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Freelance WP vs the pool of all - in-one host/build/seo service companies springing up everywhere.
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Angelique Berger
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January 26, 2015 - 8:39 pm
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ive been out of the loop the last few months as I've started a new full time J O B, but as the dust settles, I hoped to start doing some WP freelance as a side hustle. I'm noticing or hearing about more and more of these corporate entities that deal with website builds in glossy packages with SEO and hosting yada yada all for one easy monthly price. Question: are we little freelancers getting squeezed out to the point where it doesn't make sense to make a go of it or what?. This is not to sound negative but just to pose the discussion.

The other thing I wonder about is that the hardest thing (maybe for me anyway) is getting clients to get me content that they want on there. So when you go to these sites (mopro.com is this latest one I've just lost a possible job to) they look so cool and professional and glossy, but what are we talking about when the client supplies shit portfolio and bad copy if anything at all. If we arrange for copy and professional photography, how can we possibly compete financially with these companies. And if the client can't be bothered to get adequate material to the table, how will a company like Mopro do that for them? Is mopro only showing us their best stuff. 

Again, this is not to be negative, just pragmatic maybe. I love the creativity of building WP thesis sites and I want the whole concept of freelancers doing this kind of thing to stay strong and supported. I, personally, am just a rookie building freebie sites for friends and family when time permits but, of course, there's a part of me that dreams of taking it to the next level, did I miss the boat? 

Ok, thanks, I appreciate a healthy discussion on this subject. 

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Carolin
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January 27, 2015 - 9:10 am
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Angelique ..

I feel your frustration as I have experienced the same sort of thing - where a 'would-be' client I had spent time doing a proposal for, ended up going to one of the 'all in one' services. The most recent 'would-be' client where this occurred went with a 'all-in-one' service that has beyond-low-bargain-basement web prices, and also offers branding for a bunch of stuff they also sell, such as pens, key-chains, stress-balls, pads, magnets, and other stuff. The 'would-be' told me that the service took care of all the copy and photography and basically the client did not have to do anything but pay the super-low-fee. Apparently the service took care of photos and copy. The client's finished website looks decent, but it is not responsive. It is made on some sort of a template system (not WordPress) and likely has very very poor SEO.  But that said, I am not sure that people who decide on one of these 'all-in-one' services, know, or care, about the SEO issues, or a site being responsive. They are just happy to be able to say they have a website, and that they paid a very low price for it, and did not have to do anything to get it, in terms of photos, or copy or anything at all.

To compete with these sorts of issues, ie the 'all-in-one' type services, and low low price web sites, I am personally thinking probably one of the best things free-lance people like us can do is to keep learning and honing our skill set so we have a higher level, more advanced knowledge base and can move into a direction that attracts a different client who needs the more advanced knowledge. Ha, ha, that said, it is easier said than done for sure. But it certainly means that there is always going to be a need for Rick's services to keep on teaching and training.

My 2 cents ...

Carolin Benjamin WordPress Design & Consulting

Provide ‘white label’ support to web and advertising agencies that need extra help from time to time -
Also consulting, design & web construction for businesses, non-profits & sole-practitioners

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Angelique Berger
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January 27, 2015 - 9:40 am
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Carolin,

Thanx for the feedback much appreciated!  So my particular clients, are good friends, out of stat.  They  are desperate for a responsive website that will, indeed be SEO-rich, user-friendly; ultra=professional in appearance, and, of course they are attracted to the social media maintenance apps, the "reputation-tracker", etc etc - the bells and whistles.  How much they are willing (or are under the impression) that they will have to do on their own, we'll see. That said, I just got off the phone with a sales rep from MoPro (pretending to be a potential client).  I got a lot of interesting feedback, which I will have to compile a bit later when I have time, but it gives me a clearer picture of exactly what I'm up against.  (I ran a price comparison spread out over 2 years as that's their contract minimum).

All in all, I am not bummed that I'm not doing this website because it would have had to have been done for next to nothing for my good friends and yet the demands would have been great, so I'm all too happy for MoPro to take over on this one.  

Question now is: any good plugins any one can recommend to have one's facebook feed appear on the website itself, and/or the other SM platforms? Question Two: placing the phone number on the site as a button one can push to call straight from their cell phone? Question Three: What to pay and from what service for good stock photography to produce what these big fish are producing - lots of glossy visual candy.

Question Four: An app or plugin where we can easily monitor our competition (say a contractor can monitor his competition) - a reputation tracker that we can employ for our clients.  

MoPro's big draws are these programs - the reputation tracker and the ability for the client to spy on the competition, and the ability to show the S.M. feeds directly on the website, the app or dashboard for the client to update all platforms from one spot.  I know these exist, I'm just wondering what apps are my fellow freelancer's best friends in this arena?

Thank, I'm starting to feel better now that they're still is room for us little fish.  Most importantly, when we (all of us- all trades) use fellow small biz resources in our communities we create relationships and the networking power is a powerful thing!

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Rick Anderson
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January 27, 2015 - 10:53 am
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Angelique - more on this later but...

A friend of mine has been working for a company that sells this sort of package for $20,000.  They use free off the shelf stuff (like mailchimp and youtube).  They hire content writers from the Phillipines and they purchase stock photography.  The client can pick from 10 different designs and they set up a basic ad-words campaign.  Which the client pays for as well.

The only actual specialty they bring is the ability to write decent sales copy.  Everything else is off the rack.

I do believe that there is a market for the all in one done for you website.  However, you wouldn't want to spend much time on the low cost end.

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Angelique Berger
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January 27, 2015 - 2:04 pm
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This company I've been talking about doesn't -won't write your copy for you and the real clincher I found out after it occurred to me to email and ask is that for the two years you're under contract with the company, THEY own your website, you're leasing it! Yikes!

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