Want to start an online business if you can only spare 1 hour a day and $100 a month for it?
Listen to our podcast and see how we did it.
Here’s what you will learn:
- How to find hidden time in your schedule to work on your online business.
- The tricks we used to free up an additional $100 per month in our budget to get started.
- The MOST important things you need to focus your time and money on when you get started online.
FREE DOWNLOAD: Flipped Lifestyle Guide to Your 1st 30 Days Starting a Website and Building an Online Business!
To help kick off your first month, download this calendar which outlines exactly what you need to be doing for the first 30 days to start a website and build an online business!
Can’t Miss Moments This Week:
Each week Jocelyn and I share moments that we might have missed if we had not started our online business. We call these “Can’t Miss Moments” and they are the reasons we started an online business, quit our jobs and never looked back!
We hope these moments inspire you to see the possibilities and freedom online business could provide for your family.
We would love to help you write the success story for your online business!
At the end of today’s show, head over to flippedlifestyle.com/flipyourlife where you can learn more about building and growing a successful online business with the help of our Flip Your Life community.
You can connect with S&J on social media too!
Thanks again for listening to the show! If you liked it, make sure you share it with your friends and family! Our goal is to help as many families as possible change their lives through online business. Help us by sharing the show!
If you have comments or questions, please be sure to leave them below in the comment section of this post. See y’all next week!
Can’t listen right now? Read the transcript below!
JOCELYN: Hey y’all, on today’s podcast, we’re going to show you how to run an online business if you only have an hour a day and $100 a month.
SHANE: Welcome to the Flipped Lifestyle podcast, where life always comes before work. We’re your hosts, Shane and Jocelyn Sams. Join us each week as we teach you how to flip your lifestyle upside down by selling stuff online. Are you ready for something different? All right, let’s get started.
What’s going on, guys? Welcome back to the Flipped Lifestyle podcast, great to be back with you again this week. I’m Shane and Jocelyn is sitting right beside me.
JOCELYN: Hey guys.
SHANE: And we have a very cool topic today. We get a lot of questions, I mean, we get tons of email and if we’ve not replied back to your email yet, I’m sorry. Our email inbox gets like 100 messages at all times. It’s just so full but one of the questions really stood to us the other day, and it was a by a lady named Joanne.
She asked us, “What would you guys do if you only had one hour a day and $100 a month to work on your online business?” She went on to explain how she was just starting out and she had limited resources financially and limited resources with time, so how is she going to start this online business? We thought that that would be an awesome topic to cover on this podcast.
We’re going to go over that today and we’re going to go back with a little 20-20 hindsight. We’ve been there. We’re in a different place in our business now than when we started but we want to go back and say basically, “If we could do it over again, what are the exact steps that we would take in month one and month two to budget our time, to budget our money, to be wise with our resources, to get the job done, and really lay a great foundation for an online business.
We think for those of you who are just starting out, this is going to be a great podcast and if you’ve already started your online business, this is going to be kind of a great checklist to look back on what you’ve already done, and see if maybe you’ve missed some steps or you can maybe pivot and kind of turn things around and get them on track.
But the first thing we’re going to do every week is read an iTunes review from someone who left us a review this week.
JOCELYN: Right, this week’s iTunes review is from BPF1, not sure of that person’s name. It says, “Wish they were my neighbors” and that has five stars. It makes me think of like Mr. Roger’s neighborhood. All right, it says, “I am a huge fan of Shane and Jocelyn.” We have fans.
SHANE: That’s right.
JOCELYN: That’s weird. Okay, “Their podcast is great to listen to with practical tips and inspiration related to online business for beginners. I’m learning so much from them and they generally care about their audience. They are so fun. I wish they were our neighbors so we could sip on some sweet tea and talk business daily. Since that can’t happen, this podcast will have to suffice. Thanks for what y’all are doing.”
SHANE: That was a great review. We read that and I was like, “whoa! Somebody wishes they were our neighbors,” and then Jocelyn, just like she said just now, she was like said, “We have fans? That’s so bizarre to us.” But thank you guys so much for all the iTunes reviews. We have a ton of reviews but we need more.
So make sure you go over to iTunes after you listen to this podcast, leave us a review, and we might read yours on the air. It really helps with the rankings in iTunes and it helps with our mission of getting out there and helping as many families as possible by spreading the word of what we’re doing over at www.FlippedLifestyle.com.
Okay, so let’s jump into our topic. Now the first thing we want to do is we want to cover where we’re going to find these resources. You know, a lot of us look at our schedules especially when we’re thinking about starting our online business and you may think to yourself, “Well, I don’t have an hour a day” or “Where am I going to find $100 a month to spend on my business?”
The first thing we want to say is if you really care about changing your life, then you are going to make the changes necessary to change your life. If you’re willing to do it, then you’re going to sacrifice and if you’re not willing to do it, then you’re probably going to make an excuse. There are ways to free up time and money in your budget and we want to cover a couple of those right now before we get into the particulars of what we would do in our online business.
Let’s tackle the first question first of how to free up some time to work on your online business.
JOCELYN: All right. So the first way that you are going to have to free up some time is to plan. I know for some of you guys, that’s like a four-letter dirty word – planning. I’m a very sequential person though and I really like to have things planned. The thing about it is, if you’re going to start an online business and you’re going to be successful, then you’re going to have to plan out what you’re going to do. It’s not always fun. Shane and I sit down with a calendar about once a week and it’s not always pretty. Sometimes we have arguments, imagine that.
