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SEO Spammers can kiss my BUM CHEEKS!

Holy moly it’s been a tough month. I mean seriously. I moved my hosting to a new hosting company – who shall remain nameless because right now they suck. I’m publishing my new book and it’s taking EONS to get it through all the various stages. I’ve been sick as a giss. And it’s launch week for my SEO course, which no matter how much meditation, green tea and GIN I employ is still stressful as all hell. And then this happened. SEO Spammers can kiss my BUM CHEEKS! #SEO Click To Tweet One of my lovely followers Liz received an email from me. Nothing unusual there, I’ve sent heaps of emails in the last few months. But this one was a bit different. Yes, the spelling was worse than usual. Also I moved from referencing myself in the singular to the plural pretty quickly, but my multiple personalities do sometimes get the best of me. Also I used a ‘Z’ rather than an ‘S’ in optimisation. Bleurgh. But other than that – it’s fairly normal right? WRONG.   If you’d rather not read from the image here’s what it said: Hello LIZ VAN VLIET,   I found your web contact email. I would like to discuss a business. I am Kate, Online Marketing Consultant, We are a leading SEO Company offers dedicated search engine optimization (SEO) and Web design services to help you score over your competition. We have a team of 100+ highly qualified professionals who are certified in SEO & Google Ad words and standards providing a wide range of services in order to generate higher visitor traffic to... read more

Are you suffering from entrepreneurial envy?

Or the year I went full circle with my business A few weeks ago I wasn’t exactly feeling 100%. I don’t know if my yin was squabbling with my yang, my cosmic planetary alignment was skewed, or I simply wasn’t eating enough bananas. But I was up and down like badger on a pogo stick. At first I put it down to being a bit tired. It’s been a huge year at Toon HQ, and right now I’m running on fumes. But then I realised I was suffering from something serious. I had a bad case of entrepreneurial envy. And perhaps you do too. So in this post I’m going to take you through a clinical diagnosis of entrepreneurial envy—the tell-tale signs, the potential treatments, and the long-term side effects. Are you suffering from entrepreneurial envy? #envy #entrepreneur Click To Tweet The pre-existing condition This year my business and I turned a corner. After years of happily cruising down the road towards small business success, I inadvertently hit an on-ramp and found myself on the entrepreneur highway. And let me tell you, it’s been a bumpy ride full of potholes and with loo spots few and far between. Now this wasn’t a deliberate pivot. As I did more, and became slightly more well known, I was asked to do more. My ecourse led to me being invited on more podcasts. One speaking gig led to another. And word of mouth went from a mumble to a slightly irritating noisy hum. My marketing was working – it was terrifying. And as I attended more events, I found myself rubbing shoulders... read more

How Donald Trump helped me write my book in 7 days

Or, how threats can help you get started I’ll be honest: I feel a bit dirty having the words ‘Donald Trump’ in my headline. And yes, I’ll admit it has a little bit of a click bait style to it. But I’m doing it for a reason, which will become clear (for those of you brave enough to read to the end). Now, let me get stuck into this post. I’m writing a book. Not a glorified two-blogs-posts-glued-together-into-an-ebook book. It’s booky book, with a story and an arc and a stunning and seductive heroine. The heroine is me. And the book tells the story of how I built three successful businesses and a lovely lifestyle without following the traditional entrepreneurial rules. How Donald Trump helped me write my book in 7 days #donaldtrump #writing #books Click To Tweet It’s not a get-rich-quick book either, or one about how-to-work-one-hour-a-week-from-a-hammock. And if you see any mention of earning a seven-figure income you’re welcome to punch me in the boob. A photo posted by Kate Toon (@katetoon) on Oct 24, 2016 at 6:50pm PDT My previous book experience You may not know this, but I’ve already written a few books. There’s my poetry book called Gone Dotty, which is packed with witty heartfelt poems and dog poo haikus. I also wrote an equally awesome illustrated kids book called Wobbly Jim and a Parrot called Sue about a lonely pirate and a kick-arse female parrot. I even have an agent. The kind folk at Curtis Brown felt I had enough promise to make me biro my name on a contract, which was crazy... read more

