Interview w/ My Web Developer Jim Sabellico – Episode 75: PaleOMG Uncensored Podcast

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Today on the podcast, I’m talking to Jim Sabellico, my web developer! This guy has been a lifesaver for my blog and has helped me so much in the past couple years. He’s answering your questions and will be soon giving you access to a webmaster program (details to come soon!). To find out more about Jim, head to his website and send him an email or contact him on Facebook! Hope this answers some of your questions you have about building your own website!

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Big thank you to this week’s sponsor!

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Support the podcast by clicking the Subscribe button on iTunes and please a review only if you love the podcast! There is enough negativity in this world, don’t spread more. I love hearing about what YOU want me to talk about so feel free to leave on comment here or on social media with topics you’d like me to cover! And don’t forget, some posts have affiliate links which I may be compensated from. This compensation helps with keeping this blog and up and running! Thank you so much for your support, you guys are amazing!

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Episode 75 Transcription!

This is Juli Bauer from PaleOMG and you are listening to PaleOMG Uncensored.

Juli Bauer: Before we get started chatting with my web developer, Jim, today on this episode, I’ve got to tell you about this weeks’ sponsor. I can’t believe it’s already March. That means the first day of spring is right around the corner, and things are about to get crazy. Schedules are going to get crazy. But, thanks to Sunbasket, you will have healthy and delicious meals completely covered. If you want to see results in 2018 when it comes to your health, it always requires some level of commitment. You have to make time to exercise, you’ve got to get the right amount of sleep, and of course, you have to eat right. That’s what I talk about every single week on my blog, because it is the truth. And that’s why Sunbasket is so amazing.

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So if you want to try out Sunbasket, all you have to do go to Sunbasket.com/PaleOMG today to learn more. And you’ll get $35 off your first order. $35; that’s huge!

And just a heads up, we were having a little bit of technical difficulties when we recorded this podcast. Jim has a crazy life; had a sick kid, and a dead car that he was having to hustle and bustle around town while we recorded this episode. So I’m so sorry if there’s any spots that kind of break out or break up. Thanks for your understanding.

Juli Bauer: Welcome everybody to another episode of PaleOMG Uncensored. I have a very special guest today that has been a huge help in my life. I know a lot of people had a ton of questions. Today, I have Jim, who is my web developer, and has helped me for probably a couple of years now. He was introduced by my friend Lexi, from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen. And whenever I have any sort of issues, this guy has saved my life and saved my ass.

So if you guys hear any weird noises, or if it sounds like someone is driving, it’s because Jim is in a car. He has a sick baby on his hands, and it’s been up since 1 in the morning. So we all have to thank him for being on. So thank you, Jim! I’m so sorry your life is bananas.

Jim: You’re welcome. No worries. You wanted PaleOMG Uncensored, you got it.

Juli Bauer: Oh, that’s so true. Touché. My dog may bark in the middle of this, like he does. Or fart, who knows. You never know!

Jim: Keeping it real.

Juli Bauer: So let’s get started with some questions. Because when people ask me about website stuff, I have zero idea. I’ve had my website for 7 or 8 years now, and I still feel like I don’t know what the hell I’m doing ever. It’s almost like taxes; it’s like, does anybody truly understand it? I don’t feel like anybody does.

So, we had people write in some questions. We’re going to take a look at some of those. One of the first couple of questions I’ve had from multiple people, like Sarah and Brianna. They ask, “What’s the most user-friendly website designer out there? Is it Wix, Square Space, WordPress?” I use WordPress, but what do you like yourself?

Jim: The answer there is twofold. The most user friendly one is probably going to be Square Space just for the sake of keeping it really limited to your options. They give you a couple of basic themes, which are pretty good. But you’re limited. There’s a pretty low learning curve, but you’re not going to get something really highly functional. You’re not going to get something really beautiful. It’s going to be kind of cookie cutter. Whereas something like WordPress, you’re going to have a little bit more of a learning curve. But you have a much larger opportunity to make it look and function however you want.

I know the answer here is kind of jaded because I’ve been in this for a long time. But I don’t find WordPress to be all that difficult, once you know the right places to look. And I think that’s obviously not going to be the easiest thing for someone who is just starting. But that’s why there are people like me to answer questions for people, and kind of help make it simple. Developing a site with WordPress, you have the benefit of using a premade theme to get a very cool and modern style while spending maybe $50 or 60. And then of course add in your logos and stuff like that. All pretty simple stuff. You could take a prebuilt theme, add in your logos, change the fonts and colors, and have something that looks like you for under $100 and maybe an hours’ worth of time.

