3 Ways to put an extra $12,000 in your pocket every year.

Dog and coffeeAs the end of each year approaches, and the holiday season looms, most of us come up a little short.

We wish we had a little extra money in our pockets. More to save. More to spend on our families over the holidays. And more of a cash cushion so we can sleep better at night.

An extra $12,000 – one thousand more each month – would certainly make a big difference. In fact, for many of us, that extra thousand dollars a month would change our lives.

So how can we do that? Really, there are only three ways.

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Social media isn’t just a hook for your website.

Social media hookHere we are, several years into the rise of social media, and companies still have no clue about what the social web is about.

When I scan through a company’s Facebook page, for example, what I see for the most part are links to its website.

Someone at the company wants to drive traffic to a particular page. So they send out a tweet, or create a Facebook update, or a Google+ post. The social media content is often automatically created, drawing the title and a photo from the site’s web page.

In other words, the social media update is simply a link back to the site, with no intrinsic value of its own.

That’s not social media content. That’s just a hook.

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Why I’m opting out of the content race.

Leaving the raceI don’t like doing things just because I’m told to do them. Or when I’m told I have to do them.

And recently I’m feeling a little pressured to keep adding new posts to this site on an increasingly frequent basis.

Where is this pressure coming from?

It’s coming from the web itself.

Both the search engines and social media favor content that is new and fresh. (How often do you check last week’s tweets or last month’s Facebook updates?)

Also, readers seem to favor content that is fresh and new. There is an assumption that posts and articles that are new are somehow better and more valuable than content that was published last week, a month ago or even a year ago.

More and more the web is about what’s happening right now.

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The fastest way to master the craft of writing for the web is to create and write your own website.

My money making website about coffeeIt’s hard to track all the different ways in which I have built up my knowledge and expertise in writing for the web.

I guess it started when I wrote and published my first website back in 1996.

When I began writing for the web full time in 1998, I was soaking up new knowledge from all kinds of different sources. I would read articles, buy books and listen carefully to fellow presenters at industry conferences.

And, of course, I learned a great deal from every new client project I took on.

But nothing compares, or even comes close to the knowledge I have gained from writing and publishing my own hobby website, CoffeeDetective.com.

Yes, it’s a hobby. I work on the site just in the evening and at weekends. Sometimes.

And before I get into the part about learning, let me just mention that the site has also become a significant source of income for me and my family. Since I began writing it in 2007, this hobby-site has earned me over $200,000 in passive income.

Now let’s look at how my coffee site has helped me learn so much about writing for the web.

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What I hate about web content. And how to make it better.

most web content is noise, not signalI hate the race…the pressure to add more and more pages of content at an ever-increasing rate.

A few years ago millions of rubbish pages were being uploaded to the web every day. Then Google put a big dent in that approach with its Panda updates.

Unfortunately, the race is still being run, but with a slightly improved quality of content.

It’s still a race.

And I hate that.

I want to publish content according to my own calendar, not because I feel I have to compete with everyone else.

And I want to publish content that has a purpose, not simply because “more content is good”.

And that’s the nub of it. It drives me nuts when companies and individuals upload content simply because “more is good”, and “fresher is better than older”. There is an element of truth to both of those reasons, but the downside is that everyone gets into a race to upload truck loads of content that is just “good enough”, and created simply to satisfy the call for “more content”.

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4 Weeks to Content Marketing Mastery with Brian Clark

Nick Usborne and Brian Clark talking about content marketingAlthough I don’t usually promote other people’s programs on my site, I’m happy to make an exception with Brian Clark and his program on Content Marketing.

Why? For a couple of reasons.

First, although I have written a couple of ebooks on the topic of content marketing, I have never written a full program on the subject.

Second, if you were to ask me to name the most knowledgeable practitioner of content marketing online today, I would immediately point to Brian.

I have known Brian Clark for a long time now, although we didn’t meet face to face until about three years ago. And it wasn’t until earlier this year that we actually got to sit down together and talk to an audience about writing for the web and content marketing.

During a break between my own presentations, I sat down and listened to Brian give his talk on content marketing. From the outset it was pretty clear to me that he was sharing the core secrets behind the phenomenal success of his own business, Copyblogger Media, which now generates $7 million in revenue a year. It was an amazing presentation.

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