A day in the life of working me

My productivity highs and woes When I chat with business colleagues, or am interviewed for podcasts, these are the phrases I hear the most: “I don’t know how you do it!” “How do you get it all done?” “What’s your productivity secret?” And I get it. I’m prolific. There’s a lot of Toon spread around the interwebs. So in this post I thought I’d share my average day and week, and pass on some of my favourite productivity tools and motivational tactics. A day in the life of working me #productivity #business Click To Tweet The basics For those who don’t know me: JOB: Copywriter and SEO trainer. HOURS WORKED: 35-40 pw. INCOME: I’m doing okay (but not ‘island buying okay’) WORKING DAYS: Short days Monday, Thursday and Friday (school run both ends). Long days Tuesday and Wednesday (husband does school things). Can also work on Saturday (but try not to). My morning routine I wake up at 4am feeling refreshed. After meditating and doing an hour of yoga, I make myself a wholesome green smoothie while listening to whale music. On alternate days I jog on the beach and swim in the golden morning surf… Okay, so I’m lying. While I’d like to be ^^ that ^^ person. I am, in fact this person. I wake up at 7am feeling more tired than when I went to bed. I lurch to the bathroom with a rigid totter, my legs having seized up in the night through extreme lack of exercise. I have a swift shower and I brush my teeth. On a good day I might even brush my hair. Then... read more

My top 6 takeaways from Big Digital Adelaide

Or, what you REALLY learn at business conferences “I don’t like events, and I don’t do networking.” This was me a couple of years ago. A committed business hermit whose only concession to getting out there was a rampant Facebook addiction. But recently I’ve started to do a bit more humaning—shaving my back hair, getting out of my jim jams and heading into the real world of business. In fact, I just got back from the Big Digital Adelaide event. And it’s completely changed my view of events and networking. So while I could have done a round up of the excellent digital knowledge I gleaned from the conference, I thought  I’d share some of the business lessons I learned instead. (But if you scroll to the bottom you’ll also find my downloadable notes from the event). My top 6 takeaways from Big Digital Adelaide #bigdigitalADL #business Click To Tweet Lesson 1: We all have imposter syndrome There were some big names and experienced speakers at Big Digital. But there were also a lot of first-timers and relative newbies—including me. While I’ve run countless training events for clients and my own workshops, I’ve only spoken at a few big events. I was nervous. Worried my content wasn’t pitched at the right level. Worried about overlap with other speakers. Worried I’d fluff my lines. Worried I didn’t look the part. But after talking to the other speakers, it quickly became apparent that everyone feels that way. Even the big guys get that twisty tummy feeling before they hit the stage. And although it does get easier, public speaking is never easy. I learned that... read more

Learning to love your own voice

So I’m finally a cover girl (actually I’ve been one before but not quite like this). I must say it was a little thrilling to see my head on the cover of Roooar magazine and I was thrilled that new sole owner Anna Dower picked me. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend subscribing to Rooar, it’s free and packed with great articles about business and life. A great source of inspiration and motivation. You can sign up to it here. Tell us a little about your story. What’s your background? How did you start?  Why did you start? I’d love to say I always wanted to be a writer. But the truth is I had no idea what I wanted to do. After uni I wanted to study magazine journalism, but I’d racked up too much debt and so had to get a real job. Ultimately, my journey towards writing for a living took me down a windy path of bar work, office jobs, production, gibbon keeping and massaging. I worked in advertising for many years, and enjoyed the endless beanbags and booze for a while. But it’s a hard life and, frankly, a young person’s game. After ten years, I found the environment soul-sucking and stressful. At 34ish, I was on my way to a General Manager role. I should have been happy, but instead found myself sobbing on the bus to work. Learning to love your own voice #copywriting #business Click To Tweet Thankfully I got pregnant, and had to choose between my career or mumdom. The choice was easy. I couldn’t wait to wave... read more

I spent $154 on Fiverr and this is what I got

Or, is Fiverr a big fat waste of your hard earned cash? I know what you’re thinking. Fiverr is rubbish, the quality just isn’t there, I wouldn’t dream of risking my dollars on some random unknown human. But then there’s always that person who found a diamond in the rough. The person who says: “I had my entire website built for $7.” “My awesome logo? Yes got it on Fivverr.” “That fabulous video intro – some dude on Fiverr.” So can you nab a bargain on Fiverr or is it just a big fat waste of time and money? After being inspired by this post from Neville Medhora, I decided to give it a go. I gave myself a strict budget of $100 AU and then went cray cray on Fiverr. My favourite one is number 12, it made me snort and if you make it to the end of the post you’ll also gain access to my TOP FIVERR BUYER TIPS DOWNLOAD. Whoop! I spent $154 on Fiverr and this is what I got #fiverr Click To Tweet Fiverr job 1: “Speed draw your logo“ Cost: $36.25 (USD: $26.25) – the cost was a little higher as I opted to get it back in 2 days. Summary:  I sent my logo as a PSD file and got the attached back the next day. I ended up using it as a little video intro for The Clever Copywriting School. It’s a bit long though, so I might go back and ask for a speeded up version. And although I liked the fact they included a backing track, I’ll likely remove this in iMovie and add... read more

