Making-of The Mini-Guide for Writing a Super Complete Post in 20 Minutes

I created my first successful product in just 10 days. I realized the creation process is as valuable as the product itself and I want to share it. Welcome to the Making-of The Mini-Guide for Writing a Super Complete Post in 20 Minutes. ❤

I’ll start a new serie on my blog, it’s the Making-of The Mini-Guide! (All the chapters will be here).

Creating a product is hard, this is why the process is as valuable as the product itself. I learned a lot from the process of creating as I did while I created the system that helps me blog in 20 minutes (the one I talk about in The Mini-Guide).

I want to share the making-of, the behind the scenes, because I think the future me will need to remember fears are overcomeable and I overcame my fears once, I can do it, again. Also, this was my first time creating a successful product. Successful in my own definition, of course. This was the first time I worked with a plan and through that plan.

I managed to decide, create, write, design, edit, publish and market The Mini-Guide for Writing a Super Complete Post in 20 Minutes in just 10 days. Those were the more amazing 10 days of this semester, I learned a lot, did a lot and wrote a lot.

The Mini-Guide and the making-of are made in San Salvador. In a small town named Mejicanos, in my apartment, the one I’ve been living forever, in a 15m² room. In our world, it seems like you need to have big places and luxurious stuff to make it happen. But I’m gladly to say that is far from the truth, the only big things you need to make it happen are ideas, desire to work and heart.

I’m gonna share exactly what happened while I was creating The Mini-Guide. The creation process might help you to create your product or even realize you want to create a product. I really don’t know if this series will help you or not, but I know it will help myself. I have this desire of sharing the process of creation because I feel there were so many myths that even stopped the Katherine of the past, but while I was living those 10 days, I was able to erase every one of the myths and create, not just my product, but a new chapter in my life.

Do you want to know if I accomplish all my goals when I created The Mini-Guide? Yes, I did! I wrote in paper 3 personal goals and 1 product goal, and all were accomplished!

I don’t want to share those goals (or maybe I just don’t want yet) because I don’t want you to feel pressured to take those same goals and try to make them. That’s not healthy. You should write your own purposes and then make those happen. Never edit your life to make it seem like the ones you read, always embrace yours.

This serie will take a few chapters, between 5 or 10. I’m counting on sharing everything based on the pictures I took on those 10 days. I want this Making-of to be the most authentic in every way, the words, the pictures, the videos and the learning need to come of those 10 days only.

The Mini-Guide for Writing a Super Complete Post in 20 Minutes was created under the Small Product Lab July 2015 hosted by Gumroad. I’m forever grateful with Gumroad and Small Product Lab for those 10 days.

If you want to read the first post of the Making-of The Mini-Guide, join here, I’ll send it when it’s ready: http://kath.pw

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The ultimate checklist to start your own blog

I was talking with one of my best friends the other day and she told me she wanted to start her own blog. She loves to write and she does it quite often but she really wanted to start publishing her toughts.

I told her the best she could do was to open a blog at WordPress, buy a domain and start publishing.

But here’s the thing. I could do that in 3 steps because I know how it works already. I’ve been here for 7 years!

Later, I found out it was the worst day of her life in front of a computer. She was lost, she didn’t know what to do first, she didn’t know where or what to click and her back hurt. I felt so bad because I might be privating the world of her thoughs.

She had the worst experience starting her own blog that she might not blog again, ever!

This is why I think is a good idea to publish the ultimate checklist to start your own blog. So you know exactly what you need to do the first day you want to publish a post. Once you check everything on the list, you’ll have to worry only for publishing your posts, only for the writing part, our favorite part.

I think this checklist will help you to save a lot of time setting up your first blog.

If you’ve been thinking about what to write or the main topics you’re gonna share, it will be the easiest thing.

If you just happen to want a blog, you’re gonna start the right way because in this list are things you haven’t consider before and need to be done before you start getting readers.

I’m gonna make this list taking WordPress as example because that’s my favorite platform but you can apply the majority of items on this list to any platform of your convenience.

