Module 3: Up and Flying–the Nuts and Bolts of Web Success
You can play the lesson audio above and read along on this page, or download this lesson’s audio here.
You can download and print the entire course (written version) here instead of reading along below. You can also just listen to the audio and do the In-Class Assignment and Funwork in a notebook.
Have you ever flown in a plane?
If so, you know that it is different from driving a car or running really fast.
There’s a saying, in the United States, when we get started with something new; we want to get “up and running” as quickly as possible.
Another way people say it is to “hit the ground running” to start performing successfully without missing a beat.
Either way, the “running” suggest we are going faster than walking.
And that’s fine.
With the Industrial Revolution, that’s exactly what happened. People had factories to be able to build things faster than they could.
However… suppose someone wanted to walk from California to Hawaii.
A person in California, would need to cross miles of ocean, to walk to Hawaii.
Without a tunnel, a bridge, or special shoes, walking from California to Hawaii is not going to happen…
If you saw someone trying to make that walk, from Cali to Hawaii, you would tell them to stop wasting their time, right? Or at least, you would think they are wasting their time.
What about if that person who wanted to walk from California to Hawaii changed their plan:
This time they are running or driving to Hawaii.
Walking wasn’t getting us there, so Let’s run. Let’s go faster… says our friend.
Would that work?
Could they just run to Hawaii? Just go faster, work harder?
Will success follow?
No. If someone cannot walk somewhere, then running there is not a solution.
See, you have a job or some other life situation that has you slowed down.
The point I’m trying to make with this amazing, life-altering example, is that working harder is not what we do here.
What we do is, we fly.
We do the impossible.
There is a joke, “I just flew in from New York, and boy are my arms tired!”
But we don’t fly by flapping our arms.
In this course, we “fly” by doing things that were not previously possible.
Just like how people build airplanes and helicoptors and jet packs and hover-vehicles that let us fly around…
In this module I will tell you what you need to build, in order to fly online.
Upon successful completion of this module, you will build and / or optimize:
An email list to market your products and services
A website and PayPal account to sell your product(s) and service(s) and accept payments
Your main social media properties (we will focus on YouTube and/or Facebook because that is what we have experienced success with), to generate targeted traffic to your website and grow your subscriber lists.
How and Why to Create and Grow Your Email List
Your email list is the lifeblood of your business.
What is “lifeblood”?
One way to think of it is blood full of oxygen.
The oxygen gives your cells “life.”
We keep breathing, and that allows new life to keep circulating through our bodies.
It’s the same way with your email list.
Every new subscriber you attract is a new opportunity for “life” (AKA money) to come into your web business.
Without email subscribers, you could sell directly on social media.
Some healers have good businesses on Bitwine or other call-in networks, or they even set up one-on-one appointments, straight from YouTube, Facebook, and even Twitter!
So, yes, you could build an income without an email list.
However, on social media, your brand’s presence will always be at the mercy of the social media platform.
As recently as 2017, you have heard the woes of YouTube creators having their videos “de-monetized” via artificial intelligence (AI) censorship.
It could be possible that certain subjects become prohibited to talk about on certain social networks.
The social web is critical to your success, but a real business does not have social media as the foundation of its web presence.
That’s what your website is for.
But for your customers, their real “home” online is their email.
A real business owner understands that social media is not anyone’s home on the web.
Sure, it might feel like we live on Facebook at times, and yes Facebook connections are getting more and more intimate especially with private groups… but still, the most direct, personal way to reach someone with a private message, other than a phone call, is email.
The Opt-in Form
I know for a fact that you have signed up for someone’s email list in the past, because if you are taking this course as a bonus to a training and / or attunement with Sonja, then you signed up for Sonja’s list, at 10 of Cups Ministries.
Do you remember why you signed up?
Any thoughts you recall at the time?
Was there a gift she was offering: an ebook, an audio, several goodies, perhaps?
Or was it the free new moon and full moon calls for subscribers only?
Or the subscriber discounts that Sonja offers generously?
Or maybe you just knew that you loved what Sonja had to share, and you were ready to connect.