So if I had to pick one, I’d say grin and bear it through the first day of figuring out how to work with WordPress. But that’s probably going to be your better bet overall.

Juli Bauer: And that’s what I use, and I’ve never found it incredibly hard. When you’ve put in certain plugins, I don’t always know how to use them correctly. But I feel like WordPress in general, you can figure it out pretty easily, just the basics.

Jim: Yeah, 100%. They do try and make it pretty user friendly. But of course, every user is going to be different. So it’s not always going to be intuitive for everybody.

Juli Bauer: And I didn’t even really truly introduce you, but how long have you been creating websites. How did you really build your business in the first place?

Jim: I’ve been building websites since I was 12 years old. I’m 31 for reference. So math, but you guys can figure that out. I first started when I was 12, I was working at a pharmacy helping out. I was just like a counter clerk. And it was when websites were becoming kind of more common, people first started talking about having one for business. It was revolutionary. So I decided to help out there.

I decided to help out there and get them set up with one. And then it just kind of started as a word of mouth thing, that the business next door, they wanted some help. And knock on wood somewhere, it’s been word of mouth since then. The past five or six years has really amped up, where our skillset has developed more into mobile apps and chat box and kind of more techy stuff. But the core business of design, I’ve been doing more than half of my life. And it’s always been fortunately, knock on wood, just a word of mouth thing.

Juli Bauer: That’s awesome. That’s how I found out about you. How many people do you have on your team?

Jim: There are 7 of us. There are two fulltime graphic designers. I also have two developers who do mostly WordPress themes and plugins. I have myself, I have one SEO person, and then we have a social media person as well.

Juli Bauer: Awesome. Ok, let’s get back to people’s questions. What do you think about the initial financial cost of starting and promoting your own website. How much do you think people should put into it? Because me, I started at a different time where I just feel like blogs hadn’t taken off like they have now. So I didn’t put any money into it other than just buying a domain name. I had a free website, and everything was totally free. Because I was broke as f*ck.

What do you think people should really put into it, starting off with the website? And it totally depends on what their main goal is, obviously, with that website. But do you think people should spend a lot of money on it? Not that much at the beginning? What do you think?

Jim: I would recommend against spending a lot of money up front. If you’re just starting out, you’re not really going to have your ____. If you don’t have a plan establishing your website. Two, you don’t really know what you need or what you want yet. So spending money on features or things you don’t really know if they’re going to be for you is just wasteful.

I usually recommend starting out with something simple. Like I said, you can start out with a prebuilt theme that you can buy from like Theme Forest for like $50-60. Spend an hour of your time; even if you have to hire a developer, you’re going to pay $100-150 to them to get everything set up for you. And at that point, you’ve got your domain name, which is going to cost you $15 a year. Theme is going to be $50, and $150 for developer. You’re at $220. You’ve got a fully functioning website that looks and feels professional. But it’s certainly more than an adequate way to start out with.

Juli Bauer: How do you recommend people finding a web developer? Obviously, I’m giving a viewpoint into what you do. But if they’re just looking online? Because I would have never known how to find someone. And I’ve worked with super shady, sketchy people in the past. And it f*cking sucked. So how do you look for someone? What are you looking for? How do you know that they are actually doing their job in the world of the internet?

Jim: That’s probably the hardest question you’re going to ask me today. Only because there are a lot of people; especially once you delve into ____ world, it gets even shady. Because a lot of people say they know what they’re doing, and then they’ll subcontract it out. Like Upwork, and just try to be a middle man, and make some money from you.

I think probably the best bet is going to be word of mouth references. Talking to people who have been doing it. Getting a referral from someone who had their website done. Making sure you do your diligent research to see if that company has an actual reputation. Do they have an office? Do they have other companies who have reviewed them on Google, or are they just one guy sitting in his mom’s basement somewhere.

Juli Bauer: Yeah. I feel like I’ve dealt with a lot of those people. {laughs} So it’s definitely hard figuring out who the best person is. So who do you think is the best to go for a host, and where people should look for a host? Because I feel like people don’t always know where to look for that. I got lucky with finding someone. What do you recommend when you have people ask you; “Who should be hosting my website? Why?” What do you have to say to that.

