How To Finish

I’ve got two days to go. Two days until I press publish. Again. This time it’s different. This time, it’s birth & rebirth. More expansion, optimysm. A bigger baby.

Here’s something I’ve learned about myself in this process that I thought might be helpful for you but mostly, selfishly, I want to remind myself for when I do this again.

You’ve got to set a date.

Create a short-term goal. Or you’ll never do it.

Think about your life for a minute. All the times you’ve done something really big. There’s always been some kind of driving force… usually time (a deadline). The boss needs it next week. The client needs it tomorrow. Your kid needs it today!

To do something significant, for yourself—create a web presence, write an ebook—you must commit to it like an athlete commits to achieving Olympic greatness. You must play out your greatness, over and over in your head until eventually you find that you’ve begun living it.

This is not my epic by any means. No illusions of grandeur here. This is a mere sixty pages of sunshine. But it is a step in the direction of my epic. Which means it resonates, gyrates, shakes & shimmies with lots of good vibrations. That I can feel. This is the storytelling place I’ve been hangin’ out in.

Oh & also hanging out in the satisfaction. On the 24th. Oooooooooooo, Sweet Jesus, the satisfaction.

The other thing I remind myself about is… it’s not the content that’s most important. My heart & soul are on those pages. Which is important. To me. Trusting myself. The words. What I got to say. Period. I remind myself of these things each time I open up Word and finish another section.

To finish on the 24th is the win. What happens after the 24th is really none of my business.

The only thing—right here, right now, that matters—is the next step.

What’s left to write, polish & smooth?

Two days to go. And the storytelling continues… “I’m sitting so frickin’ pretty. I’m so so close. It’s nearly done!”

There’s no struggle here. There’s no crazy, “I got so much left to do…” beating myself up. Stressing out and asking my family to re-arrange their lives. Or putting Christmas on hold. They know what I’m doing and support it. But I’ve chosen not to make it a big stressful production out of it.

Instead, I’m basking in how good it feels now. And letting that jettison me right up to the finish line. Knowing full well, it’s never finished. And it won’t be on the 24th.

It’ll be perfect though. It’ll be just what it’s meant and supposed to be.

Like me. Like you. Exactly where we’re supposed to be, doing exactly what we’re supposed to be doing with exactly whom we are supposed to be doing it.

There is enough. Once you begin seeing that, you quickly realize just how much enough there is.

That no one owes anyone anything. And it’s really all up to you.


For The Artist In You

Abraham & The Artists

“This is becoming a world (and more of you are beginning to feel it) where the niche-ness of You; the niche markets, the niche hobbies, the niche interests… this is the time for them!” ~Abraham

At the Abraham-Hicks workshop I attended in early March, the same one where I was called up to the hotseat, something interesting about the other “hotseaters” I noticed was how many of them were also artists.

A painter. A musician. And a writer.

Each of their questions asking for clarification on how to best support themselves in their creative processes and what to do with their resistance.

We all need support and encouragement to trust the art within us and let it flow out. As a coach and writer myself and as a web presencer for women whose primary medium online is often writing, I’m familiar with resistance. I find myself almost constantly soothing self-doubt. Believing thoughts like, ‘I need training before I can be taken as a serious writer/actor/musician/ [insert yours here.]’

There are lots and lots of other thoughts along this path I won’t go into here. You know the ones that get in your way. I’ll bet you are thinking about it now… that thing you say to yourself most often and you just stop.

You stop following your artist’s lead.

Today’s post is for the artist in you. A few messages from Infinite Intelligence meant to help you when resistance shows up.

The Painter

Her desire is to create income from her art and she’s been noticing that when she tries, constructs a grand plan for it, it never comes.  She wants to know how to better sift through her creative ideas and which one to put on her canvas before overworking it…

“In a moment when it’s not happening, tell yourself, ‘Later Gator!’ Don’t have the conversation. Don’t try to fix it. Don’t ask, ‘What’s wrong!?’ Don’t worry about what’s wrong… remind yourself, ‘It’s oil. I can paint over it.’

Put your brushes down, put your words down, put your thoughts down. As quickly as you can, pull your attention away from any thought that is giving you the feeling of frustration.

Your goal is to always paint when you feel good. You could even start out feeling pretty good while you’re painting and your mind could wander over to something that feels not so good… Stop painting!”

That’s our encouragement about anything.”

The Musician

He wants to know how to know who to give his demo tapes to… and what if he hasn’t done or isn’t doing something right? How will his music ever then be received?

“When you present your genius to someone else, we want you to don the stance of the one who is doing the interviewing, not the one being interviewed.

You’ve created something they may or may not be up to speed with and in this meeting you are going to find out whether they are qualified or not qualified to be the presenter of what you’ve created.

But there are people who are ready, qualified and waiting for you. And you are not attached to the outcome because you know there is so much more that is coming!