Sonja’s awesome, useful YouTube videos made a huge impression on her viewers, who became YouTube subscribers…
And below each video, Sonja put a link to a very important page, probably the most important one on her entire site (other than maybe the product and sales pages themselves):
In the beginning it was an ugly page, with blocky text and a hideous rust-yellow AWeber form she pasted onto the page.
However, she gave away a great gift (many, at different times… there was an audio, “Activating the Higher Heart Chakra,” I think at one point she was giving away the audio “Inflow and Outflow of Divine Love” and now she has multiple gifts for new subscribers to receive at signup).
You may want to collect first name as well as email. That’s up to you.
We now use Thrive Leads for all our opt-in forms.
Thrive Leads is a WordPress Plugin that you or your team can purchase and instal to add beautiful opt-in forms to your site.
We also have a Thrive Membership that gives us access to all of Thrive’s plugins and themes. If you want to have the best looking and functioning website on the planet, in my opinion Thrive is the way to go.
However, please let me emphasize, although it took Sonja over a year, she reached her $5,000 a month goal without using Thrive Themes or any fancy tactics or technologies.
She had a simple AWeber form on a “subscribe” page and a free WordPress theme.
She connected with her audience by sharing a unique, heartfelt, relevant, powerful, useful message, with love, and then she did the most important thing, that I hope you remember and apply.
After giving a great free video on YouTube, Sonja offered something else.
Specifically she offered something even more useful and powerful about the same subject.
In the beginning she shared the link to book a session with her.
(AND a link to subscribe.)
In some videos she does the main content and then offers a free audio download.
Other videos link directly to a product for purchase.
What action Sonja calls people to is based on how she feels led (by “Spirit” as she refers to her guiding divinity / source / higher power).
There is some kind of call to action for any good / real video… even if it’s the classic “If you enjoyed this video, please like, subscribe, share, comment, embed, Tweet, post it everywhere, pleeeeeeaaase!”
More savvy creators will give a reason to take the next step. An incentive for taking the action you want them to take.
It’s not about a power trip or collecting people.
You should have something really worth sharing.
That’s why we spent an entire module on Your Gifts and Your Vision.
This “Nuts and Bolts” module will only work if your gifts and your vision are in alignment with your joy.
If not, you won’t care enough to be enthusiastic, and when tech stress sets in—which it will unless you have a partner or assistant doing the technology parts of your web business for you… and even then it will because if you succeed you will be answering tons of email—so if you don’t care, you will burn out.
In the next module, The Cyclone Method, you’ll see the anatomy of how Sonja really took the twin flame and conscious relationship world by storm.
One part of a cyclone, or hurricane, is the “eye” of the storm.
I don’t want to jump ahead too much, but the eye of the storm is calm and still, even though chaos and action surrounds it.
A huge part of Sonja’s success was her laser-focus on following through consistently with the things she committed to:
The weekly oracle reading, for email subscribers only. I don’t think she’s ever missed an update; maybe one or two, ever in over a year of these updates.
The full moon and new moon calls which she has presented faithfully or done make-up calls in the very rare cases of not being able to make the call on the scheduled date.
Keeping her appointments with clients and making sure everyone who purchases anything, has their order fulfilled, and all technical issues resolved.
And for a while she was publishing YouTube videos really consistently. That and her relationship-building through Facebook were key elements of getting traction in the beginning.
Key point: it’s the “subscriber only” things that Sonja does, and has done with remarkable consistency for over a year, that really grew 10 of Cups Ministries, as well as the unique, great message and presence she has served in her videos and her over-the-top responsiveness to emails from “Cuppers” (her affectionate term for 10 of Cups Ministries subscribers) around the clock.
Other than those key things that Sonja does, everything else is rather fluid.
She does not have any set publishing schedule, other than the first two bullet points, above.
And she doesn’t always reply to emails, though she did in the beginning.
The thing is, she really does have too much email volume to reply to it all, and much of the time, people are just sending in long stories, expressing gratitude, or making borderline-inappropriate requests, like for example people have sent in photos of loved ones for Sonja to do a “reading” and in a case like that we would definitely not reply or at least we would say “No we can’t help you with that.”
So she doesn’t just do whatever people ask.
