How to Begin Creating a WordPress Plugin

Creating a plugin extends the power of WordPress. Follow along with this tutorial for a quick beginner’s course on how to begin the process of creating a custom plugin.

In this tutorial, you will be introduced to:

  • Why creating a custom plugin is a better choice over modifying core theme, plugin, and WordPress files.
  • Why creating a custom plugin is generally a better choice over creating custom functions in the functions.php file of a theme.
  • How to install the Pluginception Plugin and use it as a very quick, simple way to create a custom plugin.
  • How to start the creation of a plugin and what the minimum requirements are.
  • How to delete the Pluginception Plugin after using it, if desired.

Resources discussed in the video:

It is considered bad practice to edit core files of themes, plugins, and of WordPress itself.

Filter and action hooks are often included to prevent the need for this.

If modifying core files, the changes will be lost when the core files are updated with feature updates or important bug and security fixes.

One way to include custom functions is to modify the functions.php file of a parent or child theme.

Of these 2 choices, it’s better to modify the functions.php file of a child theme.

However, if you ever switch themes, the custom functions will be lost.

In some cases though, this won’t matter if the custom functions were only used to modify the functionality of that theme.

Other times, for writing functions to do things like including custom fields in your posts, it’s best to write a custom plugin, because for that type of functionality… you will want to retain it regardless of the theme being used.

I really like the simplicity of using the Pluginception plugin to create a custom plugin. It prevents the need to interact with the File System using FTP, and comes with a template for a basic function.

For that reason, I am going to show you how to use that plugin to create your own plugin.

Let’s get the Pluginception plugin installed now.

  1. To install Pluginception, from your WordPress Dashboard, go to Plugins, then Add New.
  2. Do a search for Pluginception.
  3. Click Install Now, then Activate.

Now, a new menu option below Plugins will be created to allow you create a new plugin.

Let’s go through the quick steps for starting the creation of a new plugin.

  1. From your WordPress Dashboard, go to Plugins, then Create a New Plugin.
  2. Give your Plugin a name.
  3. Click the Create a Blank Plugin button.

That’s really all there is to the minimum requirements for a plugin.

Here you would paste in some functions that may have normally been suggested to use within the functions.php file of a theme.

After adding in your functions, save the file to see your customizations in action.

When you are done with Pluginception, you may want to delete it.

If so, follow the quick steps below.

  1. From your WordPress Dashboard, go to Plugins, then Installed Plugins.
  2. Click the Deactivate link below Pluginception.
  3. Then click the Delete link.

You should also watch our other create a WordPress plugin video tutorial where you will learn some additional plugin creation techniques.

How to Begin Creating a WordPress Plugin originally posted at TipsAndTricks-HQ


SPI 291: A Blueprint for a Successful Short-Term JV (Joint Venture) Affiliate Campaign

November is Affiliate Month here on SPI. Last week we talked about long-term affiliate relationships, so today we’re going to be talking in depth about how to create a successful blueprint for a short-term JV (joint venture) affiliate promotion. How is a short-term affiliate opportunity different, and how can you plan your campaigns to take advantage of the opportunity in a shorter time span?

Often there are times when you have the opportunity to promote a product that has some scarcity involved. Maybe it has limited access, discounted prices for a short time only—your goal is to crush it and become the top affiliate. Depending on the promotion, these opportunities can be golden, and you don’t want to waste the short time that you have. I’ll be talking about the different kinds of short-term affiliate opportunities available, how to get involved, and how to stand out from the other affiliates who may be promoting the same product. With the step-by-step blueprint I’ll give you, you’ll learn how to outline your short-term campaign, how to draw your audience in, and how to track your progress on the way to success.

Affiliate marketing has totally changed my life. As a result of becoming the top affiliate for a lot of products—including short-term JV promotions—I’ve made connections with A-listers and created important partnerships, all while continuing to serve my audience and provide some awesome products for their online businesses . . . It’s just one big win for everyone involved. This episode is packed full of strategy and information so listen close, maybe get out a notepad (or a note-taking app), and good luck on your affiliate marketing journey!

