Being Okay With Being Unpopular


This is the first in a series of brilliant guest posts that will be appearing on the blog while I’m in Italy. Let’s roll out the welcome mat for Jess – leave your thoughts/ experiences/ questions in the comments below. I’ll be checking back in, but in the meantime, enjoy!


What’s with this incessant need we have to want everyone in the world to like us? It’s obviously an impossible feat, and yet we feel icky whenever we’re faced with someone who is critical of us, who disagrees with us, or who speaks badly of us. Even if we don’t know the person slinging the negative remarks, criticism can leave us with knotted stomachs and self-doubt for days.

Smack bang in the middle of a particularly tough week on the blogosphere, one of my readers sent me a TEDx talk by someone named Erika Napoletano called Rethinking Unpopular. It was just the medicine I needed to soothe my bruised ego, and console me enough to see the beauty in the situation – both in the humility it was affording me, and also in the perspective it gave me.

This talk made me realise that being unpopular is not a bad thing – especially now that we’re no longer in high school. Being unpopular as an adult means that we’re being authentic. It means that we’re being so loyal to who we are that we’re not willing to morph into something else just to please other people. And this authenticity is what’s going to deliver us all of the goods life has to offer.


“There will always be naysayers. If everyone agrees with you, you’re doing it wrong. But then again, if everyone disagrees with you, you just might be doing it wrong, too.” ~ Erika Napoletano


Sure, being authentic and speaking out in the face of naysayers may rock the boat, but that’s good. Can you imagine what the world would be like if everyone just agreed with each other and no one had the audacity to challenge someone else’s ideas? We’d all be completely ignorant to the fact that the world is round and that perhaps it’s not such a great idea to smoke while pregnant.

As Erika says in her talk, being unpopular is all about honouring your two most important relationships – the relationship you have with those who love you for everything you are and everything you’re not, and the relationship with yourself. Nothing else matters. We can’t please everyone (this is a cliché for a reason), and there’s no way around that. We may all come from the same source, but we’re all made up of different cells and we’re all results of different conditioning.


“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.” ~ Dita Von Teese


Being a blogger, I have something to say. This is the case with every blogger. If it weren’t, our websites would simply be filled with pages and pages of cat videos. But even this would spark critical comments from those weirdos who don’t like cats. Some days I’ll post something that’s met with a round of virtual applause from all directions, and then just when my ego starts to get ahead of itself I’ll be brought back down to earth with comments alluding to the idea that perhaps I have no idea what I’m talking about. It’s humbling. But without keeping a healthy perspective, it could also make me want to close my whole site down and hide away.

If you have something to say, please say it. It’s an incredible disservice to the world when you play it safe for the sake of pleasing the masses, and you have no idea of the potentially great impact you could have by being true to yourself and being your gorgeous, shining, authentic self. Be okay with being unpopular.


Jess Ainscough is a writer, speaker, health coach and cancer kickin’ Wellness Warrior. As the creator of The Wellness Warrior, Jess writes daily articles on courage, kindness, self-respect — as well as practical how-to’s for shopping, cooking, juicing and nourishing your body. She is also the creator of the revolutionary guide to mind-body reinvention, The Wellness Warrior Lifestyle Transformation Guide. This year, Jess will have her first book published with Hay House called Make Peace With Your Plate: How To End Your Tortured Relationship With Food.



Have you ever experienced a backlash when you’ve gone against popular opinion (whether that’s on your blog, at work, or in conversation?) Ever stayed quiet on an issue to “keep the peace?”

Share your stories below.

Building a Blog You Love: Creating a Remarkable Product

{Poster created by Sian Richardson. Download the high res version and Pin to Pinterest using the button at the bottom of the article}.

Welcome to another installment of my Building a Blog You Love series, and let me just start by saying – you are in for a serious treat today!

I’ll hazard a guess you’re familiar with my gorgeous friend Jess Ainscough – writer, health coach, cancer kickin’ creator of The Wellness Warrior and all-round joyful soul – but what you probably haven’t heard as yet is just how much of herself she’s poured into her revolutionary guide to mind-body reinvention, The Wellness Warrior Lifestyle Transformation Guide.

Below you’ll find Jess generously sharing the process of creating The LTG in full detail (for the first time!), as well as her strategies for growing The Wellness Warrior over the past two years. This is the kind of juicy, insight-packed resource I know I’ll refer back to when I’m creating products myself and I hope you do too.

Bookmark it, print it, share it with your friends (help ’em out!)… and enjoy!