I recommend you to follow this list from the beggining to the end before publishing your first post. If you have a blog and want to audit it, you may also follow the checklist. About the time, it doesn’t matter if you do one item today and the next one tomorrow or the entire list in an hour, what does really matter is that you have it done soon. 🙂

For me, this list is fundamental, is like building a house. You start with the bases and structure and then, you start building. Well, the bases are your ideas and your desire to post, the structure is this list and then, you start building with your writing.

If you want to start your blog or audit yours, this could be the ultimate checklist you need.

If you want to publish your ideas and have no idea about code and hosting and all of that, this might be the list you were waiting for.

The ultimate checklist to start your own blog.

  1. Create a free account on WordPress.com or the platform of your choice. There’s Tumblr, Squarespace, LiveJournal, etc.
  2. Go to your profile settings (in WordPress is a little circle on the top right of your screen, between a pencil and a bell). In your personal profile settings, upload a photo and write your first name, last name, public display name and save profile details.
  3. Go to security settings and activate the two-step verification.
  4. If you created your blog on the first step, good. If not, create your blog now. Basically, your choosing for a url right now, this url might look something like this: myblog.myplatform.com when you have your blog, go to the settings of your blog.
  5. Write the site title and the site tagline. Don’t waste too much time on this, you can always change this in the future but don’t leave it empty! (If you have no idea what to write here, write your name or your business name in the site title and your motto or the 3 main topics you’ll write about in the site tagline).
  6. If you bought a domain for your blog in the first step, good. If you didn’t buy a domain in the first step, do it now. This is your url, this is where everyone will visit you.Yes, having a WordPress.com blog is professional but having a hello.wordpress.com url for your blog is not.If you think you’re going the long road with your blog and you don’t want to spend any other day figuring out how other platform works, buy your domain inside WordPress. You’re gonna find a link to do just that on the site address option at the settings of your blog (it’s only $18usd per year).

    If you’re feeling adventurer about the platform, you can buy the domain outside WordPress and then map it to WordPress. When you want to go other place in the future, you just have to map your domain to the other place.

  7. Choose the language you’re gonna write in.
  8. In the site visibility settings, choose to allow search engines to index this site.
  9. In the related posts settings, choose to show related content after posts.
  10. In the sharing settings, go to the connections tab and connect your social media profiles where you want to share your future posts.
  11. In the sharing buttons, customize your buttons if you want, but whatever you do, don’t forget to add your twitter username in the box below the buttons. When somebody shares your post, you’ll get a reply from that somebody!
  12. If you choose a theme you really liked in the first step, good. If you want to see what’s out there, go to the theme settings. Choose a theme you like and if you’re gonna write once per week in the beginning, choose a simple theme first. In a month or two, you can comeback to change to a more complicated theme if you want, when you have 10+ posts.
  13. Now, that you chose your theme, customize it and make it yours. Play around with the options and take advantages of the live preview before you save the changes.
  14. In the Site Identity option, you can change the site title and tagline. Or you can choose to keep them but hide them.
  15. If you love your theme but dislike the fonts, change them. Choose a font that DOESN’T have “[Tk]” in the name and your font customization will be free.
  16. Customize your site even more with a header (again, take advantage of the live preview to test your images, headers or to decide you don’t want one).
  17. Check if you have the “Theme Options” to see special features of your theme. Play it around and see if you want to add them or prescind from them.
  18. Save all your work right now.
  19. Go to the Widgets tab (in the customizer) and choose your weapons. I highly recommend the follow blog widget and to add your favorite social media profile (I’ve added the instagram widget).
  20. Save again and your blog is SO ready to be fed with your posts! 😀

If you liked this article, let me send you the next one when it’s ready. Join here: http://kath.pw

You’re wrong about WordPress.com – here’s why.

Don’t compare the WordPress.org you’re seeing with the last WordPress.com you saw.

When trying to choose a platform for your site, there’s no doubt WordPress is the best. Everybody will say you need to make your own website on WordPress. But when it comes to choose between WordPress editions, no one will recommend WordPress.com. But I’m not no one, I’m Katherine Montero and you’re wrong about WordPress.com.

WordPress is the best CMS (content management system), 21% of the Internet uses WordPress. They’re not just friendly, but clean, pretty, professional and effective.

