How to Create a Course in 12 Hours

How to Create a Killer Mini-Course (in 12 hours), with a free workbook and free video training from
If you have a moment, I want to help you create a course (an epic “mini-course” to be more specific) that you can give away or sell to your audience, and I want to help you for free. Like seriously, I have a 20-page workbook and 5 training videos waiting for you, but I must start with the brief story of a time, long ago, when I created an entire mini-course in 12 hours. The story begins in the distant past known as . . . two days ago.

11 a.m. – I woke up // Don’t judge me, I got a late start.
11:15 a.m. – I remembered how I really want to create a quick, free Blog School this weekend to help people plan + create their blogs.
11:17 a.m. – I thought it would be fun to invite other friends across the globe to create their own short courses with me.
11:18 a.m. – I thought, “Maybe I can make it a bit of a challenge and post updates throughout the day.”
11:19 a.m. – Made up my mind and then posted a graphic announcing my plans on Instagram.

Mini Course Challenge Announcement

I started posting YouTube updates as I was creating my initial product (a blog school), which I still plan to finish soon, but then my path morphed a bit. I realized (somewhere in Hour 3 I think) that the mini course I was actually creating was a course on how to create mini courses. Yeah. It took me a minute to realize it. But see, #whathadhappenedwas:

I was working and posting videos and updates on one thing, but I constantly wanted to develop worksheets, resources, tips, and more for everyone else who was following along and creating their own mini courses.

Shocker, right? If you know me at all, then you know that I live to create and do adult homework. So the day I had so carefully planned out (translation: had not planned out at all really) morphed into the creation of a short course that I want you to be able to take for free.

Want to take a completely free course on how to create courses?

And here’s the thing, you don’t have to sign up to any list, or jump through any flaming hoops (unless you’re really keen to) . . . you get complete access for free. I mean. Would I be mad if you tweeted the short tweet below? Not at all.

Take a free class my friends

And, would I complain if you put up with me as I share a few more shots of the workbook? Nope. It was a lot of fun to create.

How to create a mini course for your audience

So, what’s in this “Create a Course in 12 hours” workbook?

The workbook has 20 pages that cover the various sections of the mini-course. Between the five training videos and the worksheets, you’ll find materials to help you as you:

  • Decide on your topic
  • Identify your people (audience)
  • Create an outline for your course
  • Select the format for each part of the course you are creating
  • Decide on the delivery methods for your course content
  • Think up course promotion ideas
  • Edit your course
  • Format your course documents/videos (+ my secret tip for creating materials quickly)
  • And more (such as a Launch Checklist and lots of videos of me in my Jimi Hendrix shirt)

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The Free “Love My Brand Kit” for Creatives

Love My Brand Kit: Get it Free
Workcations. My favorite activities ever. Checking into a hotel (or cleaning my house and pretending it’s a hotel) and leisurely working on my business, renewing my mind, planning, daydreaming, or completing passion projects.

It’s seriously the most fun ever. And I want to help you create a perfect workcation for yourself. Even made a handy-dandy workbook for you to complete on your workcation. You get it for free, by the way. Mainly because I actually believe that if you complete it, you’ll be more in love with your brand, more clear on what you’re doing, and more excited about your plans and brand in general.

You’ll have fun. I promise. If you end up hating it though, I’ll issue you an instant refund (of $0) and send you a sincere apology tweet.

That’s a lie. I actually won’t do any of that, so just don’t hate it, okay? I mean, it’s free and it’s fun. So fun I actually considered making the cover an awkward hug-kiss-combo from me (left). I decided against it. And by that, I mean: a friend laughed at the picture so hard I just couldn’t bring myself to do that to you. I went for the mysterioso-creative-man-typing-on-a-computer cover instead (right).

#LoveMyBrandKit Cover Decisions

And now you’d like to know what’s in the #LoveMyBrandKit, eh?

Well my friends. Let me tell you about the contents of the Love My Brand Kit. It’s 20+ pages and it includes all the items below:

  • Brand Checklist: with 24 recommended items
  • Brand Needs List: for you to fill out
  • I Love My Brand Because: << random cool sheets to fill out
  • The Brand Owner Questionnaire: like Cosmo-ish questionnaires, but about business
  • My Big Brand Vision: to plan out . . . you guessed it, your big vision
  • The Online Presence Audit: << and certain things explain themselves
  • My 3-Month Change Plan: to plan out additions/changes to your brand
  • Software + Tools Wish List: fun
  • The Past Me + Future Me Exercise: << I’ll let this one be a surprise
  • + more cool stuff

The #LoveMyBrandKit, for you, for free
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20 Actions You Can Take to Look Like a Pro Blogger

How do you look like a pro blogger? Here are 20 actions you can take.

When you put the word “pro” in front of an action or position in life (one that refers to a person), it typically means that the word or action is done as a profession–as in: it makes money or it is the person’s job.

