Episode 78 | 8 Things You Should Give Up
[00:00] Mike: This is Startups For The Rest Of Us: Episode 78.
[00:12] Mike: Welcome to Startups For The Rest Of Us, podcast to help developers, designers and entrepreneurs be awesome at launching the Start-ups whether you built your first one or you’re just thinking about it. I’m Mike.
[00:20] Rob: And I’m Rob.
[00:21] Mike: And we’re here to share our experiences to help you avoid the same mistakes we’ve made. How are you doing this week?
[00:25] Rob: I’m doing all right. Yeah, I got a lot of stuff going on where we got about twelve days to MicroConf and I just wrapping everything up. I realized we talked about that every episode but it really is still a big thing on the list.
[00:35] Mike: It’s an all time consuming affairs with this. [Laughter]
[00:39] Rob: It feel likes it, doesn’t it? But I want to tell you I am cashing out to I —
[00:43] Mike: Avoid —
[00:44] Rob: I’m selling everything I have $33 per free user. That’s the going rate right now for apps.
[00:50] Mike: Really?
[00:51] Rob: Know — know where that’s from? Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram.
[00:54] Mike: Oh, that’s right.
[00:55] Rob: 33 million free users, it’s a free iPhone app. 33 million people have downloaded it or using it. I’m not sure which and they got a billion bucks. So how many free users you think we have at podcast? Don’t know.
[01:06] Mike: Oh, I don’t know. But they got to be worth more because I actually listen to it.
[01:10] Rob: Yeah, so I know we get somewhere between 15 and 18,000 downloads per month. I just checked. We had about 600 gigs of mp3’s get downloaded last month. So we’re looking at — I mean that’s — that’s quite a bit of money. Even at like 2500 listeners, that’s like 80 something K and if you go up to 10, 10 grand we could be — we could be approaching half, half a million bucks here. What do you think? Would you sell the podcast for that?
[01:33] Mike: I think your Math is off but — [Laughter]
[01:36] Rob: That 10,000 users would be $330,000 and I’m saying we might have more than that.
[01:42] Mike: Oh, okay. It’d be a hard call I think. Anyhow, half a million would be nice but it still got to ways to go I think. [Laughter]
[01:48] Rob: Yeah, I agree.
[01:50] Mike: I did read an interesting article that said that it could be Zuckerberg’s last hurrah though which is where he gets to actually do something completely out of the ordinary and crazy like spend a billion dollars on a weekend just kind of on a whim because once he gets a board and the company goes public, there’s no way he’s ever going to be able to do that again. [Laughter]
[02:08] Rob: All right. Well, I heard he did — I think they have a board now. He did without board approval but —
[02:11] Mike: Right.
[02:11] Rob: … I think once they’re public, yeah, there’s more accountability. Anyways, what’s — what’s going on with you?
[02:16] Mike: Last week as everyone knows I was in Calgary in Canada and I actually said that I have a dinner with the podcast listener up there. So we went out and had dinner and had a couple of beers and just sat down and chatted about a bunch of different things. So, it was a good time.
[02:31] Rob: Cool. I want to give a shout out to Josh at codemyownroad.com and he did a nice write up of our Episode 76: Why It’s Easy To Be Great But Hard To Be Consistent. Yeah, so thanks for the shout out, Josh. Really appreciate it.
[02:44] And the other thing I wanted to mention is Episode 77 in the comments. Mark Stephens replied and he said because you and I said in 77 about how — well, I had at least said I felt forums were a bit old fashion that they’re kind of go down on the style at this point and he said, “I was interested in your comments on forums as being a bit ‘old-fashioned’ and being replaced by social media. Do you think if you can keep the question levels up, they are still a good source of SEO and also a way to differentiate your site? Do you really want to lose that to Facebook?” What do you think?
