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All posts by Cartess Ross

Building Systems in Your Business Must Become a Priority

Attention entrepreneurs: Are you deep in the trenches working in your business, or are you building SYSTEMS?

Building systems for your business is what gives you the freedom to live, travel, spend unlimited time with family and friends. It allows you to do the stuff you love and the stuff that matters to you.

The longer you wait, the harder you will work, and the harder it’ll be to get yourself out.

You’ll never be able to grow if the business is unable to scale.

You’ll always be a mom and pop, and that’s fine if that’s what you want to be. But if you wish to SCALE UP and grow, you must build systems.

Here’s an excerpt from Sam Carpenter’s book, Work the System:

I say this without hyperbole: Work the System is one of the most useful business books you’ll ever read. I should know—I read business books for a living, and teach creative people from all over the world how to build businesses that are profitable, enjoyable, and sustainable.

Here are the top three questions I’m asked every single day:

1. “Starting a business seems so complicated. Where do I begin?”

2. “I’m working a lot, but not making much money. How can I improve my profitability?”

3. “I’m constantly stressed and anxious. How can I run my business without going crazy?”

The answer to these questions is always the same: learn how to work the system.

Fundamentally, every business is a system: a collection of processes that, together, reliably produces an intended result. The more you focus on improving your business systems, the better results you’ll produce. It’s as simple as that.

When most people hear the word “system,” however, their eyes glaze over. Most of us are trained to think that standard operating procedures, checklists, documentation, and the like are boring and bureaucratic.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Here’s what happens when you begin improving your systems:

• You make more money, but do less work.
• You have more focus and energy to do your best work.
• You make far fewer errors and mistakes.
• You fix the mistakes you make quickly and permanently.
• You feel more calm, collected, and under control.

Solid business systems are largely a product of calm, rational, straightforward thinking. It’s a skill that can be learned quickly, and a method that can be applied to improve every aspect of your life.

I use the ideas in Work the System every day when building my own business, and I’ve recommended this book to my readers and clients since the publication of the first edition.

I’m glad this book has found its way into your hands. Work the System will help you make better decisions, get more done, and have more fun along the way.

—Josh Kaufman, author of The Personal MBA

Grab this book so you can start implementing ‘Systems’ into your business today. It’s free on his Work the System website.

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$110+ BILLION for Those in Online Learning Industry: Get In NOW!

ONLINE LEARNING

Online education and learning is expected to be BIG business in the years to come. If you’re at all interested in jumping onto something that’s literally at the ground-floor, this is the opportunity to jump into.

It’s the most affordable model anyone can get into without losing their pants.

Most other types of business models require high front-end investments. Lots of inventory. Office space. Employees. And lots of unknown variables and risks.

But this model doesn’t require all of that.

You can literally get started with just an idea, a laptop, some time and a few dollars to start out with for advertising.

Your biggest expense initially will be getting your website setup, but even that is something you can do on your own and spend a couple days watching a few tutorials online. Or, you can do what I’ve always done … Outsource it overseas and get something amazing for a couple hundred bucks.

And you’d still be in business for less than it would cost to start any other type of business.

I believe each of us have a unique skill set, talent, knowledge or know-how to teach or develop out our own course.

Over the holiday weekend, I spent a few hours each day developing out a Google AdWords course specifically for Home Inspectors (people who inspect real estate).

I’ve been managing these campaigns for years for inspectors and some have recently asked me to put together a course because they couldn’t afford my monthly management fees.

So that’s what I did. I call it:

Google AdWords for Home Inspectors:
Your Execution Plan for Getting to the Top of Google and Staying Busy All Year Long.

SEE IT: www.inspectmania.com/masterclass-adwords

As you can see here, I simply took what I knew and created a simple course that shows them how to setup their own campaigns so they can get immediate-targeted traffic to their website.

This is stuff I do in my sleep and it was easy for me to put together a basic tutorial showing them the steps to setting up campaigns.

Now that this course is done I can technically go create more for different niches like photographers, accountants, roofers, real estate agents, and so on.

I simply change the title to fit the audience.

Google AdWords for Landscapers:
Your Execution Plan for Getting to the Top of Google and Staying Busy All Year Long.

Listen. You got what it takes to develop out your own course. The beautiful thing is that once it’s done, you get paid for it over and over again.

Create once and sell it a million times for years to come.

Why don’t you look deep down in yourself and see what you can pull out.

I got the blueprint for teaching you and once you develop one, you can create as many as you want.

Take a look at our course development program. Yes, it’s costly, but it’s only for a few months.

In no other world could you create a business for this cheap and get an amazing return for the life of your course:

SIGN-UP & GET IN NOW: CLICK HERE!

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It’s Official. I’m Heading Back to Medellin, Colombia!

Medellin Colombia

I’m excited because as of yesterday, January 1st, I’m eligible for re-entry back into Colombia!!!!

Hip-hip hooray!

I’m totally pumped. I’m trying to get all of my ducks in a row so I can try and get there by the end of January.

I’ve peeped some tickets and as of now, I’m looking at $338 roundtrip.

Jet Blue Tickets

One-way tickets going for about $175 but from experience last time, JetBlue requires a return ticket in order to get on the plane.

I learned that lesson when we tried to board with one-way tickets on the first trip. They made me buy 5 one-way tickets back to the U.S. on the spot. Or else, they weren’t letting us on the plane.

But then someone suggested I pay the extra fee for the refundable tickets and cancel within 24-hours once we landed.

As soon as we got back to the hotel, I refunded them tickets and got my money back, LOL.

Ain’t nobody got time for that!!!

I previously mentioned that I’m building and putting together a digital marketing agency and it may make sense to build it out there. Labor is much cheaper in Colombia than it is in the U.S., and the cost for office space is much more affordable.