Jim: Sure. This one is going to have a lot of personal preference behind it for your listeners. There are a lot of people who swear by Go Daddy, or Host Gator, or Blue Host. Pick a company; there are hundreds. But there’s going to be a lot of personal preference there. Some people might have had good experiences, some people might have had terrible experiences. And they’ll swear by never using Host Gator.

I’ll personally be one of those people who would say Host Gator is probably not the right option for you. You look at companies like Go Daddy or Host Gator. Or you look at the cheaper hosting options, where people are going to spend $4-5 per month, you’re going to get what you pay for. You’re going to be sharing a server with 300 other people. You’re going to have terrible, if any support. So when things go wrong, which they inevitably will, you’re going to be stuck on the phone or holding.

There are a lot of cases where even, it doesn’t just stop at that. Actually a couple of days ago I was working with another food blogger, who was on Blue Host, paying a couple of hundred dollars per month. So not cheap by any means. But couldn’t get a straight answer. She was having to call back, and call back, and call back until you find one person on the tech support team that knows what they’re talking about.

So really it comes down to finding the right fit for your budget. There’s going to be exclusive hosts; those are usually a bit more secure because they have everything in place to make sure that’s simple. But you might have some other restrictions where you get further down the road, you want to add some crazy feature, they might not support it.

I’m probably getting too technical on this, so my apologies there. But I think this kind of goes back to the developer question. You still have to do your research. Speak to closer friends. And don’t be cheap. One of the companies we recommend pretty highly is Fly Wheel. I don’t know if you’ve heard of them or not.

Juli Bauer: I haven’t.

Jim: One of their biggest selling features is their support. So they’re definitely not the cheapest on the block, but their support is phenomenal. And they’ll always be there to help you whenever you need something. So things like that, you might pay $15 a month instead of $5. But the first time you have a problem, and your website is down for 3 hours, you’re going to be cursing yourself that you tried to save $10 and now you’ve added all this stress.

Juli Bauer: And I’ve heard people on some of my friend’s website who have paid up to $1000 a month for hosting. Do you think that; to me that’s insane. But I’ve heard it happen to multiple people. Do you think that’s a normal price for a pretty website with a lot of traffic coming to it?

Jim: No. And it really depends on what the needs of the website are. If you need three different servers, and you need some crazy level of redundancy and functionality. But I could tell you very matter of factly, quick side note, we actually do offer website hosting ourselves. But I don’t want to; let’s pat ourselves on the back and promote our own service here.

Juli Bauer: F*ck yeah, you do! Do it Jim. Do it.

Jim: {laughs} No, no. We’ll be unbiased. Anyway, there’s plenty of sites that have upwards of 2 million visitors per month that, our service is. Trying to be unbiased. They’re paying in the neighborhood of $300 per month.

Juli Bauer: Yeah.

Jim: It’s going to depend a little bit on the site. So whether or not they have a ton of images, or they eat up a lot more bandwidth than somebody else. So there’s still going to be some variables included. But $1000 a month for a website, unless you’re hosting your own mini-version of Amazon, is more than I think most food bloggers are going to be in for.

Juli Bauer: Yeah, that’s what I would think. So you’ve talked about SEO a couple of times already in this conversation. But I know zero about SEO. I don’t know any of it. I don’t know how to do it. I don’t know what it is, or why it’s important, personally. {laughs} I’ve just never taken the time to actually figure that out. So can you talk a little bit about SEO. If that’s what you guys do when you’re putting together websites. How people do it. Anything like that.

Jim: Sure. So SEO is probably one of my most favorite and least favorite topics ever, just for the fact that so many people try and sell it as an upsell. Because there’s a ridonkulous amount of money to be made from it. And people get taken advantage of all the time.

Juli Bauer: Yeah.

Jim: So I hate that association and saying; “Hey, we do SEO Services.” Because it just feels a little scammy to me. But I do kind of appreciate shining some light on it to let people know; “Hey, you shouldn’t be spending that much money, because you’re not really getting anything in return.” And with a little bit of effort, you can kind of get the same results for an eighth of the price.

So the reason why it’s important is it’s how people find you. When someone searches for paleo chicken recipe in Google, the people who are ranked number one, two, three are going to get most of the traffic. Or people who have the little recipe card box that pops up that shows their image, as well as the star ratings, calories, times cooked, etc. Those people are going to get more traffic to their site. So obviously you’re trying to position your website in one of those top spots is ideal.

