Why I joined Automattic

Automattic.com stats
Now with 232 employees

It’s official – I’m now a Happiness Engineer for Automattic. I’m immensely proud to be employee 231 of this growing and unique company of truly passionate individuals.

Automattic provides WordPress.com, Jetpack, VaultPress, Simplenote, Gravatar, CloudUp… and the list goes on. I’ll be mainly providing support for users of WordPress.com, with some feature testing and bug tracking thrown in there.

It’s a company I’ve admired for a long time, and been interested in working for since I met Lance Willett back in April 2012 at WordCamp San Diego. We had a great chat about the company and the roles they offered. Fast forward to October 2013 and I bumped into Lance again at Pressnomics. We only had a brief chat them but it re-ignited a spark in me, so I investigated further. Continue reading Why I joined Automattic

Can you help me out please?

tash1Almost exactly three years ago I grew a ridiculous moustache/mustache for charity. I was lucky enough to have such generous supporters that I raised about $300.

This year I’ve decided to do it again and need your help once more!

Movember is a worldwide event that essentially sees a lot of men grow a moustache / mustache for the entire month of November – hence Movember.

The event is in aid of prostate cancer, something that has personally affected my family more than once. If you wanted to, I’d be honored if you would sponsor me here. Click on Donate to Me, no amount is too small. Continue reading Can you help me out please?

BTG Turns Four Years Old

Around today Blog Tech Guy has been running full time for four years. It actually started in November 2007 and while it was my only job it was only part time until I finished off some other personal things. In late March/early April 2008 I went properly full time and have been going strong since.

This past year has been more exciting than the last and this year I’m sure will be even more so. Big things are coming, they take time, but they’ll get here.

April is even more special this year, as not only is it BTG’s birthday, and my own birthday, it’s also my son’s first birthday (on the day after mine, I’m glad he waited!).

As always I want to thank my hundreds of clients, some of which who you can see on my testimonials page. Without you, of course, I wouldn’t be here. So thank you for your patience, understanding, and trust.

If you need help with your blog or business website, let me know and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Save Your Site! A Guide To Backing Up WordPress

I’ve written a free ebook called Save Your Site! A Guide To Backing Up WordPress, which was inspired by an email from a client called Rob who was confused over the options for backing up his site.

To get this guide you can subscribe to my newsletter below, or to the right, or if you’re reading this via RSS please click here to go to the Subscribe page. If you’re already a newsletter subscriber you will receive an email with the link in very soon, don’t worry, you won’t miss out!

The guide includes:
Save Your Site!

Why Backup WordPress?

Why do you even need to backup WordPress? Problems like all your blog posts disappearing might be a good reason!

What Do I Need to Backup?

What exactly do you need to backup in order to ensure that you can restore your entire site if you have to.

How Do I Backup?

Here I go through the main options available for backing up, including free and paid-for plugins. I also mention the pros and cons of each method.

Comparison Table

Finally there is a brief comparison table of the options I’ve covered and what they do and do not do.

So please subscribe below or here. Remember current subscribers will automatically get sent a link to this eBook, so no need to sign up again.

I would love to here your feedback and/or questions, so please let me know.

Movember: Sponsor Me in Aid of Prostate Cancer

Movember is a worldwide event that essentially sees a lot of men grow a moustache / mustache for the entire month of November – hence Movember.

The event is in aid of prostate cancer, something that has personally affected my family more than once. If you wanted to, I’d be honored if you would sponsor me here. Click on Donate to Me, no amount is too small.

Every hour a man in the UK dies of prostate cancer. You can learn more about it here, details from the site are below:


Each year, Movember, the month formerly known as November, is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces around the world, with the sole aim of raising vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer.

Men sporting Movember moustaches, known as Mo Bros, become walking, talking billboards for the 30 days of November and through their actions and words raise awareness by prompting private and public conversation around the often ignored issue of men’s health.

Supported by the women in their lives, Mo Sistas, Movember Mo Bros raise funds by seeking out sponsorship for their Mo growing efforts. The rules are simple; register online at Movember.com and start the month of Movember clean shaven, then grow a moustache during November.

