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.

Making Peace With Uncomfortable

I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a while. For a long while actually. But holding back for various reasons, a multitude of them. I seem to have an endless supply of reasons “not to” as well as a very bad habit of holding back which I’m working on.

I’ve been really wanting to talk about some very personal stuff. To tell “my part” of a certain story. And since I’m a coach and all that, the first thing I like to do is check my intention. Why do I want to tell the story? Is it really for me or do I secretly have some other agenda… like to make someone pay or eat shit (which is totally not my style) or for some other low-lying fear-based reason.

And then I get an email from a client. About her web stuff. She’s extremely uncomfortable. She really wants to do it (use the web to promote the cool thing she does), but is terrified at the same time. I say, “Hmmm” to myself. But only after totally being blown away by her courage and her willingness and her vulnerability to admit it not only herself, but also to me. She’s uncomfortable.

And I start to remember all the other times in my life I’ve been uncomfortable. And if it was a willing price to pay to get to the other side. And what is really worth being uncomfortable. Are my dreams worth it? Is doing what I love worth it? Is loving who I love worth it? Is being who I am worth it?

All worth it, I realize.

Growing yourself or a business, learning how to be a better you… all uncomfortable. Mostly because there’s a lot of groping and tears and frustration. Flailing in the darkness of not knowing and not knowing how to know. Just. Not. Knowing.

It’s time that we admitted the truth about knowing. It’s highly overrated.

And if you want any of it: your dreams, an online business, to love who you love, to be who you are, you’ve got to get more comfortable with uncomfortable. There is just no way around it.

So I’ve decided I will probably tell my part of the story. Just not in this post. It’s still percolating or rather, I’m still percolating in uncomfortable. At least for a little while longer. And since I know there is no other way around it, there is only through it… I figure the best thing I can do is take really good care of myself while I’m here, hanging out with uncomfortable.

I’m learning how to make peace with uncomfortable. To offer it the best of what I’ve got.

I’m willing to hang out in uncomfortable as long as it takes. I’m realizing that being willing to be uncomfortable and hang out there and make peace with it is risky business.

Just like writing and telling my part of the story. Just like getting up everyday and coming to my Inbox. Just like putting together your thing and getting it online and out there. The journey to out there is uncomfortable. It’s uncomfortable on the way, it’s uncomfortable just before I get there, and uncomfortable when I finally reach my destination. All of it, uncomfortable.

So why not make peace with it now? And learn how to take care of myself better now. What sweeter revenge could their possibly be (if I was a revenge-seeking kinda gal) than to learn how to notice uncomfortable and greet it with an open door. Come on in. Sit down. Stay awhile. Let’s get to know each other.

Uncomfortable. It isn’t really all that horrible now is it?

Core Values & Creating Content For The Web

Why begin with core values and not the technology stuff?

Well it’s like this. As you’ve probably heard, content really is king, of all of it. And so very shortly after you start to receive the technology know-howpieces of creating a web presence, you’ll be up against a different kind of question. A few of them in fact. And most of them will stem from:

What do I say (write) here (on this webpage)?

Simple enough question. Not so much with the answer.  This is… an inside job.

All the BEST help I’ve ever received from my own teachers, coaches, mentors was about content. It may not have always been web content. It was usually the content of me. And how I define that. And being clear about what I do and how I help people. And shifting my perspectives around so I could see more of a situation, more possibilities. Like what it looks and feels like from my client’s point of view.

I start with values because it helped me with purpose. All of these types of questions sort of connect back to understanding your purpose. And if you’re thinking about creating your first web presence or doing better with the one you have, you get to answer the purpose question for those too.

The Million Dollar Self-Development Question

But purpose is like… c’mon … a very big word. And like, it’s got to be the million dollar self-development question ever, right?!

What is my purpose?  Is usually right in front of us. Something too small and insignificant to allow yourself to recognize as adding real value to someone else’s life… (especially not our right people) because it’s not big enough. It’s not Save-The-MuthaF’n-World, make-Mother-Theresa-weep and Gandhi-roll-over bigenough.