In the ownership of that, that is how you proclaim to the Universe, “I AM the creator. Bring it on. Bring the cooperative components to me!

And as you practice that stance, what you’re going to discover is, those Executives/Editors/Agents don’t understand any of it anyway!

In other words, they are totally gut-oriented. They are looking for confidence. They are looking for stability. They are looking for someone who knows what they are doing. And when you are under the influence of pure positive energy flowing through you, knowing what you are doing, they are going to know that you know what you are doing. And they’ll say, ‘Yeah, that’s good!’”

The Writer

A professor who writes and wants to inspire others with his writing. He’s felt a deep connection to Source before in his classroom, in front of his students. They are all “ready” for him. He’s familiar with the feeling of inspiration flowing through him. But he still hasn’t written his book.

“There are so many people who want to motivate their audience. You see the hype. You see the hype in the advertisements. You see the games that they all play, trying to motivate you in order to come and see what they’ve got…

Can we give you a little hint?

You are not writing to them.

You are having the inspired moment where you are receiving for your personal benefit.

That’s what we were saying to the artist, what we were saying to all of you… If you leave who you think is receiving you out of the picture, then you leave all that probability of distortion (disillusionment) out of your vibration.

You write for the thrill of writing. You write for the thrill of the inspiration. You write not to write the book, but because you want to feel that life-giving feeling of inspiration flowing through you!

And that’s what you want to remind yourself of…

Your painting is magnificent but it doesn’t appeal to everyone.

Your books are magnificent, your music is magnificent, what you do is magnificent but it does not appeal to everyone… nor does it need to.

Law of Attraction will bring those to you, who are a vibrational match. But you’ve got to be a vibration match to your own work first.

One who is connected, who is in that place of allowing the full force of creative expression to flow through their being, is more powerful than millions who are not!

It’s not about whether they are ready for you, it’s about, whether you are in alignment with who you are. And when you line up with you, you broadcast a signal that makes you more findable, it makes you more reachable, it makes you more seeable.

‘I’m not writing it because you need to read it. I’m writing it because I want to write it. Because I want to line up with it. Because I want to BE it. Because I want the knowledge expansion that it represents for me.

 

And I think there are probably plenty of others out there like me that would resonate with it too. There are plenty of them out there for me to be a successful writer. There are plenty of them.’

This is becoming a world (and more of you are beginning to feel it) where the niche-ness of You, the niche markets, the niche hobbies, the niche interests… this is the time for them!”

We create to receive. To feel the universal life-giving energy of Source flowing through us. We create to see and know ourselves. To become more self-accepting. To honor the Love we are created from.”

Go. Now. Follow… follow your artist’s lead.

Portions of this text were directly transcribed from a workshop held on March 5, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. For more information about the teachings of Abraham, visit Abraham-Hicks.com.

WordPress is god. Period.

The Best Technology Advice I Have To Offer You

WordPress is god. Period. This could be the end of the post because it is just that short & sweet. But let me just elaborate briefly on why it would be silly to consider using anything other than WordPress for creating and managing your web presence.

You don’t have a ton of money.

You aren’t rich yet! The good news is you can grow your business easily using WordPress meaning start out with one blog post and one page with no way for anyone to pay you (it’s a 20% start) and grow into churning some serious cashola through a highly customized, full-of-automation-and-integration web presence and WordPress will handle it all.

If you can use email, you can learn WordPress.

Honestly, there are a few sharper corners to turn, but with the right help, you can be in control of much of your own web presence because WordPress really is pretty easy to use. And again, if you don’t have deep pockets starting off (and who does?) then you are gonna be faced with some amount of DIYing it.

You might not always do your own web creation & maintenance, but you must know how to do some of it. You must be accountable to your own stuff happening or it just won’t happen. Knowing how to do some of it helps you collaborate more effectively with the team of people who might one day be helping you with it. Not to mention you end up inspiring yourself with brilliant new ideas because you are having so much fun getting your tech-savvy on.

WordPress help is everywhere.

In all forms. In all shapes and sizes. With all kinds of personalities. @JohnnyBTruant, @Rhiannon_z, @Mandalove @sarahbray… (more web design resources can be found gathered neatly on one of my Twitter lists).

Go to Google and search for WordPress Video Tutorial and have a buffet-styled feast of figuring it out yourself. Or, sign up for a class. Or, hire someone to help you with the learning curve and show you how. I teach and train my clients how to do it themselves. Which is as fun as helping them get it created. And with optimystical, it’s all about the fun!

3 Must-Have’s For Your Blog

And how optimystical does overwhelm.

Let’s face it, the blogosphere is a big and intimidating place when you’re just starting out. The internet provides us access to soooo much information.  It can be overwhelming.