SHANE: Sometimes, right.
JOCELYN: Pretty much every time we have arguments.
SHANE: Right, every Sunday at 12:30 when we’re making the calendar.
JOCELYN: Arguments about what we’re going to do that week or how we’re going to spend our time, but it’s so important when you are starting a business or just whatever you’re doing with your online journey that you have to plan it into your schedule. If you don’t have a plan, then you’re probably not going to do it. That’s just so vitally important to starting out.
SHANE: On top of that, you’re going to have to dedicate yourself and commit to this venture first. When you write that calendar down, you don’t want to list all the other things you would want to do first before you talk about your online business. If you want to start an online business, it is going to take some time and it needs to be probably the first thing that your write on the calendar.
Okay, if you have an hour a day, and we always say, we plan a day off. We take Sunday off so we can go to church, spend time with the kids, go see my mom and dad or Jocelyn’s family. Whatever we do on the weekend, we always take one day at least off. So really, you’re looking at about an hour a day six days a week if you want to take a little time to rest and recover, which we highly recommend, but you’re going to have to sacrifice something during that hour that you might have been doing something else.
If you spend time with your buddies twice a week shooting basketball or something, you might have to block that out and put in work on online business during that time if that’s the only hour that you can get back. You’re going to have to make some sacrifices in your schedule to be able to pull this off.
It always go back to this question of how bad do you want it. If you want it bad enough, then you will sit down on Sunday, you’ll make your schedule, and you will list first “work on online business Monday, work on online business Tuesday.” Find those hours before they get taken up by the other things in your life to make sure that you are working on it every single week. But there are a lot of little things that you can do in your schedule to find that time again.
JOCELYN: Okay, another thing that I do to save time is to shop online. I know that a lot of you probably already do this but there are a lot of things you can buy online that you might not even know about. Like, I do a lot of shopping on Amazon and you can even buy groceries and things on Amazon. You can buy toiletry products like razors, paper towels, things like that, and you don’t really think about it, taking that much time to run by the store maybe after work or just sometime during the week, maybe on the weekend.
The thing about it is, it takes me probably about 15 or 20 minutes to find when I’m looking for on Amazon, read a couple of review, I’m a review reader, and so, yeah, I’d like to compare everything, but even that, it probably takes me, I’d say 30 minutes or less, to order whatever it is I’m looking for on Amazon. I even order my kids’ soap for the bath and our soap. I’ve ordered that online before.
That just saves so much time because if I drive to the store, I mean, we live kind of in the middle of nowhere so it’s going to take me about 10 minutes to even get to the store and then by the time that I get there, I’m going to walk around, I’m going to see other stuff that I could buy, I’m going to get distracted by something else in the aisle. I’m going to buy that. So not only are you spending a lot more time in the store, you’re also spending a lot more money.
So just something to look out for and a way that you could possibly save time and money is by doing some shopping online.
SHANE: Another thing that we did with the store to save some time is we used to kind of travel around town when we go grocery shopping looking for the best deals. We might have coupons here. We knew that something was on sale there so we would go to two or three different places and we stopped doing that. We only go to the closest grocery store now which is at Kroger right down the street.
Even though our bill might be a little bit higher than it was before, I would rather have that extra 30 minutes of travel time that we’re not spending now to work at home or to spend with my family than to save a couple of dollars here and there just driving around town because time is a much more valuable resource in the beginning than money.
You’re going to need a lot of time to get your online business started so anywhere you can shave 5 minutes here, 5 minutes there, if you can save 10 minutes a day on any task, you’re going to have an extra hour a week to work on your online business, so that’s a good thing to do.
Another thing is your hobbies. You’re going to probably have to look at your hobbies and cut some of those back, at least in the beginning, and invest that time up front so you can have more time to do those things la ter. I love to play Xbox. I’m a big kid. I’ve always loved video games. My best friends play and I’ve got a core group of guys.
We’ve always played online together at least once or twice a week for a few h ours just to kind of keep our friendship for we lived apart, but I had to really cut that back in the beginning because Jocelyn was going to strangle me if I didn’t. Because I was playing a couple of nights a week, I had to cut that back to say, “I’m going to play only on this night for two hours.” I had to cut that off so that I could free up that other night to have a couple of hours to work on online business.
Now, I can play anytime I want. If I want to go turn the Xbox on right now, well not probably right now because I don’t think you would want to hear me playing while we’re recording the podcast.
JOCELYN: Really, really no.
SHANE: But if I wanted to, I could hit pause and we could come back and record the rest of this later and I could go do anything that I wanted. So you may have to cut back on your hobbies. So just doing those two things -save time while you’re shopping, cut back a little bit on your hobbies – trust me, online business is going to become a hobby. You’re going to love it. It’s going to be obsessive almost. If you just cut back on those two things, you’re probably going to be able to free up enough hours, maybe an hour a day six hours a week, to work on your online business.
JOCELYN: And I would throw even things like social media in there. One thing we’ve done and it has been just amazing, turn off the notification on your phone. If your phone is not going off every two minutes, then you’re not going to be checking Facebook or Twitter, or whatever it is that you like to check online. I don’t even have a Facebook app on my phone because I know that that’s a time suck for me so I just try to avoid it unless I’m Sitting in front of my computer.
