It's Happening!

Michele's book finally launches, and Colleen commits to making progress happen.

Buy Michele's book!
Paperback and Kindle: (or search Deploy Empathy on Amazon)

Michele Hansen  0:00 
This episode of Software Social is sponsored by Orbit. Orbit is mission control for your community, grow and measure your community across any platform with Orbit. Find out more at

Colleen Schnettler  0:14  
Good morning, Michele. Hey,

Michele Hansen  0:17  
Hey, how are you?

Colleen Schnettler  0:19  
Great. So I hear that you have some new book updates.

Michele Hansen  0:24  
Yeah. So we finalized the cover this week. And I just saw, like just today just submitted it to Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing and Ingram Spark, which is another self publishing print on demand platform and filed for the copyright. So things are happening.

Colleen Schnettler  0:47  
That's exciting.

Michele Hansen  0:51  
Yeah, you know, I was thinking about our conversation last week, and how you were talking about how you felt like you weren't getting anything getting anything done? And I was like, man, I feel the same way.

Colleen Schnettler  1:03  
Really? Has it just felt like for weeks,

Michele Hansen  1:07  
yeah, like, I feel it? Well, you know, it's kind of it's like this weird in between liminal space where like, the copy has basically been final for a month now. And it's just sort of been kind of waiting on other things. And, and then there's also the, there's sort of the fact that it's summer here. And like summer camps aren't really as much of a thing here as they are in the US. Which, you know, I guess if like, most people who work for other people get four weeks of vacation, and they have kids, it's not really a big deal. But if you're self employed, it kind of is sure. Um, and so I, you know, I'm just sort of working at night and whatever. Or maybe I wake up early and get a couple hours in and like, man, I don't I don't know how parents in Europe who are self employed, do it. Like, I really, I really don't know. And like, just for weeks now I've been I mean, like, yeah, like, today's the day, I'm going to start recording the audio book, private podcast, I'm super excited about doing that. Now that the copy is finalized, I'm, like, ready to go. And it just like that time just keeps not happening. And I feel like I'm not making any progress. Um, but this morning, I did submit it and then not now it has to be reviewed. And I wanted to get a proof copy. But I think I might have done something wrong when I configured that option. And it just says your book might be published in 72 hours.

Colleen Schnettler  2:44  
That's fast. Okay.

Michele Hansen  2:45  
I haven't even like I wanted to, like, look at it and make sure the, you know, the cover looked right. And like, you know, the pages aren't upside down and whatnot. So okay, so I'm alone? I don't know. So maybe if you search on Amazon next week, you'll actually find it even though I'm not gonna tell anybody.

Colleen Schnettler  3:01  
But it won't be a physical copy yet. That's just

Michele Hansen  3:04  
so that'll be that the physical copy? Yeah, who would be a physical copy on Amazon, Amazon printed like, book to Amazon. I know, they could upload a book to Amazon. And then they print it whenever somebody buys it. Really? I know I was going, I was like, they let just anybody do this, like this? Wait, this is so

Colleen Schnettler  3:25  
easy. This is crazy. I had no idea. So so you submit to them your cover art and your book. And then when someone buys it, they print it on demand?

Michele Hansen  3:34  
There's some other stuff that happens. But basically, yes, that's cool. So I don't have to like go out and you know, buy, like, basically pay for a printer to print 500 copies or whatever, then mail them out myself, which I think is what you had to do before. Things like kind of KDP or Kindle on demand or Kindle on it was what they call it? Or, you know, sort of like Do you remember like cafe press in the 90s? Like, yes, people could make t shirts and then printed it whenever you bought one. It's basically like that for books. And then there's also in Ingram Spark, which is also print on demand. But I guess there's a lot of countries that Amazon doesn't serve. And also, I guess bookstores are more willing to work with Ingram spark than they are with Amazon because they can return books to Ingram spark because Ingram spark distributes a lot of non self published books to I'm learning all about this. So So yeah, so I uploaded it to them, and then they have to review it and like, I guess, make sure it looks good. Before it'll actually, I don't know, I don't know what's gonna happen next. So we're just, we're all going to find out together. I didn't really publish the ebook. I like, you know, Barnes and Noble and whatnot, like ebook platforms. I don't know. We will find out.