SEO is how you get there. So it’s just making sure that your website is optimized for search engines. There are tons of different ways you can accomplish that, and there’s no real answer. Which makes it even scammier. Because of course, Google is not going to tell you, “This is what we’re looking for exactly.” They’re going to give you a general recommendation, but they’re not going to tell you you’re making a chicken pot pie, this is the recipe follow steps one through four and you can be ranked number one. Otherwise, everyone would do it.

So there’s no real set of instructions. And it requires a lot of experience. It requires a lot of individual feeling for the website itself, and what it’s going to take to get to the next level. So it’s kind of on a case by case basis you have to look at. Look at the site and see what the best strategy is for getting more visibility.

A lot of it that I think most people gloss over is spending the time to do the on-page optimization. Do you want me to get into that part? Or did you want more like a high-level overview?

Juli Bauer: No, I definitely want you to get into that.

Jim: Ok. So, one of the most beneficial parts that people are going to have with SEO is on-page optimization. Which means all the content on your page. We’ll say your paleo chicken pot pie. Do you have one of those, by the way? Because it sounds phenomenal.

Juli Bauer: I have a turkey pot pie. Will that do?

Jim: Close enough. That will do.

Juli Bauer: Ok. {laughs}

Jim: So it’s making sure that the title of your recipe is good. That the URL is good. It’s a matter of making sure you have the right amount of headings on the page that include the right mixture of keywords. Making sure your photos have the proper file names. There’s a whole, essentially, checklist of best practices that we go by when we look for something. But just making sure that you kind of follow those best efforts in making sure that you put your best foot forward and give yourself the best chance of being ranked well.

Juli Bauer: Do you think it’s important; you kind of mentioned keywords. So when you’re creating your post; are putting those keywords in the side really important? Because I’ve been slacking really bad on that. {laughs}

Jim: It depends. A lot of people will go by the Yost SEO plugin, which gives the red, orange, green light if they’re doing a good job or not. Some people will swear by the fact that you have to have a green light, otherwise you’re never going to be able to get traffic. I’m not sure if that’s exactly what you’re referencing. You don’t need to. It’s helpful. But it’s not going to be the end of the world.

So it depends on what you’re trying to rank for. And I think that’s kind of where the research part happens beforehand. That you really give yourself the best shot. In this instance, let’s say you’re looking to rank for paleo turkey pot pie. You could be looking to rank for turkey pot pie, or paleo turkey dinner, paleo comfort food, turkey pot pie. Who knows. Any combination of all these different key words. And kind of whichever ones you pick that are going to have the best search volume and the lowest traffic is really what you want to look for.

Juli Bauer: OK. Good to know. I literally don’t know any of this sh*t. I don’t know how I actually have a blog. I liked this question. I think, this can be very broad, too. What are some of the best plugins? And this one, she’s asking for a food blog, specifically. But are there any plugins that you love? Or any websites you use on a regular basis?

Like, when I try to create my own images for my website with any text or whatever, I love using PicMonkey.com. and that’s been really helpful for me to make quick images that look professional. What are some of your favorite websites, or plugins, or whatever else that you think are really helpful for blogs and person trying to create their own content, and a beautiful website at the same time?

Jim: So there is a super broad question.

Juli Bauer: I know! Gah, that was the worst. Sorry Jim.

Jim: {laughs} I’m trying to think of an answer to that in any type of beneficial way.

Juli Bauer: Well, what do you think for plugins? Do you have any specific plugins that you go back to time and time again?

Jim: Specific plugins that we use time and time again. Probably not. Typically tend to avoid plugins wherever possible. Just; and this is more the developer side of me than most people are going to deal with. For the most part, plugins tend to be a little bloated. Where as if you need to add a search bar to your website, you can use a plugin that’s going to do it. But it’s really three lines of code. Whereas you might install a plugin where it’s going to have all this extra stuff you don’t need. So we try to keep that as thin as possible, so you don’t bog down your site.

Juli Bauer: Oh, ok.

Jim: So I can’t really think of one or two plugins that we rely on every day. I just don’t. But some of the more common ones that will be beneficial. I have a terrible answer for that.

Juli Bauer: That’s ok.

