Checklist For Starting A Blog For Income

checklist-starting-a-blog

Now that you’ve defined your goals and chosen a niche, it’s time to build the foundation of your blog. That means choosing a URL, hosting site and theme — but don’t worry! I’ve provided every resource and tutorial you’ll need along the way to make it as easy as possible. Let’s get started!

Choose a Domain Name

The first step to building your blog’s foundation is choosing a domain name. You can check to see if your desired blog name is available instantly below:

Depending on how you plan to bring traffic to your site, you can either choose a domain that includes keywords that are discoverable in organic search OR a branded domain name with more personality. Discoverable domains are helpful for SEO search traffic and branded domains are usually more memorable but either can be branded.

For example, a discoverable domain for this site would be something like: howtoearnasideincome.com. Movingmountains.co is a brandable domain because we’re more focused on realizing your potential, not just making money.

Bottom line: Make sure your domain name is easy to spell and pronounce. Don’t get fancy with alternate spelling, it just confuses people. (I speak from experience, having done this before.)

Find a Host

Before you launch your website you’ll need to choose a website hosting provider that will store all the content on your website.

I recommend Bluehost because it’s reliable, has great support and is inexpensive at just $5.95 per month. The first time I setup my site I didn’t go with Bluehost, and I seriously regretted the hours of hassle it caused me.

Choose Your Website’s Theme

Choosing a theme is about more than just the website design. The theme also affects how your audience will engage with the site and the type of customer support you’ll receive.

Here are the main things to consider when choosing a theme.

  • Responsiveness – Is it a mobile responsive theme? Having a website that’s easily viewable on mobile devices is especially important after Google’s most recent update.
  • Free vs. Premium – A free theme is great for obvious reasons, but it also means fewer updates, less support, and a lack of control over some features. If you’re serious about your blog and plan to personalize some of the features, we’ve found it’s often better to choose a premium theme.
  • Customization – Does the theme have a visual page editor? While the theme will dictate the main features, you’ll want the option to make changes to the design of the site without touching the code.

You can check out theme Showcases to see the potential of different theme. Here are some great options for all types of websites.

STUDIOPRESS THEMES

  • These themes were created by the Copyblogger team and run on the Genesis framework (the framework is the foundation of the site and the customization of the backend things like columns and backgrounds.)
  • You can get any theme with the Genesis framework for $99.
  • Studiopress has great support.

WOOTHEMES

  • Woothemes are a great choice with simple backend management.
  • If you’re considering an e-commerce store they also have Blue Commerce which is a great choice.
  • They have free themes and paid themes starting at $99.

THEMEFOREST

  • Themeforest is where we got the Moving Mountains website theme. It is by far the biggest marketplace with many user generated themes.
  • Because the themes are user-generated you’ll want to read the reviews and see how good the support is for each theme. Make sure you can get answers to your questions if a problem comes up.
  • Most themes are in the $0-$70 range, but they also have free themes.

Install Your Theme

Once you’ve selected a theme, you’re ready to install it. It’s a simple process that shouldn’t take long at all. This video is a great step by step tutorial for installing your theme in WordPress.

Set Up Your Email Address

Finally, if you want to set up a specific email address for your new website this tutorial is very helpful. If you are the only one blogging, just start with yourname@yoursite.com.

Or, if you’re already using Gmail and want to integrate the email address into your existing account, use this tutorial.

Congratulations! Your website is ready to go. In our next post about starting a blog, we’ll discuss how to lay out the welcome mat for your visitors and start customizing your homepage and blog. Stay tuned!

 

Featured image by Ed Gregory via Stokpic

3 People You Need To Fire From Your Life

We all have people in our lives that create challenges for us. I’d even go further to say that people will be one of our biggest struggles in our lives. Many times we allow people into our lives and just assume we are to move forward with the collection of people and relationships that we’ve collected from our past and present. WRONG. 