[03:17] Mike: Well, I think that what we had said was that forums are a little bit old fashioned in terms of offer and support not necessarily switching over to Facebook or something like that but more of the using e-mail and direct, some of the more direct communications is a little bit better than a forum for those types of things because I’ve even seen this with forums that are publicly available and you have a lot of activity there. What happen is that people will type in a question and they leave a comment there and you know, they expect an answer from whatever you’re wanting for support and they will never actually go back and start searching for old answers to see if the answers to their questions are there unless you’re like this large company that just doesn’t really get back to people.
[03:59] Rob: Right. Yeah. In my experience, I have forums on a couple of apps and they turned out to be more trouble than a worth or they have been for us. One of the like crazy things is that, as an example, phpBB which is one of the most used forums offer packages. It can’t be set up to e-mail and admin whenever a new post is posted. There’s just no setting to do that. So you have to go and hack the code if you want to do that. And you can search online and see people complaining about this but as a result, you either have to visit the forum everyday to see who’s doing what, monitor RSS, you know. There’s really no easy way to monitor. And so what you find is that you either have this additional added task that isn’t adding that much value to your business or you have this forum posted are not being answered because you’re not watching the forum and then people start complaining.
[04:42] I’ve also found that people, you know, if someone gets to disgruntle to something, they want to come back and they want to, you know, post something to the forums about, “Oh the support is this or the support is that.” We haven’t had much trouble with that but I think once or twice in five years someone has done that and it’s just like it’s not that helpful like this person was actually what I would call a toxic customer, you know. They were demanding a lot more. They paid, you know, 90 bucks for a $300 product. But that would be so much better just to handle, handle via e-mail frankly. I found very little SEO value comes from forums as well. I think if you have some massive user-based tens of thousands of people, that’s fine. But if you have a 500 or a thousand customers who bought from you over several years, the odds of you having more than just a trickle of two to three forum post per month are very low.
[05:25] And so, you can go ahead and set it up. But in my estimation, you’re going to need a lot more value out of having a blog or even having a Facebook page if all you want to do is generate, you know, some traffic and interest in your — in your app —
[05:38] Mike: Yeah, I don’t think that you’ll get any SEO benefits at all from having a forum. The point is you bring up about using Facebook to get some SEO benefit as great, the comments that we had made were really about using forums as a support mechanism, thus, I want to reiterate that point is that that’s what we were talking about not necessarily that using forum is a bad idea. It’s just using them for support, kind of goes away and I think the social media in general is probably better than forums.
[06:04] Rob: That’s in and that’s a good point it’s that we were really, we’re talking about support. The one forum package that I have seen work was the forums that were attached to HitTail and they had tens of thousands of free customers at point and that actually had enough volume that it was ranking in Google and did bring in some traffic. So there was an SEO benefit at some point but I’ve shut the forums then I’ve now I was going to say if you go back and look. But as I went back and looked, it was a lot of involvement from the previous owner in order to get that, you know, that stream going. And in my opinion, it’s just there — there are more valuable ways to spend time if you’re going to look at and view it as a marketing channel and then back to what you’ve said it. It really, yeah, as support channel, there are just better ways to do it now. So what else? What have you been up to?
[06:45] Mike: I’ve been doing some link building for a couple of different products and I just got a couple of reports back from the company that I’m having doing a link building and I haven’t gone through everything yet but more of the sites, I’ve talked about it a few weeks ago that I’ve just kind of accidentally launched because I was playing with some software, the Altiristraining.com is on the first page of Google already.
[07:03] Rob: Nice.
[07:04] Mike: So — yeah, it’s — it depends on what data center you hit. So in Canada, I was ranks number 11, I think and I’ve seen various places where I ranked, you know, 13 or 10. I think that you said that you saw it ranked 7. I see it ranked 7 on my machine. So, I don’t know. It’s doing well and I’ve been kind of tracking the Google Analytics and start to gain a little bit of traffic and the sites up and running and I’ve still have some work to do on it but, you know, things are looking good so far.
