If you’ve been following me here since my launch in 2010, you’ll notice I haven’t done many upgrades to the look of the blog. I’ve kept things simple for the most part. The layout has been the same for a while, even though I switched to a different WordPress theme six months after my launch. I’m currently using a free WordPress theme that I’ve tweaked the shit out on the back end. A lot has fallen on my shoulders, simply because it’s nearly impossible to find a talented and more importantly a reliable programmer. I’ve contacted several programmers (some don’t reply at all and others reply weeks later), and most are simply not talented enough to my liking. If someone calls them selves a “PRO”, I expect professional advice, suggestions and input. It’s sort of like going to a hair salon versus going to a barber. I don’t want just another hair cut. I want the input from the stylist on what type of style would suit my big head, how short, and what suits my facial structure. That’s the difference between a $35 hair cut and a $12 cut at the local barber shop.
My expectations with programmers are right up there with my hair salon example. I’m looking for someone to work alongside with me, while constructively (key word here is constructive) suggesting ways to better monetize my blog, theme, coding issues and offer some fresh ideas. It’s not a lot to ask for, and I certainty don’t have an issue paying for quality talent. However, I’m not interested in half-ass mediocre talent or someone who’s too lazy to get out of bed in the morning.
This has led me to do a lot of coding work my self. Most of the coding is done trough trial and error. I’ve made my share of mistakes and it’s been a pretty steep learning curve. There have been times when sometimes things go awfully wrong. This is usually occurs when I become too brave. Thankfully I’ve made pretty good relationships with two designers outside of the PF community who are there to take over and resolve the errors I already made.
I have to admit that I’m a total backseat designer. This is totally me.Typically I create mock ups (often scribbled in pen on paper) and get the major changes to be implemented by one of the two part-time designers I use. Thus far, this strategy has paid off.
I often don’t write many posts on changes/updates to this blog. Simply I try to dish out quality content pertaining to personal finance. After all that’s what you asked for and it’s my duty to deliver that. However, if you’ll excuse me today, I wanted to share a post and give you some changes, additions and updates happening on Finance Fox.
1. Email Newsletter
Last year during FINCON11 in Chicago I had the opportunity to meet Justin (Marketing Director) from AWeber Communications. AWeber happens to be one of the leading companies in providing and helping website owners build email marketing programs. Aside from an attractive price point that AWeber provides for the use of their email marketing service, they’re also excellent customer service providers and implementing the code is as simple as a few clicks of a button. Trust me, if a newbie in coding like me can do it, you can too.
I’ve been quite impressed so far with the service and the amount of readers that have signed up. I just wish that I started my email marketing campaign 8 months earlier at the inception of this blog.
If you haven’t joined my email list, I am comfortable enough to say you’re missing out. If you are one of the ones who has signed up already – THANK YOU. Your tremendous support is always valued. Since the launch of the email campaign four months ago over 100 readers have already signed up and continue to receive a pretty comprehensive weekly newsletter with exclusive personal finance tips, motivating ways to save money and giveaways not offered on the blog.
2. My Debt Page
I created the “My Debt Page” as an outlet to summarize my debt story and what I’m doing to defeat my debt. Everyday new readers are popping in, and having an intimate page like this gives everyone (new and old readers) the opportunity to learn about me, how I got into debt and most importantly what I’m doing to get out of debt. The link to the page is located in the header.
3. PF Talk Page
I’ve been tinkering with this idea for a while now and recently I created a page called “PF Talk”. In short PF Talk stands for Personal Finance Talk and it’s a page dedicated to display the interviews that I’ve conducted and will be conducting with various Bloggers, Writers, Investors, Advisors, CEOs, Business Owners, Recruiters and anyone pertaining to personal finance.
The personal finance talk (PFT) is a lifestyle page dedicated to life advice, cool interviews, intimate photos and a look behind from behind the scenes. I’m hoping to cover a wide range of topics including investing, career advice, life advice, insurance, and fresh ways for us to become more money savvy.
My promise to you is that I have a lot of cool interviews lined up. All of the interviews will be featured with some juicy photos to spice things up. Some interviews have already been conducted, so stay tuned for the articles going live soon.
1. New Theme
The plan to switch over to a “premium” theme has been on the back burner for a while now. In order to take this blog to the next level, I need to upgrade the theme. Even though I like this theme, there are many limitations. I’ve also done my fair share of tinkering with the theme and exhausted majority of the different options one can do to a theme on back end.
This is seriously long overdue. Logo is an identity of any business, and this is no different in the blogging world. I’ve had various pitches in the past to create a logo for this blog. Unfortunately not of the logo pitches came to fruition due to the price point. I’ll be honest here, I didn’t want to pay $600 for a 2D logo design.
This is essentially where the designer takes some clip art to create your logo. There are usually 4-5 revisions in the process before the logo is called complete. The biggest ingredient missing in this logo process is creativity. There is no originality. I call this mush. If I’m going to pay someone, I’m looking for some originality. I’m not interested in what the last guy got.
Enter Pete Anderson. He’s the owner/blogger on Bible Money Matters and a full-time graphic designer. He runs a side business in graphics design helping people like me with basic logo design, web-page banners and any other website graphics. Pete’s work is top notch and very, and I mean very affordable. Furthermore, he’s quick to respond and won’t stop tweaking your design until you’re fully satisfied.
Pete did a simple and very attractive logo design for my commercial cleaning business. I was happy with the end result and more importantly I’ll be a returning as a satisfied customer for my Finance Fox logo.