And I didn’t really realize it until I did some work on myself. I discovered the content of me. I discovered what I value, what truly makes my heart sing and my skin sizzle & juices me up.

 

Somewhere between no-and-some idea what my mission is & tons of personal development work, this book called Attracting Perfect Customers found me reading a chapter called Be On Purpose To Your Mission. Shit! What is my mission?

As I read the chapter and deliberately choose to let go of what didn’t make sense… Anxiety about not knowing more than I did/do… Or thinking I should be doing better or as well as someone else. Instead I gave myself permission to go with what did make sense… and invest in my right now so I can get to where I’m going.

And I found my core values. The things I know I need for sure, or it just ain’t worth it.

And once I had my core values, I had a clarity. To help me with the next business (or personal) question (because we know it’s all mixed together anyway).

And once I had my core values, I knew what passion felt like. Because I was there… in it. I had to find it to get in it. This was big.

And with clarity & passion, I had purpose. It wasn’t this big thing. And didn’t need to be. Because for now, it is the reason I get up every morning (which is an empowering change all by itself).

So this is why I start with values. Defining my values brought me back to me so I could understand what I need from any situation. And even when I don’t know what I need at the moment, I can look to one of my values for inspiration.

A guide for me when I can’t necessarily see the next step. Or just need to find my center again.

Knowing my core values always lets me know if I’m living my definition of personal integrity. And if my business is close to that definition, it’s where the authenticity and aliveness lives.

Core Values. Know Yours?

Knowing your core values helps you build a strong content foundation and combines with your new web skills on your online journey.

I help women create and be in charge of their own web presence (which could be a website OR a blog, whatever you want).

Together, we crank up the fun and wonder (two of my own core values) to uncover a place on the web for you and your goodness. A place that is your business. Your very own web presence.

This post is a taste of some of the stuff I cover when we work together. And, it’s also in my new ebook. Along with a lot of other new material about leadership and building your online business.

Permission To Write

Or How To Scare Yourself Write to The Edge

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 your technology and getting your blog on, spattering your web pages with words, with the juice of your heart and giving yourself permission to write. Permission to call yourself a writer.

Mark Silver from HeartofBusiness.com is pretty much rockin’ my world these days because I’m participating in his Business Momentum class. One of the things I love about Mark is how tender he can be at giving instruction about how to do things better, especially when it comes to writing.

Writing is soooo personal. I think this is why it’s also so scary. But at the same time writing can be so liberating, but it’s a freedom you cannot discover until you push through the insanity of needing permission from yourself first to do it.

In this week’s class with Mark, he was layering on the tenderness, giving us feedback on one of the most important aspects (for me) of writing which is using your words to reach your customers. Layer upon layer, reminding us never to stop… keep reviewing this process he shares in the class, keep circling back and answering more of the questions he asks. Don’t give up… keep writing.

And it just struck me so clearly… that this process is about the activity of writing, not the outcome of it. The more you write, the better it gets and if you have your vision focused on “being done or complete” with the writing, well those are directions to insanity.

I’ve learned a lot in the last three years about writing. More so in the last year, when I’ve had the opportunity to meet amazing people who have supported my writing growth, sometimes intentionally, but not always.

Havi Brooks from FluentSelf.com helped me give myself more permission to be more me and allow that through in my writing. After 20 years of corporate service, my writing was primed for stale and emotionless marketing messages. What I saw (and felt) after reading a post from Havi was the freedom of self-acceptance in all her writing. She gave herself permission to insert silly quirks and special Havi-isms into her posts and her personality shines brightly. I thought, “I want to do that!” and so promptly opened up a Word doc and began typing.

