Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Friday, July 22, 2005

Give Wings To Your Dreams: Top Ten Tips For Becoming Independent

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Sometimes the best resource of all is to just stop, pull together all of your findings, and see how to integrate them in an effective way in your daily workflow.

Intelligent research and experimentation on the cutting edge requires also having time to slow down and learn how to actually fit new ideas and learned lessons into your own personal goals activities.

Photo credit: Ben C

Too many times the need for speed and for being first at trying this or that, leaves us primitively ignorant as to how beneficial or ineffective some of these discoveries may be.

Here for you I have collected ten of my recent articles that shed good light and information on how to best leverage the options and opportunities offered by the Internet to those who want to become gradually independent of their traditional 9-5 jobs.

If you are an independent writer, musician, educator or videomaker, you will find here below the best resources, tips and specific tools and services that can give wings to your dreams.

  1. Where To Submit Your Podcasts: Best Podcast Search Engines And Directories

    Podcasting is making audio files (most commonly in MP3 format) available online in a way that allows use to automatically download the files for listening at their convenience.

    "Podcasting is a way of publishing files to a website that allows users to subscribe to the site and receive new files as they are posted. Most podcasts are spoken word audio created by individuals, often on a particular theme such as technology or movies. Because new files are downloaded automatically by subscribers, podcasting allows individuals to have a self-published, syndicated radio show."

    The disruptive power of podcasting lays in the fact that all audio broadcasting that is distributed in a podcast format can now be accessed at any time the user chooses to. This transforms also the world of broadcasting (both radio and TV) from one where content was pushed at you at specified times, to a medium where you the individual is now the puller who can decide what to listen to at any time.

    By submitting your podcast feed to the greatest number of specialty podcast search engines and directories you increase the ease with which other people can find your podcasts, while making your audio podcast known.

    If you are a podcaster or think of becoming one, here is the most comprehensive list of all search engines and directories where you can go to submit your podcast feed to help other people find you.

  2. Services And Tools To Publish Video Content Over The Internet: The Rise Of Online Movie Distribution Services
    If you have not heard about it, this is news that is going to heavily change the way we think about independent movie production and distribution in the near future. A number of new services has sprung up which allows online archival of large rich-media files such as audio recordings, music tracks, CDs, video clips and movies.

    According to one of the most accredited companies on the use of video on the Internet (Yahoo uses it for its own research) estimates that during the year 2005 there will be a 48% increase in the access to streamed video content (we have had a 80,7% increment in 2004). The report costs around 1,000 EU and it could be quite useful in planning future investments in the web streaming marketplace.

    According to Wired a true new battle for supremacy in the video search world has already started with Yahoo, Google, MSN and others being the main contenders.

    What is becoming apparent is that the ability to host, distribute and facilitate access to video content will be big business for those who can introduce technologies that provide easy access and download of such content, and for those many small independent movie producers a new, unthought-of venue through which finally find the audiences to sustain and propel their talent.

    Among many, these are the pioneering group of services that are making this revolution possible.

  3. Where To Find Free Images And Visuals For My Blog

    Finding quality images and photos for complementing an important article, essay or news report is already quite a challenge for many. Imagine when the goal is not just too find good images, but find some that you could openly and freely use without needing to pay royalties or one-time publishing rights to someone.

    Nonetheless the task would seem at first a tough one to carry out, times are fast changing, and to the few and little-known online free image resources available until today, news ones are appearing and offering a great assortment of alternative quality pictures to the expensive ones offered by traditional stock image libraries.

    But as long as your subjects do not require photos of art masterpieces stored in world museums, or faces of popular stars, it may be likely that you can find highly interesting visual alternatives by exploring the world of free and grassroots image clearinghouses.

  4. How To Write Great Titles and Headlines for the Web
    Writing truly effective Web titles and headlines is a difficult and challenging skill.

    Few are good at this, and the ones that have learned what it takes to do this job right, keep most of their tactics for themselves.

    Writing great headlines for the Web has nothing to do with writing great articles in newspapers or magazines.

    Writing great titles and headlines on the Web is of such enormous value to content publishers that not knowing what it takes to transform titles in perfect content labels can cost them literally thousands of dollars in lost advertising or subscription revenues.

    Great titles are worth gold on the Internet but understanding how to create them is not an intuitive task or something that you can learn by emulating what print newspapers and magazines have done for decades.

    We are in a completely different ball game. While in a print newspaper the reader has clearly decided to engage and browse through the publication she is holding in her hands, on the Web this is increasingly less and less the case.

    People don't browse so much sites in search for articles that would interest them like they do while browsing a paper. They are sent to other places by recommendations and reviews made by people and sources they trust or they find your content by way of searches on major search engines.

    So, if you are after getting the attention of those trusted reviewers, bloggers and newsmakers, or if you want to make way for your content to become more visible on the major search engines, this is what I advise you to do.

