Big Data companies are abusing the trust of their users/customers. Is GDPR enough to reign in these bad actors?
“I’m sorry, so sorry.” In the 1960s, it was a hit song by the 15-year old American singer Brenda Lee, crooning about unrequited love. In the 21st century, “sorry, so sorry” has become the tragic modus operandi for banks, businesses and social media behemoths. Time and time again, mega companies exploit customer data for nefarious reasons, walk away with a slap on the wrist — and occasionally a hefty fine or two — and spit out a “we’ll do better” PR campaign. “Today, we’re renewing our commitment to you — and working to earn back your trust,” Wells Fargo wrote in an ad caption after being busted for opening millions of customer bank accounts without permission.
“From now on, [we’ll] do more to keep you safe and protect your privacy,” Facebook declared after a spree of bad press, tanking stocks, and public backlash over its handling of fake news and selling user information.
The reasons companies lie are obvious. The first is financial pressure: Stock prices and investors don’t always respond well to transparency. Second, ego. With no incentive to admit errors, businesses are sticking
Sharing a few lessons learned in nearly 10yrs of Managed WordPress. TL;DR; Longevity = Mastery
12 years ago, my talented wife and I had an idea for something known today as “Managed WordPress Hosting.” Yes, I’m half of the inventor of managed WordPress hosting, which is now a multi-billion dollar hosting channel, and you’ve likely never heard of me.
That’s because Pagely, the managed WordPress company I co-founded isn’t venture funded, and it’s not on Fortune’s list of billion-dollar unicorns. We were then, and still are very much today - Indie Hackers.
While the lack of fame and community back-pats can get under my skin, it has far from deterred me, because Pagely is very much an anomaly, in the sense that the business employs dozens of highly skilled and engaged employees and spins off ample cash -- from real paying customers.
My wife and I own 85% of the company and the other 15% is optioned to our employees. We’re also debt free, and we’re proud to say revenue has grown year-over-year (YoY) since launch.
So if you’re looking for a post about growth hacking your way to TechCrunch (closest we ever got to TC was a 1 sentence mention in a competitor’s featured PR gush piece) or securing millions in outside
In this episode Carrie talks about: - How being yourself and embracing who you are is the way to provide a great experience for clients. - Working in a cube farm and feeling the soul sucking drain from days spent working in an environment that wasn’t challenging her. - Building something for one audience and having another one show up. - Writing an opinionated book that shows the real world of freelancing.
Today’s guest is Carrie Dils. Carrie is a freelancer, podcaster, writer, educator, and web developer. She runs a very popular blog where she shares her experiences as a business owner and teaches others how to build their own freelance businesses. Carrie didn’t start out as a developer. She came to it from a far more traditional business – a local coffee shop.
When Carrie left the corporate world early in her career, she visited a coffee shop that she fell in love with, and decided to recreate the experience in her home town.
After almost a decade working at Starbucks trying to build experience, she realized she wanted nothing to do with owning a coffee shop. Still, she was able to glean a lot of the details of running a business from the experience.
She first realized she was in love with freelancing when a radio station paid her $20/hr to make banner ads. She could work when she wanted, from wherever she wanted, and that was enough to get her hooked.
Despite the loving the freelance life, Carrie often found herself in situations where her clients wanted to hire her. However, it was through taking some of these opportunities that she realized just how much it meant
OptinMonster now offers a free plan. Capture up to 100 leads/mo., 5,000 pageviews per month. Downside is it just comes with very basic features & targeting.
Part of a developer's job often involves integrating 3rd party services. But now it looks as though some of those providers are changing the game on us.
For years, web designers have relied on free tools from the likes of Google, Facebook and other large companies to enhance the things we build. We have happily used these offerings to analyze site statistics, serve up fonts and integrate social media. Just about any type of high-end functionality these companies have to offer has been readily available to us – usually without any upfront monetary cost. But things are changing. Google, for one, is now requiring us to add billing information to our accounts if we want to continue to use their Maps API. And the recent revelations of the whole Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal have shaken the very foundation of trust when it comes to securing user data.
Of course, those aren’t the only examples of the changing landscape that one can find. But they do represent a sort of bait-and-switch of the ideals that these companies like to preach. And it leaves a sour taste in the mouth of those of us who have helped to spread this technology in our web projects.
There Was Always a Catch
Whether or not we realized it at the time, many of these “free” services we have added to websites had a cost attached to them. The companies
Jason shares a few good reasons NOT to include a sidebar next to your blogs. I'm curious if anyone else has tested this and is willing to share some conversion metrics.