If you want to go even deeper, check out my brand-new course, 1•2•3 Affiliate Marketing. I’ll be talking more about the course later this month, and you can sign up for the waitlist at And if you want to check out a free (yes, free!) affiliate marketing resource in the meantime, Affiliate Marketing the Smart Way will walk you through the more foundational affiliate marketing strategies you should use.

Thanks to our episode sponsor, Ahrefs, we have a contest this week! Register to win a free annual account (a $3,990 package!) by answering the following question in the comment section below: What is one big goal that you have for 2018?

Leave your answer below for a chance to win. To start your free trial today, go to I’ll pick my favorite comment from all entries; contest closes on December 7, 2018 at midnight Pacific. The winner will be notified via email using the email address associated with the comment.

And hey, if you’re not following me on YouTube already, check out A lot of the game plan for next year is very video-centric. My team and I are devoting a lot of time and energy into YouTube next year (don’t worry, the podcast and blog aren’t going anywhere). I built out a top-of-the-line, 900-square-foot studio space this year, so I’m excited to use it to share some exciting SPI videos with you soon!

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

To help out the show:

  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.
  • Subscribe on iTunes or download our mobile app.

You’ll Learn

  • How to make the most of a short-term joint venture (JV) promotion when it comes your way.
  • The number one rule of affiliate marketing (for long-term or short-term promotions).
  • The different kinds of short-term affiliate opportunities, and how you can get involved.
  • How to stand out from everyone else who’s promoting the same affiliate product.
  • How far in advance I recommend you plan your short-term affiliate campaign.
  • What to offer at each stage of the plan week by week, day by day.
  • Bonuses and incentives you can offer to draw your audience’s attention to your campaign.
  • What tools to use with your launch so you can track it and figure out what’s working.
  • How to use Q&As, webinars, and livestreams to demonstrate and sell your affiliate product.
  • When most of your audience is likely to jump on board during your affiliate campaign, and more!



  • Ahrefs

    Ahrefs is the ultimate tool for anyone who wants to win in the world of SEO. Whether you need a tool for keyword research, competitor research, backlink research . . . Ahrefs is the only tool you need for SEO.

The 2 Quickest Ways to Generate an Income Online

On AskPat, I’ve collected over 3,000 voicemail questions related to starting an online business. The most common question of those I get is this:

“What’s the quickest way to start making money online?”

Before I get into my answer, let me tell you exactly why I don’t really like this question. There are two specific reasons for this:

  • First, the emphasis on being quick. I’ve witnessed several new business owners who’ve put speed over quality and value, only to end up further behind than where they were when they started.
  • Second, it implies trying to avoid the work it really takes to make money online. Building a successful business takes a lot of effort and strategy. From research to execution and everything in between—it takes blood, sweat, and tears. The question is in search of a magic button, but there is no magic button.

Gary Vaynerchuk puts it best. In order to succeed, you need “micro hustle, and macro patience.”

Micro hustle is focusing all of your work and effort on the next task at hand (not the task ten tasks from now), while macro patience is about allowing time to give you the results, because they will not often happen right away.

The question “What’s the quickest way to start making money online?” is the opposite of Gary’s advice.

I’ve thought for years about how to best answer this question. I’ve been asked this question in person before, and even during a live Q&A on stage in front of hundreds of people, and my answer usually reflects the two points I’ve made above.

After I share my thoughts with those who’ve asked this question, their body language usually very clearly reflects disappointment. They were expecting an all-in-one solution, after all, and it’s not that simple.

As I’ve thought more deeply about how to answer this question over the years, I’ve come to a realization that the problem is not the answer, but the question itself. For those who’ve asked it, I don’t think it’s always coming from a place of “quick money.” If we reframe the question, I think there’s room to empower and actually help those who’ve asked it—to give them a foundational understanding of what it really means to generate an income online.

Here’s how I would reframe the question:

“With the resources I have available to me now, what can I possibly offer to others in exchange for money?”

