Follow your own dreams, not someone else’s. (And be sure it’s an amazing dream.)

Follow your dreams.I have written about this before, but as it’s early in the year I wanted to tackle the subject again.

As the New Year gathers steam, we feel inspired to set new goals, maybe move forward in new directions, and take on fresh and interesting projects.

That’s all good.

But there is a caveat.

Don’t be lured into taking on someone else’s goals, directions and projects. They may be a perfect fit for that person, but not so much for you.

Let me explain.

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If a business isn’t social, it has no business on social media.

Social group of friendsLet’s say you’re not a very social person. Antisocial even.

When you go to a local bar, you don’t talk to anyone. And people rarely talk to you because, well, you give off a vibe that you’re not interested in listening to them.

It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. Doesn’t even mean you don’t like people. It just means you’re not social. So people leave you alone.

Now let’s say you do have one friend, and that friend suggests you try a different bar. It seems this second bar is a really, really social place. Your friend thinks it might change things for you.

So you go to the second bar, and you don’t talk to anyone. They get that same vibe of yours and leave you alone.

The point being, in spite of his or her good intentions, your friend should have known that a change in bars wouldn’t make any difference.

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Choose clients that inspire your very best work.

want more message on signIf you look back over the work you have done as a freelance writer or copywriter over the last year, you can probably identify one or two jobs that stand out from the rest.

These were jobs that brought out the best in you.

They tapped into your core skills.

They allowed you to shine in ways that just didn’t happen with most other projects.

You probably loved the product or service you were promoting.

You respected the company you were working with.

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Freelancers – Do you give yourself time to sit back and think?

Sitting by a lake and thinkingAs freelancers we like to keep busy.

In fact, if we’re not busy we start to feel nervous. After all, “empty” time is unbillable time.

Beyond that, sitting around and doing nothing is something we have always been told is bad.

Staring out of the window and daydreaming at school was bad.

Failing to keep your head down and looking busy as an employee was bad.

From an early age we have been conditioned to believe that during our work hours we should always keep busy. To do otherwise brands us as slackers.

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The fastest way to learn about writing for the web is to have fun… while writing for the web.

Coffee Detective websiteYou probably remember this from your own time at school.

When you enjoyed the subject, and liked the teacher, you learned faster and did well. And the most enjoyable classes where those in which you were actually doing something rather than just studying a text book, line by line.

Long story short, you always learn more when you’re having fun. And what you learn sticks when you learn by “doing” instead of just reading text books.

The same is true when learning online writing and copywriting.

You can study all you want, but you’ll learn most when you “do it”, and when you’re having a good time.

Which brings me to my own favorite learning tool.

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The broadcast medium formerly known as social media.

Being social at a partyBefore it became commercial, the web was social.

By the late 1990s it was definitely more commercial than social.

Then, with the fast growth of dedicated social media channels like Facebook and Twitter, it became seriously social again.

The arrival of the smartphone in 2007 made the web even more social. Smartphones are, by definition, social devices. And many of the most popular apps for these devices are hard-core social.

And then…

And then social media became a commercial broadcast channel.

OK, that’s the short version.

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