The best way to deal with overwhelm is to break my steps down into ever smaller steps. This helps my focus & clarity. Once I can see, I can generally start moving again. I become still, quieter. And inspiration… the energy to take action, comes flooding in.

We can all find ourselves in anxiety-stuckness when it comes to building your web presence. With all the great stuff to read, workshops/events to participate in and learn from. Often, the idea of doing all these things somehow supersedes actually doing anything. Which is unfortunate. Because the real awarenesses begin at the experience-level. It’s our experiences that truly inform us. About what’s next for us. And if what we’re doing, actually feels good to us. Sometimes, just-doing-it will show us more about who we are & what we want, than all the thinking “pre-work” we imagine we need to do before we even begin.

I’ve prepared this post to help remind us both to get back to simple and easy. Three easy places to start and grow from. Because your web presence will grow. It’s the nature of everything.

Must-Have #1: Domain Name

If you are the type that needs it explained for you before you can move forward, I get that. I’m kinda like that too sometimes. It’s like my questions or non-understanding of something prohibit me from moving forward, no matter how much I try. So if you need a full explanation of what a Domain Name is, you’ll want to check out this post.

A Domain Name is going to help you feel like your web presence is more real & legitimate. Even though you can get a sub domain name for free when you create a web presence on a free services like Google’s Blogger or WordPress.com (which I recommend for new-new-newbies who think they’ll never be able to do anything more than email). Many people simply can’t hang with the http://yourwebsitename.wordpress.com.

Your free sub domain works just like a regular domain name except there is no way around the required …wordpress.com part. That’s why it’s free. Because WordPress is advertising. For some people, this feels not as legit or real or professional than if it just simply said http://www.yourwebsite.com.

A Domain Name is one of the most inexpensive parts of creating a web presence. For as little as $10 a year, you can have that professional, more legitimate feeling for your web presence by purchasing a domain name. I recommend and use GoDaddy. You can purchase as many domain names as you like and point them all at a single web presence.

Once you have purchased your domain name, you can apply it over the top of your WordPress or Blogger web presence & even use it with you when you’re ready to set up your self-hosted WordPress blog.

Must-Have #2: About/Contact Page

The next most vital part, when you are just starting out, is an About page. Typically the about page might contain some biographical information about you, the web presence owner. Some like to include their credentials or education and on the less formal side, just a short write up of who they are, in their own writing voice.

If you’re not sure where to begin and what exactly to put on your About page, start with simply providing your contact information. Think about the ways in which you’d prefer to be contacted by people on the web visiting your website or blog. Do you prefer email over phone calls? Tell them! Outline it. It’s best to help your visitors do that thing you want them to do.

We have a rule in the designing/usability world… it goes “Don’t make’m think!” You know what happens when we have to think too hard to figure something out? Yep, we end up bailing on the process altogether or telling ourselves “I’ll do this later!”

So make it super easy for people to know how to be in touch with you by using an About or Contact page. And combining them into one page is a really great start for beginners.

Must-Have #3: Email Subscription

Last but not least is an email subscription feature (or link). Email subscription is a way that readers of your blog can receive your posts by email. This way, readers don’t have to remind themselves to go check out what you’ve been up to because every time you write something new, it appears in their email inbox.

By default, your blog will come with a built-in subscription service called RSS. I will try not to go all scary on you here. But this is good information to know.

RSS is typically for intermediate to advanced web users. It’s for people who don’t want to increase the noise (the amount of emails they receive) in their email inbox. Instead, they use a free online service called an RSS Reader (Google has one, and Bloglines is another).

When you sign on to your RSS Reader account, BINGO, all the blogs you’ve ever subscribed to show up in reading panes (think online newspaper), making it easier to digest the information you’re interested in.

The good news here is all blog platforms by nature include this link invitation to have your readers subscribe by RSS. So there is nothing you really need to do. However, not all blog readers (including your blog readers) may be as technically sophisticated and will probably prefer receiving an email from you instead.

Providing an email subscription link in addition to the already provided RSS link helps you cover your blogosphere booty for more of the web-reading population: the tech-savvy & the getting-their-tech-savvy-on.

Adding An Email Subscription Feature Using Feedburner

So how do you add email subscription to your blog? The service you’ll want here is called Feedburner and it’s free. You’ll set up the account, and Feedburner provides you HTML code to install as a widget on your blog. I’ve already written about RSS Feeds and Feedburner and the post also includes a short 5-minute video tutorial on using Feedburner.

That’s it! The 3 must-have items for any beginner blog/blogger.

Free From The Stuck Of Comparing

I have this habit. I used to not even see it. Now I see it, but at the same time, still see myself doing it and wonder if I will ever stop. Or what thought I might have that finally releases me from this habit’s grip.

I remember Tom Stone saying something like 80% of our sensory perception is affected by sight. I really notice this when I sit quietly and close my eyes. How I sense and what I’m aware of is inner directed instead of being stimulated by what my eyes are constantly taking in and processing.