WordPress is not the first CMS ever created. That’s for sure. But when everybody started to make content creation easy, WordPress did it easy, clean and beautiful.

They created 2 editions, the hosted edition (WordPress.com) and the self-hosted edition (for you to host whenever you wanted: WordPress.org).

Back in the days, I’m talking 2008 here, WordPress.com had only like 12 templates. Even though it look cleaner that any other site on any other CMS, you knew it was the hosted at WordPress.com version because there were only 12 templates.

The main reason everybody chose to go to WordPress.org was because of the customization and the plugins.

Here’s the thing about WordPress.org, you may have won two features, but loose a lot if you weren’t a designer, developer, engineer, content creator and owner.

  • If you’re not a designer, the only thing you’ll get is a basic template that’ll look cluttered.
  • If you use several plugins, your site will be slow that won’t be professional at all.
  • If you’re not an engineer, you won’t know how to deal with hosting, plugins, installations, updates.
  • If you’re not a content creator, you won’t be able to get +100 visits per day and why are you wasting your money on a site that isn’t visible, again? Or worse, could get a lot of visits and see how your site went down because your hosting plan was too small and don’t know how to deal with such thing.

When you’re a writer, your real intention is to write. AS SIMPLE AS THAT.

And when you’re more than a writer, when you’re a parent, a developer, a CEO, an artist, a coach, a creator, an illustrator, a designer, a founder, the real intention is still to write but with the aggravating your time is limited and you just can’t afford to pay attention to hosting or site speed or template installations.

You just need to write and share your art.

When your time is limited, the best you can do is to make permanent decisions.

This doesn’t mean you won’t change in the future, it means the decision you made, will work today and tomorrow.

For example, if you’re outside and it starts raining, you won’t care about the quality of the $1 umbrella or plastic bag you buy, you’ll just care it works right now. But when it comes about choosing an umbrella and spend more than, I don’t know, $12USD, you’ll want that umbrella to work this season and the next 5. Buying that $12 umbrella was a permanent decision because you won’t have to worry about raining season again, you know you have a solution that works today and tomorrow.

If your time is limited, you have to start making permanent decisions so you don’t have to worry tomorrow.

When you choose to share your art, whether is photography, essays, articles, stories, you’ll want to make a permanent decision about the platform today, so the only concern you have tomorrow is to create content and make it available for the world.

That is the only concern you should have as a creator. The moment you found out you can do that on a blog and that you basically have to do nothing because is all up and running, you can focus on creating.

WordPress.com was seen as the “unprofessional” version of WordPress, just because it was hosted in the WordPress servers but let me tell you something. WordPress servers are better than any server you can buy for $5usd/month.

WordPress has multiple servers and it doesn’t matter if one of them goes down (very unlikely) or if you get a lot of visitors in one day or multiple days, your site will still be up because they have a back up in another server.

WordPress made an incredible community over the years where there’s a forum, there’s conferences every year and there’s a lot of people so grateful with WordPress and its meaning that have had the time to create amazing templates over the years. Both free and premium. Now, there are so many templates that WordPress publishes 3 every week. There are so many to choose and your site can look just as professional as every other.

If you’re a designer and want to add your own personality to your site but don’t have the time to deal with hosting. You can do that here. They added the CSS customization where you can choose a template to change it or you can add CSS from zero, it’s up to you.

Not a designer but still a creative? That’s ok. You can customize your site with headers, logos, typography, sidebars.

You think you’ll need the plugins? Unlikely. WordPress.com doesn’t need plugins because they built in everything you may want. Analytics, subscriptions, social media buttons, etc. And guess what? As they’re built in the platform, you don’t have to worry for the speed of the site, because they optimize it all.

Wanna talk about how “unprofessional” is to have a site on WordPress.com? I don’t know about you, but CNN and Time look very professional to me, and they’re hosted at WordPress.com.

Having a clean, beautiful, professional site on WordPress is free. If you want to add a domain (which you should), you pay $18USD per year. PER YEAR! Less than 2 dollars per month. And you can have the domain, but also can add an email address (actually 5 email addresses), and the set up is as easy as writing.

There’s no reason for you to suffer or worry about other reasons besides creating your work.

