[This is a guest blog post by Angela Privin, a "super-healer," digestive coach and my friend]
When I was diagnosed with severe digestive issues (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) the doctors told me it was incurable. It was one of the worst days of my life.
But, finding a cure for my “incurable” condition after 6 years of dedicated searching, learning and trial and error was one of the best things I’ve done.
The experience of getting sick and healing myself was not fun, but it awoke in me a passion for health and healing. I loved learning about alternative medicine and nutrition and wanted to share my knowledge and successes with the world.
I became known as a health guru amongst friends and family and gave health advice to strangers at cocktail parties. But I dreamed of reaching and helping more people with digestive issues.
I just had no idea how.
I thought I needed a fancy medical degree to be taken seriously as a healer. I didn’t have the time or funding to study natural medicine or nutrition for multiple years. It was too much of a commitment. What if after all that schooling I realized it wasn’t for me?
For close to 7 years after healing myself I did nothing to move towards my dream. But a year and a half ago, I finally took my first baby steps forward.
As a former journalist writing comes very easy. I decided to write and self publish a book about my healing experience. After the book was written I decided to start a website to market and sell that book.
As I took my first tentative steps towards my dream, everything began to fall into place. I discovered an online health-coaching program that would certify me in under a year. I enrolled immediately.
Next, I went through a few steps to get my Web site up and running. Hopefully these will save you a little time in getting yours out the door!
My first step for the Web site was buying my domain name (diyhealthblog.com) and getting a three-year hosting contract, both from Godaddy.com. Do It Yourself Health was born!
Because I’m not technical I was daunted by the idea of creating a Web site. I decided to hire a Web designer to build a Word Press site. I made an appointment to speak to a designer on Monday and spent the weekend doing some web site research.
I Googled “Word Press themes” to check out some Word Press Web site templates (WP templates are called themes).
I found one I liked called “Nutrition” by Ink Themes for $125 (other themes were cheaper but I liked this one).
It was easy to install the theme and intuitive to use. I put in a header, photos and menu text to create a live Website! By Monday I didn’t need a designer anymore.
If you’re very busy, you can pay to have your website designed, but I suggest starting off with a simple theme. Once you gain experience you’ll have a clearer vision of what you want your site to look like. Then you can pay for a redesign. By then you’ll be comfortable with Word Press and know how to manage your own site.
As I gained experience and learned more, I customized my site by adding “plug ins” to make my blogs shareable on social media with the click of a button.
Note: Check out 7 Easy Steps on How to Set Up a Blog Using WordPress.
I also created a free offering to entice people to subscribe to my e-mail list.
The offering was three informational videos that I shot using my iPhone and a tripod. I edited the videos on my Mac’s free software program, iMovie.
My snazzy logo was designed by an artist at 99designs.com for $300 (they did my book cover too).
Note: Check out the 6 steps to get a logo done through 99Designs for more details.
The last baby step was to find an e-mail list management service that would collect email addresses and allow me to send weekly blogs and special offers to my subscribers.
I narrowed my choice to three major companies: Mailchimp, A Weber, and iContact. They’re all reliable, but I chose Mailchimp because the interface was cute and intuitive and my first 2,000 subscribers were free.
So far, I have 600 visitors a month ( and that is great for just starting since I only launched 2.5 months ago) and I have several people sign up for my email list every day.
Also I keep moving higher on the Website Alexa ranking. Last month I was at 2 million and today I am at 1.396 million (366,449 in the U.S.!). That is wonderful progress and I can’t be happier!
Despite my lack of technical skill and DIY approach, people told me my Web site looked very professional. I started blogging to attract an audience of clients, sharing some of the best free information I could about healing digestion!
Starting a business and Web site was easier than I’d ever imagined. Once the business is born, you need to feed it with blogs and take care of it with a bit of promotion and it will grow. As long as you keep writing blogs Google will bring traffic to your digital doors.
The biggest trap most people fall into (myself included) is procrastinating the start of their dream business. Fear, doubt or overwhelm morph into reasons why it won’t work. Just take baby steps and keep walking.
The hardest part of being a solo entrepreneur is doing it all alone. But you don’t have to.
I took an online business course that not only taught me to run my business, but also plugged me into a large, vibrant Facebook group of other solo entrepreneurs. The members of the group support and help each other long after the class has ended.
If you get stuck on how to do something (for example: add a video to your site) just ask Google. There are so many free videos and articles out there on how to do everything and anything online.
Another way to lighten your load is to delegate. Even DIY types can benefit from this. I hired a freelance programmer through a free ad on Craigslist. He helps me tweak my site with fancy bells and whistles for only $20 an hour. He also helps troubleshoot technical problems if they come up.
Starting an Internet business does not break the bank. In fact, it’s low cost and low risk. Here’s a breakdown of my minimum expenses.
And you can do all of this with a fulltime job.
Now you know how easy it is to start a business with a laptop, a few hundred dollars and a dream. And if you lack the dream, there are some great business-coaching programs online to help you unearth that million-dollar idea or true passion.
If I knew years ago how easy it is to build cyber real estate, I wouldn’t have let my fears and doubts paralyze me for years with excuses of how hard it was. By now the world could have been free of digestive troubles.
These days I’m slowly building a following on my blog, doing guests posts like this one to get the word out, working with clients and generally enjoying the process of growing my business.
I am proof that dream businesses and “miracle” healing can really happen!
Just take that first baby step.
Angela Privin’s love of Do-It-Yourself projects includes her health. She was able to completely heal her Irritable Bowel Syndrome diagnosis with nothing more than the right food, rest and supplements.
She is a health coach and chief “Superhealer” at www.diyhealthblog.com where she inspires and teaches people to take their digestive health in their hands!Tweet 3 Comments