25 Things You Spend More Than $25 On – An Argument for Managed WordPress Hosting

Twenty-Five Dollars. $25. That’s all I pay for my managed WordPress hosting with my vendor (and client) Pressable. Yet, most people think $25 is expensive. Is it?

Let’s look at other managed WordPress hosting costs (as they describe their monthly pricing):

Your website is for your business. Isn’t it worth $25 a month?

Don’t go cheap. I’ll leave this tweet right here.

https://twitter.com/WiseArts/status/1023391266753654787

The List: 25 Things I spend more than $25 on

  1. Cazadores Tequila. At Hennessy’s it’s $9.50 a shot. Two shots plus a tip and tax is about $35.
  2. Pedicure. A plain pedicure at Happy Nails is $22. With a $5 tip that puts the cost at $27.
  3. Starbucks. Every reload on my  Gold Card is $25. I do that at least once a month.
  4. 2 for 1 burgers on Tuesdays. Again. This with a tip is about $35.
  5. A tank of gas. My last tank of gas at Chevron was $39.42.
  6. Monthly massage at White Lotus Day Spa. I’m a member so it’s $75.
  7. Jewelry. The last bracelet I bought was soft leather. $40
  8. Home Decor. I bought some pillows and paintings at Ross for $34.
  9. Office Supplies. Last run to Staples for misc pens and post-it notes was $67.
  10. Pizza. Domino’s large pizza, soda, delivery fee, and tip. $37.
  11. Sunday Brunch. Pierside blueberry pancakes and bottomless mimosas, tax, tip. $42.
  12. Toll Roads. My last statement was $39.
  13. Uber. I lost track of how much I spend monthly but it’s over $100. It’s why I prefer to walk. But when traveling, you have to do what you have to do.
  14. Hair coloring. My friend does the labor for free but the product at Sally’s beauty supply is $28.
  15. WiFi on Swiss Air flight. $39. It is admittedly less expensive on other airlines, but I had no problem spending this to get connected.
  16. Keepsake Frames. Print of a photo for my mom. $39.
  17. Monthly Flowers. I just purchased a subscription from Enjoy Flowers for $68.
  18. Airport Parking. The last time I parked at SNA it was $60. (Not everyone has a person who will drop them off and pick them up at the airport.)
  19. Choosing your seat on Swiss. I was glad to pay $55 each way to choose an aisle seat on my international flight to Belgrade.
  20. Vacation. Even though I won a two night stay at an all-inclusive resort, I had no trouble paying $215 for the airfare.
  21. Premium Plugins. I spent $100 on Beaver Builder and $30 on Better Click to Tweet without any reservation.
  22. Shorts. The last pair of shorts I bought from Old Navy was $22. Tax and shipping put that over.
  23. Advertising. $30 for LinkedIn. More than two $20 boosts on Facebook.
  24. Makeup. My last Glossier order was $30. That’s not my only vendor.
  25. Donations. I donate $20 to 4Ocean and $5 to FreeCodeCamp every month, plus the odd request for someone in need.

None of these include utilities, rent, cell phones, internet, insurance, taxes, groceries, or car payments. These are items that come out of discretionary income.

People Speak up on Twitter

https://twitter.com/rajendrazore/status/1023434580194250752

Your Time is Worth Money

It doesn’t matter to me which host you choose, but pick managed hosting. The race to the bottom is real. Get good service. Invest in your own business by investing in your website.

This also means blogging on a regular basis but that’s anther post.

Marketing for WordPress Developers: You are What You Tweet

When it comes to business tools for WordPress Developers, Twitter is one of the best — if you use it correctly. Tweet to build, not tear down.

If you are what you tweet, what shouldn’t you say?

We all have a voice. We all want our voice heard. There’s no way to circumvent the need for love and belonging and acceptance. It’s part of our nature.

And in the WordPress space, we like to take all of our complaints to social media. This can be good and bad.

Firstly, public venting is almost never a good thing. Rather than posting publicly, it is better to use private Facebook groups, SnapChat, and friends to text or call.