I wonder sometimes if I just shut my eyes, will I then stop comparing? And I don’t want to miss anything. I don’t want to miss the richness of sight. And at the same time, I’m also tired of not doing stuff because I’m in a state of stuck because I’m watching too closely what others are doing.

I might not even think I am comparing anything. But if I’m watching, comparing will shortly be there. Materializing out of thin air. In the form of my own private thought-bubbles that speak to me, out loud in my head.

“What if this story isn’t important to anyone else but me?”

“Isn’t it selfish to write for myself or to myself?

“The others, who have written books and published them, are in another league… waaaaay outside of my orbit!”

“I am not trained and have taken no higher education courses around writing. I probably suck and everyone can see that in the evidence of my posts. Whatever I write needs to be and mean a whole lot more than the scribbled ‘I love you honeybee’ messages on my daughter’s lunch napkin.”

That’s what it sounds like in my head sometimes. Really, a lot more than I care to admit.

I’ve learned that comparing comes from my fear. A pretty deep one that shows up in disguises. Fear is a master of disguise.

When I’m comparing, I’m usually coming from a place of less-than. Which is tiresome. So so tired of hatin’ on myself. My ideas. My creativity. My choices.

When I’m comparing, I let someone else’s light eclipse my own.

This week, I’ve been contemplating comparing. How and when it shows up. How much I beat myself up in it. How much I want to do something else besides compare. Understand why I focus on comparing… and discover the gift in it.

What am I not doing while I’m comparing?

A lot. It’s an energetic stall. It’s a cover up. A distraction. A procrastination.

And what would better than this?

Better than a cover up would be a revealing.

Better than a distraction would be great love in the form of focus.

Better than procrastination would be a decision.

The decision to just do it.

Comparing. Might it be A Gift For Learning To See Ourselves?

Just five minutes (thank you Pace & Kyeli for this wonderful anchor).

Do it, whatever I’m not doing that wants so badly to be started or fed or created or worshipped or loved.

And so I’m closing my eyes. And going within to ask what wants to be done? What wants to be written? What wants to be spoken? What wants to be prayed for? What wants my inner attention?

And I believe it’s me in there. A connection to my creative source that wants my attention and wants my voice, my fingers on the keyboard, and my heart wide open.

For now, comparing is keeping me from seeing me and connecting to the very thing I think I want more than anything. The thing that I ache for…

And that voice sounds like this:

Sometimes, you just have to stop looking at what other people are doing. And start doing your own thing. Now, strike sometimes.

That was the message I received from the me that is free from the stuckness of comparing.

Have you noticed comparing? I would love to know how you care for yourself if you have. And if comparing stuckifies you, how do you help yourself with that?

  • What does comparing look like for you?
  • What does comparing tip you off to?
  • What would you be doing if you weren’t busy comparing?
  • What works for you to help you reframe comparing?
  • What are the hidden gifts you’ve discovered hiding out in your comparing?

Die Zones & Publish Buttons

Alanis dropped a lil bomb on me yesterday while I was walking in my neighborhood. And I couldn’t help but smile to myself as I strolled in the California sunshine, reminded about a recent conversation on discovering the initial curiosity for wanting to pause and take a closer look at the larger concept of fear.

“Fear is so subtle and slippery” she said. “I wanted to get around it, over it, through it, but I didn’t really know what it was. I could intuitively feel a barrier to my total health, but the barrier itself remained illusive to me.”

The one thing that helps with the illusiveness of fear, is making it more tangible. And measureable. Really choosing to look at it, instead of hiding or running or freezing in it.

Marching Toward Fear or Getting Crazy In Order To Save Our Selves

We’re never going to survive unless get we are a little crazy. ~ Seal, Crazy

Do you know when you’re going for it?

Like really sticking it all out there?

Scaring the shit out of yourself?

Going to the Die Zone?

That is a kind of fear, isn’t it? When I’m getting ready to do something big in my life, I can always count on fear as my playmate.

There are the little subtle fears like hoping dinner turns out ok or that you’ll find a good online deal for socks.

And then there are bigger fears like hoping they will like you or will even notice you.

And then the biggest fears. The ones that keep us up at night. Like wondering how the rent will get paid or hoping this round of chemotherapy helps stop the tumor’s growth.

If all were there when we first took the pill, Then maybe (4x)… Miracles will happen as we speak. ~ Seal, Crazy

I help people see the subtleness of fear, where it starts and what it looks like. And how it works to stay in control of every thought process and decision we make.

The people I work with on the topic of fear are smartttttt. Smart Smarty Smartypants.

They have already done some amount of personal digging into themselves. They get that the results they want come from within. They are not afraid to ask for help or support. They see partnering with a coach as strategic and necessary in order to help them get what they want. They are able to recognize that alone by themselves, they can’t go where they wanted to go.