Now this is a question we can begin to answer. And, as you can likely tell, the answers will come to each person on an individual basis based on the resources they have available, and to whom they may be able to share and offer those resources.

The answer doesn’t come from me, it comes from the individual.

If you’re ten years old, you might not have much, but perhaps you may have access to a lawnmower in your garage, so you (after asking your parents) offer to cut the lawn for your neighbors, in exchange for money.

If you’re a writer who’s been trying to build your own brand and sell your own books, offering your talent to others who need it would be the best way to go. It’s a resource you have available to you now, and it’s something others (i.e. non writers) may be willing to pay for if they need writing for their website or blog.

So if you’re struggling to figure out how to make money online fast—in a way that focuses on your strengths—that’s how you do it. Think about the resources you have available to you, the skills and talents you have, the superpowers that you’ve so severely underrated these past years, and journey out there to find those people who are looking for the resources and skills you offer. They are out there.

The one word that sums up this method of income generation is:


That’s what you need to do. No, it’s not at all passive, but it’s the quickest and easiest way to get paid for something that can actually help people and solve one of their problems.

There are two more major benefits of going down the freelancing route:

  1. It’s a fantastic way to immerse yourself in an industry and get to know the lay of the land—the marketplace—so you can carve out your own niche in the future in some way, shape, or form. You’ll also be able to connect with the people you need to connect with, and build on those relationships to create more opportunities.
  2. A freelancing service is something that can, with the right strategy and action, turn into something more productized and passive. Brian Casel, founder of and our featured guest on SPI Podcast Session 158, talks about how he was able to turn his stress-inducing one-on-one design service business into something that was actually more productized, passive, and profitable. I highly recommend you listen to that episode if you have a service-based business and you feel stuck.

Beyond freelancing, you could literally just start contacting everyone you know and offer a service today, right now, right at this moment.

I’ll just wait a moment while you do that 😀

There is one more method of generating an income I’d like to share with you. This method is:

  1. Even easier and faster than freelancing.
  2. Something that has helped me earn more than $3 million since I started my online business.
  3. Something you’re likely, in a way, already doing.

What is this sorcery I’m speaking of?

It’s not magic. It’s simply recommending products you already use to those who trust you. In online business terms, we call this:

Affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is the process of generating an income through a partnership you have with a company by recommending their product(s) to others.

Just think of how often you’ve shared with a friend or online network an amazing tool, service, or product that you love. What if you could potentially earn a percentage of the sale of any products you helped sell through your recommendation? Well, that’s possible, and it’s been around for a while.

The term affiliate marketing has taken a bad rap over the years, primarily because people are abusing just how easy this is to do. Internet marketers are finding products they don’t even use because they come with a sweet commission, and are spamming everyone until they either buy, or unsubscribe.

That’s why I sometimes hesitate to even say I participate in affiliate marketing. But that’s not how I, or you, should approach it. I’m here to lead the change and show people there is so much opportunity out there in affiliate marketing the right way. It’s insane to me that more people aren’t really realizing their full potential with this.

There are products that already exist in this world that provide solutions for your audience (and future audience), and when you align your attention to really help them, with the products out there that already exist, it’s a recipe for success and a win for everyone.

This is why, here on SPI, it’s Affiliate Marketing Month. All of the blog posts and podcast episodes published, and even videos on my YouTube channel are going to be about how to master this craft of affiliate marketing, which has accounted for 85 percent of my total income throughout the years.

It’s my most requested topic, so let’s dig deep this month. To start, make sure you download my quick affiliate marketing guide that covers the most basic rules you must follow to win in the affiliate marketing game. It’s called Affiliate Marketing the Smart Way. All you have to do is click the button below, and I’ll email it to you immediately after you sign up. It’s free, and I promise it will be a good start to help you on your way to affiliate marketing success.

// Get My Free Guide Affiliate Marketing the Smart Way

Like I said, there’s a lot more to come with affiliate marketing this month, and although it may seem simple—just recommending a product to a friend—there’s a lot more to it than that if you really want to succeed.

