2015 blog challenge

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have your own blog? If so, this no-fail challenge is for you.

Here it is:

Step One- got to wordpress and sign up for a free blog.

Step Two: Write a blog post about anything. Do Not Post this. Save it as a draft for later.

Step three: Repeat step two 29 more times.

Challenge complete. You have now written ur first 30 blog posts. How long did it take you? 2 weeks, a month? 6 months?

Did you like it?Are any of your posts ready to publish? Did you play with any themes? Did you write your About Page? Did you read other blogs and follow anyone you really like? Have you commented on anyone elses blog? Do you think they will want to comment on yours?

Are you stil wondering if you should start one hit me up at awesomemontana@gmail.com and ill see if i can help answer any of your questions or give you challenge #2

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5 reasons why you should be listening to podcasts.

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Listening To Chris Farrell On the Solopreneur Hour “You are exactly where you should be right now…” and I’m running through Paris right by La Place du Tertre

1. Podcasts are inspirational.

Listening to stories about other people’s journeys will give you confidence to complete your own goals. As you hear about their challenges, obstacles and downright failures and how they overcame them you will gain faith in your ability to conquer your own fears, climb your own mountains, and reach for your own dreams.

KAtiesDavisBrainBurps

2. There are Podcasts about everything.

Do you like beer, bull riding, to play Magic? Do you want to learn how to sell your first novel, social media marketing or real estate investing? Are you a knitter, gardener, tae kwon do master? Do you want to travel, adopt a baby, lose weight? Want to learn how to farm, work from home, open a retail clothing store? What do you like? I’ll bet there’s a podcast about it out there.

3. Free education.

Podcasting is one of the newest forms of education available and Yes it’s free! There is so much quality information out there you can practically earn an MBA from listening provided you follow the action steps presented and do the work recommended.

4. Podcasting is the ultimate multitasking activity.

You can listen to podcasts while driving, exercising, folding the laundry or doing any mundane task. You might actually find yourself looking forward to your next workout because it means you get to hear the newest episode just downloaded from your favorite host. It’s almost like hanging out with them.

5. Discover friends who have the same interests as you.

Lots of Podcasters have communities that have organically developed over time of fans that share knowledge, tips, successes, etc. Many of these people you end up meeting in person in the future at a conference, concert, or event. Networking has never been easier nor has meeting like minded people from all corners of the world.

RobinGlacierPark

Headed to a Conference to Meet my Peeps! Driven over Going-To-The-Sun Road by one of my Favorite Guests!

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Glacier National Park

 

 

 

Email Capture

The importance of email capture

Your email list will become your most valuable asset in your business. This is your customer base, your tribe, your audience’s invitation into their life. This is your opportunity to test ideas for new products, to get essential feedback, and connect with your readers in a personal way.
If you read Robert Kyosaki’s book Rich Dad, Poor Dad you will learn the difference between an asset and a liability, why it is so important to have more assets then liabilities and how your passive income should work to increase your cashflow. An email capture is a way to build an asset and it will come under the passive income column because it will form while you are sleeping.
Social networks, search engines, and platforms, will come and go, change on a whim, and/or appear out of nowhere but your email list will remain in your control. Capturing email addresses in a list is different from collecting followers of your blog. It specifically gives you your clients individual email address to connect with their inbox.
So how do you build an email list? How do you gather those addresses anyway? This is what email capture allows you to do – collect peoples emails and order them in a list. It requires a simple form that you can download from either MailChimp for free or Aweber for a monthly fee. You will need to create an account with one of these services and follow step by step instructions to load the form on your website.
Its nice to have a free offer for your subscribers when they start to follow you and give you their email. This usually consists of a pdf or ebook that you have created that shares your knowledge. Many people call this a mvp for minimal viable product. You can put this free offer on its own landing page or on the side bar of your website. When you want to get fancier you might create a banner ad with your email capture form at the top of your website.
Both Mailchimp and Aweber will also keep track of a range of figures for you including your open rate. Your open rate lets you know how many people are actually clicking on your email and reading it. Its nice to have an open rate in the 80% range but at times they might go down towards 30%. Providing valuable content for your audience is the best way to keep your open rate high.
I hear over and over, i wish i would have started collecting email addresses sooner, so start today, get that email capture up on your website and begin building your assets.
Do you have an email capture on your website? Which service do you prefer? Do you offer a product for your audience? How often do you email your subscribers?

The Saavy Painter

Wow, found a great new podcast to listen to. The savvy painter. She rocks with great interviews and inspiration for building your platform and creating a growing business out of the work that you love.

I have only listened to a few episodes so far.