Essentially my job becomes communicating in a way that helps people begin to know what they don’t know. Playing in a giant pool of illusivity, where your fear dodges in and out of visibility like dancing shadows on a breezy afternoon. Revealing itself at high cost which usually equals discomfort. I mean, really, who wants to scare the shit out of themselves? Who really wants to tango with fear? Scares me just writing this and is hugely challenging to talk about with potential clients.

In a sky full of people, only some want to fly, Isn’t that crazy? ~ Seal, Crazy

Not if they’re all afraid, it’s not that crazy. And most of us are just looking for a break. Some relief. From the hussle and bussle of daily life, the obligations and expectations. Spouses, Children, Bosses, the IRS. Our selves.

And in our attempt to try and find a bit of security, we begin to wall ourselves off from even seeing the sky, let alone learning how to fly.

That’s the insidiousness of fear. And how the construction of a comfort zone begins.

Even though, in the end, we realize we’ve become keepers of the comfort zone. Always working to make it more comfortable, fighting to keep the perimeter secure. Although we know there will be something after this.

I believe that deep down, we all want to fly. And it’s just a matter of time before we realize how unfulfilling it is living in the constructs of a false safety that blocks us from engaging with all of life’s possibilites. But more importantly, keeps you from engaging with those dreams you have. About how you want it to be. For yourself. And for the people you love. Which means that at some point we get to go to the edge and jump off into our die zone, and be a little crazy when we do. At least by conventional standards.

Contained within my fear and beautifully disguised by my mind is reason, justification and explanation. A great irony of self-sabotage. “Stay away,” it says, “at all costs. Don’t press publish! You will piss someone off!” But I’ll tell you a secret I’ve learned.

There is great mojo in the die zone.

And if I can somehow turn into and toward fear, towards understanding it and embracing it, I begin to see myself more clearly which allows me to be myself. And that extra mojo I find that enthusiastically propels me forward becomes dessert.

And I am motivated not because I’m broken in the comfort zone, but because I want to feel the burn of the die zone. And so I press publish.

Web Presence Essentials 2010

A Web Presence. A container for something good, something that is yours. It might be the great food that you cook, or beautiful art that you create or a book that you’re writing. A Web Presence is a smart thing to consider in today’s business economy. In fact, some might say it’s essential.

I’ve taken my Tech Savvy 101 series that talks about the ingredients for creating a web page, web site or web presence; and brought them together to create Web Presence Essentials. A guide to help you through a sometimes intimidating and usually confusing, technology decision-making process. Especially if actually taking the steps to create a web presence is still kinda new for you.

No matter where you are on the map (small business owner just starting out or big business generating hundreds of clicks per day), without these pieces of the technology puzzle, there can be no web *anything.*

Blog Or Website, Which Is Best?

After talking with women and soothing their fears about whether or not they are smart enough to actually do the technology thing (which you are) and realizing the gap between where you are now and where you want to be really isn’t as huge as you think it is, and that you don’t have to know all the answers (that’s what I’m here for) is deciding if a blog is right for them. … (more)

Domain Name – What One Is, How To Choose One & Who I Recommend Getting Yours From

You can’t have a web page, web site or online business without a web address. When you open your web browser, you need an address to type in there so you can actually go somewhere. That’s just the very first part, one essential piece, of creating a web presence. … (more)

Web Hosting – What It Is, Why You Need It & Who I Recommend Getting Yours From

Web Hosting is rented space where your web content lives. When you’re looking at a web page, the images and text you see are created with code (HTML and other types of computery code). Your browser translates that code into something you can understand. But that file, that code, has to live somewhere so your browser can find it. Purchasing web hosting is essentially renting space on a powerful computer that is accessible via the Internet, 24/7. … (more)

Content – So What’s The Big Deal Anyway?

In all my years of creating e-commerce web sites for big corporatey places, the number one overlooked issue and where time was consistently underestimated was in developing content. Most of the time, people were huffing and puffing at trying to understand the technical pieces and since I was almost always a liaison between the technical teams, the marketing or business teams and the an advocate for the end user of the product/web site, I constantly got to ask “What’s this web page gonna say or do?”… (more)

Content – Where To Start When You Have Zip

Always start with yourself and by defining your Core Values. Knowing your core values helps you understand what you need from any situation. And even when you don’t know what you need in the moment, looking to a core value will always inspire you to live from your personal integrity. You’d be surprised how much knowing your core values helps you answer and write content for questions like “What I Do?, How It Works, etc.” … (more)

Creating Your First Few Posts

Maybe you already have some content. You’ve pulled your stuff together (you remember what that was like the first time?) In fact, you might have pages of good stuff, but you’d like to go a little further with it. Something (not quite sure what) is getting lost in translation somewhere. And the sneaky suspicion, at least one of them, is it might be your content. You ask yourself, “What exactly am I saying here? Who am I saying it for?” … (more)

Giving Yourself Permission To Write

I’ve noticed this thing, it’s in me and a lot of the wonderfully creative ambitious women I talk to everyday, this idea that we need permission. Permission to be ourselves. Permission to follow our hearts & dreams. Permission to receive and allow in the giving from others. And when it comes to our technology and getting our blogs on, spattering pages of words with the juice of our hearts or giving ourselves permission to write…. (more)

Can I Have A Perfect Look & Feel?