Charlie Gilkey over at ProductiveFlourishing.com, well I just can’t shut up about this guy. He’s an awesome coach and now dear friend whose wisdom I absolutely cherish (even for his ripe old age of 29, or is it 30 now… can’t remember only that he’s having his Saturn Return which I like to scare him with). Charlie has seriously been my #1 fan this year. Helping me look at writing for my blog in ways that really help me throw my sails up.

Here’s one of the juicy ones from the awesome sauce that really helps me step up to the edge and take the scary right out of writing. He says, In the beginning, your blog is your primary product. It’s ok to just focus on that… making your blog a product. And, every single time you sit down to write, it’s an investment worth at a minimum, what you charge a client for time with you during a session. It has the same exact value!”

So consider what you charge for a moment, especially if you’re a coach like I am, and now imagine every time you press publish, you’ve just earned your hourly coaching rate! Magic, isn’t it?

Naomi Dunford is a Marketing Genius with a potty mouth. Gotta love it. Naomi tells it exactly like it is. And she’ll tell you in a way that absolutely splits your sides with laughter… and sometimes even your heart open to her real genuine humanity. Yes underneath all that Sailor Genius is a very big generous heart and it shows up in her writing all the time. Reading a Naomi post is another way I put some gas in my car and race up the publish button in WordPress.

If you are new to the blogging world, just beginning to figure it out or actually considering what it would be like to “get in” and start doing stuff with it, don’t miss Charlie Gilkey’s latest posty gem called Becoming Yourself and Growing Your Blog. You’ll see that I riffed off of him, sorta got psychically imprinted with the style of his post, of which he stars along side of other starry persons I’ve already mentioned here (paragraphs just preceding). The real moral of his blog post is right in the title, but I still insist you head on over and read it immediately.

But before you go…

I’d love for you to consider what habits you have that end up scaring you away from writing. Is it something you think about yourself, your ability? And have you ever wondered how to make it fun instead?

  • How do you scare yourself away from writing?
  • If you had permission amnesia, what would be different for you about your writing habits?
  • Can I nurture my writing by introducing more fun and therefore more posts?

To be on the web for your business and do that thing you do, you must be committed to writing. So here is to playing more. To loving more. And to writing more!!!

I was inspired to write this post by the fourth principle of fun in @BoxofCrayons‘s short video below.

Tech Savvy 101: Creating Content

Ingredient #3: Creating Content

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?”

This is why when I teach my Tech Savvy Workshops, I don’t even start with the technology how-to part. I figure, you’re already scared outta your mind about it, feeling like a major “estupido” (even though you may have a college degree).

So we warm up to technology by focusing on content and the place we get started with is helping you define You, via core values; so that once we get rockin’ & rollin’ with the techno-how-to part, you have actual stuff to put ON your web pages.

The Who-What-Why’s Of Content Creation

There are three steps in content creation: 1) writing the content itself, 2) designing the layout and function of the content 3) translating the layout into a technical language so it can be used on the Web. The biggest mistake you can make when you set out to create a web presence is to overlook what it is you are going to say, in writing. Who are you? What is your product or service? How do you work? Etc.

In fact, writing content for the web is an art. I’ve had many teachers and coaches supporting my “voice” development along the way, present moment is no exception. I am currently taking a class with Mark Silver from HeartofBusiness.com whose angle on niching I can really truly appreciate. He says niching is about narrowing your focus or target market but it’s also about speaking clearly. Light bulb!

More On Content

Once you have prepared content, your options for getting that content published on the Web include 1) working with an experienced web designer and/or web developer (sometimes called Web programmer) or 2) learning how to do it yourself.

Working with an experienced Web designer will help you to create an aesthetically pleasing (use of colors, fonts, imagery) website. A good Web designer should have some basic understanding of the concepts of Usability. Usability is the study of how humans interact with Web pages. How easy was it to complete a task? How easy was it for them to find what they were looking for? A web page can be beautiful, but does it serve a purpose? A good Web designer will take into consideration the overall strategy for the web page and/or web site, be familiar with Usability practices and be able to create interesting designs that help connect our product or service with our audience.