18: DUANE KEISER ON BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS WITH COLLECTORS

Duane has some great pointers for reaching out to people on the internet and building a tribe that enjoys your work and giving them access to your work.

http://savvypainter.com/category/podcast/

 

http://www.jackiebeyer.com

A Baker’s Dozen of My Favorite Career Books

  1.  Hitting Your Stride by Nan Russell is a great book about leveraging your strengths at your job in order to create positive changes and find fulfilling work. By bringing your best self to your organization you are helping everyone succeed. Full of actionable steps that you can take and implement will help you start seeing results immediately.
  2.  Platform Get Noticed in a Noisy World: A Step-by-step Guide For Anyone With Something To Say or Sell by Michael Hyatt. This book is essential for developing your online presence. Start with the Wow factor and then learn how to build an internet audience. Michael is an inspirational leader who shares his knowledge of publishing and management in his podcast This is Your Life, another amazing resource.
  3.  Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kyosaki is one of my all time favorites. I read this over and over several times a year. The lessons in this book are invaluable to anyone who wants to control their financial bottom line, and learn how cashflow works. Everything from understanding taxes to creating jobs Kyosaki will change how you think about money forever.
  4. The Live Your Legend Workbook by Scott Dinsmore. I count this because as soon as I downloaded the book and saw the cover I said, I’m already ½way there, as it was a picture of my everyday life. Scott’s email and blog post about when it’s time to quit, cemented the idea as well because for two years, I had been saying, I never want to be my boss. I had read Seth Godin’s The Dip several times and still went back and forth debating, is success just around the corner or is it time to pivot? Forcing myself to find accountability allies was as helpful as creating actionable goals with deadlines and putting them all together in one place.
  5. The Plot Thickens: 8 Ways to Bring Fiction To Life by Noah Lukeman. This is essential for any writer. Lukeman’s character sketches will give your work a whole new dimension. This is one you will want to buy and refer to every time you start a chapter book.
  6. On Writing by Stephen King. I never felt so much like a real author until I read this. I found that I already have a lot of the habits of a successful writer, (except the courage to submit at this time – haha) and so when I am ready, I should be able to create a strong career. His simple challenge to write 2000 words every day and the knowledge that a novel should take roughly 3 months or a season for the first draft made everything so much more palpable. It didn’t seem like some long lost dream, but a project with a deadline and actionable steps to complete.
  7. You Can’t Make This Stuff Up: The Complete Guide to Writing Creative Nonfiction–from Memoir to Literary Journalism and Everything in Between by Lee Gutkind is also full of great action steps, writing exercises, and concrete insights on writing creative non-fiction and the genre as a whole.
  8. The Martha Rules by Martha Stewart is where I first heard the saying, Write the book you want to read. This motto plays through the back of my head constantly. What do I want to know? What have I learned? What can I share?
  9. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. This book was originally going to be titled: The Thirteen Steps to Riches. Personally I prefer that name myself. Napoleon Hill spent 25 years researching hundreds of successful people and created a list of principles that he believed could easily be replicated by anyone.
  10. The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris. This is also essential so just buy it, and maybe a copy or two for some friends. This book has expanded my network more then any other. Not only does it help you find like minded friends on the internet, but it will also give you actionable challenges to meet each day. I have learned so much from completing different tasks he gives from contacting a famous person to tips on how to place a successful bid on Priceline.
  11. Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen Covey has great strategies to improve your performance and effectiveness in both professional and personal relationships. I found them beneficial as soon as I would implement them especially the chapter on how to form a proactive response which helps you take control of your present and  future.
  12. Fish Philosophy! by Stephen Lunden, Harry Paul, and John Christensen is a great read for any work situation. These entrepreneurs have mastered the philosophy of creating the best attitude no matter where you work and how to motivate anyone. I read this during a leadership class and feel it’s effects each and every day. Learn how to use the four basic principles (choose your attitude, play, be present, and make their day) to create a world class business.
  13. Refuse to Choose: Use All of Your Interests, Passions, and Hobbies to Create the LIfe and Career of Your Dreams by Barbara Sher came to me at the perfect time. Although I am not particularly happy about her “scanner” term she uses to describe someone like me, who has lots of interests but her idea to put it altogether in one scrapbook/journal or as she calls it “Scanner Daybook” is amazing. Having everything in one place has made everything come together for me and help me focus on the overall goals I need to keep in mind in order to move forward. It’s almost impossible to believe I didn’t always have this essential book as part of my life. I’m still trying to come up with a better name then ‘scanner’ though…haha.