Make sure to download Affiliate Marketing the Smart Way now if you haven’t already!

SPI 290: Affiliate Marketing: An Insider Look at My Most Successful Long-Term Campaigns

This whole month is all about affiliate marketing here on SPI and I couldn’t be more excited about today’s episode. Affiliate marketing is something I’m incredibly passionate about: It’s helped me make millions of dollars and it’s absolutely changed my life. Today I’m taking you through my process for getting started.

I’ve learned so much in my time as an affiliate marketer, and most importantly I’ve learned how to do it right—and by do it right, I mean doing it in a way that isn’t slimy. That kind of affiliate marketing annoyed me when I was getting started; it just didn’t feel right and it made me feel that people didn’t know what I wanted. But through my journey I’ve discovered that my early experience doesn’t have to be the affiliate marketing experience. If done the right way it can be a huge win for everyone.

In this episode, I’m giving advanced affiliate marketing tips. These tips aren’t advanced on a technical level—they’re advanced in that no one is doing them. I’ll also be breaking down a case study based on a product I’ve recommended a lot recently: ConvertKit. [Full Disclosure: I’m a compensated advisor and an affiliate for ConvertKit.]

This week’s episode is all about finding long-term resources that you can offer your audience that will be there for a long time, and hopefully earn you some money for a long time too. I wish you good luck and success on your own affiliate marketing journey—enjoy!

And, to download my free guide to mastering affiliate marketing, check out

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

To help out the show:

  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.
  • Subscribe on iTunes or download our mobile app.

You’ll Learn

  • What affiliate marketing is and how to do it right.
  • My number one rule for affiliate marketing.
  • A case study based on a product that I’ve recommended recently: ConvertKit.
  • What the acronym D.O.I.N.G. means and why it can be a blueprint to affiliate marketing success.
  • Why you should become familiar with any product before you become an affiliate for it.
  • What you can do to help people feel more comfortable when purchasing through an affiliate link.
  • How to build trust for the product you’re an affiliate for.
  • Why you should never recommend more than one of the same kind of product.
  • The important mindset shift that will help you become a better affiliate marketer.


SPI 289: How Live Video Can Play a Role in Your Business (and How It’s Helped Mine)

Today I’m addressing a question I keep getting asked: What am I doing with my new live video studio? Why did I set it up, what’s my plan for it, and should you be investing money in live video? Today I’m answering all those questions. We’ll be talking about live video strategy, but also how to set up a space to record in.

I knew for a while that video was going to be part of my entire business strategy, especially because courses were going to be so integral. Live video can be a game-changer—it’s a really organic way to connect with your audience. And it’s especially potent on Facebook. If you go live on Facebook, you’ll get more reach than with a text update, or even an image; Facebook’s really favoring live video right now.

Investing in live video is smart. Experts say that by 2020, about 90 percent of content consumption will be via video. Live video is definitely going to be a big part of that—it’s something we need to pay attention to. So join me today as we talk about all things live video: How to get started, how I set up my studio, the results I’ve seen, and a whole lot more. Enjoy!

Thanks to our episode sponsor, Ahrefs, we have a contest this week! Register to win a free annual account (a $3,990 package!) by answering the following question in the comment section below: What is one amazing piece of advice that you’ve heard in a previous episode of the SPI Podcast?

Leave your answer below for a chance to win. To start your free trial today, go to I’ll pick my favorite comment from all entries; contest closes on December 7, 2018 at midnight Pacific. The winner will be notified via email using the email address associated with the comment.

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

To help out the show:

  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.
  • Subscribe on iTunes or download our mobile app.

You’ll Learn

  • The power of live video and why it’s worth the investment.
  • How to get started.
  • Why overly-producing live video can take away from the experience.
  • The results I’ve had because of live video.
  • My first experience with live video and why it blew my mind.
  • Why I created a studio for livestreams and videos, and why I went to that level.
  • How I set up my studio and what equipment I invested in.
  • How my studio is growing and how it will grow in the future.
  • How going live helped with other areas of my business, and more!