Even after your web pages are designed, many times you may also work with a developer or programmer. The Web programmer will translate that look and feel (the colors, images, and how things are laid out on the page) into a technical language so that the web browser can read it and display it. This is where the actual HTML code comes into play. There are many different types programming languages, HTML is the popular backbone for most web pages today.

These two roles, Web Designer and Web Programmer, can be two different people, or they can be one person. It just depends on that individual’s experience.

Pros & Cons Of Hiring A Professional

Pros

  • Don’t have to learn Web Design or Usability skills.
  • Don’t have to learn software or any special programming languages.

Cons

  • It gets expensive quickly.
  • You’ve got to shop for and hire a Web Designer and/or Web Programmer.
  • You have to stand in line behind your Web people’s other clients in order to get new content created or changed and eventually implemented on your web pages.

Doing It Yourself

Pros

  • Saves money.
  • You can create content changes immediately.
  • Your business or personal web site can grow with you, as you and your business grow.

Cons

  • Requires time investment up front to learn tools & skills
  • Requires ongoing time investment for you to complete your own updates

Combine your domain name (Essential #1) with your web host (Essential #2) with a web address and your content (Essential #3), and you know how all three critical ingredients to becoming a web content creator.

Anybody can become a creator or a publisher! It’s in your hands. And Blogger takes care of ALL 3 of the web-presence essentials for free.

Ready to get your Blogger Tech Savvy on? Let’s chat.

Beautiful Friday

It’s a beautiful Friday morning which means another week has passsed and I realize I haven’t written anything (for my blog) and that I actually miss what writing brings to me.

I keep thinking I’d like to adopt some ritual, like Havi’s Friday Chicken, to help me mold and shape and anchor a new pattern of writing regularly deeply into my life. Because I know writing is good for me.

Many things seem to bump up against it loudly. “Me! Here… over here. Pay attention to this!”

Like, “Will the cops be showing up at my door telling my I’m violating the current custody order since I told my first ex-husband (yes I have two) that I don’t feel it’s safe for our daughter at his home, with his soon-to-be second ex-wife.” I get the honor of being the first ex-wife, but I just said that… in another round-about way.

Like, “What are the next steps of dissolving a business partnership or should I just continue to give it more time and see what becomes of it?” Magically hoping something will change when it’s only me I’m waiting on.

Like, “Will there be enough notary signings next month to hold me over again… so I can keep doing this thang called working for myself?” I love it so much. I find that with each opportunity I’m given to do it again (talk with someone about their fear or help them get their tech-savvy on), I really love it. I mean I think I love the fear stuff more and it’s hard to say because I do have a rocking good time on the tech stuff.” Which leads me to…

Like, “What will I do about the new tech client who started yesterday, whose video did not get recorded because I took the chance to try some new lower costing technology that failed miserably in the recording part?”

But What If…

I hear the birds. Everything is so still this morning. So perfect. And I wonder… if it all isn’t really perfect, just the way it is?

This week, that seems to be the theme. Realizing that, in everything, there is a perfection, even if I judge it otherwise. It’s just about me surrendering my idea of what perfection looks like and settling into what is, with deep trust and gratitude.

This week, I had the opportunity to be in that place where our fear takes us. Mostly private conversations all wrapped up in my head. Me, myself and I. In the background, picking at me, saying, “I should be working on installing this tech client’s WordPress migration.” And I kept putting it off. All weekend long I put it off, and in the background of my mind the conversation persisted around why I hadn’t done it… yet. Then on Tuesday, the client contacted me and said she was inspired to poke around with some new domain names, ended up purchasing them and wanted to install her WordPress Thesis blog to one of the new domain names.

Ahhhhhhh, perfection.

I had waited for a reason. And the real thing that was revealed to me was “look at how I treat myself. When I’m alone with me.”

So today, I’m acknowledging myself. I’m purposely looking into my life for things I’m doing well or right (according my own heart & integrity) and giving thanks for the ‘Me’ whose doing that.