Jim: Useful websites I could tell you for sure that I do most of the keyword research on Sam Rush. That’s where I’ll usually spend most of my time doing keyword research part. I don’t know if that’s the answer you’re looking for as far as where food bloggers spend most of their time. But if you spend half an hour or so researching a post before you publish it, you’ll give yourself a much better shot at actually attracting people to it. Apart from that, I can’t really think of any other good multipurpose or useful research websites. I probably disappointed whoever asked that question.

Juli Bauer: No. That was pulling in half my question, half of hers. And obviously, you’ve created all kinds of websites over the years. Have you been working more in the food blog industry, or have you just done a couple of those? What kind of different websites have you built over the years, if you’ve obviously been doing it since you were 12! Which is crazy.

Jim: {Laughs} You name it. I’ve built everything from someone who sold wooden bowties to someone who sold mermaid costumes. I mean, you name it, I’ve probably come across it at least twice.

Juli Bauer: What’s the hardest thing you’ve worked on?

Jim: My own, probably. To be honest.

Juli Bauer: Really?

Jim: Yeah. The whole thing; the shoemakers kids don’t have nice shoes. I spend 20 hours a day working on other people’s stuff. You always push your stuff to the end of the to-do list. So probably the hardest one, I’d say that’s my own. But technically, the functionality wise. I don’t know; there’s a wide mix. We do probably 60% food blogs.

Juli Bauer: Dang.

Jim: I think that has a lot to do with the word of mouth referral thing.

Juli Bauer: Yeah.

Jim: We got into a good groove of people there, and it just kind of spread like wildfire. So there’s definitely a much higher concentration of food bloggers than anything else.

Juli Bauer: That’s sweet.

Jim: Yeah, it’s fun. We’re hungry all day. {laughs}

Juli Bauer: Yeah, I’m sure. Oh my gosh, I can’t imagine. When you were building mine, and you were going through 700 recipes and plugging those all in. That is bananas.

Jim: Yeah.

Juli Bauer: So this is a little outside of the blog, just a little bit. Do you have an email subscription service you recommend? I use MailChimp because it was easy and quick. I find it pretty expensive at this point, with my email. But is there any you like or prefer?

Jim: I’m at a toss up with that. MailChimp is probably the most user-friendly for people. Especially if you’re just getting started, it’s probably the right one to start with. If you have a larger mailing list, you might still be good on MailChimp just because their features are user friendly. Otherwise, some place like Get Response is pretty good. Convert Kit is pretty good. Pricing wise, they’re all kind of fairly similar once you start getting to that larger list. But I would stick with one of those three.

Juli Bauer: And what is considered a large list.

Jim: Usually over 10,000 people.

Juli Bauer: Ok.

Jim: Important to know, though. Make sure you do your list hygiene. Which, I don’t know if you do or not. Just making sure people who haven’t opened a single email in three years, they get removed from your list. Emails that get bounced, remove them from your list. Doing things like that on a regular basis not only helps to keep your number down, so that way you’re not carrying a bunch of useless emails. But also helps to keep your open rate much higher. And it just makes it look better in all your metrics, that you’re not sending emails to people that never even read them.

Juli Bauer: That’s good to know. Because I have never done that.

Jim: {laughs}

Juli Bauer: {laughs} And I know I need to sit down. And I know that you can do it, I just don’t know how to do it. And I’ve never taken the time to actually devote to that. And I know I have so many bounce backs, it is terrible. So I need to do that. Thank you for the reminder Jim.

Jim: You are welcome.

Juli Bauer: Thanks for adding something else to my to-do list. That’s lovely.

Jim: {laughs} No problem. Happy to help.

Juli Bauer: What do you think about monetizing your blog? I don’t know if you do this specifically, or give advice to people. I’ve used all kinds of different ad companies over the years. I love working with Ad Thrive at this point. But I started with Google AdSense. And a person was asking the best ways to monetize your blog and getting started with programs like Google AdSense, which is what I did. And I was able to figure out more ways as I grew. So do you have any recommendations for that?

Jim: Yeah. My best recommendation is don’t expect to make a lot of money overnight.

Juli Bauer: Yes! {laughs}

Jim: A lot of people look at AdSense like; “Oh, I could just put ads on my website, drive traffic, and I’m going to get all sorts of money and it’s going to be wonderful.” But it just doesn’t happen like that. Generally, obviously you can speak to your numbers if you choose to. But you’re going make probably a lot less than you would imagine with just regular traffic. So I think looking at whether it’s Google AdSense, or Ad Thrive, or Media Mind, stuff like that. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still nice money. But for a pretty easy blog, maybe you’ll make somewhere in the range of $1000-2000 a month. And that’s if you have a ton of traffic and you’re really well optimized.

