Following on with Rob’s post I have completed his very practical guidance:
1. Buy a domain name and point it to your web host
2. Setup a landing page. Keep your copy really short (and punchy). You need to pique interest, not convince them to buy.
3. Collect emails on that landing page
As stated in my last post I had already setup my domain name and hosting with GoDaddy. This took me around 90 minutes researching plans and checking domain names. I think this took too long, as I fell into my habitual analysis paralysis. I ended up spending only $50.05:
- Hosting – Grid – Economy – Windows – AP Region – 1 year (recurring) $47.88
- .COM Domain Name Registration – 1 year (recurring) $2.17
For that little, it was not worth the time I spent weighing it all up. I kept looking at the Deluxe account which allow a lot more, for not much more. The multi-year lock-ins for much larger discounts were also tempting, but I think there is more merit in making a quick decision with these little things. Something I’m working on.
Next was to install WordPress. This was very easy with GoDaddy and all provided free under the hosting plan. Personally I do not particularly like the LaunchPad theme. Whether it matters or not I do not know. I ended up finding the theme Ice Breaker which I preferred. This was another step that I wasted too much time on. However, both of them next time will be very quick.
Setting up a MailChimp account was very quick and painless. I had to leave a few things going at once though, because I didn’t have the email account setup first. Doing that with GoDaddy again was very easy and provided free with my domain name registration. Just something I should have done first. As I had my Twitter sign up sitting there waiting for the email account to activate also.
Once email, MailChimp and Twitter were setup I could then modify the Ice Breaker theme in WordPress. I’m still new to WordPress, but finding where to do this was easy enough. The difficultly I had was modify the page to submit the email address to MailChimp instead of FeedBurner as it was setup by default to do. In MailChimp get the code for the embedded form and strip all elements and styles from it. You can then add the required Divs and Ids as required to submit to MailChimp.
From the landing page I have left the RSS feed available. This by default, will link to the default word press Hello World! post. Deleting the post resulted in an error from the RSS feed. Instead I changed that post to say a similar message to my landing page, in case anyone subscribes to the feed. Time spent: 2 hours 45 minutes.
Including getting hosting I’m now up to 4 hours 15 minutes. It adds up quick. Going forward I’m going to enter all my work items into TFS and use TFS Working On to track my time. In this blog I will continue to detail time and money spent (and received hopefully) and other difficulties or unexpected things that may arise. But for now here is my landing page for Search TFS. Please sign up if you are interested and I will also update how many email address I get. I do not think my text is quite punchy and I might update it later, but now I’m off to do some coding.