s Side Hustle podcast, where he discusses people who have started successful and often fascinating side jobs. This one profiles two pals who developed small, portable filtration systems for boating crews, outdoor recreational enthusiasts and others to provide water free of bacteria and other contaminants. Used with refillable containers, saves the environment from plastic water bottles too. Published in May 2019 on the Side Hustle School.

Turn It Up to 11! Musical Mash-ups Provide Passive Income for New York DJ

Another script I wrote for Chris Guillebeau’s Side Hustle podcast, where he discusses people who have started successful and often fascinating side jobs. This one profiles a former New York DJ, who has syndicated recorded mash-ups of famed rock tunes sold to stations all over the world. Published in April 2018 on the Side Hustle School.

Exercise App Encourages Fitness While Helping Sick Kids

Another script I wrote for Chris Guillebeau’s Side Hustle podcast, where he discusses people who have started successful and often fascinating side jobs. This one profiles a fellow who, frustrated with his spotty workout efforts, designed an app to set workout schedules and track fitness. Fail to work out, and you pay—both the app maker and children’s charities. Published in April 2018 on the Side Hustle School.

Need Advice? Veteran Freelancers Share Their Tips to Success

Two long-time freelancers, one a ghostwriter and one a business consultant, share thoughts on client challenges, successes and failures, and general freelancing advice. Written for the IndyLife site, published by Fidelity, on freelancing tactics and resources. Published in February 2018.

Up Your Personal Brand by Owning Your Unique Skills

For freelancers, “personal brand” might sound like a lot of high-handed balderdash, but focusing on your unique skills (and signature style) can set you apart and move your career forward. Written for the IndyLife site, published by Fidelity, on freelancing tactics and resources. Published in January 2018.

Freelancer Downtime Can Turn Lost Hours Into Productive Ones

Lousy planning or unexpected developments can find freelancers in between projects, in a dormant lull state. But there are ways to make the most of that downtime—or prevent it from happening. Written for the IndyLife site, published by Fidelity, on freelancing tactics and resources. Published in January 2018.

Freelancing Generalists vs Freelancing Specialists: Smackdown!

Being one of those generalist types, who writes everything from ads to white papers and for many points between, I’m naturally suspicious of those niche experts. Here I pretend to be objective. Published in December 2017 on the E-Biz Booster Blog, an email and internet marketing strategies site.

Cannabis Cookies Make a Sweet, Soothing Side Hustle

Another script I wrote for Chris Guillebeau’s Side Hustle podcast, where he discusses people who have started successful and often fascinating side jobs. This one profiles a woman who began baking pot cookies to relieve her own anxiety and moved from there to making and selling licensed edibles out of a commercial kitchen she also leases out. Let’s hear it for stoned capitalism. Published in December 2017 on the Side Hustle School.

How Virtual Assistants Can Help You Increase Your Productivity

Sending invoices, managing your tweets and having to go mail a package when you could finish a project might not be the best way to spend your business hours. Get a virtual assistant and get much more real work done. Written for the IndyLife site, published by Fidelity, on freelancing tactics and resources. Published in November 2017.

Dessert Goals Team Creates Sweet Success

Another script I wrote for Chris Guillebeau’s Side Hustle podcast, where he discusses people who have started successful and often fascinating side jobs. This one profiles a two-person team of dessert lovers who present wildly popular dessert events festivals in New York and Los Angeles. Published in October 2017 on the Side Hustle School.

How to Beat Loneliness, Stay Connected, and Build a Better Freelance Life

Methods to overcome isolation as a freelancer. Published in October 2017 on the excellent Make a Living Writing site.

Don’t Let Your Freelance Work Get in the Way of Date Night

Uh oh—now I’m giving dating advice. But there is some good sense in not letting your freelancing work kill off your love life. Written for the IndyLife site, published by Fidelity, on freelancing tactics and resources. Published in September 2017.

