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Author - Developer - Speaker at Wesbos.com Joined about 5 years ago
Yes - I have pretty custom needs so I built everything myself. So - let's see.
How is that? LMK if you have other questions!
Hey Lucas! Thanks for the Q
I'm curious how you go about planning these different ventures. Specifically, how do you decide the level of time/sweat investment you pour into each project given some are free content, some are paid, and that you're a solopreneur and new dad :) Do you kind of dive in and hope it works out, or is there concrete planning & tangible goals involved?
Since I'm a teacher, I get asked a lot of questions. Once I get asked "How do I do X in X" more than 5 times, I realize its probably a question many other have. So that has a lot to do with it. I also just ask myself what sort of content I would have liked to have when I was learning.
Another thing that I do is work with technologies that people already love - I don't have to sell people on using React, Sublime Text, Flexbox or the Command line - people know they want to be using these things. That makes my job easy - I just have to sell the content I create!
Lastly, what's the best piece of advice you have for someone wanting to start building an audience today.
Create content! There is lots of value in curating other poeple's content (Look at Peter Cooper's newsletters), but I find if you create good content — whether its a tweet, or a video course — people love it!
I've been on twitter for 9 years, and was really active in "tweet ups" in the first few years . Almost all of my connections I have today are from twitter.
Past that, it's really just doing lots of things - people know me from dozes of things - speaking, training, my book, video course, teaching at HackerYou...
If each thing you do gathers a little audience, it starts to add up and gives you some momentum!
I don't know if it's one piece, but I've always grown up in communities where its valued to be kind, be thankful and always try have fun.
Be like a duck and let it roll off your back. While there is tons of good intentions on making rules like USE BEMS or NEVER NEST MORE THAN 3 and I often agree with these, I find that they are a little intimidating to people who are new.
Just build it however you can get it to work and as you get better, you will see why you need these things and you will develop good techniques.
Addy Osmani said something like he always:
It's going really well. Since I've done the free courses, people are really helping out by spreading the word for this paid one.
So, while I have a large email list, the one thing that is really helping me this time around is trust + reputation from my previous stuff. This community is amazing and I'm so glad to see that someone like me can get paid to do what they love because they have already helped the community with their open source work, or free video series.
About 4-5 years ago I was doing a lot of WordPress youtube videos. A friend of mine asked if I could teach a class for a new thing they were starting called Ladies Learning Code. I was terrified, but I did it and it turned out that I both loved it, and was pretty good at breaking down hard concepts into easy to understand bits.
A few years Later, Ladies Learning Code was taking off and they started up HackerYou. I was the first /only instructor for the first year and a bit. It's now grown to be pretty big, we're a team of ~10ish instructors and I'd like to think we're doing a fantastic job teaching people web development.
I've been approached by Skill Share and all these platforms and it really just boils down to this: They have an audience, but they pay you poorly. I think skillshare said they would pay me about $2 per person that takes a class, while I make $50-70 on my own. Other platforms pay a fixed cost of about $2,000 while some do percentage cut.
So, I decided to put my efforts into building my own audience and then I don't need to rely on these platforms :)
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