The time has come to hit the road again. My landlord recently sold the house in Abbotsford. And I have until May 31 to leave the premises.
So, I started reflecting on my next move. Should I go and find an apartment or condo or another suit? And I’ve already put some time and energy towards that.
One of the challenges is that I’m in a very intensive yearlong leadership program, so I haven’t had a lot of time to look. I’ve still gone out to see a couple of places, I’ve contacted with a few landlords. And I’ve done quite a bit of looking online, but nothing has really come of it.
Going on Vacation
So, at this point, I was thinking, “yeah, I could go and rush myself into an apartment that I don’t even like,” or I can live nomadically for a while.
Now at first, the idea of living nomadically again, didn’t exactly appeal to me. But then when I stopped and thought about it, I realized that the first thing I wanted to do after completing this leadership program – and it just so happens that I’m completing the first week of June – is to take a two-week vacation.
And when is the best time to take a vacation? Well, as far as I’m concerned, it’s when you don’t have rent to pay. I’ve already been living rent free in May, which has been a big blessing. It hasn’t necessarily set me ahead in a big way. But it certainly hasn’t set me back. If I can go and take two weeks off, it’s really going to be the equivalent of paying rent for a month around this part of the world anyway.
Living Nomadically Again
So, all my other thoughts have started orienting around this idea that I’m going to be living nomadically for a while. And I can’t imagine that I’m going to be traveling too far out of BC. I might make a trip or two to Alberta.
And I still think Fraser Valley and the greater Vancouver area are going to be my jumping off points for most travels. But does mean that I can be a little bit freer with where I go and where I spend my time.
I will need to find a storage space. And I’ll probably need to find a P.O. box as well. But aside from that, I can’t think of too many things holding me back from getting back out on the road.
I’ve certainly thought about the cost of Airbnbs and hotels and crashing on couches and sleeping in the basement of churches, whatever ends up working out. And what I realized is that rent around here costs about $1,100 a month all the way up to $3,000 a month if not more than that. So, the cost of living would average out while I’m on the road so far as I can offset the costs.
And one of the ways I’ve been thinking about offsetting that cost is by playing gigs. Assuming I’m thinking ahead and planning all of this out, if I know where I’m going to be going next, I can research that town, book gigs in advance or at least find the venues, and create those opportunities for myself wherever I go.
At this point, I’m already clear that my next destination is Chilliwack and Cultus Lake, because that’s where I want to take my vacation. It’s not in some far off distant tropical land, but I will enjoy myself, nonetheless. And I will be able to get some sun and lay on the beach and I think there’ll be the opportunity to connect with a few people as well. No one that’s necessarily within my immediate circle, but within my extended network.
After my two weeks in Chilliwack, I’m excited about the idea of continuing with my travels. And living nomadically for a while, at least until I find a place that’s going to work for me.
And now that I know that I’m going to be out on the road, and I’m not necessarily going to have a home, I’ve also started orienting my thinking around the logistics of everything.
That’s going to look like streamlining my business and simplifying my life. While on the road, I’m not going to have a lot of gear with me, just whatever is going to fit in my car. And even then, I’m going to do it safely because theft is a concern.
I am in fact developing a new method of publishing that’s going to help me create more content in less time without sacrificing quality. It just requires a little more upfront planning and strategizing and research to get to that point.
And as much as possible, I want my business activity to be rallying around a singular offer. And this doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be multiple offers. We’ve created many through the years, whether it’s eBooks, physical books, courses, or coaching programs. But I want to make it something efficient, easy to process, make it clear where people should go when they want the next thing. So that’s where my time and energy is starting to go.
New Publishing Schedule
I’ve started figuring out what I’m going to do with my publishing efforts as well. I’m going to be creating seven pieces of content per week for Music Entrepreneur HQ. So, my daily publishing efforts are already covered in a manner of speaking. I’m going to be creating one video, one podcast episode, and five blog posts per week using my new publishing method.
That does mean I’m probably not going to be publishing as frequently on DavidAndrewWiebe.com anymore. I may even turn it into my artist website for now given that I’m probably going to start looking for gigs again.
And in terms of publishing to Medium and Tealfeed… I think my best bet is probably just to syndicate the content I’m creating week to week, maybe even stuff like this.
I don’t think it’s going to be like the last two or three weeks where I’ve created three unique pieces of content for Medium. I enjoyed doing that. And I do make about $40 per month with Medium right now, which is nothing to sneeze at, but I do need to create greater sources of income. If I want to offset the cost of travel.
