The Making & Marketing of Doceo – My $10K Side Project Challenge

The Making & Marketing of Doceo – My $10K Side Project Challenge

I recently released a small side project I’ve been working on to my subscribers.  The product ships as a packaged file that when imported onto an new installation of WordPress,  loads a fully configured membership site that delivers protected course content.  I called it Doceo.  What I love most about Doceo is that it provides a solution to a real problem that had been bugging me; how to deliver short courses without a complicated or expensive Learning Management System.

The other thing I love about Doceo, is that anybody could have created it.

Doceo is built using free resources.  It works because of S2member, Layerswp and a little bit of creativity.  I didn’t require any technical skills to build it.  There were no development costs and it didn’t eat into too much of my time.

So often people ask me how I come up with ideas. How do I build my products? Do I outsource? How long does it take and how do I market?

I’ll answer those questions (and more!) by sharing the process of creating Doceo and my plans for generating $10K from the product over several small launch phases.

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Moving To Our 1.238 billion ft² Office – A Week Working In The Cafes of Dublin

Moving To Our 1.238 billion ft² Office – A Week Working In The Cafes of Dublin

When Working From Home Is So Great, Why Leave?

I live in a 7 bedroom house but I don’t have an office any more.  My office is now the bedroom of my eldest daughter who moved back home after 6 years. Sharing a house with 8 adults spanning 3 generations is crazy enough.  Throw 6 dogs into the mix, lunchtime gossip sessions, cars coming and going, doggie cuddles and all the other stuff that makes ‘family’ and you’ve got a less than ideal home working environment.

Still I love it and somehow it has worked for me, even now without an ‘offically mine’ office space.

The problem is, living in the sticks causes some problems for two city loving people.  We can’t easily experience Dublin’s blossoming food and cafe culture. This is one of the things we love most about travelling, so many food places on our doorstep.  Here in Westmeath, if we want to take in a show, we need to drive over an hour to get to the theatre and another hour to get back home.  Forget about having a glass of wine with dinner.

We also find it difficult to motivate ourselves to walk and exercise on the country roads.  (Didn’t we pass that bush 20 million times before?)  Some people love country walks. Not us. We much prefer exercising while taking in everything the bustling city streets have to offer.

Until we can afford to buy a house in Dublin (2090 is looking good!), we’ve compromised by taking working holidays to places that offer us everything we miss as city lovers living the country life.

Great Things May Come Out of Compromises

So while recently considering a good time to take off for Italy, we stopped and asked ourselves a question.  While we’re taking off to work and play in foreign cities, what are we missing about our nearest city and hometown, Dublin?

Isn’t there a way for us to experience what Dublin can offer us as a couple who need only a computer and internet connection to get our work done?

When I moved to the country and I found myself caught up in raising our young family while we also tried to making a living online, I stopped experiencing what Dublin had to offer. I never lost touch (we had many fun Saturdays in Dublin with the kids arguing shopping for clothes or gifts) but I stopped seeing the city as my place, despite it being my home town.

Now that I’m reconnecting with the city, I can see that the energy and vibe in Dublin is changing.  Younger people are fuelling the rise in innovative food venues with great menus, startups are emerging from many of the co-working spaces that have established themselves in the capital and there is a buzz about the city that says Dublin is finally catching up and getting cool, not NYC cool but it’s own kind of Irish cool!

So instead of taking off to Italy to work this week, we’re taking off to Dublin.

This wouldn’t have been possible a few years back.  The crappy broadband infrastructure wouldn’t have allowed it. Now, Dublin is all caught up, we’ve got options.

The Challenges of Leaving The Familiar

Our plan is to pop our notebooks into our bags tomorrow morning, leave our house at 6.30 am, drive to the city and be munching on breakfast in Dublin by 8.30.  We’ll work in coffee shops and at hotdesks.  We’ll break for lunch in one of Dublin’s trendy cafes.  We’ll take a walk along the Royal Canal or fit in lunchtime concert in the National Concert Hall.

If not, tomorrow then maybe on one of the 3 days we plan to spend this week in our new 1.238 billion ft² office, Dublin city.

It will be fun to blog about our experience.  We’re a pretty introverted couple so taking this giant step will be a refreshing change of environment, a chance to connect with new people (working on the interwebs can be isolating!), and most of all, our opportunity to experience the things we enjoy; food, culture and people, without having to jump on a plane.

