If you’re reading this, I probably @replied you and your band because you followed me (@sethw) on Twitter.

What you’re doing is the cyber-equivalent of handing me a CDR at a show and walking away.

A bit about me:

I played in all sorts of bands from 1991 to 2001.
I booked shows. I built websites for bands. I published zines.
I founded back in 2001.
I was the founding editor of for AOL Music.

In those 20 years I have never discovered or fallen in love with a band because someone handed me a CDR and walked away.

But during those 20 years I’ve made a lot of friends, and those friends were in bands, or ran labels or distros or booked shows. I discovered and fell in love with a lot of great bands because of that.

So if you think randomly following me on Twitter is going to help you, you’re wasting your time. And it’s a shame, because I know a lot of great people in the music industry, like publicists, engineers, A&R people, writers, editors, label owners, managers, bloggers, promoters, and tour managers.

Use this advice if you want. @reply me on Twitter, or shoot me an email.

Let’s be friends.

Then maybe I’ll listen to your music.


Over time, our digital footprints add up and create a cyber world that starts to take on some of that very same messiness. Change a font or a layout or where something is, and it bothers us. You can take advantage of that need for comfort by making your digital work a little less sterile, a bit less squared offSeth Godin

As I told Tim recently:

“I’ve stumbled upon Lain Sellar and Zoe Veness and find their work amazing. It’s something about hand drawn, black and white, stuff that gets me.”

That’s the logic behind the design of this blog. It’s not quite hand-drawn (likeĀ this piece by Zoe), but it’s not glossy by any means. There are plenty of web designers out there that can do slick. I want to do more “less squared off.”


I was interviewed by Tim Harcourt-Powell, for his blog Standing on the Shoulders of Giants.

Sure, I’ll be 36 soon and should really “get my act together” and “get a real job,” but for all I know I could die at 37, and now, at least I have a bunch of cool robots that I drew, new friends I’ve made in different cities, and seen more of America than many of my peers. And I’m cool with that.

You know, I’ve wondered if I should write about my personal life here, as I try to use this site as a way to showcase my services as a web professional.

What would potential clients think?

Then I thought, well, I’d rather not work for a bureaucratic workplace, sitting in meetings all day with a dated dress-code and a time clock in the break room. And I’d rather work with clients who feel the same way. I like working with clients who appreciate sweat and grime with their project. People who’ve become who they are through hard work and doing their best to color outside the lines.


My friend Lisette Voytko landed on Reddit, a popular user-generated site of interesting & newsy links. With the expected spike in traffic, I replied, “monetize!” Meaning, turn that traffic to your blog into cold hard cash! But then she called me out and asked, “how?”

Well, here’s a few ways I’ve monetized my blog(s) over the last few years.

I’ve sold stuff on my site and people have bought it. I’ve sold hand-drawn robots at my Willed From Wires Robot Shop, and I’ve got two ebooks detailing my bike adventures from the past year and a half. Skip the affiliate links on Amazon – create something of your own – something you can stand behind – and put a price tag on it.

I’m not so huge that I can just sell stuff everyday, but I could sure use extra storage space on DropBox! So I wrote a post about how awesome DropBox is, and encourage readers to sign up for an account, which gets me more storage space.

When I was writing on The Bike Nerd during my daily bicycle adventures around the US, it showed something; I can write about bikes. It’s not about “lots of traffic,” it’s about the “right traffic,” and that’s how I got a paid writing gig for a bike shop in NYC. Write to your audience, not a “general audience,” and see what happens. The hard part? Figuring out who your audience is.

Okay, so you don’t have anything to sell today, and maybe cloud storage isn’t your thing. But you just know that someday you’ll have something that people will love. Well, make sure you have a “subscribe to my email list” box somewhere on your site. If you don’t have anything to sell today, maybe you will two months from now. The best time to start that is 10 years ago, but the next best time is now (hat tip to Gary Vaynerchuk for that one).

Monetizing your blog isn’t just ad networks or e-commerce, it’s about opportunities that come your way just by writing great content day after day, year after year. I did Buzzgrinder for six years before I got my foot in the door at AOL, and then it was another year and a half before I started Noisecreep for AOL Music.

HOMEWORK: What’s the one thing you just KNOW? It doesn’t even have to be an internet skill. Maybe you work on motorcycles, or you have experience finding great places to fish, or maybe you took over your parents business. Trust me – there’s an audience for all of those things on the internet. If you want to be a pop-culture super blogger, well, good luck with that. But if you want to be the #1 Google search result for “how to take over my parents bakery,” or “where to camp in Utah,” well, I bet you can own that audience.

So, who is your audience?