All posts by Alayna

Backing up my blog

Backing Up

Today I was in the middle of replying to a comment on my blog when suddenly the page ‘vanished’   Any attempts to log back in to my dashboard were met with the stern and frightening ‘Error 500 – this website does not exist’ or words to that effect.

Eeeeek! Help! Panic! I had nightmarish visions of all of my work on my blog over the last 4 weeks disappearing into the black hole of cyberspace.

When I was still unable to login to my dashboard after about a dozen tries, I walked away, made a nice calming cup of green tea, left the computer alone for 15 minutes, then tried again. You can imagine my relief when www.imalayna.com popped into being!

This is a message – I’m being told something here I thought.  Time to TAKE ACTION!

I downloaded the WordPress Backup to Dropbox plugin I was talking about yesterday, linked it to my Dropbox account and started an immediate backup.

I didn’t know how long it would take – any research I’d done about that just said the first backup could take ‘some time’. I also didn’t know if I could still continue to work on my website while it was backing up. That’s something I ‘ll have to ask those nice supportive people in the QSC Facebook group. It’s all those little things that once you know seem really obvious – but I don’t know, so I’ll have to ask.

While the plugin was doing it’s thing I went out  for about 40 minutes to buy groceries, I figured that was ‘some time’ – well no… not exactly. After I got back I sat and watched the files uploading for ‘some time’. Then it got a bit boring, so I got my little mini HP notebook out and  decided to watch a movie while I kept an eye on the back up process.

I was a bit anxious about my laptop overheating and its fan was working away furiously but things still felt pretty hot. I had a new fan put in last year, but it still has a tendency to overheat and then start doing weird stuff and  being uncooperative. I didnt want that happening in the middle of backing up. I turned the big fan on and set it near my laptop – it seemed to like that. The ‘some time’ turned out to be nearly 5 hours and nearly 9000 files! Wow I had no idea it would be that many… and it’s all there – in Dropbox, I checked.

I didnt get to back up with Cpanel as well, (but I did see the whole movie :-)  I also added my Twitter URL,  so you can now see the Twitter icon floating around on this page in company with the Facebook icon.  I replied to some comments on my blog and made several comments on other people’s blogs. So I did achieve something today.

I must get some sleep now, as tomorrow is another day.  A REALLY EXCITING  day actually as the first iPro webinar is in 5 hours time, early morning Hong Kong time.

More tomorrow – I’ll let you know how it goes.

Themes, Plugins, and Social Media

Themes, Plugins and Social Media

The last few days have been really busy and I hadn’t got to just sitting down to write a post for my blog. There is so much to do when you’re started out with creating an online business and sometimes it feels as though it all has to be done at once. So what’s kept me busy?

My Theme

If you’ve been following my blog you may notice the theme  or appearance has changed. I wasn’t happy with the way the other one looked so I spent many hours trying out different themes and getting all the bits such as the opt in bar in the right place.  No matter what I tried I couldn’t get it to look like the preview advertised and I wasn’t that successful. Eventually I went back to something basic and decided I’ll get more fancy with the appearance of the blog when I have learned more.

Plugins

I also learned more about plugins this week. As I said in the post Networking and Lurking it’s really important to be part of a group on Facebook or in a forum where you can ask questions. I vaguely knew I should be backing up what I ‘m doing on my website because after all that’s what people do about their documents isn’t it- they have another copy somewhere in case of disaster. I learned from 2 of my QSC group members I could get a plug-in to do the job such as  ‘WordPress Backup to Dropbox’ so I plan to set that up tomorrow. I’m also going to have another go at installing the ‘Jazzy Opt-ins’ plugin to make a fancier opt-in form with a picture on it of my free ebook ‘Wrong Way Warrior’. If you haven’t claimed yours yet, just put your email in the optiin from on the side bar and go grab a copy – it’s a fun read and also has some sound advice.

