Back in 1998, when I really discovered the Internet, taught myself HTML and built my first website, I was totally and officially hooked.
B.A. (Before Amazon.com), I opened the virtual doors of my first online business… Revelation Christian Bookstore. A few years later, I opened a bricks-and-mortar location that built on the momentum I’d already created online.
I was… and still am… extremely passionate about books. I love to read and I took that passion and turned it into a business that I loved.
Fast forward about 7 years from my first online venture and I’m working full-time in ministry as the Executive Assistant to our C.O.O. (It would take a more than the pages of this post allows for me to tell you all that happened in those 7 short years.)
I believe I worked harder at this job than I ever did when I was in the engineering industry. The work was rewarding and, unlike with engineering, I immediately saw the results of my labor and the effect it had on people’s lives. It was tangible… totally more fulfilling than designing a chip that would go in a washing machine.
Yet there was always a yearning in my heart to do something more… I believe I was born to be an entrepreneur. More on that later…
Fortunately, as an engineer, I learned the importance of paying attention to details, how to solve problems and so much more. This, combined with my passion for writing, my love of books, an ability to evaluate and organize with an eye for excellence and a heart for serving others gave birth to my next online business, ChurchSecretaryEssentials.com.
The mission: to teach other church secretaries and assistants how to be organized and get more done with less stress. And guess what, there were thousands of people out there who needed it. Thousands of people who were struggling to keep it together… balance their work and their personal lives (working in ministry is not easy!)… and so much more.
The result: A community of women (and men too) that grew from zero to over 2,000 in no time and is still growing everyday. Thousands of people have become better equipped to serve their Pastors and leaders. And even better, they’ve learned how to balance their lives and their calling… how to manage their work and their families. And I’ve gained fulfillment knowing that I’ve helped them. I’ve gained many friendships and been encouraged so much by their stories of success. And the list goes on…
By now I’m sure you’re wondering… What did I do?
Well, I’d been studying Internet Marketing for years and it was again time to put those things I’d learned into practice.
Was I sure it would work? Not 100%… but I knew that some of the principles had worked for me before and I’d also seen them work time and time again for other Internet entrepreneurs.
So I started with the basics… then I went step-by-step mastering one thing and then adding another, and another…
- I determined the keywords for my niche and then researched them to see if people were actually searching for them. Tools like Google Keyword Tool and SEO Book Keyword Tool will help with this.
- I purchased my domain name from GoDaddy.com
- I researched my competition and even bought some of their products to see exactly what I was up against.
- I setup a Google Adwords account to generate immediate traffic to my site.
- I wrote a 10 page report (I call it an Action Guide) to give away on my new site.
- I purchased and setup an autoresponder with 1Shoppingcart to capture the information of those who signed up at my soon to be built webpage.
- I created a “squeeze” page that was “keyword rich” and told people about the Action Guide I was giving away and asked them to submit their name and email address so that I could send them the Action Guide.
- I purchased a hosting account for my new web page with IX Web Hosting (I have since switched to Hostgator).
- I submitted my new site to all of the major search engines.
- I sat back and waited for people to subscribe. (I’ve since learned that we are in the “age of engagement” and people don’t just show up at your site. Traffic generation is another post in and of itself.)
That’s it. I had no product. All I had was a free gift. I considered having a subscription based site, but at the time I didn’t really know how to pull it off, so I stuck with what I knew.
Now, I will go into detail about each of these steps in future posts, but in essence this is what I did when I first started my site.
Over time, I refined my squeeze page, added tons more content to my website, created additional products, setup a blog, began advertising my site offline, submitted related articles to online directories and so much more.
A website is always “alive” and you will never be totally done with it because there is always more you can add.
My site now comes up on the first page of Google and AOL search and is consistently in the #1 spot. It also comes up on the first page of search results for Bing, MSN and Yahoo. This took time. Over the past 6 years I have written tons of quality content…which search engines love. Try it now… go to any of these search engines and do a search for “church secretary help” and see what comes up.
In the beginning, and even still today, I set out to meet a need. Being a church secretary is not an easy job, by any stretch of the imagination. I genuinely wanted to help people. The beautiful thing is that I got to combine all of the things I love, help tons of people and get monetarily rewarded for it. And I sleep great at night knowing I haven’t done anything underhanded in the process.
I am following the same process with this site. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?
My intention… once again, it’s to simply meet a need. I can take everything I’ve done to create one thriving Internet business and teach you how to do the same. So that you can enjoy the the same amazing feeling I have when I wake up every morning knowing that I own my day and my time. It is mine to do what I wish.
In my future posts, I’ll give you even more details of how to do exactly what I’ve done with ChurchSecretaryEssentials.com.
Believe me, I’ve been burning the midnight oil writing content that I know will help you get to where you’re trying to go. Unfortunately, there are just so many hours in a day (smile).
In addition to creating content for this site, I’m constantly working on projects for my WordPress web design & development company clients at WPWebsitesDone4U.com and also working on new content for my ChurchSecretaryEssentials.com site…even though I don’t work in ministry anymore, it’s my “baby” and the principles of organization, effectiveness, communication, etc. don’t change. Plus, after having done it for several years, my heart still burns for all those who choose such a noble profession.
Until next time… go MAKE Life Happen!