Colleen Schnettler  4:58  
That's exciting. So you are telling me in a matter of maybe five days, maybe less people will be able to purchase a physical copy of your book. I don't know, theoretically, probably, maybe we're gonna find out cheaper than this before. So

Michele Hansen  5:15  
I, originally I was like trying to give people estimates. And I was like, Yeah, it looks to me, like end of June. And then I just realized, I have no idea what I'm doing. Well, I knew that all along. But I realized that I have no idea what I'm doing. And therefore I should not try to predict what is going to happen next. Because that is just an exercise in folly to try to predict a process that I have no past experience with.

Colleen Schnettler  5:41  
Sure. So does that mean from you will come out when it comes out? Does that mean from your perspective that it's finished? Like you're done?

Unknown Speaker  5:51  

Michele Hansen  5:52  
I mean, yeah, like, like yesterday Mateus looks at me, he goes, you know, this is just the beginning. Right? What does that mean? It's like Kunkle in his I

Colleen Schnettler  6:01  

Michele Hansen  6:02  
because, I mean, after the book is like officially out, then there's there's the, the audio book to record, right. Like, I'm super excited about doing that as a podcast and recording it myself. You know, because then I can really make sure that the, the tone of voice is coming through and everything. And I just, you know, right. Yeah.

Colleen Schnettler  6:25  
Can I just say I'm super disappointed when authors don't read their own books.

Unknown Speaker  6:30  

Colleen Schnettler  6:30  
yeah. Like, that makes me sad. Like, there's a prominent bootstrapping book, which was great. But it was not read by the author. And I was sad. I don't know why. Like, I understand why people don't want to read their own books. Maybe they don't like to talk that much. Maybe they have an accent. And then yeah, me with it. I don't know.

Michele Hansen  6:45  
Yeah, exactly. I think people have different reasons for not recording their own book. But I am personally really excited to do it. And to do it as a podcast, too. Because, again, I feel like I never would have gotten the book out had I not written it as a newsletter, because for me, writing an email is a lot lower pressure and stress and just mentally, like cognitively easier than like sitting down staring at a blank cursor or thinking about writing a book. And I feel the same way about recording a podcast. Like it's like, oh, it's just a podcast. And actually, I don't even have to come up with anything to say I just read something like, great, versus the idea of sitting down to record an audio book for a 320 page book that feels daunting. But yeah, a bunch of podcast episodes for each chapter that feels easy. Feels written. They just have to be concatenated.

Colleen Schnettler  7:35  
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So how is this been for you? You've been working on this four to six months.

Michele Hansen  7:42  
Since end of February, middle, middle end of February is when I started the new Okay,

Colleen Schnettler  7:47  
so four months. So how do you feel to me? Yeah, right. You just knock out a book and four months? Can I just say how ridiculous that is? By the way. That's not normal.

Michele Hansen  7:59  
I feel like it was all in my head already. I don't really do any original research.

Colleen Schnettler  8:04  
It's just funny because I feel like the arc of our podcast, like your story, and the arc of our podcast is we're chatting, we're chatting. I'm like, you should write a book.

Unknown Speaker  8:12  
You're like, Man,

Colleen Schnettler  8:13  
I'm like, you should write a book. You're like, yeah, and then you wrote it. And it's done. like four months later. It's like, wait, what happens?

Michele Hansen  8:21  
When I commit to doing something, I do it. And usually very quickly, so but it might take me a while to actually get around to doing it.

Colleen Schnettler  8:31  
How is this? Ben? Are you excited to have some time back? Do you feel like I mean, has it been quite stressful these past four to five months trying to work your full time job and write this book has been overwhelming.

Michele Hansen  8:45  
No, it's been fun

Colleen Schnettler  8:46  
because you love it. You love the material? Fine.