There’s a good amount of English speaking Colombians there and many are college educated.

Heck, as I type this out, I’m already starting to convince myself that it’s a good idea, lol.

Anyhow … just wanted to wish you all a Happy New Year.

Let me know if there’s anything you’d like to know or learn more about when I get back to Medellin.

Here are some highlight videos from our recent 6-month stay in Medellin, Colombia:

 

 

 

 

I’m gonna have my phone recording everything for you!

Also, it’s my ‘blogging’ and the ‘courses’ I create that allows me to travel and live anywhere in the world (as long as there’s an Internet connection).

If you’d like to learn how to blow and create your own courses, check out the links below:

Subscribe if u haven’t already:

https://www.sourcecodetofreedom.com/blogger

If starting your own biz is on the horizons for 2018, check this out:
https://www.sourcecodetofreedom.com/launch/

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Odds are Stacked Against You for Your New Year’s Resolutions!

According to an article I saw on Time.com, these are the top 10 commonly broken New Year’s Resolutions.

I’ve added my commentary to each of these:

1. Lose Weight and Get Fit: January is probably the worst time to join the gym. It’s overcrowded. It’s too darn cold to leave your nice warm house to go. And they typically charge more for personal trainers because they can (because everybody and their momma is joining … no need to give you any types of incentives), and now you’re locked into a 1-year contract and as Time indicates, you’re likely to break this resolution anyways. Join the gym when it’s cheaper (any time of the year other than January), and when it’s warmer.

2. Quit Smoking: You just got through putting yourself into an immense amount of Christmas debt. You’re probably even more stressed now trying to figure out how you’re going to pay off that debt. Probably wanna work on this PRIOR to Christmas or a few months after.

3. Eat Healthier and Diet: Again. You just put yourself into debt from the Christmas extravaganza. Folks are likely to be depressed and snacking throughout the day. Plus, a lot of the good fruits and veggies you enjoy are out of season. I tried to get some fresh spinach, cucumbers and swiss chard from a local farmer and he told me it was out of season.

4. Learn Something New: You shouldn’t be waiting till January to learn something new. You should do that immediately when the idea came to mind. Don’t wait. Do it while you’re full of enthusiasm. Wanna learn how to blog and profit it from, read my blog post titled: How to Blog for Fun, Profit and Lifestyle Freedom.

5. Get Out of Debt & Save Money: Too late! The best thing to do is get a part-time job for a few months to pay off that stuff you just bought (if that applies to you, lol). If you’re serious about this one, then back it up (or start a biz).

6. Spend More Time w/ Family: This is one that should be done throughout the year. Don’t wait till January. Start now. You gotta put that family time on a calendar. If you don’t, it won’t happen. This has to be intentional. I’ll tell you a story around this one some day soon.

7. Travel to New Places: If this is on your list, at least identify the places you want to go. I did a blog post titled, “The #1 Secret to Traveling and Living Abroad at Will“.

8. Be Less Stressed: I’m just starting to learn about meditation. So far, seems to be working quite well. Might wanna look into it. Plus, I had to get some things out of my life. Yep, it required making tough decisions, but I’m certainly a lot better because of it. You know what needs to be removed to get rid of the stress. DECIDE. Don’t wait forever like I did. It takes a toll on your health.

9. Volunteer: I admit. I can probably do a lot more of this. I have no comment for this one, lol.

10. Drink Less: If this is one of your resolutions, then I suspect you won’t be ‘drinking’ in the New Years’ tonight will ya???

If you’re serious about starting a new business in the new year and you’re promising yourself this year will be the year, then connect with a coach who can help you get there and hold you accountable.

Take a look at our ‘Ultimate 6-Month’ Start From Scratch Bootcamp.

I wanna help you succeed in the new year: Click Here Now!

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The Secret Formula to Traveling & Living Abroad at Will

After our 6-month stint living abroad in Medellin, Colombia, I get asked a lot about how we did it.

For most, living internationally is an appealing concept and idea. We talked about doing it ourselves for nearly 15 years, but never took it seriously until we made a decision to finally do it.

While living there, I got slammed with requests from people inquiring about a variety of topics, like…

  • How do you determine which country to live in?
  • What is the healthcare like?
  • How do you support yourself?
  • How much money do you need to have to live comfortably?

In the video below, I won’t answer these questions directly, I’ll do that in another post… But, in this video, I will reveal the one thing you must do today, if it’s your desire to travel and live anywhere you want in the world!

As corny as this may sound, this is your secret formula to getting whatever you want out of life. AND I got proof … If there are any doubts, prove me wrong with your comments below (and I’d like to hear about successes too).

(Excuse the quality: This was shot while we were in Colombia)

Leave your comment and suggestions for how you planned your journey abroad!

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Course Idea: How to Get Paid Guitar Gigs at Local Restaurants

My neighbor is an amazing guitar player and singer. He invited us down to Sliders restaurant on Amelia Island some months ago to watch him perform.

See the recording below:

 

We had a great time and met many some wonderful folks out there.

Because my brain never shuts off when it comes to figuring out how to monetize something; as he played, I got the idea that he should teach others how to book these local gigs to perform at local bars, restaurants, and other events.

Based on conversations with him, he gets paid quite well to come out and perform for a few hours and he collects tips from people walking up and dropping money in the ‘bucket’.

I thought this was ripe for a great course.

I approached him to do a partnership deal where I’d build the website, handle all the marketing to get folks to the site to buy the course, and help him put together a curriculum, and package it all up.

While he seemed excited by the idea, I couldn’t get him onboard to do it.

I believe a course like this could easily bring in $50,000 – $100,000 a year in revenue.