Getting Investors Amped Just Takes a Little Jamming

Another script I wrote for Chris Guillebeau’s Side Hustle podcast, where he discusses people who have started successful and often fascinating side jobs. This one profiles a guitarist who designs a nifty portable amp that fits on a guitar, along with a smartphone adapter to blend in tracks. He puts the thing on Indiegogo and it twangs its way to $250,000 in pre-orders. Published in September 2017 on the Side Hustle School.

Unexpected Expenses as a Freelancer: Deal With Them or Avoid Them

Because assignments and income can fluctuate, freelancers sometimes play their finances close to the bone. If unexpected expenses arise, duck! Here are some ways to deal with them without spilling blood. Written for the IndyLife site, published by Fidelity, on freelancing tactics and resources. Published in September 2017.

Getting Charged Up: Man Creates One Adapter to Rule Them All

Another script I wrote for Chris Guillebeau’s Side Hustle podcast, where he discusses people who have started successful and often fascinating side jobs. This one profiles a fellow mighty fed up with all the adapters and cables needed for devices while traveling, so after a little Kickstarter kick, he devises a series of highly charged solutions. Published in August 2017 on the Side Hustle School.

Meeting Deadlines Is the Mainstay of Your Business

Making your deadlines: it’s fundamental. Miss them consistently, and your business will tank. Here’s how to keep out of the tank. Written for the IndyLife site, published by Fidelity, on freelancing tactics and resources. Published in August 2017.

High School Junior Makes $10,000 Selling Autographed Baseballs

Another script I wrote for Chris Guillebeau’s Side Hustle podcast, where he discusses people who have started successful and often fascinating side jobs. This one profiles a high school student who uses his keen eye for betting that signed baseballs (and other goods) from certain minor-league baseball prospects will zoom in value if they make it in the majors. He went from amassing an expensive personal collection to amassing a profitable income. Published in August 2017 on the Side Hustle School.

Wedding Bells Ring Brighter If the Bride’s Not Broke

And yet another script I wrote for Chris Guillebeau’s Side Hustle podcast, where he discusses people who have started successful and often fascinating side jobs. This one is about a woman who started a NY-based bridal accessory rental company, after seeing the crushing prices for bridal gown purchases. She saves brides big dough, and pulls in some bundles of her own. Published in July 2017 on the Side Hustle School.

Debt and Freelancers: Break the Chain of Cause and Effect

Starting a side hustle, knowing the ins and outs about taxes, simple income/outlay tracking—there are a lot of good approaches to staying out of debt as a freelancer. Too bad there seems to be as many competing ways to get into debt. Written for the IndyLife site, published by Fidelity, on freelancing tactics and resources. Published in June 2017.

A Side Hustle with Succulent Growth Potential

Another script I wrote for Chris Guillebeau’s Side Hustle podcast, where he discusses people who have started successful and often fascinating side jobs. This one is about a woman who pots up succulents in odd containers, like skateboards and antique chamber pots—and she is pulling in the green. Published in June 2017 on the Side Hustle School.

Operations Manager Manages to Make Heavy Furniture Light

I’m going to be writing some scripts for Chris Guillebeau’s Side Hustle podcast, where he discusses people who have started successful and often fascinating side jobs. This one is about a woman who has discovered she can make good money delivering furniture she picks up from IKEA. Published in May 2017 on the Hustle School.

Improve Your Freelancer’s Money Attitude and Make Bank

A freelancer’s income can have more jolts than a busted-up roller coaster. But a big way to smooth out the bumps is to control your attitude about your freelancing income and resources. It’s amazing how a clear mindset can help fill lonely pockets. Written for the IndyLife site, published by Fidelity, on freelancing tactics and resources. Published in May 2017.

Global Marketing Anatomy: It Takes a Delicate Design to Make Content Shine

The complications and confusions of marketing departments organized into non-communicating silos is inefficient enough, but when the company is international? Trouble. Here are some approaches to make the trouble much less troubling. Published in April 2017 in the Content Standard, Skyword’s marketing industry newsletter.

