John Lynn is the Founder of Healthcare Scene.
WHAT LED YOU TO START WORKING IN DIGITAL/MEDIA PUBLISHING?
I started my first real blog in December 2005. I’ll admit that my goal wasn’t to become a digital media publisher. I just was bored on a weekend and I thought it would be fun to start a blog so I could share what I was learning and learn about SEO (Search Engine Optimization). 4.5 years later I quit the day job to be a full-time blogger.
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
I’m not sure any day is typical. I generally start my day reviewing my emails. I’m a Zero inbox guy, so I use my email as my To-Do list even though many people say that’s a bad idea. It generally works for me. After that, I usually knock out my required blog posts first since I want to make sure they get done. I’ve tried really hard to make sure that what I HAVE to do every day is minimal. That provides me some freedom from the job if and when I need time off or am working on a bigger project.
The afternoon is usually spent answering more emails, following up with advertisers, marketing the blogs, etc. Of course, all of this can be thrown off when I have meetings scheduled. I often try to schedule my meetings all on one day so I have days with few or no meetings. Makes it easier to focus on bigger projects when your day isn’t interrupted by a meeting.
WHAT’S YOUR WORK SETUP LIKE?
I try to keep things simple. As I mentioned, I use email as a kind of To-Do list. For bigger projects, I have a Google Doc that I call “To-Do List” where I can put larger projects or other lists that I’m creating for myself. I’ll often create short to do lists in that document for specific sprint projects.
I use Google Drive and Dropbox to their fullest. Otherwise, I use the native WordPress interface to manage all of my blogging and publishing. I don’t really need much more. I also use MailChimp for all my email marketing. That’s become an extremely powerful tool and one that is essential to my business.
Beyond those, I have been using the Insightly CRM to manage my advertisers and now to manage my sponsors for my two conferences. I chose it because it was free and it integrated with Google Apps. I wish it integrated even better, but it’s worked out pretty well for me to have a place to track all my prospects. Having a tool like this is essential as I’ve grown my team.
I’ll also give a shoutout to Wave for my accounting. I tried QuickBooks and was looking at the open source QuickBooks like product and hated everything about them. They made everything so hard. Once my accountant told me about Wave, I was so happy because it works the way accounting should work for a business like mine. It does double order entry to make my accountant happy, but it imports everything automatically from my bank, PayPal, and credit cards. It literally saves me so much time. Not to mention it makes it easy to collect online payments and record those as well.
Finally, I’m all over social media. I generally use the native websites or apps for Facebook, LinkedIn (Their app sucks!), and Twitter. However, I do use Hootsuite when I want to access all my accounts at once. Plus, I use dlvr.it to automate my social media posting.
WHAT DO YOU DO OR GO TO GET INSPIRED?
I adore what I do, so I wake up every day excited to do my work. So, it’s pretty rare that I need to be inspired. That said, I love connecting with the right people on social media. Plus, I love even more when I’m able to do meetups with the people I’ve grown to know and love on social media in person. There’s nothing more inspiring than spending time with amazing people who you respect.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PIECE OF WRITING OR QUOTE?
Can’t think of one in particular. My favorite phrase right now is “Keep Grinding”.
WHAT’S THE PASSIONATE PROBLEM YOU ARE TACKLING AT THE MOMENT?
I recently launched a new healthcare IT conference called Healthcare IT Expo. Launching a new conference requires you to go all in and give everything you have to make it successful. I’m passionately organizing this new conference because I think it’s something that’s really needed, will provide people a lot of value, and will have a tremendous impact for good. I’m sure I’ll cry on stage when we open the conference next year. That’s what it takes when you’re passionate about something.
IS THERE A PRODUCT, SOLUTION, OR TOOL THAT YOU THINK IS A GOOD MATCH FOR YOUR DIGITAL PUBLISHING EFFORTS?
I mentioned most of these in my work setup. I live on WordPress and social media. MailChimp and dlvr.it are both essential to the work I do. Those are the basics.
ANY ADVICE FOR AMBITIOUS DIGITAL PUBLISHING AND MEDIA PROFESSIONALS JUST STARTING OUT?
Make sure you’re passionate about what you’re writing about. If you’re not passionate you are likely to fail. Second, if you want to make money, then you have to spend time marketing your content. If you write it, they won’t automatically come. I use to say you have to spend as much time marketing your content as you do create your content. However, now I say you should spend 5-10 times as much time marketing your content as you do create your content. That’s especially true at the beginning while you’re building up a marketing engine for your content.
Of course, if you just want to publish to share your ideas and don’t care about making money from it, then don’t worry about marketing your content. However, I know a lot of sites who write amazing content that no one reads because all they want to do is create content.