Joining the ranks of the self-employed?
It can often be like jumping off a cliff and not knowing how to swim!
Especially if you haven't done your 'homework' or if this your first website!
As a solopreneur for the last 20+ years, I've learned the critical "4 Keys" that help to both accelerate your learning curve and reduce or nearly eliminate the inevitable 'growing pains' encountered by first-timers...
This Manifesto describes my core values, what I stand for & why, and the topics you’ll find covered on this website.
Assumptions... or Where I'm Coming From
- The tutorials and strategies I discuss on this website are specifically designed for the solopreneur. This means you’re budget-conscious & pressed for time, since you wear all the hats in your business
- It follows for solo’s that you have no team...meaning you need to work productively and efficiently
- You want to make money from your online business, or your website is the online component to help you make money from a physical business. In other words, this isn't some "do it in my spare time" passion project or hobby
4 Keys to Having a Successful Online Business
#1: Own Everything!
This is by far the most important of these four pillars. If you get this one wrong, nothing else will matter.
There are several crucial website pieces you absolutely MUST own:
- Your website platform
- Your domain name
- Your content
- Your own personal brand
Obviously, I’m a huge advocate of WordPress. My entire business is built around the WordPress platform! This article is not the place to convince you why (I discuss that here).
Besides the built-in advantages of WordPress, by using it as your website platform you’ll already be taking care of most of the “ownership” part of things:
- By using WordPress, you own all of the content you create there
- on the hosting company of YOUR choice...
- with your own domain name (your “dot com”)
you’ve already taken care of the above 3 elements...
If you’re interested in drilling further down into the details of “ownership” — and especially if you are a relative newcomer to website ownership — I recommend this detailed article.
#2: Become Proficient in WordPress
Note: We’re talking proficiency here, not “everything there is to know!"
Remember: my 'mantra' is “Code FREE WP” for a reason!
I hate coding, personally -- I find it much too slow! I'm not patient enough to wade through learning lines of coding syntax or the patience to painstakingly comb over every line of code just to find a wayward double-space that shouldn't be there!
I certainly am not advocating you become any more than proficient in WordPress. It’s not necessary! You can do pretty much everything you need to by using WordPress “add-ons” — plugins & themes — which require no coding at all! My promise!
There is a learning curve, of course, as with any “sophisticated” and flexible software. And I have you covered here as well!
You’ll find a lot of tutorials on this website — as reflected in its name & my focus on getting you up to speed on WordPress...
Based on my own experience from teaching hundreds of students, there is also an “optimal sequence” for learning the various components -- what I like to think of as 'building blocks' -- that comprise WordPress.
A Lot of "Moving Parts"
One of the most common areas of confusion for beginners is just how all of the different “add-ons” work together. I'me currently developing a FREE course that explains how these various components work together to create a very robust & extensible website platform. Sign up below to be notified when this online course is available. It's completely free & if you are new to WordPress, I highly recommend this course!
A Road Map for getting started
Another common beginner question is “Where do I start?”
That’s where my WordPress RoadMap will help... As I said above, there is a definite & specific “optimal sequence” to learning WordPress — which I have vetted & improved over the years, teaching hundreds of students — and the RoadMap will get you started right and keep you on the right track!
#3: Adopt a Success-focused Solopreneur Mindset
You’re looking to create a sustainable, long-term business by providing genuinely useful solutions
- Providing practical & specific solutions to common obstacles in your niche
- Offering training & courses solving such problems
- Coaching: both 1-on-1 & groups
- It’s important that you’re clear about your fundamental reasons for having an online business
- BTW...supporting yourself financially is reasonable & encouraged, but you should have some “larger” more intrinsic goals
- In other words, you have a larger goal than “just making money”
- What inspires you?
- What is your motivation?
You’re willing to learn & implement solo-friendly skills to reach your business & personal goals
- A business mindset — this isn’t a hobby or “for fun” — you intend to treat it like a real business
- This means you can’t do everything “for free!” There are a lot of free tools, but it’s not all FREE!
- Compared to a physical business, operating an online business is exceedingly low-cost, but if you realistically expect to make money from your business, you simply can’t expect to “get something for nothing!”
- The trick is knowing where it makes sense to use free tools and when to invest in paid tools!
- You want to actually provide something of value in exchange for a fair price
- You're willing to fill in any gaps in your own professional skill set. At the minimum you need:
- Basic technical skills, including learning WordPress & website “best practices”
- Sales & Marketing Skills
- Communication & Writing Skills
- Productivity Skills
#4: Cultivate a REAL Business Approach
Learn how to distinguish what “moves the needle” in your business — the “real work” — and how to separate it from “busy-work.” We often get stuck when faced with unfamiliar territory. A common solution is to “make ourselves busy” with non-productive but comfortable tasks:
- Tweaking your website design
- Playing with the logo
- Shopping for new techie toys
- Getting lost on social platforms
In reality, none of these have anything to do with "moving the needle" and making significant progress in getting customers or targeted subscribers -- who are most likely to become customers -- & creating new products or services.
Beware the allure of Online Myths!
If online advice or "the newest system" sounds too good to be true, it probably is... & someone is trying to sell you something, often for exorbitant prices!
Invest in these
Avoid these Myths!
What else you’ll learn here...and WHY
- How to attract targeted traffic
- Solo-friendly online marketing strategies
- How to strategically plan
BECAUSE... just having a website is not going to make you successful online!
How it’s different here...
If you’ve visited other “Learn WordPress” websites, you already know that they don’t include detailed tutorials on...
- getting targeted traffic,
- the different content types & when to use each type,
- why you should own everything you put online,
- solo-friendly tools & strategies, or
- the importance of mindset to having a self-sustaining online business.
It's this comprehensive approach that makes CodeFreeWP different!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on My Manifesto...and I encourage you to write your own. Let me know if you have any questions about how to write one for your own business.
Post any questions in the Comments below...
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