Monthly Updates

[4 MONTH UPDATE] JOURNEY TO STARTING AN ONLINE BUSINESS

[4 MONTH UPDATE] JOURNEY TO STARTING AN ONLINE BUSINESS

Another month has passed and it is time to update the progress and lessons learned over the past month. I started off really well since my last update and had some momentum but once again I became a bit lazy towards the end of the month and ruined all of the progress that I was making. It’s definitely going to be a long process building my membership site if I continue to progress at this speed.

I have designed all of the pages and templates that I am going to use for my membership site, and I think it looks awesome. I did spend a long time learning about optimize press and all of its capabilities and now I definitely feel like I have a handle on how everything works. The membership site consists of a ‘membership home’ page, 6 ‘category’ pages and 33 ‘lesson’ pages. Each category consists of a different topic about moving your life abroad, for example, one topic is ‘work.’ Within that topic there are 6 different lessons which consist of different types of work you can do abroad, how to find a job etc.

 

Progress

1. Name

The course name that I’ve settled on is ‘Move Your Life Abroad’. Since that is the whole point of the course, I felt like it was a good name. I used the site Bust a Name to input all of the words that I would want in my domain name and it gave all of the domain names available with those words. It is a really cool website and I suggest you check it out if you are trying to think of a domain name for your website.

Of all of the domain name possibilities that ‘Bust a Name’ gave me, I chose my 10 favourties, narrowed them down to 5, and thought about them for a few days, before I finally bought the domain name www.MoveYourLifeAbroad.com. The reality is, you shouldn’t be spending weeks or months thinking of a name, just pick a name that you are happy with and move on to building your site.

2. Design

Designing the membership site has been really fun. Understanding how everything works together and how to link all of the pages and elements in Optimize Press has been extremely enjoyable and rewarding. When it comes time to building the home page and blog page for the site (which you won’t need to be a member for), I will have already learned how to quickly build good looking pages on Optimize Press.Now that most of the design has been done for the membership portion of the website, I need to start adding the content to each lesson, and therefore need to first create the content.

For the design of my logo (which is extremely simple), I used a website called Logo Makr. This is a website that allows you to create simple logo’s that you can add to your website. If you don’t have a high budget when starting your website, and don’t want to pay anyone to design a logo for you, then Logo Makr is perfect because it’s free.

3. Canva

For all of the thumbnails and banners on the membership site, I used a photo editor website called Canva. It was extremely easy to adjust the size of the pictures and add text to them. It is a great, free alternative to Photoshop when starting out, and is all done on their website, which means that you can access your account from anywhere. I plan on using Canva for all of my photo editing in the near future until I need to start doing more advanced editing.

 

Lessons Learned

1. Need a New Computer

One of the things that has been the most frustrating for me in this process has been the speed of my laptop. It constantly freezes and takes up to 5 minutes to load webpages sometimes. This is why I will often just give up after a few minutes of waiting and go and do something else (that is an even bigger waste of time.) I plan on buying a second hand MacBook Pro Retina within the next month or two, which will help improve my productivity levels.

Furthermore the Mac’s have great applications installed on them already which will greatly help me with recording my screen (for tutorials on my membership site) and editing videos.

2. More Focus

As I stated in the beginning of this article, I have lacked focus over the last couple of weeks. I am constantly getting frustrated with the speed of my computer and just giving up and moving on to other things. The start of the last month was really productive and I was able to design all of the membership pages for my website and build them. However, over the last two weeks I have been a little lost, not having a clear direction of what I need to do next.

I often feel like the hospitality work that I am doing at the moment is taking over my life. It isn’t that I am working all the time, but rather when I’m not working, I’m either tired or my mind wants to relax and think about other things. It takes me normally at least one day per week just to shut down and stop thinking about work. I’m sure this is a problem that most people have who are working full time and trying to start a business on the side.

Maybe it would be best if I took some time off and committed 100% of my time to creating my business. I definitely feel like I would be able to complete my course and start marketing it in a month or two if I was able to fully dedicate myself to it. Instead at the moment, I am only working a few hours a week on it, and each time I start working on it again, it takes a little while to get back into the swing of things.

3. Master Plan

Today, I have started creating the master plan for my membership site, which will include everything that I need to create in order for the course to be complete. This includes what each category is about, the lessons in each category, and every tutorial and document that needs to be created for each lesson. Once the master plan is complete, I will know exactly what tutorials and documents I need to create for each lesson, and can start creating them and adding them to the website. I will know exactly what needs to be done next and not have any excuses for being lost.

 

Future Direction

Once again, it is an exciting time for the business and time to really dig deep and start creating the content. I honestly feel like I don’t have as much urgency about creating the site as I did last month, which is not great. I need to get back into the swing of things and really start getting this content created! I also need to stop thinking about my hospitality job so often because it is taking up a lot of my mental energy. Maybe it’s time to take a holiday and spend a little focused time on the business, or maybe it’s time to quit my job and look for something new. I guess that is the whole reason I am creating this online business in the first place, to be location independent and work on the things I love.

Anyway, we will find out over the next month how everything is going and if I’m a bit more relaxed. Can’t wait to see what the next month holds!

Lewi Blake