Let’s start with your gorgeous site. The Wellness Warrior is my go-to for inspiration on healthy living and it never ceases to amazes me what a brilliant job you’ve done growing your tribe. Can you share what’s worked for you over the past two years when it comes to attracting readers/ subscribers/ raving fans? 

Sure! I think the reason my blog has gained such a loyal following is because I’ve shown up to speak to my readers every day for over two years. When I write for them, I speak to them like they are my friends and family – because they are!

The people reading my blog have listened compassionately as I’ve bared my soul to them – the tough times and the breakthroughs. We’ve been on a rollercoaster of emotions together, but the whole time we’ve had each other’s back. Like any family, we’ve argued, we’ve cried, we’ve consoled each other, and we’ve collectively cheered. I don’t censor anything from them – I’m totally real and raw. This has really been the major key to my growing tribe.

There have also been some strategic steps. Guest posting on other blogs with big audiences has helped, so has conducting interviews with people with large followings (they will usually share the interview for you). My newsletter subscribers grew substantially when I changed my opt-in offer to my current 80+ Green Smoothie Recipes e-book. This was a game changer for my newsletter list, growing it from about 2000 to 10,000 in seven months.

I committed to my blog like it was a lucrative job right from the beginning (I didn’t make any money for about 18 months). I’ve treated it with the same respect, making sure everything is top standard, putting my own money into it, and working with the best people to turn it into something that actually would make money.

Tell us a bit about The Lifestyle Transformation Guide and what the drive force was behind creating it. 

The idea for The Lifestyle Transformation Guide was born from the burn out I was experiencing when I was doing one-on-one coaching. I had taken on too many clients and my self care and happiness was being compromised – however I didn’t want to stop coaching, so I decided to package my program into an online format, with a few tweaks here and there. It was a way I could help more people, at a lower cost to them, without harming my own health.

The Guide is made up of 12 steps, designed to take you from where you are now to wherever you want to be on your wellness journey. Each step is also designed to build upon the one before it, so that you are only moving on to the next once you’ve made a habit out of the one before it. Before you know it, sustainable transformation has been achieved!

In each of the steps you will find gorgeously designed mini e-books and worksheets, video demonstrations, video and audio lessons, recipes, and lots of interviews with amazing wellness experts. It also includes bonuses like The Wellness Warrior Manifesto and desktop backgrounds with inspirational quotes – all designed up all stunningly, of course. (psst: you can get access via this link {affiliate}. It’s freaking amazing!)

How long ago did the idea take shape in your mind and what have you done since to bring it to life?

The idea formed in my mind at the end of last year, but I didn’t start totally focusing on it until about April this year. I launched my e-book Make Peace With Your Plate in February, and then took a month off before diving into the next one.

Step 1: Mapping out the plan

I used a Word doc to come up with each of the steps I wanted to include in The Guide. To decide on the steps, I looked back at my own personal transformation at gave a lot of thought to what worked, what didn’t, and in what order the steps needed to be taken to be most effective, enjoyable and sustainable.

I decided I wanted a range of elements in each steps: written, worksheet, video, and interview. I then decided what content I wanted in each step, what could be turned into a worksheet, what videos I wanted to film and which experts I wanted to approach for interviews.

Step 2: Branding and design

Because I knew this was going to be a pretty big job, I gave my designer a heads up pretty early on. We came up with a logo design first, and then she carried that branding out into the other elements of both the sales page and the members site.

Step 3: Website set-up

I have DIY’d in the past, but this time I knew I wanted to hire some help to set up all of the website stuff. I am so thankful that I did! My VA is an absolute whizz. She set up Optimize Press and Wishlist (the two WordPress plugins that were needed for The LTG), and she has done all of the coding, page layouts, and been at my service whenever I came across something that is way to technical for me.

Step 4: Line up interviews

I aimed high for this one, approaching all of the people on my interview wish list. Some declined due to other commitments (it’s tricky when they are in hiding writing books or travelling), but most of them agreed. Yay!

I sent each of them an interview packet outlining everything about the program, everything about me, and everything about my website including stats. Then, I booked in a time to chat with them over Skype. This can also be tricky when you’re talking with people in a different time zone. There were several mornings when I was sitting at my computer with a face full of make-up at 6am talking to someone in the US.

I recorded all of my interviews using Call Recorder for Mac.