Some people are part of our history and should stay that way. Solomon once said, “You become the company you keep”. It is true. Successful people (as defined as thriving in all areas of life) don’t just accept who is around them. They intentionally prune unhealthy people and foster healthy relationships. Here are the people you need to prune out of your life:

That Negative Person

I’m not talking just the person who says the glass is “half empty”. Having a bit of pessimism is not necessarily a bad thing. I’m talking about the person who just brings everyone down with them. The world is always against them, they are always the victim, “can’t and never” are a big part of their vocabulary. The world is a dark place with little hope and little opportunity. It always feels like they are benefactor of some negative force and it influences everything they do. They just breed negativity whether they realize it or not. It’s poisoned their well.

“Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.”

The truth to this quote by Zig Ziglar is profound. Negative thinking doesn’t provide any solutions to the problem. It just wallows in them. Positive thinking invites motivation, encouragement, and determination. It seeds action.

That Demanding Person

Do you have someone in your life right now that has set conditions on your relationship? Expectations (explicitly or inexplicitly) you have to meet to be a part of their inner circle. For some reason you always feel some uncomfortable emotion like guilt when you don’t do something they expect or feel the need to make excuses when you don’t meet their expectations, standards, etc. TOO MUCH WORK.

It’s almost like you have to earn their relationship in some way. It’s not worth it. Each of us comes to the table in a relationship with who we are- the healthiest exchanges are very equal in nature – you give and get. Sometimes you fill them up and sometimes they fill you up. Not with this person. The reason for their unhealthy approach many times has to do with past relationships in their life. You can’t fix this for them.

They need to go or their relationship impact be minimized in our life. They create a lot of emotional wear and tear and impact our entire life – emotionally, relationally, etc. They drain resources from other relationships. Be careful – these are often the most challenging to downshift. These kind of people tend have the hardest time being managed into a healthy relationship.

THAT Person who makes chronic bad choices

I bet by reading that headline a name or two pops in your head. We all have people we know that can’t get it together. And yes we can always help (but not enable) those in need. But how does this person effect my life? There are a lot of ways. Here is a list:

  • They rob you of mental energy and  you away from what and who really matters in your life.
  • They always need resources beyond what they have which have to come from their friends (you).
  • They put you in positions you don’t need to be in.
  • They develop enabled behaviors with those around them that support their bad behavior (even if you don’t realize what they are).
  • They cause interfamily conflict (especially when a sibling).
  • They cause emotional, mental and physical stress and worry about their condition. They will literally “age” you.

Until this person really, truly accepts responsibility for themselves and their actions there is little you can do. Don’t let them rob anything from healthy relationships in your life.

The big question is, what any of these kind of people are family? (many times they are). The answer I’ve found that works for me is “controlled space or tactical separation”. In this you create a buffer between you and the unhealthy people in your family but allow times of interaction (as long as they are on your terms) to love on them. It could be scheduling time to meet them for dinner over the course of 2-3 hours,etc. The goals is to have a plan in and a plan out on your terms. If it goes sideways, you have simple way to exit. I’ve found that many times this strategy actually makes the time feel more valuable and brings joy to relationships that didn’t have any before. Planned visits tend to have a kind of fun anticipation.

3 final things to chew on:

  1. You have full control of the relationships you allow ongoing in your life.
  2. You become the sum of those closest to you.
  3. If you want to be better in an area of your life, adding a healthy relationship with someone who is strong in that area pays huge dividends.

 

 

It Is Time To Do Something You Aren’t “Qualified” To Do

Bumped into this quote recently:

“Amateurs built the ark, experts built the titanic.”

