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transporter in the rearview

vehicle's right wing mirror
Photo by Alberico Bartoccini on Unsplash

My wife and I took some time to crunch the numbers regarding my work as a driver. When taking everything into consideration – fuel, wear and tear, time etc – my hourly rate was coming in at under £5.00! You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to work out what happened next.

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the transporter

Just call me Frank Martin! I will hopefully be starting a new gig this week, being a freelance delivery driver! Although the eponymous Mr Martin delivered, “no questions asked”, I will be making deliveries within my postcode area, so maybe a few hours a day, job and finish.

Now, I’m not new to this line of work. I recently worked part-time as a freelance motorcycle delivery driver, dropping premium motorcycles across the UK. For reasons that are still not clear to me, that work ended abruptly. Still, I like regular income, so pulling in money from several different gigs each month suits me and gives me the flexibility I need to pursue my passions – writing and photography.

It should be easy, I just have to remember to “not look in the bag”!

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leaning in

The time has come for me to make a stand. From Monday (12th April), I will get back to doing some freelance work in PR and web development, along with bringing one or two of my blogs back to life. Rhona is throwing everything she has at Pumpkin Cakes, so I will be helping to market that business for her.

I am deep into developing a new website for the rebranded football club; I am the secretary. That is going to need at least another three weeks of work to finish. The most important item on my agenda, though, is taking care of my son. He and I need to get out and do more in the way of exercise. It will be good for both of us. That is all.

Categories
work

my website philosophy

or how I build websites.

Here are some thoughts about how I build websites. They are a collection of ideas and principles that I have been putting together for some time.

  • I think websites should be simple, clean, fast, and purpose-built. The websites I build have one purpose — information delivery. I develop and design them to fulfil that goal. If you want fancy, you can find that everywhere and pay a price far higher than I charge for it. I don’t do that and those that hire me, hire me because I don’t do that.
  • Before I start to build a website for a client, I engage in a conversation around two simple questions: Who is visiting the site and what information do they need? I design the entire site around the answers to those two questions.
  • Anyone coming to a business website is looking for information. With the answers to those two questions in mind, I build a site to deliver that information to those people with as few clicks as possible (preferably none).
  • Every time you add a page, you add work for the visitor. One more barrier between them and what they want. One more thing they have to find. One more thing they have to click and another chance for them to leave. Therefore, make it as few pages as is possible and sensible.
  • An example is restaurant websites. Almost every restaurant website could be two pages. Home page: Hours, location, a number to call for a reservation or further info. Page two: Menu (In HTML, not PDF, with prices!). That’s it. I can’t think of a single restaurant website that I’ve seen that needs to be more than that. Yet, almost every restaurant website I visit is more complicated than it needs to be.
  • Currently, almost everyone that visits your website is using a mobile device. I build sites with that in mind (not only mobile friendly & responsive but especially the choice of font types and sizes). I test everything, every page & every link, on a smartphone and make it look good there.
  • Most businesses should hire a copywriter and editor long before hiring a web designer/builder. Most should worry far less about the design of the website. People are coming for information, not how pretty it is. Focus on the words first.
  • Many web designers like to use custom frameworks and page builders to make your site “pretty”; this has the side effect of making the back-end of your site confusing, and your ability to update and add content to the site yourself more difficult. I don’t do that. I’m not building a custom theme or messing around with some premium framework. If you are happy with how things work, you’ll only come back in those (rare) instances you need a major change or can’t intuitively figure something out yourself.
  • To that end, I build using one of the WordPress default themes and making customised modifications to that using a child theme. The advantages are that the theme is always kept up to date and compatible with the latest versions of WordPress, and can be easily fixed if there’s an issue without making things worse. More importantly, it means it is easy for you, the customer, to keep up to date. That also makes it easy for any other web person you might hire after me, future-proof is a feature.

If you’d like to see websites that I have built that incorporate most (if not all) of these principles, check out the following pages:

Barham Football Club
Justin Phillips Protection Services
Pumpkin Cakes
JMcK Soccer Coach

Below you can find links to sites featuring logos that I have designed:

Dunt Barn (logo/branding)
TazFit (logo & web graphics to customer spec)
Barham FC (logo & web graphics)
Justin Phillips Protection Services (logo)
JMcK Soccer Coach (logo)
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535

/updated Tom Ward’s website_

Tom Ward has moved from BSB back to the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship, and so I have up made changes to his website to reflect this.

Along with some updated imagers, I have created and published an updated logo that features his race number in SSTK 1000.

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status

485

Built a new website for Tom Ward – https://www.wardy.online
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100

Here’s a list of the things that I won’t do when it comes to my freelance work.

promote your resource or product.

Thank you so much, but promotion is just not a good fit for me or for this site.

write press releases.

No. I’m not good at it and I don’t like it.

handle public relations.

No, not anymore.

do your social media stuff.

No, you do you. I can only advise you about the technical aspects if required.

write on spec or send you a free customised writing sample.

No. This is a waste of my time and I value my time.

take little/no pay because I will get great exposure.

No. I don’t work for free anymore. This is not an appealing offer.

haggle with you over my rates.

No. I give you my rates, then you take ’em or leave ’em. 

give you free revisions for the work that I have completed for you.

No. For most projects I will include a couple of revisions. Anything over and above what is included is chargeable.

send you a free writing sample to prove I’m qualified.

No.

rewrite the stuff you wrote that “just needs a little polishing, honest“, for half my normal rate.

No.

promote the posts I write for you.

No.

Other than sharing links in my newsletter, I do not offer any other promotional services.

Note: if you want a writer to do the writing and formatting and editing and all the promotional work of marketing which is NOT the same as writing, then what you want is a content marketing manager and a writer. I can point you in the right direction for help with this.

promote your product or service or tool or app or what-have-you on this site.

I know I already said this, but I still get lots of emails asking. So I’m saying it again. I’m not going to share the guide or resource or infographic or ebook. Thank you and good night.