Quick Start Challenge – What I’ve Learnt So Far

As the QSC winds down for it’s final webinar, I thought I’d reflect on what’s been taught during the last four weeks.

In week one we were introduced to the world of blogging. Dean told his story of how he got started with a blog and how it enabled him to have a full-time online income all within twelve months. So what do you write about when you have yet to establish yourself online? Well, you can share any experience you have on the topic and also write about your journey. This engages readership and shows your triumphs and hardships, which has people identifying with you and that leads them to “know, like and trust” you over time. The first week concluded with a challenge: to get a wordpress website up and running with at least one blog on it. There was a major prize for a lucky winner and a prize for the rest of us who completed it.

Week two was about getting traffic to the website with two free methods discussed. Siphoning traffic off other websites with the blog commenting method was one and forum commenting was the other. The idea is if you are contributing to a discussion with good content, the link to your website, which you have in the signature, will get clicked and traffic will be sent that way. The weeks challenge was to create a video, preferably a talking head type of video. It could be about anything you liked and it had to be uploaded to Youtube with the Quick Start Challenge keywords somewhere in the title to qualify. Another major prize for a lucky person that completed it and prizes for everyone else that finished the task.

The importance of a subscriber list was one of the topics of week three. How the whole process of list building using a landing page together with an offer was illustrated on the whiteboard by Dean. Using autoresponders and the importance of automating parts of your business was also discussed. So given the subject matter of the webinar the task for the week was to get an autoresponder account and get some form of sign up form on your website, in order to get subscribers on the list.

In the final week, the internet lifestyle was talked about with some extra tips and strategies on monetisation. How setting up recurring income streams was talked about at length and how these can impact a business for years to come, virtually on auto-pilot. This was part of the automation example which was a topic that was visited again. Lots of great information was shared but no challenge was given for the week. Must say that I was a little disappointed with that because these challenges worked really well in getting myself motivated into action each week.

So that’s it, in a nutshell. One month, four weeks to get set-up online and it worked! With one more webinar to go – they are calling it a bonus session. Dean’s been doing a pretty big pre-sell on this one, so I have my suspicions as to what this will be about. We’ll be finding out soon enough though.

Buying Too Much Stuff ?

As online marketers, we find ourselves in a position where, quite often, WE are the ones that are getting marketed to. Unusual wouldn’t you say? We are here spruiking our services or products and end up buying services or products in order to sell ours. Now this is the nature of any business, you have to spend it to make it but sometimes it gets a bit out of hand and we end up buying things that we don’t really need. We’re all guilty of it and it has a name “shiny object syndrome”. It can be distracting and damaging for some who are struggling to get their business up and running.

This is where programs like the Quick Start Challenge can help. They encourage budding entrepreneurs to focus on one thing for a month, getting a website up and seeing something in the form of results. By setting challenges each week and tasks that have to be done, they are ensuring that there is no time for anything else to distract them. Well maybe the forum, which is a Facebook group, can get a little time consuming at times but at least you’re with other like minded folks and there’s always plenty of support and encouragement.

An alternative would be to have someone to hold you accountable for what you’re working towards. Simply break it down into smaller chunks and have your accountability partner check in at intervals, it could be daily or weekly) to make sure it’s getting done. Don’t underestimate the power in this, it works! It has for me and it can for you.

So focus seems to be key to moving forward and staying on track. Having a clear direction in mind and plan in place, will help you achieve your business goals. You could also unsubscribe from those mailing lists that don’t seem to be providing any real value to help you stay on track.

Anyway I’m starting to waffle on a bit, so just keep in mind the tips above and just being aware, can be a step in the right direction.

Any “out of control” spending you’d like to share. Let me know down below.

QSC – Week 3 Challenge

The challenge for week 3 was fairly straight forward, to start building a list from the website that we’ve all been growing over the last two weeks. To do that I needed some sort of incentive to get visitors to subscribe to my list. Now, I’ve been around this space for a little while now, a bit over a year, and have accumulated quite a bit of material. So I went through what I had, looking for something that might be appropriate. I found some video training that I had bought the rights to fairly recently (and it is quality training too), so I decided to use that. After working out what I was going to be giving away it was time to upload. Rather than use my website space for the files, I preferred to use the Amazon S3 service since I already had an account. It allows for much faster downloads and it doesn’t impact your monthly download allowance from your web host and it costs very little.

So, I had my freebies ready to go. Now I needed an autoresponder account, I chose Aweber. I would’ve preferred Getresponse, but I had already signed up with them a while ago for a free monthly trial and even though I didn’t use it, I wasn’t able to sign up for another free month (I know what you’re thinking but they use your mobile phone number for verification). And I wanted my first month free, so I signed with Aweber. It’s all very easy to setup, they walk you through the process with videos. After I setup my list and created my initial message, which is the delivery method I chose for the subscriber to access their freebies – rather than just downloading from a Thank You page, I was ready for the next step.

In order to capture a potential subscriber, you need to get their attention. In the rules of this challenge, the guys wanted us to put an optin box in the sidebar of the website. You could have used other methods if you really wanted, but it was clear on what they thought was best. Fortunately for me the theme I’m using (from Thrive Themes) is catered to internet marketers and they have that sort of thing built in. Now it will use a form to get the email addresses and sent that to your list. This is a bit of code that you copy from your autoresponder account and paste it into the widget. In my case the theme I use is built around list management, so it was a little different, but fairly simple anyway.