Michele Hansen  8:48  
Like it's a little it's a little side project. And I need a little side projects. It's, you know, it's, I mean, I guess this podcast started out as a side project. And then this podcast kind of spawned the book. So like, you know, just side projects beget side projects. But no, I mean, it's been good. It's been a really good outlet for me, like most of that newsletter, writing time was actually at night, like, you know, after, put our daughter to bed and just kind of sitting in bed with my laptop and just sort of enjoying writing things out. And as I said, sort of mentally cleaning out my closet and just hauling out all of these things that mentally felt like old pieces of furniture from my head that were collecting dust or, you know, where were things I was referencing often, but didn't really have a good place to send people to. So it was it was a relief in a way to write it. And then I had so much fun interviewing people who read the early drafts. I think a really pivotal moment was when I got it into a draft and then I put it on health this book, which is Rob Fitzpatrick, the author of the mom test his new platform for launching books, and he also wrote a book that sort of goes with the the platform called write helpful books. That is, I think it's coming out now. But I was given a link to that on his help this book. Page. And that helped, that was hugely helpful for me. And then, and then, but actually getting the draft in front of people and then, and then talking to them about how they're using it and, and what kinds of books they find useful. And like, you know, it was just, it was, it was so fun. Like, I love talking to people about talking to people. And that was really fun. And then it was a little frustrating, I think, towards the end, like, I felt like I did a read like a major whole book rewrite of the book every week, in May in June, like, just like, that was probably when I did the most work. Like I was probably like, 7525 book versus giuoco do which was not super great. Um, but that was kind of what what I needed at the time. But yeah, I think I guess from like, now going forward, it's going to be lower lift things, like, promoting it. And yeah, we're podcast podcast. Yeah, the audio book and whatnot.

Colleen Schnettler  11:15  
Well, that's super exciting. Congratulations.

Michele Hansen  11:19  
It's not out yet. So I'm not gonna like,

Colleen Schnettler  11:21  
have you have you sent it out? Or they hatch? I think your chickens have hatched? Yeah, whatever

Michele Hansen  11:27  
it's for, it's getting reviewed. It's it's things are happening, things are moving, you know.

Colleen Schnettler  11:33  
So very exciting. Yeah,

Michele Hansen  11:35  
I think you're a lot more excited than I,

Colleen Schnettler  11:38  
I'm just really impressed. And to your point, you had this stuff in your head already. So it wasn't like you had to spawn content for the book, you had all the content. But you turned out a book fast like you, when you started doing those newsletters. I mean, you were sending a lot of newsletters. This is a lot of information.

Michele Hansen  12:01  
When I get really into something I like I go all in to the point where it can be a bit of a firehose, you know, like, so yeah, Marie Marie poulan. and I were talking about this a couple of weeks ago, where like, we sink our teeth into something, and then we just don't give up until we're done. Even if we wanted to. Um, I definitely I definitely feel like this has been an exercise

Unknown Speaker  12:34  
in that.

Colleen Schnettler  12:35  
Yeah. Well, I think it's really cool. I think you should be really proud of yourself for all the work you've put in, especially during the summer, that's hard. And you're working, you know, your normal job. And you wrote a book, super cool.

Michele Hansen  12:48  
You're so supportive, Colleen.

Colleen Schnettler  12:51  
That's what I'm here for.

Michele Hansen  12:53  
I need you in my voice. You know, that voice in my head being like, you should be proud of this. You've come a long way, when I'm like, sort of knee deep and like filing copyright applications and stuff like that, and sort of not really able to see over the wall.

Colleen Schnettler  13:07  
Yeah. Yeah.

Michele Hansen  13:10  
Should I do a little numbers updates? Well, I don't think I've done one and

Colleen Schnettler  13:15  
we haven't done one in a while. Go ahead.

Michele Hansen  13:18  
So as of right now, I have sold 93 copies for the pre order nice. Which by the way, people can pre order the it's the you get the PDF, the notion and Google Drive script templates and access to the private forthcoming private podcast with the audiobook, the boy So 93 people have pre ordered it right now I know a bunch of people have said they want the print copy and like I'm there with you. I don't really buy a lot of ebooks, especially for something I might want to reference later. And I don't seem to be able to do a pre order for the print book. So Oh, but anyway, so 93 people have ordered and so just looking at sort of the overall revenue for that not including expenses or you know, processing fees or whatever. That is $2,697 and I added it up with expenses a couple days ago. And I believe that puts me around sort of 12 $100 in net revenue from that so my Sunday expenses

Colleen Schnettler  14:32  
that's great for a book you can't that's not even available yet. I mean, I know it's available yeah order but that's pretty impressive considering it's not on Amazon yet.