SHANE: Another thing I stopped doing at the beginning was I stopped reading the news. Now I may glance at the headlines, Sunday after church just real quick to see what was happening that week but nine times out of 10, what’s happening in the news is not affecting you. You need to know but like I was spending hours reading the comments and looking at every article and arguing with people on Facebook. I finally just said, “You know what, is that going to make my life better? Is that improving my quality of life? Is that helping me spend more time with my family and kids and all that stuff?
It wasn’t so I removed some of those things from my time, like reading the news every day. I don’t do that every day. I read it maybe once a week, maybe twice a day, and that gave me a lot of time back too because you get lost on those arguments on Facebook for hours, tormenting yourself while you’re arguing with someone, and it’s not going to matter. So that was something else that we cut out in the beginning to save a few hours was just really cut back on our social media time.
All right, let’s shift gears now and talk a little bit about money.
JOCELYN: So probably a lot of you guys might be thinking, “Okay, that’s great but I don’t really have $100 extra right now.” We understand that. I mean, we have been there before and so first, we need you to understand that we are not the most frugal people. If you’re coming here to look for tips on how to save money, you probably came to the wrong place because I mentioned it in a blog post and we will link it in the show notes that Shane and I are not the most frugal individuals.
SHANE: Being frugal is overrated. We’ve tried it.
JOCELYN: Yeah, that’s exactly what it’s called and there’s definitely a time and place for that and we understand if that’s what you want to do. That’s your prerogative, I guess, but here at Flipped Lifestyle, we just want you to live your life first. We’re looking for more big wins and not worry so much about the small daily things that a lot of the financial folks tell you to cut out.
SHANE: Go get your Starbucks coffee. If you need a cup of coffee to get you rolling in the morning, then pull through the drive thru and get a cup of coffee. We’re not telling you to cut that stuff out but there are some things in your budget that you can cut out that not only will save you a ton of time but they are big wins that will save you a big chunk of money every month, and those are the things that we think that you should focus on in the beginning.
You’re just looking for that extra $100 so that’s what we’re going to focus right now in this segment, a couple of things that we think you can do to get some big wins and free up $100 quickly.
JOCELYN: The first thing that we recommend is canceling your cable. I know some of you guys are probably shuddering in horror but the truth is, you probably won’t miss it. We were actually surprised at how little we missed having cable. Pretty much, we watched Nick Jr. or Disney Jr. about 90% of the time when we had cable and we were noticing this. I started looking at the bill and I’m like, “You know, this is ridiculous to watch kid shows. I was telling Shane a little bit ago, we went to Portland, Maine a couple of weeks ago for a conference and we did not turn the television on in our room one time.
SHANE: And we were there, like, six days.
JOCELYN: Five days. So in five days, we actually had access to cable, did not turn the television on one time. So that tells you how little cable meant to our lives. If your cable bill is anything like ours was, it’s probably over $100. So if you’re saying you don’t have money to work on your online business, consider cutting your cable.
SHANE: I was really worried about this decision because we couldn’t watch football. We’re huge University of Kentucky Wildcat basketball and football fans and we love watching the sports, but I made the decision that, you know what, what’s more important? Is it more important that I sit there for four hours and stare at the television to watch a game or is it more important I take that four hours and I change my family’s life?
We said, “Okay, here’s what we’ll do. If we really want to watch a big game, then we’ll either go to a restaurant or go over someone’s house or get a group together and go to the church and watch. We can find a way to watch the big games or we save so much money, maybe we can just go to a game every once in a while.
But then every game is on the radio. You can listen to any game and with all the tracking that ESPN does and stuff like that on www.espn.com, you can go keep up with what’s happening to the game. I actually will listen to the games a lot now and it allows me to be passive. I can go to the gym during the game, listen to it while I’m working out. I can listen to the smaller games when I’m working on something for my website and that television is not a distraction.
To be honest, we’ve not missed a big game since we, I mean, we watched TV at other people’s houses, at restaurants, and I’ve been to a lot more games now because I’ve got time to actually do that. So we did not miss sports like we thought we would and really, it was just a time waster and we’ve probably got better things to do than watch those sports anyway.
JOCELYN: The next tip that we have for you for freeing up some money in your budget is to cut the cost of going ot restaurants. So maybe you’re spending, say, $300 a month now, maybe you can cut it down to $200. We’re not saying cold turkey, quit eating out, because I think that would just kill us.
SHANE: Right, I’d be miserable if we couldn’t go eat out.
JOCELYN: Yeah, we’re big restaurant patrons.
SHANE: Here’s how much we eat in restaurants. The other day, I poured, Anna Jo, our little girl, a bowl of cereal right before we took Isaac to school and she had not eaten all of it. We’re about to take her to her babysitter and I said, “Anna, eat the rest of your cereal.” Anna looks up at me and goes, “No, just box it up. I’ll eat it later.” So we eat in restaurants so much that our kids think that “Oh of I don’t eat it, I can just box it up and take it with me.”
JOCELYN: There’s your sign.
SHANE: Yeah, that’s exactly right. It’s a little pitiful really but what we’re saying here is cut the cost of eating out, don’t necessarily cut down the amount of times. We love Papa John’s pizza. Once again, we’re in Kentucky and Papa John’s is based in Louisville, but we love papa John’s. It’s just delicious. It’s our favorite pizza to order out but when we first started out, and we’re trying to cut back some money to free for our online business, we said, you know what, for a while I still want to eat pizza but let’s just get little Caesars.
