Saturday, March 26, 2005

2 Years Online... And Growing :)

Today marks 2 years that the Self-Starters Weekly Tips site has been online. The site, newsletter and forum was launched on that domain on March 26th of 2003.

I remember when I first got the idea for the SSWT site. At the time I was publishing SSWT as a newsletter through Web Service Network (my web development site). I stayed quite busy with my web dev services, as I'd been doing that for several years... but my focus and passion were with the newsletter more and more.

I originally started in the web dev industry because I truly enjoyed helping others develop their business ideas and market their products & services. Prior to that I held computer training classes in the city, and also offered on-site computer training... moving towards online business training & services was a natural progression.

In web dev, you basically get paid to develop a website. Over and over I ran into clients who wanted it done this way or that way - that stifled any creativity or experienced reasoning I might offer. Not only that, but they would come straight back to me when their results didnt meet up with their expectations... and not too kindly, I should add.

It became very frustrating, entirely too restrictive... and very much like a J-O-B. The people on the other end of my newsletter, on the other hand, were very motivated do-it-yourself'ers who had a passion and a creative streak that made them very fun to work with.

I do still offer web dev services to a very select group of clients, and enjoy that work very much. But I have to admit that the newsletter (which I have now been publishing for almost 4 years) gets a huge amount of my focus and attention.

When the idea came to me to separate the two, and to launch a website dedicated to my newsletter and it's loyal readers... it was like an epiphany (more like a big fat "DUH" lol). I was excited about the plan, charged with positive energy, and confident that it would take off and do very very well.

Going into year 3, I've just revamped the entire site and am working on it daily. What started out as a small 5 or 6 page archive/networking site for a group of readers... has turned into a huge marketing resource and very active community (with thousands of pages indexed in the major search engines).

I am revising all of the content, updating the resources, and putting a lot of research and time into the long-term marketing plans for this site. After years of feedback, Q&A and consultations... I am taking it all into consideration in my quest to develop the most comprehensive resource for the do-it-yourself group.

As for the Web Service Network site - and my services, I am carefully considering my next move. I have a plan forming in the back of my mind, and am just going to let it take root and grow on me until I am ready to take action on it. There are plenty of options, a lot of profit potential... so I'll probably move back to that project by the end of the year.

In the meantime, my focus stays on SSWT (and it's more in-depth sidekick: TIID) - and also on a new article database that I plan to launch by summer of '05.

But for today, I'm going to celebrate this special anniversary and that my thoughts, teachings and assistance have been appreciated... and have been the launching pad for the growth of a very friendly and incredibly resourceful business community.

As a way of showing my appreciation to active members, those that continue to help this site grow and thrive, I am going to give away 20 copies of Wake Up... Live the Life You Love! - a best-selling anthology that I was involved with last year.

To be fair, the drawing for these 20 books will be held from a group of 100 active forum members. Meaning the 100 members who have posted most recently. If you would like to make sure you're in that drawing, join us at the SSWT Forum and get involved with a current discussion ;)

I'll see you there!