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Updated Blog Layout

2019-04-06

Well I’ve been blogging for nearly a year now. My journey into blogging started with building a blog engine in ASP.NET Core and Entity Framework Core. However I did very little blogging on that engine because I spent most of my time building it.

However, writing about building that blog engine helped me get my current job apparently, so I’m convinced that blogging and writing on the internet can have an upside.

But since I moved over to Hugo and a statically generated site hosted on S3 and CloudFront, the overhead to writing and publishing has been greatly reduced and I’m no longer tempted to just tweak the blog engine. It’s also cheaper. This blog literally costs less than two dollars a month.

But I decided that it was time to give the site a little bit of an update. The previous layout was nice and I focused on just writing and trying to get better at writing, but I started to dislike the landing page. I felt I needed a concise summary of myself for random people who find me on the internet.

So now, when people visit tylerrhodes.net they get assaulted with a nice picture of me as I’m about to eat lobster. Followed by a blurb which I’ll probably update because its ridiculous and then the most recent blog entries and social media links.

I’m starting to think a little strategically about what I can use this site for to grow my career and do more of the type of work I want to do.

Early in my career I was doing more integrations and consulting work, which involved lots of different projects and clients. At times it was stressful, but I learned a lot, and fast.

Working directly for one organization is a big change from that.

Instead of learning new systems and processes day in and day out and being exposed to a lot of different things, you deal with the same thing - everyday. That’s not to say that there aren’t some technical challenges, but there are far fewer. While it’s nice to be able to work with the same people everyday, eventually it starts to feel like you’re in the movie Groundhogs Day.

So the conclusion I’m coming to is that I tentatively think I’d like to move to a consulting/freelance arrangement, potentially on my own. Which means I need to be able to find clients, do marketing and sales, and so on. Not exactly my strong suit. I’d also like to be able to do a lot of work remotely. This would enable me to expand my customer base outside of my immediate geographical area.

All of this means I need to do a number of things which involve marketing. I also need to pick one or two things to specialize in, so that people will pay me and I can charge a good sum. I also need to start doing some networking, probably across technical disciplines to enable me to reach out to other experts for things I can’t or don’t want to do.

So anyway, because all of this is at least a year away, I’m going to keep learning what I’m learning. I’m going to master SQL Server and .NET programming. It’s one thing to be reasonably good at it, it’s definitely another to master it.

I’m going to get stronger at SEO and marketing and build up a strategy for driving some traffic to the blog while I learn more about the independent consulting and freelance market so I can figure out the ideal traffic to drive to the site.

I’ve actually started to get up early and get work done before I get home from work when all I want to do is sit and watch Netflix and do nothing. Which is encouraging, because I’ve got a few blog posts going on and I’m making good progress through some challenging books. I’ve also got a plan for getting back to SICP and finishing that, but with Clojure and not Scheme.

So anyway, it’s time to get cracking.