Today I have spent most of the day trying to get over a horrible man-flu - given to me by my wonderful children! Unfortunately when I am on sick leave the boredom kicks in pretty quickly and I tend to gravitate online to to keep occupied. Here is what I did today... Step 1 - look for inspiration This step is pretty easy... since I missed out on my usual feed of podcast content whilst commuting to work, I had a quick scout around the web looking at some inspirational content from some of my favourite authors like Steve Sammartino, Tom Peters, Seth Godin.... and listening to a few podcasts from the likes James Altucher, and the crew at Beers, Blokes, Business Lots of good content there to knock a chesty cough for six! Step 2 - inspiration into actions A consistent theme across all of those authors/channels was that it is really important to take control of your work online. Now you can unpack that a number of different ways - but the things that I took away from it were:
- You should own your name online. Not LinkedIn, not Twitter, not Facebook. At the moment in my part of the world this blog which sits at http://www.paul-woods.com is on the second page of results for Paul Woods - yep - I am a NOBODY! My Linkedin profile, Twitter feed and Facebook timeline all rank higher. This needs to change!
- You should own the content you produce online. I have a few blogs around the place - some lie very dormant (like this one has for a while), some are quite low maintenance - like my Microsoft Office tips and tricks blog - whilst some a quite fresh like my new site where I am documenting the things I learn about my new Zoom H4n Handy Recorder. Across just the three blogs mentioned above, I have written over 400 pieces of content in the past 8 or 9 years - a small back catalog of good (and not so good) content. But according to Google, you couldn't really attribute that content to me. This needs to change!
- You should own your future Today, I have a great job where I have developed over time and had the opportunity to do some truly amazing things, and learn from some amazing people. For example over the past four years I have been given enough rope and support to create a business inside the larger corporate machine - and have experienced the good and the bad of raw intrapreneurship - where I transformed what was simply a hobby - my Office tips and tricks blog into a "7 figure, profitable, employing a team of people" business. But I know for sure that I will not still working at the same place when I retire at 40/50/65/70/80. To survive/be comfortable in the future, where businesses are redefining what work is for the middle class... you can't pretend to rely on employment forever. I have been pretty comfortable to date. This needs to change!
- Wrote this article! And committed to myself (and you) to write more articles like it which are more focused on where I want to be tomorrow.
- Ensured that I had some basic Search Engine Optimisation occurring on my WordPress blogs. In this case I simply used the All-in-one SEO Pack for WordPress and London SEO Agency which does some pretty nifty things out of the box, but one thing in particular that I like is that it made it really easy for me to set up...
- Google Authorship. Clearly identifying Paul Woods as the author of stuff that Paul Woods has created online. This meant getting familiar with something that (to be honest) I had disregarded in the past - Google+. Whilst there is little value for me in circles at the moment (as not many of my friends or family are there) - the fact that my Google profile acts as the glue between all my content - both text and video - is a good thing.
- 30 minutes Exploring other ways to raise / curate my profile and learn at the same time. Top of the list was becoming a "author" - well as close to an author you can be without a publisher behind you. I am thinking about taking some of the best content from my Office tips and tricks blog and turning it into a easy to consume Amazon Kindle title. It will take some work, but a "as traditional as you can almost get" book published via Amazon.com is a great artifact that adds credibility to your story, what ever it is. You can help me craft the first title by filling in this quick survey