In my growing website consulting business, I have worked on sites ranging from finance blogs to construction companies. I have seen many common problems that can be easily fixed by implementing simple WordPress changes, or switching from static HTML to a dynamic content management system. Here are some issues you should always ask about when working on a new site, or hiring a new designer.
As I grow my portfolio of writing on the web, I see many sites that will only work with freelancers willing to write as a ghostwriter. Based on my experience, this is a terrible idea for both the writer and the site. Here are some reasons to turn away from ghostwriting and proudly putting the author name next to the published work.
On my birthday three years ago, I was at my favorite downtown bar for a few beers with close friends. Little did I know I would be enjoying one of the greatest beers of all time and would never get to try it again.
In October, I attended the third annual Financial Blogger Conference. At FinCon, I hosted the second annual Ignite FinCon speaking event, and took to the stage for my own five minutes of glory. Enjoy!
You don’t often hear people talk about “beautiful St. Louis, Missouri,” but I had a great time enjoying the architecture and a lovely afternoon in Saint Louis as the Financial Blogger Conference came to an end.
A couple of weeks back, I returned from a great trip to Seattle with my girlfriend’s family. We had a great visit to the rainy city (no rain!), and we had a special visit to famous glass blower and artist Dale Chihuly’s boathouse and museum.
A while back, I started a new web project with a friend, Jeff from Sustainable Life Blog, to create a niche website that makes money. I just found out that we have officially made money!
I wanted to have a profitable niche site by the end of 2012, which was a life list goal, and I am pleased to report that we have easily passed the hurdle point.
The site, all about elk hunting, is a collaboration of Jeff’s knowledge and my research on the topic. Jeff is a passionate elk hunter, and I am passionate about making money. I was happy to put in time and research to help build a useful and reputable site about elk hunting, though I have never been hunting myself.
Jeff focused primarily on hunting rifles and recipes. I focused on articles on elk hunting in specific states, mostly in the Mountain West of the United States. I learned all sorts of things about elk hunting laws and regulations. I had no idea what you need to do for a hunting permit, now I know what to do in five different states.
I would not go as far as to say I am an expert in elk hunting, but I am an expert in building websites. I put in a lot of time on images, headers, and placing Google AdSense strategically around the site. I am thrilled to say that it worked like a charm.
We are not rich just yet. We have not even made enough to justify all of the time we put into it. But we have hit the first milestone, profit.
I can confidently and happily mark this one off of the life list. The project is not over by a long shot, though. We need to keep adding quality content and working on increasing the site’s ranking in the search engines. We have a lot of opportunity to make a lot more money.
I recently had the opportunity to plan and speak at Ignite FinCon, the Ignite event at the Financial Blogger Conference. As we were in Denver and I could talk about whatever I wanted, I took my five minutes in the spotlight to tell everyone “Why Denver is Way Better Than the City You Live In.” Enjoy the video below.
I recently had the pleasure of speaking at Ignite Denver, and my video is now live. If you want to find out how to start a blog that doesn’t suck, make sure to check out my talk.
Last night, ten miles from my home, a disturbed young man walked into a movie theater and started shooting into a crowd. As of now, 12 people are dead and 38 are wounded. While it was not in my neighborhood, it is one I know well. I have seen movies at the Century 16 Theater in the past and it is across the street from my Dad’s office.
Like in 1999, when two kids walked into their high school and started shooting students and teachers in the lunch room and library, murdering 13 innocent people, the first thing we asked is why.
Why did someone find it necessary to murder 13 people at Columbine High School in 1999, and why did someone find it necessary to murder 12 people last night? Why did someone think it was their right to take an innocent life? Why did someone think it is their last resort? Why did someone think it was the right thing to do? Why the pointless killings?
As angry as I am at the individuals responsible, this country’s asinine gun control laws certainly make it easier for someone to kill.
I could walk into a store and buy an M-16 automatic assault rifle. For only $729, I can walk into Cabela’s and buy an AR-15. The popular M4 variation fires .233 caliber bullets faster than one every second.
You don’t need an automatic murder rifle to hunt deer. You don’t need to fire more than one bullet every second to hunt deer. You don’t need an AR-15 assault rifle to hunt deer. You don’t need an M-4, M-16, AK-47, Tech 9, or any other automatic weapon to hunt deer. Those weapons were designed for one thing, to kill as many people as possible as quickly as possible.
The Second Amendment
The next person that brings up the Second Amendment when discussing this deserves to be punched in the face. The Second Amendment was written long before these murderous weapons were designed that can kill so many people so quickly.
The intent of the amendment was to allow citizens to protect themselves from a tyrannical government. That was a relevant fear at the time, as the Bill of Rights was signed on the heels of the Revolutionary War, a war uprising against a tyrannical ruling king on the other side of the world.
Today, however, things have changed. As much as many of you may hate Barack Obama, he is not going to oppress you and enslave you. As much as I hated George W. Bush as president, I was not concerned for my safety and well-being, nor that of any fellow law abiding American citizens.
Time for Change
Need I remind you that at the time the Second Amendment was written, slavery was legal. Women could not vote. Unless you were a white, property owning male, you were a second class citizen.
As repulsive as those cultural norms were at that time, our antiquated gun laws are today.
I do not propose banning all firearms. While I do not believe in it, I do not wish to prevent people from going hunting. I see no reason a mentally healthy, law abiding Americans shouldn’t be able to buy a single action rifle for hunting and “self-defense” purposes, though it is statistically more likely for that weapon to cause an injury at home than successfully defend you against an intruder.
The only reason automatic weapons exist is to kill as many people as possible as quickly as possible. Those should be illegal. Handguns that can be easily concealed in a pocket or waistband are not necessary either, outside of law enforcement.
We need to move on from our old, violent ways toward a future that can be safer and better for all of us.
I know there are detractors that say a bad guy can get a gun anyway. Maybe that’s true, but we don’t have to make it easy on them.
If you are as sickened by these events as I am, please join me in taking action. Don’t just complain on the internet, contact your senators and house representatives in Washington or your state legislators and implore them to take action against dangerous gun ownership.
We should pause and think about the victims and their families, and do everything we can to support them. But don’t let them die in vain. Let’s use this moment as one for action to make America better tomorrow.
Image by Marcin Wichary / flickr