Sidebars can have their purposes, but in most cases there is probably a better way to give your users the same functionality and create better conversions. The post + sidebar layout is fairly common across WordPress themes. With widgetized areas allowing site owners the ability to add all kinds of functionality, ads, Twitter feeds, and more along the side of their site.
Often times at the expense of pulling the users attention away from the content they landed on the site to view in the first place.
Typically sidebars are used to drive users to additional content or serve up ads, if that’s your revenue stream. But you also want users to view your content. Not bounce off to a third-party advertiser, right?
Sidebars distract users from your content
Most sidebars are going to be laid out at the top of your page alongside the beginning of your content. Best case scenario: Someone reads your entire article and scrolls back up to view your sidebar.
Just kidding. That doesn’t happen.
So rather than showing your user related posts in a sidebar before they’ve even read the current post, you can add them after your post when a user is ready to move on. Or you can include a link
Interesting comparison of how other CMSs implement content blocks. With Gutenberg on its way, I found this very interesting.
Imagine a very simple blog. Blog posts are just a title and a paragraph or three. In that case, having a CMS where you enter the title and those paragraphs and hit publish is perfect. Perhaps some metadata like the date and author come along for the ride. I'm gonna stick my neck out here and say that title-and-content fields only is a CMS anti-pattern. It's powerful in its flexibility but causes long-term pain in lack of control through abstraction. Let's not have a conversation about CMS's as a whole though, let's scope this down to just that content area issue.
Now imagine we have a site with a bit more variety. We're trying to use our CMS to build all sorts of pages. Perhaps some of it is bloggish. Some of it more like landing pages. These pages are constructed from chunks of text but also different components. Maps! Sliders! Advertising! Pull quotes!
Here are four different examples, so you can see exactly what I mean:
I bet that kind of thing looks familiar.
You can absolutely pull this off by putting all those blocks into a single content field. Hey, it's just HTML! Put the HTML you need for all these blocks right into that content field and it'll do what you want.
There's a couple
An interview with Aaron Campbell, head of the WordPress Security Team, on his recent WordCamp Lancaster talk.
Our brains are capable of some amazing feats. Yet, they work in different ways that can reflect in our personality. For instance, some of us gain contentment from putting ourselves out there in the crowd, while others prefer a quite room all to themselves. We’re a species of extroverts and introverts. One is not better than the other – just different. However, when running a design business, you might think that being an extrovert is preferable. If you’re predisposed to going out and making new connections, that would seem to be an advantage over those who aren’t as keen on networking. But that’s not necessarily the case.
Consider that some of the world’s most successful people are introverts. We’re talking about the likes of Albert Einstein, Bill Gates and JK Rowling – to name just a few. They’re proof that you don’t have to be extroverted in order to find success.
Recently, I attended a talk at WordCamp Lancaster (US) that really shed some light on the subject. Aaron Campbell gave a fascinating presentation on succeeding as an introvert. Campbell, who leads the WordPress Core Security Team, spoke from the heart – having
A sister project to VersionPress is coming in July. It is a fully hosted platform with great staging, speed and developer UX.
I’m happy to announce that VersionPress is getting a sister project: VersionPress.com. It is a hosted WordPress platform (a managed WordPress host if you will) that takes the best ideas from VersionPress and packages them in an easy to use interface and adds things like backups, security and world-class infrastructure. It has full compatibility with WordPress plugins and doesn’t require Git so it’s a perfect place to host almost any WordPress site. The platform will fully launch in July 2017 with pre-orders available today. Go check it out at https://preview.versionpress.com/.
We started working on VersionPress in 2014 to bring full version-control to WordPress. The benefits if this is achieved are immense: undo button for everything, the possibility to merge databases between environments (staging <-> live, developers between themselves, etc.), keeping track of who did what and many others. It feels almost magical.
We also learned that there will be two major challenges:
WordPress plugins. They can do almost anything to the database and boy they do. Even those well-written must be explicitly supported and while we’re building an infrastructure
I know many developers who still hate GoDaddy, but one of the complaints has been a lack of PHP 7 support. They just added it for cPanel hosting plans. Does that mean we'll see it soon for Managed WordPress hosting?
Looking for a way to speed up your website? Here at GoDaddy we are always looking for ways to improve our customer’s experience. For our web hosting customers on cPanel Shared or Business Hosting we just made available the ability to upgrade to PHP 7. Let me explain the what, why and how. What is PHP 7?
PHP is a server-side scripting language designed primarily for web development. Popular website apps that use PHP are WordPress, Drupal and Joomla. PHP 7 is the latest version of PHP.
Why should I upgrade?