[07:32] Rob: Yeah, I’ve been running in to an interesting SEO I’ll say it’s a snafu with HitTail. There was a completely White-hat SEO approach that used to work really well and now it’s being penalized and what it is, is back a especially like 2005-2006, people used to give out badges to websites and so they would say install this widget on your blog or on your website and you know, every page wiggling back to, you know, your tool basically. And so HitTail had this badge they gave out and it’s on literally hundreds of blogs and a lot of those blogs have literally hundreds of pages because I have a bunch of posts.
[08:08] Well as of six weeks ago, having a lot of links from a smaller amount of blogs, so having 20,000 link from only 500 different domains is now viewed as over optimization. Even though it’s totally like back in the day, you know, this was a totally White-hat thing that everybody was doing. So it’s now resulting a negative rankings. I’m actually dropping in ranking. Haven’t built links, haven’t done stuff but it’s just kind of crazy to see how this was changing. So I’m doing some evasive maneuvers to undo some of that, some of those links.
[08:39] Mike: Right. I wish they were a little bit more. I guess I’ll say open about the — the way that they do those things, how they figure out whether or not you’re the type of company that’s been, you know, doing things that you shouldn’t be or just the ones that, you know, using this a legitimate tactic.
[08:54] Rob: Yeah, I mean it’s all algorithmic, right? And I think not even a technique that spammers use but it’s a technique that has a similar link profile to what spammers might do. You know, a spammer might set up fifty or a hundred spam blogs and then just put a bunch of links on those blogs so they have a high ratio of links to unique domains. And so doing this badge thingy, it’s pretty obvious that’s the new algorithm is not looking kindly at that. So …
[09:21] Mike: Yeah, I wonder how that factors in with products that you sell that are web-based which link back to your site like in the footer.
[09:28] Rob: I know.
[09:29] Mike: So —
[09:29] Rob: I — I would say that that’s, yeah that’s a problem. I mean because even with HitTail, it has a ton of authority lengths from big size like TechCrunch, Inc. and New York Times and all that. So, this is actually outweighing those at this point.
[09:41] Mike: Wow.
[09:42] Rob: You know. Yeah, which is pretty crazy. But it absolutely started six weeks ago when the Panda 3.3 Update came out. So we know it has something to do with an algorithm change. And you know, these are the best guesses of the folks that I — that I know who are knowledgeable.
[09:55.] Mike: Well, good luck in getting those badges moves.
[09:57] Rob: Thank you. I’m going to need it.
[09:59] Mike: [Laughter] [0:10:00]
[10:01] Rob: So hey, the last thing before we dive in to the main segment is a few episodes back, I said that I was boorish on mobile apps because I said, you know, as long as more phones are being sold, people are going to buy new iPhone and Android apps but there’s no recurring revenue model. And I have finally understand how apps are going to continue to sell stuff. Why that there actually is “kind of recurring revenue stream” for the stuff and it’s In App Purchases. This is totally obvious but it finally occurred to me that people are going to start making — once you get a big install-based that those In App Purchases whether they have them now or they introduce them later or whatever, that’s going to be the gold mine in the years to come. It’s being on the phones from day one and then maybe — it’d maybe over the course of several years, they’ll sell them. You know, it’s like PowerApps. It’s new weapons. It’s new fonts if you’re selling, you know, or processing things.
[10:51] So that’s going to be it, man. And it suddenly hit me and I realized like, okay, I can actually see this now as a sustainable business. So I want to amend my boorish comment on mobile apps and I do actually feel a little boorish about them.
[11:07] Rob: So today we’re going to talk about Eight Things You Should Give Up. And this might be kind of sub texted as Eight Things You Should Give up To Be Happy as an Entrepreneur. This is based on a blog post that went pretty heavily viral. I think it got 5,000 tweets and several thousand likes and all these kind of stuff but it’s at Purposefairy.com and we’ll link it up in Show Notes. The post was called 15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy. And it’s, you know, not the most actionable thing. I mean they’re pretty — it’s kind of like, you know, give up the past, give up excuses, give up these kinds of things. But as I read it, I totally fell like, huh, there are a lot of these items, these give ups that apply to becoming an entrepreneur, right? And to making this work as a business owner.