Michele Hansen  14:43  
It's kind of I mean, so I've like you know, I've heard about building in public for a long time and of course you know, I'm a big advocate of including your your customers in the in the process, but I've never really like built from scratch in public. And like just kind of outlined every step of what I was doing, you know, the, the highs and the lows. Yeah. And the massive amount of confusion in between. And so it's been a really, really interesting, like, I don't think I would have gotten to this point had I not started it as a newsletter and had that level of just motivation, you know, even from the, you know, the first five people who subscribed and would reply and say, Hey, this was great. Thank you for writing that, like that kept me going. In a way that, that I just would not have, like, actually, I think I started the book, right around the time of when, when that container ship was stuck in the Suez.

Colleen Schnettler  15:45  
Yes, I remember,

Michele Hansen  15:47  
little, that little part that nobody had on their 2021 bingo card.

Unknown Speaker  15:53  
And I was reading a book.

Michele Hansen  15:56  
Or there's a book I picked up off my shelf that I had been meant to read for years, I finally did, because of that called the box, which is a history of container shipping, which is a really interesting book, by the way. Hey, Peter shipping, revolutionize the world. And it's pretty new to like, since the 60s anyway, okay. Not what this podcast is about. So, but so I opened that book, and like the beginning of the book is The acknowledgments from the author. And it like starts out with the author talking about how lonely the process for writing a book is, and especially on a very niche topic. Yeah. And I think I had had some little like Inklings in my head of like, whether I should write a book at that point. And I remember reading that and being like, Oh, God, like that sounds really awful. Like, and I felt really bad for the author as I was reading this, because you've I've heard writers talk about how lonely of a process it is. And I like, and I think that turned me off from it for such a long time. But then it kind of like, occurred to me later that like, I can write a book, but I can do it my way. I don't have to do it the lonely way. Right. Like I could write it in public, I could include readers in the process and make it a social process from the beginning. So I didn't feel like I was just, you know, closed off in a windowless room for six months, because I think that's why I really never wrote a book before, like I was wanted to, but I was like, I don't think I could deal with that amount of loneliness that writers talk about. So yeah, it's been good.

Colleen Schnettler  17:37  
That's awesome.

Michele Hansen  17:38  
How are you doing?

Colleen Schnettler  17:39  
I'm good. I'm good. Yeah. So in the spirit of our podcast last week, I'm, I took some notes, and I think I'm gonna break it up every week into like, what I did this week, what I'm struggling with and what I want to do next week, to keep myself focused and keep myself moving forward. Okay, my tangent is I listen to a podcast with Angela Duckworth. Do you know who she is? She's okay. So for those who don't know who she is, she's the MacArthur Genius Grant winner. She liked her coined the term grit. So I have this podcast I really like with her. And it's her and Stephen Dubner. And it's called no stupid questions. Anyway, this week, they were talking about the difference between urgency and importance. And they were talking about how, basically, that the summation was people don't do things that they don't consider urgent. So you can have these things on your to do list, like go to the gym, which is important. We all know, that's important. But without a sense of urgency. Like, I have to be at the gym at 6pm for my weightlifting class. Instead of instead of that, instead of being like, I'll go whenever I want. There's no urgency to it. So people just don't go, oh, that explains

Michele Hansen  18:55  
so much.

Colleen Schnettler  18:56  
It's so good. Like, I'm gonna send you this episode. It was so good. But yeah, so it was this concept. So I started thinking about it. In terms of my business, because I have all these things that I feel are really important. But I have no urgency behind them, right. There's no timeline for me, I can just sit here and this thing makes me money. And yeah, the ones setting the deadlines, right. And they're fake. I mean, and I'm not really even setting up. I'm like, oh, if I get to it if it's convenient for me today. So I just really liked this whole concept of something being urgent versus important, and how will we'll even do the less important things if we feel that they are urgent. And I say that because I'm now every week until I get to a place that I'm pretty happy with. I'm going to share with you kind of my goals. And so to make them feel a little more urgent, so I feel like I actually will do that.

Michele Hansen  19:48  
So I like that.