Look around you. Some of the most amazing things we have came from people that weren’t “qualified”. Qualification, intelligence, ingenuity, heck even education doesn’t compare to action and the experience that ensues. It is time for you to do. To solidify this point here are people who were not “qualified” by other’s standards when they decided to take action:

  1. Steven Spielberg was rejected twice from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. Regardless he built an empire that has made over 9 Billion dollars.
  2. Walt Disney was told by his editor that he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.
  3. J.K Rowling was a broke, depressed, divorced single mother simultaneously writing a novel while studying.
  4. Dr. Seuss had his first book rejected by 27 different publishers. Wasn’t qualified to be an author.
  5. Elvis Presley was fired after his first performance at the Grand Ole Opry, The guy actually told him “You ain’t going nowhere son. You ought to go back to driving a truck.”

…and the list goes on and on (Zuck and Facebook, Bill Gates, etc.).

My point: Go for it if you feel it is your destiny. Forget about the stigma of “qualification” – that is just keeping you down or giving you an excuse to not start at all.

Remember, many times we find ourselves more in the journey than the destination. Life is too short not to try. So, do it.

3 Important Things I Learned Forgiving Someone Who Didn’t Deserve It

Ahhh forgiveness. We’ve all wrestled with this concept and we are sure to wrestle with it many more times in our lives. Sometimes forgiveness is easier – someone did something deceitful that inconvenienced you but there wasn’t much impact – and sometimes it is very, very hard – someone did something that hurt you so deeply that it changed your life. Either way – it still creates a boatload of emotions that you have to fight through. If we understand a few true principles of forgiveness, it can change the way we handle it and that in itself can have BIG repercussions in our life.

I chose to forgive someone who frankly didn’t deserve AND it didn’t happen right away.

A few years ago I stepped aboard a failing online startup. It was ugly – the developer partner was sleeping in the office, stacks of bills, almost no income. When I came on board there were two founding partners but one of the partners wasn’t involved and completely out of the picture. Myself and the main founding partner decided we were going to give it one last hard push to try and salvage the business. I had no idea how much it would require of me and if I had I probably wouldn’t have even started. We worked our butts off – non stop we poured in hours, sweat, blood and tears.

After a couple years the business still wasn’t making that much income. In being on the team, I took a massive pay cut from what I could earn in the job market. I built the business on the back of my family and it really took a lot out of us. We lived off very, very little and it was a struggle to keep it going. Living like this was so exhausting and we had a new baby right in the middle of it. There were times where my wife had to calm a crying baby at home because we were out of formula, didn’t have a working car (broke down) and I didn’t have any way to get it to her quickly. Just miserable.

3 years into the business we got an offer to sell and it was beyond anything we could have imaged. Finally, my family could potentially breathe a sigh of relief. Finally, there was light at the end of the tunnel. Finally, there was tangible hope. Finally…. enter partner number 3.

This individual walked in on all our hard work, our long hours, our deferred income and threatened to throw the deal if he didn’t get what he wanted- what he demanded. And part of that was to be compensated beyond me even though he hadn’t done anything. He was willing to take all we had done and throw it away. Selfish. He hadn’t had to comfort his wife when there was zero dollars and things you needed, he didn’t have to borrow money from family just to get dinner, he didn’t know what it felt like to fight the heavy weight of daily depression and uncertainty knowing that you were taking small steps towards something you believed in but couldn’t see. He didn’t know jack.

I can’t explain the feelings I felt because I’ve never felt them before in my life. I felt defeated, angry, betrayed, enraged, hurt, depressed, pissed and many, many more. I swallowed all this and we let him walk away with his demands and a fat check. We had to sell – I couldn’t go on grinding it out at that level and neither could my family.

2 years later I was able forgive him. Before then I couldn’t think about it because it would open up a dark place that threatened to poison and swallow me up in bitterness. Here are the three things I learned:

 

Forgiveness frees us

When I forgave this person, something unexpected happened. I felt unattached from the situation and all the bitterness. When I really forgave him from deep inside, all the emotions that normally stirred no longer existed. By forgiving him I let myself off the hook and was able to walk away. I gave myself permission to not let it bother me anymore.

