A couple of months ago, I wrote about a “Kick in the Butt” that Scott and I had come up with to help move us forward and (finally!) get our business blogs launched. Basically, we had bought tickets to see a concert at Virginia Beach and we agreed that if we didn’t launch our blogs by midnight on July 10th, we wouldn’t go to the concert. Well, I’m happy to report that we thoroughly enjoyed the Jack Johnson concert, and the beach, and the successful launch of our blogs! We made a long weekend of it, and it was a nice celebratory break for us. This was an eye-opening experiment for us, and really made us realize how dependent we’ve become on the system of “rewards and consequences” that is so prevalent in the typical 9-to-5 workplace. Even though launching our blogs was something we wanted to do and something that we both considered a priority, we had trouble actually taking the necessary action to get it done, until there was a consequence in place to hold us accountable and motivate us to act quickly and consistently. Of course, we eventually want to be able to “get it done” without a promise of reward or a threat of punishment, and we’re working on that. But for now, we’re doing what works for us. And the best part is, we have a tan and two live blogs to show for it…
At the time of this blog post, it’s Independence Day in the United States. Today is also the day I chose as my target day to launch my new blog. Symbolically, the launch of my new blog, Behavior and Motivation, represents another big step toward personal independence. I’m so excited that I was able to launch the blog today. Even though I still have some tweaking to do, It’s mostly done. And even though I had to find a balance between my original vision and what I could actually pull off, I’m very satisfied with the results. I’ve got big plans for Behavior and Motivation. I’ll be writing about them in the future. But for now, I’m happy to finally launch it and move into the next phase.
If you stop by my new blog, there is a Guestbook where you can leave general comments. It’s like the “wall” in Facebook. Speaking of Facebook, I have a fan page for my blog too. Go here to check that out. Anyway, I’m happy to share this exciting news. Let me know what you think of it.
Whew! It’s been a while since we’ve updated you on our progress toward starting our businesses and quitting our jobs; we’re definitely overdue. I actually recorded a video update since our last update but I wasn’t happy with the outcome. The lighting was so poor, I couldn’t bring myself to post it here. But I’m using a new video camera and I’m still learning how to best use it. Anyway, we’ve got a lot of catching up to do and I want to start with a little background before I get into specifics.
My computer has been getting progressively more feeble over the past 6 months. It finally got to the point where I was struggling to do almost everything because my computer was getting so slow and flaky. So I finally decided enough was enough and I bought a new computer (a high-end Alienware computer, BTW). My old computer was also an Alienware but I had it for several years. Presently, I’m still working on porting over everything from my old computer to my new one, so that’s slowing me down a bit, but my computer is 10x more powerful. So this change will pay off very soon in terms of productivity while on my computer.
Tammy and I recently spent a little more than a week visiting my family in Michigan. It was totally a blast and we ended up getting addicted to Rock Band. Sometimes, it’s great to step away from your projects so you can get a fresh perspective. On that note, we have some exiting news, but Tammy will cover that in a separate post soon. I’m certain that you will understand why it’s exciting and it also may help you take a big, meaningful step that you may be struggling to complete. Keep watching for this important post! Okay, now for the business progress update. Here’s what’s new since our last update: Continue reading
January 2010 is here. I hope you’ve all taken the time to set some important goals for the new year. If you want to start a business, work for yourself, and ditch your 40 hours/week ball and chain, you’re going to have to get really clear on what steps to take to make that a reality. Also, you should try to set up some kind of accountability to keep you in the hot seat and keep you making progress. That’s partly why we started this blog. We want others to be able to learn something from our experiences as well as hold us accountable for our actions (or non-actions). That’s also why we try to do weekly updates about our progress and goals for each week. Tammy and I enjoyed the holiday season and took a couple guilt-free weeks off. That was totally needed and very refreshing. But now we’ve rolled up our sleeves and are getting in gear again. So for starters, I’ll bring you up to speed on our activities since the last update.
For those of you who are planning to start your own Internet-based businesses, you’re going to need a blog because you’ll more than likely be using a blog to promoting your product or service. What I covered in part 1 should give you a firm starting point in blog design for beginners. I covered many questions that you should ask yourself when you begin to think about how your blog will look and function, as well as the purpose of your blog. But when you’re new to blog design, it can be overwhelming and can leave you confused at times. And when we are confused, we’re less likely to follow through. But you want to have a successful Online business with a blog that gives you credibility and authority, right? So, in order to help you do that, I’m going to share some resources for taking the basics of blog design and expanding on them. The tools and resources provided here will be a companion to blog design theory from part 1. You’re not going to want to miss these resources, they are some of the best on the Internet! Please note that some links are affiliate links (as noted by hovering over the link) and simply give us credit for referring you. So let’s get right into some awesome resources…
Our efforts continue to figure out what we want our blogs to look like. Do we want a two- or three-column blog? Slick or muted graphics? Textured, 3D look or subtle and spacious? And then there’s the color scheme to consider. Do we take the time to learn about blog design so we can do everything ourselves or do we get help?
Tammy and I are weighing out these choices carefully. The process is made tougher when we see these really slick-looking sites with neat, flashy graphic things going on where the graphics just seem to burst to life on the computer screen and dazzle the imagination. We do so enjoy the creative talent that goes into designing these one-of-a-kind blogs. It grabs our attention and then we start blissfully spinning out of control.
Eventually, we come to our senses again and put our feet back on the ground and pull our thinking caps back onto our feeble and overwhelmed heads. So what are we actually considering when making these choices for our own individual blogs? I’ll share with you some of what we’re thinking about as we’re going through this process. This is, by no means, comprehensive, but it’s a place to start, especially when you’re just getting started. This post will cover some of the basics of blog design. First, I’ll talk about the marriage between your audience and the purpose of your blog. Who are the people you want to find your blog and what interest or need has brought them to your blog? Next, I’ll talk about visual communication. What is the unspoken message you want your blog to convey to your readers when they arrive? What is the first impression you want to create in the minds of your readers and how do you create it? I’ll conclude by giving you a collection of great resources for more education and tools for help with blog design. So, let’s get started…