  • Ahrefs

    Ahrefs is the ultimate tool for anyone who wants to win in the world of SEO. Whether you need a tool for keyword research, competitor research, backlink research . . . Ahrefs is the only tool you need for SEO.

My September 2017 Monthly Income Report

Welcome to my September 2017 Monthly Income Report!

We had a lot of firsts this month, and I’m excited to share them with you today. Before I go on, if you’re looking for the archive of income reports dating back to October 2008, please visit the income report page here.

As always, I’m excited to share not only my income sources and total income generated from this past month, but also the lessons learned at the same time. I’m pushing hard through the rest of the year, but I’m having a ton of fun at the same time.

Here’s what happened in September.

Income Summary

  • Last month: $140,866.38
  • This month: $220,158.54
  • Last 12 months: $2,057,647.70

Expenses Summary

  • Last month: $63,705.86
  • This month: $57,061.83
  • Last 12 months: $632,984.51

Net Profit Summary

  • Last month: $77,160.52
  • This month: $163,096.71
  • Last 12 months: $1,424,663.19

For the complete breakdown of income and expenses, visit the full report here »

Lessons Learned in September

September was definitely an experience for me. From my trip to Europe to my first podcasting workshop, to massive changes in the approach for content on SPI next year—there were a ton of lessons learned, and lots of exciting moments, for sure.

The biggest thing I learned, however, was while I was in Lisbon self-filming my vlog related material.

I used a Sony RX-100 Mark V to record, and I had it mounted on a small tripod with flexible legs that could bend and wrap around things. It wasn’t a huge thing to carry with me, but it was definitely noticeable—especially if I was filming myself in selfie mode and talking to it . . . which was totally awkward.

Here I am, in Europe, holding this “thing” in front of me and speaking to it—I almost didn’t go through with it because I was worried about what people would think of me—but then I realized: why would they think of me in a way that matters anyway?

I’m in another country, so I’m likely to never ever see these people again, and more than that, do I really think I’m that important that someone would care so much about what I’m doing while recording myself that it would bother them?

Over the course of the four days I spent in Lisbon, I became more and more comfortable with the idea of talking on the camera while in public. On the final day, at the event, it was almost a natural thing to do, especially while at the DNX Conference when I was able to capture moments with other attendees and speakers.

There’s nothing to worry about, and although when I pull out my camera, or even my phone and I still have those reservations about speaking at the device while in public, I realized that there’s nothing to worry about, because no one cares.

Keep that in mind as you begin to create behind the scenes content of your own, perhaps small snippets of your day that you share on Instagram or Snapchat, or Facebook or maybe in a more drawn-out video. Whatever it is, your audience will appreciate getting an insider look at something you’re up to, and you’ll be able to build an even stronger relationship with them as a result, and become more confident at the same time.

Thanks again for following my journey, and I look forward to what happens over the course of the next thirty-one days!

SPI 288: Interview with Bec and Joe from The 4 Blades

This is a fun one! I’m sitting down with Bec and Joe Winston, the brains behind The 4 Blades, a brand in a niche that I never knew existed. What is that niche? It’s a kitchen appliance called the Thermomix. You’ve probably never heard of Thermomixes, but Bec and Joe have built a vibrant digital publication, podcast, and community around them.

Bec and Joe’s brand is an incredible success story, and it just goes to show what you can accomplish when you focus on what you’re passionate about. They have a successful brand because of their amazing personalities and perseverance—all in a realm I never even knew about. They are truly living the lifestyle they want, and it’s all because of the action they’ve taken and the value they provide. Hopefully you’ll all be motivated and inspired after hearing this episode. Enjoy!

And don’t forget to check out my new Build Your Own Brand Challenge-Course, launching on October 16. It’s a free, five-day challenge and course that will help you go from no website to a branded website so that you can start making a mark in the online world. Go to to learn more! If you register for the challenge by midnight Pacific on Monday, October 23, 2017, you get special access to a webinar that will teach you even more tips and tricks for launching your brand.