And if you’re time limited, you’ll love it here.

Why is everyone wrong about WordPress.com? Because when they left to WordPress.org, they forgot Automattic updates both editions, they compare the WordPress.org they’re seeing with the last WordPress.com they saw. And WordPress.com has improve incredibly these last 7 years.

If you’re a solo creator like me, let me tell you something from the bottom of my heart, WordPress.com works and what’s best, it lets me work.

If you liked this article, let me send you the next one when it’s ready. Join here: http://kath.pw

Milestones that made me happy this September 💙

This was the most challenging month ever and still my numbers had the courage to embrace new milestones! 💙

Behind the courtains of KathMontero.com was the most challenging month ever. I mean, this has happened before but this is my first month having my business running and I had to be there for my readers no matter what! I did it and I’m publishing it because the rain is over.

My computer broke and been working from my phone the entire month! Yes, work like posting, CRM, content creation, email courses and all the learning of courses I’m doing somewhere else plus University homework and else, all happened through my phone last month. Seriously, Windows Phone is amazing and helped me a lot all September!

It was wise to got it. ❤

September also brought me all the digital prizes for winning the Small Product Lab July 2015! 🙂 I’ve been enjoying them through my phone and today I was able to play around with them on my computer! Can’t wait to tell you all about them sometime soon!

Milestones that made me happy this September! 💙

+700 photos on Instagram

I like Instagram so much that I’m happy to announce that finally I made it to +700 photos over there! ❤ I always say this but the reason I love Instagram is I feel no one uploads a photo to be mean, everybody is trying to show the beauty of the place around them or something curious.

If you want to look at my +700 pictures, I’m @Queith on Instagram. http://instagram.com/queith

+70 readers on ConvertKit

One of the digital prizes I got for winning the Small Product Lab is ConvertKit. I couldn’t use it until yesterday because of my computer. But I started clicking here and there today.

First, I saw the introduction video of all the features it has and I thought it was amazing all it could do, but also I was scared of not being able to take advantage of all its functions.

I was worrying for nothing! Once I was inside ConvertKit, I followed some arrows and it was easier than ever to set up my first broadcast. 🙂

That first broadcast was sent to +70 readers, if you want to get the next one, join here: http://kath.link

+40 readers of The Mini-Guide for Writing a Super Complete Post in 20 Minutes

Wow, The Mini-Guide for Writing a Super Complete Post in 20 Minutes has helped +40 writers so far! I’m so happy about this because “so far” means barely 60 days! I launched it on August 6th.

So don’t hesitate about this, the ebook, the printable poster, the checklists to publish quickly, the email series on blogging, all the package is helpful and +40 writers support this statement!

If you’re a writer, a lifestyle blogger or an author and want to save time writing to spend it on the things you really want, read The Mini-Guide here: https://gumroad.com/l/MWsPD

40 friends on Facebook

I deleted my old Facebook and created a new one due to security reasons. It has been a challenge doing all of this through my phone but it had to be done. Awkwardly, I started adding my friends on my new account and realized how difficult is doing it when you have zero friends.

Most of my friends had activate the “get friend requests from friends of friends only” option. Do you know how many friends in common can you have with someone when you have 0 friends in your profile? Exactly, zero.

But I found a way to re-add my friends and family. Thank God! So, having 40 friends in 2 weeks is a great milestone! 🙂

+30 hunters on Product Hunt

I created my Product Hunt account because a lot of my SPL friends recommend to hunt your product over there. I tried to hunt The Mini-Guide but I couldn’t because you need some kind of extra permission on your profile. Magic happened when I won the Small Product Lab because Alex from The Foreground Web hunted The Mini-Guide for Writing a Super Complete Post in 20 Minutes!

So, I kept my profile on Product Hunt and been able to get +30 hunters on my profile! Woohoo! Not to bad for an author who couldn’t even hunt her own guide, huh? 🙂

If you have a Product Hunt account, maybe we could be friends over there and find great products together, I’m @Queith. http://producthunt.com/@queith

This is it for September, can’t wait to live October to my fullest and see what new milestones happen!

If you want me to help you save time writing to spend it on the things you really want, join here: http://kath.pw