And I do say that but there actually are certain cost savings with traveling, I’m starting to realize. I’m not going to need a Netflix subscription for one. Pretty much everywhere I go, there’s going to be cable TV, Netflix, and in some cases, other subscription services, whether it’s Amazon Prime, or Hulu or whatever.
I’m not going to need cable internet, because it’s pretty much everywhere you go nowadays. At Airbnbs and hotels, there’s internet. And if worst comes to worst, I can head over to Starbucks.
So, there are some cost savings.
Adapting to a New Lifestyle
I’m recognizing that I will need to streamline to adapt to this new lifestyle. I don’t necessarily anticipate having less time to work. But I do understand the realities of travel. That sometimes you’re going to be driving all day from one place to another. Sometimes you’re just going to be tired and want to crash in bed. And you’re going to have days where you’re going to go sightseeing or you’re going to be connecting with people and those days are going to be less productive overall in terms of getting work done.
But overall, I’m very excited about the prospect of getting back on the road.
I’ve now been blogging daily for nearly 21 months.
That process has been incredibly rewarding and fulfilling, and I’ve learned a great deal on the journey so far.
But I’ve been sensing the need for change for quite a while, and perhaps you’ve been growing wise to it as well. I was already beginning to talk about transitions last quarter, so at this point I may only be confirming your suspicions.
My daily blogging efforts are about to evolve. And rarely have I felt this lucid around changes that need to be made. Typically, I will sit on ideas for months, sometimes even years, before acting on them. But what I’m about to share here will be taking effect immediately.
Before I reveal where and how you’ll be able to find and follow me moving forward, I will be sharing my thought process with you.
Everything is Getting Harder
Ranking in Google is tougher than ever. The cost of Facebook ads continues to rise. The YouTube algorithm is a seesaw.
I’ve worked hard to build my own website and content platforms, and I don’t regret it. What I’ve said about digital sharecropping (on occasions too numerous to mention) still stands.
But I’m recognizing that it doesn’t make sense to rely exclusively on the platforms I’ve built anymore. I will continue to leverage them, but I need to dedicate more time and energy to showing up where people are already looking.
That means Amazon, Skillshare, Udemy, Medium, Tealfeed, YouTube, and other destinations. I have a bit of a presence on some, less on others, but I’m thinking to leverage these more, and that means creating and distributing content designed for these channels.
The newer platforms also represent a greater opportunity (Web3 inclusive), given that marketers haven’t necessarily had a chance to ruin them, and their algorithm restricts traffic to your content far less than, say, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. I’ve had a fair bit of success with BitClout, despite only having a small (but growing) following.
Moreover, the consistent and regular publishing of valuable content to my platforms used to boost traffic over time in a reliable way, but in the last four years or so, that has no longer proven true as a rule. Daily traffic on Music Entrepreneur HQ, for example, was at its peak four years ago.
I don’t see our traffic as dispensable but getting a sustainable number of email list signups and product sales gets increasingly harder when the search engine gods don’t reward us in proportion to our hard work.
We’ve all heard that insanity is doing the same thing expecting different results, and I grow tired of the content hamster wheel that seems to lead deeper into the abyss of obscurity, especially when it should be reaching new, engaged audiences. I’m letting go of the insanity.
Success Leaves Clues
Medium seems to like it best when I talk about self-employment, freelancing, and productivity.
YouTube thinks I’m an expert on the subconscious mind, social media, eCommerce, and affiliate marketing.
Similarly, I’m rewarded with more traffic to my websites when I cover certain topics over others. Having published for as long as I have, this trend is more clearly accentuated.
As they say, success leaves clues.
I’m a content creator with range and expertise in a variety of areas. But talking about anything and everything doesn’t seem to help my engagement.
If the gods that be are going to give me a hand up when I talk about specific things, why rail against it? I need to lean into it. That’s what I’ve realized.
Again, if I was as established as someone like Seth Godin, I might have the luxury of talking about whatever I want, whenever I want. But I’m in the fight of my life to grow my audience and increase my various revenue streams. So, I need to grab reality by the horns and hang on for the ride.
The Content-Product Equilibrium
A publishing schedule without a clearly defined scope can easily lead to endless busywork with no guaranteed payoff. I’ve been there too numerous a time to count.
And the greatest problem of all is that an overblown publishing schedule makes it harder to focus on the thing you’re supposed to be working on as a creator – your customer relationships and your products.
Yes, I’m here to inspire and help people as much as anything else, but it’s my conviction that people will only get so much feeding on free content. They are going to get the most from making a commitment, jumping in with both feet, and investing in themselves. That’s where the greatest breakthroughs and transformations happen.