(If you’re reading this in the future, don’t worry; the challenge will stay open as evergreen content, even after it ends on October 21, 2017.)

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

To help out the show:

  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.
  • Subscribe on iTunes or download our mobile app.

Special thanks to Bec and Joe for joining me this week. Until next time!

You’ll Learn

  • The story of how Bec and Joe stumbled on the Thermomix, and what that is.
  • How Bec and Joe developed a digital magazine for their brand.
  • How podcasting made a huge difference for The 4 Blades.
  • Why The 4 Blades’ paid product is digital publishing.
  • How The 4 Blades community gets involved with each issue.
  • How Bec and Joe use challenges to involve their community.
  • What challenges Bec and Joe have had.
  • Why Bec and Joe decided to stop their podcast at Episode 150.
  • How Bec uses Facebook Live to interact with The 4 Blades community
  • Top pieces of advice from Bec and Joe, and more!


Build Your Own Brand 5-Day Challenge Begins Today!

Today, I’m excited to announce that my new online course, Build Your Own Brand (BYOB), is now permanently open for enrollment. I created the course to help people who have no online branding develop a website and online brand that they can be proud of—all within five days.

And the best part: it’s 100 percent free to join!

Click here now to begin the 5-Day BYOB Challenge!

I’ve been helping people make their mark online since 2009 when I started teaching this stuff, primarily through blog posts and a popular YouTube video about starting a blog. That information was helpful, but it wasn’t the best and most convenient experience to learn by, not to mention it was nearly impossible to keep things all in one place and up-to-date.

That’s why I created BYOB, to give you the easiest way to get the information you need to build a website all in one place, which also makes it easy for me personally to keep things up-to-date for you.

This course is for you if you’re just starting out, you have no website at all, and you’re not quite sure what you’re doing. You know you need to launch a website, you want to make sure it’s done right, and you also want someone to hold your hand step-by-step along the way.

This course is also unique because it’s built as a five-day challenge.

You’ll see five modules (one for each day), and every day you’ll go through the lessons and follow the instructions. Each day will build on the next, and after the five days are over, if you stick with the plan, you’ll have a great looking website you can be proud of, and a solid understanding of your brand and purpose, which are the foundational pieces you need to have in order to build your audience, earn trust, and potentially launch your online business.

Why Is There a Challenge Component?

Two reasons:

  1. Motivation
  2. Planning

Structuring content within a challenge motivates people to take massive action. I’ve run several challenges in the past (like my 72-hour 100 email challenge), and it’s incredible how framing content in a specific way and with an end goal in mind can drive people to finally get off their butts and take action.

Additionally, knowing how many days this is going to take gives you an understanding of just how much time you’ll be spending on this. Build a website—yes that’s a concrete goal, but when is it going to happen? How long will it take?

Framed within a challenge like this, I can tell you what those answers are:

You’re going to start as soon as you choose to begin, and after five days you will have this thing you’ve been aiming to accomplish for a very long time.

Why is This a Free Course?

I’ve actually been building an email list of thousands of people who have told me they’ve been looking forward to an upcoming paid course on building a blog and getting their website up and running.

Earlier in the year, I launched a premium course about business idea validation (Smart From Scratch), and another paid course teaching people to how launch and market their podcast (Power-Up Podcasting). Both have performed very well.

I thought it was the right time, and the right topic, to offer something of massive value for free. For those of you who have participated in one of my existing paid courses, this is the perfect next step.

If you have already validated your business idea, the next obvious step is to create a website to house your new business and begin to collect interest in the product or service you will offer.

If you have created a podcast, but have yet to build your own website, you should. And now you have a free resource to help you!

But even if you haven’t taken my existing courses, but just want to do something to get started and have no idea how, I’ve solved a problem for you too. It’s all here, it’s easy to follow, and it works! I wanted to make the course free in order to remove any financial hurdles that may prevent you from getting started. You will need to invest a little bit of money upfront anyway (for a domain name and hosting plan), so I don’t want to add any other expenses that may trip you up.