  5. How To Optimize Your Site For Major Search Engines: The Top 10 Things To Do

    The team at MarketingExperiments has been doing a hell of a great job since quite some time now, and the results keep improving.

    MarketingExperiments is a small research agency who specializes in carrying out in-depth research that is relevant to those who need to market or promote their brand, institution, product or service online. As they say it in their own words, they are "an online laboratory with a simple (but not easy) five-word mission statement: To discover what really works."

    And yes, I can testify that at MarketingExperiments they do test every conceivable marketing method on the Internet while sharing many of the results for free. The Marketing Experiments Journal is a great, free newsletter that I would heartily recommend to anyone involved marketing communications. In the last issue there was a great list of 20 recommended changes that, according to MarketingExperiments' own research, have been proven to be the most important ones affecting your visibility and exposure within the major search engines. I have extracted from their original list the six-seven most important actions I suggest you take and I have added a few more of my own. Here is my top ten list of suggested improvements to increase your search engine visibility.

  6. How To Make Money With Your Blog Site

    Which are the best and most effective ways to make your blog or independent news site return a profit?

    I share here my own personal discoveries and humble recommendations on how to best monetize online content while maintaining your site free of all forms of interruptive ads (banners, pop-ups, flashy ads, etc.).

    These are the unique, effective revenue channels you should seriously consider to increase the sustainability and profit potential of your micro-publishing enterprise. If intelligently used each one of these can help any serious online publisher move her news site from a part-time passion into a serious, competitive business.

    You can't do it overnight, but with enough nose, patience and dedication you can make good content pay back for itself and then some.

  7. The Blogs' Long Tail: Blogs And RSS Profit Potential

    "The mainstreaming of Web syndication technology such as RSS through easy-to-use and popular services such as My Yahoo! could create a new business model / revenue stream for companies such as Yahoo!, as well as independent freelance Web journalists / content providers.
    We believe that blogs represent the traditionally hard-to monetize tail of content, and the barriers to monetization are slowly being overcome.

    In the following excerpts the ideas of newsmastering, digital lifestyle aggregators and profitability of these new media are all confirmed and supported.

  8. Becoming Independent: Possible Roads For Musicians And Videomakers

    Given the amount of affordable new media tools available today it is no surprise to hear how many would-be musicians and video- film-makers are working at trying to break in through the system while making an impact.

    But is this the best way to go?

    If the marketplace for entertainment is indeed being deeply transformed by new media forces pushing from the bottom up, should there be a better, smarter way for independent artists to make it?

    What are the things that an independent musician or videomaker can do to leverage the many possibilities offered by the convergence of low-cost production tools, the Internet, broadband access, unlimited online storage space and bandwidth, and new licensing options such as the Creative Commons?

    How can they ride the opportunities offered by the Long Tail?

  9. The New Music Niche Markets : The Long Tail

    "Forget squeezing millions from a few megahits at the top of the charts. The future of entertainment is in the millions of niche markets at the shallow end of the bitstream."

    If you haven't read it in print, in the October 2004 issue of Wired magazine, get a copy. It's on page 170. If you don't have the time to go and get a copy, surf off now to and print this article out.

    If you are a musician and can't find a way out to survival from the apparently too few opportunities made available by the mainstream recording business you need to read this article through.

    If you are reading this on a piece of printed paper and have no computer nearby, no Internet connection and no traditional newstand to support this quest, here is why you MUST read this article by Chris Anderson, Wired's Editor in Chief.

  10. Where To Submit Your Blog and RSS Feeds To Increase Visibility and Exposure

    As more and more people get involved with the Internet and as more Web sites, blogs, news services and other online resources continue to grow in number and variety it becomes increasingly important to maintain high visibility and exposure for the content being generated by closely following the major distribution media.

    Until now the web was populated by Web sites and other HTML-based content pages, and the main vehicle for reaching content has been the large use of major search engines and directories.

    As a rapidly increasing number of content sources, new and old, migrate or add RSS as a key distribution channel, and as more people utilize RSS newsreaders and aggregators to keep themselves informed, the ability to maintain high exposure and visibility is gradually shifted from a complete attention to major search engines and content optimization techniques to an increasing awareness of RSS feed directories and search tools.

    If until now the world of content optimization online went under the umbrella of SEO (search engine optimization) and SEM (search engine marketing) from now it exist, at least in principle the opportunity to grow another complementary field tentatively called RSSEM (RSS search engine marketing).

    One of the key benefits of this reference list is that it provides all of the submission links directly, so that you don't have to waste any time at all to find these at each destination site. This by itself is a significant effort, especially as a number of sites make it consciously hard to find this info, in order to discourage spam and superficial or automated submissions. In some cases I have been able to dig out valuable emails and contact forms after a lot of searching.

    I think that this is a VERY powerful list to use to increase your RSS feed/blog exposure and visibility online. If you organize yourself well, with an excel spreadsheet and the time to track your process through it, you can do the whole effort in less than a day and you can start to see the results the day after.

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posted by Robin Good on Friday, July 22 2005, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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