New Home Forums Monthly Challenges April 2017 Screw it! I'm really doing it! – Laura

21 replies, 7 voices Last updated by  Sara McCann 5 years, 1 month ago
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 22 total)
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  • #37495

    Laura Koller
    Adventurer
    @laurakoller

    I’ve been planning to launch a website/blog for a long time.  Last summer I actually signed up for Bluehost – because I was serious – and here I am the following spring with a strong daily writing habit, but still nothing to show for it in public.

    The project: Launch the “Motivation Superhero” website and blog, the platform for my eCourse.

    I would love to have a full day to do ANYTHING of my choosing, but I can to patchwork together the time I need.

    I will commit to updating my progress once weekly on Fridays.

    #37500

    Bradley Morris
    Mountain Guide
    @bradleytmorris

    Woohoo! This is great. Can’t wait to see the website Laura. Have fun with it!!

    #37502

    Bobbie Jo Van Den Plas
    Adventurer
    @bobbiejo

    Yay Laura!!! Excited for your launch!! My plan is to update my site as well, so I’ll be in the same technology climbing area of the mountain. 😉

    #38170

    Laura Koller
    Adventurer
    @laurakoller

    Making progress!

    1. I’m doing really well with the daily writing habit (Morning pages of at least 750 words/15 minutes).  I’ve finally figured out how to write about ideas relevant to the blog, and then cut and paste the good stuff into individual Evernote notes.  This is ONE source for writing ideas and first drafts.

    2. I created a “Motivation Superhero” writing contract that details my commitment to complete 4 finished blog posts each month.  It also details the steps of my writing process, and weekly “themes” dedicated to each step of the writing process – Week 1: “Drip and Dream” (a variation on mind mapping), Week 2: “RapiDraft” (the crappy first draft), Week 3: “Clump and Chunk” (the revision process), and Week 4: “Fix-It” (the editing process).  Rather than focusing on one piece of writing at a time, I call this a “multi-track” system.  It’s intended to enhance my creativity and curb my anxiety – there are always multiple pieces of writing in process and therefore there’s not too much weight on any one piece.  I think that’s been a huge hangup for me in the past – I’ve always thought about taking one piece from idea to draft to finished piece before moving on to the next one, and that puts so much pressure on me at each step of the process.

    3. I now have at least a dozen “RapiDrafts” so that sets me up well to choose at least 4 to move on to the “Clump and Chunk” step next week.  It feels so good to have so many ideas written down and fleshed out on paper.  It really does take away so much of the stress – and my creative juices are really flowing now!!!

    4. I need to go check out the blog option on the Teachable site.  I have a blog site setup through Bluehost (not live yet, still stuff to work through) but I’m wondering if my job may be easier on Teachable.

    #38187

    Bradley Morris
    Mountain Guide
    @bradleytmorris

    Awesome work flow process. Love the names you came up with!! I am quite similar. I have plenty of half finished thoughts in my Evernote, which occassionally I come back to and finish the article or grab an element of a half finished one to complete another. It’s great.

    There is no blog option on Teachable. Teachable is just for courses.

    #38195

    Bobbie Jo Van Den Plas
    Adventurer
    @bobbiejo

    Exciting progress, Laura!! Love that the ideas are flowing!!!

    I was thinking about the Teachable blog too, and was going to ask here about it. I enabled it, but then found a way to update my current WordPress site to keep it there (since I have a lot in there already). I’m sure you have the same link, but this is the one I was looking at when I started to set it up: Teachable Blog

    Happy creating!!! 🙂

    #38261

    Laura Koller
    Adventurer
    @laurakoller

    There is now a blog option on Teachable!  I just set up the title and “About” information.  I’m still looking for the right graphic header and I haven’t  posted my first entry yet, but it seems super easy.  At the moment, my main drawback to Teachable is that my current blog address has “teachable” in the web address (I have a free membership and can’t see paying $40/month until there’s some profit on the horizon).  I’d rather have the blog hosted at motivationsuperhero.com and then link to Teachable from there for the course.  It just seems cleaner to me.