Which definitely brings me to the time I met Allen Iverson. I was closing up shop at a retail establishment I used to manage in New York. A limousine pulled up right in front of our doors after I had already locked up. My mind said: I’m not unlocking the doors unless it’s Idris Elba. Or Justin Timberlake. Or Rosario Dawson. Or Judi Dench. Or anyone who has ever played James Bond in a film. But that’s it.

Who do you think that is?” one of the sales associates asked.

At this hour and at this store, probably a pro baller,” said another team member. [P.S. This was a shoe store we were in.]

Pro baller. Good guess. Where pro means the person doesn’t just play basketball for fun . . . someone, somewhere hands over a paycheck for them to play. And the paycheck is probably large. Hence the limousine. And the late arrival to my store. And the stock guy who came running out of the back begging me to open the doors as soon as he saw one half smidgen of Iverson’s head. Allen Iverson was his favorite basketball player ever.

I had already made my mind up that I wasn’t going to open the door except for the people noted above, but could I really deny a friend their chance to meet someone they thought was epically talented (regardless of how I felt about this person)?

I’m not that mean. I unlocked the door. Every single employee was geeking out. The stock guy offered to be his salesperson, a salesperson offered to be his cashier (but then asked me to ring him up instead because she was too nervous). I felt like I was the only person acting like a normal human being–which is so far from being an accurate thing to say about me.
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33 Types of Blogger Collaborations (For Fun + For Profit)

33 Blogger Collaboration Ideas for fun and for profit

Yo, our week of celebrating Business Valentine’s Day (#BizVDay) is continuing with a new post to help you show your blog or business some love: 33 Blogger Collaboration Ideas. Some of these are just for fun (and to build community and blog traffic) and some of these can be done for profit (dollar dollar bills y’all and brand awareness).

So, I want to talk (1) reasons to collaborate, (2) types of free collaborations, (3) collaboration ideas for profit, (4) pitch etiquette, and (5) pitch “musts” in the form of a checklist.

Reasons to Collaborate with Other Bloggers

Collaborating with other content creators is about so many things beyond simply growing your blog traffic. Here are just a few of the benefits:

  • Collaboration will expand your community and your opportunities to connect with people who want and need what you have to offer. Collaboration will also connect you with like-minded people; these connections can go anywhere (from friendships and people who share your stuff to long-term profitable relationships).
  • Collaboration allows you to be seen in a different light. I mean this in two ways: (1) The person or people you collaborate with will present you in a different way than you would. Whether in an interview, or an introduction, or a promotional tweet, the other person can say things about you that would look ridiculous, conceited, or just plain weird coming from you. (2) You can easily collaborate on something that is a hop outside your normal content—this allows you to pivot into new areas of expertise or simply add to what you already do.
  • Collaborations allow you to expand your offerings. You can begin to establish new areas of expertise for yourself . . . or collaborations can simply allow you to offer more products + content in your original area.
  • Collaborations will shed light on the feasibility and opportunity of new products and content. If people go cray cray for something, make it a product. If it fizzles out, modify it or move on.
  • Collaborations allow you to make more of an impact than you might be able to make alone. Two audiences instead of one. Two sources of ideas. Two people marketing something. Two voices adding value. You get the point.
  • Collaborations allow you to see things differently. You’re an absolute genius ninja, that is not to be doubted. However, sometimes it can be a beautiful thing to see the world, or a problem, or a product, or an idea through someone else’s viewpoint.
  • Collaborations provide a built-in sounding board and “checks and balances” system. Here’s the deal: We all have outlandish ideas at times. We all think of epic brand names, product features, and ways to word things that end up being not that great. Your collaboration partners mean that you will have constant reality checks. You’ll have another entity or two that’s a part of your target market to go, “Umm, I don’t think that’s going to go over as well as you might want. But good job though.”

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12 Ways Creativepreneurs are Like Small Children

Creativepreneurs Are Like Small Children

If you know me a little bit, you know I love us creative types. But if you’ve read some of my post titles (9 Ways Bloggers are Like Drunk People and 12 Ways Creativepreneurs are Like Small Children), they might seem a little insulting. It’s not that I wish to be rude. I’m just trying to be truthful—and the truth is that owning a business sometimes makes me act like a drunk child. It probably does the same to you. Let’s just own it. Below are several ways you and I (probably) act like small children.

1. We just make stuff up and hope it all works out.

Here’s how it plays out with kids:
I’m not going to call my godson out or anything . . . but have you ever been playing a game with a kid, and they just change the rules on you without warning? They see things are not headed their way so they make up a completely new rule and hope it works out in their favor:

No, no, if you step over the blue line you have to freeze for 10 seconds and you lose 2 points.”

Wait a second kid, you didn’t tell me this rule to begin with. And since when did this game have a point system?”

But what can you do? Kids cheat.