Are you looking to improve your site speed? Look no further than PHP 7! Benchmarks for PHP 7 consistently show speeds twice as fast as PHP 5.6.
How do I upgrade?
Currently, PHP 7 is available for cPanel customers on either Shared or Business Hosting. We made the upgrade to PHP 7 very easy; however before upgrading, I recommend that you check compatibility on your site to ensure that your website and plug-ins will run as you expect.
Things to Check for Popular Apps
WordPress – PHP Compatibility Checker (Link)
Drupal – Drupal 7 and above is PHP 7 compatible
Joomla – Joomla 3.5 and above is PHP 7 compatible
So, once you checked your compatibility and have decided
James Laws, founder of Ninja Forms, shares data on the impact auto-renewals have had on his business. Even after only two weeks he sees an obvious spike and improvement. Valuable data for any plugin shop or business owner.
140 characters isn’t enough to reply to the inquiries about the impact of automatic renewals on our business. Because of this I thought I would write-up a quick post with the backstory, how we’ve implemented automatic renewals, and perhaps some closing thoughts. Let me be clear. Automatic renewals are not some sort of new business technique that I’m sharing with you. I’m not under some sort of delusion that I am revealing some little known revenue boosting secret. The fact of the matter is that WordPress businesses, like my own, have been behind the curve in a lot of commonly held practices. This is just one of many.
How it all began
A little over three years ago I was at Pressnomics 2 with my business partner. It was our first ever business conference and we went to it with absolutely no agenda. When we got there we heard about all the people who were trying to make deals and partnerships and felt like we were really unprepared for such conversations. That was all during the first day, but by evening we had regrouped and started thinking a little more strategically. The pursuit of the big thing was in full swing and I can honestly tell you that there are relationships
18th March marks 4th birthday of weDevs. To celebrate this they are running their biggest ever sales discount, and giveaway. Any user could select what product they want to get in the giveaway for free. Check their diverse range of product.
It has been 4 years since we launched as a company and we are humbled to see where weDevs has come. On 18th March 2017, we are celebrating our anniversary with a bigger plan to give back as a display of respect for our well wishers. We have designed a giveaway for our clients and a discount for anyone who wants to get any solution from us. But on that soon, I am getting a little emotional here and so I will talk shortly about the journey.
How we came to be
At the very very beginning, in 2008, before we even became a company, we only were a blogging site. We developed small themes, plugins and covered reviews, tutorials. Which is why we still blog very passionately on tech. It is during this time where we picked up our love for WordPress and Open Source development from the community. After some experience and learning, we started as a startup company in 2012 and offered premium plugins. Our company took off like a rocket!
We never thought we could come all this way. Now, after 4 years, we have become one of the biggest WordPress companies of the region holding a 30+ member and several departments with 4 major plugins. We have launched WP ERP, the first ever complete and free ERP system
WordPress and the whole ecosystem is evolving. Dokan is a Multivendor Marketplace solution for WooCommerce making a big move by moving beyond extension model and now all modules will be packaged centrally. This article gives an in-depth information whats changing and how it's going to affect users.
Back in the days when we released the first version of Dokan, it was actually a Premium Theme. If you know Dokan only for a year or two, I know how ridiculous it sounds. But, that’s how it all got started. Soon we realized Dokan could do more, and to be able to grow we need to change dramatically, we evolved to a fully functional Plugin. Later we created many addons that adds even more functionality. Currently, there are over 18 official and 3rd-party addons. But the current process is – you have to buy a Dokan Pro license and buy Addons separately. We are changing this to help you, the Dokan user (the most important segment) grow, at the same time, we (weDevs) could push Dokan to new heights. Dokan Pricing Before?
Currently, there is a free core version of Dokan available at WordPress.org, that will remain the same. You get all the awesome feature, which is even comparable with other premium solution (you could look at this comparison if you have not yet). If you want to upgrade now you have this packages for you to upgrade –
What Is Changing?
In short, we are combining Dokan Pro and our addons. So, now you don’t have to buy Dokan Pro & Addons separately,
Your brand tells a story that should outlive your company. Some insight on how to make that happen.
We often cover a variety of digital marketing topics here at Pagely, but rarely do we (and others) mention the importance of branding. That ends today, as we draw from our own experience and the advice of others to help illustrate the importance of positioning your brand in a competitive space. Branding Tips from the Experts
Every brand has its own strategy for standing out, and how you position your brand can change over time. Using notable quotes from experts in brand marketing, here are a few effective ways to position your brand.
1. Create Value through Genuine Connection
If you want your audience to choose you over your competitors, you need to give them a reason to. As SapientNitro worldwide chief creative officer Gaston Legorburu so eloquently expressed “it’s not about having consumers adopt your values: “it’s about them relating to them and making connections,” he continues. “Really successful brand strategies are the ones where there’s a gift – a value set – and it really connects.”