Security

Another plugin that’s pretty much essential is some form of security. Everyone seems to have their favourite. I bought ‘Blog Defender’ because all the blurb convinced me it was the best…..but now oh my, golly gosh… I read how to set it up and its 15 steps seem so complicated. It is full of jargon and tasks I don’t understand and dire warnings about any site security running a high risk of breaking your site.  I’m probably going to chicken out and install one of the free security plugins available for now as the last thing I need is my site breaking.  Whatever I decide to do I’m going to have a go backing everything up first, both with the ‘WP Backup to Dropbox’ plugin and manually through my hosting account and Cpanel, where I understand you can schedule backups of the whole Cpanel or just the folders you want.

Social Media

I’ve always tended to shy away from social media and found it a little bizarre at some of the inane comments made on Facebook – ‘I saw a dog on the way to work’ or taking pictures of the food they are just about to eat. I didn’t really ‘get it’ neither did I ever understand the fascination of online games, even though my older sister is an avid player of Worls of Warcraft. I’d rather have a good book to read!

However there are millions of users of Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms and it has a very essential place in the online business world, so I’m just going to have to get over my apprehension.  I made a leap of faith into this yesterday and have set up a fan page on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/alaynasinternetmarketing  a Twitter account https://twitter.com/AlaynaS4 and on my ‘to do’ list is to set up a Youtube channel (I think that’s what it’s called), and Pinterest. Then to work our what RSS feeds are all about……. Oh and I also installed a plugin – yes another one, called ‘Social Floating Media’ that gives you the buttons to show on your site to link it to various social media. You’ll notice I haven’t got it quite right yet, and the FB icon chases you around the page :-) but I’m getting there and I think I achieved a lot over the last few days.

Networking and Lurking

Networking and Lurking

The 4 week Quick Start Challenge has come to an end.  People are at various stages in creating their online businesses. Some have had their online business for years, while for others it’s their very first venture into the online world and they have just started their first blog. When starting your business and looking at what others in your group are doing it’s easy to feel that everybody is so much more capable than you – they ‘get’ it and you’re the ONLY ONE who doesn’t.  Other people have more visitors, a bigger list and are making money. They celebrate their success publically. Enjoy their celebrations, congratulate them, and be proud of them. You will see them being supportive and encouraging others in the group. It’s similar if you go to online forums. It seems that people are talking another language. Everyone seems so much more successful than you.  They are making 4, 5 or even 6 figures, their list has thousands of people on it, they’ve just launched their latest service or product and their business only has high end clients that pay a huge amount of money for an hours coaching. Be happy for them.

Then there is the silent majority

In almost all groups that come together  for a common purpose, online or off, there always seems to be just a small percentage who are fully and actively engaged. For example, in the night school class I teach for people learning English, participation is part of their pass mark; yet even though I have reminded and encouraged my students of this throughout the course, some of them have barely raised their heads. They are the silent majority. Those who have become active within any group are the ones publically celebrating their successes, and encouraging other people. Others silently observe, they want to be part of this seemingly elusive group. They wonder how they can make it happen. They may feel intimidated, vulnerable and afraid their inadequacies will be seen. They are the silent ones who just lurk and observe and hope they will be able to figure out how to be successful by just watching others. They get discouraged, and then weeks have gone by, then months or even years. They look back and wonder how come ‘so and so’, who did the same course, or programme or training that they did, is now a huge success and they are not.

What should they have done?

Firstly realise that everyone started as a beginner online at some stage. NO ONE was born with the innate ability to succeed on line – they had to figure it out. As a teacher I’ve always told students to ASK questions because if they ask they are probably asking the question many others want to know, but are too shy to ask. If you are one of the silent observers start asking questions, start asking for help.

Don’t wait, speak up!

This will help not only yourself, but others who are in the same position as you to stop feeling isolated. It also gives people who have ‘been there’ and remember what that feels like, to be of service and offer their experience and help to others.

