You know what? I’m a fu*king failure man, and there I said it: an absolute joke, a blot on the landscape of life. Why?
For many, many years, I tried to emulate and copy what others were saying. I was copying WordPress blog formats (blogs about WordPress) writing in a way that was not my own.
Pumping affiliate links into an article like force-feeding a chicken.
That’s not good for a wealth of reasons.
Taking stock of things. I took a big step back. I analysed things, what am I doing, wherein the fu&k did I go wrong?
To move forward, I had to go back.
Way back when..
Young and stupid I wanted to be a film director (massive film buff) I did rubbish at school, enough to go to college and study film studies.
Loved it, save for the fact that there wasn’t enough time in actually filming projects.
It was all the business study side, the money, and so forth. All essential elements don’t get me wrong, but I just felt that it wasn’t me. I wanted to be behind the camera making films.
So I dropped out
Mistake? Yes in hindsight, massively.
For six months I lived at home with the folks, basically sponging off them until I was forced to go out and get a bloody job (thanks mum).
I digress. I’m not a proud man. I took what I could get.
I took anything. Anything I could get my hands on in terms of work, regularly down the jobcentre, scouring the job notices (no internet back then) and calling companies via the jobcentre phone.
I’ve been a dustbin man (refuse collector for my American friends), I’ve worked in a film studio (that was pretty cool, saw Angelina Jolie & Meg Ryan). Never returned my calls for the record.
The job didn’t pan out due it me being a VHS tape loader at the end (VHS WTF), with no real opportunity for advancement.
I’ve worked selling double glazing over the phone, in a call centre and was a cleaner for a while.
I wasn’t a proud man I just wanted to work. I wanted to make money further my life and find my happy.
Anyone who strives for happy knows it can be a fool’s errand. But it is possible.
For years I suffered from anxiety and low self-esteem, feeling unworthy and not of this planet. I still kind of do to this day.
I practically alienated everyone I knew, not out of spite, not out of a wanton need to upset people, but I doubted myself.
Constantly feeling unworthy of conversation, I saw a Doctor, the Doctor gave me pills.
Pills didn’t work.
I could go into more detail, but it’s boring, and you’re busy. Suffice to say fast forward — a few years.
A few years ago, well over ten…
I had an interview with a company that specialised in communications equipment. I knew absolutely nothing about comms, but I was eager to learn to get out of another dead-end sales job to move on up.
I got the job.
Bad move. The company was a joke.
Through my time there, I learned a few things. I learned to be creative. I learned and listened to customers needs. I didn’t feel comfortable selling them something they didn’t need.
I levelled with people. Told them like it is.
You know what? It worked.
So much so I had an idea.
I went to the MD with my idea; you see the company I worked for sold to the wholesale market, not end-users.
Why not make 50-60% markup on products? Instead of making 15-20% on selling to the wholesale market?
So I went to the MD and told him what I thought. I said we need a website with a way for people to buy online.
He said yeh fine, almost dismissive and said do it cheaply.
So I researched stuff. I looked around. I had an idea, how in the f*ck am I going to achieve it?
I searched the web, found an eCommerce system called OpenCart (you all thought I was going to say WooCommerce, right?).
Way before WooCommerce was even a fork of JigoShop. Shit, JigoShop didn’t even exist.
I’d never even used a web host, knew nothing of FTP uploads, email configuration. I mean it was all Greek to me.
I learned. Read articles followed guides, installed it all set it all up. It took some doing mind as I was an absolute noob to all this.
It worked. It made money, and I even added a wholesale section with different pricing levels, trying to automate the order process.
Believe it or not, the company used to accept faxes as orders. I mean come on.
Yes, I know.
I ended up marketing the products and as the company was going into receivership due to links with the factory (not supporting us) I had to move on.
In the background I discovered WordPress
Now those of you thinking this is all going to be a love affair for WP and such, you’d be kind of wrong and right.
You see, as part of my finding OpenCart, I also discovered WordPress, purely by accident. With my new-found skills (from installing software), I managed to get it up and running.
Played around with it, and loved it. So much so I started a blog called WPin.me. It was supposed to be WordPress In Me. I know sounds pants, right?