2. Never Lose Sight of the Brand
Every business has a life-cycle that eventually comes to an end, but brands should always endure. Even
Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) is one of the best free tools for helping you plan your SEO.
SEO competitor research is a process that reviews existing and future competitors. This is something that has been done in traditional marketing for a very long time. When you weave SEO into the competitive research mix, you will expand your existing traditional competitors with additional online competitors. You might be asking why you would have both traditional and online. That is a great question.
Many times the people/websites you compete with in real life are not the same people/websites you compete with online. This is because not all traditional competitors will be good at SEO and online marketing. As you remove out under performing traditional competitors, you’ll replace them with online competitors.
Your online competitors are really important, because it is often these websites and blogs that are creating unknown havoc on your efforts. This is because they are competing for the same search traffic and you might not even be aware of it.
Online Competitor Research is Super Important!
You can’t do a well organized SEO campaign without having strong competitor research in the mix. You have to have a solid understand of what is happening around you so you can ascertain
Don't chase the shiny object, do what works until it can't be done anymore.
If you look at your business, how much of it is by word of mouth. Meaning, how much of your current client list is a referral by either a past client, colleague, friend or family member? 50%, 75%, 100%?
It’s safe to say that referrals are working for you right?
So why are you trying to find other avenues to bring in clients? Do you already have a predictable and proven referral system built that brings you a steady flow of leads into your business?
Do you already have a predictable and proven referral system built that brings you a steady flow of leads into your business?
My guess would be “no”. That the referrals that come into your business happen randomly without any predictability.
Instead of chasing the “new thing” whether that’s Facebook ads, the newest social media platform that’s taking the world by storm, or spending a bunch of money on landing page software, how about doubling down on what’s working for you right now.
Your referrals trust you because they are getting recommended to you by someone they trust. You don’t have to fully convince them of your skills because you have already been vetted by that lead’s friend.
Struggling to get great clients? Are you talking with your competiti....er, I mean colleagues and friends?
Running a successful business is hard. Business is about people. Having successful relationships is hard. “It’s the hard that makes it great; if it wasn’t hard, everyone would be doing it.”
Just because someone else does the same kind work you do doesn’t mean that they are your competitor.
What happens when you can’t take on any new work? You refer it to someone else, right? Surprise! That’s what they do as well.
Don’t you want to be on as many other people’s referral lists as possible? You can only do that if you get out from behind that desk and network. Allowing other folks to learn more about you and what you are all about.
EPISODE TAKE AWAY
Make a list of people that you follow on social or have met in person
Send 3 of them an email just introducing you and starting the conversation (remember to provide value to them, don’t just sell)
Important Mentions in the Episode
Episode 4 (not 3)
Took me quite a while to wrap my head around these concepts as a technical person, but when I did it literally launched me and my business.
Brennan has run the freelance gamut at this point in his career. He’s worked for someone else, been a solo freelancer, he’s built an agency, he’s built a software product. One overarching theme of his career is the power of personalization. Early in his career, he saw how high-touch sales worked to close a deal on a phone call when he worked at a boiler room type of company. Then again when selling leads to mortgage brokers he saw how much more they would pay for leads that had already seen who the broker was.
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As Brennan built his agency and became a “salesman-in-chief” he recognized that even though he was providing clients with the same services, depending on who he was talking to he would tailor his language to suit their own. No one was paying them for Ruby code, they were paying them to build an aspect of their business that achieves goals.
Now Brennan has built a Saas product called RightMessage to address the question “How can you scale one-on-one conversations?”
By understanding who your leads and prospects are, understand the language they use, and be able to present back to them what their lives could look like with
You are already building the content, it's just now time to put it into a nice format for everyone to see.
You have clients, right? I assume they are asking you all sorts of questions and you are answering them. (Otherwise, you wouldn’t have those clients for long). They are looking to you as someone who holds answers. Someone who knows what they are talking about.
Someone who is an authority.
You have the experience in your field that clients are willing to pay for.
This episode will give you some ideas on getting that experience and those answers out from the emails and phone calls and onto the web.
EPISODE TAKE AWAY
Open your email.
Pull out any and all questions folks ask you.
Jot them down and see if there are any repeat offenders.
Then take your response to those questions and draft up some blog posts and schedule them out.
Important Mentions in the Episode
Chris Marr (Twitter)
By building relationships, learning about what makes them choose you and then positioning your value to the return on investment with your clients, allows you to increase your monthly revenue.