The money raised as a result of Movember is channelled by our men’s health partner into a number of world class and innovative education, support, research and awareness initiatives. Movember UK collaborates with the men’s health partner – The Prostate Cancer Charity.

You can donate in any currency and take part yourself in your part of the world. I will of course post an update of the final product, it’s already coming along rather well!

What Happens In Vegas….

… doesn’t stay in Vegas. At least not this time. Today (Thursday) I’m off to BlogWorld the “new media” expo that essentially gathers together a lot of top bloggers and internet marketers to learn from each other.

Join the top bloggers and new media experts in the world at BlogWorld Expo 2010

This year I know quite a few people who are going and I’ll hopefully meet up with most, if not all of them. This means I will not be answering emails for a few days, in fact, I’m not even going to be checking my email.

That’s right, a self-confessed email addict, I will not be taking my laptop and tapping away at my keys at every possible moment. I will not be one of the ones who opens their laptop in the middle of a presentation or discussion and making notes, “live-blogging” or checking my email. I’ll be doing one thing:

** LISTENING AND LEARNING **

from people smarter than me. People who can help me and we can all learn from. I’ll be using pen and paper (shock, horror!) and only have my cell phone (no iPhone for me) and digital camera. Will I get withdrawals? Most likely, I can’t remember the last day I did not check my email, my business runs off it.

Wish me luck! I’ll report back what I learn and how I got one with several days without email.

You can still get 15% off on any Thursday, Weekend or Full Access Pass using code LATE15 if you fancy going.

The Third Tribe? Is it Me Or Is This Thing Weird?

I’m in complete mixed minds over the “Third Tribe“. I keep hearing the phrase everywhere and nice, soft-sell links to it, but what actually is it and does it apply to me?

The Third Tribe was born out of a conversation or two with Brian Clark of Copyblogger and Seth Godin, and in turn Copyblogger Senior Editor Sonia Simone posted about two tribes. Taking some info from their website now:

Over the last several years, online marketing has been split into two opposing teams.

Two tribes, if you will.

One tribe is called the Internet Marketers. They use aggressive hype and obnoxious tactics to fool people into believing there really is a “get rich quick” magic bullet.

The other tribe is the Social Media Cool Kids. They reject hype and aggressive sales tactics in favor of relationships, community, and value . . . and yet seem to have taken a vow of poverty along the way.

The Internet Marketers make tons of cash, often by taking advantage of fools. Most Cool Kids make little to no money and don’t seem to understand how business works at all, which might lead some to consider them fools as well.

Obviously, that’s oversimplifying things. Here’s the real point.

The black and white division of online marketing into two tribes is not real. There’s a big (and growing) middle tribe, one that avoids spammy IM approaches while having no problem asking for the sale and making money.

This is the Third Tribe.

I agree with that on principle. I try to have no hype on my sales pages and pose realistic expectations to my clients. I even let them leave sales pages without a “STOP NOW!” last-minute discount and annoying pop-up. How very kind of me. I often refer clients to other people who know more about certain things than I do for no monetary gain.

I despise 80% of internet marketing out there as it aims to trick and deceive people into buying worthless products and services. OK, I made the 80% up, it’s probably 99%. I like the no-hype, actually useful stuff some people produce like Blog Traffic Fisher from Michael Martine, an awesome course for free to solve the traffic problems for your blog; a ridiculously cheap ebook on Guest Posting from Chris Garrett; and random acts of swearing from Johnny B Truant.

So it sounds like I could be Third Tribe as I genuinely believe that is the correct way to do things as it’s defined here. But….

…. I hate labels. I call myself Blog Tech Guy but I do more than that, I do blog consulting, some design work, mastermind training with my blogging guide, and all sorts of none blog tech things.

I’m also not sure about Third Tribe as it’s $27 per month to join.