    I’m signed up with Bluehost for another 2 1/2 years so that alone would make it worthwhile to set up a blog there, but all that design and WordPress stuff has been one big pain in the tookus.  I want the blog to look nice and that will add value to the website, but I have so many other things I want to invest my limited free time in right now.  My brother does web design stuff and I suppose I could ask him, but right now I don’t feel like I’m ready to open that can of worms.

    So if anyone has any good suggestions on how to make the whole web/blog design thing EASIER then please let me know.  There are two struggles that have defined me setting up this blog.  I’m making progress on the first one – blog content – but the other one is this whole design and graphics stuff.  I want it to look nice, but for now I’m going to have to figure out what “good enough” looks like.  Later, when I’m an internet sensation, then I can spend all kinds of money having the right people to do the job for me 🙂

    Oh, and with regards to the blog content, I know that this week – “Clump and Chunk” – is going to be my hardest writing theme week.  This means I have to a) decide which four (or more) pieces I’m going to tag for finishing (I feel anxious about making decisions) and b) go through that yucky process of putting all the pieces in the right order.  So I feel like I’m in a yucky place right now and I know I have to just keep pushing forward.  Wish me luck.

    #38265

    Bobbie Jo Van Den Plas
    Adventurer
    @bobbiejo

    Yeah, it looks like it is a new feature Teachable just rolled out.  I’m still on the free option as well, waiting until I get my paid courses ready. I’m sure there’s lots of support here to help with the WordPress blog. I know for my hosting it had ‘one click install’ for WordPress. I originally had a designer get things going for me, but now (for this challenge) dove in to make updates (new theme, etc). I think once you get WordPress on your site it shouldn’t be too hard to get the blog up and running.  Perhaps a shout out in the technology campfire or a message to Andy might help get you started. I’m in the same boat- make progress now, perfect it more as I go. 😉 You’ve got this! Super exciting!!! All the best to you! Keep swimming!!! You can do it!

    #38569

    Laura Koller
    Adventurer
    @laurakoller

    Making progress…

    1. I changed the primary domain of my Bluehost account to motivationsuperhero.com  It was more complicated than it sounds, so it makes the list.  I also decided I will host my blog at Bluehost (not at Teachable).

    2. I spent a lot of time looking for free images online.  It ended up taking far longer than I thought it should, but I found a great site ( visualhunt.com ) and found a great header image for my blog.

    3. I am continuing to build my stash of “RapiDraft” writing.  I write every weekday morning and sometimes on the weekend, and I continue to cut and paste anything interesting/useful into Evernote.  I now have 38 notes in Evernote to use for writing ideas.  That’s HUGE for someone who was so worried I wouldn’t know what to write about!

    4.  I completed my intro video for this site, and I’m thinking I could use it on the website.  And I can also include my blurb about how I would have liked to shoot it again (about a bajillion times) but used the principles of my manifesto to find the courage to post it as-is and consider it to be “good enough.”  Anyway, shooting that video was completely spur of the moment – let’s just do it! – and a true act of courage to post it because I know I can do it better but then there’s only so much time and SO MUCH TO DO!  Posting that video is evidence that I’m now living the dream!!!

    5. I gave my webinar again this week, this time as part of an annual competency event.  The other presenters were a VP and a Senior Director of huge departments in the company.  I was told there would be 80 case managers on the webinar from across the country but when I saw the total attendance it was 150 (!!!).  Not sure who else was there but yay for me.  Positive response, they liked the practical actionable strategies, and I’m trying to get a copy of the webinar recording.  More forward momentum.

    6. I received a free ebook that details the “12 steps to make a living writing” ( https://goinswriter.com/dont-starve ) and concluded that by the end of this project I will have finished almost all of the first 6 steps.  It’s definitely worth a peek if you are interested in growing your online audience.  Jeff Goins is a personal hero of mine and so, so wise and down-to-earth at the same time.

    Next steps:

    I did not Clump and chunk any of my writing – that’s priority this coming week!  I have to bring at least a few pieces (commitment = 4 finished pieces of writing) to completion in the next two weeks.

    #38592

    Bradley Morris
    Mountain Guide
    @bradleytmorris

    Wow Laura, what a week. You are truly rocking it. Thanks for showing up, being courageous and GSD’ing. I’m sure this is super inspiring for everyone else reading it. High fives to you!!!

    Really stoked for your progress and momentum.