[11:48] So, the purpose here, this is another one of the kind of the mental aspects. We found that our podcast episodes that cover mental and psychological aspects actually resound quite a bit with people because I know for [0:12:00] me, it’s always a challenge like every month or two I hit some kind of mental hurdle that I have to overcome whether it’s a new challenge or whether it’s something that I dealt with a year ago and it’s now resurfacing. In my life, I have done every one of these things we’re going to talk about. And in the past, I was looking at it and in the past week, I’ve done about 50% of these things.
[12:20] So, the first one we’re going to cover is “Give up your need for control”. The reason that I like this one is it relates back to what you and I talked about in terms of outsourcing and of giving up the need to control everything about your product. Especially as software developers, we really want to have every I dot and every T cross and we want the code to just be magical and pristine mint and have our finger prints all over it. But the bottom line is by giving up some control to someone else and whether this is code or whether it’s copywriting or whether it’s marketing or whether it’s, you know, some aspect of your business, you are very likely going to be able to move faster and achieve your goals quicker.
[12:59] Mike: I don’t think it’s just about being able to move faster and quicker. It’s also about getting a different perspective on things because I’ll do things or I’ll have an idea about something and I’ll hand it off to someone else to do and a lot of times when I get back is, “Hey, have you thought about this?” or “Have you consider doing this, this other thing over here instead?” By collaborating a little bit more, you get another perspective that, you know, enhances your vision. It doesn’t necessarily squash it.
[13:26] Rob: The next one we’re going to talk about is “Give up yourself-defeating self-talk”. Basically, it’s having that self doubt. It’s having the voice inside your head that says you can’t do this, you won’t do this, you weren’t good enough to do this. There is a phenomenal blog post by Jason Cohen and it’s called Why I feel Like a Fraud. And after selling, I think it was after selling his third company [Laughter] and you know, having more than enough money to live on for the rest of his life and take care of his family, he wrote this post. And he said, “I still basically question whether or not I’m actually good at this or whether it’s been luck.” [0:14:00] And even within the past six weeks, I — this exact phrase has ran through my head. On going struggles day to day are going to tend to bring this kind of negative self-talk in to your head. Some people I think are more prone to it than others but if you are prone to it, it is perhaps the most important one on this list to get over and to learn to deal with and learn to kind of quiet that internal voice.
[14:23] Mike: Yeah, I think that sometimes listening to that internal voices are just so incredibly toxic because you’ll essentially talk yourself out of doing something because you say, “Oh well, I can’t do this or this is too hard or this is going to take too long” and you kind of give up. And if you just kind of pressed on, then things likely would have straightened themselves out. It’s just that if you don’t kind of push through that, then it’s just not going to happen. I hear a lot of people doing this type of thing. They talk themselves out of continuing. And it’s they — they want validation from other people because they basically want an excuse to just quit and to give up and go home. And you know, a lot of times they’ll get that from people which is I’ll say unfortunate but, you know, it’s just the way things go. But if you don’t let that stuff gets you, then you can at least push yourself through that and hopefully, get to the other side.
[15:12] Rob: Yeah, there’s this phrase that I’ve heard. The phrase is “If someone else has done it, so can I. If no one has done it, I will be the first.” And that — it really resonate with some people and if it resonates with you, I encourage you to write it on a note pad and stick it on your monitor and read everyday. This is something I have a quote written in my notebook and as I flip through it, I really — it kind of makes me realized that there’s a lot — there’s a big mental aspect to what we do, right? It’s like the mental part just like in baseball or in golf, like it can crush you. Once you lose your mental focus, you can seriously run a business in to the ground even before it gets started just by having this kind of this negative self-talk that keeps you from being productive.
[15:51] There’s a school of thought — there’s been some research done that in order to change a habit, you need to do it 21 days in a row. I think the idea with these give ups we’re talking about [0:16:00] is probably pick one or two of the most critical ones, that ones you feel like your most guilty of and 21 days in a row, set aside two or three minutes either every morning or every morning to just look at what you did that day that was, you know, maybe defeating self to being self-talk and to then turn it around and say what is the — basically the opposite of that like I am capable of doing this like other people have done it, so I can do it as well. And if they haven’t done it, I’ll be the first.