*TIP: If you feel you don’t have a course inside of you to teach, take a look at your neighbors, friends and relatives and try to determine what skill-sets they have and try to partner with them to create a course just like I tried to do with this guy. Not everyone will say yes, but many will.

I bring this up because if any of you have any musical talents and you perform at local events or restaurants, this is a course you could put together.

Others would love to learn how to do this.

Even if you didn’t want to put a course together, go grab your instruments and hit up some bars and restaurants to see if you can get in their and make yourself some extra cash.

There’s probably a bunch of y’all with some instruments sitting in the basement or garage collecting dust and you could be earning from it.

The other day, while I was in Greenville, SC, I saw a couple of guys rack up a ton of money playing the violin on the sidewalk (play video below):

Believe me when I say these guys were racking it up… Even I managed to throw a few dollars at them.

We later went to go eat some Indian food and when we came out 90 minutes later, they were still there attracting a big crowd and getting paid.

So not only can you hit up the local pub and bars, but you can apparently do very well on side of the road, or at a beach, or probably in the middle of the street!

It’s my goal to show everyone that there’s a course inside of each of us.

If you’d like to learn the incredible skill of packaging up information and making money from it, check out my course by clicking here!

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Earn While You Sleep, or You’ll Work Till You Die

Earlier, someone posted the following picture on Facebook and it showed up on my timeline. It’s a allegedly a quote from Warren Buffet that says…

“If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you’ll work till you die.”

Warren Buffet Quote

Well, I certainly don’t want to work till I die. With all the money I’ve earned over the years, I’ve honestly done a poor job managing and investing it.

At 44 years old, I now realize the importance of making these next 10 years count. Over the last couple years, I’ve gotten more disciplined at saving, and I’ve finally dipped into the investing side of things.

But I do realize now that my business will have to be the thing that I need to fund my retirement since I’ve missed out on using the past 20 years to my advantage.

Fortunately, the online businesses I have pay me a lot more than a traditional job would, and gives me much more free time to study, research and play this money game right so I’m not screwing it up over these next 10 vital years.

I’m living far below my means (code word for spending way less than I earn), and I’m looking at selling this darn car that seems to suck a few hundred bucks out of my pocket each month.

I can certainly afford it, but it’s not a wise thing to be doing if I’m trying to get my money blueprint right.

It’s cheaper to outright pay cash for a nice car, than to pay these bastards all of this money in interests, and it doesn’t make sense to be paying on a depreciating asset that goes down each and every month.

My goal this year is to create and put out a few more courses and use 100% of those monies to save, invest and to get into some other stuff that earns me money.

I don’t want payments of any kind whatsoever, and in 2018 i will work towards abolishing any type of payment I have.

I’ve earned a lot, but I’ve certainly spent all of it. And it’s a very tough habit to break.

But I ain’t doing it anymore.

Much of my life, I did the following, and perhaps you recognize some of these bad traits and habits too:

  • I didn’t pay my bills on time (which caused me to have bad credit)
  • I rented most of my adult life (i always had to pay an extra month or two of rent because of my poor credit)
  • I traded in my car every 2-3 years (that’s what I saw others do, so I did it too)
  • I didn’t save money for my future (broke and barely had money, even after making a ton of money I was still broke)
  • I didn’t live on a budget (even if I made $3 million per year, the act of not having a budget would keep me broke)
  • I didn’t set goals (I never seen anyone in my house set goals, so I didn’t know better)
  • I did not invest in stocks (I’m 20 years behind schedule because I didn’t start at 18 or 20)
  • I didn’t have 6-months emergency funds saved (when I had bad months in my biz, this would have saved my butt)
  • I lived from check to check (Even when I earned $500K paydays, I didn’t pay myself first, so I had no cushion)
  • I lived beyond our means (the craziest thing I’ve ever done)
  • I built up lots of credit card debt, etc…

Even though I’ve had a few million come through my hands, it didn’t matter. These bad habits kept me broke. It doesn’t matter how much you earn, your bad habits will find a way to spend every last dime.

That’s why these rich athletes and stars go broke. I never understood it, until it happened too me. The only thing that saved my butt was that I always had money flowing in that supported my bad habits.

At the end of the day … If you can’t manage the little bit you got, you won’t manage the millions you get.

And that’s a fact my friend….

The rules are simple, but most simply won’t do it:

  1. Pay yourself first.
  2. Spend less than you make.
  3. Form healthy money habits (saving, investing)
  4. Avoid debt of any kind.
  5. Learn how money works.
  6. Give back.
  7. Look at money as a longterm game.
  8. Invest in yourself.

Over the last couple of days, I’ve shared tutorials of how I managed to support my family of 7 from my online business efforts.

Blogging has played a big part in how I’ve made a few million on the Internet (and even though I squandered much of it, I certainly know how to make it, and I want to show you how too).

I’ve put together a course online that takes you through the entire process to get started.

Go here to get all of the details: How to Blog for Fun, Profit and Lifestyle Freedom

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How to Become a Blogger and Get Paid to Talk About Your Interests

While living in Medellin Colombia this year, I got a glimpse at how powerful blogging and social media can be when combined together.

For those who don’t know, while living in Medellin, I blogged and shot random videos of the things we were doing while living there.

I gave my perspective of how life was in Medellin … I showed how affordable the cost of living was, and I showed what you could buy with little money.

In time, I started to attract a small following of people, and as I continued to blog and share my experiences, my blog tribe continued to grow.

What blew my mind was the number of people who started moving to Colombia after watching my videos and following my blog.

I started bumping into people in the streets … These were people who did come to visit Colombia, and others were people who literally moved their entire families there.