She’s not a doormat.
She is a force of nature.
So, it’s important to channel that force.
Email is a great channel, because we all check our email every day.
Usually people don’t get into your inbox unless you allow it, so if you can get in someone’s inbox you have a leg up on the competition who might just be on social media.
After I show you how to build your website in one afternoon, I will show you how to add the email opt-in forms. (In the bonus case study)
The last part of this module is social media.
Just to be honest, if you get overwhelmed at the idea of having your own Facebook Page or YouTube channel, you should definitely have someone else build your first site, and in general you should have a tech person do the tech parts of this course instead of trying to do it yourself because you already are in pretty deep just being the charismatic leader of your spiritual business.
If you are comfortable having a Facebook page or posting a video on YouTube then you will have no problem following along with this Nuts and Bolts guide as long as you do it one step at a time and follow my directions to the letter.
(Some parts I will tell you you can choose but for example I will have you use Minamaze theme like Sonja did because if you choose another free theme and you need support then you would get support from WordPress.org, not from me, but if you do exactly what I show you (or again, just get Thrive Themes if you want an awesome looking site and great tutorials how to set it up) then you can follow along more easily.
This method I am showing you is a crash course to get your site up and running for free (you will just pay for your hosting and AWeber subscription).
You can use another autoreponder besides AWeber but we do not recommend Mailchimp because they practice censorship especially targeted at those in healing arts and they impose their branding in ham-handed annoying ways like at the bottom of emails sent by Mailchimp users, you see a big button with the word “Mailchimp”… that’s not going to help your brand, especially as spiritual healers, the “monkey mind” and chimp type imagery does not paint a picture of spiritual evolution and ascension, in my opinion).
NOTE: When I say “WordPress” I don’t mean WordPress.com which is a blogging platform that does not support much flexibility for e-commerce.
WordPress.com is kind of like blogger.com or if you remember Hubpages or Squidoo… it’s a Web 2.0 where bloggers can have their own little site, but then like any social network / Web 2.0 site, the site can change the rules and decide that what you’re doing is not allowed so you have to change or get shut down.
Yes, that is a concern for websites as well.
Right now we have “Net Neutrality” that allows site owners many equal rights, but it is important to have good hosting that will not just shut you down because another big corporation makes a copyright claim.
(Though if you simply use all original or public domain art, you should not need to be concerned with copyright violations…
Speaking of which, try Pixabay and Unsplash for good public domain art.)
If you use Wix or Squarespace or Webhealers or Clickfunnels then all the more power to you…
All of those platforms have tutorials for how to do the things you will see me demonstrate in this self-hosted WordPress site building tutorial in the bonus Case Study.
I recommend and use WordPress because it is covered by the Gnu General Public License which essentially allows the technology of WordPress to be re-used even for commercial purposes.
If someone tried to copy an Apple or Microsoft program, and sell it, they could end up in jail.
If someone tried to copy a WordPress plugin and sell it, they could end up irritating the plugin author, but that’s about it…
Unless they copied the name of it.
“WordPress” is a registered trademark. So, I couldn’t legally modify WordPress and call it “WordPress Plus” or something else with “WordPress” in the name.
But I could sell my new improved version of WordPress under a different brand name.
Now, because WordPress is reliable and has come so far already, we don’t need to create a different blogging or ecommerce platform (also called a Content Management System or CMS) altogether, for most purposes.
Instead, developers write code (in the PHP language in case you’re curious) called a plugin that, well, plugs in to your WordPress site.
For example, you know that shopping cart on 10 of Cups Ministries?
You know how you can add things to the cart, select how many copies, remove them, apply coupons, and get your downloads emailed like magic?
Well that’s a plugin called WooCommerce.
(WooCommerce is now owned by the same company that owns WordPress, which is a little concerning for me as a freedom fighter, but it still feels like the most sustainable open-source option, to me… and I do prefer open-source… no Shopify tutorial here but again if you like Shopify or BigCommerce or whatever, do your thang; they should have tutorials to do things similar to the best practices I will reveal to you… but we recommend and use WooCommerce, so that is what we will be talking about in the course).