But, if you’re looking to make a fulltime job out of it, you really need to look at different monetization strategies. Whether it’s sponsored posts, or doing things like Amazon affiliates. Things like that, to really get the best bang for your buck. Really pull out as much revenue from your side as possible.

Juli Bauer: I didn’t make that much at all from Google AdSense. It wasn’t until I started working with other ad companies that I started making decent money off of advertising on my website. So I feel like you have to play around with that and figure out what’s going to work for you and your blog. Yeah, I just didn’t do very well with AdSense.

Jim: Yeah, most people don’t. It used to be great, a long time ago. But obviously as people get more comfortable on the internet, they stop clicking on ads because they know what they are.

Juli Bauer: That’s true.

Jim: So you kind of have to be a bit more savvy with how you place them. How you color them. And like I said, just looking at different money options. So making sure that you have good affiliate programs. Try to do the right thing. But I think, if I can go out on a limb here, the most important thing to do when trying to make money on your blog is not try to make money on your blog.

Juli Bauer: Totally! {laughs} Seriously. That’s what you hear from anybody who has a blog as a fulltime job.

Jim: Yeah. Most readers will hate that because they see it coming a mile away. They don’t like it, and then they leave.

Juli Bauer: So what about Google AdWords? Somebody had a question about optimizing SEO. They ask, “Is Google AdWords really worth it?” And I don’t even know what AdWords is. I’ve never used it, but I see it all the time. I get emails about it. Can you explain what AdWords is? And if you think it’s important for their website.

Jim: Sure. AdWords is, if you were searching in Google, and you see the first couple of results on the page will say “Ad” next to it, those are AdWords. And what those are is those are people who are paying usually per click for you to visit their site. So if you bid on the keyword paleo turkey pot pie. And someone searches for it, your ad shows up. You will pay, we’ll say for argument sake, 10 cents every time someone clicks on the ad. At that point, you’re just banking on the fact that you’re going to make more than 10 cents per visitor in revenue on your site.

Juli Bauer: That’s good to know.

Jim: Does that make sense?

Juli Bauer: Yeah. I just never knew what that was and if that was really important. So do you think it’s even worth people really doing that? Because I’ve never done it, and I haven’t had any sort of issue.

Jim: It depends. It depends on how broad your traffic is. If you have content on your site that’s pretty generic. We’ll say you have a landing page for how to eat paleo. That might be a more searched for term that might actually get a good amount of traffic. Let’s say, in this scenario, you have an affiliate to Butcher Box. We’ll go with that. So you want to have people go to your landing page, say this is how you start eating paleo. Sign up for a Butcher Box subscription. And you know that for every person who signs up, you’re going to get $50. In that scenario, you know that you can spend $30 trying to get traffic to your site, because you know that one out of every 100 people will click on the link and sign up, and you’ll make your $50.

So it depends on the scenario. If you have something in that kind of realm where you can direct traffic to your site, it’s going to cost you money. But you have to know that you’re going to make money on the other end. But if you do, and you know that you can spend 30 and make 50, at that point you can scale it up where you can start spending $300 per day and you know you’re going to get the money back.

Juli Bauer: OK. I get that. This is a total random question that kind of has to do with stuff. It’s just a little out there. I’ve heard of this as well. Can you explain what follow versus no-follow links are?

Jim: OK, so do-follow and no-follow links, to simplify it as much as possible, are really just a signal to Google what their affiliation to your website is. So for example, if you’re linking an ad to Amazon, you’re going to generally be a no-follow link. Just to say that’s not super related to your content. Whereas let’s say if you were sending a link from your website to Lexi’s Clean Kitchen, you’re going to want to say it’s a do-follow link, because you’re going to want to pass some association there between your site and Lexi’s.

Some people describe it like link juice is a common term that people use. Maybe not in your world, but in mind.

Juli Bauer: {laughs} Yeah. Nobody uses that in my world.