[16:29] Mike: And you’re not advocating that we look in the mirror and say I’m good enough —
[16:32] Rob: I know —
[16:33] Mike: … I’m smart enough and dug on and people like me. [Laughter]
[16:36] Rob: I know. We’re right on that border. I mean hundreds of entrepreneurs that I’ve talked to, these things are prevalent and damn near everyone, you know. Everyone who’ve I talked to who’s trying to serve businesses feels these things at one time or another. There’s actually another good post. It was written in the past couple of weeks. And it was by Erica Douglass who has Whoosh Traffic and she was actually talking about Jason Cohen working with him and how it made her feel like a fraud, basically, or her feel like she wasn’t that great. That’s upon her blog.
[17:04] Mike: Yeah, I think the part of the problem is that people, you know, especially when you start reading blogs and you’re paying attention to I guess that’s scene, what you find is that there’s people talking about, you know, how hard they worked on something and you know, they all the night — long nights and long days that they put in to something and you know, you look at that sort of stuff and you say, “Oh, well. All I need to do is suck it up and put in all this time and effort and then I’ll be successful.” And then a lot of people will put in a time and effort and it doesn’t happen and thoughts of self doubt start creeping in like, “Well, what am I doing wrong? Is it me?”
[17:38] Rob: Our next one is “Give up complaining”. I know that I totally fall back to this, right? It’s easy to complain [Laughter], it’s hard to sit there and suck it up and to make a change, right? I have this phrase that’s in my head I’ve never said but it’s employee’s complain entrepreneur shut up and get it done. And that’s it. Like that to me is the biggest difference between the employee mentality [0:18:00] and the entrepreneur mentality is every business I was — I ever worked at, there was always somebody bitching and typically several people bitching in a group about the low pay, the long hours, what management was doing wrong. Everybody had complaints. And the whole time I was thinking what are you doing? Like put that energy in to anything else whether it’s the business you’re working for, whether it’s a business you want to start, whether it’s to go home and put that energy in to hanging out with your kids or to painting or playing a guitar, like that is negative energy, turn in to something that is actually productive because you’re basically wasting your life complaining. Literally, it does nothing. Like it doesn’t help you and it doesn’t help anyone around you.
[18:37] Mike: Yeah, I couldn’t possibly agree more. Complaining about stuff just doesn’t solve anything. I mean you just have to buckle down and whatever the problems are, figure out how to fix them —
[18:47] Rob: And I see —
[18:47] Mike: That’s come to bottom line.
[18:48] Rob: Yeah and I think it becomes even more apparent once you’re in charge. When once you start your own business, you realized the complaining is totally not helpful.
[18:58] Next one is “Give up the luxury of criticism”. And what the author meant by this is giving a lot of criticism like non-helpful, non-constructive criticism, this is — I guess this is like complaining, right? It’s easy to criticize from the stands. I find that people who are good, people who do a lot of things, people who are successful, they don’t tend to criticize others nearly as much as the people who are sitting on the sidelines, you know, working 9 to 5, bitching about it, on hacker news. You know, just kind of not — not actually being actionable but they’re wasting their time criticizing others. It’s actually really easy to do.
[19:34] Mike: Yeah, it’s a lot easier to criticize someone for, you know, trying something than it is to actually get out there and give it a try yourself.
[19:41] Rob: Right. And I find these people who are actually giving it a try tend to understand than how hard it actually is and don’t tend to criticize others. And it’s not — it’s not that you can’t give constructive criticism or constructive feedback and say, “Hey, this is — this is bad. Improve it by doing this.” But it’s the people who just sit there and say, oh, they make a big, you know, funny joke on some online forum.
[20:01] The next one is “Give up on your fears”. And we’ve covered this two or three episodes past.
[20:07] Mike: I think — I think we had a whole podcast episode on.