Just kidding. < < Don't hate me parents.
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20 Ways to Help Your Brand Stand Out

20 Ways to Help Your Brand Stand Out, plus Business Valentine's Day

As you know, this weekend we celebrate Business Valentine’s Day (#BizVDay), and therefore, I have some cool treats for you and your business.

Okay. Okay. You make a fair point. How could you have known about #BizVDay, considering I just made it up?

But you can at least see where this is going right? A week’s worth of posts on how to treat and love your business, a couple of free eBooks, a free desktop wallpaper, and a list of ideas for you to celebrate the first annual Business Valentine’s Day on Saturday, February 28th . . . you picked up on all that right?

Listen, I don’t know if you’re having a slow day or if I’m just not explaining myself well . . .
But it’s probably not me . . .

Anyhow, I’ll try to make it more clear: February 28th is Business Valentine’s Day. I chose a day/date still in the month of love, so it’d be easy for us to remember, but I wanted to make it far enough away from that other impostor Valentine’s Day (on February 14th–have you heard of it?) that it would give people’s bank accounts a little bit of recuperation time.

To celebrate #BizVDay, I’ll be releasing multiple posts this week, starting with today’s (20 Ways to Help Your Brand Stand Out), and then throughout the whole week >> ranging from blogger collaborations to protecting your business and getting search engines to love you. I’ll also be releasing two (wait what?) . . . two free eBooks this week for anyone on le good ol’ email friends list. There will be other various goodies shared through social media and other sources as well. On actual Business Valentine’s Day, I hope you’ll be celebrating as I will, by doing things that show love to our businesses (maintenance, cleaning/auditing things, planning, developing products, being epic, etc.). Don’t worry, I’ll share more as the week unfolds, but for now, just tweet me that you’re in.

Are you down with Business Valentine's Day? #BizVDay

Oh, and feel free to release some cool, free stuff for your blog readers and friends for #BizVDay too. I’d love to see what you come up with, so please Tweet me.

20 Ways to Help Your Brand Stand Out
(and Attract the Right People to You)

1. Create a pretty archive page on your website, or create a “start here” page to direct first-time visitors to your best stuff.

As we get blogging, it’s sometimes easy to forget that new people are probably finding us every day, and that these new people are entering our sites from all sorts of links/pages/posts. Someone may come through a link to a specific post through Pinterest, someone else may have found your bio page through a Google search, and yet another person may have been sent a link to your services page by a friend . . . you never know.

So, having a beautiful archive page (that shows all your posts) or creating a custom “First time here?” or “Start Here” page can be the most welcoming, brilliant thing ever. You’re able to direct people to your best content (or your most recent content) in a super attractive way. I love how Lindsay and Bjork over at Pinch of Yum have fashioned their archives page.

Pinch of Yum Archive Page

2. Boomerang everythang.

It was important to use an “a” there, so it could rhyme. Don’t hate on that. That’s genius level stuff that no one has ever done before.
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Want to go from Blog to Profit? This Program is Your Jam.

A course and community that takes you from blog to profit.

As explained in my recent post on #50Workdays: Zero to Blog, several bloggers and I started on an epic journey earlier this year, and I want to tell you about it in case you want in on the fun. It’s called #50Workdays, and it’s a 10-week program (5 days per week) of videos, worksheets, lessons, guidance, and community support. It’s split into two pretty epic tracks:

1. Zero to Blog (if you’re starting from scratch or near scratch)
2. Blog to Profit (if you want to start making money from your blog)

So, in my most recent two posts on this blog, I’m giving you all the deets on these two programs. This post is about Blog to Profit, but if you’re more interested in launching or revamping your blog, check out #50Workdays: Zero to Blog.

Blog to Profit: The Details

April 6 – June 12, 2015

Whereas Blog to Profit doesn’t have its own rap song yet (so sad about this–see my post on Zero to Blog to understand what I mean), it does have a really cool schedule I’d love to share (and yes, you can join Blog to Profit even if you didn’t go through Zero to Blog–all you need is a blog you believe in that you want to start making money from):

In Week 1, you will: do a website audit of your static pages // do a design audit of your current blog // complete a blog post audit and action list // do a current monetization audit // fill out a blog stats + social media growth tracking worksheet

In Week 2, you will: do an overview of monetization strategies and methods // learn about various blog growth strategies // create your tentative monetization plan // do a blog business plan revamp

In Week 3, you will: look at affiliate programs in depth // review applicable associate programs in depth // learn the basics of incorporating affiliate + associate programs as a monetization strategy on your blog // learn about creating effective blog posts with affiliate links // create an editorial plan of blog content that includes posts that use affiliate/associate content

In Week 4, you will: learn about custom web advertisements and how to implement them // review PPC + PPV ad programs + strategies // go in depth on planning for social media growth // implement new strategies for increasing your blog traffic with social media

In Week 5, you will: take a detailed look at offering services on your blog // learn about email list growth // review tips for selling via email // discover the most common and effective sales platforms for services // learn multiple non-social media growth strategies
[Read more…]