Wait, that’s right, you have to pay a fee to be a member! I guess that sounds like Third Tribe, offering value but no problem asking for the money, but I don’t really get it. They try to explain on the Join page why it isn’t free – if you have to explain that to me, I kind of think you don’t really believe you should be charging yourself. I can tell you too that $27 isn’t “ridiculously low”, $2.70 is ridiculously low. $27 per month is a lot of money to a lot of my clients (and I would guess bloggers as a whole), and the benefit seems to be an “exclusive” club where you can call yourself a member and speak to other like minded folk.

Of course you’re paying for access to people like Darren Rowse, Brian Clark and Chris Brogan (and many others apparently). You also get live Q&A’s, an interactive forum (nothing worse than a non-interactive forum!), some ebook (I guess) guides and special deals.

Perhaps I’m missing something. Perhaps I’m one of those cool kids who don’t make any money but actually really do. Perhaps I’m the Fourth Tribe. Or Fifth. For $27 per month I’ll let you know, but if you have any thoughts, please help me understand in the comments below.

Income Blogging Guide Course – Survey Results Part 2

Following on from yesterday’s blog post regarding our recent survey results, today we’d like to share with you the responses to the second question:

What are your 3 biggest desires from an online course like the Income Blogging Course?

Again, we took the answers and created the following categories and the percentage shows the number of answers for that category.

Ease of use 51%

Over half of those who responded wanted the course to be easy to use and follow.

Responses like:

“Easy step by step instructions”

“Clear steps for those new to coding.”

“Getting all the details so it’s a cinch to do it myself.”

“Real examples that we can see live”

“A step by step action list. What do I need to do first, then what, then what…”

“To have enough information to get started but not be overwhelmed”

“Step me through in baby steps. A set of task to complete before the next lesson”

So many mentioned the words “step-by-step” and that’s exactly what we have made it. The course is delivered in weekly lessons. Each lesson details exactly what tasks you should carry out that week which move you closer to making an income via blogging. The tasks are provided via text, screen shots and videos.

Within the course we are building a brand new blog as part of the course so you’ll be able to see our progress as we go.

This comment really summed up the feeling of the majority of comments:

“I’m too tired…put me on the right path without the lies, BS and don’t tell me “it’s sooo easy”. Way too many of the “Guru’s” coach to the advanced person, leaving the rest of us in the dark”

We are not saying it’s easy but with the course and our crucial ‘success’ bonuses we are making it as easy as possible.

Technical Support – 26%

26% of you wanted a strong support system in place for when you get stuck with the technical details.

We listened and we are just finalizing some crucial ‘success’ bonuses that will provide what we believe is one of the best support systems around.

We are working hard and can’t say more until we have finalized the bonuses – sorry!

Income 11%

Of course, you want to make some extra income via blogging. That’s the whole point of the course!

This is a great response:

“No nonsense, just straight talk without the BS, on how to be online, blogging & earning an income”

It’s been an eye opener for Andrew and I during these last few weeks. We have come across so many people who say, “Just give us what works. No BS, no padding, no promising the earth, no promising us boat-loads of cash…just tell us exactly what we could be earning without exaggerating. A little extra income would be really helpful”.

We’ve had so many emails and responses from people who have wasted their money on $27 products where you see people standing in front of their flashy cars and big mansions on their sales pages. Such products have sucked in so many people.

Andrew and I have taken a different approach and we know we shall lose some sales as a result of it. Those sales pages that promise the earth, obviously sell but we decided to be upfront with you. You wanted no BS. So we tell you up front. We told you in yesterday’s post and we are gong to tell you again today…

The “Income Blogging Guide” is about showing you how to build your own on-line business and generating an income BUT the course is NOT a quick way to generate income. You are not going to earn an income on autopilot with no work whatsoever. If you believe that you can make fast money blogging then this is NOT the course for you.

We have never met anyone who has made fast money by blogging.

To make an income via blogging you’re going to have to work hard.

If you think you are going to retire on millions of dollars overnight…this is not the course for you.

If you think you are going to build an on-line business overnight…this is not the course for you.

What the course does show you is how to build a solid on-line Internet business that will generate income for you on autopilot AND enable you to reduce your working hours so you get some freedom and time back into your life…but NOT overnight AND it will take some hard work.