Step 5: Marketing plan

I did a big 21 days of giveaways promotion when I launched my e-book and while that was awesome, it really drained me. So this time I decided to keep it simple. This is what I did:

1 // I gave sneak peeks into The Guide by posting a short snippet of the interviews on my blog each Wednesday during about 10 weeks leading up to the launch.

2 // I created a newsletter list purely for The LTG updates, and sent them teasers like behind the scenes pics, launch info, and a free gift.

3 // I enlisted the help of awesome affiliates to spread the word.

4 // I filmed a gorgeous promo!

5 // I did a launch month giveaway to create urgency – everyone who bought the program during the first month went in the draw to win either a Vitamix blender or one of 10 runner up prizes.

Step 6: Content creation

Writing all of the copy, gathering all of the interviews, and collecting all of the bits and pieces from all of the contributors.

Step 7: Film videos

I did this over a couple of days, and spent money hiring the best so that they would be amazing quality.

Step 8: Content design

I sent all of my content to my designer for her to work her magic.

Step 9: Pricing decision

This was tough. I originally thought I was creating a program that would be $150, but as I continued to create I realised that The Guide was growing into something far beyond what I first anticipated. So, after A LOT of debilitating, throwing numbers around and consulting with my power posse, I decided on $979. I wanted to keep it under $1000, and my speaking coach told me that I have to end in a 79 because people respond better to 7s and 9s (and you have to have them in the order of small to big because that’s good feng shui).

But then, things changed again. After I launched it at this price something wasn’t feeling right in my gut. I wanted to make the program more accessible to my readers, while still keeping it at a price that reflected its worth, so I eventually landed on $579. As soon as I changed the price the icky feeling in my gut went away.

The moral? Always trust your intuition.

Step 10: Film promo

I left this until the very end, but ideally it should have been done sooner around about this step. I wanted to tell the story of my own personal lifestyle transformation and illustrate it with gorgeous shots from my life. I am SO stoked with how it turned out. This is probably my favourite part of the whole thing ha ha.

Step 11: Set up membership site

I uploaded all of the designed content and videos into each of the 12 step pages.

Step 12: Set up sales page

I uploaded all of the copy (which Alex Franzen helped me come up with) as well as the videos (I have a video on almost every page), and badges.

Step 13: Set up affiliate program

My VA set this up for me, and then I created the content for the affiliate centre – all of the copy & pasteable language and promotional badges.

Step 14: Test that everything works

I had my power posse help me test that the affiliate program process and the membership sign up process works smoothly and makes sense.

Step 15: Approach affiliates

A week and a half before the launch, I approached all of the people who I wanted to become affiliates, and also put a call out to my LTG newsletter list.

Step 16: Launch!

First I sent an email to everyone on the LTG newsletter list, and then posted a blog on my website and sent an email to my Wellness Warrior newsletter list. Then I posted it on Facebook and Twitter. I also sent all of my affiliates a reminder to start promoting.

I know a high-density project this in-depth takes a village. Who have you worked with along the way? Who helped take this idea from inspiration to reality?

Okay, my dream team includes:

+ Susana and Nicola – my power posse who helped me shape the idea, kept me accountable, were there for me to bounce ideas off of, helped me with any confusion and told me to keep breathing. I couldn’t have done it without them!

+ Sian Richardson – my freaking amazingly talented designer. One brief and the girl totally gets my whole vision, and then lays it out for me so much better than I could ever imagine. She is the best.

+ Tina Caldwell – my super star VA. She is so fast, so nice, and so patient.

+ Luke Middlemiss from Playback Films – Luke is my videographer and he is a genius. His regular gig is as a wedding videographer (he makes wedding videos look like high-budget movies), but I snapped him up to film all of my videos – the demonstrations, in-person interviews, and of course, the promo.

+ Yvette Luciano – Yvette is my new customer service virtual assistant, and she helps me answer all of the LTG related query emails.

You’ve interviewed plenty of influential souls both on your site and for the LTG. Can you give us a bit of an insight into how this usually plays out? 

I love doing interviews! It’s the best way to get quality information and advice, as well as make some great connections. I outlined my process for The LTG interviews up above, and it is pretty much the same for The Wellness Warrior ones. I just email them with an introduction about me and my story, my website stats, and tell them that I would be over the moon if they would chat with me.

Any tips for contacting and connecting with busy, important people? 

Make it super easy for them. Give them all of the information, including what you are interviewing them for, who you are, what your website stats are, and tell them that you just need them for 30 minutes max (less if they can’t do that) at a time that suits them. Work in with them and their schedule as much as you can.