If you’re looking for a resource of great business books, look no further then John Lee Dumas’ recommended book list of books the entrepreneurs he interviews suggest. What books have influenced your career and life? I’m always looking for more content to consume.

 

http://www.jackiebeyer.com

Build Your Platform TODAY!

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As an aspiring artist/author/illustrator everyone needs a platform today. Having an internet presence is essential for any creative professional, but it doesn’t have to be fancy or scary at first. And it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money either! Once you have your basics started I can’t recommend enough Michael Hyatt’s book Platform, Get Noticed in a Noisy World: A Step-by-step Guide For Anyone With Something To Say or Sell to learn how to grow your platform and even help you complete some of these basic steps.

Step one.    Establish an email address just for contacts. If you can get your name@gmail.com that is probably best, but you can use a business or nickname as well. It’s best to keep it simple.

Step two. Create a wordpress blog. I say wordpress because this has been recommended to me the most. I had my www.jackiebeyer.com blog and website for two years and never got one follower. At wordpress you get new followers almost every time you add a new post. For example, when I posted the 30 day challenge I had 6 likes in less then 24 hours?! I don’t understand how it works or how people find me to follow but it is amazing. The idea of getting 10,000 followers will feel palpable once you post regularly for a few months. And It’s Free! There are lots of tutorials on how to create your own wordpress blog. Here is a link to Michael Hyatt’s tutorial. You can add pages to your wordpress blog and have samples of your work etc all here until you’re ready to expand to a full blown website.

Step Three. Create an email capture page. Use MailChimp for free or Aweber for a small monthly fee. Your email list is your most valuable ASSET. These are people who are interested in your product or service enough that they have invited you into their inbox. They believe that you are adding significant value to their lives and giving you their time to read what you have to share. Make sure you respect this privilege by creating actionable content that improves your tribe’s lives if you want to see your success soar!

Step Four. Define your AVATAR. This is your ideal client. Is it a reader? a viewer? a listener? How old are they? What do they do for a living? Are they married? Do they have kids? Why do they like your product or service? What do they use it for? What need is being met? Be SPECIFIC. Niche it down to the most basic detail. Try to describe this person in 500 words. Who is the most ideal person that you would like to find your website? The best resource for defining your Avatar is at John Lee Dumas’ site. It’s a mere $7.00 and you will reap the benefits of knowing who your “ideal reader” is, as Stephen King refers to him. You will refer back to your avatar over and over when you make decisions for your business, and knowing your avatar can help you with those difficult choices.

Step Five. Create 5 blog posts. Yes, Five. The first one might take a day or even a week, but then the next one should be easier and shortly you should be able to create 5 blog posts in a day. You don’t have to post any of them, but get 5 ready. You might come back to these at a later time, but you might just move foward. Decide how often you plan to post and commit to that. Maybe you want to post everyday, but I think once a week is plenty. You might decide once a month is enough and you might choose 3 times a week. You can always increase later. The biggest thing is being consistent, something I desperately need to work on, which is part of why I made the 30 day challenge, hoping it will build a habit. Remember, once people find you they will probably go back and read some earlier posts so it’s important to get content building. I also know people who do well with blogs that consist of simply posting an original illustration.

Step Six. Create a minimal viable product (mvp). This can be as simple as a pdf file or a short eBook that people can download in return for their email address. It took me over a year to create this and I still don’t have it posted, but start thinking about it and rolling ideas over in your head. When it’s ready, add it to your email capture. I am STILL working on this. I don’t know why it is so hard for me?

Step Seven. Create a Facebook Page for your business. Plan to post here daily if possible for a month. Simple little valuable content with pictures if possible. This is probably one of the easiest tasks to complete.

Step Eight. Create a Twitter account. If possible, start tweeting with family. Also, start following some topics you’re interested in. This is where I would recommend reading Gary Vanyerchuck’s Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. It’s one you might choose to read again and again. Its known as the  Social Media 301 textbook, and for someone who still struggles to understand twitter and/or pinterest it’s very helpful. I was listening to John Lee Dumas talk about how he finally got twitter. It was after an earthquake and he wanted the most up-to-date information possible. When he realized twitter was the answer, he started going there for more information. I find when I’m waiting in line at the grocery store, etc, this is a good time to check out my twitter feed. I’m kinda starting to get it …

Now Breathe! 

And then get ready for more!

Eventually you will probably want a YouTube account, a Pinterest page and to join Instagram among other social media venues. You may begin to hold google hangouts, create a podcast or videocast, start posting guest blogposts, join a mastermind, and so much more.

Found this great blog post on why you need a Platform this morning: http://chrislema.com/building-your-platform-wordpress-first-steps/

 

http://www.jackiebeyer.com