6 shitty jobs and the lessons I learned

These days I talk to a lot of copywriters who’ve always been copywriters. I have pairs of socks older than some who are now running highly successful copywriting businesses. But while I admire their chutzpah and envy their entrepreneurial sprit, I also wonder whether going straight into your dream career is actually good for you. Don’t we need a little work experience before we start our own thing? Admittedly my clamber up the career mountain has been rocky. I’ve had some truly terrible jobs, and wandered through the vocation wilderness for months at time. But each job was illuminating, and I don’t think I’d be the business woman I am today without these often hideous experiences. So I wanted to share a snapshot of my worst jobs, and how the lessons I learned helped me build my business. 6 shitty jobs and the lessons I learned #business #copywriter Click To Tweet JOB 1: Newspaper delivery My first job was subcontracting for my brother. While he sat at home watching TV I trudged around our housing estate posting the free paper in people’s letterboxes. (And yes, I put it in their letterbox rather than throw it on their lawn. I was a professional even then.) These days a kid with a job like this would probably have their mum following in the family SUV to make sure they were safe. But back then Mum was happy for me to wander the streets in the gloom of dusk while she cooked dinner and listened to Barry Manilow. This was pre-iPod (or even Walkman), so it was just me and the pavement.... read more

5 big fat lies about eCourses

What the ‘passive income’ pushers don’t want you to know If you hadn’t guessed already, eCourses are kind of the thing right now. A quick scroll through your Facebook timeline will reveal that every Tom, Dick and Barry is running an eCourse on everything from ‘coaching’ to ‘couch surfing’ and ‘mindset’ to ‘macaroon making’. And then there are the eCourses that tell you how to create an eCourse. They often make BIG PROMISES about passive income, and boast that “You too can make a six-figure income”. 5 big fat lies about eCourses #ecourse #business Click To Tweet But I’m here to give a big hard slap in the face with the wet fish of TRUTH. I’m afraid eCourses aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. They’re not a pot of gold at the end of your business rainbow. And they won’t allow you to operate your business from a hammock in Fiji. In fact, they can be a huge drain on your time, emotions and finances. So, in this post I’m going to break down the big fat lies about eCourses one by one. Big fat lie #1: You’ll make millions Many people selling their eCourse on eCourses back up their knowhow with tales of six-figure incomes. Because obviously the more they’ve earned the more qualified they are to instruct you, right? But let’s be honest: Unless you can see their bank balance you have no way of knowing their claims are true.* And I’m guessing there might be a little creative exaggeration going on. So here’s my truth. To date, my SEO eCourse has netted me $75,895.07 since... read more

How to run a cosy online community

Top tips for setting up and running an online community These days online communities come in all shapes and sizes. From the tedious, self-promotion pits that are LinkedIn Groups to the slightly serious Google+ communities and the frequently facile Facebook groups. A quick search on Facebook will show there are communities for everything from Making a Murderer conspiracy theory discussions to Badger appreciation. But having sniffed out more communities that a dog has bottoms, I can safety say that most are a bit… well, rubbish. So if you’re thinking of setting up your own community, what exactly do you need to consider? And if you already have a online community, but it’s about as lively as a slug at a salt party, how can you inject some much-needed chutzpah? Here are my top tips on setting up and running a successful online community. Why communities rock If you’re wondering why setting up a community is a good idea, here are some benefits to ponder: Communities let you control the conversation. As the manager you get to set the topic and the tone, and boot anyone out who gets on your nerves. Communities help you build a stronger connection with your customers/people/followers. On sites like Facebook, group content is far more visible in feeds than standard business page content. A well-run community can be a great way to give back. For example, rather than answering individual emails from newbie copywriters I can direct them to my community and answer their question there for everyone’s benefit. Let’s be honest: communities create leads that are warmer than freshly toasted muffins. They’re a great... read more
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