All as a result of watching my videos and reading my blog.

I was floored…

It was then I started to realize the reach and power of blogging and social media.

Just a few months ago, I was at a conference in Orlando, and when I came back to my hotel room, a large family was coming down the hallway.

The wife kept staring at me and I was like, ‘why is this woman staring at me???’

I started to get shook up a little bit.

And then she asked, “Are you the guy in Medellin? Ummm, ummm, Cartess? Are u Cartess?”

And I said, ‘It is I’.

By this time, her husband and kids were coming down the hall and we all laughed and talked for a couple minutes about Medellin and how they were planning a trip there.

This was yet another family touched by the content I pushed out through blogging and social media (see pic below)

Fans of Escape to Medellin

Now, when I setup that Escape to Medellin blog and youtube channel, no one knew me in that space.

I certainly never considered myself a travel blogger.

But in that short period of time, I apparently became one by default.

I bring all of this up because whatever experiences, knowledge, talent or skills you have, there are millions of people all over the world that will follow you in order to learn and see adventures through your eyes.

I was an unknown. Most of these folks didn’t know me from my other online projects.

To them, I was simply a stranger sharing my experiences.

But as I continued to share, they got to know me through my shared experiences.

I met some wonderful families and made some amazing life-long friends (a phrase I picked up from a wonderful lady named Mavis traveling with her family from Ghana).

But you have what it takes to start blogging and sharing your daily rituals, routines, interests, hobbies, and passions right now.

No matter what it is you do, there’s a group of people who want to hop onboard and join you for the journey.

From that blog of mine, I was able to generate some money. At one point, I sold a monthly newsletter to people who wanted to learn more about Medellin.

I also offered 1-hour telephone consultations for $195 (these were for families who wanted a little more one-on-one information before they came to visit or move to Colombia).

I earned from other simple methods that required no effort from me and it was just amazing.

You can do this too.

Quite honestly, this is probably the cheapest, low-cost way to get started with your own business.

The only thing you need is a blog.

You don’t even need to go out and buy a camera … I used my cell phone for 100% of my videos, and a wired mic I got on Amazon for like $7 bucks.

I threw up a simple website … Which you can do in less than 30 minutes.

I was able to earn from it right away because of my previous experience. I knew the shortcuts to making this all work very quickly in terms of the money.

But realistically, this is something you can be earning from in as little as 90-days, but if you’re confident and just willing to do what is taught, you could earn in as little as 30-days.

I’d say even sooner, but you wouldn’t believe me if I told you that 🙂

Listen.

There’s a guy who raises freaking chickens in his backyard … He writes and talks about it all day.

Folks from all over the world asks this guy questions about how they can raise chickens too.

He charges for that info.

We’re talking about freaking chickens yo!

Another guy has a passion for all types of peppers… He blogs and talks about these darn peppers all day.

He has a smaller following and yet, he earns from it… And he’s blogging and talking about something he loves.

A lady I met does home schooling for her kids.

She blogs about it and guess what?

She brings in a few extra dollars each month to help support the family.

All from doing stuff she already does.

What do you like to talk about?

What’s your passion?

What is your weird obsession? I know u got one … So share it.

You’d be surprised at how many other weirdos share your obsession too. And they’re waiting on someone to lead. You could be the leader of all the ‘weirdos’, lol.

As for myself, I enjoy talking about business type stuff … I can go on for days!

My friends will dodge my calls from time to time cause they know I’m going to go on for hours about some new venture … I can’t help myself.

Listen … I’m just a regular guy. Unknown to the masses.

However, each day, somebody new comes across my content and signs-up to learn more.

Let me teach you how to do this.

I’m putting together an online virtual workshop.

I will teach you everything u need to know to get started right away.

Save yourself from mishaps and mistakes by getting the proper steps from day one on how to make this work for you.

I do a wonderful job of making this stuff real simple.

What I teach will NOT go over your head.

By the time you get through with my training, you will walk away with a fully functional blog and I promise you will not have spent no more than a hundred bucks (probably less than $50 bucks) on everything you need to start blogging right away.

Like I said, this is likely the least expensive way to get started with something you can call your own and actually earn from it.

I will teach you the loopholes to make this thing work in record time.

Make 2018 great! Own your own piece of the Internet goldmine. It will work for you if you work the plan. It will require effort from you, but the results will amaze you.

I’ve taken care of my family of 7 from this thing called the Internet. It’s intimidating to most, but it’s really simple.

Many folks make excuses about how expensive it is to start a business. You will not find anything cheaper to get into, plus, you get to talk about stuff YOU love.

If you work this for one year straight, you will be blown away at what will happen.

I have a blog that has brought me in over $2 million in revenue.

I will show you the breakdown of how that worked out in this training.

It’s very easy for you to replicate.

If you were looking for a breakthrough for the new year, this is it.

I love teaching this stuff.

Because I’m in the giving mood, I was gonna charge $495 for this training.

But if you’re signed up within the next 72 hours, you can get in for a one-time investment of just $177 bucks.

This training will open up on Wednesday. If you’re not available Wednesday, that’s fine.

It’s all recorded and you can watch and learn at a time that is convenient for you.

As a bonus, I decided to open up a questions/answers section within the members-only area where you can post and ask questions as u go through this training.

Someone from my team, and I will answer your questions.

No previous tech experience required. I promise to make this super simple.

There’s no fancy sales page. I’ve included a link directly to the order form.

It’s a one-time investment of $177 bucks: Click here to register now!

If you got to think about this, then you’re not ready. Continue doing what you’ve been doing, but don’t expect anything different to happen.

At this price point, it makes no sense not to join.

You’ll blow this on a night out drinking, eating pizzas, going to the movies, or simply hanging out with friends.

