If I asked you what the #1 problem is for you when it comes to your blog or internet business, what would you say?
Now, obviously everybody reading this will have their own answer. But, odds are, I can guess. I’ve been helping bloggers online for 4 years now – was a tech blogger for 10 years before that – so I have a pretty good feeling that I can peg it for a good majority of you.
And that problem is…
Under this category of “technical stuff”, we’ve got things like…
- Setting up WordPress
- Customizing your theme
- Finding plug-ins to do what the heck you want.
- Installing and customizing opt-in forms, and connecting to mailing list providers
- Dealing with technical stuff on landing pages, squeeze pages, membership sites
You get the idea.
What USUALLY Happens
Usually, this technical barrier gets “tackled” in one of a few ways…
First, a person will spend countless hours on Google trying to figure out WHAT THE F**K to do. Did I capture the correct emotion there? And, the sites that come up in Google might solve the problem for you, but in many cases, they don’t. They give you a bunch of PHP code or something. Or worse yet, you’ve got a ton of different bloggers all recommending different things and it makes you want to blow your brains out.
Regarding customizing of a theme, for instance, you’re told that going with a framework like Thesis, Headway or Genesis is supposed to make your life easier. But, then, if you buy one of these, you quickly realize it isn’t NEARLY as easy as it was made out to be. To really make your site look pro, you STILL need to know HTML and CSS. And you feel like you’re back to square one, searching for a magic solution to your technical woes.
One could go two different routes with this do-it-yourself approach:
- Throw your hands up in frustration and take your daily dose of fukitol.
- Persevere and finally get things worked out, but then you realize it just took you months to build your site. And, everything has changed. It took way too long.
Then, you’ve got your second option which is… pay somebody to do it for you.
That’s what a lot of marketers will recommend to you. They seem to cleverly avoid the “technical stuff” and act like you’ll just pull a solution out of the ether one day so they don’t have to look like an idiot. Or they’ll tell you to just go pay somebody to fix it and spend your time working on things that are more important. Fiverr, they say.
Now, it isn’t as if they don’t have a point there, BUT….
[grin] We BOTH know that most people aren’t likely going to throw down money to hire a technical person. For some, cost is the big issue. For others, it is pride and not wanting to give in.
Besides, hiring somebody to do these things for you is more of a pain in the ass than people think. If you find that PERFECT person, it can go well. For most, it ends up being a lesson in communication breakdowns and pure frustration trying to deal with some designer to tweak some things on your blog.
Technical Stuff… The “Third Rail” of Internet Marketing And Blogging
In politics, the term “third rail” is often used to mean a topic that is “untouchable”, that nobody wants to deal with because it is toxic. In politics, something like social security would be the “third rail” because, no matter what you say about it, you lose voters.
In internet marketing and blogging, I think the technical stuff is the “third rail”.
It isn’t sexy. It is hard to communicate. It tends to make people yawn. It is a lot more exciting to try to launch some “make money” product or publish another list post.
But, under all that, it is the TECHNICAL STUFF which ends up being the barrier to entry.
In my 4 years working with other bloggers, it is the TECHNICAL stuff which people struggle with the most.
And… The Solution
Simply put, you’re a LOT better off in this business if you are at least somewhat self-sufficient when it comes to the technical aspect of this business.
If you’re dependent on others to do it for you, then you’re at a disadvantage. Even if one is fully able to afford a developer and believes in paying people to do what they’re good at, it is STILL a matter of confidence and security that you know how to do some of these things on your own.
And, if you don’t feel you’re in a position to go to a developer whenever you need something tweaked on your site, then it is even MORE clear. You don’t need to become an expert programmer, but you do need to know ENOUGH to get the job done.
What I’m Going To Be Doing – Starting Next Month
I’m in an interesting position compared to many others in this market.
- I have quite a bit of experience in web design, database and PHP programming. I used to do it on a paid basis, and at one point even programmed my own content management platform which rivaled WordPress itself. The only reason I stopped was because… well, WordPress got better faster and I didn’t have to do all the work anymore.
- I have a decade of experience as a technology blogger. Which means, communicating technology in simple-to-understand terms is something I’ve done quite a bit of.
I also see so many of you guys struggling with this.
And, so, I’m going to tackle the “third rail”.