Blogging is really about telling stories I found. Taking it even further: marketing is in fact exactly the same: telling a story (a good, constructive and positive one no doubt).
So let me tell you the story of "The Making of the UPAG" - my latest project.
Once upon a time.... no, let's not go there.
Last year, roughly around the same time, Lesley Perk (the IT-Girl) and I started with our blog-workshops and created a whole new 'workshop-blog' for our 'students' to practice on: The Blog-Studio. In total we organised 4 Introduction to Blogging workshops and 'educated' 12 local businesses on blogging for business. After the 'group-sessions' the 1-2-1 sessions were introduced and rather successful. But, all for local businesses and we started to think 'further afield' - couldn't we create some kind of method to reach/teach outside our local area?
At the same time Liz Strauss reported on "Teaching Sells" a new, innovative way to profitable educate your targeted 'students' online, a system created by Brian Clark and Tony D. Clark. I 'enlisted' to the program straight away. And although the concept was very interesting I soon discovered it wasn't really 'my method' of learning. (Now I must be fair: the early enlistees knew the whole system/method would be adapted/improved/edited/added along the way, but it just wasn't my 'style'.)
So back to the drawing-board - because we still felt it would be feasible to launch workshops online.
Then - as life does so often - two things happened at the same time:
- Richard C had introduced me to AWeber earlier - and I loved/love it! So more and more 1-2-1 advanced 'blog-workshops' centered around this Ultimate Permission Marketing Tool
- Ed Rivis gifted me his online home-study program "Shrink Wrap Your Brain!" (aff) - how to turn your own knowledge/expertise into a product. His program was much more my style of learning.
So, slowly the idea of Wrapping our Blogging experience into an online workshop turned into the idea of Wrapping my growing experience in everything AWeber into a product. Ed Rivis was also responsible for directing me to some other great software tools that helped me with the creation of the Ultimate Practical AWeber Guide (UPAG for short): like the ScreenSteps I use for the accompanying Manuals, DarkRoom to write my narration for the video-recordings (Camtasia was already in place since my 'encounter' with Teaching Sells).
Looking back it was definitely one of those steep learning curves you experience once in a while, but which you enjoy enormously at the same time (having learner and maximizer as 'top strengths' makes that no surprise really).
Take for instance the narration of the screen recordings. First I thought I could do that easily ad-hoc - I work with AWeber almost every day, have taught it to others and think I know it inside-out. Big mistake! I hadn't counted on my 'always active/thinking two steps ahead' mind: when going through certain steps in the program and talking about/explaining the reasons behind the sequence in the microphone, my mind would already be focusing two/three steps ahead of things and 'telling me' not to forget this and to do that next. Now, I tell you: that is confusing to say the least!
So I binned the 'ad-hoc' method, wrote down the complete narration (in DarkRoom) and just read it out - as naturally as possible and improvising where needed. I'm sure over time I will get much better in this, specially now I've found (make that Ed Rivis found) a so-called podcast prompter which thanks to my new extra wide-screen will be a true asset for further videos.
After all the screen-recording, the editing of the recordings etc was done I got to grips with Camtasia Theater. Anyone using Camtasia for (online) presentations or (online) courses: make that extra effort to turn your creation into a 'theater' - your viewer/client will thank you for it.
Writing the 'landing-page' was an event on its own. Until in some strange co-incidence with a new session of the copy-writing-gang three headlines were effectively dropped in my lap!
(Three headlines yes - split-testing is another essential item in creating a profitable product and the test is running on full throttle.) Those familiar with the Copywriting Gangster will no doubt notice the influence of these great sessions in the whole set-up. And I still think there is room for improvement (feedback, feedback please!).
Anyway, to cut a long story (3 months in now) short: Part 1 of the UPAG is finished and based on the "Ready Fire Aim" principle I took the decision to launch it. The other parts - going deeper into the features and combinations AWeber can give you - will follow shortly (don't forget I have to work on my 'day-job' too: selling wooden flooring - and there also is AWeber a great 'sales' assistant in).
I've learned a lot again, made a lot of mistakes, made a lot of corrections, made good progress sometimes, had to retrace my steps more than ones and had a really good time doing so. Who said working can't be fun?
The blog-workshop online product idea isn't binned though: behind the 'scenes' - and on the new 1 plus 1 makes 3 dynamic website (aka blog) - it's being worked on, one step/lesson at the time.