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I Kept Taking the Wrong Road Before

Rented land…


In terms of life, I’m good. In terms of my work — side hustle or otherwise — I’ve taken many wrong roads.

Let me explain!


Backstory

Almost 15 years ago, I started working on the internet. I wrote my first blog posts (in German), I began learning web design, and I started using social media professionally.

Here’s where I kept going wrong.


Medium vs. WordPress

Like many people a decade ago, I used WordPress as my blogging platform of choice. I set up my domain, picked a theme, and published posts.

No views.

I should have stopped right there and then and reflect why that was? But I didn’t.

Instead, I started another WordPress blog, this time developing the theme myself, learning PHP, and getting the hang of web development for WordPress. A valuable experience. It didn’t lead to money or work, though.

I kept doing this for years. Until 2020.

Still, virtually no views. No money. No audience.

Then, I joined Medium. Immediately, I gained views, followers, traction. An audience.

What’s the point?

I kept trying to build everything myself, instead of taking advantage of existing platforms.

For beginners, take the free route first. Use

Key takeaway: I should have made my life easier by choosing the platform with a built-in audience.

Another example.


Gumroad vs. your own shop

I started designing products a few years ago. Back then, I was seriously trying to develop my own shopping system on my own domain.

I tried. I failed.

What should I have done instead?

Use existing platforms with a built-in audience.

I started using Gumroad. It took minutes to get my shop up and running. And it didn’t take much longer to get the first downloads.

Key takeaway: I should have made my life easier by selecting the platform with a built-in audience.

Notice a pattern here?


Free vs. Paid

I don’t know what it is, but I always felt like paid platforms were better. Paying for my own domain and web hosting service and using WordPress, instead of going the free route via a WordPress subdomain or a blogging service like Medium, for example.

Buying a shopping system package from Shopify or WooCommerce instead of hunting for and going with free alternatives like Gumroad.

Paid systems have their value, no doubt. For beginners, however, a solid free service that offers the right amount of features and functionality is not a bad thing.

Yet, I usually used paid services in the past.


Community vs. solitude

I’m an introvert at times. I also take pride in building things myself. Designing websites instead of using existing designs, developing WordPress themes instead of installing ready-to-use templates, setting up a shop system instead of using an existing shop platform.

I do value the skills I learned through these processes. But I’ve been missing out on the most important aspect of a content creator: an audience.

And on one other major thing: time.

See, the more time I spent building things, the less time remained to actually do the work I wanted to do. Creating content.

Again, I learned a lot of valuable skills along the way, but I neglected what I really wanted: Earning money as a content creator.


The bottom line

If you’re chasing perfection, you may never start doing something.

I kept taking the wrong road. Now, I’m on the right path. Creating content that I want to create in the little time I have during the day.

I leave the technical stuff and skills to the pros that do them better.

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