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I think compared to many bloggers, I’m old. Probably middle aged. The “kids” in my blogging social networks inspire, entertain and educate me every day. I have a child in college who probably isn’t much younger than many of the bloggers I interact with on a daily basis. Not a big deal to me, and proof that you can do anything you want at any age. The anything I wanted was to have my own website and blog.
A couple of years ago when my daughter was still in high school, I started hearing from all these naysayers about how everything was going to change for me when she left for college, and how it was going to be BAD. What are you going to DO with yourself? was the question I grew weary of hearing and trying to come up with an acceptable answer. I knew deep down that I WAS probably going to struggle with having our daughter away at school, but I certainly wasn’t going to give anyone the satisfaction of watching me do it. I’m hard that way. 🙂 So I decided to get busy. I started my own business while my daughter was still in high school so that I would have something up and running when she left home. That has proven to be a very good decision, as it has kept me challenged and focused.
Once I had that rolling pretty well, I wondered if there was something more I could learn to do that could complement my business. I had often thought about the blogging world, as I have always enjoyed writing, but I never knew how any of it worked. Could a person my age learn to build her own website? How would I even start? What things did I not even know that I didn’t know?
Then along came Jessica Larrew. Like me, she has an e-commerce business, and she has been very successful. The great thing about her is that she also teaches other people how to do what she does. Through her website The Selling Family, I had invested in some of her courses over the years to help my business. So when she contacted me this past winter about how she was going to start a 30 Day Website Building Challenge, I was very excited. I had just come off of a very successful but tiring holiday season and had a little bit of downtime on my hands, so the timing was perfect. I liked the idea of taking 30 days to build the site, with the tasks broken down into easily digestible lessons each day.
I signed up and off we went. Jessica loves to figure out how to do things by herself and then teaching others how to do it. Her teaching style made it easy to understand what each step entailed, and no day was overwhelming. She covered everything from choosing a website name and blogging topics to the mechanics of setting up the website and developing your brand. She showed how to buy your domain name, set up spam filters, share your site on social media, and set up email essentials. Before I knew it, my website was starting to come together! No one who knew me could believe I was doing this by myself. When my daughter came home from school for Spring Break, I was nervous but very excited to show her what I had accomplished. So when the course was finished, I asked Jessica if I could interview her in order to share with others how great this experience was. She graciously agreed! I thought by asking her questions, she could further explain how her courses work:
I know from being a part of your community for a while now that you offer several different courses on a range of topics, and I know you have been very successful with your online business. When did you first start offering courses as part of your business model?
For people who know me online, it may seem like I’ve been teaching the entire time I’ve been online. The truth is, I was making a full-time income online for a few years before I actually started selling courses.
I started my online business selling physical products on eBay in 2007 and was doing that full time in 2008.
It was 2012 that I first started my blog about selling on Amazon and then sold my first digital course about 7 months later (I started monetizing the site in the first 3 months though)
The idea of building a website is intimidating. How did you figure out that you could do it by yourself?
Honestly, I think my age had a lot to do with it. I was 25 years old when I started looking at building a blog, and just dove into the process. I spent so much time on other websites looking at how to use WordPress and how to make sites look good and “work”.
I had some experience with “coding” from way back when Myspace was a thing.
The good news is, building a website today is so much easier than it was just a few years ago.
One of my goals when creating courses is to take a process that took me a long time and effort to figure out and make it easier for someone else.
Can students join your website building course at any time? Is there a limit to the number of students you take on at any given time?
Yes, the course is open all the time. During the initial phase, we took a limited number of students so that I could make sure the course worked as I hoped and the students got lots of individual attention.
Now people can come in at any time and go at their own pace.
Aside from the price of your course, can you give an estimate of an “all in” amount students can expect to spend to get their new website up and running?
A student of mine needs 3 things to effectively build a site using my course:
- The Divi Theme
- An Email Service Provider
When someone joins the 30 Day Website Building Challenge, they get two of those three for free to start and then hosting and a domain name are paid yearly at around $100.
