After posting My 2nd Annual Passive Income Report the other day, I received so many wonderful comments and emails from many of you. Thank you for that—it really lifted my tired spirits after hardly getting any sleep while writing that post.
Today, I thought it would be fun just to quickly answer a number of questions that I’ve been getting lately. Most of these questions have been asked by several people so maybe I’ll shed some light on some things that you were curious about.
Enjoy your weekend!
1. How Long Do You Usually Spend Writing A Blog Post?
That sort of depends on the type of post I’m writing. Every once and a while you’ll see monster pillar posts from me that can take anywhere between 6 and 10 hours to complete, especially if there are videos involved (like in this post). Other times, you’ll see posts published on the blog that took less than an hour to finish.
On average, I would say I spend about 2.5 hours on each post. Since I post 3 times a week (on Monday, Wednesday and Friday), that’s about 7.5 hours a week.
One thing I’ve noticed is that since starting blogging hardcore a couple of years ago, my writing skills have gotten much better. Maybe not so much in the grammar department (I know I’m not perfect and I do make mistakes), but as far as taking ideas and thoughts in my head and putting them into a cohesive blog post – it’s gotten a lot better. Plus, I think I’ve just learned to type faster too. Every stroke per minute saves a lot of time in the long run.
2. Where Do You Get The Graphics For Your Blog Posts?
Most of the graphics come from iStockphoto.com, but please realize that these royalty-free photos are not free. In the beginning, it was tough for me to justify paying money for stock photography, but they really do help my blog stand out from the crowd and look a little more professional, at least in my opinion.
There are many places to get graphics for your blog for free. Here is a useful post I found that lists a number of places to get graphics for your website for free.
Some of the graphics you see on this blog I created myself in Photoshop, such as the logo you see in the header and the little “call to action / related posts” box that you see beneath my posts. Being able to use Photoshop is probably the most useful skill that I learned while working my 9 to 5 job at an architectural firm that has helped me with my online businesses. If I need to create a graphic, I can just quickly do it myself.
3. What WordPress Theme Are You Using For Your Blog?
My theme is a custom theme that was built just for me. It has gone through a few revisions in the past and 4 different designers, but I’m very happy with how it all turned out.
Thanks to Michael from Vision Master Designs and Brody & Brady from Blazer Six for their awesome design work.
There are a lot of great free themes available nowadays (such as SimpleFolio, which I used on my Niche Site Duel site). I also recommend going with a premium theme from WooThemes if you want something with a little more customization options without having to worry about finding a designer and web developer.
4. Who Does The “Movie Guy” Voice In The Introductions Of Your Podcast?
His name is John Melley, and he’s the man!
Here’s an intro in case you haven’t heard it yet:
If you’re looking for a great female voice, I recommend Trish at Voiceovers by Trish, who does the voice for my audio guides at GreenExamAcademy.com.
5. Knowing What You Know Now, If You Suddenly Had to Start All Over Again, What Would You Do Differently?
Usually, my “default” answer to this question is that I wouldn’t have done anything differently because I think it was my mistakes and failures along the way that have shaped who I am and how my businesses are today.
Although that is true and I do appreciate the mistakes and failures that I’ve made, however there are a couple of things I wish I did differently:
- Firstly, I wish I had started sooner. It took a life changing layoff to finally take some action. Imagine if I had started even a year or two before that, how much more ahead I would be today.
- Secondly, I wish I hadn’t spent so much time trying to figure everything out on my own in the beginning, especially when it came to building my websites and putting up the shopping carts and systems into place to make everything work. I always felt like I had to do it all myself, but then I learned about virtual assistants and places like Odesk and Elance which saves me a lot of time and produces higher quality work. (see #3) [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through these links.]
6. How Do You Put The Jagged Edge On Some Of The Graphics On Your Blog?
This is probably one of the most frequent questions I receive, which is kind of funny.
It’s not a one-click process, but it doesn’t take very long and I love how cool it looks.
- Drag and drop any image into a blank document in Pages for Mac (for you PC people, I have a solution as well, which I’ll share with you in a sec).
- Using the “inspector” click on the graphic tab (red arrow below) and then select “picture frame” as the stroke. Select the frame with the jagged edge and you’re golden!
You can choose other types of frames too. Also, the arrows and the circles that you see are done in Pages for Mac using the “shapes” tool.
For PC users, there’s a program called SnagIt, which is a pretty cool screen capture tool that has a “jagged edge” option for the screenshots that you take.
7. Is It Necessary to Spend Money To Become Successful Online?
A lot of people have been asking me this question lately, probably because I recently wrote a post called THE Backlinking Strategy That Works, which lists a number of paid tools and resources that I use in my niche site building process.
The truth is, those tools do help (and help a lot), however they aren’t completely necessary. They just make things a little easier and less time consuming.
The only money that is necessary, in my opinion, is money for a domain and hosting package. You could start a blog or website for free, but that usually means trading in some customization options and having a web address with some extra text in it (such as wordpress.websitename.com, or websitename.blogspot.com).
When I started GreenExamAcademy.com, the only money I spent was for a domain and hosting package from Bluehost.com, which costs $6.95/month. I did not pay for any themes, any outsourcing or anything. [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through this link.]
8. Do You Do Any Private Coaching or Consultations?
Currently, I do not.
It’s tough because I do get 2 or 3 emails a day about coaching or consultation and I could easily bring in a lot more income that way, but the problem is that it takes a lot of time and it’s definitely not passive. My free time with family and time not doing work is more important to me.
It does sadden me, though, because I love to help people and I hate to say no to those who want advice. But, that’s why I spend so much time here on the blog and interacting with people – because I can help large numbers of people at the same time.
If I find I have a lot of free time in the future and there’s nothing for me to do, I would love to do some private coaching or consultation.
As always, thank you for your questions and comments. Look out for a new podcast episode coming this Monday where I bring back one of my previous guests! Have a great weekend and here’s to your online success.