It’s still good pizza. It’s half the prize and if we order pizza four times a month and then we can save $10 every time, we’ve already got $40 a month. We’re still getting our pizza, we don’t have to cook and all that good stuff, or if we’re going to a Mexican restaurant, sometimes Jocelyn and I, we would split a meal because let’s face it, you’re getting way too much food anyway and you’re eating all the chips, or our kids always split food because we realize we were wasting it when we would order them both a meal.
We did some little things like that that would allow us to still go out to eat, to still get that pizza, to still do those things, maybe replace a sit down dinner with going to a fastfood joint like Wendy’s, McDonald’s, or something like that. We just cut back on how much we were spending when we went out to eat but we were still going the same amount. We were still picking up the same amount of pizzas, but we saved ourselves $50-$100 by making better choices when we actually went out to restaurants. So if you really look at your budget, that might be a place where you can save another $50 or so and you can get that back to put toward your online business.
JOCELYN: Another thing you can do is look for restaurants where kids eat free. you’ll be surprised at how much money that can save you.
SHANE: So basically, what we’re saying is if you’re eating out twice a week, you don’t have to stop eating out twice a week. Live your life but just look at the money you’re spending and if you’re spending $30 every time that you go out to eat, well, if you’re eating out eight times a month, if you can save $10 a month…
JOCELYN: Let’s not do math on the Flipped Lifestyle podcast.
SHANE: We should learn this but we should not do math. If you’re eating out eight times a month and you can save $10 a meal, there’s $80. You only need $20 more and you’ve got enough to do your online business.
JOCELYN: And I don’t know where they are eating out with $30 a month. I want to know, $30 a time.
SHANE: Yeah, that was the idea. So the last thing we want to say here quickly is also your entertainment options. There are a lot of things that we did at the beginning. This is probably one of the places we did sacrifice the most, financially wise we just stopped spending money on because we found there were a ton of free opportunities to go out and have some fun. If we were going to the movies, we stopped going to the movies and we started going to our local library and they had a ton of DVDs so our kids could go in and get a movie, Jocelyn and I could get a couple of movies.
We found a lot of cheap alternatives basically to entertainment that we didn’t have to spend so much money on. We might go to local sporting events and we just spent more time outside. We started doing some things in the area. We have a beautiful waterfall here called Cumberland Falls. We would go to that like once a month or so just to take the kids out and get to walking around.
We did a lot of things at church. We started doing a lot more things with people at church, in our small group on Sunday mornings, maybe going over and getting the kids together to play. We just found a lot of opportunities that were low cost for entertainment that kept us from spending all of that money out every time. You go to the movies, you’re spending $60. If you’re going to the movies twice a month, go once and rent one instead of going to the second one, and you’re halfway to your budget for your online business.
Once again, as you are freeing up time and money, it just goes back to what are you willing to sacrifice? If you really want this, you will sacrifice something to make it happen. If you don’t really want it, you’re going to make an excuse basically where you’re not going to be able to do it. So go back, look at your time, plan it, look at your budget, figure out where you can save a few bucks here and there, and you will easily free up an hour a day and $100 a month for your online business.
All right, we spent a little bit more time on that than I thought we would. So let’s get back to the heart of this podcast. What would we spend our time and money on in the first month, the second month, each month, if we had $100 a month and we had one hour a day to work on?
Let’s look at month one. You’ve decided you’re going to start an online business. Let’s look at the very first things you need to do to get off to a strong start. The first thing to do is buy a domain. You’re going to have to go find a domain name like www.FlippedLifestyle.com. You’re going to have to find that domain name where your online business is going to live. That’s going to probably cost you a one-time fee for this year of about $15. Sometimes they are $10, sometimes they are $11.
You might want to add some protection on there like the Who Is protection. You don’t want people to be able to get your contact address, phone number, email. So you may want to add a couple of things on there but it’s going to cost you about $15 to get that first domain. People really stress out about this. you really just need to get a good solid domain.
It doesn’t have to be some big awesome keyword or anything like that. It can even just be your name if you want to build the brand around you. Whatever it is you decide to call your business, keep it short – two words, maybe three – and you just need to get a good solid domain that you can start out with and build your online business on.
We want to stress here that you don’t want to buy your domain from the same company where you buy your hosting account because if you ever want to change hosts, they can make it very difficult to release that domain to a new host or some people or some companies have it in their terms and conditions where they actually own your domain even if you’re kind of renting that from them.
We’ve heard horror stories where a company bought the domain that someone wanted to start as their website and they wouldn’t give them the domain. So the built this business on their domain on this company and when they wanted to switch companies, the company said, “Sorry, you signed up and we own your domain name.” Make sure you’re using a different company for your host and your domain name housing.
We use www.NameCheap.com to buy all of our domains. They are very inexpensive. We keep them all there and what you do is you just point that domain at your host so if you change companies for hosting later, you can just point the domain name at a different host and you don’t have to deal with the company that you were in before. But that’s going to be the first expense that you’re going to incur, $15 or so for buying a domain name.
If you want to learn more about why you should never use your host as your domain provider, there’s a great article over at www.nutsandboltsmedia.com called Why You shouldn’t Register a Domain with Your Web Host and we will link to that in the show notes. So there’s your first $15 or so is going to be on a domain name and that leaves us with about $85 left for month one.