Colleen Schnettler  19:51  
Yeah, let's try it. It was really good. So one of the things I'm really excited about is this week, I finally got my app on rails 6.1. That's improved. To me, because I was patching in all of the CDN stuff for images because rails 6.0 didn't include that. So basically what happened is I had my app on 6.0, all the stuff was pushed on the rails master to handle CDN. And so I cherry picked it off of rails master onto my stuff, but I incorporated it as a patch to my app, which doesn't make me very happy, because it just feels brittle. So I got up to rails 6.1. So that's like a huge deal. And all of the things I have been telling you, I wanted to do, I wanted to do this first. Like, I feel like this is now going to set the stage for me to actually move forward to do other useful things. So I

Michele Hansen  20:42  
feel good about that. It sounds like it's gonna help your development velocity,

Colleen Schnettler  20:46  
it will. And I feel like some of these development blockers are really frustrating for me, like there's a really simple one, which won't take that long to do API access, but I didn't want to, I could have added new features, and then gone back and got it on 6.1. But it's smarter, in my opinion, since I have the time to get it on 6.1 before, you know, adding all the API stuff. So I feel like now that that's done, development stuff will go faster. So I'm pumped about that. And that was something that's like really kind of boring to do. I don't know if boring is the right word. But you know, like, upgrading is always kind of like

Michele Hansen  21:26  
it's not shiny, right? Like developer happiness and infrastructure stuff. And, like, security kind of falls in this category to have like, stuff that's like really important. But it's not shiny, there's no, you know, revenue number, like floating over your head if you do it, right. It's more of a like, it's more of like a cost thing. It's like last time, you know, lost energy, like, it could be lost revenue, if it's security issues. Like, I think when we went full time actually, like the first thing we prioritized was like, What can we do for infrastructure and developer happiness stuff so that when we are working on stuff, it's more enjoyable to work on, more resilient, less brittle?

Colleen Schnettler  22:10  
That's exactly that's exactly how I feel about it. So I said, it's transparent to my customers. But it feels really good to me. For exactly those reasons. My development time now going forward will go faster. I won't have to worry about writing something I'm later gonna have to rip out when I upgrade. It's good. So I was pumped about that. Something I'm struggling with this week. This is kind of funny. So you remember like a month ago, I told you, I hired my sister to help me do marketing. That's just been kind of an interesting challenge for us, because neither of us know what to do. And so I'm like trying to do my development stuff. She's asking me questions. I'm like, I don't know. So we're both kind of spinning around. Not quite sure what to do. Hmm. So what we did is we ended up having a call with one of our mutual friends who has his own podcast, his name is Josh Oh, and his podcast is searching for SAS. And he helped us lay out a SEO content, Google Search their Google Search Console strategy. Oh, yeah. So we are kind of excited to go down that path. What I originally had asked her to do was more traditional sales Safari. And it wasn't working. Hmm. Remember how Shawn came on the podcast? And he told us he spent 80 hours like doing sales Safari?

Michele Hansen  23:44  

Colleen Schnettler  23:45  
yes. So my sister was trying to do that for my product. And we just weren't really, we just weren't really getting anywhere. It felt like we just weren't getting any useful information. So we are going to starting this week try to tackle this more from a content SEO perspective.

Michele Hansen  24:03  
Hmm. You feel like the sales Safari kind of approach was?

Colleen Schnettler  24:10  
I don't know I guess you you kind of already built something that's that's what Josh said. He was like, you're already you're already paying for it.

Michele Hansen  24:17  
So it seems like you know, I mean, Salesforce is useful at many different stages. But it sounds like you need to get eyebrow eyeballs in front of this thing. And because there are people are willing to pay for it. There's clear there's a need a huge competitors went into the space, which tells you all the more that there's need for this. You just need to tell people you exist.

