Freelance Economy Technology Uncategorized virtual work

BACK IN BUSINESS – THE HURDLES OF BUILDING A WEB EMPIRE

August 20, 2017

After reading dozens of stories of people who’d built a web empire from their blogs, I thought why not. If they can do it, I can do it. Well, I can, and the road can be steeper than the “take my online course and you too will be rich” ads suggest.

My journey has been mysteriously challenging. My friends who slapped up simple websites and were in business can’t understand why it’s been so hard for me. They tend to stand back a bit when I’m telling my story of heartbreak and struggle, s if they are afraid it will rub off on them.

I agree it shouldn’t have been this hard. That said, I have not let the struggle break my spirit or diminish my will to succeed. I have preached to so many, “follow your passion and the money will follow,” so I had to follow this project to its conclusion. My clarity of vision for the end of the road was unchanged. My belief in positive thinking creating a positive outcome was unshaken, but stirred.

I quickly dismissed the fantasy of building my own website, simply because after disastrous efforts it proved to be something I was just not interested in learning more about. I have discovered is important to consider what part of the web empire I am good at, and what would be better to outsource. There are many things I want and do learn, this was not one of them.

So, I listened to podcasts about how to build a web empire to search for clues on how to find someone to get this thing done.

The Authority Self Publishing podcast hosted by bestselling authors Steve Scott and Barrie Davenport and entrepreneur Ron Clendenin, enlightened me about the Amazon Kindle publishing strategies on the KDP platform. They post 30-minute podcasts every Monday and Thursday. The great thing about podcasts is the often have show notes and resources on their website. Authority Self Publishing is no exception. They made it clear that the portal to my success was my website, with few tips on how to make it happen.

(I even read LifeHacker’s guide to creating your own podcast. That is for a later phase in the web empire.)

I listened to Tim Ferriss podcasts, one of my favorite podcasters, and was dedicated to a remaining on the WordPress platform after listening to Matt Mullenweg from Automattic talk about his commitment to bloggers and vision of the future. (Matt Mullenweg: Characteristics and Practices of Successful Entrepreneurs. I would later question that decision when the Automattic business model kept shifting underneath me, and getting it to do what I needed wasn’t as simple as in the old days when I managed my blog myself. I lost 600 subscribers when I didn’t read the fine print on how to move your WordPress site correctly to a hosted server.

Overwhelmed and over my head, I turned to Tim Ferriss’s website for tips on how to design a web strategy and a web designer. How to Build a High-Traffic Blog Without Killing Yourself

In Chapter 11 – Income Autopilot III: MBA—Management By Absence, time recommended BlueHost, and not Hostgator, and recommended Elance, not Upwork. Why didn’t I read Tim’s blog before the Troubles started back in November with my Hostgator migration. I don’t want to rehash it, but it was about as successful as the recent refugee migration in Europe.

Scared away from Fiverr by the jokes and suggestions that it was the bottom of the barrel for web design talent, I put my project on Upwork, a place I had gotten work myself as a freelancer. I was unsuccessful in having anyone accept my project, even after offering more money. I was then seduced by someone who’d obviously seen my Upwork post, talked me into doing business together and then quite frankly ripped me off.

I tried Facebook pleas and emails to friends. Each time I thought I had found someone new, the right someone, it all went to a very dark place.

Finally, two of my friends mentioned they’d found their web designer on Fiverr. It forced me to rethink it. I had used Fiverr to get my book cover ready for the travel series, Two Broke Chicas. I choose to use my own crudely designed image, rather than a glitzy cover like the ones my friends had successfully used Fiverr Sellers to create, mostly because I could not find any images of women of a certain age backpacking, anywhere. I didn’t want the typical image of a twenty-something with a backpack on a mountain, this lifestyle if for everyone, of any age. The manner of travel might be a bit different, yet the spirit of adventure does not diminish.

So, I began poking around and I found her. Oh, I am all for using gender neutral pronouns, but as you can see from my Facebook post, I really wanted to work with a woman. I read through her reviews, and although there are countless articles about review scams on sites like Fiverr, something felt genuine about her. We started to chat online, clarified a few things and began our relationship.

 

The good news is I’m back. The dysfunction of my blog has been addressed and it will only get better and better.

 

 

 

I’m ready to do more outsourcing as my web empire grows. This time I’ve done my research. Here is a useful guide on How to Outsource Your Blog Tasks to a Fiverr Expert and tips on hiring a website or graphic designer.

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