[20:08] Rob: Yup. I think fear is possibly the number thing that keeps you from actually moving forward with starting businesses. Next one is “Give up your excuses”.
[20:18] Mike: It’s funny. I mean some people might take this the wrong way but I remember back in my fraternity days where the scene was an excuses an admittance of failure. And basically as soon as you start making excuses, it means that you failed because you’re going to spend all your energy explaining why you couldn’t do something or how you couldn’t get something done because of all these other things and you know, you were going basically point fingers everywhere except where the blame for that resides. I mean it’s typically with yourself. I mean there’s something that you didn’t do. There’s, you know, you see the procrastination or you just didn’t work hard enough or you didn’t place enough importance on it. As soon as you make excuses, you’re sunk. I mean those excuses, you just have to draw the line and say, look, these things are not real and you have to point where the problem lies.
[21:05] Rob: And the last one we’re looking at today is “Give up living your life to other people’s expectations”. There’s a really good book written by Chris Guillebeau and it’s called The Art of Non-Conformity. And if you’re interested in kind of checking out what — perhaps how we’ve been brainwashed in to believing that a number of things that believing that the 9 to 5 and that one and a half kids and the picket fence is the way for us even that a four-year education, getting a PhD and teaching an Academia, any of these things how we’ve been kind of brainwashed in to thinking that these are what we need rather than just things that everyone else does. If you’re interested in kind of looking more at that, this book is really, really interesting.
[21:49] Chris Guillebeau has travelled the world and his goal is to travel to every country in the world. I think he’s been to a hundred and fifty of them by now but he has some very unique thoughts on it and it’s a pre-practical book is what I like about it. He talks about kind of looking for your legacy and finding something that is not only interesting to you but that’s important to others and that it can be kind of something that you can work on perhaps for the rest of your life and something that, you know, that you are passionate about and that brings you a lot of life because frankly, I found that other people’s expectations often involve things like you should take the job that makes you the most money.
[22:22.] And I found over and over is that entrepreneurs who leave their jobs and make less money, but they do something they really enjoy, are way, way happier than the guy who stays and makes two or three times with that entrepreneur now makes. And it’s like who’s expectations are you going to live by?
[22:40] Mike: Yeah, it’s very much a I call a Steve Jobs as point of view. You can’t live the life that somebody wants you to live. The quote from him is “Remember that you’re going to die as the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose”.
[22:54] Rob: So in the past week or two, the ones that really stood out to me as the things that I’ve been doing are the “Give up you self-defeating self-talk”. I need to focus on that and “Give up on your fears and give up on your excuses”. I think the negative self-talk and fears and excuses are probably the three most recurring things that I’ve seen in my life because I’ve, you know, been building businesses for the past 12 or 13 years.
[23:17] Mike: I think for mine, I’ll have to say giving up the need for control and then fears and excuses. So definitely, you know, [Laughter] two thirds we’re —
[23:24] Rob: Yup —
[23:25] Mike: … overlapped two thirds on that one. But —
[23:26] Rob: Yup. I think —
[23:27] Mike: I know —
[23:27] Rob: … that’s pretty common.
[23:28] Mike: Yeah for me on the giving up on control, I mean I think I had mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I started outsourcing some stuff for AuditShark and that was — that was a huge step for me to be honest.
[23:40] Mike: We do have a couple of listener questions. The first one says, “Hi, Rob and Mike. Love the show as always. Rob has mentioned a couple of times how it was nice to get someone else in to help with tier one customer support. My question is do you just give Gmail access to that other person or pay for something more expensive like ZenDesk? My own situation is that I have several Gmail identities and domains all arriving in to one normal Gmail inbox. Right now it’s just me replying to any e-mails. Regards, Owen.”