I earn an affiliate commission from some of the products I recommend (at no extra cost to you). But my main goal for this course is to show you how to do this right, allow you to experience small wins up front, and hopefully encourage you to learn more about how to scale and grow your brand afterward—whether that’s through all of the free and existing (and upcoming) content on SPI, or in a premium course that might make sense for you later.

More Free Stuff to Celebrate Build Your Own Brand

For this next week and the next week only (through Monday, October 23, 2017 ending at midnight Pacific time), if you sign up to take the BYOB challenge, a couple of things will happen:

You’ll get access to a free LIVE Website Launch Strategy Training that will take place on Wednesday, November 1 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. For an hour and a half, I’m going to give you my best strategies for launching a new website, so after you get the website up and running, you’ll have an understanding of how to make sure it gets in front of as many people as possible.

You will be automatically enrolled in that webinar, and a replay will be sent to you after, whether you can make the live call or not.

If you have been waiting to get your website up—if that’s been the one thing holding you back—don’t let that hold you back any longer. You’re seeing this challenge now for a reason, and I look forward to seeing you progress through it! Just click the link below to get started now:

Click this link to start the BYOB course and challenge!

SPI 287: Should I Create a Personal Brand? Pros and Cons

Welcome to week two of Branding Month here on SPI! This week we’re talking about personal branding. One of the most common questions I get asked is, “Should I create a personal brand?” Today we’ll be exploring the pros and cons in depth.

What is a personal brand? Should you have one? In a sense, I think that everyone should have a personal brand. I’ll explain what I mean by that, but first it’s important to understand why you’re starting out and where you want to go. There are some questions you should ask yourself before you start, because there are definitely pros and cons to starting a personal brand. And there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to how you run your personal brand; you have to decide what works best for you and your business. In this episode, I’ll be breaking down an exercise from my book, Will It Fly?, that will help you understand what direction to go in. I’ll also explore the different definitions of personal brands, the roadblocks you might have, tips for success, and examples of different, successful personal brands. This episode is full of advice for helping you start you own personal brand journey. Listen carefully and enjoy!

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

To help out the show:

  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.
  • Subscribe on iTunes or download our mobile app.

You’ll Learn

  • Why it’s critical to understand where your brand is heading.
  • The different definitions of personal branding and how JAY-Z sums it up.
  • Why we should all have a personal brand (and what I mean by that).
  • The question you should answer before you move forward with your personal brand.
  • The pros and cons of having a personal brand.
  • Why being personable and vulnerable helps your audience connect with you.
  • The weird math we do when it comes to negativity.
  • Personal branding success stories, and more!



  • Be True Brand You by Kimra Luna

    If you’re struggling to get your business off the ground, Kimra’s course, Be True Brand You, is for you. Kimra will teach you to brand yourself so you can’t be ignored and write the kind of copy that gets you noticed and gets you paid. And, you’ll learn how to scale your business so you can earn more while working less.

Build Your Own Brand 5-Day Challenge Begins Next Week!

Today, I’m excited to announce the biggest challenge ever presented to the readers of

Drum roll, please. Now introducing a challenge for the ages:

The 5-Day Build Your Own Brand (BYOB) Challenge!

Before I get into the details of the Build Your Own Brand Challenge, first, a little history. Back in 2009, I published one of my very first YouTube videos, which was called How to Build a Blog in Less Than 4 Minutes and Write Your First Blog Post. As of today, this video has been viewed nearly 250,000 times, and has provided a quick way for first-time bloggers and aspiring online business owners to get a website up and running, and just get the ball rolling on their online presence.

Getting that ball rolling is sometimes the most difficult step. That’s why I created that video—to help people break through that initial obstacle. The next, most difficult challenge is after you’ve had an idea and you’re ready to build upon your website and establish your brand online.

Many things have changed since I created that video in 2009. Over time, I’ve realized that in order to succeed with your website, a few more essential things need to be checked off the list for establishing your brand and making your mark on the internet. This is why I wanted to present this brand new challenge to you today.