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

You are not going to know everything, but everything can be figured out.

Celebrate your small successes.

Every step is a victory. I learned this as a parent of a child with disabilities. I would feel envious when other parents would be celebrating their child winning a sports cup, coming top of their class, graduating from university, being promoted, etc. and knowing that none of this was ever going to happen for my boy. But it was just as important to celebrate when he learned to do any new thing for himself and I felt just as proud as those other parents. What I am saying here is – these are all the victories you have had over the last few weeks.

  • You set up a blog
  • You made a video and put it on YouTube
  • You learned some ways of how to drive traffic
  • You got an autoresponder and created your first email
  • You made an opt-in form on your sidebar
  • You got something of value together to give away
  • You may have made a squeeze page

You can be proud of yourself in all you have achieved over these few weeks, even before you make your first dollar, Maybe you fell by the wayside and didn’t get to finish all these things. Well that’s okay, for now, but if you really want this with all your heart you need to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and go back through the replay of the webinars on the QSC membership site. Believe in yourself that you can make this happen. Be absolutely certain in your head that you can make this happen

TAKE ACTION

Make sure you’re in the Facebook group and ASK OTHERS It makes a huge difference to have a group of like-minded people being supportive and helping you become successful. Be active and network with others. If you don’t know how to do something well I’m quite sure one of those 890+ people in the Facebook group will help you, or point you in the right direction where you can find out.  Here’s to your success.

DON’T LURK, NETWORK

Week 3 Challenge Done

Wow, I thought last week was difficult, but doing a video is just a walk in the park compared with my techo challenges this week.  If it wasn’t such a fantastic community of QSC folk out there I wouldn’t have made it by the ‘homework deadline’.  Kudos to you all, especially to Scott  (www.wazzupyo.com)  who talked me through the connecting my  autoresponder and my download page over Facebook in the early hours this morning. My optin form is on my blog, autoresponder set up, even a page about the free eBook on my blog. (Click on the page Free Gift to check it out). This is my free eBook, ‘Wrong Way Warrior’. Sign up and grab a copy for yourself.

WrongWayWarrior-softbackSml

I want to put a picture of the front cover under the optin form but I can’t work out how to do that. I’m having some problems with my theme – the info on the side bars keeps ‘vanishing’ and I can’t get the header to go full width of the page. It doesn’t look good and I’ve decided to change to another theme when I get the chance to search for one.

I was working in Macau over the weekend, which is an hour away by jetfoil, so I got three blog posts handwritten during the journey. It’s about 4.30am now and I’m off to bed, so you’ll have to wait until later today or tomorrow for the next exciting episode.

The Challenges of Week 3

A Sombre Start

It’s been really hard to focus this week and the foggy, grey drizzle of the last two days in Hong Kong has matched my mood. Yesterday my very dear friend who I wrote about in ‘Treasure Each Day’ passed away after her long battle with brain cancer.   I’m sad that I’m not  able to celebrate her life with friends and family, but we said our goodbyes 2 months ago and that’s okay. Often in life  it’s hard to balance where you want to be and the obstacles that prevent it.

Down But Not Out

I’ve been on the computer for most of the last two days; searching for and rejecting ideas for give-aways,  replaying and replaying video tutorials, tweaking my blog settings  and learning about autoresponders,  but it has not been productive. I feel frustrated and under pressure, because I know I have less time this week as I am working in Macau tomorrow and also all day on Sunday.  At my low point today I nearly gave up. But instead I went to our QSC community FaceBook group for a while and that renewed my spirit.

Off We Go Again

After that I got back to the Aweber tutorials and now have 75% of the set up wizard done including the first follow up email. I also decided on the giveaway gift and I am part way through editing it.

Reflection

Maybe I can’t finish the ‘homework’ by Tuesday, but I need to spend the time to learn how to do this. If I can’t create and get  my opt in form on a side bar and work out how the gift is actually going to get to my subscribers, then I can’t do anything in this business- and that’s not a choice I’m prepared to accept. So back to the battle and I’m going to feel real good when I achieve this.