[24:05] Rob: All right. I wish there was one simple answer to this but I approached three different ways [Laughter] and it depends how many support e-mails are coming through. But I’ve taken three approaches. One is I will set up a separate Gmail account just, you know, whatever probably the business gmail.com, I will give access to a VA so they can log in to that and then I will use the SMTP capabilities of Gmail to go out to the support inbox and you know, it pulls e-mail as every minute or five minutes or whatever and they check it once a day and they respond to it. And if anything happens and they forward me the e-mails, you know, if they need help. That is the simplest, it’s free but it gets cloogy pretty quickly if you have a lot of support coming in. So it’s not scalable basically.
[24:51] The other way I’ve had it done Gmail now allows you to allow others to log in to your Gmail account and reply as you but they can’t do any of your settings, they’re like not an admin, like they don’t have access to everything. I’ve never use this but that would be probably a very quick and dirty way to do it if you are going to just go on vacation for a week or something. You could, you know, have a VA that you trust obviously but you give them access to your Gmail account, again, they can’t do stuff like change your password and change your settings but they can reply to anything so they can at least keep an eye on it. I wouldn’t recommend that as an ongoing long term thing but that’s another option.
[25:27] The — the most in-depth option kind of what I wind up doing when there’s a live e-mails coming in is I use FogBugz and that allows us to handle — it’s basically a group inbox, right? So as new support e-mails come in, FogBugz does an ST — SMTP check, pulls them in and then it categorizes. I’m going to assign them to VA. If the VA has any issues, he can type it up and assign in to me and then I get an e-mail and I can log in and we can then track stuff. If you have somebody incoming support issues will wind up having 10, 15 back and forth responses between all three of us, he can reply, I can reply. We can kind of do it whatever we want and it’s all in a very — it’s a well-organized flow that you can see with the whole history is and then you can, of course, search that later easily and you’ll have access to it. So but that is — I do host FogBugz and it’s 25 bucks per log in although there is a — I think it’s a two log in free account if you have two log ins, you know, you don’t have to pay for it. So that might be something to use for getting started.
[26:23] How about you, Mike? Do you use any different approaches?
[26:26] Mike: Not really. I mean, there’s one other one that I use where I’ll create a mailbox that FogBugz goes and looks into but you basically have to set up your domain with that support e-mail address first and typically when I first start out, I’ll just have it forwarded directly to my Gmail account. And that way everything comes in to my Gmail account, I don’t have a dedicated Gmail account for it, so I’ll use my own personal one and I’ll just create a support add whateverdomain.com have it forward it to me and then I can reply as that just by going out through that SMTP server and then when it scales a little bit too much and I need to do something else with it because that mailbox already exist, I basically just change the settings to no longer forward to me and then just have FogBugz or something else going and retrieve the e-mails.
[27:14] Rob: The e-mail —
[27:14] Mike: So that way, everything is still going to the same place. I don’t need to change anything else, I don’t need to wait for DNS to propagate or anything weird like that and I don’t have to depend on some Gmail account that I may or may not remember to log in to.
[27:26] Rob: Right. Yeah. So that’s actually how I do it as well. That’s how I do, did it with HitTail and that’s how originally did it with DotNetInvoice. First went to Gmail then went to FogBugz. There’s only a couple of very minor smaller apps that I have that still have a separate Gmail account that someone else monitors.
[27:42] Mike: Do you actually have to go directly to a Gmail account versus —
[27:45] Rob: No.
[27:46] Mike: Okay.
[27:47] Rob: No, I have it forwarding to that —
[27:48] Mike: Okay.
[27:49] Rob: Gmail account.
[27:50] Mike: And just know for the listeners, if you’re going to do this, then make sure that you set up your account’s settings so that it actually sends e-mail that is outbound for that through the SMTP server. You have to go over to the account setting and basically what that does is it removes the —
[28:07] Rob: It says on behalf of.
[28:08] Mike: So you have to go into your account settings and change the SMTP server. It’s all documented in their docs which are actually pretty good of walking you through it and you just set that up and it will remove the sent on behalf of whatever your Gmail account is, so that way people don’t actually see that it’s coming from a Gmail account.
[28:26] Rob: All right. And our second question of the day is audio questions. Someone called it into our voicemail at 888-801-9690.
