There are as many types of portable careers as there are expats and anywhereists looking to earn a living overseas.
One thing most of them have in common, though, is the need for a solid online presence. A permanent online address shows a level of stability that reassures clients and brings you more business.
This leads to the question, what sort of online platform should you use as your online home base?
Do I Need a Website?
Some people believe that they can use a social media platform.
I think it’s a mistake. Big. Huge. . .
What happens if you build a huge following on Facebook, or Medium, or Twitter, or even LinkedIn, and then they change the rules on you? You could lose everything you’ve built up.
Now, granted, that’s a dramatic scenario, but the point is, you need an online base that you own and control.
To me, that means your online presence starts with a website.
OK, So What’s the Best Website Platform?
When it comes to platforms and tools to help you build a website, there are lots of choices.
Wix, Squarespace, Ghost, and even the “easy” site builder that hosting companies offer, all compete with WordPress, and they all have their fans.
But, to me, WordPress is the best choice, and for one very important reason.
When you build a site with WordPress, your site and the tools that made it belong to you. You can take it anywhere. If you’re not happy with your hosting service, you can move with relative ease.
That’s not true with the proprietary builders. If you build a site on Wix, for example, and you want to move it to a different platform, you have to rebuild it.
It becomes a huge pain in the rear.
So What Kind of Business Should Build a WordPress Site?
Since I began building WordPress sites for fun and profit, I’ve worked with all sorts of businesses. I quickly learned that there’s no such thing as one type of business that uses WordPress. For example. . .
Jill and Terry are both artists. Jill sells her art from her WordPress site, and offers classes as well. She’s been using WordPress for years.
Terry also sells art from her site, and looks for support for an environmental arts project she’s very involved in. Terry just switched to WordPress from a more traditional HTML website.
Dana’s a solopreneur career coach. She’s a no-nonsense sort of person, as reflected in the title of her book, Cut the Crap, Get a Job! Besides the book sales, her website brings coaching clients to her.
Last year, I helped Dana switch to a different WordPress theme, called Divi, which lets her set up unique pages on her site with virtually no coding.
Sports Video Seller
The owner is a sports enthusiast who’s created a successful business out of finding rare sports footage and making it available on DVD.
He contacted me because his old site was looking pretty dated, and he wanted to get into e-commerce. Previously, his selling process involved phone calls and waiting for checks to arrive in the mail and clear. Once we tidy up the last loose ends, he’ll have an up-to-date e-commerce site where visitors can order and pay online.
No matter what type of portable career you’re creating — if you have a travel-related business, if you’re a developer or programmer, if you’re a creative freelancer, or even if you plan to reduce your living expenses by housesitting — having your own website puts you ahead of the competition.
I’ve worked with bloggers and freelancers, with folks building sites around their passions (teddy bears, anyone??), with health and nutrition coaches, with non-profit organizations, tour companies, bookbinders, lawyers, authors, mental health professionals, musicians, consultants, programmers, and more.
What do they have in common? Not a whole lot, except the desire to build their business around a great-looking site that functions smoothly and is easy to use.
In other words, WordPress.
WordPress isn’t limited to small businesses, either. There are enormous companies running on WordPress, as well as colleges and universities, municipalities and other governmental bodies (hello, WhiteHouse.gov).
Companies like the Chicago Sun-Times, a big-city daily newspaper. . . Or how about this little Mickey-Mouse operation, The Walt Disney Company? The restaurant chain Boston Market. . . car company Mercedes Benz. . .
If you’d like to get started with WordPress but aren’t sure where to begin, check this out.
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