At least if you implement this, you’ll have something you can call your own … And you’ll have an asset that actually pays your bill to go out drinking, eating and partying.

Get in right now. You got 72-hours: Click here to register now!

I’d urge you not to procrastinate and miss out on this wonderful deal.

Once the first round of students go through this program, you will not get it for $177 again.

You will receive member login details by Tuesday and access on Wednesday.

Click here to register now!

As an incentive to get to the fast action takers, the first 30 people will get my ebook, ‘How to Write Your First eBook in 3-Days and Sell it Over and Over Again for Years to Come!’

This simple formula is what I used to build a blog that brought in $2 million.

Register right now … Don’t delay

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How to Start a Blog and Write Your First Post Today!

Are you ready to learn how to start a blog and monetize it today? In today’s post, I’ve created a very detailed step-by-step tutorial that shows you how to setup your own blog.

I’ve setup thousands of websites and blogs since 1999 and have a unique way of teaching non-techies how to easily do this. No technical experience is required, and you could have this setup by the end of today.

If you have a topic you’re passionate about, blogging is a great way to share what you know with others. Blogging is a great tool for creating a tribe of like-minded people that have an interest on the same topic.

If done properly, you could earn an income from blogging about topics that interests you.

I think you’re going to be surprised at how easy this is. The only hard part about blogging is to do it consistently. This is where most folks fail. They start blogging strong, and then after the first month or two, they stop.

Results won’t come in overnight. This is a longterm play.

If you have the endurance to play the long game here, you could win big.

There are multiple ways to monetize your blog as you start to build your tribe … You don’t need thousands and thousands of subscribers to earn money, you could start earning money with as little as 100 subscribers.

Why You Should Start a Blog

When starting a business, consumers have many options to choose from. Blogging has always allowed me to showcase my expertise, while also positioning myself, and my company as the authority on a particular topic.

Because of positioning, it’s always allowed me to charge much more, and it typically brought in much higher quality prospects into my marketing funnel.

In other words, blogging allowed me to earn a boatload of money, lol.

Before we start, I want to outline a few reasons you should start a blog right away.

Make money while working from home (or living abroad). 90% of my revenue is generated from the blogs I have. As long as I have an Internet connection, I can work from anywhere.

Last year, we decided to sell everything we own to travel and live abroad. Because my business model allows me to go anywhere that has an Internet connection, I’m free to go anytime.

We spent our time living in Montreal Canada and Medellin, Colombia in South America. I like blogging because the financial costs to get started are very little. The risks are very low, and the upside income potential can be large.

Plus, it doesn’t seem like work because you get to talk about stuff you’re already passionate about, or interested in.

My First BookMy First BookMy First BookMy First BookMy First BookBecome a published book author. It’s much easier to get a book deal when you have a sizable following. And when you already have a following, it’s much easier to sell books to people you already know.

So far, I’ve written two books (one Kindle book, and one physical book).

These books have earned me big money making deals because the blog itself, along with the book, positioned me as the authority on the topics I wrote and blogged about.

This positioning thing is BIG. The more positioned you are, the more money you can charge, and the more opportunities there are to earn from your expertise.

Get speaking gigs. As your fame soars, blogging opens you up to getting  pitched to speak at different events related to your topic.

You get all-expense paid trips to local and exotic places all around the globe. You get to stay in fancy hotel suites and fly first class. And you get paid to talk about something you’d likely do for free.

Lots of exposures for your business. Blogging opens up the door for you to reach large audiences of people. Whether you’re a one-man shop, or a large corporation, blogging gives you the opportunity to engage and communicate with your core audience directly.

On one of my blogs, I engage and answer thousands of questions via the comments section on each of my blog posts each year. This interaction allows me to know what my customers and potential customers want more of.

Through this engagement, I’m able to custom create products and services based on the feedback and data gathered from the comments.

Topics You Can Blog About

There are so many topics you can start blogging about immediately. In my opinion, you should start on a topic you have interests in. I’ve seen too many people choose topics they thought they’d make a bunch of money in.

They weren’t really interested in the topic at all … And when you’re not interested in the topic, it’s easy to get bored and quit.

So choose something you’re passionate about, or choose something you really wish to learn more about.

For example, I’ve taken a heavy interest in nutrition and health. My dad was recently diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. I’ve been spending the last few weeks in research mode to find a solution for curing him of this illness.

While doing research for alternative options for healing, I’ve learned a lot of stuff I didn’t know about.

It’s my intentions to start blogging about health and nutrition in the very short future.

So as you learn about a particular topic, you can share what you learn via your blog.

We find that others are interested in the ‘journey’ and would love to follow you as you learn. So you don’t really have to be an expert on a particular topic right off. You can become an expert as others learn with you!

Some of the best topics to blog about come from personal life experiences with raising kids, coping with divorce, how you overcame depression, and so on … The more ‘real’ and ‘sensitive’ the topic, the more you can connect with your audience.

Here are a few blogging topics to get your creative juices flowing:

  • Raw nutritional recipes
  • Juicing and smoothie cleanses or weight-loss
  • Mommy blogs  (topics around raising your little ones)
  • How to guides (how to yo-yo, raise chickens in the backyard, bbq, etc.)
  • How to overcome anxiety attacks
  • How to save and repair your marriage
  • How to recover from an affair
  • Document and blog about your travels abroad
  • How to get massive airline points
  • Couponing to save big money
  • Educational blogging
  • Jokes and humor
  • Overcoming illnesses or diseases
  • Product review blogs
  • Planning a wedding on a shoestring budget
  • How to save and budget money (your way)
  • Local high school sports blogging
  • How to train an English Mastiff  (get specific by the breed)
  • How to use software (Photoshop, Microsoft Word, Excel, etc.)
  • How to write resumes
  • How to make money
  • Start a consignment shop
  • How to make soups for diabetics
  • How to play the guitar
  • How to book gigs at local restaurants (singing, instruments, etc)
  • How to pair cheese and wine
  • How to apply make-up to dark skin (niche it down for greater success)
  • How to make money flipping real estate
  • Grow an organic garden in your backyard
  • How to pick-up girls
  • How to land a rich dude
  • etc…

The more specific the topic, the better … There’s likely an audience on any topic you wish to blog about. The key to longterm success is picking a topic you’re interested in. Do this right, and you can monetize it.