Client Shaming on Twitter

As an aside, I’d love to see client shaming die a long, painful death. I’ve seen it in every industry I’ve been in. Twitter is supposed to make you approachable. When people see your tweets shaming clients for not understanding DNS, they will be more afraid to talk to you, let alone hire you.

It’s not the client’s responsibility to understand tech. That’s why they’re hiring you. Right? You deal with DNS and passwords and image sizes and naming conventions day in and day out. The fact that they could even find their passwords was a victory in their own eyes.

Instead, be a bridge. Be a resource. Educate. Empower your clients.

You shouldn’t be annoyed that they don’t understand what you do.

What is a good business use of Twitter?

I wrote about this more extensively, but here are some suggestions:

  • Congratulate friends.
  • Empathize with someone’s personal loss.
  • Share your hobbies.
  • Engage in light banter about red shirts v blue shirts, Croatia v France, Flexbox v Grid.
  • Promote your friends.
  • Tweet at WordCamps.
  • Share blog posts that talk about your services.
  • Educate clients on vocabulary and jargon.
  • Tweet photos from your vacation.
  • Talk about Tiger Woods reentering Golf.
  • Debate LeBron leaving the Cavaliers — again.
  • Share your struggles.
  • Ask for help.

Here are some more thoughts, Tweetable, of course

If you want Twitter to be a safe place, start tweeting safe things. Click To Tweet Are your political opinions helping or hurting your online reputation? Click To Tweet Venting frustration about clients can ward off potential ones. Click To Tweet

 

 

Marketing for WordPress Developers: Are you taking on new clients?

Client work is great. But how do your Twitter followers, let alone your friends, know if you’re taking on new clients and projects. And if so, which ones?

You do refer and take referrals, right?

What is Marketing?

Marketing is basic communication of your goods and services. Simple enough, right? So why do so many WordPress developers fail to tell their potential customers that they are available?

There could be many reasons, but let’s start with a simple, actionable goal.

Audit your website and Twitter bio.

Audit Your Website

You may need a third party on this one. Don’t look at the code or the design. Instead, look to see where a potential customer would know the following:

  1. Are you accepting new work?
  2. What kind of work do you specialize in?
  3. How does someone contact you?

You could go further with:

  1. Do you have a portfolio?
  2. Do you have recommendations?
  3. Do you list your clients?

But that is way extra credit.

Your services page should be clear in the main navigation and not buried. This is for potential customers and for your friends who are looking to refer you. If your friends are like me, they check your website first.

Audit Your Twitter Bio

What does your Twitter bio say? Does it say you’re a “WordPress Developer.” That’s awesome. Your peers know who you are. But does the general public. I’m going to say a hard “no.”

If you build websites, and taking on work, I’d strongly suggest that your Twitter bio says “I build websites” in some form.

Here are a couple of quick Google Search Screenshots that should help convince you.

Notice that it says “web designer” or “website” in most of the suggestions. Also, the “People also ask” section is a good source of headlines for future blog posts like, “How Much Does It Cost To Hire Someone to Build A Website?”

Oh, and please put a link to your website on your Twitter.

More questions?

I’d love to help you. And, yes, I am taking on marketing consulting clients.

Below is my form.


Let's chat!

I'd love to present a solution for your business.

Please fill out this form with as much detail as you can and I'll email you an estimate from FreshBooks.

I have time to work on your business. Do you?

Thank you!


SaaS: The Cost of Doing Business Online

These days you hear a lot of complaining about online costs. People think “online” means “free.” It doesn’t; nor should it. So what is the cost of doing business online? In this post I’ll detail my software as a service expenses to give you an idea.

Software as a Service (Saas)

Software as a Service basically means you can get a service through a webpage. Wikipedia has a better definition. The point is, that digital space has a cost. Software over the cloud has a cost. Clouds are not free.

Traditional Services

Traditional services like accounting and law typically charge retainers and charge by 15 minute increments. We never question this. So why not value our own time?

This also includes monthly, recurring costs like cable (internet provider), electricity (to power and charge the devices you use to get to the cloud), cell phones to work remotely and call clients, as well as a percentage of your mortgage/rent or co-working fees.