I acknowledge myself for asking for what I want, establishing a new boundary and standing firm for my daughter’s safety and really more than just safety, for her ability to thrive and expand in conditions that support that.

I acknowledge myself for getting into “alignment” with what felt good before asking my business partner if she would like to do another workshop. And I acknowledge myself for practicing patience and trust with me about the situation. I’m practicing how to trust me to be alone with me and doing better with that.

I acknowledge myself for bringing my focus and attention back to today when I notice I’m out too far into September. I acknowledge myself for remembering to grab a tool and clean up my ‘worry’ with Ho’oponopono. “Thank you, I love, I’m sorry, please forgive me.”

I acknowledge myself for my willingness to be inspired and to let my challenges bring me that inspiration. What an awesome twist on challenges. Talk about light-sabers. Yes to inspiration. Yes to challenges. Yes to technology that doesn’t deliver fully. Yes to the ideas that rush in and fill the gap called solution.

And finally, I acknowledge myself for writing this blog post. For being willing to be more vulnerable than the last time I wrote. For anchoring into the awareness that I miss it. For realizing in the anchoring that I can shift it from “I have

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.

Band of Wild Horses

Or how to write your ebook or other digital download-y thing.

“The ebook wrote itself,” I said skyping with a client last Thursday afternoon. She had set out to write her free pdf thingy but found that under the pressure to perform, it wasn’t coming. Shifting directions like a nimble entrepreneur does, she decided to go back to basics. Start with her blog. And just write a few posts.

“How about a list of posts that help explain your three main core values… for yourself or your business?” I continued.

My ebook wrote itself. I mean, I didn’t set out to write the book that every woman should pick up before she begins her web presencing journey. That’s not what I had in mind when I sat down to write it.

Not on any day of writing was it ever that.

It became that all on its own… after I trusted & followed the process.

When I wrote, it came from a place where it was super easy to write. It came from my expertise. From the place I safely claim within my own fragile ego, I am an expert. On this particular subject.

That’s why the book wrote itself.

Because my expert “knowing” was in charge of every word I dropped onto the computer screen a letter-at-a-time.

What I did each day to get in the zone, was visualize how I would feel once the body of work was complete. And in orbit.

That’s all I wanted. Was to get to a finish line and then press the launch button.

I like launch buttons. And I enjoy working with my clients in their discomfort around getting ready to launch and all the other stuff that percolates up to the top for clarity and processing. For love. And acceptance.

A beautiful perfect moment of self-realization. Aligned one after another.

Anyway, the finish line. And where I was going 😉

Truly, each day I practiced taking pleasure in being motivated by my own personal success of doing it.

I was also extremely motivated by the idea of not ever doing it again (whatever it is for you). For me, it was web presencing.

A popular end-of-the-year-review question to ask yourself which I share right on the ebook sales page (yes I said sales page without even a flinch of discomfort. That’s what it is.)

… ”What if I walked away today? From everything I’ve created or built… how would I want to leave it? What is left unsaid? What wants out? To be seen. Or heard. Or felt?”

Practicing… experiencing the pleasure of my own success before I wrote each day was also a healthy way for my egoic mind to get its rocks off.

I didn’t stay here too long though because the excitement of finishing the book drew me into the “what’s next?” so quickly, I opened Word and found the place that felt the most exciting or fun and began.

That’s how Web Presence Essentials went from a simple List Post and became an ebook. My container for the larger body of work I’ve created on the web, written in my special language of connection. Heart & soul. No longer holding much of anything back.

Why is this important for you to know?

Simple. I trust. Another essential, I tap into daily, to know and love where I am.

Even though my workbook companion thingy isn’t yet finished. I know I will finish it. Soon.

Even though I haven’t written consistently on my blog this year (once a month is probably too little even if consistent), I know I can and will and do… write. All day long.

Even though I’m not yet on a sailboat, it’s gotten so close I can smell it. Which makes me laugh and smile and giddy with joy.