So many times I see considerations for look and feel issues take women off track, detouring them into the land of perfectionism. The look and feel is actually a compliment to, and a part of something else in your web presence. The something else is the part of you (your biz) that wants to be created and expressed. … (more)

WordPress is god. Period.

Wherein, I offer the best technology advice I have and tell you WordPress is god. Period. This could be the end because it is just that short and sweet. But let me just elaborate briefly on why it would be silly to consider using anything other than WordPress for creating and managing your web presence…. (more)

What If You’re a Total Beginner? (The Best Place To Start)

Blogger (and if you have hopes of someday working with me, I recommend WordPress.com) is one of the best places to start because it will loan you a domain name and host your web stuff for you, (for free)! All you need to do is write your content (no unfortunately, Blogger doesn’t do it all). Blogger is like a blogging training ground. Learn all the nuances of getting your blogging on like creating content, moving things around on your pages, maybe even selling your products or services. All the tools & skills you learn you take with you if you decide it’s time to stretch your tech savvy skills again… in the very near future. Because you and your business do keep growing. … (more)

Need some help with all this?

No problem. I can do the heavy lifting and then show you how to manage and continue expanding your own web presence as it happens. I offer one package (keeping it simple). It’s got all the essential ingredients, you + me; and together we collaborate and create.  WordPress Expanded is full blown you, custom & unique.

WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com

Two WordPresses

Just to confuse you. So I thought it might be useful to clarify. For me and for you.

Are you thinking about blogging seriously? Maybe because everyone is doing it? Maybe because you have a cool thing to offer? Or maybe you have a small micro business and want a website for it.

You’ve probably already heard about WordPress and how it’s one of the top choices among bloggers of all caliber and talent. Those who hobby blog and those who crank the big bucks too!

Using a content management system like WordPress is smart and way more flexible for you in the long run versus building a traditional static website with pages that just kinda sit there.

So let’s demystify the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. It’s important to know because depending on where you are on the technology learning curve, one will be a better fit than the other.

WordPress.com

Obvious difference #1: One ends in .com and one ends in .org.

Here in lies the whole reason for the post to begin with. Both are free. Both host blogs (or websites, because they are basically the same). In a nutshell, if you want to think a lot LESS and have a ton fewer technical questions, you’ll want to go the .com side (http://www.wordpress.com).

There are trade-offs. Sorry.

Because sometimes (more likely eventually) having less choice becomes a problem. In the beginning, when overwhelm is present, less choice is a good thing. After a while, parts of the cookie get digested in smaller bites and with changing frequencies. The questions that once occupied your brainspace are now answered. Leaving room for brand new questions. That are coming from the space of doing more, not less. Usually.

Like having greater customizability, i.e., making it more You and less cookie-cutter. More design options (either how your blog looks, the colors and fonts or how the information structures are pieced together).

WordPress.com has a limited number of templates (although customizable you need to know what CSS is and how to use it), limited number of sidebar widgets, you cannot extend your blog using the handy plug-ins which are available for the other type of WordPress I haven’t really started talking about, yet.

Also, in the free WordPress.com alternative, they sometimes show ads on your website.

Tradeoffs, like I said.

Really excellent choice if you’re new to blogging. Free, less options (not so many decisions), and you can apply a custom domain for a one-time $15 fee.

WordPress.org

More flexibility through greater options, which means more decisions. Also, the technical aptitude chart is NOT down at the kindergartner level (hey! we all start somewhere) so if you’re already blogging and want more, then upgrading (yes, it’s an upgrade) to the WordPress.org alternative would be for you!

Why is it an upgrade? You are making more decisions and you are in much more control. Trust me. It’s an upgrade. When you make room in your brainspace for new questions, they do keep coming, usually in the form of good ideas for your business. And then you want to act on them. And we are right back around in a circle, to why I think using a content management system (like blogs) is such a smart thing to do for a small biz owner. You can implement change as it happens.

So the big big big consideration, or at least the one I thought was the big big consideration, when choosing to .COM-it or .ORG-it was all about money. Money money money.