What would you say to someone who is on the fence about taking a course to learn how to build a website? Maybe someone who is thinking they can figure out all this on their own?
Well, the truth is that pretty much anything CAN be figured out on their own. There are some things that I personally would rather take the time and dig in to figure it out on my own, then there are others that I would rather fork over the money and learn from someone else’s effort and experience.
I believe it comes down to three things: Time, Money and Efficiency.
If someone has all the time in the world, and not a lot of money, then they would be better off piecing the process together. It will take a bit longer, and may not look totally put together on day one, but it will get there.
For someone who prefers to have someone show them the whole process and not have to waste time looking for answers from another person, then I would recommend getting a course like mine.
I personally like to find one style I like and then stick with that.
What type of ongoing support do students receive as part of your website building course?
The course is set up in a way that each assignment has a place for students to ask questions, as well as see what past students have said regarding that assignment.
My goal was to not leave much needing to be asked, but if someone has a question as they move through the course, they can post it in the Facebook Group and then I will answer it.
Unless it’s a secret, ☺ can you share with us what’s next on the horizon for you? What exciting things are you working on now?
It seems like I’ve always got something coming through the pipeline 🙂 I have 2 big courses that I would like to create in the next few months/year.
I think the biggest thing I have to offer is how to create courses that people are willing to buy and that generate passive income.
It’s been a passion for a while, but I really wanted to have the basics of having that website done first because you really need the website before the course.
I’ve also got a couple of courses I want to create for my Amazon people as well.
Anything else you’d like potential students to know that I didn’t ask?
There are a few things I like to mention to anyone I am talking to about building a website.
1. Make sure you build a website around something that you are really passionate about, not just what you see others making money with. I have seen a lot of people try to create sites just because it seems profitable, but they burn out quickly and feel like the process didn’t work.
2. Plan for slow and steady. We’ve all heard it before, “Success doesn’t happen overnight.” It’s so true with websites. Almost any topic can be monetized, but it takes time for it to happen. Then it just snowballs as time goes on.
3. Be consistent. Give yourself a timeline that works for you and try to stick with it. Maybe that means creating a new post every week, or maybe every two weeks. Just make sure to treat your website like a business and you will do great!
This blog of mine might never have happened if I hadn’t made the decision to take Jessica’s website building course. It certainly wouldn’t have happened as fast as it did. Now that it’s up and running, all the fun stuff is starting to happen. Like getting comments and discussions going on different topics, and sharing ideas on social media. And I’ve even made a little money. 🙂
I know that lately, I’ve been sharing tips on preparing for college, but I felt the need to hit pause on that for a minute. The reason I wanted to tell everyone now about how I learned to create my own website is because during the 4th of July week, Jessica runs a “Financial Freedom Sale,” where she offers all of her courses for 50% OFF! So now is a perfect time to take the plunge if you are thinking about starting a business or blog or building your own website. You don’t need any coupon codes. You just go to her site and get the courses at the discounted prices, which are good from July 1st through July 8th. And, as if that wasn’t enough, Jessica also got some of her friends from the industry in on the sale, so you can purchase some of their courses at a discount, as well!
For the first time in over 18 years, I had the opportunity to use more of my time as I chose this year. I chose not to mope or sulk around. Rather, I opted to focus on growing my business and learning new things. Learning how to build my own website has definitely been one of the highlights. It’s really the thing that was the impetus for me to start this blog to share with you everything I’ve learned about the college application and admissions process, and coping with the changes that come with it now that I have a free range young adult away at school nine months of the year. It doesn’t matter if you are young or middle-aged or even older. If there is something you want to learn to do, you absolutely can. You just need to decide to do it, and then find the best way to learn the skills you need.
I’m happy to share with you about Jessica and all of her great learning courses. I hope you find something that interests you. What is stopping you? 🙂
I’d love to hear about new things you are learning how to do! Feel free to leave a comment and share with me or ask a question. I love comments. 🙂
And as always, check out Pinterest!