Stacy Fleetwood

Blogger, Internet Marketer, and All Around Smartass

Day 1 – 90 Day Blog Challenge – Catching Up

My last post explained to you this 90 Day Blog Challenge that I am undertaking.  I thought with this being day one, I should do a catch up post to let you know what I have done to get ready for the ‘launch’ of my experiment.

You see, I started out with a plan to match the income I earn at my job within 90 days by building a blog, earning a true following, and monetizing my business with tools and products that I use and believe in.  What I didn’t realize at the time, was that I would announce that this is my plan, name it the 90 Day Blog Challenge, and allow you to hold me accountable for it.  I like the added pressure, it is good for me :)

I have put in a few days of work to get the blog set up and get my foundation in order before announcing to the world “Here I am! Come check out what I have to say!”  I wanted to take the time to fill you in on what exactly I have done so far, and about how long these tasks took me.

Here’s what I’ve done:

Domain Name Purchased

I went to Godaddy and bought the domain name StacyFleetwood.com.  Luckily for me, I don’t have a common last name, so it was all mine.  I use Godaddy because I have for years, and I simply hate having to waste time that I could be utilizing with productive tasks to learn three or four different domain/hosting platforms.

Hosting Purchased

I also went ahead and bought hosting with them, mainly because I got a deal on the hosting package and the domain name came free with it.  I also did this because I am so familiar with how to use their hosting control panel, it was really about time and convenience.  I am telling you this because you will probably hear it said that Godaddy hosting is slow causing your site to be slow.  I will assess this as my site builds out.  I can always transfer hosting from them if I feel that it is costing me speed.  Right now, my time is needed building out this site.

WordPress Installed

Installing WordPress is so easy.  If you can send an email you can install WP.

A Free Tool Might Be Coming Your Way

I realized, after briefly describing the previous three tasks, that there are tons of details that could be included to make that entire process pretty painless.  Otherwise if you are brand new to this, you may be doing a lot of searching for answers and sort of take the long way.  If you think you or others could benefit from such a free tool, comment at the end of this post and let me know.  Otherwise, I won’t spend my time on it.

Setting Up WordPress

I have a very streamlined method with which I set up WordPress.  I want to make sure I get everything that needs to be done from the start taken care of, so when I launch it’s all about posting great content and less about permalink structures and security plugins.

I created an EXCELLENT report on this, and it is FREE.  It’s 30 pages, detailed, written in laymen terms and full of screenshots to literally walk you through this process.  You can find The Ultimate WordPress Site Set-Up Checklist and Step by Step Procedures here.

Theme Upload

I uploaded JumpStart Pro which is a bundled plugin that contains the Clickbump engine, themes, SEO plugins, widgets, Privacy Policy page, Earnings Disclaimer page and so much more.  I rave about this product, as you will likely find out if you follow this 90 Day Blog Challenge, but for good reason.  It’s an excellent product that automates so many aspects of a site set-up that you get way more back with the time you save than what you spend on it.

Images Created

I go into more detail about this in the Ultimate WP Set-up report, but I do most of my own images.  I use GIMP, or Pixlr mostly for photo editing, and istockphoto.com or dreamstime.com for stock photos.

Tweaking

I played around with images and logos and got things looking the way I want – for now.  I got the side widgets and the menus like I wanted.  Layout looked good. Now I needed a little content.

Content Needed for Launch

The standard launch content for me is the Home page, About Me, Contact Me, Privacy Policy, and Earnings Disclaimer.  For this site, I added a little snippet of a Author’s box so folks could ‘see’ me and get a quick idea of what I’m about.

I wrote the content for the Home page, About Me and the Author’s box content in under two hours.  I should mention I’m a bit of a perfectionist and I pour over stuff making sure that I am coming across the way I want to.  So, it doesn’t have to take that long.

A Note About Keywords

For the content I have written so far I have not been concerned in the least with keywords.  This content is for my readers, not for a search engine.  When I do an informative article or write-up I may very well be concerned with specific keywords, but for my posts updating you guys on my blog challenge, I will be speaking to you without a thought about a keyword.  We will see if that turns out to be bad.  For now, that is what I am doing.

The Birth of a FREE Report

I knew going into this that I wanted to create a free report for my readers.  Something to introduce myself to people, so they could decide if I had something to offer them.  I did not know what that report was going to be about, until I started the WordPress site set-up.

You see, I do a lot of technical writing and documentation at my job, and it carries over into my business.  The need for a standard streamlined way of doing things, and the documentation that makes it easily repeatable. I mean, how productive can you be if you don’t have to remember the order of everything, or search for things and have to reinvent the wheel each time.

I had a simple document that helped me remember all of the key things I needed to do in a site set-up.  It hit me as I was going through it that a detailed version with screen shots and maybe more of an explanation for why certain things are beneficial could really help people.  Not just beginners, but it could help anyone doing a WP set-up do it more efficiently and save time.  Time to spend building your business rather than doing mundane tasks!

The report turned out to be 30 pages and I’m pretty proud.  I think the info is great.  Definitely better than some of the crap I’ve paid 27 bucks for.  It took me about a day (12hrs) to finish it.  Then about a half day to proofread it several times and work on the cover, which I did with GIMP.

You can get The Ultimate WordPress Site Set-Up Checklist and Step by Step Procedures report for FREE here.

Signed Up for AWeber

I signed up for AWeber for my email marketing and mailing list management.  I built several lists and opt-in forums.  It was a little challenging as I wanted to build a listbuilding system that would be able to track the specific data that I want to be able to analyze.

I will definitely be creating a free report on this experience.  Aweber has some great tutorials and instructions, but I didn’t quickly find how to create separate lists so I could measure the effectiveness of each opt-in method.  When I figured it out, I knew it was worth sharing, so look for this in the near future.  I’ll for sure post when it is done.

Linked Free Product to Opt-ins

I got my free report uploaded so that it can be downloaded after one signs up for my mailing list.  This too was a challenge and will be included in the report I create on building and managing a mailing list.  I opted in to my own list, and jumped for joy when everything worked just like it needed to, I was sent to my download page, and downloaded my report.

Whew!  You’re Caught Up! 

I actually took a few days off of work so I could have several days in a row to accomplish all of this.  I had four days in a row to work on my business, and was finished in about 3 and a half days.  I worked 12 or more hours each of those days.  I did not want this part dragging out.  I have 90 days to make some bucks!

Let Me Know What You Think

Please be sure to ask anything about what I’ve done or where I’m going next.  It is the point of a blog, after all, to interact.  So ask away!  Or feel free to let me know where you are in your business, or if you have any advise on what I have done so far.

 

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