JOCELYN: Once you registered your domain, you want to have a hosting company and hosting just is the place that your website lives. Starting out, you will just need shared hosting. That is just fine for beginners and you need something that is inexpensive. Normally, you’ll hear of all of the companies like Bluehost. There’s one called Fat Cow. There are several others and they are actually all owned by the same company so don’t get into the comparisons of those. They are all basically the same.
SHANE: Yeah, they all do the same thing. They can have WordPress on them. They can host your website but there’s a big company that owns a lot of the major shared hosting companies so there’s really not a ton of difference. Most of the time, it basically boils down to what people have used when they recommend a hosting company or which hosting company is going to pay them the most affiliate commission for getting you to click those site. So there’s not a lot of difference between the shared hosting companies.
JOCELYN: When we started, we started out using a company called HostGator and we had no problems with HostGator. It worked just fine for our purposes and so we would recommend them. It would be fine for you to use starting out. Right now, we have actually switched to private hosting and the reason why is because we just have a lot of traffic on our sites now and also it’s for just more protection against like attacks and things like that.
But starting out, I wouldn’t really stress about all that kind of stuff. Just sign up for hosting, pick the monthly package. You don’t want to pay it all at once. It’s about $8 a month. You don’t really need all the add ons that they try to sell you. You can just uncheck all of that. So that’s $8 and we now have $77 remaining.
SHANE: I want to add one more thing to the hosting, we probably should define what shared hosting means. Shared hosting means, like say, a server which is really just a big computer. If you have a server, if you’re on shared hosting, that means there are other people’s websites on the same computer as you basically where Jocelyn and I have our own server where our websites are the only thing that live there. Shared hosting is cheaper because they put more than one website on every server.
So shared hosting, when you start out when you don’t have a lot of traffic to slow everything down, when you don’t have a lot of files to upload and download, that’s why shared hosting is better upfront because you’re not going to have too much traffic at the beginning whereas later on if your grows, which you want it to grow, you’ll eventually move to a private server when it does that.
All right, so we’ve $77 left in the first month. We’ve got our domain name set up and we bought our hosting and like we said, we used HostGator when we first started out and that really served as well probably for our first year of business.
So the next thing we do after our domain and hosting is we’ve got to figure out what our website is going to look like, and the best possible thing that you can use to build a website, the easiest tool out there is called WordPress. WordPress is basically a system for creating websites and organizing content, and it’s probably one of the most prolific things, almost every website that you use every day is using WordPress these days. If you can use a word processor or you can any of the Microsoft or Apple products for creating documents, you’re going to be able to figure out WordPress.
But WordPress alone is not enough to build a website. You have to have what’s called a theme to build your website on and give it the look and feel that you want to kind of put into your brand, and we have used a lot of things. We’ve used a bunch of free themes, we’ve bought themes here and there. By far if you want to beat the learning curve, the best thing you can ever do is buy the Genesis Framework from www.studiopress.com.
We use Genesis on every single site that we own. It has clean code. It never causes any problems. If there is a problem, it is easily fixed. If there’s kind of a conflict between plugins that you might use in your website to do different things, and it has just been the absolute best experience that we’ve had on WordPress in our two-and-a-half years of business.
If you want to beat the learning curve, we highly recommend that you avoid the free themes. You’re eventually going to run into problems. They don’t do enough. You can’t customize them. Go ahead and go out and get Genesis. Genesis is a theme that costs $60. It’s a one-time thing. You buy it, you’re done, and when you buy Genesis and you put it on WordPress, it like lays on top of WordPress to allow you to adjust things like colors, layout of the screen, then you can go out and you’re going to install what’s called a Child Theme on top of Genesis to kind of make it look exactly how you want it.
Studio Press has like 60 or more free child themes that you can put on top of Genesis. Some of the biggest websites on the internet use Genesis like www.problogger.com. That’s huge website, very popular, and it actually not only uses Genesis but it uses a free child theme. I found an awesome article called 61 Free Child Themes for Genesis and I’m going to link that in the show notes as well. So once you get Genesis, you install WordPress, you’ve got that going.
You can use Genesis right out of the box to just make a blog, to make a website, but it’s going to be kind of limited but you can go find one of these 60+ free child themes from www.studiopress.com and you will be set up correctly. I really want to stress this, don’t skimp on your theme. Free themes are fine. It feels like you should do everything free at the beginning, but you really want a strong foundation. We had to change every single one of our websites and our entire portfolio at one time to Genesis because we went cheap on veins at the beginning.
So your first month, make sure you got WordPress installed, go get Genesis. We will have a link to that in our show notes to make sure you can find the right page for that theme, but you really need to have the Genesis theme and framework on your website. That’s going to cost you about $60 so that’s going to take us down in month one, we’ve got about $17 left.
JOCELYN: And I just want to mention before we move one, our theme is called sixteen nine and it is also a Studio Press theme. I have that question a lot. That’s the reason that I wanted to mention that.
SHANE: It’s over at Flipped Lifestyle. If you look at ours, we are running Genesis on www.FlippedLifestyle.com and the child theme is, what is it called again?
JOCELYN: Sixteen Nine.
SHANE: sixteen Nine and we just went to Studio Press. They have a huge gallery. You can just look through them and you can find something that looks cool and what you want your site to look like and then you install that and you’re ready to go.