Required Tools and Resources for Starting a Blog

To start a blog, you really only need 3 things:

  1. Choosing a blogging platform (WordPress is my #1 preferred recommendation)
  2. Selecting a domain name (your dot-com name)
  3. Sign-up with website host and install WordPress blogging Software

Yep … This is pretty much all you need. You can quite literally be up and blogging less than 60-minutes from now. Follow along and let me guide you through the entire process step-by-step.

Step 1: Choosing a Blogging Platform

OMG … There are so many blog platforms to choose from it’s insane. But there’s only one clear choice when selecting from all of the choices.

Before I give you my preference, let me breakdown the pros and cons from some of the other popular platforms.

I want you to be able to decide which blog platform is best for your needs.

Ideally, you’ll want to stay away from the free blogging platforms. Here’s why:

  • With most free blogging platforms, you don’t have total control over content. Everyone is so offended by everything now, and the content you post could get you banned. These 3rd party platforms can shut you down without explanation. It happens more often than you think. Even Facebook has been known to shut down pages with millions of followers. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you’re not in control.
  • Some of these 3rd party platforms will run ads on your blog. You don’t want to spend all of your time building your blog and then have your visitors click on those 3rd party ads and leave your website. It took too much effort to get them there.
  • They forbid you to put ads on your blog. Ad placement on your blog is one of the many ways you can monetize. You don’t want to limit yourself here. On one of my blogs, Google sent me $77,711.61. If I couldn’t place ads on my blog, that would have been lost revenue. You can learn more about the Google Adsense revenue sharing model here.

In addition, as your blog grows, many of the limitations placed on ‘free blogging’ platforms prevent you from doing what you need to scale and grow.

Choose your platform wisely … I’ve been blogging on one of my websites for over 10 years now. Once you start, you’ll likely continue using it for the duration of your business. It’ll be difficult to switch much later.

Here’s a list of the major blog platforms:

  1. Self hosted WordPress software
  2. WordPress.com (3rd party platform)
  3. Wix
  4. Blogger
  5. Weebly
  6. Joomla
  7. Typepad
  8. Tumblr
  9. Squarespace
  10. Magneto

Self-Hosted WordPress Blogging SoftwareWordpress Logo

Wordpress Logo

There’s two options for using the WordPress platform.

One is the self-hosted route. This is where you get access to the actual ‘WordPress’ software itself, and you’re free to install it directly onto your own website.

There’s another option to WordPress and that’s via the company, WordPress.com, where they host the software on their servers and you can sign-up for an account through them. In a sense, you don’t technically own your site when you’re ‘leasing’ it from them.

WordPress.com can totally shut your website down without warning.

This is why we recommend using the ‘self-hosted’ option of WordPress (the software itself).

The self-hosted version of WordPress is a downloadable content/blog management software that let’s you totally manage and control your website/blog.

It’s by far the most popular blog platform in the word. Last estimates suggest this platform powers over 30% of of websites on the Internet.

According to Fresh Consulting, WordPress controls 59% market share of the Content Management Software (CMS) market, and currently accounts for over a quarter of all websites.

I’ve been using WordPress for all of my websites over the last 10+ years. It’s the only platform I use for myself, and it’s the only platform I use to build websites and blogs for my clients.

Nothing else even compares.

They’re easy to setup and you can typically have a blog setup and fully running within 30-60 minutes.

Posting content to your blog is very simple. In addition, there are a bunch of tutorials available to help make the transition to WordPress super easy.

One of the things I like about this blogging platform is your option to select from thousands of pre-made layouts and designs.

With a click of a button, you can have a super fancy website in seconds.

If you get tired of the way your blog looks after a while, just click a few buttons and a few seconds later, you can have an entirely brand new looking blog. Let me show you (play video below to see what themes look like).

 

In addition, with WordPress, it’s very easy to add videos and photos to your blog. After playing around with the software over a weekend, you start to see the range of flexibility to you have with this software.

There’s so much functionality that can be added to your blog.

WordPress has what are called extensions and plugins.

Plugins is a fancy way of saying, ‘there’s an app for that’ … In other words, whatever you need your blog to do, there’s a chance someone has already created an ‘app’ for that (the proper term is ‘plugin’).

So if you wanted to add a calendar to your website, there’s a plugin for that.

Perhaps you wanted to create a fancy gallery of your photographs. There’s a plugin that’ll do it for you.

Maybe you want to an appointment scheduler to your blog … There’s a plugin for that.

Just add the plugin, click a button, and it’s installed.

There are over 40,000+ plugins available for the WordPress platform. Most of them are totally free.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I absolutely love the WordPress blogging platform.

There is nothing else I’d recommend over this platform.

Nothing at all!

WordPress.com (3rd Party Host)

WP

As mentioned earlier, this is the hosted version of WordPress. You have little control over design customization, and you run the risk of being shut down based on whatever content guidelines WordPress.com has in place.

If you’re not serious about blogging, and simply want to test the waters, this is a good place to start.

You don’t have to install anything, and you won’t have to purchase hosting. All you need to do is register at their website, WordPress.com and you’re up an running.