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Time 5%

5% of you want us to help you free up your time so you get some freedom back. Again, being totally honest with you, it will take you a few months of hard work before you start being able to free up some of your time.

But you will get some freedom back by following our weekly lessons. One of the stages is dedicated to Outsourcing, which is absolutely crucial if you want to gain some extra time in your lives to enable you to do anything you wish.

Traffic – 4%

4% of you said …“How to get lots of traffic to my blog?” (or similar)

The same answer as yesterday…

You may have the best blog in the world but without traffic no one will ever see it.

We show you the exact steps to take to gain as much traffic as possible for your blog. In fact, one of the stages within the course is entitled “Easy Traffic Generation”. It can be easy when you know how to generate traffic. The traffic at this blog has grown by over 500% in the last 6 months alone. We only use the tactics we know are proven to gain you more traffic.

Cost – 3%

Andrew and I spent many hours discussing the cost of the course, especially after your responses. It was very interesting that only 3% of you responded with a ‘cost’ type desire.

Two of you who responded wanted the course for free.

Sorry to disappoint but it won’t be free.

When you see the price I believe you’ll agree it’s very affordable for what you will be getting in return.

Remember this is not a $97 pdf guide simply giving you all the theory about blogging.

We cover blogging including article writing, list building, traffic generation, product creation and launching, copywriting and outsourcing.

How much would you pay to have your own on-line business automatically generating you an extra income and allowing you to free up some time?

$1997?

$997?

$497?

Are we happy with the results of survey?

Most definitely. Again thank you to everyone who filled out the survey. Your opinions have helped us shape the course for the better.

If you have anything to add or just respond, feel free to add your input through the comments below.

The Income Blogging Guide goes live on Wednesday 6th Jan. Click here to check out all the details:
Income Blogging Guide

Income Blogging Guide Course – Survey Results Part 1

Back in December Andrew and I asked for some help in preparation for our Income Blogging Guide Course.

The course is focused on helping individuals and small businesses make a full time income via blogging while working part-time and get some freedom back into their lives.

This is exactly the position both Andrew and I are in now, and the course is a total brain dump of our years of making a living on-line.

HOWEVER, we needed some help. We wanted to be sure we had covered everything that individuals expected from such a course.

First of all, THANK YOU to everyone who took the time to fill out the survey. We really appreciate it.

This is the feedback we received. The first question in the survey was:

What are your top questions about making an income via blogging that we MUST include in this course?

By asking this question we wanted to make sure the course covered everything people were looking for in such a course.

We took the answers and created the following categories and the percentage shows the number of answers for that category.

Blog Technicalities – 41%

41% of the questions were related to you wanting the technicalities of blogging made easy.

We realize that a lot of individuals would love to blog but they get stuck with the technical side of blogging. Andrew and I have invested huge amounts of time and money learning the technical side of blogging.

The fact most blogging courses don’t cover the technical side is one of the main reasons we created the course.

Other courses may say, for example, install this great plugin. Our course not only tells you but also shows you via screen shots and videos. Sometimes installing a plugin but not making the necessary tweaks and adjustments can make your blog worse.

We received comments like:

“Make the techie stuff understandable”

“Address all the technical aspects of setting up a blog”

“Understanding the technical side of blogging. The coding and the plugins that help make my blog easier, cleaner and overall more productive”

Plus:

“How to get Google to increase the Page Rank of your site”

“Make sure I know the mechanics of uploading, downloading, posting, adding video, images”

“How to quickly identify the best key words”

“What are the best SEO techniques?”

“How to find the easiest cheapest shopping cart.”

“How to capture a customer base in easy steps”

“What can I do to make everyone know about my blog?”

“How to optimize my blog to get the most best from the content”

We have gone to great lengths to show you the exact technical steps to take when building and maintaining your blog. You’ll never feel alone again!

Exactly how to make an income via blogging – 34%

The second highest response is in relation to making money.

Comments like:

“Where is the best place to start? I.e. Google Ads, affiliate products, own products?”

