Tag Archives: part-time work

How to Build an Audience with an Email List

It’s one thing to create and publish a blog post about a topic that you are familiar with but is it of any value to your intended audience?  It’s so important to deliver that value and to gain an audience of followers and maybe someday, some raving fans.  How does one go about doing just that?

Who are you?  How will Google find you?

First of all, you need people to find your blog.  For that you need to generate traffic to your blog site.  There are several way to generate traffic to your website by usAudienceWanteding keywords, backlinks, social media presence or even purchasing traffic through Facebook advertising. Checkout a blog post that my son Trevor published about Search Engine Optimization.  This beginner’s guide will help to at least get you’re your blog recognized by Google in its search algorithm for any potential organic traffic.  Then to make further inroads to building your audience you can view this blog post by son Trevor on Building an Audience.


Building your eMail List of Potential CustomersOnline Business Resources Checklist Lead Magnet

How does one go about building your very own email list of potential customers?  You need to give something to get something.  You need to provide a potential customer some added value over and above your informative blog postings.  After all, not everyone is willing to give you their email address just for asking.  You will notice that I generated my very first value offer (see sidebar) for someone to join my email list.

I did a lot of research into all kinds of technical and educational resources that one could need to help build an online business.  I then documented these resources with all of the corresponding links to the vendor websites.  I also included references to expert blog postings that can help a beginner get started.  The idea is simple, give something of value in exchange for an email address. This is what is called a lead magnet. The more email addresses you collect the more potential customers you could have down the road when you decide to market and sell your products.

How to Create a Lead Magnet?

Once again, there are free tools on the market to get you started building a lead magnet.  One tool I ended up using was the one from https://fatcatapps.com/optincat/.  You can click on the demo video to learn how to set up and integrate a customized version of your very own lead magnet plugin into the sidebar of your blog, very much like I was able to on this blog.

It’s important to note that creating a lead magnet on your blog to capture email addresses is one thing but you need to store them somewhere and to follow up with these individuals to thank them for providing their precious email address as well as delivering the free product you were offering them.

To accomplish this part you will need to integrate the lead magnet capture information with your email management software.  In my case, I am using MailChimp.  As it demonstrates in this demo video, you will need to copy and paste in the MailChimp API key so the OptinCat plugin can communicate with your MailChimp email list you will create as described in the next section.

How to Capture and Store the eMail Addresses?

The second portion of setting up a proper lead magnet involves capturing and storing those email addresses in a separate list with the MailChimp software.  MailChimp software is free for the first 2000 email addresses you collect.  So plenty of time to trial and error various lead magnet email sequences to confirm email addresses, thank and welcome your brand new customers onto your email list.

A demo of how the email sequence can be set up can be viewed in this video.

Call to Action

It’s important to note that I implemented the lead magnet on this blog without any outside help.  I simply followed the demo videos and installed it.  Trust me, I was amazed how easy the whole process was.  Granted there was some initial apprehension whether I could ever complete the task successfully but what’s the worst that can happen?

The key is to develop a solid and valuable lead magnet you can offer for free in exchange for an email address.  Those email addresses you collect are like gold.  They will serve you well if and when you develop your core product which you can offer at a reasonable price, to your precious list of loyal customers on your very own email list.

Start thinking about what kind of valuable information you could offer as a lead magnet.  It doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking, like creating a whole eBook.  You just need to offer something of value that would be of interest to your following.  Then perhaps down the road your core product could be an eBook, a video tutorial course or a series of helpful tips in your specific knowledgeable area of expertise.  In the words of golf professional and teacher, Michael Breed, “Let’s do this”.


It’s Time for a New Beginning

I remember driving home from my last day at work thinking “so this is what it feels like to be retired”.  You could not wipe the smile off my face.  I was both relieved and excited to start that new chapter in my life.

I woke up the next morning and took my time to really smell the coffee.  I had chosen to retire in late June so I had the whole summer ahead to enjoy my new found freedom.  How quickly you realize that you have so much extra time, at least 8 hours in a day, to take on those “Honey do List” items.

Our children had all moved out so my wife and I needed to find a common ground to enjoy each other’s company without over staying each other’s welcome so to speak.  I loved to work outside the house on the landscaping where my wife enjoyed woodworking and making house renovations with a little of my help.  However, one thing we really enjoyed was playing golf together.  We had found a balance between being apart and being together.

Almost immediately, our daily schedules began filling up with weddings to attend, social gatherings with friends, golf outings and travelling to be with our children and grand children.  Having retired fairly early,  I quickly realized that I needed more in my retirement life.  That’s when I landed my part-time job at the local golf course.  I once again had a purpose.  I had a reason to get up early and work 4 or 5 hours and then still have the time to come home and spend the rest of the day relaxing.  I had truly found my dream come true retirement life.

