Over 100 Clients Milestone

Snowy tree

A milestone passed my by a couple of weeks ago without me noticing, when I hit over 100 unique clients since beginning my business in the second quarter of 2008. Of course I’ve done many more individual projects, over 300, but I was pleased to see over 100 people from all over the world have trusted me to help them on their blogging journey.

There are some amazing people out there with great foresight and the willingness to work and succeed, and hopefully I’ve been a small part of that, and will continue to be for them and others. I thought I would try and get some interesting stats about my first 100 clients, but I actually couldn’t discover any. 51 were women and 49 men which is on one hand amazing it was so close and the other hand makes very uninteresting reading.

So I’ll just say have a wonderful Christmas (or Holidays, or whatever you celebrate) and all the best to you and your family. Take care and be safe.

Have You Seen My New Testimonials?

A little bit of self promotion for me today, but as some of my fantastic clients have been kind enough to give me testimonials I couldn’t help shouting about it.

Now, you can not only read my testimonials, but see and hear them too! Oriana Green, owner of Green Meditations has left my first audio testimonial, which is very much appreciated and a great surprise. Just press the play button below.

[audio: Joel_testimonial.mp3]

Then Christy Cuellar-Wentz from The Official Mommy-Muse™ Blog sent me my first video testimonial.

So the challenge is on to my past and current clients, if you would like to leave me a testimonial and gain a backlink to your website (and some self promotion) them please simply email and let me know, I would be very happy to hear from you. Text testimonials are absolutely wonderful too, so if audio or video is not your thing then never fear, all are welcome!

Do You Like Boating Websites?

Ask The Boater

The Fresh News Theme from Woo Themes can be used in many different ways. Ask The Boater is a blog that loves boats! Written from French Bay (Clayton, NY) in the 1000 Islands the goal is to bring you resources, interesting information and fun items to improve your boating experience. Boat sightings is at the top of the list, and they will gladly show a picture of your boat if you want to send them one!

The theme has been customized, tweaked, upgraded and knocked into shape both by myself and my client who has learned a great deal about how the theme works and how to make changes herself. Showing larger featured posts at the top of the blog, showing the boats in detail in an image gallery, and even free boat wallpapers, the site has everything boat lovers could want.

Woo Themes have a variety of “premium” themes, and the Fresh News theme has a variety of options. Features include:

  • Three homepage layouts to choose from
  • The ability to use Fresh News as a traditional blog layout
  • Extended Author Profiles
  • Integrated Theme Options (for WordPress) to tweak the layout, colour scheme etc. for the theme
  • Built-in video panel, which you can use to publish any web-based Flash videos
  • Automatic Image Resizer, which is used to dynamically create the thumbnails and featured images
  • Custom Page Templates for Archives, Sitemap & Image Gallery
  • Built-in Gravatar Support for Authors & Comments;
  • Integrated Banner Management script to display randomized banner ads of your choice site-wide
  • Pretty dropdown navigation everywhere
  • Widgetized Sidebars
  • 8 gorgeous colour schemes!

I’ll be showing you some other blogs based on the Fresh News theme in the coming weeks. In the meantime if you love boats, check out Ask The Boater.

Live Well 360° Redesign

Live Well 360

Sheila, another client of mine, has created a great website over at Live Well 360° that I thought you might be interested in.

Previously on a different blogging platform, we moved the blog onto the much easier (though yes, it’s still tricky sometimes!) WordPress format, and customized a new theme. She made this switch not just for design purposes, but for efficiency as well. It is now much easier for you to find specific content on the site, and easier for her to provide it!

The site has a great number of delicious looking recipes that are easy to print out and try. Sheila is a “self proclaimed foodie on a mission to live a life of health and prosperity, who over the past 4 years has finally realized how much the food we eat affects our overall well being”.

So, please take a look at her new site, it could be your path to wellness. She has started writing about her life story too. If you like what you read, why not leave her a comment, I’m sure she would be happy to hear from you!

Plenty more client blog profiles will be coming soon.

Is Email The Best Communication Tool?

I love using email to communicate. It makes things instantaneous without being intrusive. It keeps a written record of what has been said, and is easily organized.

I especially love using Gmail, it’s archiving, labeling and search features make it easy to use and easy to find anything that has every been discussed. It even allows you to manage multiple accounts within the same interface.

However a couple of recent “incidents” have led me to question whether it’s always best at times.

Gmail Logo

Firstly someone contacted me, and I replied promptly as always. Then, after a couple of days I a got another message, the same as the first – always a sign the recipient hasn’t received my email. Checking my reply was sent, and I resent it from a different email address in case my domain was being blocked. Then, again a couple of days later, I received a comment on my blog complaining about my lack of replies. Having no other way to contact the sender other than email, I was actually happy they had left the message! It was quickly sorted out, the emails had been filtered into the recipients spam/junk folder automatically, and they hadn’t checked. All was fine in the end, but things had been delayed a week.

Secondly another client sent me an email for some further work. And then sent me another, and yet didn’t receive a reply. She then sent me an email from my contact form which alarmed me, as she had been worried about why I hadn’t replied. Of course I hadn’t received the emails, but why? The answer rests in Gmail’s virus scanner. All the emails that had been sent had contained a .php attachment. Gmail does not allow executable files or scripts to be sent in email, however the details are a little sketchy. .exe’s are blocked and so are password protected zip files. .php files are not mentioned though seem to be blocked, but not when they’re zipped. There is obviously no notification when an email is blocked (otherwise you would get lots and lots of notifications from spam bots), so I hadn’t known anything is wrong.

Gmail launched in 2004 and is still classed as a BETA – i.e not complete software. Perhaps this shows why?

ACTIONS: My contact form now includes a telephone number / Skype box in case someone wants to provide an alternative contact method. I also check my own spam folder regularly.

So, if I don’t reply to you, send me an email from my contact form with a phone number and explain the problem. I look forward to speaking to you soon!