It was here I was charting my experiences with WP, note down things that would help me and others in the future.
It did OK, it got a few visitors, made me some cash, all good right?
I started with the best intentions when it started making money through affiliate links, and I tried to emulate other emerging blogs.
Hell, I even revised it several times over, trying to reinvent it. It became a Frankenstein’s monster; it was an absolute joke.
With the sole aim of making money, I had a taste, and I’d drawn blood I wanted more.
I got eager and wanted the fast buck. I wanted a quick win as a side hustle.
There is no such thing.
Anyone who tells you otherwise is selling you a seat for some shitty course, or eBook, WTF ever.
Me and WordPress.
I was tinkering with it trying to make money become a go-to voice in the WP world. And for what? What was the fu*king point?
I was dishonest.
WPin became the biggest mistake I ever made. A caricature of what I was striving for.
I had to put childish things aside.
I needed to work for the family. So I got a call from an agency, while the firm I was working for was in receivership. Which leads me onto…
A new job Digital marketing…
I ended up taking a job in digital marketing, met with the company through a recruitment agency (did that for a while, worked in recruitment another story on a different day).
Impostor syndrome step forth
Eeeek. I felt like an imposter. I didn’t feel like I belonged, what the f*ck do I know about digital marketing?
I sold a good game though and took the job. (Sales skills, a bit misleading right?)
I learned a shed load, I mean REALLY learned a lot. But circumstances change I had a child by then, the marriage failed, and the commute was too much.
I ended up where I am today. And I don’t regret it.
I work full time for a company who is pretty darn awesome. I’m not going to mention them as I like to keep my blog life and work-life separate.
I am a Marketing Manager now, what the actual F? And I’ve been one for the same company for seven years, so I’ve got to be doing something right.
I’m responsible for marketing, content creation, eCommerce and a whole lot more besides. I’d used WordPress daily prior to this.
Hell, I even told my existing company at my interview that their marketing agency was mugging them off.
Guess what. I was right; they were.
I built the website on WP (in an implementor way thanks to theme providers and plugin developers), and we’ve enjoyed success as a company.
The moral of my story? Just be you.
Don’t listen to naysayers.
Not even that voice in the back of your head (or in my case many voices.)
You are you.
Be it for a brand or your blog. You’ve got something to say, let people hear it.
True. I’ve learned a lot over the years — a fu&k tonne. The one thing I’ve learned above all else is, just be you.
I’ve pretended to be something that I’m not, I’ve acted for so long at one point I wondered who I ever was.
It’s a really long way to say…
Don’t be anyone else but you. You do you — no one else.
Don’t listen to podcasts trying to make you a billion dollars in 8 months, don’t attend conventions that promise you massive gains for only $397.
Fast forward to today on layerWP
I’m having fun. I’m blogging with my voice, my persona. Not affiliate shit, no blogging about 20 best themes for this .etc.
Not trying to emulate other shitty blogs, I’m writing reviews and tutorials that might help people.
I don’t want to write affiliate drivel that misleads, just honest hands-on reviews that help people. I’ve learned from the past. It’s made me stronger, made me who I am today. All for the better might I add.
I’ve been burned by shitty blogs full of crap that mislead, layerWP isn’t that its….
I like to help people, I’ve been through the mill, a weathered track. I’ve tried to make money and the fast affiliate buck. Which is totally what I’m against. layerWP is my opinion, my journey. If I make money awesome.
If not, f*ck it, I’ve gone past caring anymore. I just don’t want to be that guy or blog. F that. Who want’s to read the type of WordPress blog about WordPress? Answer none.
I’m grateful to come through the other side. Compared to others who’s hardships would seem impossible, I’m lucky.
Whether you believe it or not, you have a story to tell. You have lived, whether it’s a product review, talking about a recipe, whatever it is, it’s your version.
Put your slant on it. It’s my mantra; being false and copying others is a thing of the past. Be honest, forthright, and people will dig your content.
Never mislead, have faith in your convictions.
Want my advice for what it’s worth?
Just be you.
P.s. Thanks to WordPress, and all the people behind it from theme developers and plugin creators. I owe you.
If it weren’t for you, I’d still be in a dead-end job.