Jim: {laughs} So basically what that means is if you have, we’ll say, a value of 100 on your link power coming from Google, and you have a couple of no-follow links and do-follow links on your site. No-follow links will generally not pass any power or link juice onto the other end. Whereas if you have 100; I can’t think of a good term. But 100 gallons of link juice coming to your site, and you have a do-follow link going to Lexi’s, you’re going to pass on, again, terrible reference, but 10 gallons of link juice onto her. So she’s going to get a little SEO boost, we’ll call it, although it really doesn’t do a whole lot, coming to her website.

Juli Bauer: Ok. That’s good to know. Because I’ve had a company, they’ve asked me to change my link to a no-follow link. I was like, I don’t know what the f*ck that even means. Why are you trying to make me change something? I just didn’t get it.

Jim: Yeah, I think in general most of your links should be no-follow. And this was a super-hot topic of debate in the food blog community a little while ago. But most of your links should be no-follow by default, and then only if you, we’ll say in the 10-15% range should be do-follow links. Just because you don’t want it to be a situation where you’re passing on so much power it’s a pointless website. Or people on the other end don’t want to be getting an unnatural amount of do-follow links, either.

So if you’re on the receiving end of a link; we’ll kind of use the same reference here. We’re looking at Lexi’s site, and she has 100 links from different websites pointing to hers, and 80% of them are do-follow links, and 20% of them are not, it looks very funky to Google that she’s trying to game the system because she’s trying to get all these links from third party sites to hers. So Google likes to see more no-follow links than do-follow links coming to your site. So that’s generally why people, like whoever it was that reached out to you, want your link to them to be no-follow. Does that sort of make sense?

Juli Bauer: Yeah. OK, got you. That’s good to know. I was so confused about that.

Jim: I know we’re straddling the super-techy part, trying to keep it simple.

Juli Bauer: {laughs} Link juice, yeah.

Jim: {laughs}

Juli Bauer: Ok, so I only have one real question left. And you kind of touched on this at the beginning. But if someone is hiring a freelance designer or a web developer, what are questions that they should ask ahead of time? You kind of talked about how to find out if they’re a reliable source in general. What questions would you have a person ask that would really help them know if they’re a reliable source, other than what they see on the internet. That can’t always be the best source, either.

Jim: Yeah, no. You can definitely make up anything you want on the internet. I think the hands on best option is going to be to ask for references. If I’m looking for a web developer, I want to say; “Hey, I’ve read about you guys, but can you give me a couple of references to past clients I can reach out to and just ask about their experience with you.” And at that point you can get honest feedback from an unbiased third party that should be a very good indicator of whether or not they’re reliable. Beyond that, I don’t know that there’s a whole lot you can really look for that they can’t just fudge on their own. But really looking at their portfolio and trying to talk to some previous customers is probably the best bet.

Juli Bauer: Is it weird to ask; “Hey, Jim, can I ask what websites you’ve worked on, so I can go directly to those websites.” Is that appropriate to ask?

Jim: Yeah, 100%.

Juli Bauer: Ok.

Jim: Most companies will have a portfolio of some sort on their site or somewhere that they can easily reference for you. But no, it’s super common. A lot of people want to make sure. For example, if I only designed websites for people who sold mermaid costumes, you probably wouldn’t want me to do it for your food blog. So knowing what your clientele; or what a web designers clientele looks like, is very helpful. So that way you know they’re familiar with what your audience is looking for.

Juli Bauer: OK, good to know. So I know you weren’t trying to come on; when we were talking about having you on the podcast. You weren’t coming on to try to push you and your company by any means. But you have been such a lifesaver to me. So if I can get you into the hands of anybody out there, I’m so happy to do so, because you’ve helped me so much.

Where can people find you, and find out about your company, and see your portfolio, and see different websites you’ve worked on?

Jim: Sure. A, thank you, I appreciate that. B, I still do mean that. I don’t like the; Hey, let’s promote me, kind of thing.

Juli Bauer: I do!

Jim: {laughs} Really what I want the most is for people to have a reference where they can go just bounce a question and not get a sales pitch back.

Juli Bauer: Cool.

Jim: Which is honestly my favorite thing to do ever for people. Is to say; “Hey, I just stared out. I need help. Can you answer the question without trying to sell me $3000 worth of crap I don’t need?”

Juli Bauer: Yeah.

Jim: It’s like a warm and fuzzy thing. I enjoy that part. Anyway, where people can find me, probably the easiest one would be through https://jimsabellico.com/. Which you’re probably going to have to write out, because most people can’t pronounce or spell my name.