And in the hour or so I spent reading other online articles comparing both .COM and .ORG, I didn’t see it. Not even slightly. Ok, well slightly. But not in the way that I thought it would be out there. And here it is:

I was told that if you sell anything, you have to go the .ORG way. Essentially you can not turn a huge profit on the free-er .COM option because they (WordPress) are not equipped to handle loads and loads of traffic to their servers.

So you cannot load up your free WordPress.com blog with lots of pay-per-click stuff and make money. With banners and all that. Advertising is restricted. And what it comes down to is having the same definition of Advertising that WordPress does. If I sell lawn mowers and I advertise my lawn mowers on my blog (or the purpose of the blog is to advertise my lawn mowers), the way of the .COM is not a sound option. You’ll want to be looking closer at the way of the .ORG.

Anyway.

The .ORG Requirements

After the primary requirement which is money, you’ll get to spend some of it on the following things:

  • Your own web hosting account. E-ghads what the heck is a web host? Well you’re in luck because I explain it in this blog post. In case you weren’t sure or just want to make sure you know what it is.
  • Your own domain name. This one isn’t so hard, but it’s a requirement none the less. I talk about domain names here. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
  • Someone to help you with installation. What? I’ve got to install something? Yes. You actually first download the free software (http://wordpress.org/download/) from WordPress.org and then access your host account (they give you a user name & password) to upload and install the software. Or, there are a ton of freebie tutorials all over the web. Or, you can ask me. I do this type of thing for my clients.
    • As a post script, I recommend using GoDaddy because when you buy their hosting service package, there are ready for your WordPress. And GoDaddy makes it pretty simple to go through the steps to order the WordPress hosting package. Then use GoDaddy’s customer service people (who are really cool, happy-to-help-you folks, at least all the ones I’ve talked with) to help you!

Like any blogging system, you get to spend some time getting to know its administrative dashboard or the place behind the scenes, away from your web visitor’s eyes, where you crank out all your good stuff in the form of widgets, gadgets and blog post content.

You’ll pick a theme. And with the .ORG option, you can now upload themes, whereas before you had an option of about 60. The internet is now the limit. Put ‘Free WordPress Themes’ into Google (watch out for perfectionism gremlins), set the timer and then buh-bye.

You’ll also get acquainted very quickly to what’s called a WordPress Plug-In. The first one you’ll want to install is called Akismet. It helps you with spam, in your blog comments area. There are a few steps involved in getting your Askimet plug-in installed and working. And again, tons of help if you Google it.

Or there’s me. And some of my happy people. If you’re interested.

And that’s about it.

Seeing the difference between the two can help you see what you need. Are you a hobby-like blogger? Using the platform to practice using your voice in written form (not an easy feat at all) or are you going to be using your blog for your biz? To sell your wares, tokens & services?

Somewhere in between or want to be? Let’s chat about getting your WordPress on.

Content: The First Few Words

Tech Savvy 101 is a series of posts designed to help demystify some terminology so you can get your brain around what it really takes to start getting your tech savvy on.

Yesterday, I talked about the importance of defining core values early on in the web creation process because it provides an anchor, to help you remember, when things get freaky-deeky. Knowing your own values gives you a rope to hold onto to guide you back to a simpler time… when you were clear about what makes you blissfully happy and why the heck you are doing this in the first place.

This being creating that blog or web site for your business.

And even after you do begin to get into the content of you, by discovering your core values, and you’ve got this nifty anchoring device to help steer you through uncharted technology (and regular life) territories, there is still this issue of your first post (or page if you’re using WordPress)… actually lots of them. Staring back at you. And they’re blank. Stark raving mad white-ass blankety blank!

Or…

Maybe you already have some content. You’ve pulled your stuff together (you remember what that was like the first time?) In fact, you might have pages of good stuff, but you’d like to go a little further with it. Something (not quite sure what) is getting lost in translation somewhere. And the sneaky suspicion, at least one of them, is it might be your content. You ask yourself, “What exactly am I saying here? Who am I saying it for?”

Quick Detour

Search Engine Optimization, sometimes referred to by just its initials, SEO, is basically the steps a web owner gets to take to “prime” his/her web presence to appear in a search engine result. That is, your perfect person types in a search term to Google and YOUR website URL hits them smack in the face (although no one gets hurt).

Right after, and I mean, immediately after creating your first web page/post, you will be thinking about this very topic. It’s the next logical step. How do I get people to see my website or notice me? Right?

However, if you pay some moola to one of these specialized companies who help with SEO implementation and you haven’t gotten your content savvy up to speed, all the traffic you drive to your web presence may not necessarily result in buyers. Or anything really. Just a lot of cattle, moving through. Kickin’ up dust.

Your buyers are looking for your thang, in your voice. Except they don’t know what your thang looks like, exactly. This is why when we start with the writing part, we don’t even really get into the “This Is What I Do” part until after the prospect has some amount of confidence that you can help them with their “situation.”

