How to Become an Appreneur

Wikipedia defines an Appreneur as “an entrepreneur who works in the mobile device application industry”.  It also states “the first attribute is that being an appreneur is extremely niche specific. While entrepreneurs span all markets, industries and business models, appreneurs are 100% focused on the app industry”.  I had never heard of it, but it makes sense, because there is already so many mashup titles, like Solopreneur, for example.

To title yourself as an Appreneur, implies that it’s all you do.  In my opinion, it also implies that you have the entrepreneurial spirit.  This is good, because when you’re looking for an app, you would probably first look at those who are experts in app development.  I generally don’t like the idea of pigeon-holing myself into one niche, though, because while I’m skilled at app development, my skills span in so many different directions.  It doesn’t hurt to add the title, though, right??

If you are starting off with a technical background, looking to get into the app world but don’t have the skills yet, you could title yourself as an Appreneur within a short timespan.  In fact I stumbled upon this book on Amazon: Appreneurship:

Build A Mobile App Business With No Technical Background

I’ve seen first hand how mobile development has transformed from requiring knowledge of XCode and Java to build separate iOS and Android mobile apps, to simply having web development skills that works on both platforms.  It truly is amazing how the learning curve has dropped to a hill, rather than a mountain.

If the idea of becoming an Appreneur interests you, I would love to help.  Please signup for my newsletter and also use the contact form to reach out to me.  I can help sort through this, if you have web development skills and would like to dive into mobile development.

 

How to start a website for minimal cost

how to build a website

I’ve been a Web Developer for over 15 years.  I feel it is my purpose in life to help others in a way I am confident I can.  I’d like to speak to those who are novices with websites.  If you have a business and would like to gain a certain basic know-how of websites, I hope this article serves you well.

I’ll start with the easiest route.  I’m sure you’ve heard of GoDaddy, InMotion, BlueHost, or Rackspace.  There are many others, but you’ll need only one.  I like GoDaddy because they are popular, but I also found BlueHost to be excellent.  These companies are “hosting companies”.  They setup and maintain your “piece of the web”…your place on the internet.  And what you need to provide them is what your domain name will be.  A Domain Name is a unique english word(s) that define your website to a browser (ie.  IE, Firefox, Chrome).  When you type in the domain name “google.com” in your browser, the hosting company receives that request and directs your request to a specific server(s) that hosts that content.

Figuring out what your domain name will be is step #1, because it makes it easier when you begin looking at buying your hosting space.  Hosting companies take care of tying your domain name to your hosting space when you doing it all at the same time.

So now you’ve thought of that cool domain name.  I would not choose a long domain name like “thisisasupercooldomainname.com” or a short domain name acronym like “abc.com” because people will remember a name that relates to your company.  For example, if I tell you my company is The Bockler Group, logically you’ll search for this name, or even try that directly in the browser.  It’s logical that my website domain name is the same (or related to my company name).

You’ve got your cool domain name in mind and you’ve settled on a hosting provider.  When you go to their site, they prompt you in a big area to enter that domain name to see if it’s already been taken.  The domain name must be unique, because the internet can’t have another google.com, right?  How would it know which server(s) to point to?!  You may or may not have to adjust your domain name, but let’s assume you’ve come up with one that isn’t already taken.

As you progress in the buying process, you’ll be asked at some point about the privacy option.  Generally you’ll want this option.  If the website is for personal use, I would recommend buying the added feature.  Because when you buy a domain name, your personal information is available for public knowledge.  Try a WhoIs Lookup and you’ll see what I mean.  Choosing the privacy option for a yearly price is a good thing.

Now onto the hosting.  This can seem a little nuts, but here’s what you need to know.  Since this article is for the novice, I’ll make an assumption that you’d like to use it for a blog or basic company site.  WordPress is the standard for this.  It’s an easy-to-use platform, especially for beginners.  I would highly recommend it, especially if you’re trying to get the most out of the least amount of work.  It is a blog by default, and there are thousands of themes that you can apply to your blog to make it look great.  The big draw is the way it allows you to edit your content and publish it.  No need for a Web Developer!

