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A lot of these posts were originally on SureFireWebServices.com. So if you found them through search engines or clicking around, this is their new home :). Enjoy!

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About the Author

What’s UP! This is my site, I write 99% of the articles on here. I’m also the owner of SureFireWebServices.com. I help out a lot of developers and designers getting into the web game. Helping is fun for me, so feel free to ask me any questions! I’ve made courses and have a membership as well to help get you on your feet!

Throwback With Jon Barratt – A Must Listen!

Note: This episode is more rock then hip hop, sometimes I like to switch it up ūüėČ

Previous Episodes with Willy:

Throwback Podcast with THE Dan Norris

Podcast Throwback – All About Beaver Builder BEFORE THEY WERE STARS!

Interview with Hani Mourra

Alas the throwback episodes must come to an end.  But what a great way to end January and kick off February!  In this episode, I speak with Jon Barratt.

Jon and I connected a while back.  What he thought was just going to be a casual conversation, sneakily turned into a fantastic podcast.

Jon is heavily involved in the Genesis Community. ¬†He’s an amazing developer and has developed a premium, e-commerce¬†child theme for Genesis called Envy. This theme is beautiful. In addition to themes, he also created¬†WP-Clips. ¬†A plugin that lets you customize themes without having to worry about updates or changes. ¬†It’s like a snippet manager that’s built directly into the site. ¬†So the code is reusable, and it’s just incredible.

Besides designing and developing, Jon’s also involved in the film industry!

In this episode, we discuss all of that in detail.  We also discuss YouTube Videos, different challenges that we face, my old music career, and so much more.

This is one of my favorite episodes, and I’m honored to have a new friend!

Links from show

Envy Theme

Jon Barratts Website

WPClips

Youtube Song Intro

YouTube Song Outro – Thousand Foot Krutch — Running With Giants

Throwback Podcast with THE Dan Norris

Here comes another one!!! My Throwback Series today is with Dan Norris! If you don’t know who he is, today should be the day.

Dan Norris was the co-founder of WP-Curve which was just acquired by GoDaddy, he’s written 4 books (Create or Hate, 7 Day Startup, Content Machine, Operation Brewery), started his own Brewery Company, and has an Entrepreneur Mastermind!

The guy is pretty unstoppable. ¬†Not to mention, he’s totally down to earch and cool as hell.

This interview was super fun! We spoke last year when we was working on his first book 7 Day Startup. ¬†It’s incredible how much has happened since then.

Take a blast from the past though and see Dan Norris… BEFORE THEY WERE STARS!!!! ūüėÄ ¬†Enjoy!

Links

Song at end:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZP5TOlLWqg

Last Two Episodes:

Interview with Hani Mourra

Interview with the Beaver Guy (Robby)

I suck at juicing… but I'm good at websites!

Not talking the “Pump ::clap:: You Up!” kind of juicing. ¬†I’m talking the kind with a bunch of fruits and veggies trying to get healthy type of juicing.

This morning I grabbed my Nutribullet, and in attempts to get healthy, I started to load it up!

I added spinach, some apple juice, carrots, banana, strawberries, and blackberries, and some water because it was going to be way too thick.

I blended what appeared to be a giant mud puddle.  The color was not attractive at all.

Screw it. I need to be healthy!  Chug, Chug, Chug! AWFUL!!!!!

Clearly, juicing is not my forte.

What is my forte, though, is websites. ¬†I’ve got a knack for figuring out the hard stuff, coming up with strategies, and all the like.

Just like juicing, what a lot of people do, is throw in a bunch of ingredients, and hope for the best. ¬†But the results just aren’t there.

Check this out.

I’ve worked with Jonathan Perez over the past two years. I’d describe him as a web design firecracker! This guy has so much energy and enthusiasm that it’s exhausting for the rest of us. He combines the visual sensitivity of a top designer with the vision of an entrepreneur. And – to top it all – he’s also a damn good laugh. – Ben Hunt

That’s not to¬†brag or boast, but just as a little reassurance of the mindset that I put towards everything I do. ¬†There’s a method to the madness, and maybe I won’t make you laugh every time, but I’ll be damn sure to help you figure things out when you get stuck. ¬†That’s what I do!¬†It’s my passion to educate and help.