Colleen Schnettler  24:40  
Yeah, that was his point as well. And I think that's a better use of our time is to kind of lay out a content strategy. So we're gonna try to do that I'm such a bottleneck in this process, though. It's hard to find developers to write content technical. Here's a business idea. technical content rating is really hard. I have a mutual friend who has a business way more successful than mine. And he hired a technical content agency to write some articles. They're not very good. So I'm just saying, I think that this is like a real bottleneck is like really good technical content. I'm gonna go on a limb here and say, technical content for developers has to be written by developers

Michele Hansen  25:27  
or by technical writers, I know that we have at least two technical writers who listen to this podcast, okay, reading my book, and like they focus on writing documentation and for develop them to do the whole job. Yeah, to dm Colleen. Colleen. And actually, I mean, they get, you know, a lot of the work, they were telling me that they get frustrated, because, like, in big companies, they get really insulated from the customers, which inhibits their ability to write dry, good documentation. Yeah. Right. Because, you know, as you're talking about the challenges with getting your sister up to speed, like, it makes me wonder, like, has she gotten to sit in on any interviews with customers? Has she gotten to do any? Like? Has she got to hear from the customers directly about what you're solving and why it's important to them?

Colleen Schnettler  26:26  
No, we haven't done any new customer interviews yet.

Michele Hansen  26:30  
Get her in those? Yeah, I think that'll really help. And you might still be the person who's kind of guiding, you know, API documentation and whatnot. But if there's a difference between hearing about what something does, from somebody who built it, and hearing about what it does, from somebody who bought it, and is excited about it,

Colleen Schnettler  26:53  
yeah, those are

Michele Hansen  26:54  
two really different things. And for marketing, what she needs to communicate is, why you should buy it and why you should be excited about it. And the technical documentation is part of that. But she needs to be able to speak to what will get someone excited about it. Yes. And who better to hear that from than someone who is excited about that themselves, ie, a customer of yours?

Colleen Schnettler  27:19  
Yeah, we have a whole bunch of new customers. So I think in a couple, probably starting next week, once my life's a little more organized. We're going to start trying to do more customer interviews and get back on that bandwagon because I haven't done any since I did them with you, almost three months ago. So that is definitely a priority to get that to get that going. Yes, so content is challenging, because I would love to just churn out some content. But I am struggling to find the time myself or find people that are making the kind of content that I need. So that is challenging, but I did I don't know if I told you so Drew, who we interviewed together, who was a simple file upload customer is a developer and so I paid him to write a piece for me. Oh, no. I need Yeah, do this. I was like, Drew knows how this works. Maybe he will do? Yeah, so that's it's not Yeah,

Michele Hansen  28:18  
dude. Like hiring your own customers is really smart. Like, I think we talked about Chris from from webflow, our mutual friend we didn't realize was a mutual friend, a couple months ago. And his first support hire is one of his customers. And it worked out like amazingly well because like the person already understands the product. Yes, he knows how it works. He knows where it might go wrong. Like, that's like that is been in the back of my mind of you know, when we need to hire for something even just you know, for something on a contract. Like, who in our customer base could do that for us?

Colleen Schnettler  28:58  
Yeah, I thought like, I was so pumped. So I threw you know, he said he could do it. I was like, Yes. I mean, that's the best. That's the best of both worlds. Someone who knows what they're doing as a writer. And as technical it was, it was great. So I haven't actually published it yet. Because see all these other things I've been trying to do with my life. But it's it's a guide on how to use simple file upload with react. And that has been on my to do list for four months. So let me tell you how great it felt to give it to someone who could do it better than me. It felt great. And he just got it done in like three to four days. I was like, Oh, you're you're amazing. So that was really yeah, it felt really good because you know all those things you're supposed to do. They they kind of like weigh on you and your subconscious like the things you haven't done and that is literally been on my list for four months only I have to kind of learn react before I can write about how like I kind of sorta know react but this this partnership I feel worked out really well. So that really He inspired me, it went so well with Drew, it inspired me to hire more people to write for me. But I'm definitely having a bottleneck, like finding the right kind of people, especially for the rail stuff, because I feel like I can do that better than most people. So it's a trade off.

Michele Hansen  30:18  
Well, so. So first, I wonder if you could create some sort of pipeline where you create one piece of content, and it can be recycled in many different ways. And I wonder if even just that one piece of content from drew like if your sister can take that and with some understanding of what the customers are trying to solve, and where they're coming from and what the product does, and recycle that into many other pieces of content? What does that mean, risk can be used in other places to further improve your SEO?