How to Choose a Content Marketing Provider (Hint: You Can’t Just Order Off a Menu)

There’s a bounty of agencies and entities, big and little, to work with companies to plan strategy, provide content marketing, dig into data and tie ribbons on the industry prizes their work wins for you. But how to choose? Some advice here. Published in April 2017 in the Content Standard, Skyword’s marketing industry newsletter.

Working During an Internet Outage to Keep Your Business Lights On

Crikee, the power and the Internet went out multiple times during this drenching California winter. For us working out of our houses, that’s bad. But there are some options that worked out OK. Written for the IndyLife site, published by Fidelity, on freelancing tactics and resources. Published in April 2017.

How Proper Talent Management Prevents CIOs and CMOs from Butting Heads

Your tech guy might think keeping the servers sizzling is his only concern, and the marketing maven thinks customer engagement is the only worry, but today’s businesses know that the twain have finally met—and managing talent is the meeting place. Published in March 2017 in the Content Standard, Skyword’s marketing industry newsletter.

How to Properly Diagnose a Failed Email Campaign

Email campaigns are powerful components of successful marketing. But when they are done badly, man, can they stink up the joint. (And send your customers away holding their noses.) Published in March 2017 in the Content Standard, Skyword’s marketing industry newsletter.

Does Native Advertising Work?

Native advertising got a bit of a black eye when it was used deceptively. But there are ways to make it a useful component of your marketing toolkit. Published in March 2017 in the Content Standard, Skyword’s marketing industry newsletter.

Tips to Stay Focused — Don’t Fritter Away Your Freelancing

Ahh, the freelancing life: a little Twitter, a little YouTube, a little Facebook. What, I had a deadline? Let’s think about this. Written for the IndyLife site, published by Fidelity, on freelancing tactics and resources. Published in March 2017.

Movies in Your Customer’s Minds: Video Marketing Trends, Take 10

There is a growing mass of statistics (and viewers) that points to the power of video marketing in 2017. Need proof? Check out these ten trends. Published in February 2017 in the Content Standard, Skyword’s marketing industry newsletter.

Not Your Dad’s Content Marketing Trends—But Maybe Your Great (x5000) Granddad’s

The latest content marketing trends—by way of 40,000-year old cave paintings. Storytelling: it sticks. Published in February 2017 in the Content Standard, Skyword’s marketing industry newsletter.

Independent Contractor Retirement Options — Start Now and Stay Ahead

Dang, do I have to think about retirement? Well, NOT thinking about it won’t be of much help. This might. Written for the IndyLife site, published by Fidelity, on freelancing tactics and resources. Published in February 2017.

How to Be More Productive: “Eating the Frog” and Other Strategies

It’s easy to be distracted as a freelancer, and find that your fizzling morning became a frittered afternoon. Here are a few fixes. Written for the IndyLife site, published by Fidelity, on freelancing tactics and resources. Published in February 2017.

Advertising on a Budget and Spending Your Dollars Wisely

Freelancers often don’t have a lot of spare dough to advertise their goods and services. But you can start small on some of the major platforms (Facebook, Google, LinkedIn) and get tracked results. Written for the IndyLife site, published by Fidelity, on freelancing tactics and resources. Published in February 2017.

The Freelance Bartering Economy: Trading Talents and Saving Bacon

You might be surprised how your skills can be traded for services from people who have entirely different skills—and ones you need. The bartering economy never died. Written for the IndyLife site, published by Fidelity, on freelancing tactics and resources. Published in January 2017.

Avoiding Common Freelance Budgeting Mistakes With Common Sense

There’s a little more here than “Don’t buy a Corvette with your first paycheck,” but we can probably agree that common sense is sometimes not all that common. Written for the IndyLife site, published by Fidelity, on freelancing tactics and resources. Published in January 2017.

Navigating the Winding Roads of Health Insurance for Independent Contractors

It’s complicated, but there are resources as well as good advice for freelancers to find health coverage, though easy and cheap benefits aren’t so easy and cheap. Written for the IndyLife site, published by Fidelity, on freelancing tactics and resources. Published in January 2017.