[28:34] Jack Colletti: Hey guys, Jack Colletti calling from Pittsburg, founder and CEO of Qula, qula.me. Just got finished listening to Episode 6 and my question is, is there any particular blogging platform that gives you a little bit more juice Google wise than others. Curious to know if there’s anything about the technology or there’s a way that the blogging platforms are set up, that might be a little bit more favorable for search engine writing. Bye.
[28:59] Mike: So Jack, I think that the primary question behind that is what blogging platform should you go for to get the best SEO bank for your book and to be perfectly honest, I don’t think it matters. I think what matters is the actual content and that’s going to matter a lot more than the platform because most of the platforms are going to be fairly similar in the terms of the types of things that they offer. They’re going to allow you to change h1 tags, they’re going to allow you to put n special URLs for the new post or the new pages that you add up there so that you can make sure that you’ve got whatever keywords you’re targeting in both the URL and an h1 tag and various sort of things.
[29:36] The one thing you do have to be a little careful of is performance and one of the things that Google will penalize you for is for having a website that doesn’t perform very well. So, if it is slower than, I don’t know, 90% of the blogs out there or loads and 15 or 20 seconds or something like that then you’re probably going to have problems and a lot of those problems tend to come from either bad webhost or from misconfigurations and whatever the platform that you’re using is, whether it’s Joomla or WordPress or what have you. Raw HTML is probably served up a lot quicker than most other things but at the end of the day, if the speed is reasonable, I don’t know if Google’s going to penalize you at all.
[30:15] The other side of the corner is more of the, I don’t want to call the technical side but the time and effort that you have to put in to it and I think that that matters quite a bit. I mean, you can certainly do Raw HTML and pin code everything but I don’t think that it’s worth the time and 95% of the cases.
[30:33] Rob: Yup. And it doesn’t matter which platform you use but what I have seen is that some platforms are surprisingly inflexible and so if you can’t modify the h1 tag, if you can’t modify how the actual URL appears like how the file name looks in the address bar, that should have basically the same keywords that are in your title or you should be able to set those. Some, say message do not let you to do that and so you want to bail on those. It’s typically older ones.
[31:01] Also definitely, stay away from things that aren’t on your own domain, right? So, like a TypePad.com, blog or, you know, Blogger.com, Blogspot.com, you don’t want to do that because you want to own the domain and you want that that SEO just to be flung back to, you know, to a website that you own. In addition, you don’t want to use a subdomain, so if you have, you know, yourcompany.com, you don’t want it to be blog.yourcompany.com because then it splits all the linkers between two domains essentially all the linkers goes to your, your blog.company.com and then kind of the new content parsing by Google, you know, it comes to your website and spiders your site and you wanted to do the whole site frequently. You don’t just wanted to go to the subdomains. So you want it to be more like yourcompany.com/blog or you want to install it.
[31:48] And so well, it doesn’t matter. I mean, you could just do flat HTML like Mike said. WordPress does tend to have – they have a really good ecosystem of not only SEO articles of how to do really easy SEO with WordPress but there’s some awesome [00:32:00] plugins and the best one that I’ve seen recently — I used to use all in one SEO but I think that Yoast WordPress SEO plugin is actually beating that out now. Just in terms of the features and configure ability and kind of the ease of use. So, just search for WordPress SEO by Yoast, you’ll get to that page and I mean that’s the ideal set up. If you have infinite choice and you know you have a Linux Box with MySQL on it, then I would do the WordPress install with WordPress SEO by Yoast. If that doesn’t work out for you, it doesn’t matter that much as long as you can do all of the basic on page factors and get, you know, the decent URLs and a subdirectory like I said earlier.
[32:41] Rob: If you have a question or comment, call it in to our voicemail number. 888-801-9690 or e-mail it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our theme music is an excerpt from “We’re Outta Control” by MoOt, used under Creative Commons. You can subscribe to this podcast in iTunes by searching for Startups or via RSS at StartupsfortheRestofUs.com where you’ll also find a full transcript of each episode. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next time.