I’m open to the fact that I may love it or hate it.

I’m concerned too about how my productivity will be affected (not to mention leaving our house at 6.30am) so I’ve planned tasks that are not too intense; reviewing applications by coders for our new WordPress plugin, setting up delivery for a new product and reviewing applications for a content writer.

Above I’m excited to mix things up a little.

After all, this is the city I grew up in, the city where Anthony and I met, where we had our first dates and our first jobs, the city we loved once upon a time.

Let’s see how it goes.


Million Dollar Digital Product Launches – Lessons From JVZoo

Million Dollar Digital Product Launches – Lessons From JVZoo

Before JVZoo There Was Warrior Forum

Back when I started out all the launch action was happening on the infamous Warrior Forum where you could learn how to generate an income of eleventy billion dollars in 5 nano seconds even if you’re 90 and have never heard of the Internet.

What was great about Warrior Forum is it gave access to a community of product creators and affiliate marketers who could give even a newbie with a half decent product a great start.

Here’s one of the products I created back in 2012.  To say I ‘launched’ it on the Warrior Forum is far too flattering to my strategy skills at the time.  I paid the $20 listing fee and waited to see what would happen. I had no JV’s  and no list either!  So when I made a profit of $7706.28, with zero marketing effort, I was pretty pleased but I knew I needed to learn strategy.  It’s a work in progress 😉


Later that year when JVZoo emerged, the established players from the Warrior community supported their own and many of the bigger launches by the strongest Warriors were taken to this new platform.

I toddled along not too long after and a quick look at my stats today tells me I’ve been a JVZoo member for almost 5 years.

Let’s see what we can learn by taking a look at the JVZoo market place and the top launches that have happened there.

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How To Develop A WordPress Plugin (When You Don’t Know How To Code) – Choosing A Developer

How To Develop A WordPress Plugin (When You Don’t Know How To Code) – Choosing A Developer

Outsourcing A WordPress Plugin Is A Killer But Worth It

Do you have an idea for a WordPress plugin that you would love to see created for the benefit of WordPress fans everywhere and maybe for some profit too?

But ..

You couldn’t tell php from a PhD and outsourcing a WordPress plugin scares the bejeezus out of you.

That’s okay.  Just because you don’t know how to code doesn’t mean that with some guidance (and certain protective measures) you couldn’t achieve the impossible and get your own beautifully coded plugin out into the WordPress world.

I’ve done it many times.

Sure, I’ve made mistakes along the way.  I’ve lost a lot money (when I had none to loose) and I’ve gone to battle with some nasty-ass coders who lacked the skills to complete their tasks (and that was somehow my fault!)

In this series of posts, I hope to be able to help you do two things.

  1. understand the process involved in having a plugin developed (from choosing a coder to first version release)
  2. avoid the mistakes I made that could cost you money, time and your sanity

In this post, let’s talk about hiring coders.

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How To Easily Segment Your List With ConvertPlug Forms

How To Easily Segment Your List With ConvertPlug Forms

Recently I opened my AWeber account, looked at my ever growing list of ‘lists’ and thought okay, it’s time to do something about this.  I knew I had overlap, with buyers of one product being on another list for another product and maybe even being on a list for free downloads too.  You get the idea.  I wasn’t segmenting and as a result my account was a mess. I needed to take more control of it.

This meant some serious list hygiene followed up with a list segmentation strategy, especially as I was planning to implement Bryan Harris’ content upgrades technique which involves giving additional post specific content away free in exchange for an email.  If I didn’t do this, I could easily end up with hundreds of small lists in my account and tonnes of duplicate subscribers rather than one nicely segmented list.

Why Segment Your List?

While my motive for segmenting is to keep a record of who downloads which bonuses from my blog, there could be many reasons why you might need to segment your list.

Maybe you’re running multiple lead generation campaigns around a single promotion or product launch and need to target subscribers who downloaded lead magnet A.

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4 Simple Meme Types That Will Go Viral Today

4 Simple Meme Types That Will Go Viral Today

Isn’t it crazy that one of the most successful ways to market online involves sharing funny images?  What would Don Draper think!?

Actually, I think he might quite like the idea.

Ok, so maybe meme marketing is not all about funny images.  There’s funny videos too!