After working for 35 years you become accustomed to meeting goals and achieving something meaningful.  My maintenance work at the golf course was the fix I needed to feel whole again.  To feel that sense of purpose that others would appreciate.  I certainly wanted to eliminate any possibility of boredom or at worst any chance of depression.  No way that was happening.

I can’t stress enough the importance of feeling your retirement is that one opportunity you get in life for a new beginning.  There is so much out there to chase after.  Let your imagination wonder.  Take that chance, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.


Let the Journey Begin

The alarm clock buzzes, it’s 6 AM and time to get up for work.  Your trip into the city is a long one.  If your driving it’s survival of the fittest.  If you’re using public transportation then maybe you’re just dreaming of the day when this whole rat race thing will end.

As the work day lingers on, whether it be meetings on top of meetings, a never ending list of emails to read and respond to, or a job jar so full, you’re ready to simply surrender.  But then your mind will occasionally wonder to that ultimate day when you will finally have a stress free life.

However, dreaming about leaving the work place for some kind of retirement is one thing. Being able to take action on that dream is a whole other matter.  In fact for many, that decision to retire is one filled with uncertainties and actual fear.  Procrastination will tend to creep in. Perhaps the most important issue that rises to the top of the “fear list” is how can one afford to retire and maintain a decent standard of living?  How long is one even able to live and enjoy that stress free life?  Could one actually outlive their retirement income stream?  All legitimate concerns.

Fear of the Unknown

Actually the first fear that one always seems to deal with is our mortality.  We all know we only have so much time on this wonderful planet and we need to use that precious time wisely. When I mention the word retirement I am absolutely not talking about old age nursing home life.  I am talking about a whole new chapter in your life.  A chapter where one can recharge and be the person you always wanted to be.  I am talking about making every day count for something.  I will post more on that subject in the future, but for now, let us deal with the financial affordability concern with retiring and recharging.


The best way to alleviate the fear of retiring is to perform some rudimentary research on what’s really involved.  There are hundreds of websites that deal strictly with the affordability question.  There are a few good books on the subject as well.  I particularly liked the book by Charles Schwab – You’re Fifty – Now What?.

If you are fortunate to have earned a pension, then “Hello Pension, Goodbye Tension”. There are so many retirement calculators out there, all you need to do is “Google” it.  The bottom line is  everything depends on how much you have saved, how much you’re going to inherit or how much your defined benefit pension will be worth at retirement.  When I performed my research into the whole affordability question, I could not believe how many so called experts had differing views on what’s actually required.  I mean 60%-80% of your current income.  Come on, that’s a huge range to factor in.   If you are or have been saving for your retirement, I cannot stress enough the importance of engaging a trusted Financial Planner/Advisor to help manage your money.   Manage it, or it will manage you!

I found the best tool to determine whether one could afford to retire, whether it be early or later, was to simply develop a monthly income vs. expense budget.  Thankfully several expenses can or will be eliminated once working life ceases and retirement begins.

In today’s fast changing corporate world, several companies are offering early retirement incentives.  The decision to retire early is not an easy one.  It’s one thing to answer the affordability question, but what about the lifestyle after retirement.  What on earth does one do to stay active and healthy?  I highly recommend reading Ernie Zelinski’s book,  “How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free”.  This book is filled with lots of tips to help you keep active and to live every day stress free.

The Honey Do List

I remember when I first retired and everyone warned me that just wait until your spouse gives you the dreaded “Honey Do List”.  Well it turns out that list will likely contain a job jar that only lasts about 4 months.  OK, then what?

Part-Time Work

After completing all of my “Honey Do List” in about 2 months, I decided to look for a part-time job.  There are lots of part-time jobs for the semi-retired – again just “Google” it.  But I certainly did not want to re-create another stressful part-time job situation.  After all, I was pleased to leave that life behind.  After thinking about several job opportunities, I decided my true passion was to get away from an office job and to work outside in the fresh air.  I applied to be a greens keeper at a local golf course.  After all, I was already used to getting up early for the long commute into work.  This golf course was only 10 minutes away.

What a weird feeling it was, having to develop a resume for a job I had absolutely no experience with.  After handing in my resume, I was called the next day for a job interview, sitting outside on a picnic bench where the golf superintendent asked me a few questions and boom, I was hired.  To make a long story short, I worked at that golf course for 7 years, cutting greens, approaches, tee decks, changing hole locations on the green, top dressing the greens etc.  I could not believe the joy I had, knowing that at the end of my shift, I could actually state clearly what I had achieved.  Amazing!

The transition from a working career to a part-time job made the whole process virtually seamless.  I loved every minute of it.  I highly recommend it for anyone who is thinking of retiring early.

Suggested Books to Read

How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free by Ernie Zelinski

You’re Fifty – Now What? by Charles R. Schwab