I’m writing this down in a blog post because I trust you want & need to know this.

I trust you’ve got a book or an idea for one or the idea for your free pdf download you’d like to offer people when they subscribe to your email list. And you want to get it done too. Your special stuff. In digital download format. Right?

And I’m sharing this with you because I couldn’t not share it. An old-but-feels-like-new something I’ve learned to recognize, trust and follow.

As I arrived back into my body this morning, ideas & inspiration swirled chaotically in my mind, like the jumbled notes of a musician’s about-to-be-written song. Listening to the sounds of morning, the stillness—inside the house & outside my bedroom window—beckoned.

More thoughts. Followed by realization.

I miss it. I miss writing to you. I feel like I have so much to tell you. To catch up. Catch my breath. To continue connecting & sharing… and creating.

So I rose & did my morning ritual. Trusting the inner call. The inner voice. The creative impulse

… and followed it like band of wild horses.

The List Post

Alist post. It’s just what it sounds like. A blog post with a list in it. Think table of contents. The kind with hyperlinks.

Your table of contents. With a list of blog article topics or a series of posts.Written on a specific topic, within your domain of special knowledge. Your gifts or talent. Whatever you plan on sharing with the world.

When I first created a blog, I was asked to answer one simple question. And do it in the form of a blog post.

It’s one of the top struggles I see women challenged with when they’re getting ready to launch a web presence.

What to write about. Basically, where to start. Where to begin. Because we know so much about what we know.

So here it is, that question to help you focus & pick a place to start.

What are the top three questions you’re asked or answer frequently about what you do?

For me, it looked like this.

What do I do? I’m a web designer. I create web sites.

What are the 3 most important things someone needs to create a web site?Well, you can’t have a website without these three things: 1) a domain name, 2) web hosting & 3) content (words & other stuff to put onto the web pages.)

Blog post #1: What is a domain name & 7 tips for choosing one
Blog post #2: What is web hosting & why do I need it?
Blog post #3: Content Creation

And this was how “3 Essentials for Creating A Website” (or a title something like it) was born. A free PDF download that visitors received when they subscribed to my email list.

After these first three post topics were answered & published, I simply kept adding on to the List Post.

Using my client’s questions during their webification process, I’d choose a topic and write about it.

What did your last client bring forward as their personal challenge or obstacle? How did you help them with it?

One client question or challenge. Answered in written form. Once a week.

dominos: one after anotherOver time, this small series of just 3 posts became this List Post. Which eventually became my ebook Web Presence Essentials.

Well the foundation for it. Once I decided to take it from List Post to ebook, it took on a life of its own.

I became more focused on creating it. And how I’d feel when I got it done. And then, like a band of wild horses, the book literally wrote itself.

I talk about the importance of telling “your A+ story” or feeling into your desired outcome in Chapter 1 (another free download). Seeing things go the way you want them to before doing any work at all. And how this is vital to the creation process because experience has taught me it is the deciding factor for getting launched. Or writing a book. Getting any form of dream-to-reality to manifest.

It worked for me. I’ve seen it work for my clients. It’s how I wrote the ebook every woman should read if she’s thinking about creating an authentic & soulful web presence.

Free Your Mind & The Rest Will Follow

This post is about how MindNode offered me a Get-out of-Word-doc-ebook-writing-hell card so I could pass Go & Collect $200.

Well, I’m on the way to collecting $200. The book hasn’t been in Pay-What-You-Can mode for very long. 😉

The honest truth is MindNode did set me free… to let’ er rip. And so I did pass Go, so-to-speak. And I’m sharing the story of how I did it. Cuz blogs are for sharing. And because lettin’ er rip is good for our souls.

I mentioned that, after a while of writing a post-at-a-time, and answering questions that were fed to me on a nearly-daily basis…

(Definitely each time I spoke with a client.)

I started gathering some of my best posts together. The ones where I noticed myself telling a client in session, “Oh I’ve written a post about that…” Or, the ones that were fed to me, in a real-time life or biz situation. And then write about that.