“How to maximise monetization without compromising ethical values or falling foul of the FTC”

“What are the best avenues of income?”

“What can a person realistically expect to make from blogging?”

“What are the BASIC, ESSENTIAL things to have in place in order to start making some money? “

“What is the best step by step method to make money via blogging?”

“How to correctly, efficiently and quickly create affiliate income”

PLEASE READ THIS.
We may lose many customers as a result of the following message…

The “Income Blogging Guide” is all about generating an income BUT the course is NOT a quick way to generate income. You are not going to earn an income on autopilot with no work whatsoever. If you believe that you can make fast money blogging then this is NOT the course for you.

We have never met anyone who has made fast money by blogging.

To make an income via blogging you’re going to have to work hard.

If you think you are going to retire on millions of dollars overnight…this is not the course for you.

If you think you are going to build an on-line business overnight…this is not the course for you.

What the course does show you is how to build a solid on-line Internet business that will generate income for you on autopilot AND enable you to reduce your working hours so you get some freedom and time back into your life…but NOT overnight AND it will take some hard work.

competition_banner2

How to gain more traffic – 12%

12% of you asked the same (or very similar) question:

“How to get lots of traffic to my blog?”

You may have the best blog in the world but without traffic no one will ever see it.

We show you the exact steps to take to gain as much traffic as possible for your blog. In fact, one of the stages within the course is entitled “Easy Traffic Generation”. It can be easy when you know how to generate traffic. We only use the tactics we know are proven to gain you more traffic.

How to pick the right niche – 4%

4% of the responses were specific about finding the best niche. It’s true – finding the right niche is one of most crucial steps when blogging. Get it wrong and you are wasting all your future efforts and money.

We both know bloggers who are working 12 to 18 hours a day and not making a dime and all because they have picked a niche that just does not sell on-line.

Finding the best niche is so crucial, the first lesson of the Income Blogging Guide Course is dedicated to helping you find the right niche for your blog.

How much time will this take? – 4 %

4% percent of you were concerned over the amount of time it would take to start generating an income.

“How much time needs to be devoted each week in being able to earn an income from blogging?”

The Income Blogging Guide course is delivered in weekly lessons. We expect each lesson to take between 5 and 10 hours per week to complete.

There are numerous factors that determine how much money you make via blogging. Most of all, how much effort you put in. As we say above and want to re-iterate…The “Income Blogging Guide” course is NOT a “get rich quick” course.

We don’t and will not promise you will make millions of dollars. We can confidently say you should be able to make $500.00 a month by the end of the course but we cannot guarantee that as there are so many factors involved.

But once you learn what works and what doesn’t work, increasing your monthly income from $500.00 to $1000.00 to $2000.00+ is much easier, while working the same number of hours.

Copywriting – 2%

To make money via blogging you need some marketing skills and that includes Copywriting. That’s why we have included a complete section on Copywriting. Not only does the course show you how to create your own products we show you how to sell your products via Copywriting.

Outsourcing – 3%

Outsourcing is crucial if you want to enjoy the freedom that blogging can give you and that’s why we dedicate a complete section on outsourcing.

Imagine you wake up whenever you feel like… stroll down to the local coffee house, open your laptop and check your bank balance. It’s grown by $200.00 or $500.00 or perhaps $1000.00.

You read a few emails, scan your Twitter account and check your blog stats. You talk to your outsourcers, making sure that they understand what you want them to do today.

You see, The Income Blogging Guide Course is not just about blogging. It shows you exactly how to build your own on-line business and when you have your own on-line business along with outsourcing, you can spend your time doing exactly what you want.

Thank you to everyone who responded to the survey, we really appreciate it. With your responses we have extended the course and made it bigger, plus we have added some crucial support bonuses…more details to follow.

Tomorrow, we’ll cover the second question from the survey:

What are your 3 biggest desires from an online course like this?

If you have anything to add or just respond, feel free to add your input through the comments below.

The Income Blogging Guide goes live on Wednesday 6th Jan. Click here to check out all the details:
Income Blogging Guide