With WordPress.com, you won’t need to buy a domain name. They’ll give you a sub-domain that’s attached to their WordPress.com domain.

For example, your website name might look something like: YourBlogName.WordPress.com

It’s certainly not the recommended route to go … If you’re going to spend any amount of time at all building a blog and an audience, you’d want your own dot-com name (domain). WordPress charges extra to have your own domain name.

As mentioned earlier, you can’t have your own ads on the WordPress.com platform.  And remember, these guys can shut you down without explanation.

As of the writing of this post, you have 4 options with WordPress.com

Free Plan: Just start creating: get a free site and be on your way to publishing your content in less than five minutes.

Personal Plan: Best for Personal Use: Boost your website with a custom domain name, and remove all WordPress.com advertising. Get access to high quality email and live chat support. ($48/yr)

Premium Plan: Best for Entrepreneurs & Freelancers: Build a unique website with advanced design tools, CSS editing, lots of space for audio and video, and the ability to monetize your site with ads. ($96/yr)

Business Plan: Best for Small Business: Power your business website with unlimited premium and business theme templates, Google Analytics support, unlimited storage, and the ability to remove WordPress.com branding. ($299.04)

WIX

WIX

This platform is okay if you have no design skills and wish to do as little as possible. But if this describes you, then you should probably look for something else to do.

This is not the proper platform to use if you’re wanted to earn money from your blogging efforts.

Wix is a simple drag and drop website builder with their own hosting platform.

With these types of services, you’re limited in what you can do.

Blogger

Blogger

This platform is owned by google and if you already have an active Google account, you can sign into it to activate your blogger account.

It’s very fast to setup an account through blogger. You can be up and blogging in minutes.

Like all 3rd party blogging platforms, you’re not in total control of setup and coding behind the scenes. In addition,  if they don’t like your content, you can get shut down.

It happens very often.

If you’re going to blog, make sure you’re in total control of your website and content. Don’t leave it to chance.

If you’d like to learn more about the other platforms, go check them out:

Step 2: Selecting a Domain Name for Your Blog

The dot-com web address is your domain name. For example, the domain name for my blog, Source Code to Freedom is www.SourceCodeToFreedom.com (this is the domain name).

If you don’t have a domain name, you’ll have to register one.

There are 3 domain registrars where you can purchase your domain name from.

Under no circumstances do you ever register through any other entity. Some website hosting companies will try to suggest you buy your domain name through them.

Don’t do it.

This is one on the things you want to have absolute and complete control over. There are countless horror stories where web design and hosting companies register domain names on behalf of clients, and things turn disastrous.

Many times, these hosting and web design companies will hold the domain names hostage and charge outrageous fees to give you the domain name back.

When you register through a registrar, you’re in total control.

No one can hold your domain name hostage and only you can give someone else access to your domain name.

The top 3 domain registrars are:

  1. GoDaddy
  2. Register.com
  3. NetworkSolutions

My recommended registrar is GoDaddy. I don’t use any other registrar.

I’ve used GoDaddy for the last 12 years and the service and reliability has been great. They have 24-hour support, 7 days a week.

They’re great for registering domain names … That’s they’re specialty. I would highly recommend you DO NOT buy any of the upsells they try and push.

I don’t like their website hosting platform at all and I’d suggest you stay away from it and leave it alone entirely. You couldn’t pay me enough to mess with their hosting platform … In the past, when potential clients asked me to work on their projects, I would turn them down and not take their money if they were hosted on GoDaddy … Wasn’t worth the trouble and headache.

They make simple things too complicated.

Choosing a Domain Name for Your Blog

Simple is best … Try to keep it short, simple and sweet. Use something that’s easily shareable.

Always go with a .com version if possible. Stay away from .net, .org, .co (especially if you don’t own the .com version).

By default, most folks will instinctively sit down and type in the .com version when they make it to their computer.

So when you tell someone your website address is AmericanFlags.NET … as soon as they get home, they’ll most likely time in AmericanFlags.COM and end up at some other website.

Stay away from fancy spellings and try not to use numbers or hyphens in your domain name.

Another option is to use your name … A lot of people use both their first and last name as their domain name. At a minimum, whether you use your name or not, at least register it. It’s much better to own it and not. I own my own name, CartessRoss.com and I own the names of my children too.

Before coming to a final decision on a name, make sure the name itself is available to use across the major social media platforms.

For example, I own the domain name TshirtRiches.com

I also control the social media properties as well … Example:

I’ve created a quick tutorial below showing you how to register your own domain name through my reseller account given to me by GoDaddy.

As of this writing, GoDaddy charges a yearly $14.99 fee for your domain registration. It’s yours during the year and no one can take it from you.

It’s advised that you should purchase your domain name for a minimum of 5 years. It’s rumored that Google looks at the length of your registration and it can affect how well your blog ranks.

Some suggest that folks who register domains for less than 5 years aren’t really serious about their website and really don’t believe they themselves have the staying power to make it work.

I’d err on the safe side and register for a minimum of 5 years.

Watch the video below to see how I purchased a domain name through my GoDaddy reseller portal. If you order through more portal, you’ll get a discount. This portal is through GoDaddy and when you register, you’re in their database and you’ll still get their 247 support and customer service.

 

Register for domain by clicking here.

Step 3: Choose a Web Host and Install WordPress Software

Choosing the right host is the most important decision you’ll make when deciding to start blogging. In order to have a website, you must have a ‘web host’.

A web host acts like a storage facility … They hold and store all of the files, images, graphics and content that makes up your website.

Almost like an apartment … You pay a monthly fee to store all of your furniture, TV, beds, tables, and washing machines that essentially make up what is called your home.