Creating an Elevator Pitch? Push the Right Buttons

How to put together an elevator pitch for your business that is crisp, lively and demonstrates to your prospects that you can solve their problems. Written for the IndyLife site, published by Fidelity, on freelancing tactics and resources. Published in January 2017.

The Reality of Independent Contracting: Not All Cushions, Not All Pins

I get to be a wise old sage (or maybe just old) here, speaking of the glories and the gutters of being a freelance contractor, and handing out some free advice. This is for a new IndyLife site published by Fidelity on freelancing tactics and resources; I’ll be writing some more of these. Published in December 2016.

Staying Supreme, Staying Alive

A look at how the Supreme clothing company developed its customer base with clever marketing and go-viral practices. And if that virality can be sustained. Published in September 2016 on Content Marketing.

The (Marketing) Maven

Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven, rewritten in marketing vernacular. Somebody had to do it. Published in August 2016 on MarketingProfs.

The State of the Marketing Arts (and Sciences)

My brief interview with the delightful Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs on what’s current and what’s to come in marketing. Published in June 2016 on Content Marketing.

Earned Media, Irony-Style: What PBR Learned

When hipsters decided Pabst Blue Ribbon beer was it (oh, the humanity!), it was it. Briefly. What happens when branding depends on shooting stars. Published in June 2016 on Content Marketing.

One Fast Buffalo

The founder of a corporate branding company gets fed up with his workaholic nature and decides to take summers off, forever, in his 1958 Airstream. And it is a dandy. Published in May 2016 in Outside Interests, an online Airstream newsletter.

Immersion via URL: The Websites Telling Brand Tales

I don’t put a lot of my content-marketing writing in this section, but this one has such amazing websites linked in it that I thought it worthy. A look at how some brands use amazingly immersive website tools to draw readers (and potential customers) in. Published in May 2016 on Content Marketing.

Interview: Johnny B. Truant and Sean Platt

My interview of the mad (and popular) scribblers behind Write. Publish. Repeat and oh, a million and half words published in each of the last few years, across various fictional genres. (Psst! Sean and Johnny: you’re making us look bad!) Published by the fine folks at WriterUnboxed in March 2015.

One Small Step Toward Silicon Valley?

Peeking into the Digital NEST, a provider of new technology and entrepreneurial skills to youth in underserved communities, modeled on successful Silicon Valley companies. Published in the Winter 2014 edition of The American Scholar magazine.

Mark Twain’s 10-Sentence Course on Branding and Marketing

All the buzz (or sludge) about “brand me” and “platform” isn’t the stuff of now. Mark Twain had it down 100 years ago—and he still has an amusing thing or two to say about how it’s done. Published in July 2013 on MarketingProfs.

Flesh and Blood, Meet Flesh and Blood

How to be a human being in business; my finalist entry in Firepole Marketing’s Awesome Engagement Strategies contest. (Of course, being a human being is always advisable, strategic or not.) Published in January 2013 on Firepole Marketing’s site.

Why You Should Invite Your Customers to a Campfire Storytelling Session

How storytelling (and we’re talking storytelling from an authentic perspective) is the best means to make a connection between your business and your customers. And maybe even between you and your girlfriend. Published in March 2012 on Men With Pens.

Color and Form

A colorful (and form-filled) collection of essays written by the members of Triiibes, Seth Godin’s network of entrepreneurs, marketers and wily poker players. Mine is the last one in the ebook, titled Ideas Take Shape. Published in August, 2010 on Scribd.

Here’s How

and

Fear and Loathing 2010

ebooks (PDFs) Two ebooks inspired by Seth Godin’s free What Matters Now ebook, supplying the advice of 70 “big thinkers” on moving ahead with insight and progression in the new year. Here’s How and Fear and Loathing, which offer variations on how to make a practical difference in behavior and practice for the social good, were produced by the members of Godin’s Triiibes network. I wrote a piece for both books, and was one of the principal editors for the project. Published in January, 2010.

The Sony Reader Is a Work in Progress

A look at Sony’s new ebook reader, with enthusisasm and skepticism vying for attention. Published in Wired, September, 2006.