A Helping Hand
- Have you tried everything the “experts” tout & your online authority is still pathetic?
- Have you wasted money & time you couldn’t afford on products & services which didn’t work for you?
- Have you failed at list building?
- Does a search for your name or book title return any of your work on the first page of results?
- Have you learned “Easy” in product descriptions doesn’t mean you can use the product?
- Do you still think you can score a deal with a major publishing house without a well developed Author’s Platform?
- Does technology make you feel stupid, angry or want to run and hide?
My job at Writerville is to:
- Provide you with “fertilizer” to grow your writer’s platform
- Cut through technobabble to help you recognize opportunities & avoid mistakes
- Be a “Master Gardener” mentoring you on your platform development journey
- Provide a humiliation free place to ask your “dumb” questions
- Bring some fun & joy to your platform building chores
- Suggest income opportunities your platform might provide
Writerville puts you in control.
Successful writers will learn to benefit from rapid technological change. To do that they must internalize the core concepts and find ways to effectively apply technology. It will not be easy. There is a reason many successful businesses are founded by two people. One person can’t do everything. The person with the vision is probably not the one who balances the company checkbook.
If you are a solopreneur like most writers, you need to get smart about hiring expertise. You don’t hire a trial lawyer when you need to protect your intellectual property. You don’t go to a chiropractor if you need your appendix removed. You need to get smart about online products & services. Unfortunately, technology based choices are hard. Critical details are hidden in mind numbing pages of acronyms, abbreviations, & jargon. Unless you are extremely technical, you will no doubt find yourself comparing features of products which are alleged to do the same thing.
“All Marketers are Liars” – Seth Godin
Software developers want you to buy their products. They know you will probably base your decision on a feature comparisons & product reviews. The product with the most features which are important to you (even if you don’t really know what they are) wins. They are strongly motivated to make sure their product appears to have all the features of their competitors.
Reviews often add to the confusion because many reviewers are weak technically. They are really good copywriters whose goal is to get you to click one of their affiliate links.
What you can’t see in a feature comparison is how well any given feature is implemented and how well it fits your needs. Software products don’t magically come onto the market fully featured. Software developers understand Minimal Viable Product. So the products you are comparing may look the same on a feature comparison but have completely different core strengths. Even technical experts will have to “play” with the software before they can understand the nuances which make one product better than another in your particular situation.
Is your developer lying to you?
Back in the 1970’s, as I was taking my first baby steps into the fascinating world of computers, I lucked into a senior programmer willing to mentor me. I was trying to figure out how to print mailing labels. He was trying to figure out how to remove all nonessentials characters from his code without breaking it. Hard to believe at that time he was limited to 512 bytes of hard drive space. That’s bytes, not kilobytes, megabytes or gigabytes! The gap between our skills was huge. He wrote the Job Control Language (JCL) I needed to make my programs run.
Writers and developers are in much the same situation today. You may be fortunate and have found a developer who speaks your language, understands your needs, has strong coding & graphics skills, and can/will work within your budget. If you have, nurture that relationship every way you can. It is incredibly valuable.
The conceptual gaps between writers & developers are huge. Serious communication errors are inevitable. You don’t have to become a coder to build your Writer’s Platform. You do need to know when the contractors you hire to provide the technical support you need are lying to you. At Writerville we try to provide you with the conceptual framework writers need to communicate effectively.
How developers go bad.
I get these emails “This guy built us a great website. I could ask for changes one day and they would be published within 24 hours. If I had questions I could call him up for advice at no additional charge. He was affordable. Gradually things changed. He won’t answer phone calls. Updates take forever. My site looks old fashioned and needs additional features. I paid a deposit for an upgrade months ago and nothing is happening. ” Unfortunately, it is a familiar story.
Not to be nasty, but your “developer” didn’t need to know much when you first hired him to build your site. Anyone with basic technical skills can call themselves a website developer. Web development looks like a good business to get into. Its side money for students with programming skills. If you have the skills building a quick side income looks easy.
In the beginning things go well. But novice developers don’t have project management systems established. Those support calls you enjoyed kill a programmer’s productivity. Novice developers underestimate complexity and bid projects to low. They set their rates low to attract new business.
Before they know it they discover they have to use your deposit to pay the bills while they complete a project that is behind. As more work falls behind calls and interruptions increase. They spend more and more time on the phone soothing angry customers. It quickly turns into a death spiral from which it is extremely hard to recover. If this sounds like your situation I would encourage you to bail early. Things are unlikely to get better.
I like to “play” with new software and hardware
Once I get it figured out I lose interest. Its a “bug” I have had all my life. Late in life, with all the technology changes we are experiencing, I have come to realize this has become a Feature, not a bug. I talked my graduate committee into letting me use FORTRAN for one of my language requirements in 1975. I built a website which teaches people how to do their own mobile home repairs in 1998. That site, Mobile Home Doctor, is still earning Adsense income today. I have been playing with technology and explaining it to others for a long time.
My strength is the ability to explain technology in terms you understand
At Writerville you benefit from that ability. Even if you hate technology, you can learn to apply new technology without any need to turn into a geek. With support you too can expect to progress from totally confused to a technical puzzle master. Writerville will provide the support and encouragement you need to successfully make that journey.
Are you certain you own your domain name?
Not having control of your domain name is like running a brick & mortar business in rented space with a short term lease. Your landlord can put you out of business anytime he feels like raising the rent. You have probably read stories about a long established local business suddenly going broke because the rent was raised. Perhaps an elderly landlord died and now the kids want more money. There are lots of reasons.
Your domain name is just as important to you as their affordable lease is to the local operator. Many sad stories happen when the writer who thought they owned the domain finds out it is actually controlled by their ex-partner, developer, etc.
Making sure you actually control your domain is way more complicated and technical than most realize so it doesn’t get done. In that way it is much like writing a will. Everyone agrees you need one, but no one expects to die tomorrow.
Make sure you actually control your domain by registering for my email course.