That’s it! All done and ready to collect subscribers. Seems fairly straight forward and it is but for me I had things not going as they should and that was compounded by me leaving this to the last minute, so to speak. It all worked out but the lesson here for me is to take my own advice and do these things earlier. Less stress, more fun and if things don’t go to plan, then there is plenty of time to find a solution.

With only one challenge left, I’m curious to know what that will be. It has followed a progression that makes sense to get to this point but what comes next?

I’ll find out in a couple of days but what do you think it will be? Let me know down below.

QSC – Week 2 Challenge


The week 2 challenge for the QSC was to make a video. Not a screencast, but a proper talking head video.

Seemed like a easy straight-forward task but the more I got into it the more I realised that it was going to take more time than I thought. To look as natural as I can on-screen I needed some confidence (and not the bottled kind). I needed to know exactly what I was going to say, rather than spin something on-the-fly.

I thought about what I wanted to talk about and proceeded to write an article. Now, I have read enough theory about things of this nature but never had the chance to put it into action, now was the time. We tend to write differently than how we speak, so I went over the text changing things to be more readable. Note: if you want a really great resource on this, Len Smith’s Promo Video – Make Talking Videos With Ease on Udemy is excellent. Add this to your wish list and wait for Udemy to have another one of it’s promos -they have them often. You’ll pick it up for much cheaper.

Once the editing was finished, I pasted it into the teleprompter software and made the final adjustments. I ran through the script a few times to get familiar with everything and I was ready to start recording. Quite a few takes later I was satisfied with what I did and uploaded to Youtube.

The take-aways I got from all this is that it looks easier than it is and obviously would become easier with practice, so it is probably a good idea to start doing more of these to get that practice so I can enjoy it more. Secondly creating videos can be a lot of fun, I can see why people post so many on Youtube.

I would like to mention the screen casting software I used because I was blown away by the amount of features and functionality it has. The software is Screencast-O-Matic. There is free web-based version you can use, and I have used it a few times before, but the pro version (for only $15 per year) is fantastic. It has all the editing features of software costing many times more and the support (heaps of how-to videos) is well done. There are 3 types of videos you can make: screen only, screen and webcam and webcam only. It also handles all of your uploading to Youtube or any of the other major platforms as well. I simply can’t praise this software enough, especially for the price.

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Worth a Look:




Gravatar (mentioned in the video)


QSC – The First Week

Week one of the Quick Start Challenge is over and I’ve set up my website and started to blogg. It was a bit of a learning curve with WordPress, I’ve had very little previous experience with it. Not that it is a difficult platform because it isn’t, but like a lot of things, it takes time to get to know what your working with.

There are a lot of advantages with WordPress though, for creating blogs on a regular basis, it’s as easy as logging in and you’re all set to go. No coming to grips with HTML code or creating a new page from scratch with a visual editor like Dreamweaver or whatever. So it’s very fast that way.

Themes are another great feature. Rather than coming up with a design on your own, you can use a template which is a pre-designed website. Themes can also have a lot of features built in as well. For example, the theme that I’m using, from Thrive Themes, is designed for the internet marketing niche. It has templates for landing pages, sales pages, thank you pages and more. It also has some really cool widgets for increasing conversions, list building, etc. I haven’t starting using any of those yet, but it’s only early days at the moment and the reason why I chose Thrive, is that I don’t have to concern myself with any of the technicalities of developing these things when the time comes. It’s all taken care of now and of course, it will save me heaps of time later.

If a theme doesn’t have a particular feature you would like, chances are there is a plugin for that. Which brings me to the next advantage of WordPress – plugins! For many this is a big positive because it can do so much to add functionality to your site like search engine optimisation, automate your website, enhance security or just add cool features. At the time of writing this, Wikipedia reports that there are 38,500 plugins available and many of those are free to use.

So there you have it, my take on WordPress. Because of my coding background,I didn’t like it to start. It just didn’t seem to have the freedom that coding has, but I’m coming around to it. I can see the long term benefits for saving time and ease of use, etc, so I’ll just have to accept what I consider to be disadvantages.

What do you think? What are some of the best things about WordPress? What have been your challenges using it?

Let me know down below.

Worth a look:




The first step . . .

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” – Lao Tzu

Whatever the endeavour, it has to start somewhere. Sometimes making that initial start can be a hurdle. It took me 12 months to take action to start this blog. It’s not that I haven’t done anything in that time, but this will be the first one I’m committed to, whatever it takes, I’m going to see it through.

So what inspired me to take action? Well, a mental shift helped but what really got me fired up was a program I found out about a few days ago called The Quick Start Challenge. In a nutshell The Quick Start Challenge motivates you to get online, get established and making money in 28 days.

Through the use of weekly webinars, various training aids and weekly prizes, the QSC motivates you to achieve the goals (challenges) that they set for you each week. In addition, there are a heaps of bonuses that you get when you sign up, that make these initial steps a little easier and all for under $20. It’s a bargain if you ask me, all the help you need through their support staff and step by step hand-holding to lead you through to a successful start.

So, what was that mental shift I mentioned earlier? In one word FOCUS. I’ll be talking quite a bit about this in future discussions but for now just give it some thought. You won’t achieve anything with scattered thinking, which is why the QSC is such a good idea. You get to focus on one thing for 28 days – building a solid, sustainable business. And what happens after that? I’ll let you know when I get there.