Colleen Schnettler  30:49  
I literally don't know what you mean. Like you mean, put it on? Like, like, yeah, so like, he

Michele Hansen  30:55  
wrote up this, like, long guide? Yeah. Right. Yeah. So but then you can also have landing pages that are how to do this with react. And it's like taking like bits and pieces out of that. Like if she can read that and understand it, and then be like, Oh, we can use it in these other places. You can put bits and pieces of that on your homepage on other pages like, right and use that. You're probably trying to do this, like, Look, read that article, and then look at everything in Google Search Console and say, Okay, what are the similarities in terms here? What is the actual term that people are using per Google Search Console? What is the word we're using in this piece of content? Let's change that to the word that people are typing in? Are there five variations of it? Let's make sure in this article, we have headlines that use each one of those five different variations, like, use that on other parts of our site, like, so on and so forth.

Colleen Schnettler  31:44  
This is the stuff we don't understand. Like I hear the words coming out of your mouth. Okay, but I'm a little confused. I mean, like, okay, so I set up okay, Search Console. So go me, I get that. So you've got keywords, right? Yeah, yes. Yes, it did. Keywords?

Michele Hansen  32:04  
Yes. Okay. That is the most useful part about that for me, okay. Like before, until we started using h refs, that was what I used all the time. Okay. And so that tells you all of the different keywords that are leading people to your site, okay. It's very, it's very basic, but it's like, it's, it's enough. And I think you can sort it by volume, and you know, the number of clicks and stuff that you're getting right. And then basically taking that and so so in, like in that long article that drew wrote. So I was just, you know, publishing that as a web page, not as a PDF or anything. And then search engines pick up on the headlines. So if someone is typing in, you know how to do image upload, or file upload with react, for example, then your headlines need to be like step one, like, determine which files you want people to be able to upload with react, like with your react app, like step two, like do this thing with your react app, if you want to be able to have them, you know, import files, or like what like, use different variations of that. But like, use it in the headline. So like, we have a million of these things on our website. It actually if you go to geocoded I o. And then like in the Help menu, there's one that says tutorials, we've all these step by step guides, that are all in this format, which I actually learned from another friend of ours, who is a total SEO, like genius. And then each one is like bullet points of step one, determine which addresses you want to find the congressional district for step two, take the list of addresses that you want the congressional district for, and upload them to geocode, do step three, you know, like, and it's just using those same words over and over and over again, it's kind of like, you know, in the 90s, when you saw like, a huge block of like, tiny font text at the bottom of a web sites,

Colleen Schnettler  33:55  

Michele Hansen  33:56  
that is basically how this is done now, but use different versions of that of that text to because people might be typing in different things. Like we saw, for example, we'll see that people type in lat long to Congressional District, which is something I would not type in personally, like I think of address to congressional district. So we make sure that it says address to congressional district, it also says lat lon to congressional district to GPS coordinates to congressional district, like all of those, many permutations of it, and then having as many things in headlines as possible. So that that is what the you know, search engine picks up on.

Colleen Schnettler  34:36  
Okay. Okay, cool. Yeah, we can work in that direction. And you're right. I didn't think about that. We already have this piece of content. So

Michele Hansen  34:43  
yeah, and then just use it in many other places.

Colleen Schnettler  34:46  
Okay, great. Awesome. Cool. That's exciting. Yes. That's something to to focus on a little bit. I mean, I think that's what's been challenging for us is we're just what do you do next? I have no idea. I mean, I told her I was like, we're both learning here, right? This is part of the fun. This is why we're doing it like this is part of the fun of the process. But it's definitely can be a little intimidating or confusing, and to what you said about

Michele Hansen  35:12  
important versus urgent. I feel like important projects that are nebulous, get shoved to them.

Colleen Schnettler  35:19  
Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah, for sure. Like, totally. So we, that's great. We'll work on that. And then what I really want to do this week, is get a test sandbox environment set up on my website. You and I actually talked about this ages ago. And then when I talked to Derek Rhymer a couple weeks ago, he said it again. And I was like, I should really do this. But all this rail 6.1 stuff was the reason I hadn't done it yet. So I'm hoping I'll be able to get something like that up in a week. And basically, that would be kind of test sandbox. Yeah. So you know, if you go on to upload Cara cloudinary website, there's a big button that says try it now. And you can literally just try and like that, you can see exactly what it does before you sign up for an account, and all of that stuff. So that is something I want to go. Okay. Yeah. And I think that would be great. Because that's going to give me higher quality leads. And I think it'll encourage more people to use the service because I think my service offers some things that these other these other services don't offer. So

Michele Hansen  36:21  
show them what it does.