Increasing Monthly Revenue On today's episode, Curtis and Reuven discuss Increasing Monthly Revenue with Jason Resnick. Jason is a web developer, freelancer, and consultant. He specializes in establishing e-commerce businesses, aiming to help entrepreneurs and freelancers increase their sales by strategies and implementations. Tune in to learn more how to increase your monthly revenue 10 times in 6 months!
Changing Gears in Business
At the beginning, he was unsure of what business he really wanted to focus on. He figured out how to satisfy his clients as far as problem-solving is concerned. The idea of leveraging his client-based business to build recurring revenue came to him around 2013.
As any other developer, he doesn't enjoy phone calls. However, mutual communication with the clients was the only way to know which direction a project is headed. By setting up 10-15 minute phone calls, he gained the revenues he wanted.
Relationship with Clients
Jason enjoys working with his e-commerce clients and learning from them at the same time. He checks on which areas his clients were struggling with online, and directly manages the implementation of strategies in making new features, improving
By creating memorable experiences, Laura is able to get more referrals and more work from existing clients.
Laura Elizabeth a freelance graphic designer and her passion is helping businesses and individuals tell their stories online. If you’ve followed Laura at all, you’ll know she’s passionate about client experience and creating it memorable for them. She does this because not only will it help her and her client projects be just that more successful, it also helps in creating a lasting memory in her clients’ head that when they hear a friend, colleague or anyone looking for design services, Laura’s name is front and center.
In our conversation, she talks about a few things to make this happen pretty easily. Especially if you need to get content, assets, or feedback from your clients, you’ll want to listen carefully.
Your takeaway from this episode is to be able to put yourself in your client’s shoes. How could you make their experience working with you better and more memorable? It’s important to think as if you were the client working with you.
If you want to make yourself look even more professional and create a level of experience that most don’t Laura has graciously given you an exclusive discount of $50 off her Client Portal product
You really can succeed long-term in the freelance design business. It takes a little luck, along with the right approach.
Being a freelance web designer is a path many of us have chosen. The independence you gain from starting your own business is quite a big selling point for making the leap. But along with that independence is a whole lot of responsibility. Frankly, being a freelancer is hard. While anyone can wake up one day and make the decision to go it alone, not everyone is going to flourish. According to recent statistics in the US, about 33% of small businesses fail within two years.
Now, not everyone included in that statistic would be considered a freelancer – but you get the point. It’s easy enough to start out in this business and quite another to actually succeed over the long haul.
As of this writing, I’m entering my 18th year in business. In some ways it’s hard to believe that many years have gone by. And I also realize that it has taken some great luck to get this far into it. Still, there are factors beyond luck that will help you get there.
Here are some things to consider if you want to be a freelance web designer for the long-term:
Commit to the Freelance Lifestyle
Well, nobody’s going to mistake the freelance lifestyle with a Jay Z video. But it certainly
Ruben Gamez, the founder of Bidsketch, has built a business around strategic content marketing and he’s doing it again with DocSketch. Wondering what the ROI of content marketing is? Then this episode will show you how to maximize your efforts and increase the chances for your service to get the most ROI.
Ruben Gamez, the founder of Bidsketch, has built a business around strategic content marketing and he’s doing it again with DocSketch. Wondering what the ROI of content marketing is? Then this episode will show you how to maximize your efforts and increase the chances for your service to get the most ROI. Ruben saw a gap in the market when trying to help someone. He filled that gap through particular content around an ideal client to see if it’s something viable. Almost a decade later, Bidsketch is a multi-million dollar company.
Putting a time and cost investment into testing and building content has proven what works and doesn’t work when it comes to converting leads into customers.
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As a result of their testing, Ruben found how educated leads were more likely to convert from trial to customer than if he offered the trial right up front.
So they went against the grain of conversion optimization and put a layer of friction in.
In this episode, Ruben generously shares how he’s building DocSketch from the ground up and insights into the freelance and consulting space.
Ruben shares with you:
How to get more freelance clients
How to get quality feedback
Are you a freelancer stuck in the grind then check out this podcast.
Live In The Feast is a seasonal podcast for freelancers looking to get out of the feast or famine cycle and stay in the feast for good. Each season will be about a topic specific to your freelance business. Each episode within the season features actionable takeaways for you to implement in your business immediately after each show. No fluff, no pie in the sky dreaming, this is real-life examples and takeaways for you. Season 1 - Getting Clients
This season is all about different ways to get the best clients for you and your business. Leveraging your network, building a process to bring in only the ideal clients, finding new work in old projects, webinars and much more. You'll not just hear how, but be able to walk away with the resources to do it.