JOCELYN: All right, so we have about $17 left for our first month and the next thing that we are going to do is make sure that we have way to collect emails. Any internet marketer worth their salt that you might listen to is going to tell you that email list is very, very important for your online business and we totally agree. That’s one thing that we actually agree upon with the online experts out there.
SHANE: Gathering emails, yup.
JOCELYN: And so we want you to know that we use AWeber. We have used AWeber since pretty much day one and it has been fantastic. We love it because we can collect information on our website visitors. We can offer them something and in return, they give us their information, their contact information and those could be potential customers. So you don’t want people coming onto your website and engaging with your content and not giving them away to potentially be a customer of yours.
Make sure that from day one that you have a way to collect their emails, and AWeber has been really, really great for us. It’s only $1 the first month so you could give it a try, see if you like it. It‘s only going to cost you $1 and it’s around, I think $19 from then on out until you get over 500 emails. That is a great cost effective way to start collecting emails. They are going to house those emails for you and you can keep them. If for some reason you don’t like it, you can just download those email addresses into an excel document or a comma-separated values and you can take those elsewhere.
SHANE: AWeber is only going to cost $1 the first month, so that’s why we’re going to put it right here. You stick that in, you’ll only spend $1 the first month. You can sign up for AWeber. You can put the form on your WordPress website and now you have a way to say, “Hey, thanks for coming to the website. I got to get your email.” Now you have a way to contact those people so they are not one and done. They don’t just shoot.
Traffic doesn’t mean anything if you can’t recontact them and try to sell them something later. So make sure that you got a way to collect emails. AWeber is flawless. It’s the best thing that we have found so far to collect emails. We still use it for all of our websites right now and it’s only $1 the first month. It really fits into our budget. If you want to learn more about AWeber, go to www.FlippedLifestyle.com/AWeber and you’ll be redirected to a page where you can learn more about their service and we will also have a link to that in the show notes as well.
So now that we have spent $1 on our email collection with AWeber, we are going to have $16 left. So how do we use this extra money? Well, we’re going to call this “flex money.” You’re going need to buy a few things upfront to save yourself some time when you’re building those first blog posts, when you’re making your site the way you want it. You might need some images for buttons like “click here” or “About me, click here” something like that, or you might need some pictures for your blog posts and you might struggle. You don’t want to spend two hours looking around Google for the right image that you can use for free when you can just go to www.Canva.com and buy an image f or $1.
So this last $16 in the first month is just going to be flex money and when you need to spend $1 here, $1 there to make those blog posts look beautiful or to buy some matching buttons or something like that, that’s what that extra $16 is for to really flash out your website and give it a good look. We’re not going to worry about logos and stuff the first month. We’re just going to stick the title up in the top and leave it like that because you’re not going to have 1 million people visiting in the first month. It’s just not going to happen.
You’re going to grow your site over time so right now, we don’t need anything like logos and things like that. We just need to get the blog going and we might need $1-$2 here and there for images, buttons, or just little expenses that come up during that first month. So that last $16 of your $100 is going to be for flex money and we now have everything we need financially to create and build a website that has a very strong foundation that is going to grow with you as your business grows and collect those emails to have that customer list that you’re going to sell to later.
JOCELYN: Okay now that we have exhausted our budget, let’s see how we’re going to spend our time. It’s really important that you make sure that you’re being productive with your time and not just busy. Shane and I struggled with this a lot. We’ve just been realizing as we’ve talked about the way that we spend our time. Anybody can sit around like choosing color schemes for your website or researching keyword and things like that, and technically yes, you are working but what did you really get done? Like I said, these are things that we struggle with too. You really need to have just an honest conversation and really look at how you’re spending your time working on your online business and make sure that its things that really have to be done.
What I recommend is that you make a list of things that really need to be done. Needs are things that could potentially help you make money. Wants are things that just make things look pretty or that you spend time doing. Just make sure that you understand the distinction when you’re looking at your online business.
Assign times to your work. I cannot stress that enough. Make sure that you have in your calendar during this hour, I’m going to write a blog post-period- and get it done. Stick to it. Don’t be out there just trying to engage with people on your Facebook page, talking to people on Twitter. Those are all good things but right now, you need to focus on what needs to be done. If you have extra time, that’s when you can to work on those little things like your design, engage with people on social media, things of that nature but for right now, focus on the absolute needs.
SHANE: All right, so let’s break down the time. Let’s look at exactly how much time we have and how we’re going to spend it. So we have one hour a day and we’ve already said, we’re going to take a day off, maybe go to church or something on Sunday and kind of rest. You got to work some time in where you’re resting. Don’t try to grind this out every day of your life or you’ll burn out and fail. So really, we have probably about six hours a week and that works out to about 24 hours of work for the first month at an hour a day. 4 x 6 is 24 so you’ve got about 24 hours the first month.
The very first thing you’re going to have to do is create content. If people don’t have something to look at when they get to your website, it doesn’t matter how pretty your logo is and how beautiful your color scheme is, how clean your navigation is, how awesome your Twitter feed is and fun, if you don’t have something at your website, they are going to leave and never come back. So we got to get some content on there and give people things to look at.
