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2014’s Most Popular Articles, Podcasts + Courses

Do you know what we do for a living? We make things for self employed people, for indiepreneurs and solopreneurs and bloggers and podcasters and mediapreneurs and all the great names the news labels us with.

  • We write an article every tuesday morning…
  • publish a podcast every friday morning…
  • release a course about every month (in Fizzle)…
  • and interview someone we admire as well (Founder Stories, also in Fizzle)…

We’re like a giant cat head marauding through a convenience store. Like this:

giant cat head marauding through convenience store

It’s December. I wondered what we wrote this year.

So I went through the rubble to find our most popular posts, podcasts, courses and interviews from 2014.

I listed them out below with some notes by category for you.

We hope this helps you discover an insight you might have missed or find again some motivation to get you over your next hurdle.


top 10 articles

1. There Is No That — One of my personal favorites from the year. Something a friend sent me and I loved it so much I reached out to the author to republish it. “You have to learn to love the effort divorced from the result.” 38 comments, 1,155 words

2. 10 Tactics to Better Work-Life Balance — An absolutely epic post. It’s long, peppered with great images and full of the hardest damn questions we could 1. find. 21 comments, 5,318 words

the three amigos of business

3. What I Learned from Two Weeks in Seth Godin’s Office — Barrett’s 14 point treatise. A great read developed from an inspiring set of circumstances. 63 comments, 3,371 words

4. 5 Things I Learned In My First REAL Year of Entrepreneurship — Richard Boehmcke won a competition. The prize was a year of mentorship from Corbett. This article is his raw, honest account of what happened that year. 76 comments, 1,941 words

5. How to Build a Sustainable Coaching Business (And Double Your Rates in the Process) — Another great one from Barrett about the steps he took to raise his rates in Coaching. This applies to any client services career. 47 comments, 2,385 words

6. 10 Thoughts on Focus — A short and sharp post about this terrible topic. Bonus: a video explainer and a quote from Brad Feld! 22 comments, 877 words

10 thoughts on focus

7. The 10 Most Important Tools Our Online Business is Built On“People ask us all the time: what tools did you guys use to build Fizzle? What do you recommend for building a small, independent, bootstrapped online business?” This is that. 43 comments, 8,403 words

8. Heavy-Ass Weights — A short post inspired by a big-ass black man. Stings. Light weight bay bay! 50 comments, 836 words

heavy ass weights in business

9. 13 Successful Founders Share First Product Stories — Hear how they made their first product along with lessons learned, what they wish they’d known and their best advice. Real good stuff. 10 comments, 1,903

10. Start the 30-Day “Just Ship It” Challenge — The free 30 day email series we created to help anyone launch a project. A book. A blog. A burrito. Whatever. It’s a killer kick in the pants. 181 comments, 144 words

Note: This list was defined by the posts with the most visits. All of them roughly share the normal time on page for our site (around 4min).


My Favorites

A few of my favorite posts didn’t hit the Most Popular list:

Third Tier Lessons reads almost like an adventure story and pairs nicely with the entertaining, easy to digest and surprisingly powerful Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling.

Corbett’s Money Isn’t the Point and What Gets Measured Gets Done are two instant classics from the man who dubbed the term “Epic Shit.”

I revisit Barrett’s Deconstructing Business Expertise often… so helpful to see multiple theories laid out like this.

The roundup of experts on defining target markets totally blew my mind. Hearing these stories one after the other is a powerful way to get something through my thick head.

Another couple near and dear to me due to their sensitive nature are Depression + Anxiety for Entrepreneurs and Robin William’s Craving.


top podcast episodes

  1. Finding Your Idea. Product Prodcrust #1 (FS035)
  2. This Year’s Top 40 Blog Tips (FS073)
  3. 15 Honest Techniques to Meet New People (FS061)
  4. Pricing Hangups — First Product Series Part 2 (FS036)
  5. 5 Ways to Increase Traffic to Your Site (Plus SEO Insights, FS057)
  6. Top 10 Mistakes in Starting an Online Business (FS080)
  7. Grow Your Email List (FS045)
  8. Email Reboot (FS044)
  9. How The Hospitality Mindset Revolutionized My Business (FS066)
  10. Setting Prices, Raising Rates & Getting Paid What You’re Worth (FS041)

Note: this list was made with a combo of google analytics, Libsyn (our old podcast host) and Soundcloud (our new host).


New Guides

We created a number of free guides this year! I’m pumped about these. They’re made well and people are loving them.

  1. Web Hosting 2014 — the Fizzle Guide — We’ve tried dozens of platforms and hosting options for websites over the past decade, and these are the current best options we use and recommend.
  2. The 30-day “Just Ship It!” Challenge — Create, Launch and Sell a new product or service online in the next 30 days.
  3. Gumroad Quick Start — get started selling online — How to get started with this simple, powerful tool.
  4. Define Your Target Market — the Fizzle Guide — Interviews with 12 experts + worksheets and exercises.
  5. Top 10 Mistakes in Starting an Online Business — the Fizzle Guide — Avoid the most common pitfalls on the road to building something great.

Inside Fizzle

We released 8 courses this year (a little shy of our goal, but some of these are worth way more than one!) with a total of 109 lessons and 10 Founder Stories (in depth video interviews). Our membership is up to over 1,400 kicking and screaming and digging and building Fizzlers who have clicked “play” on 305,877 videos within Fizzle.

Top Courses This Year

  1. The Essentials of Book Yourself Solid (25 lessons)
  2. Just Ship It Challenge (23 lessons)
  3. Telling Your Story: From Elevator Pitch to Tagline (9 lessons)
  4. The Essentials of Building a Great Food Blog (16 lessons)
  5. Advanced Podcasting (8 lessons)

Top Founder Stories This Year

  1. John Lee Dumas (Podcasting mastery, 84m)
  2. Amy Porterfield (Facebook ads galore, 45m)
  3. Jordan Harbinger (Confidence and new media, 66m)
  4. Josh Shipp (His show is literally produced by Oprah, 90m)
  5. Dana & John Shultz (Food blogging power couple, 50m)

The Work

This is what we do for a living. We make stuff to help you navigate the waters between the engaged, creative, joyful, ruddy part of you and the fearful, graspy, destructive part.

We make this stuff because we struggle with this stuff. We chase down these ideas (or they chase us down) because we are in this fight also… tryin’ to lift this heavy ass weight.

Thanks for coming by this year. Heres to many more years of full hearts and spilling glasses! (Don’t worry, we’ve got a few more goodies planned for you before 2014 ends.)



The Top 10 Mistakes in Online Business

Every week we talk with entrepreneurs. We talk about what’s working and what isn’t. We talk about successes and failures. We spend time with complete newbies, seasoned veterans, and everything in between.

One topic that comes up over and over again with both groups is mistakes made in starting businesses. Newbies love to learn about mistakes so they can avoid them. Veterans love to talk about what they wish they had known when starting out.

These conversations have been fascinating, so we compiled a list of the 10 mistakes we hear most often into a nifty lil' guide.

Download the guide

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