Quick Start Challenge Video – Yay!

The Quick Start Challenge Video by Alayna

Wow – I did it!

Wow I can’t believe I’ve actually got a real live video on YouTube.  I’m such an introvert – I thought the ‘putting a paper bag over your head’ was an excellent idea. However, makeup, jewellery, can’t do much with the hair (will always look like one of Macbeth’s witches), but with the addition of a few squirts of my favourite  Chanel No.5, I was ready to roll.  I knew you wouldn’t be able to smell me over the internet, but putting on perfume for me is a way of making myself ready to face challenges and gives me confidence. That may sound a bit weird to some of you and maybe the guys can’t relate to it at all, but my Mum was the same,  except her way was to ‘powder her nose’ and put on some lipstick.

Here it is …… trumpet sound please!  Ta daaa……..

The Quick Start Challenge by Alayna

This is my very first video – ever! I recorded it because I was challenged to do so by Dean Holland as part of the Quick Start Challenge Turbo 2. This programme gives you proven strategies to begin as an internet marketer.

or in other words………

This is one woman’s journey into unknown waters – beginning an epic adventure into a realm fraught with struggles and charged with successes in the company of a band of like-minded budding internet entrepreneurs.

 

New Webcam for the Week 2 Challenge.

I Purchase a Webcam

11745666_8MFpu9fQPWUFg_NwXWtLyzf6VptaAkCMLtT6RMcufok

On Sunday (Easter Sunday in some places) I went out to the Wan Chai Computer Centre to buy a webcam. I don’t really like going there for a couple of reasons A) I don’t speak Cantonese and I’m not very knowledgeable about technology B) the sales people’s English is variable and often they don’t have the techno vocab, and C) it can be a bit of a tourist trap. in the ‘Let’s see how much we can get the gweilo to pay  for this cheap thing  from China’.

However I persevered and the first stall I went to had what I thought was a reasonable webcam for HK$350. I told the sales guy I’d look around at some other models first. The next stall I went to had 2 basic models (one of which was the same as the one I’d seen at stall No.1. ) However at this stall the price was only HK$249! I was so surprised at the $100 difference I didn’t even think to bargain and just paid up :-)

I went home and had a look at some other members blogs to see if they had their videos uploaded.  Then the rest of the day was spent downloading the software for the webcam, learning how to use it and doing a short ‘test run’ to see if both picture and audio were working. I decided to leave the ‘big event’ for a fresh start in the morning.

Some Things That Don’t Work.

Today didn’t go so well and I’ve had a few hiccups. I’m a bit of a techno-troglodyte, so hope you this post amuses you. Please enjoy my account of how I spent the last 10 hours.

The Script

Writing out my ‘script’  for the video was easy. I read it out to myself and it was about 5 minutes long – so I edited it a bit and tried not to waffle so much, which I know I have a tendency to do.  I’m not going to learn it word for word or it will sound too stilted, but I do need some notes. I checked out the videos of a couple of people on the blog register who already have theirs up and running and was really impressed. Clear, not stumbling over words – they looked like they’d been doing it for years. Well done peeps.

Attempts at Recording the Video

1. Then it was trial and error for rest of the day – for hours! The Google Hangouts couldn’t find the camera on my computer. I even went searching on the internet for a solution to turn on the camera for my Asus laptop. Still no luck – it remains stubbornly uncooperative unless I am using Skype. My lil’ old mini HP takes so long to do anything,  but I got the camera working fine on it. Then the same problem with Google Hangouts – it couldn’t detect the camera.

2. Okay, so next I tried with my rather old digital camera. I could record, but the picture was really dark and I could barely hear the sound. When I downloaded it onto my computer there was this awful  background noise on it that drowned out everything.  I later found out that the default programme for saving was DivX but when I changed the default to VLC – no problem.

