I’m a geek and it’s all my parents’ fault. They were both mechanical engineers and encouraged experimentation and inquiry. In my case that curiosity led away from gears and levers and toward a lifelong love affair with computers.
Computers dominated my early years
I wrote my first computer programs in elementary school, back when they had to be stored on cassette tapes. After high school I dove deeper into programming through 5 years of college and 12 years of computer jobs, first in system administration and later in web development. I had great bosses, challenging projects and a steady paycheck.
Then came the seven-year itch
Maybe it was coincidence, but around the time my husband and I celebrated seven years of marriage, I got this crazy urge to become self-employed. We took my husband’s part-time picture framing business out of our backyard workshop and into a full-time storefront. Suddenly every waking moment was occupied with running a business, paying bills and trying to figure out how to get customers through our doors.
I knew people were looking for services online
So I put the laundry and the housekeeping aside and spent several bleary-eyed nights putting up our first website. It wasn’t anything fancy but at least it was out there.
Not long after I put up the site, I started hearing about this thing called search engine optimization (SEO). Being the do-it-yourself type, I started reading lots of books and did a lot of online research on the subject. And bit by bit, I made changes to our site’s content and figured out ways to drive people to the site.
We asked every customer how they heard about us. And more and more I heard, “I found you online.” Of all my marketing efforts, optimizing our website was the one that showed the best results.
Then I realized I like marketing much better than framing
I discovered I loved to talk about marketing. I could talk for hours on end about different ways to bring in customers. And in the middle of those conversations I would hear about people having websites but not getting any customers from them.
I knew I could help fix those websites
I knew SEO worked because I had proven it in our own business. And I wanted to help other small business owners do the same thing. And I admitted I was really tired of putting picture frames together. So I lovingly handed the keys to the framing business back to my husband and launched Website Remedies. I set out to help other small business owners solve the challenges I faced – trying to keep the business running, saving money, and still finding time for marketing.
Along the way I found that the answer didn’t always lie in the latest and greatest technology.
I love technology, but I like simple solutions too
Yes, I have a laptop, a netbook and an ereader. All three are great for my productivity. But my favorite scheduling “system” is a pencil combined with a pocket-sized paper calendar. And my cell phone is a pretty basic clamshell model; I’m happy with a phone that doesn’t do much beyond taking calls and sending text messages.
So while you won’t get stuff from me on the newest smartphone features, you also won’t hear me pushing technology for technology’s sake. I believe in using the simplest solution that works – and sometimes that means using pencil and paper instead of a fancy electronic gizmo.
Which leads to something else you should know about me.
I don’t beat around the bush
If I love a feature, my enthusiasm will spill out on the page. If I hate something, I’ll tell you I hate it. But I have a hard-and-fast rule when I write about my gripes – I always include at least one suggestion for fixing the problem. So yes, I may come across as brutally honest at times. But I will also offer a remedy for any ills I identify.
People who are content living in a fantasy world should not ask me for my opinion. But folks who really want some honest feedback, coupled with ideas on how to fix a problem, will get a straightforward answer from me, and advice on how to make things better.
If you don’t mind that kind of candor, you’re my kind of reader.
Dive in if you dare
If you’re ready to learn about how to optimize your website and still find time for the rest of your business and personal life, take a look around. If you like what you read, I encourage you to subscribe so you can get weekly marketing ideas delivered right to your inbox. And if something bothers you about the site please let me know. Don’t worry about hurting my feelings – I’ve got a pretty thick skin. If something bothers you it probably annoys other visitors too, and that’s one problem I don’t want to have.
Thanks for reading! Now take a look around and find an idea you can start using on your website today.