August: A Busy Month – Trying Something New, Making Changes, and Developing New Content
So you might have noticed I haven’t been posting very regularly for the past few weeks… There’s a good reason for this.
In all honesty, it has been an extremely busy time for me. In July, I decided to try something new with the way that I conducted (and ran) my business(es). Between going to a few events, making a few changes, and developing some new content, August feels like it rushed by way too fast.
I’ll write an income report for August shortly. Don’t expect me to go into too much depth, since I don’t share my URLs where I’m making my money though, because the one time I did do that, I ended up having to deal with copycats and duplicate content. Needless to day, August brought in over 30% more than I was making at the job that was draining my life before and I’m fairly happy with the outcome so far.
So, what new things did I try in August?
As part of my Try Something New Challenge, I decided that in August, I would try going to a few events in Portland.
The first event was WordCamp Portland 2013. WordCamp ROCKED. I actually had never been to any workshops, conferences, etc. Seriously, WordCamp was my first event and I loved it. Not only was it my first event; I also dragged my wife along with me in hopes of opening her up to blogging. It worked. My wife actually expressed interest in possibly blogging about what she’s passionate about. Win. On top of that, I met some interesting people and made some connections that I hope will be a benefit for both parties in the near future.
My second event in August was SEMPDX’s Rooftop Networking Party in down-town Portland, Oregon. That was pretty fun as well, and a new experience for me and was just as beneficial (in other ways). Ironically, I networked with more people during WordCamp than I did at the networking party. The reason? I wasn’t really at the rooftop networking event to network. I went to people-watch (since it was my first networking event). Needless to say, I did network a bit as well and again met some interesting people that I’ll hopefully be working with in the future.
What Changes Did I Implement?
After networking with a few people and seeing how these supposed “large companies” are run, I realized several things; Image Matters. Up until now, I have been fine with working from home and using Shared Hosting for most of my smaller sites… After networking and actually talking to a few of my website visitors face-to-face, I realized I needed some improvements, so I…
Moved Into an Office
In August, a business-partner of mine and I signed a lease on some office space (this was right after the rooftop networking event; we had realized we needed a business address). A home-office is all fine and dandy, but we’re dealing with large businesses that want to see a business address. We found an office that’s not too far from our houses and comfortably fits our setup, so we took it to have a change of scenery when working and to be forced to think more professionally.
Moved My “SEO Box” to the Office
Since I was now spending more time at the office than at home, it made sense to move my “SEO PC” (which I call my SEO Box) to the office and run it from there 24-7. Since we’re still waiting on Comcast to bring a business line over to the office, the SEO Box is currently offline. We did the responsible thing: we didn’t want to affect the other office people with our bandwidth heavy SEO Box so we’re going to use a dedicated internet connection for that one PC.
A Different Hosting Solution
As much as I love Hostgator, I need[ed] to consolidate my projects. I had a rack server that I recently upgraded, and a buddy (my programmer, actually) that just bought a brand new server to replace the one we were using for our bigger projects. Using basic arithmetic, we realized that this meant that we’ve got 3 rack servers… And since hosting each one separately would be stupid expensive, we went with the logical choice: we bought out a quarter rack (space for 10 servers).
The reason? I’ve got some upcoming plans (see “New Content” section below) to make use of the extra server capacity. For now, I’m going to move most of my sites off of shared hosting to cut down on the number of renewals I have to keep track of and consolidate my sites to a faster, more powerful server.
Less Time “At Home”, More Efficient “Work Time”
Everyone knows that it’s not a good thing to blend family life with work… Well, now that my son is in pre-school, I can make that separation a bit more in-depth (especially now that I’m leasing an office). I try to spend most of my “work time” (i.e. time when my son is at school) in the office.
In addition to spending more time at the office, I build a checklist of what I hope to accomplish for the day and separate each task into smaller checklists to optimize my time in the office and get the maximum amount of work done (So that I don’t take time away from my family later in the day).
I’m excited about this one. I’ve been not-so-secretly working on some new content. Epic content. Content that will shape the future of what AllStuffWeb.com offers.
What is this content, you ask?
Website Courses and Lessons.
What type of courses and lessons?
Basically, I’m working on an interactive website building course. The target audience for this content will be small business owners but just about anyone will be able to use these to set up their own websites.
People that don’t know anything about computers will be able to, along the course of 4 weeks:
- Learn about
- and Rank
.. a website for their business / online portfolio / blog / eCommerce Store
That’s right. In 4 weeks, a person taking the accelerated course will not only learn how to set up their own website, but also how to optimize and rank it! And the kicker is that it will be free*.
^ Yup, there’s an asterix (*) there. The asterix is to signify that while the courses are free, you will still have to buy your own domain, pay for your own hosting (we’ll recommend a good cheap host for you), and possibly buy your own theme (if you want a premium theme). The actual learning materials to get you up and running will be free and the cost to do it yourself will be a small portion of what you’d end up paying to have someone else do it.
In a way; maybe, but the reason that I write on AllStuffWeb.com is because I enjoy helping people learn and build websites. I don’t think it’s right to charge $1000 for a simple small-business website, and it’s just outright sad that people still charge that much when it’s so easy to set up WordPress Websites.
Why not educate small-business-owners on how to build a website on their own? It stands to reason that Small Business Owners are DIY-ers and might actually ENJOY building their website on their own (their way), so I thought to myself;
Why not design a course for that?
and so I did, and soon enough those courses will be live on the site (along with the re-brand that I talked about last month).