Email Is A Necessary Evil

I honestly don’t know what I would do without email. It’s definitely a love hate relationship.

Every time I try to use a project management system, it seems so much easier to send an email for what needs to be done. Though if the email isn’t done right, it’s worse than using a confusing project management system. Done right it can be a beautiful thing.

Here are a few tips to getting your message across in email for projects:

  1. One email per project. If you’re working on multiple projects, don’t combine them in one email. It will just confuse things.
  2. Use lists, numbered or bulleted to break down tasks. This way it’s easy for the recipient to parse what you want them to do. Nothing’s worse than trying to figure out tasks in a long paragraph.
  3. If you do use a project management system, make sure everyone knows how it’s used. If something seems like it might be confusing in the system, send a email.
  4. Per project or client label (GMail terminology) the project for easy look up.

What do you guys think? Does email suck? Is it a necessary evil? Do you know of any project management programs that integrate with email? Post your thoughts in the comments.

Image Credit: Pexels


Mental Health and Entrepreneurship

I’m a very positive person. I don’t often feel depressed. I’m a “the glass is half full” kind of guy. But more and more I’m hearing about how depression and mental health is becoming a big topic not only in my entrepreneur circles, but in business as a whole.

This is a good thing. Having mental health be less of a stigma both at work and home allows people to get the help they need and become stronger and better people for both their jobs and families.

Having mental health be less of a stigma both at work and home allows people to get the help they need and become stronger and better people for both their jobs and families.

I recently met a woman, Lynette Davis, who is running a nonprofit called Love Yourself Love Your Business. It aims to be a group for entrepreneurs who need community and a support structure. It’s a great concept and I, for one, can’t wait to see what it’s all about when in launches.

What resources do you utilize for your own mental health? Is dealing with your mental health a priority for you? Let me know in the comments.

Picture Credit: Pixabay


Jordan Paris and School

So there is a guy on LinkedIn who announced he is giving a TEDx talk on why he thinks formal education and college is a waste of time and a scam. A pretty provocative stance if you ask me.

Jordan Paris likes to position himself as a visionary of how to go about doing business with or without schooling. I just find his whole premise disingenuous because as he’s bashing higher education he’s still enrolled in it. #JustSaying

Now don’t get me wrong, there is lots wrong with higher education. Tuition is way too high, it sends people into years of debt. Often times the education you get in college doesn’t apply to real life. I can go on and on.

But there is lots to be said for the experiences you have a college and university that you miss out if you don’t go.

Look, I went to school at the University of Delaware, I majored in History and Journalism. I got minors in Political Science and Anthropology. Most of that degree I’m not using. Heck most of it I’m not even passively using. But I wouldn’t go back to my senior year of high school and decide not to go.

College is much more than academics and I’m not saying the other half is partying and getting drunk. It is adult-lite. You really find yourself at college. At least I did.

Now I’m not saying that skipping college and going another route is a bad idea, I just don’t think Jordan’s approach to the topic is the best. But he’s entitled to his opinion.

And I respect that.

Image credit: Pixabay


Are WordCamps Dying?

I’ll skip to the answer. No.

In a WordCamp US recap article on Freemius Brandon Ernst talks about how WordCamp US had received some strong feedback about how it was run this year. He initially asks the question if WordCamps are dying? In the end he says no, and I agree.

Honestly look at the schedule of upcoming WordCamps. Does it look like the events are dying? I think not.

Just because the big US event was bit disjointed, the quality of the content was great. I watched the live stream and got a whole lot from it.

I go to three to four WordCamps a year, sometimes more. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses.

For example WordCamp Montclair (New Jersey) was held in a former fallout shelter. The internet was spotty at best, but it was their first year and overall it was a great time. The talks were great and that’s what mattered.

WordCamp Philly this year was at the Academy of Fine Arts, I didn’t like the venue as much as the talks were held in galleries which didn’t lend to learning in my opinion. I preferred the classrooms at University of the Sciences (in West Philadelphia). But again the talks were great.

WordCamp Lancaster is held at the Lancaster Intermediate Unit. It serves the purpose, but is nothing to write about.

And finally, WordCamp Lehigh Valley is held at the Northampton County Community College in Bethlehem, PA.

All these events are great because of the community and the speakers who speak at them. They are far from perfect, but they are put on by the community and that’s what makes them special.

Have you been to any WordCamps that have totally rocked it or kind missed the mark?


A Great Explanation Of Google’s Bert Algorithm

Britney Muller over at Moz did a great video on the Bert algorithm from Google. Take a look. Well worth the watch.


Matt Mullenweg, Automattic, & WordPress

So many people are complaining about Matt Mullenweg and his “aspirations” for Automattic and I don’t have issues with any of those “aspirations” or his getting investment from Salesforces.

What I do have a problem with is that Matt has co-opted and confused the brand of WordPress. There is the self-hosted and open source version of WordPress at and then there is the hosted, business that Automattic runs.

I don’t even have a problem with Jetpack tying the two together. It’s just the confusion between Dot Com and Dot Org, that gets me.

What do you think? Is there more to this that I’m missing?


Teaching Your Clients “How To Fish”

Teaching your clients how to fish after you build them a website is very important. They might still turn to you to do most updates, but they should have a sense of what goes into updating and keeping their site functional.

With WordPress there is no reason why the client can’t have some type of access to their site to make minor edits and do blog posts.

I’ve noticed a split almost 50/50 with my clients with having access to do some changes to the site.

As with everything, you can’t just hand them the keys and say, “have at it.” It is important to set aside some time and walk them through where they should “play” on the site.

What do you think? Do you think clients should have access to their sites to make minor edits or do you keep things locked down tight?

Digital Marketing

CBD And Online Sales

I’ve done two sites for entrepreneurs entering the CBD space. Both times I’ve seen that it’s an uphill battle getting them the exposure they need due to the regulations around the sales and publicity of CBD.

Google doesn’t let CBD companies use their Google Ads platform, nor does Snapchat and others. Facebook is loosening up a little, but still it’s an up hill battle.

What many of these companies need to do is think outside of the box. They should aim to do outreach more organically.

Some suggestions I’ve found are:

  • Find some display networks that don’t ban CBD ads.
  • Find influencers who are willing to promote your product.
  • Place native advertising on select blogs. This often involves an outreach strategy.
  • Affiliate Marketing is another great one. Have people share your product and sell via their sites and give them a cut of the proceeds
  • Another great place to think about getting your CBD product out there is on podcast. Podcasts listenership is way up and if you find the right podcast with the right audience, BAM!

I think that as CBD becomes more and more mainstream, companies like Google are going to loosen their restrictions. I don’t think they’re going to want to leave this much money on the table.

Do you work with CBD brands or with other products that have similar restrictions? How do you promote? Post your thoughts in the comments below.

Social Media

Special Episode Of The Digital Marketing Dive Podcast

In this episode my co-host, Shawn, and I discuss the proper etiquette for pitching people online.

Have a listen and let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Oh and by the way, there is some mild swearing in this episode.


Bucks County’s Startup Scene – It Exists

Having grown up in the Bucks County and Philadelphia metro area my whole life, I’ve noticed something. Philly likes to tout how startup friendly it is. But ignores the counties surrounding it.

Bucks County has a really blossoming startup and technology scene that has been growing silently for years. Finally a bunch of us have started up a non-profit to bring it out into the open to help it flourish.

Startup Bucks is a 501(c)(3) non-profit based in Doylestown, the county seat of Bucks County.

Right now we’ve been having happy hours and weekly 1 Million Cups get togethers, along with some bigger events.

I’m really loving being a part of something that is taking off and making a difference.

Stay tuned for updates.