Juli Bauer: Yes. And I’ll link that in the notes.

Jim: From there, you can either get in touch with me directly or find me on Facebook or any of the other different companies that I run. And one other option, which I’ll just reference here, which I think will be super helpful for people. We can kind of figure out the logistics of this later.

One of the things I had started with a couple of internet marketing buddies of mine is something called the Web Masters academy. And basically what we’re trying to do is demystify and simplify everything that has to go with setting up a website, and maintaining it. Not that I expect you to become a web master. But to have some place to go to get simple questions to simple answers. You can get the answer you need and move on.

So we’re still actually in the process of setting that up now, and it’s probably not going to be up for another week or so. But what I would like to offer to your listeners is the option that anything we do have on there; and we’re going to have some courses where people are looking to get super in-depth on how to figure out their page speed or how to do keyword research. We’ll put up a coupon code, and we’ll give them dirt cheap access. Because we kind of want it in as many people’s hands as possible.

So we’ll offer them a PaleOMG coupon code. And we’ll use that code, I guess that makes the most sense. We’ll give them dirt cheap access to everything so they don’t have to figure it out on their own.

Juli Bauer: Sweet! I think that sounds awesome. I think people will love that. So if people have any questions can they just reach out to you on your website?

Jim: Yeah. They can reach out to me in any way possible.

Juli Bauer: Ok.

Jim: I really don’t have to tell you this, because obviously you know firsthand. But you can email me or text me at 2 o’clock in the morning, and there’s a good chance I’ll get back to you within an hour.

Juli Bauer: I know. How do you keep up with emails? I have about 500 in my inbox that I refuse to look at.

Jim: {laughs} I actually get about 1700 to 1800 a day.

Juli Bauer: Shut the f*ck up, Jim! Are you kidding me?

Jim: The struggle is real.

Juli Bauer: How do you do it?

Jim: I batch time.

Juli Bauer: Oh my god.

Jim: One of the best things I’ve ever done was; these are the times I do it. And I just bang through them all in short spurts. Otherwise, it’d never get done.

Juli Bauer: That’s insane.

Jim: Yeah. There’s a lot going on over here. Yeah, anyone is welcome to email me. Or message me on Facebook. Whatever you want to do. Find me somehow, and I’m more than happy. Like I said, if someone has a question, they just want to BS about an answer to it, totally fine. I’m more than happy to help out.

Juli Bauer: Awesome. That’s so cool. Anybody who is listening, Jim has been a lifesaver for me. And has really completely changed my website and made it so easy and so functional and amazing. And anything I need help with, he has helped me out. So thank you so much for answering people’s questions today. I know they were pretty broad, and everybody has a different website they’re creating. But hopefully that helps people out and gets a little gauge. Then they can use that code to learn even more.

Jim: Yeah. And like I said, we’ll figure out the logistics there. 100%. If you guys have questions, please do not hesitate to ask. Because I know these were kind of broad; they’re not really going to 100% apply to your exact scenario. So if you have a further question about whether you should choose Square Space versus WordPress or WordPress.com versus WordPress.org. Which is a whole different question; I’m actually surprised it didn’t come up. Those are things that I enjoy talking about. So if you have questions, feel free to ask them. And I’ll more than happily give you a personal answer that will help you, and you don’t have to spend days of time trying to research it. Because I’m sure you know, if you spend any amount of time in a Facebook food blogger group, you will come across three million answers to every question, and none of them are right.

Juli Bauer: Yeah. That’s why I don’t look to the internet for anything. I literally just talk to my friends. So hopefully I can be the friend for other people for figuring that stuff out.

Jim: Yes. 100%.

Juli Bauer: Awesome. I’ll put all your information in the show notes here so people can find that. Or on www.PaleOMG.com under the podcast tab. You can find all the information. Thank you for fighting through this podcast today. I know your life is absolutely bananas. Maybe even more so; I know it’s more so. But it’s more so today.

Jim: Yeah, it’s a whole bunch of bananas.

Juli Bauer: Yes. So thanks for talking to me while you’re renting a car, and all that jazz. I really appreciate it Jim. I know your time is very tough to come by. You’re the best.

Jim: My pleasure. Thank you for having me.

Juli Bauer: Ok. I’ll talk to you later. Thank you guys for tuning in. Bye-bye.

115 episodes available. A new episode about every 7 days averaging 65 mins duration .