Colleen Schnettler  36:22  
Yeah, exactly. I mean, that's I try I have the video, which shows them what it does. But people like to, especially developers, like at least I do, I like to put my hands on thing, like you make it look easy. Is it actually that easy? So I feel like I think that's a pretty common feeling. Yeah.

Michele Hansen  36:37  
Don't tell me that it's easy. Let me experience how easy it exactly

Colleen Schnettler  36:41  
like I want to actually do it. So that's my goal for this week. That's a little ambitious, because there's a lot of moving parts in that. But once I get that set up, I think that's going to be great for marketing, and potential customers and stuff. So

Michele Hansen  36:54  
yeah, what are some of those moving parts? Because maybe if there's five steps involved, if you get three out of five, by next week, that's still pretty good.

Colleen Schnettler  37:02  
Yeah. So the thing I have to do to do this, my plan, at least, first of all, if I have an open file uploader open to the world, I have to be really careful with security. And so I want to write a script that automatically deletes these uploaded files, like every 10 minutes. I don't know how to do that. I mean, I'm sure I can figure it out. But like, I've never done that before. So I have no idea. I don't just know how to do that. I, again, theoretically, it's easy, but I don't know. So I want to do that. And I guess I don't need a script, I can just do it in my app, but whatever. I also want to make sure those files go to a completely separate domain, like completely separate domain, then the files I'm serving for our production customers. Because if someone says it's open to the world, if someone were to upload an inappropriate file that could be that can be bad, right?

Michele Hansen  37:58  
I mean, it's files. I'm vaguely remember remembering somebody's like, warning you about like that. Yeah, it was like I think on Hacker News or something like this. It happened to somebody it happened to someone else app. And yeah,

Colleen Schnettler  38:10  
so there was, yeah, someone sent it to me on Twitter. And it was a there's this big Hacker News thread about it. Someone else who has a similar product didn't separate his domain. So he had everyone on the same domain. And so his whole site got blacklisted. Like he didn't even separate. I'm not saying he did, he didn't know. But he didn't even separate his app from his serving domain, like mine are already separate. So that's already good. But he had literally everything on the same domain. So when his site got blacklisted by Google, like, everything went down. Oh, yeah. And he said it. You know, the interesting thing, I read the Hacker News thread, and they didn't have problems for years. I mean, they had their file uploader open to the world for like, I think was like three years. And they didn't have any issues. And then one day, bam, everything, everything was shut down. So I've already taken many security steps. I have a wireless firewall, I have separate domains for my app and my serving domain. But if I'm going to open this to the world, I want a third domain for test files. So that's I already have that. I'm actually deleting the files.

Michele Hansen  39:14  
Yeah. is smart, too. I don't know if that other person did that. But that disincentivizes people from using it for malicious?

Colleen Schnettler  39:21  
Yeah, file. I mean, one of the good things is he wrote a really detailed what I learned I could just take all of that he's and that was one of the things is he was deleting the files, I think every 36 hours and he's like, that's not enough. Like you need to be deleting the files like every 20 minutes. Okay,

Michele Hansen  39:38  
that's a great he's got like a step by step,

Colleen Schnettler  39:40  
step by step. So what not to do, so. I want to make sure I hit all of those wickets before I open this up on my website. Absolutely. Yeah, but that would be a huge I'm really excited about that. Because I really think once I get that I really think I can I can push a little more and I really think that's going to help with my Yeah, so that's my goal for next week.

Michele Hansen  40:06  
Alright, so next week we will check in on whether the sandbox is live on your site and maybe possibly my book will be ready. Who knows? Stay tuned.

Transcribed by

Won't you join us?

Get an email when new episodes post. No spam, we promise!

checkmark Got it. You're on the list!
2021 Software Social