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28 Blogs Later: Day 1

A couple things happened and somehow I wound up here: a lull in client work, lots of research on web marketing topics, and some good old American impatience. These factors and a calm before the new baby storm combined to form a something something witty analogy here.

The plan is simple: write a blog post every day in February. My second child is due within days, so what could possibly go wrong? Let me count the things. Let’s go over some ground rules:

  1. Publish at least one post every day in February 2015
  2. Can be any topic, but best if kept to things that actually exist
  3. The goal here is to bust a creative drought and hopefully attract some new business

So without further ado…

Day 1: HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator

I recently renewed my interest in Pinterest (yuck, I should never write that phrase again). There I found HubSpot’s page and their 30 Day Blogging Challenge board. True to form, I’m more than a year late to this campaign, but I like it and I don’t care. So I googled it and tried to find out what I missed. And that led me to HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator.

HubSpot's Blog Topic Generator.

It’s a clever idea for both users and for HubSpot. They ask “Don’t know what to blog about? Let us think of ideas for you.” In my case, I could use a little creativity boost so I tried it. I experimented with three of my favorite topics: WordPress, Design & Freelance. Here’s what I got:

A week of blog topics, just for you

  1. What Will WordPress Be Like In 100 Years?
  2. The Worst Advice We’ve Ever Heard About Freelance
  3. 10 Signs You Should Invest In Design
  4. How To Solve The Biggest Problems With WordPress
  5. Think You’re Cut Out For Doing Freelance? Take This Quiz

I’m going to break the rules a bit here and address these five ideas in one post, rather than splitting them into their own. Here goes.

What Will WordPress Be Like In 100 Years?

Easy. It won’t exist. 100 years ago, in 1915, life was unrecognizable to us millennials. Some highlights of 1915, as taken from Wikipedia:

  • WWI is just ramping up.
  • Women in the US can’t vote yet.
  • The first coast-to-coast telephone call occurs.
  • Typhoid Mary goes on her second microbial killing spree and is quarantined for the rest of her life.
  • The Ottoman Empire still exists.
  • The Raggedy Ann doll is invented as a symbol of the antivax movement (some things never change).

So WordPress in 2115? I don’t think so. I give it another 20 years, max. If anyone but holdouts and archivists are still on WP when I’m 50, I’m gonna be real disappointed.

The Worst Advice We’ve Ever Heard About Freelance

Clearly We’re using The Royal We™ here, and it’s about time We started. Here’s some bad advice about freelancing: don’t do it. We think everyone should work for themselves for a while. We love it, even when it’s hard (like right now). We think everyone could benefit from learning a few self-employed lessons like consequences-as-motivation.

We don’t like the word, though. So there’s bad tip #2: call yourself a freelancer. We like Paul Burton’s take: don’t call Us a freelancer. Freelancers are replaceable and dime-a-dozen. Instead, We prefer contractor or consultant. Same independence, much less dispensable.

Last bad freelance advice: take every project that comes your way. We learned this one the hard way. Most projects suck. We had to learn to weed out the unnecessary headaches and unreasonable clients. Don’t sell yourself short. Raise your rate and embrace the no. You’ll thank Us later.

10 Signs You Should Invest In Design

What does this even mean? You should invest in design. There are no signs. There are reasons, but they’re not mysterious or cryptic. They’re reasons. You don’t have to care, but you can’t deny them.

I will admit that “design” could be either too broad or too narrow a term. For my money, this really ought to say “invest in user experience,” but then that’s not what I typed into this magical bloggerator. Visual design is too narrow. It’s a small piece of the UX puzzle. Other types of design (industrial, for example) are probably outside the scope of this article and my profession anyway.

How To Solve The Biggest Problems With WordPress

This one’s easy too. Your options are: become a WordPress expert or hire one. WordPress has its problems; there can be no argument. But its pros outweigh its cons in lots of cases. How you solve those problems is part of the fun.

When your roof leaks, you can get out your ladder and shingles or you can call a professional. Roofs leak. Engines fail. Websites break. Sooner or later these systems need maintenance and hiring a professional gets the job done better faster.

Think You’re Cut Out For Doing Freelance? Take This Quiz.

Do you want to work for yourself? Can you do stuff? Will anybody care about the stuff you do? Quiz complete. No one is “cut out” for this. It’s hard work. It takes intelligence, diligence, and patience. If you’ve got those three qualities, plus a marketable skill, you’ll do just fine.