The very first thing we’re going to do is we’re going to write 10 blog posts. So 10 hours of that first 24 is going to be dedicated to writing content. We’re going to spend an hour per blog post, 10 hours on that, and each hour should break down into about 15 minutes of research to figure out what you want to write about, keyword research, things like that, about 15 minutes to go over to www.Canva.com, find a good image, pay a $1 for it, and make it look pretty for your website, and then you’re going to spend about 30 minutes writing. This is not a novel. These are not the best post you’re ever going to write.
They are not the longest post you’re ever going to write. It’s just a way to get some content out there fast and frequently. So these are only about 3-5 paragraphs, maybe 100-500 words, don’t get caught up in writing epic blog posts at the beginning. We just need to get the site rolling. They don’t have to be perfect. You just got to get them done. Get 10 blog posts written in the first maybe 10 hours or maybe every other day for the first 20 days. You can write these blog posts, spend about an hour on each one, and go ahead and publish those as soon as you finish. Don’t get into scheduling and all that nonsense yet.
Try to get a blog post done every two or three days, schedule that into your first 30 days, and get those 10 things done and published. The minute you get Genesis installed, go ahead and start writing your first blog post and we really want to have 10 posts up by the end of the week, and we only want to spend an hour on each one. Don’t get caught up in writing 1,000-word thesis statements or whatever. go ahead and write 10 blog posts, spend 10 hours of that first 24 hour and get some content on the side so people have something to look at.
JOCELYN: Okay, so once we finish our blog posts, that’s going to leave us about 14 hours left for our month. About four hours of that, you need to work on getting your site set up. So remember that it doesn’t have to be perfect right now. We’re just working on getting everything set up, getting it where it needs to be, you just want all the focus to be on your content right now. You have a little side bar if you want, maybe on the right or maybe on the top.
Don’t really worry about your logos. Just make sure that all the content is there and that the site name is there, that people know what it’s about when they come there. You will need to have some plugins, a very minimal amount of plugin. You need to have a plugin for sharing. You can use one like Shareaholic. We have used that one before. You will need a Google site map plugin which we can link to in the show notes, just some example of that.
SHANE: A site map uploads, every time you update your site, it tells Google, okay. So it gets you in the contents. Just in case you didn’t know what a site map was.
JOCELYN: A lot of those are free so we will include some links to those in the show notes. Also some kind of an antispam plugin and one of those is called Grow Map. Pretty much, that’s all you need. You just need for people to be able to share your content, you need Google to be able to find your content, and you need to be able to keep spammers from contacting you as much as possible.
SHANE: Right. So basically once you get about four hours, and you can do that in different order. If you want to spend the first four hours, like the first four days to get your kind of site looking the way you want it, that’s fine. Don’t worry about that or you can write your content first then go back and kind of pretty up your site and get all your plugins installed. It doesn’t matter but just make sure you’re only spending about four hours on the site design and 10 hours on the content.
A lot of people flip that. They spend 10 hours setting their site up but then all of a sudden, they have no content. So make sure you’re keeping your priorities in check and you’re getting content first and you’re spending more time on content than you are on design.
All right, you’re going to spend another four hours looking at AWeber. You’re going to have to watch some tutorials just to learn how to do that, how to get the form onto your sidebar in your website. So you need to check out some tutorials over on YouTube. Just type in AWeber or how to use AWeber and you’ll be able to look at that. You’ll also going to write four or five auto responder emails.
So basically what this means is when someone signs up for your email address, they automatically for the next four weeks every Sunday night, will get an email from you that you’ve prewritten that basically engages with them. It might say like, “Welcome to my site” and the second email might say, “What are you struggling with or what do you need help with? How can my expertise serve you?”
Basically, you’re just going to create a few of these emails to make sure that you’ve automated touching base with all of these customers that are coming to your site and all these visitors so you don’t have to spend any time doing that. You want to get that out of the way and forever more, everybody that signs up for your email list will then get four or five messages from you in addition to the things you might send them every week on a weekly basis. But make sure you set aside a little time to learn AWeber, know how to use it, and know why you use it, and set that up so your audience is engaging with you through AWeber.
JOCELYN: Once you finish your four hours learning AWeber, you need to use about two hours to set up the main pages on your website. The main pages would be About Me. That one is really important because that’s one of the first things I click when I go to someone’s website. It’s always a good idea to have a picture of yourself, a little bit of background information about why you’re an expert in the field that you are writing about, and maybe do some fun personal facts.
That’s always a good thing to learn about people just so people know that when they come to your website, you’re a real person and not just some random entity out in the internet. Also, you want to have a contact form and the contact form is really important. You want to make sure that you include some kind of an antispam filter on that. It can be like a checkbox or something of that effect. I really like to use Gravity Forms. It’s one of my favorite plugins. I’m not sure of the cost of that. I think there is some kind of cost to it and we will put some information about that on the show notes but there are probably some other things that you can use as well if you don’t want to have that upfront cost, but that one is a really good one and that’s what I use for my contact forms.
Also, you might want to do and FAQ, Frequently Asked Questions. Think of 10 or so questions that potential customers might have either your website, your content, or more importantly, if you have a product, think of questions or objections they might have to purchasing your product and cover those in the Frequently Asked Questions.
SHANE: All right, so we’ve got about four hours left in the first month and the last four hours we’re going to spend on social media. Not talking on social media, not engaging on social media. We are just going to set up all of the social media sites that might support our primary website. All the focus needs to be on your home base, your business, your website in the beginning for the first few months and then we will branch out. Before you can be everywhere, you’ve got to be somewhere so you need to be on your website first, but we’re going to go ahead and lay the bricks, lay the foundation later on for our social media marketing.