    YEEHAWW!

    #38596

    Bobbie Jo Van Den Plas
    Adventurer
    @bobbiejo

    YEAH!!! Awesome progress! Go Laura!!! 😀

    #39492

    Laura Koller
    Adventurer
    @laurakoller

    Did you know that today is National Superhero Day?  Well, neither did I.  But as soon as I found out I decided that today was definitely the right day to launch my website.

    So I did it.

    Did you read that?  I DID IT!  I launched my Motivation Superhero website and published my first blog post.  Check it out!

    I still have LOTS of work to do on the site, such as creating the lead magnet and figuring out how I’m going to collect email addresses.  I’ve now committed myself to publishing a weekly a blog post as well.  I’m sure there’s a lot I can do with formatting and changing my Gravatar and all that other stuff, too.  It’s all taking longer than I’d like and I don’t have time to work on it right now (I need to spend at least some time doing the job I’m currently being paid to do).  But the important thing is that I completed the challenge – a week early and on National Superhero Day to boot.

    What a day for aspiring superheroes everywhere 🙂

    #39499

    Bobbie Jo Van Den Plas
    Adventurer
    @bobbiejo

    YEAH LAURA!!!! That is AWESOME!!! What a perfect day to launch!! I just swam over to check it out. Looks great!!! Going to use your advice and make my tasks even more bite size on my to-do list. Thank you! Celebrating with you!! WOOHOO!! Congratulations!!! 😀

    #39634

    Sara McCann
    Adventurer
    @saramccann

    I just read the post on your new website and i love it! Very apt advice right now too. You’ve done great and with 4 boys and a ‘get paid job’ to juggle also I have great admiration for you. Well done Laura, keep going!

    #40495

    Laura Koller
    Adventurer
    @laurakoller

    I’m officially off and running!  I was up until 2am doing the “Fix and Finish” on my next blog draft and I’ve now published my second blog post.  Check it out: Do You Have What It Takes?  I spilled my heart out on paper – and it feels so good!

    I’ve now established a consistent daily writing habit and that has helped with the momentum of this project as well as my mental health.  At the moment I have probably 50 blog topics in Evernote that range from quickly jotted thoughts to stream of consciousness writing to nearly finished drafts, and I already have a list of planned topics for the next several blog posts.  I’ve also outlined a deliberate writing practice that is really working for me, and that will be a great asset as I move forward.  This is such a great creative outlet for me and I can’t wait to start building an audience.

    That being said, this is only the beginning.  In addition to the commitment to publish a weekly blog post, there is much more work that I’d like to do on this project.  I’m anticipating a steep learning curve for many of these tasks.

    1) I have a lot more work to do with WordPress, in terms of format and images and probably a new theme.  My brain gets so muddled every time I go into the dashboard.  Can anyone recommend a good resource for using the program, preferably something that goes step by step?

    2) I need to be prepared to collect emails before I start directing people to my website.  I’m currently considering MailChimp (has a free plan) and ConvertKit (superior in virtually every way besides cost).  I’m thinking I’d like to do a survey as the opt-in (“Do You Have What It Takes?  Yes, sign me up!  Maybe, I want to hear more. or No, but sign me up anyway”).  For me, this platform is more about buying into an identity than any one helpful product.

    3) I want to create a beautiful PDF of The Motivation Superhero Manifesto.  I’m not sure if I’ll send it out as part of the email on boarding, or whether I’ll make it available as a free download on the site.  That manifesto will be a crucial document in the Motivation Superhero identity, and, ambitious and optimistic me, I’m hoping it’s something people will want to frame on their wall as daily inspiration.  Someone please tell me a website or program I can use to make it look super incredible.

    4) Once I start gathering emails and post the manifesto, I will have completed the first 6 steps in Jeff Goins’ 12 steps to make a living writing. While I’ve been thinking about this project for a while, I think it’s super that during the course of this project I have essentially completed the first half of those steps – the hardest ones, too, at least in my mind.  From there, it’s about guest posting, growing the list, and selling the first product – in this case, my very first eCourse!!!

    Thanks, A&B, for inviting all of us to participate in this challenge.  I’m so fired up about finally launching this website and so stoked about the forward momentum.  I really needed that kick in the pants.

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