I had started the list. Three posts were already written. The ones that answer, in the most basic of terms, what I do specifically under the domain of web presencer for creative women. 

Soon, a popular question rose to the top. What’s the difference between a blog and a website? And which one is right for me?

Ta-da! Yes. That easy. If you’re paying attention.

Why we dismiss it or overlook it—our own brilliance—still baffles me. Those goggles we’re born with. Like special 3D movie glasses, we somehow can’t see it like other people can. Our stuff. The brilliance and (laughing) those frightened parts that still react in lizard-brain mode. I’ve decided to love my lizard brain. To love it & the process…

And surrender.

Compassion is a biggy if you’re gonna be out here. I talk about it in the first Chapter of Web Presence Essentials. It’s success factor actually. For becoming part of this revolution of entrepreneurs, leading their lives in alignment… hearts, souls, businesses, lives.

Anyway, over time, the list of three grew. And I mentioned that one day I got inspired to grab it all up & paste it into a Word document.

Then I figured out how to create a Table of Contents in Word, so I could see what I had (again, like the List Post I’d already created online at my website).

I looked at it. “Ugh. There’s a lot of work here. So much is missing. A lot needs re-writing, re-alignment,”  the lizard inside my amygdala said.

I saved the Word doc & closed it. For like five months.

Then, on the day I asked myself the question “What if I never designed another web site again?”

It hit me…

…like a band of wild horses.

And it all started up again. I dug around on my Toshiba laptop to find the Word doc. Opened it. And realized how much had happened in that five months or so. So much. In my life. In my biz. I know you know. You were there for 2011 also 😉

Anyway, I’m gonna get to point of this post now.

I looked at the Word doc and it became clear to me that I needed another way to organize all the thoughts & ideas for what was missing. What I wanted to add to it and a way to move “blocks” of similar content around in the body of work so that I could organize it in an easy-to-digest-and-understand format.

So you don’t take a nap on me when the technology stuff comes up.

And that’s when I discovered MindNode. A simple brainstorming tool. There are tons of them online. Some free, some not. Some for Mac, or Windows or both. MindNode was easy so I went with that.

And I basically began building, with my ideas, a-node-at-a-time, what eventually became Web Presence Essentials.

If it felt like I needed to put things in some kind of order, I could easily move nodes around, like a spoke on a wheel. But what I like about this tool is it’s not linear. But can be. This gave me freedom to just blow up with ideas and organize them later.

Once I emptied my mind of all the ideas I felt were important to capture, there was space to breathe. To catch my breath. Reflect. Rest. Another step accomplished. Yay me. A+.

Feeling much freer for tomorrow and opportunity. For steps. For breathing. For reflecting & relaxing. And focusing my time, attention & energy into another A+ story.

And now some scoop.

If you’re not familiar with the A+ story, you can read up on it here. It’s the place we begin on your web presencing journey. You telling your web presencing A+ story.

And it’s the place I begin in the Workbook Companion for Web Presence Essentials, coming out this Spring. In accordance with the best planetary alignments, naturally.

The workbook is my personal process, of working with and using great teachers—wisdom from their own bodies of work—filled with worksheets & fill-in-the-blank questionnaires; everything that’s helped me create my own soulful message. With no copywriter (don’t shoot copywriters… i love you & your magic ;).

It’s also the process for using The Six Hidden Layers of Your Content. Which is the real gem inside Web Presence Essentials. And it’s the same process I use one-on-one, when you decide you’d like to co-create your uniquely you web presence with me.

So there it is.

Another step I took to get to writing it. Hopefully you are thinking about your own next step.

If you want to know when the companion-y workbook comes out, get on my listbabes. And if you haven’t yet peeked in on the book, you can do so risk-free.Check out Chapter 1, Success Factors of Entrepreneurial Leadership where I talk more about compassion & A+’s.

xo,
yes, this is my real-deal signature