So how did I end up here helping out small business people like you to squeeze more results from their websites?

I guess I’ve always had a technical background.

My interest in technology really started in the early 80′s when computers were beige and stored everything on cassette tape. My friends were all struggling to decide what career to follow but I knew I was going to do some kind of electronics or technology.

So I got the degree and went on to do a PhD. I was still writing up my thesis when my daughter was born.

Not a popular move.

I got my first taste of the internet and web design in the early 90′s while I was doing some research projects at University. Well, when I say web design, I mean a couple of pages of HTML with some flashing text and a few pictures. Some websites haven’t really moved on have they?

I didn’t really do any ‘proper’ web design until I was running my own company and volunteered to fix up our website. This was fun, but a real stretch. When you have a small company you’re doing everything – sales, marketing, managing, recruiting. Plus trying to stay on top of the technology. It certainly gave me a broad perspective of how all these areas work together (or how they are supposed to work together…)

I then moved on to work for a technology company and spent a few years managing technical people, running design centers, and consulting about technology. I’m still there now and my main role is to work with our customers and help them to understand our products. It’s a challenging job but it’s certainly taught me how to relate complex technology to real humans.

As for all this web design and promotion stuff, I really got stuck back into this when I decided to re-vamp my wife’s vacation rental site a few years ago. She’d had it built for free by a friend and it was a nice site, but wasn’t getting any visitors. Our vacation rental income was pretty much non-existent and we had all the costs of the property to cover. Ouch.

I decided the site needed to look better and include some more useful information. I also thought that fixing this would make it successful. Big mistake. This was the point where I started to learn about SEO, site promotion, advertising on AdWords and all those other technologies. It was a struggle. There was tons of information out there but so much of it was confusing, or contradictory, or out of date.

It was a good job I had my technical background. This helped me to make educated choices over what to try, build all the code and then run it and test it. Many of the ideas worked and many did nothing, but I was learning all the time.

Now that vacation rental site is successful. We’re getting lots of traffic and paying all the bills. We’re probably even making money. We’ve been fortunate enough to be able to grow the business and now own a second property and take referrals for 3 others. We’ve expanded into eBooks, blogging, Squidoo and many other places.

It’s been a long road and looking back it’s easy to see that some things work and others don’t. The key thing is to learn from the good stuff and do more of it. Deal with the bad stuff, find out why it didn’t work and make some changes.

The hardest challenge I’ve faced? Deciding what to do next at each step of the way. There’s a lot of choice out there. Too much choice in many ways. The key thing is to simplify things as much as you can.

Remember, the technology should work for you, not the other way round!!

Other Places to Find Me

Check out my pages about web design on Squidoo

Follow me on Twitter

Make friends on Facebook or check out the latest updates on my infinite42 Facebook Page

My Top Stories on My Zimbio
Zimbio Top Stories

What’s With the Dr. Richard Name?

I have a PhD so my colleagues call me Doctor. It’s all about technical stuff and medical issues make me a little queasy!

About this Website

The infinite42 website is built using wordpress. The blog theme was originally based on the limau orange theme by Bob over at blogohblog.com but it’s had a fair number of tweaks since then.

You can view the comments policy for the infinite42 blog here.