Not to mention shocking images and videos, awe-inspiring images and videos and basically any visual content that viewers feel worthy of sharing.

And they do, by the billions!

For this reason memes are an important element of most modern day marketing campaigns. They are used prolifically by the biggest brands names such as Coca-Cola and Levis’, and even politicians seeking to drive debate and votes in Presidential election campaigns.

Though they might seem like silly, trivial content, memes are extremely powerful mechanisms for sending messages, driving opinion and building traffic!

Meme marketing, known as “memetic marketing” is just one component of Image Based Marketing, a trend that has become widely popular since the growth of social networking sites.

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Blog Images Made Super Dooper Easy

Blog Images Made Super Dooper Easy

One of the things I hate, hate, HATE about finishing a blog post is getting a great looking image to showcase it.

It usually goes like this …. spend an hour writing a post (victory dance moment!!) only to spend 3 hours trying to get an image that works and usually ending up with one that sucks anyway!

Well, I got tired of that scenario and solved my problem. And I’m happy to be sharing that solution with you today!

I guess being a graphics geek kinda has it’s perks!

If you own Photoshop (and even if you don’t, Gimp and Pixlr will do fine) you can download my ‘Blog Image’ Creative Toolkit.

It’s full of free to use stock photos with room to add many of your own, filters to Instagram-ify your images, text layouts, shapes and lighting effects.

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All The Stuff Your Competitors Know About Explainer Videos

All The Stuff  Your Competitors Know About Explainer Videos

Explainer videos. What are they, what do they do and why your business needs one.

Explainer Videos get their name from the word ‘explanation’!

An explanandum (a Latin term) is a phenomenon that needs to be explained and its explanans is the explanation of that phenomenon!

The irony!  The explanation for the world explanation is so complicated!! I mean … really???

I prefer to think of it this way. An explanation is a way to communicate ideas meaningfully.   Creating a really great explanation involves transforming facts into a more understandable collection of ideas and concepts.

Explanations help to clarify why something (a law, an idea, a process, a product, or service for example) makes sense, so making it easier for peeps like you and me, to understand.

Explanations enable people to “see an idea from a personal perspective”, so allowing them to make educated decisions about whether they want to invest their time, money, or energy to learn more about the idea.

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How To Make Your Customers Love You & Hate Your Competitors (Ssshh! It’s Easy!)

How To Make Your Customers Love You & Hate Your Competitors (Ssshh! It’s Easy!)

Acquiring a customer is a very special moment and it’s all to easy to forget that when people are buying from us anonymously across the interwebs.  Without face to face interaction, we kinda forget to be nice!

Just because it’s not a face to face interaction, doesn’t mean that the relationship has to be any less valued than if the customer walked into your store, handed you a fifty and bought your product … which I’m sure would make you smile at the very least, say thank you and maybe even give them a great big bear hug (more shop owners should do that!!)

In fact, with everything being so transparent across social media, it’s more important than ever to respect that relationship.

Because we’re selling on much larger scale on the internet,  this requires continual hard work on your behalf.

However, there are simple things that you can do to make this process run more smoothly, keep your customers happy and loyal, and increase your sales all at the same time.

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Back To Basics. The 5 Fundamentals That Everyone Forgets About Writing An Ad

Back To Basics. The 5 Fundamentals That Everyone Forgets About Writing An Ad

Most of us are not copywriters, nor do we have the time to master that skill.

But we do, as online marketers need ads!

So how can talentless wannabe copywriters like ourselves write effective ad copy that will actually work?

Fret not! There are some simple rules that believe it or not makes the whole process actually kinda easy!

All Ads Are Not Created Equal

First, best to know that ads have two different purposes.

1. Awareness or brand advertising. This is usually performed by advertising agencies for larger businesses.

The purpose of this type of advertising is to keep a brand in people’s minds so that when it comes time to make a purchase your brand is the first one they will think of. Through constant reminder and familiarity, your customer will come to prefer your brand over others. So, the intent is not to encourage a prospect to make a purchase, or perform an action, immediately. For this we use direct response advertising.

2. Direct-response advertising aims to encourage a prospect to perform an action of some kind; phone us, fill out a contact form, sign up to your newsletter, visit our website, buy a product.

The Internet is a perfect platform for direct-response advertising, as we can track an ad campaigns success by monitoring prospect actions after they have seen an ad. For example, do they click it?

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