3. So I tried with my android Samsung phone. Nice quality picture, good sound, great. I was glad I was only trying out with 20 second ‘demos’. I’m not very good with technology so how to get the video off the phone and onto the computer? So I emailed it to myself. It worked great only I ended up sideways. I decided I couldn’t expect my ‘audience’ to lie on their sides to watch it, so it was back to the drawing board.

4. A longer version this time, the right way up :-) I couldn’t email the file as it was too large.  Let’s think outside the box here – after locating where bluetooth was on both devices and turning it on I used this to download. . The file took about 40 mins to load from phone to computer but failed near the end and refused to let itself retry.

5. Hmm.. what’s next. Google + My phone informed me the file had been sent.  I checked Google + and an hour later the file was still ‘processing’. At that point I decided to delete the file.

So,  at this stage I still haven’t recorded the full video, still haven’t had any new creative thought about how to meet this week’s challenge, and I haven’t even got as far as working out how I get it on to Youtube once I have got it recorded and on my computer ready to go. I guess I need to set up an account. I’m glad I don’t need to go to work tomorrow.

images Continue reading Some Things That Don’t Work.

Friday’s Progress

It’s afternoon in hazy Hong Kong today and fairly quiet being a public holiday – there aren’t so many buses roaring off from the traffic lights in the street 6 floors below.  Ferries are chugging across the calm waters of  Victoria Harbour and the sun is filtering through.  After a sad beginning earlier today I have gathered myself together and made some progress.

Forums & Forays

First I made a couple of replies to the people who kindly visited my blog and left a comment. Then I went to the online Warrior Forum. I’ve known about the Warrior Forum for about a year and even bought some products through there, but I had never joined as I felt too much of a oldie-newbie and quite intimidated.  When Dean Holland suggested we join some forums I thought ‘Eeek!’ Well I overcame my introvert tendencies and have not only just joined the forum but even made a post which I hope will help someone else. :-)

Google Analytics

My second main accomplishment today was getting Google Analytics installed on my blog to track the stats. I’m not too sure if I’ve done it right because I haven’t worked out how to ‘ensure it works’ yet; but everything is figureoutable, right?  It took me quite a long time as I listened to rest of  the QSC Video 2 and then got sidetracked in the Warrior Forum. I’ve decided l need to schedule my time more productively by having some time limits on various tasks.

This week’s ‘Challenge’

This weeks challenge  is seriously freaking me out – it’s to create a video and put it on YouTube! This is truly taking me way out of my comfort zone.  However, I’m determined and I checked out Google Hangouts as someone in the seminar mentioned you could record a video through ‘Hangouts’ and upload it directly to YouTube. I thought that idea sounded pretty good so I found the right link, but then the ‘Hangouts’ programme said it couldn’t find my laptop’s camera (even thought the camera was turned on) so it looks like back to the drawing board for an alternative method.

I didn’t accomplish all I wanted to today but think I did okay so I’m not going to beat myself up over it.  Tomorrow is another day.

Treasure Each Day

I finished a short work contract yesterday and then got home about 10.30 pm after also teaching an evening class. Aha, I thought, tomorrow I can listen to the last hour of Quick Start Challenge Seminar 2 and start on implementing this weeks ‘to do’s’.

I checked my email before going to bed and got the sad news that my dear friend I have known for 25 years, and who is like a sister to me, has now only a couple of days before her year long battle with brain cancer ends. I want to be there to hug her and hold her hand, but I am here in HK, half a world away. I spent the next hour or so searching my disorganised hard drive for photos we took 18 months ago, planting an olive tree on my property and sent these pictures of happier times to her husband.  I have just phoned to them, words are inadequate and tears blur my vision as I try to type this,  but I know my friend is at home with her family, not in pain and surrounded by love. At the end of a journey that is as much as one could wish.

One never knows what the future holds and we should make the most of and treasure each day.