 

Forgiveness isn’t trust

One fallacy of forgiveness is that it resets everything and everyone starts where they left off. Nope. Trust is something that is built overtime and takes time and effort. Even though I forgave this person I don’t trust them and that is ok. It would be poor judgement to trust someone who doesn’t deserve it.

 

Forgiveness matures our character

I thought for a while that I would never be able to forgive this person for taking advantage of the situation. What they did just felt so wrong. When I finally worked through it all and was able to genuinely forgive them, my complete outlook of them changed. Before I had seen him as a complete jerk who had no regard for anyone other than himself (and a handful of other choice words). After I chose to forgive him, I saw an insecure, sad scared person who had no real hope in their life. My new perspective allowed me to have compassion for him – something I never, ever thought in a million years would happen. I feel sorry for the guy. In addition, I feel like working through this and moving to forgive was the hardest thing to do but it strengthened my character. I feel like I’m able to forgive more readily because of all this.

This experience has changed my life. Letting go and moving forward has allowed me to move into bigger, better things that I could have never grabbed holding on to the past. Forgiveness isn’t for them, it’s for us. 

 

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3 Lies We Keep Believing About Money

1.Having Money, wealth or being rich is Bad (Or Evil)

 

Money – being the physical good- isn’t good or bad. It is just a piece of paper or metal. It is the character of the individual holding it that determines the outcome of its impact. I heard someone once say money is like a microscope, it reveals the Character DNA of the person who has it.

Do people with weak character, no purpose and self esteem issues blow it, waste it and destroy their lives? Yes. It is not the money that caused this to happen – it was their ego running unchecked.

Do people with great character use it to change the lives of others around the world in big, meaningful ways? Yes.

 

2.Money corupts

 

Money, again, isn’t the corrupting agent. Think of how rust works. Iron and oxygen won’t form rust unless water is present. You have to have a corruptible character to be corrupted. What we see play out in the world of politics – for example – is individuals with weak character being exposed in high places. They would have been exposed in low places too.

The second most common lie in this concept is that people with wealth or great income must be responsible since they earned the money. NOPE. A lot of people have gifts that lend them to great financial gain but aren’t responsible whatsoever. How many professional athletes completely blow it? We think “wow they have money and still can’t get their act together?”. They found themselves in wealth and we expect that sound judgement was part of that process – it definitely wasn’t.

At the age of 22 I found myself in the right place at the right time with the right set of skills. It wasn’t me – it was the timing of the economy, demand and opportunity. Growing up in a lower middle class family I had no concept of how to handle more money than what was needed to “get by”. All of the sudden I found myself in the middle of earning in a way I never knew possible and I completely blew it. Everyone was blowing it. Just burning money all over town. I was young and naive and had no depth to my character at that point and I was around a ton of people who, though being older, were no wiser than I was. My income was more than my character could handle.

 

3.Money can solve all our problems

 

During one of my more challenging seasons of life where we were completely broke, I developed this toxic thought process that was purely focused on “my ship coming in”. If I could only get more money, I’d be fine. If we only had more income, all our problems will be solved. When the money comes in, then we will be fine. This lie is especially harmful because it keeps you trapped in waiting – not in taking action. If money is the only solution, then that is what you should focus on, right? No, no, no. Plus like the rap lyric says “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems”.

Now, hear me out. Having money is not bad and it certainly does relieve stress, strain and get that monkey off our back. But it isn’t the magic bullet that will solve ALL our problems and shouldn’t be glorified as such.

 

Here is a big takeaway: WE KEEP BEING WARNED ABOUT MONEY. IT IS NOT ABOUT THE MONEY. IT IS ABOUT OUR CHARACTER. If we focus on building good character internally, positive products come out of that and when we find ourselves with resources (time, talent, treasure) we can then contribute those to the world in a unique way only we can. We will be prepared to handle money or any other resources accordingly and responsibly. Isn’t that what the world needs more of afterall? 

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