Note 1: I should officially recommend you pay for WooCommerce extensions… but to be transparent with you, I’ll tell you… we don’t pay for any of ours except maybe one or two I couldn’t find for free.
We have downloaded our WooCommerce extensions from GPLDL.com… use at your own risk but it’s saved us hundreds of dollars on various plugins to tweak our e-commerce store.
Note 2: Sonja did not have a shopping cart system in place for getting up to $5,000 a month. I’m going to first show you the bare bones method she used, with PayPal buttons for products and Setmore for appointments, though we were not very happy with Setmore and we don’t necessarily recommend it.
At the time of this writing Sonja is not taking appointments but I would probably go with WooCommerce booking if I needed to implement a booking solution in the future.
There are Calendly, Appointlet, and other funny-named schedulers out there you can check out. We were considering custom-coding our own Google Calendar integration for lack of schedulers out there to meet our varied needs, but custom coding is a bit more technical than the scope of this course. (Though I do give you some ninja code snippets here and there in the bonuses!)
Building Your Website and Store (In Class Activity AND Funwork)
The main steps for building your website and your store (if you chose to have a store) are:
1. Pick a “domain name” for your website and then purchase your domain from a registrar. For example Sonja registered 10ofcupsministries.org with GoDaddy but you could use BlueHost, DreamHost, HostGator. Or make the commitment to yourself and pony up for WPX hosting. It’s a little pricier but I’m a fan so I figured why not give my endorsement here. (Note, I didn’t even link to them so you can be assured I’m not just promoting them for an affiliate commission… I’ve had the rest and WPX is the best in the getting-started-and-growing price range, IMO 🙂
Please be sure to get WordPress hosting with your domain name (see step 2 below).
That way, you won’t get stuck with a website name and nowhere to plant your masterpiece.
NOTE: I decided not to include market research or keyword research in this course, because I want you to focus on what excites you, what makes you come alive, and what is aligned with your unique gifts, not just what fits in a specific “niche.”
However, please do take a moment to consider your ideal customer or client, before picking your domain name, and be sure that you know that there are people you would love to solve problems for, who would be attracted to that domain.
Imagine those people sharing your domain name with friends.
Does it sound natural?
Does it roll off the tongue?
It’s not too too long?
You definitely spelled it correctly? (typos happen! It’s life!) 🙂
Go for it! (It shouldn’t cost more than $10.99 or so for your domain including Privacy Protection, though some companies still charge for Privacy…)
You’ll need to pay for a branded email address too (firstname.lastname@example.org/.org/.yes!, NOT your gmail address… do not use your personal email for business, just don’t, pleeeaaase… it’s so not professional), unless you chose WPX in which case the email, privacy, SSL certificate (we’ll get to that later in the bonus) is included.
2. Get a Website hosting plan – for your first site you may want to just do this in the same step as registering the domain. (The domain is what the site is called, but the website itself is where WordPress and your content, like the photos or articles you have on the site, is. The website is “hosted” on a large computer called a server owned by your hosting company. Servers are kept in climate controlled data centers in locations where they are protected from being shut down, so your site can stay up at all times.)
3. Install WordPress (from within your dashboard at your hosting company, it should be easy… btw we don’t recommend GoDaddy anymore because I don’t want to pick up the phone to talk to my web hosting support… but unless you are willing to pay $25/mo for WPX hosting and the great service we enjoy from them, the other options are cheapo, so-so hosting. It will work fine probably, but I like WPX which makes our site work very well, consistently)
4. Add your opt-in form, upload your gifts, add your opt-in Thank You / Confirmation page and your Success! / Gift Download page, and add your PayPal buttons or scheduler buttons for the products or services you are offering, as well as any other widgets, bells, and whistles.
5. Install WooCommerce if you would like a store with a shopping cart. Be sure to add your PayPal email address in the WooCommerce PayPal payment gateway options, so you can receive payments.
Funwork: Build your website using the above five steps. You can also use the bonus Case Study I have included if you want to see it done.
But don’t get out the popcorn and just watch me. Instead, follow the steps yourself with your site.
If I entertain you, it doesn’t mean you make $5,000 a month. If you do the work, you will eventually get there and beyond if you so choose.