We’re going to setup a Facebook page that links back to our site and is related to our site, A Pinterest page related to our site, Twitter account that is named for our site, Google+, you’ve got to be on Google+ even though no one uses Google+. Google wants you to be there. You want your site to be appearing on Google so play their game, create a Google+ business page. Instagram, maybe a YouTube channel if you plan on using some video down the road, wherever you think that you’re going to be on social media, go ahead and just set that page up, have it there, it’s ready, make sure you match your color scheme.
Whatever colors you use on your website, you use them over on your social media pages. If you’re using a specific picture on your website, use it over on your social media pages. Make sure you’re kind of making your branding consistent but don’t’ be talking, don’t be spending money, don’t be checking all the things on social media. Make sure you just set them up, have them ready, that way, you can grow them later on as you build your brand.
So we went through exactly how you’re going to spend your first $100 and how you’re going to spend that first 24 hours, an hour a day, six days a week on your business during the first month. If you do all that, you’re going to have a great foundation to grow your online business on. So month two though is going to look a little bit different because we’ve already set up all of the website stuff, we’ve already got some content rolling, we’ve already bought some different things, we’re not going to have to buy a theme. We’re going to be spending our money and our time a lot differently during month two but…
JOCELYN: We are out of time.
SHANE: We are out of time so we’re actually going to have to create a part two for this episode and we’re going to air that next week. If you loved the content today and you want to see what happens in month to, tune back in next Tuesday for the Flipped Lifestyle podcast and we’re going to do part two of How to spend your first couple of months in your online business and if you only had an hour and $100 a month, how would you spend that. We will go over everything you need to do during your second month of yoru online business.
JOCELYN: Before we go, we do need to share our Can’t Miss Moments for this week. I’ll start with mine. Mine was a couple of days ago, I had the kids in here. Isaac had just gotten home from school and Anna was here too. They were sitting in my desk chair playing a game on the computer. It was like a reading game and they were just singing and having a great time. It was just a lot of fun. I was sitting in the other desk chair just watching them and listening and laughing and just having a good time. That is just something that we have been able to do through our online business, just getting our new office furniture and our new computers. None of these would have been possible if we hadn’t started our online business. I’m just so thankful for that.
SHANE: And it was cool watching the kids interact in our office space because I know that they are having fun, they are playing a games but they are also seeing mommy and daddy work at home. They are seeing us make money in a different way than most people do. I think it’s really going to teach them valuable lessons later that they don’t have to go work for someone else. If they want to, they can have a desk in their backroom and they can run a business and make a living off of it. So I think they are learning a lot of valuable things just from playing and just from seeing mom and dad work at home.
Mine was just going to the playground. Isaac got off the bus the other day. We jumped right in the car with Anna. They have been dying to go to this playground. Isaac calls it his baseball playground. That’s where we used tee ball at and he goes there and he loves going there. We don’t get to go all the time. We go to a couple of different playgrounds a little closer but we ran over there, went to the playground, he and Anna were just having a great time. They took swords and they were just running around and everything became castles, they were fighting dragons and riding horses and all these things.
It was just an awesome time and that’s the time I would usually have been at football practice or been in an after school meeting or something crazy like that. It’s just awesome to be able to roll off the bus and just go do whatever we want, and to stop working. We stopped working at about 2:30 every day. We’ve never been able to do that before we started our own business and we just shut it down until the kids go to bed and we have a great time with our family after school. It’s just awesome to have the freedom and the ability to do that.
All right, so hope you enjoyed this. We gave you your first month on what to do on your online business and I wish we had more time right now but man, this has been, I think this is our longest podcast we’ve done so far.
JOCELYN: Yeah, it was a great question so we really appreciate that.
SHANE: Yeah this was a fun question to answer and I can’t wait next week to go into part two of what you’re going to do with your time and money during your second month of your online business. If you to go back and listen to this again or you need any of the links that we talked about and the site for Genesis, AWeber, anything like that, all the resources that we talked about today, go to www.FlippedLifestyle.com/podcast14 and we will have everything right here to use and set up your online business and I think we’re going to put together a 30-day guide.
Instead of having to write notes over this whole episode, go to www.FlippedLifestyle.com/podcast14 and I will have a 30-day list of everything you should do, where you should be spending your money, where you should be spending your time, we’ll go ahead and create a guide for you there that you can download and that you can hang on the wall, and you can say, “All right, it’s day one. Let’s do it,” and you can get it over with, day two, day three, and we will help you get through your first 30 days of your online business. That will be free. You just need to go over there, sign up for it, and you’ll get it in your email inbox.
Tune in next week as we go over part two and until then. We will catch you all on the flipside. See you later.
SHANE Do you need step by step instruction? Do you need us to help you create your digital product and get your online business started? Well, you can do that. We actually now offer a course called the Flip Your Life e-course where we show you how to create your first digital product in 29 days or less.
*Many of the links in this post are affiliate links. We earn a small commission off the sale after you click them. Thanks!
All you have to do to get more information on this program is go to www.FlippedLifestyle.com/FlipYourLife, and that’s all one word, and you can check out everything that we do in that course to help you get your digital product created for sale online even if you don’t have a website. That’s www.FlippedLifestyle.com/FlipYourLife. You can check when our next session is starting at that link. [/spoiler]