I’ve often said that product creation is a matter of focus, setting aside at least an hour per day for its development, creating structures (eliminating, automating, and delegating) and ignoring fires that can be put out later. I still hold to this.
But there is a limit. You can end up spending too much time and energy on free content. If you’re okay with your weekends are spent over-exhausted, collapsed in your bed, no problem. But if you’re any less than superhuman and would like to look forward to your days off, there’s a different equilibrium to achieve.
Your content publishing efforts need to be finite, especially if you’re the one doing most of the work. You need to beware of scope creep.
Room for Expansion
This may seem to contradict what I said earlier about focus, but hear me out…
I’m recognizing that the greatest bit of pigeonholing in the preceding years was doing willingly, and it was done by me. I built Music Entrepreneur HQ, made it my mission, and saw it as my ticket to all I desired in life.
We’ve had some exceedingly good times with Music Entrepreneur HQ (it was probably at its peak in 2018, and it had another resurgence of sorts in 2020), and this isn’t the end of it. But for me it has sunk in that it’s not the golden ticket I thought it would once be. So, there’s no sense in having my identity wrapped up in it – it’s like peeling off my toenails with an icepick one by one hoping it will hurt less and less.
Music Entrepreneur HQ has its place in my ecosystem. But not trying to make it the main thing is incredibly freeing. I can hire writers to help out with publishing duties, put up ads, establish new niche sites, build a bigger presence on various social networks, and most importantly, focus more on customer relationships and product development.
The opportunity to cobble together an income from various sources is greater than ever, and it’s appearing a more viable pathway for me than anything else.
The New Publishing Plan
I know I’ve gone on long enough to get to this point in this post (long walk for a short drink, much?). But this is the essence of what I have in mind:
Monday – video (Music Entrepreneur HQ)
Tuesday – Medium story
Wednesday – Medium story
Thursday – Medium story
Friday – podcast episode (Music Entrepreneur HQ)
Saturday – weekly digest
Sunday – reflections
This will form the foundation of my weekly content creation efforts, though doubtless I will be iterating on it. I think there could be a better use of my Sundays but I’m not sure what that is yet.
If all goes according to plan, I will also have six podcast episodes per month rather than four.
Much of my activity will still be shared or summarized on my blog, and I am looking at reviving income reports as well.
Of course, there is a distribution and syndication plan to go along with all of this.
And now you know where you’ll be able to find me moving forward. Like I said, you’ll still be able to see most if not all of what I’m up to on my blog, but this post will stand in case you start to wonder, “whatever happened to his daily blogging efforts?” I’m still in motion, it’s just that my content will be spread across more destinations.
As you’ve seen, publishing can take a few different forms.
And the point of publishing, in case you missed it, is to build traffic. There are only four sources of traffic online, so you’d better be clear on your strategy.
Something I learned from Nick Sadler of NSDMT and The Label Machine is that publishing keeps your existing fans nurtured and engaged, while advertising helps you grow your fan base. That’s not a bad way of thinking about it.
ClickFunnels co-founder Russell Brunson says your early publishing efforts are mostly about finding your voice. You might suck, and that’s fine! It’s even expected. But once you find your voice, your audience will find you. And so, publishing isn’t just about keeping your fans, it’s also about helping them find you.
But if there ever was a trick or a hack to efficient publishing, it would be what follows here.
In The Music Entrepreneur Code, I said that if you’re going to make one type of content, make it video. And at the risk of sounding redundant, here’s the reason for that.
A video (containing speech, like a vlog) can turn into a podcast. A podcast can turn into a transcript (or blog post).
Let’s back up even more. A live stream can turn into multiple video clips, multiple video clips can turn into multiple podcast episodes, multiple podcast episodes can turn into multiple blog posts, and multiple blog posts can turn into even more social media posts.
I’ve tried this method myself, and I love it! It hasn’t always been practical for meeting my immediate content queue, but as much as possible, I like to prepare a show, go live, and then chop up the content for distribution across my various blogs, video channels, and social media destinations after the fact.
Now, I’m not going to lie. This can be a time-consuming endeavor. The upside, though, is that if you do it right, you can create about a month’s worth of content in one go. So, if you’re interested in getting off the content treadmill, this is one way to do it.
You might have a lot of questions about setting up your live stream, what gear to use, what social media sites to post to, and so on. And what I will tell you is that you’ll figure it out as you go. It’s not as important as getting into the habit of publishing.
Quick reminder – you can now pre-order the Kindle edition of The Music Entrepreneur Code – 2022 Edition (just in time for the holidays). Don’t get left behind – be the first to get my latest work into your hands!