Your buyers want to be seen and understood. And the only real way to do that (using a blog or website) is via content. Writing about it. Essentially, talking about the stuff that keeps them up at night.

Except as business owners, we’re all ready to tell them about the features and benefits of what we got. We are already in the solution. And our perfect peeps doesn’t even know whether or not what we have is perfect for them. We haven’t given them a chance to make that choice. We are all hot and bothered about how great our great stuff is. And it’s great! I know it is. I got great stuff. You got great stuff! It’s just that my perfect peeps are not showing up ready to buy anything. They want relief. They have a challenge or situation and they are frustrated. So I’ve learned I cannot shove my chicken soup down their throat. No matter how good it is!

But in the beginning, starting out by writing down the “This Is What I Do” stuff is easier. Because we love it and we’ve been eating, drinking, sleeping it; because it’s our business. And our web presence does need this information. It’s critical. But not as critical as going to where your perfect peeps are first… going with them into their challenge and meeting them there.

So don’t go paying for SEO unless you are certain you’re getting your content savvy ON. Otherwise, even if your perfect peeps come your way off a search referral, if you’re still talking about how great your stuff is and not what you can help them with (their problemo)… they’ll miss all your goodness.

Which would be really sad.

Resuming Post Topic

Back to the first few words on those blankety-blank pages & posts.

If you don’t have a clue about what those first few words should be, I can help you with that. If after you get those first few words down and even finish your first post and begin to wonder, what other pages or posts do I need to include? I can help you with that also.

If you have been thinking that you’d really like to get a web presence for that thing you do or book you’re writing, one that’s real and genuine, drawn out of your heart (disguised as values) and built by your own two hands, yes, I can help you do that too.

But only if… only if you decide to do something today. Pick a place and start. And I can help you.

The special gift you have to offer now is presented best by just taking things easily and simply, one step at a time. ~Osho

Otherwise, here’s something on giving yourself permission.

The Perfect Look & Feel

Tech Savvy 101 is a series of posts designed to help demystify some terminology so you can get your brain around what it really takes to start getting your tech savvy on.

Are you letting worry and concern over the perfect look and feel get in the way of getting clear about who you are and who you serve?

When a smart creative woman considers establishing herself on the web, the questions she’ll be answering first or even close to middle way through, are not about the look and feel.

The Look & Feel Never Comes First

Unless you’re a web designer.

So many times I see considerations for look and feel issues take women off track, detouring them into the land of perfectionism.

The look and feel is actually a compliment to, and a part of something else in your web presence. The something else is the part of you (your biz) that wants to be created and expressed.

When you consider large business institutions, its marketing team will frequently re-brand or change the look and feel in order to introduce some freshness. It gives us a sense that the business is actually alive and growing, changing and hopefully, improving! You’ll be doing the same thing with your own web presence.

Invite yourself to see the look and feel as an extension of the greater message and tone of your web presence.

  • Who are you here (on the web) for?
  • What pain do you help solve?
  • What is unique about the way you solve it?
  • What results have people achieved as a result of working with you & your biz?

Flickr photo by karindalzielThese are the questions we start with… this is the something else referred to earlier. It is the point of you being on the web to begin with. And far more meaningful than a pleasant look and feel is the words you’ll drop onto the each page… the voice you talk to us in.

Don’t get me wrong. If you have a screamingly obnoxious color scheme, the look and feel can become an obvious distraction and may even cause your visitor to leave altogether. This is why I strongly urge you to consider general questions early on in your look and feel development strategy (yes, you’ll have one). What colors please you? What fonts do your eyes enjoy reading? What imagery compliments or enhances the message your visitors will be reading?

I’ve yet to work with someone who said to me the “buy or engage” decision was based on the color of blue I chose for my website background. It’s always the words I put down and my willingness to be vulnerable by sharing more of myself that I hear about. It’s saying something in an authentic way that connects me to you and you to your visitors.

Unless you are a designer like me, the biggest favor you can do yourself in the beginning, is simply pick a place and begin! The good news is you can relax into the process, knowing that because everything changes, (even big businesses get rebranded and redesigned) that nothing you pick today is forever. Even that template, that you’ve been spending endless hours searching for on the web, that perfect one… will change at some point in the future.

  • Are you letting worry and concern over the perfect look and feel get in the way of getting clear about who you are and who you serve?
  • What feels like more of a risk? Finding the perfect look and feel or developing some chunks of content written in an authentic way?

Be careful that the look and feel of your web presence doesn’t become excuse not to get clear about you and your biz. Give yourself the opportunity to get started doing something more than fret over the perfect template. Go for the risk, it holds greater rewards!

Your biz (and its perfect customers) are waiting to connect with you!

Still needing that thing for your biz called a web presence? Let’s get on the phone and chat about what your current web presence situation is and where you want to go with it.

Otherwise, what to do if you have ZERO content