When a person types in your dot-com name, they’re directed to this storage space to see all of the files that make up your website.

When paying for this storage space, this is not the time be cheap. It’s the equivalent of living in a very bad and crime infested neighborhood.

The odds increase that someone will break into your home and steal your stuff.

The same happens with cheap web hosting companies … You open yourself up to more opportunities for getting hacked.

For years, I’ve always went with the cheap hosts, and time after time, I got hacked.

On some occasions my websites were down for up to two weeks … And I spent thousands trying to get it fixed and never really got it fixed.

I lost a bunch of customers and lots of wasted money on advertisements that sent visitors to a website that was down.

Cheap hosting providers also overcrowd their servers with people in order to offer cheap prices. The problem with overcrowded servers is that your website load up time is drastically slowed down.

When a website takes to long to load up, people leave and don’t come back.

Also, if someone on the overcrowded server decides to send out spam messages, then everyone on that server runs the risk of their IP address being flagged as spam and when you reach out to your customers or prospects, they don’t get your e-mails.

Cheap is not always good … I suggest you spend the extra few bucks and connect with a solid and reliable hosting provider.

Because all of my websites are powered by WordPress, I only deal with hosting companies that specialize in hosting WordPress websites.

My #1 recommended choice is WP Engine. They have 3 plans from which you can choose from.

Personal Plan: Great if you only have one website and you’re just getting started. The plan costs $29/mo and they offer discount if prepaid yearly ($290 for the year, which includes 2 free months).

Professional Plan: This plan allows you to host up to 10 WordPress blogs on this plan. If you have more than one blog, this is the plan to sign-up for. The plan costs $99/mo and they offer discounts if prepaid yearly.

Business Plan: If you need to host a bunch of websites, up to 25, this is the plan for you. The plan costs $249/monthly and they offer discounts if prepaid yearly.

If you’re just starting, the Personal Plan is more than sufficient.

Once you get signed up, you’ll be presented with an option to ‘Add Install’ to your account.

Fill out the space with a name that you’ll recognize for the new site you’re creating. Make sure to select the options listed below (Environment: None | Copy From: Create a new install) and then click ‘Create Install’.

Add Install

After you create the install, you’ll see a message that looks like this:

Installed

The message indicates your install is currently being built. After about 3-7 minutes, you’ll receive an e-mail saying the installation has been completed. It’ll look something like this:

E-mail

Once you get this e-mail, you can now click the Site URL that’s displayed and you can go to the installed WordPress site and login:

In my example above, you’ll see a basic WordPress installation (click link below)

mynewblogger.wpengine.com

You’ll see a ‘Log in’ link in the bottom right column. Use the login details you created to login to the WordPress admin area.

Once you’re logged in, you can now add a new theme or layout, and then you can make all the changes and updates to your blog to customize it anyway you like.

This is a great time to either buy a premium theme, or add a free one.

Watch the video below to see how simple it is to change your layout.

 

That was simple enough right?

Watch the video below to see how easy it is to make and post your first blog post:

 

And there you have it … It’s not that difficult at all.

You just gotta make a decision to start blogging …. With this tutorial, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be up and running within an hour or two at the max.

It’s never going to happen until you make the decision to do so.

If the steps seem to difficult for you, and you simply want someone else to do it for you, we got you covered.

My web designer can setup the entire blog piece for you. When it’s all done, you only need to start blogging.

In addition, I’ll share some tutorials with you that shows you the basic ABC’s of blogging so you can get started right away.

We’ll get you setup for a flat fee of $395.

This one-time investment covers:

  • WordPress installation onto your hosting account
  • Theme installation and setup
  • We’ll connect your domain name to your hosting account
  • Provide you with tutorials that shows you how to add content to your blog

SIGN-UP NOW!

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A Simple ‘Wealth Generating Secret’ You Can Implement Today!

Came across this quote earlier, “Go to bed smarter than when you awoke”.

It’s a quote by Charlie Munger. Business partner to one of the riches men in the world, Warren Buffet.

One of the ways Warren Buffett encourages people to get smart and build wealth is through reading. The more you read, you’ll find your knowledge building up, just like compound interest.

In his documentary, ‘Becoming Warren Buffett‘, he indicates he spends up to 80% of his day just reading. Most folks cruise through their life not getting any smarter.

They look for others to tell them what to do and think.

It’s much easier to listen to your slow jams on the radio, or watch your favorite TV show than it is to read.

A study conducted by Tom Corley, of Rich Habits, found 85% of self-made millionaires read 2 or more books each month. They’ve managed to create a habit for daily reading of self-improvement.

The bulk of the books read by these folks were career-related books, how-to, biographies of successful people, self help books, leadership and more.

Unsuccessful people read far less books and the books they often read centered more around entertainment versus self-improvement.

While researching this topic, I found that Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, reads an average of 50 books per year.

Mark Cuban indicated he reads at least 3 hours per day.

Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, is an avid reader as well.

The list goes on and on … These are not random findings. The wealthy and top 3% of income earners do a lot of reading.

How to Get Smarter

The simple answer is to read. A whole lot!

To start, spend a minimum of 30 minutes each day reading some type of personal development type book.

If you’re just getting started on this journey of personal development, let me recommend the following as a first read.

If found a free PDF version: The Strangest Secret by Earl Nightingale.

Starting Monday, this will be the 1st week in which I start my goal to read one book per week for 1 year.

Right now, I read about 25 books per year, but truthfully, I typically only get through about 65% of the books I read. This time around, I will read from start to finish.

What about you?

Will you start reading at least 30 minutes per day? What will you read?

If you’re already an avid reader, please share below how reading has improved your life.

 

 

 

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