Barn Wonderland 1

We start this week’s speedlink with Duane Storey. He’s about to hit the road again, this time moving from Chilliwack to Hamilton, Ontario “for probably a year or so.” In preparing for this move, as well as before his 2010 Argentina trip, Duane made a significant effort to get rid of stuff. It’s easy to become a pack rat (or even a “hoarder”), but Duane has really come to recognize that too many people place far too much emphasis on owning “stuff.” Clearing out that clutter and leading more of a minimalist lifestyle can be awfully freeing.

With each update to the Google algorithms, people have called out for the death of search engine optimization as we know it. There might be some truth in that, but expert Neil Patel looks instead to the rising prominence of social media and how social sites like Twitter and Google+ will play an even bigger role in search engine rankings moving forward. These “social signals” are how Google will be able to recognize what content is of value and what content is merely spam and fluff.

Fellow online entrepreneur Bob Buskirk knows the pitfalls of working out of a home office all too well. When you don’t have set working hours, burnout becomes a very real and very scary possibility. That’s why he says that we all need to have a hobby to keep us inspired, entertained and happy. Indeed, as tempted as you may be, these hobbies should be unrelated to work and they should be something that you intrinsically enjoy.

Speaking of inspiration and enjoyment, Tyler Cruz has found that he’s lacking the excitement and motivation that he once felt and that’s why he is considering switching away from affiliate marketing to explore other opportunities. He’s been able to make a sizable amount of money through affiliate marketing these last couple of years, but now he’s entertaining the possibility of creating a new mobile game or launching a new website property instead. What would you do in his situation?

And finally, Thursday Bram explains why you can’t really call yourself an artist unless you’ve sold something. This is true of visual art, just as much as it is about music or writing. It’s not so much about the money, necessarily, as much as it is about getting your work out in front of the world for public scrutiny. This is the only way that you’ll know if your work is any good. It doesn’t matter how great your story is if no one reads it, right?