I ran a survey a while back and asked my list (many of you) what they wanted to see with the future of SureFire. ¬†A LOT of folks replied with coaching and consulting. ¬†Well, I’ve got some good news!

While I don’t have a full coaching program yet, I’m slowly getting there. ¬†My fears and insecurity is what’s really holding me back, plus I don’t want to just be another coach, it has to mean something to me, so it’ll be a while before I jump on that boat. ¬†HOWEVER, I do enjoy consulting, and helping others when they need it.

So here’s the next step…

I recently created a Clarity.fm profile. ¬†While I’m not fully versed on how the platform actually works, I listed a few areas of expertise, set the pricing, etc. ¬†This is a stepping stone headed in the right direction and I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to help a lot more people.So if you ever want to pick my brain, ask a question about how to approach something, what tool may be best for…, come up with a email strategy, words of encouragement, or really anything that has to do with websites (building, marketing, etc.), then check me out on Clarity.

Here’s my clarity profile.

If I’ve already helped you in some way in the past, it’d be amazing if you could leave me a review on the website. ¬†Thanks so much!

Podcast Throwback – All About Beaver Builder BEFORE THEY WERE STARS!

Here we have another throwback episode with the BEAVER GUYS!!! ¬†Well, only one Beaver guy, but I’ll have the rest on really soon. ¬†This episode is Robbie and I chatting it up. ¬†Discovering the origin of the Beaver Builder name and just having some fun.

I also realized that after reading this, in the beginning, I say “I discovered the plugin” and I meant to say “When I discovered the plugin” so please keep that in mind when you listen. ¬†ūüôā

Beaver Builder has been growing like crazy over the past year, and when I spoke with Robby, they were in at the beginning. ¬†Great to see where they were and where they’re headed. ¬†Keep an eye out for the update episode!

If you missed last weeks throwback episode, check it out:

Interview with Hani Mourra

And as all these throwback episodes happen, we have Willy doing the intro’s… great guy that Willy ūüėÄ

Don’t have Beaver Builder? Get it here!

Let's Learn Together – Thrive Themes

I’m starting a new series called “Let’s Learn Together” and it’s basically me hopping into a new app or plugin, and learning how it works by actually implementing it into a live site.

This is a whole new format that I’m trying out so I’d love to get some feedback on it. Here’s the first video:

In this video, I’m installing Thrive Leads and getting ready to build my opt-in, or really copy the curent opt-in that’s on my site. I was pleasantly surprised to see how easy is was. Hope you like it!

If you want to see more videos like this, just let me know, thanks!

The Brutally Honest ThriveThemes Review

I have been contemplating on using Thrive Themes for a while. ¬†Specifically Thrive Leads. ¬†Over the past few days I’ve done a bunch of research to try to find a specific feature tieing in subscribers and non-subscribers, and to my surprise, I could barely find anything!

As a matter of fact, only 2 companies offer such a feature, and that’s Thrive Leads and ConvertFlow. ¬†It’s simple, I don’t want my email opt-in¬†box to show to people who are already on my list.

ConvertFlow does a great job because they tie right into the API of email responders, and can read the tags so when someone is on my site that’s on my list, I can offer them a completely different offer.

Thrive leads has this thing called Smart Links.  Similar, but rather than tieing directly into the API, anyone who clicks on the link will then be marked as a user.  Then I can show them whatever I want based on the link they clicked.

Super cool, yes, but ¬†WHY THE HELL ARE THERE ONLY 2 Platforms that clearly do this, and do it well. ¬†I’ve tried to find a few other but could find nothing.

So why I’m going to Thrive over ConvertFlow, put simply, price. ¬†I’m in the process of growth, and to grow, right now I need to bootstrap my expenses. ¬†ConvertFlow is awesome, but I’m paying $99/mo for that feature (of course a few more, but that’s really all I use out of it).