Choosing a hosting option can seem a little daunting, but keep it simple.  The basic option provided is not permanent, so I would recommend it.  If you ever need to upgrade, it’s something the support team can help you in doing.  As long as it states that it supports WordPress, that’s going to be your best bet.  If they have a one-click install of WordPress advertised for that hosting option, even better.  In fact I would highly recommend it.  The hosting providers mentioned all have this option.

Once you’ve selected your domain name, and have selected a hosting plan, you’ll be good to go.  Once you’ve finalized payment, you should be able to login and see a dashboard (or homepage showing you options on your account).  You should see options where you can setup an email account (I’ll discuss this later) and also to install WordPress.  Go through the wizard, and you’ll quickly have it installed.

At this point your site should respond when typing in your domain name into the browser.  If it doesn’t, don’t worry yet.  It may take 24-48 hours for everything to work.  After which, it should be stylized to a default WordPress theme when it was installed.  More information about themes and WordPress options can be found at sites like WPBeginner.com.

It’s fairly easy to get going on a new site these days.  WordPress makes it super simple.  Even though it takes some “getting in there and figuring it out” time, you’ll find that having a site up and running in hours is pretty sweet.

Happy Coding!  Please feel free to ask me questions about any details I might’ve missed.  It’s what I live for!

How to find Craigslist gigs

I am a web developer.  Jobs are plentiful.  Craigslist is a great tool to find jobs, but searches for computer gigs isn’t the easiest thing to when it comes to searching outside your local area.  There are a few sites that claim to allow you to search the entire United States, but all it is, is a Google search.  Not exactly the desired results, as they may not or not be related to your search, and they might not be current.

So what I did (and what I’ll be showing you) is utilize Craigslist to produce results for any city in the country with your specific search.  If you’re not comfortable with editing HTML, you might find this a little hard, but I’ll try explaining it as easy as possible.

Since there is no Craigslist API to tap into, I had to get a little creative.  Attached is the sample that you can build upon.  I will break it down for you, so that you can edit it to your liking.

Extract the zip and then open the HTML file in a simple text editor like Notepad.  You’ll notice right away that there is a small bit of javascript in the <head> section.  There is one line you should look at right away:

var origsearchParam = ‘/search/cpg?sort=date&query=’;

This is a variable I’m assigning with a specific string.  The string is the same url you see when you perform a Craigslist computer gig search.  I’m assigning it to this variable, so that I can form my own url for each city I want to search.  The “query” paramater at the end of this, is where I’ll tack on the term you will be searching.

Next down the page, you’ll see many, many links.  Each of these represents a city.  The link attribute “href” represents where you’ll be taken when you click on the rendered link (i.e. http://abilene.craigslist.org).  Add or remove as many as you’d like for the city you wish to search in.

After you are done, save the file.  Return to the folder where this HTML resides in, and double-click on it to have it render in your browser (i.e. Chrome, IE, Firefox, etc).  You should see a long list of links with a search box at the top.  Enter a search term in the box and click “Submit”.

What you’ll see next will look strange, but I promise, it is normal.  For each city you listed to show results for, your browser will open a new tab for it.  I have about 50, so I have 50 tabs open in my browser.  Each tab will show the results for that particular city for the search term you provided.  At this point you can quickly see if there are any related gigs.  If not, close that tab and move onto the next.

This is a down and dirty way of performing a global Craigslist search.  You can do this for any Craigslist category, as well.

Enjoy!

 

 

How to grow your business with a $1.00 product

Vending Machine

Vending Machine

I was at work the other day, when I entered the break room.  Lined up along the wall was a series of vending machines.  As I looked at them, I couldn’t help but notice that most items cost between $.90 to $1.00.  There is at least 400 items in one vending machine.  If there were no cost involved, $400 would be a nice profit for doing a little upfront work.

Then I started thinking how a paid mobile app costs roughly $1.00 usually.  One of my ideas was to build a mobile app.  The pool of my buyers is much greater than the snack people.

Then it hit me…Why would I wait any longer to build a mobile app?  It’s the definition of passive income.

I have to get off my lazy butt and figure out how to do this…