What To Expect with the Build Your Own Brand (BYOB) Challenge

The BYOB Challenge will be a 5-day challenge structured like a course on the Teachable platform. For each day of the challenge, you’ll have a set of modules to complete, and within each module you’ll have a set of lessons and short videos that walk you through the process of crafting a high-quality, well-designed personal brand for your website.

This challenge is a much more robust, detail-oriented expansion of my 2009 video, but with the same end goal in mind: To help you build an amazing branded website from scratch. At the end of the 5 days, you’ll have a website with a clear brand, ready for you to begin creating content, build your audience, and eventually sell a product.

Unlike other challenges I’ve run in the past, this is not a reader challenge by way of a blog post. For this challenge, I want to do something different because, as you know, I like to challenge myself and experiment with new things to see if there are better strategies or approaches I can take along the way.

This won’t be like the 72-Hour List Building Challenge at, where you are challenged to build your email list from 0 to 100 subscribers in 72 hours. (By the way, you can still enter the 72-Hour List Building Challenge if you need help kickstarting your email list, since the challenge is evergreen!)

Also, this challenge doesn’t tell you how to launch a course, make money from your website, or build your audience—although that may naturally come later as a result of the initial work you do. But at the end of the challenge I will give you resources you can use to keep going and move to the next steps.

Here are a few things you can expect in the BYOB Challenge:

  • It is built on Teachable, like a course, but structured as a challenge. Teachable is super user-friendly and easy to navigate.
  • It is 100 percent free to join the challenge. You can build your brand from the ground up . . . for free!
  • There will be add-on options for purchase. If you’d like a few bonus items to help you on your way toward building your brand, you’ll have options. But they are totally optional!
  • You are free to choose any hosting company and any email service provider that you’re most comfortable with. I will share my top recommendations based on my experience, but those are just suggestions.

The 5 days will be broken down like this:

Day 1 of the challenge will be about discovering what your brand is really about. You will use that time to come up with a clear mission and name for your brand.

Day 2 will include procuring your domain name and building your website.

Day 3 will be about making sure your website design and theme look professional and in line with your brand.

At this stage, your website branding doesn’t have to be perfect or too fancy, but it’s going to be great enough to instill confidence that your website and design is your home—to move forward with, produce content, and grow your brand.

Day 4 will be about setting up your website plugins and pages.

Plugins allow you to customize your website even further. There are a lot of amazing plugins, but I’ll share the minimal amount of plugins that you’ll need to build a successful brand. The last thing I want to do, in such a short period of time, is overwhelm you. You can always, at a later time, go back and add more plugins that make sense for your website goals.

In addition to that, I’m going to help you figure out what pages (About, Contact, etc.) you should start with.

Lastly, on Day 5 we’re going to focus on writing and publishing your content. And we’ll close it out with a plan for how to launch your new brand!

Sound like something you’d love? Sound like a challenge you’re ready for: To have your own branded website up and running in 5 days?

Sign up here to be the first notified when the challenge goes live!

At the end of this 5-day challenge, I want you to be proud of what you create; you can (and will) create something amazing and inspiring you can share with your community, your family, and your friends so you can start building your audience on a foundation you’re truly excited about.

People often tell me that they just need a good excuse to get started on the online business they want to create, or the website they want to build, or the brand they’ve been thinking about for years. That’s totally normal, and I understand!

But there are people out there waiting for you. They are waiting for you to create the thing you’ve always wanted to create. At 100 percent free to join, you no longer have an excuse! You can create the website and brand you’ve always wanted to.

That’s my challenge to you.

That’s why I created the Build Your Own Brand (BYOB) 5-Day Challenge. If you’re motivated by a challenge, and appreciate some guidance along the way from an expert who can walk you through the process toward a specific and meaningful outcome (building your brand!), you’re in the right place.

Are you ready?

Sign up here to join the waitlist for the Build Your Own Brand 5-Day Challenge that starts next week!