For only $19 a month, I can get the smart links, but I can also get the full suite of everything Thrive has to offer!

LET ME MAKE THIS SUPER CLEAR

I am by no means the poster boy for Thrive anything. ¬†In fact, I kind of have this love-hate relationship with Thrive. ¬†Here’s why…

Thrive Sucks

Pretty broad I guess so I’ll break it down. ¬†The usability of Thrive is terrible. ¬†I like things to be super simple. ¬†I hopped on the

I hopped on the Beaver Builder Bandwagon because it made my life so easy. ¬†The application itself was super intuitive and incredibly easy to use. In fact, when I first started using Thrive, I emailed them and the first thing I mentioned was “You guys need to add more padding, I’m trying to add something and all the lines are so close together and it’s super hard to see and use.” ¬†That was well over a year ago, and its still the same, why would they change for little ol’ me :).

I HATE the Thrive Builder. ¬†I just hate it. ¬†It makes no sense, it’s super bulky, and simple things just take way to long.

I forget the exact situation but I was trying to add a new heading somewhere and couldn’t get the spacing right spent like 15 minutes trying to find where the padding/margin was. ¬†I’m pretty sure that was it, don’t quote me, but there were quite a few things that I tried to hop and on just do, that ended up taking way to long to figure out.

It was things like that that just drove me crazy.

Then when I installed it, all of a sudden I had Thrive Boxes, Thrive 2 step, and another Thrive menu in. WTF? ¬†I had to create the light-box in one area, then go to a different area to make it functional, then the third area was settings. ¬†It drove me nuts. I hate clutter, and this was just cluttering up my menu! (Here’s a cool plugin to de-clutter your admin menu btw).

Last was the order of things.  If you want the lightbox to show in a campaign, it has to be on top, and anything below is secondary or something like that.

Bottom line, it’s going to be a big learning curve for me to get used to how the application works. ¬†That was an incredibly HUGE turn off from the start.

HOWEVER… Thrive is amazing!

Confused? Nah, don’t be. I did mention a love-hate thing right?

Thrive is incredible at what they do, and that’s conversion. ¬†Their ideas are on point and they have a ton going for them.

Here are a few things that stand out for me, and some links to accompany them :).

Landing Page ThemesI don’t always want to create something from scratch. ¬†It’s too much. ¬†Sometimes having a solid base for something helps expedite the process while providing amazing results (kind of like my company’s services, wink wink).

Smart Links – I already mentioned above but holy crap, this feature is amazing.

Signup Segue РWhat the hell? Yeah, Signup Segue talks to your email list, and lets people sign up or download something with one click, not having to re-opt-in all over again.  Brilliant!

All The Features РPopups, Exit Intent, the whole nine.  It has everything that all the other companies already have and some!

Price! – This was the kicker for me, $19 mother fudging dollars a month! THAT’S IT!! That price alone is worth the headache that will happen once I start trying to build everything lol.

YOU GET EVERYTHING!! – Yes, that’s not just Thrive Leads, for that cost you get Leads, Ovation, Smart Widgets, Themes, etc.

Honestly, I’m will most likely ONLY be using Leads, Ovation (which I have installed already), and Smart Widgets, but c’mon, that’s one hell of a deal!

So I’m going to be dropping my $99/mo plan, and I’m switching to this, for $19/mo. ¬†The masters of conversion have convinced me to make the jump, and I’m going all in.

What’s more concerning aka The Bigger Picture

Why aren’t there other services that do this? Or at least more affordable ones? ¬†I don’t mind paying $99/mo for something, but the value of something is related to the benefit I get. ¬†ConvertFlow does a lot of amazing things, but it’s a lot of things that I just don’t use except for the fact that it talks to my email list.

Is that alone worth $1,200/year? ¬†Why aren’t other companies like OptinMonster, or Icegram (2 of my other favorites) implementing something similar? ¬†The fact that someone who opts-in to your website has to continuously see your opt-in offer, just doesn’t make sense, it never has. So I’m always left wondering, why isn’t this feature much more common?

Would love to hear your thoughts!

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