What lessons have you learned along the way?

Ooh so many! The main ones are:

1 // Launches ALWAYS take more time and work than you first expect. If you choose a launch date, be willing to have this stretched to accommodate any unforseen bumps.

2 // Hire a VA. This will save so many headaches, and stop you from fighting with WordPress into the wee hours.

3 // Be assertive and stand up for yourself when working with creatives. It used to be really difficult for me to tell designer and other people I’m working with if I don’t like something. I don’t like conflict at all, so this lesson has kept coming up for me. It’s still a skill I’m working on, but I’m way better than I used to be.

4 // Breathe.

Pretty amazing, huh? I love how Jess has brought so much clarity to the product creation process – something that can definitely be overwhelming and confusing without a roadmap!

I’D LOVE TO KNOW: What did you learn from all this? Feeling inspired to create a product of your own? 

Other posts in the ‘Building a Blog You Love’ series:

Start with Heart
Design Essentials
Brands, PR’s + Making the Money

And don’t forget you can get instant access to Jess’ Lifestyle Transformation Guide by clickety-clicking here!

The Lifestyle Transformation Guide

About a month ago I opened my inbox to find a shimmering gem from a friend and one of my biggest inspirations, Australia’s Wellness Warrior Jess Ainscough.

The email read:

“I was just lying outside in the sun and had an epiphany. I was thinking about some of the roadblocks people may face before they start working through my Lifestyle Transformation Guide and realised that one of them may be the belief that they don’t have enough time in the day to do everything. And that’s when the lightbulb went off. YOU are the perfect example of someone who has a full time job PLUS you make the time to look after yourself, work on fulfilling your purpose, maintain healthy relationships and everything else you have going on.”

Jess then asked if I’d be interested in talking passion, balance (or my take on balance), overwhelm and everything in between on video for her new offering the Lifestyle Transformation Guide – and of course I jumped at the chance. I also shared my morning routine for another section of the program, and having spent some serious time hanging out ‘backstage’ I’m going to tell you today why you too need a slice of the raw cacao pie.

The Lifestyle Transformation Guide


Over the weekend, I sat with tears streaming down my face listening to Terri Cole from Live Fearless and Free talk about her ‘year of fear.’ I marvelled at the gentle warmth of Tara Sophia Mohr. I read the step-by-step guides gobsmacked at the depth of practical knowledge that had been poured into this life-changing resource – the Lifestyle Transformation Guide.

It was as if I was sitting in a room full of the people that inspire me most – wellness experts explaining WHY and HOW you can find your way back to brilliant health – learning how to rock my own life from the ground up. And yep, I cried again when I watched Jess’s promo vid. The bar has been freaking RAISED.

My “official” praise for the product is as follows:

“Jess Ainscough’s Lifestyle Transformation Guide is a total game-changer. Somewhere between the soulful first-hand wisdom of its gifted creator, the insanely useful worksheets and the video interviews that will leave you exclaiming Oh my god, how GOOD are these?!, you’ll be rocked to the very core. Your life will change for the better.

Let Jess steer your intentions to a place of truth – where practical teachings meet stunning design – and relish in her support as you reclaim your life and your radiant health. When you dive in, bring the most tired, sluggish, uninspired, overwhelmed parts of yourself to the table and I guarantee you’ll walk away with a multi-tiered action plan for living your best, most energetic life. This revolutionary program is in a league all of its own.”

I also need to mention that there’s a dedicated Facebook support group for participants where you can hang and chat with Jess personally. She’s with you every step of the way, and honestly, that kind of access is invaluable (believe me – I watch transformations and epiphanies happen every day in the B-School Facebook group. Magic happens where like-minded people gather).

The Deets


I believe in the LTG so much that I have no hesitation in saying that is worth every cent of the original price… however, Jess’s people have spoken out about how much they want it, and like everything she does, her aim is to serve so she’s decided to significantly reduce the price to make it accessible to all. It’s now $400 cheaper. Yep, that’s right – four HUNDRED dollars CHEAPER (total $597).

If you’ve heard about the guide and were on the fence about purchasing it before, now’s the time to commit to dramatically improving your health, claiming your ideal self and ushering in the type of energy that will help you amplify every area of your life.

Click this link to make it happen, gorgeous. Let’s link arms and embark on this journey together. Let’s honour ourselves – always – starting today.

(I’m an affiliate for Jess but that has no influence on my opinion. You guys know that but worth mentioning anyway!)