This isn’t the place for it, but please. Understand your costs as an agency. Understanding your costs allows you to charge for your value.

My Monthly SaaS Costs

I spend quite a bit of money for cloud-based tools that I deem necessary to run my Marketing Consultancy.

Here are my monthly costs rounded to the nearest dollar:

  • Website Hosting at Pressable $25
  • Postmatic (for content delivery and commenting) $20
  • Dropbox (for website & photo backups) $10
  • Backblaze (backup computer) $10
  • iTunes (cloud storage) $4
  • Hootsuite (manage client social accounts) $15
  • Freshbooks (invoicing clients) $25
  • Canva.com (making graphics) $15

The total amount I spend monthly on things specifically to run my business is $124. Read more SaaS: The Cost of Doing Business Online

Valuing Volunteerism: A Cost Perspective

Valuing volunteerism is a two-sided coin. It’s always nice to be appreciated by the nonprofit we serve, but we also need to understand the cost. Volunteerism isn’t without a cost or a value. So in our effort to not just recruit but retain and manage volunteers, how can we have a proper respect?

It really starts with ourselves. We need to understand our personal costs and values.

Do is the new give.

“Do something great.”
“Do something.”
“Do.”

Many of us believe in nonprofits and we donate both time and money to support the causes closest to our hearts.

I believe in supporting nonprofits financially and with my time and I’m public with this donation that appears in my sidebar. As a business, I want my clients to know that I also use funds to make this world a better place.

I am a recurring donor to 4OceanOxfam, and freeCodeCamp. I also support Aspen Camp with Amazon Smile purchases.

I also volunteer with Make WordPressWordCamp Orange CountyWordCamp Los Angeles, and Women Who WP.

It’s good for our souls to give back to the world, to the things that gave us a start, as it gives us a healthy perspective and stimulates gratitude.

Why do we volunteer?

Volunteering is good for our souls. Volunteering is a way to align our values with the world.

I’ve volunteered for all of my adult life with many kinds of nonprofits. I’ve gone through burnout, elation, and everything in between.

As a freelancer, business owner, or even employee, it’s important to understand both the cost and value of volunteerism.

What is the cost of volunteering?

One of the costs of volunteering besides our time is burnout. It’s a real thing.

Why do we burnout?

There are many reasons but one is that we don’t understand how much time we spend.

We burn out from volunteering because we don't understand the value of our time. Click To Tweet

(This is partly why I rant so much about job costing and sample time tracking if you’ve ever spoken to me in person.)

If we don’t understand how we spend our time, it’s too easy to say yes to everything. But at some point, there will be a cost. That could be suffering client work, personal relationships, or health.

Another very easily solved reason is a lack of appreciation. But that’s on the “managing volunteers” side of this conversation.

So, what if our volunteerism had an invoice?

Time is one of the only unsustainable resources we truly have. Our time has both a cost and a value.

Sometimes to gain perspective is to tie our time to a dollar amount. Though it doesn’t speak to all of the value, it’s one way to show others and ourselves that our work, though unpaid, matters.

Maybe if we treated our volunteer work like it was a client, it would give other people a perspective of the worth. To gain a perspective for myself, I ran the numbers on just one of my volunteer efforts.

What if WordCamp Orange County was my client? This would be the invoice based upon my current pricing.

  • Five months of weekly 1/2 hour meeting:
    • 20 meetings at 1/2 of my rate $75 = $1500
  • Social media management:
    • Facebook: $350/mo x 5 = $1750
    • Twitter basic: $350 x 5 = $1750
  • Total in kind donation $5,000

Volunteerism Matters

Besides all of the people I’ve met, relationships I’ve formed, valuable conversations that changed my life, clients I’ve gained, and people I’ve encouraged, there is a monetary value on your time.

Spend it well. Remember your why.

As I told a friend this past weekend at WordCamp Europe,

“If we ever forget that this is about the people, we’ve completely lost our way.”

Go serve, do it for others, but take care of your self.

Clark Tibbs