Tag Archives: upper cut woodworks

Enhance Your Woodworking Business for $5 a Pop at fiverr.com

Somehow I found fiverr.com. Their tagline is “The place for people to share things they’re willing to do for $5” which at first, sounds a little sketchy. Is this the website where you can pay the neighborhood kid to eat a booger? Well, I’m sure you could, but I was looking for something more and I found it.

Here’s How it Works

  1. Find a gig you like and order it
  2. Pay $5 by PayPal or credit card
  3. Track your seller’s work progress, exchange files and communicate
  4. Get your finished work!
  5. You will have 48 hours after work delivery to ask for fixes from the seller
  6. Provide feedback and review

This is pretty similar to other sites like elance.com and 99designs.com – remember I used 99designs.com for the Upper Cut Woodworks logo. But on fiverr.com everything is $5 and it is very easy to make a purchase. After checking to make sure it was legitimate, I decided to try it out. I focused my purchases on things that I couldn’t or wouldn’t do, things that were great deals for $5, and some impulse purchases. A lot of my orders will be incorporated into my videos to take them to the next level in production quality.

Take On Me, Take Me On

This first one is a pencil sketch of me working at the bench. The idea here is to fade from the real picture of me to the pencil sketch. Much like the A-Ha “Take On Me” video from the 1980s. Yes, I asked the artist to remove some of the pounds I’ve added in the last four years. But those Popeye forearms are for real, yo!

Picture of Matt from Upper Cut Woodworks at the Bench from fiverr.comPencil Sketch of Matt from Upper Cut Woodworks at the Bench from fiverr.com

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Beautiful Calligraphy

The art below was a bit of an impulse purchase but I’ve already incorporated it into the exit sequence of Video #8. I like this because it is nostalgic and reminds of how the company name might be written by the founding fathers. It’s also gorgeous, and was done by hand which as a woodworker I love.

Upper Cut Woodworks Calligraphy Logo from fiverr.com

Thank You for the Music, the Songs We’re Singing

I need music for my podcast, and there are great sites out there that showcase musicians from all over the world, offering music in many genres, for just about any purpose you can think of. A couple of my favories are Free Play Music and Audio Jungle. There are musicians on fiverr.com as well, and they create custom music for you.

Here’s a track I bought, titled Beautiful Strength

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Listen to Me Now, But Believe Me Later

But there is another kind of audio for sale on fiverr.com, and that’s custom voiceovers. Write the script, order the gig, and literally within a day or so I have a nice 30 second audio spot.

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If You Build It, They Won’t Care

I admit it. I feel like I’ve done a lot of work on the website. I know the Number One Rule is to just make sure your site is full of lots of fresh and relevant high quality content, but I guess I also believe there is some trickery behind the scenes. I am constantly reading things like Google’s SEO Starter Guide and running web analyzers like WooRank.com and Websitegrader.com. I work hard to fix the things those analyzers point out hoping that the number of visitors will magically increase, my ad revenue will skyrocket, and I can retire to my own private island. And yes, I will own a Unicorn that farts rainbows.

Do You SEO What I SEO?

There were some tempting offers on fiverr.com, things like “I will send 10,000 visitors to any website for $5” and “I will tell my 27,000 twitter followers about your web site for $5” and these seem really tempting. They conjur dreams of living on your own island, cashing checks from Google. Some of those gigs (as fiverr.com calls them) are popular and highly rated. So, I tried one. Yes, I did. Consider it an experiment. I also highly recommend Yeah! Local. They are an amazing SEO company and will get you the results that you are looking for.

Sure enough, Google Analytics and WordPress saw the traffic, but it wasn’t real traffic. It wasn’t users that care about what I care about, and they weren’t really viewing the content (or the ads). So while this may pad some Alexa ratings, and trick search engines into thinking I am suddenly more awesome than I was last week, it could actually hurt my rating with search engines. I am sure they know which traffic is real, and which traffic isn’t, and will soon start ignoring the fake traffic. They’re smart like that.

The New Phone Books Are Here!

There were some other SEO things I did that will hopefully be more useful. There are a lot of directories you can submit your sites to, but the submission process is a pain. Being listed in a directory is kinda like being listed in the phone book. Navin R. Johnson was excited to be in the phonebook, and that’s what the directories are like. Big lists that some people refer to some of the time. But if no one is looking for you in the first place, just being in the directory doesn’t help much.

Like Navin, I want to be in the directory. For $5 a seller on fiverr.com submitted my site to DMOZ and the Yahoo directory. The upside is that the seller provided proof of their work with screenshots that prove the process was completed. The downside is that the submission could take weeks to be reviewed. The seller also submitted my RSS Feed to 60 directories for free. We’ll see if that has any impact.

Back to Rule Number One

According to Caseo, a SEO agency you should just make sure your site is well organized, full of lots of fresh, relevant, high quality content, and inviting. By inviting, I literally mean it – make sure it’s easy for users to subscribe to your content, or get notified when you update. So in recent weeks I’ve done a ton of things to the site to improve it including:

  • SEO: Geolocation information
  • SEO: Dublin Core
  • Performance: WP Super Cache
  • Performance: Apache gzip compression
  • Inviting: IE9 Site Mode
  • Inviting: High quality favicons
  • Inviting: Updated banner area with subscription icons
  • Organized: Built pages for Archives and Categories
  • Content: Six posts in eight weeks, including four videos

The Fiverr.com Verdict

Like etsy.com I could get addicted to browsing through the listings and finding interesting stuff. Purchasing with PayPal, communicating with the seller, and receiving your order are super easy. The pricepoint is just right and there are a lot of gigs on fiverr.com that are well worth a Fiver. I’ll be back to get more, but I’ll probably stick to pictures and audio.

What sites or services have you used to enhance your business, create your website, or build your marketing materials? Have you ever outsourced a business task like book-keeping? What about a woodworking job to someone with a specialty, like a turner or a finisher?

Video Post #8: My Shop Buddies

Having a buddy in the shop is always a good thing. Sometimes our buddies are human, like my buddy Greg that helped me build the Thomas Walnut Dresser. Sometimes our buddies are dogs, like Shannon Rogers’ buddy Alex, a great looking dog that sleeps in the shop and occasionally hits his head on things. Tom Iovino has (and is) a Shop Monkey. And of course Tommy MacDonald has Al and Eli. So today I thought I’d introduce you to my woodworking buddies.

Hayden is almost four now, and loves to come into the shop. She has her own little projects and work area, and a little toolbox of plastic tools. I think it’s time to build her a little bench and get her some wooden tools.

Who are your shop buddies? Do you have fond memories of being a shop buddy?

The Awesomeness of Woodworking for Mere Mortals

In the online woodworking world, there is (thankfully) lots of content from lots of sources, covering a very wide range of topics and catering to a broad range of skill levels. If you want to learn about hand tools, their history and proper use, you can follow Matt Vanderlist at Matt’s Basement Workshop, Kari Hultman at The Village Carpenter, Christopher Schwarz from Popular Woodworking, and Shannon Rogers from The Renaissance Woodworker. I read those blogs, watch their videos, and truly enjoy them. Over the past few years the things I’ve learned from those hand-tool bloggers have increased my hand tool knowledge and skills, and helped me deliver better results. They’ve also helped me rediscover that woodworking can be calming and ancient instead of modern, noisy, and frantic.

If you’re looking to push your woodworking skills or venture beyond the simple furniture styles and you’re not entirely hand tool focused, you’ll be interested in Marc Spagnuolo’s The Wood Whisperer, Charles Neil’s Workshop, Tom Iovino’s Workbench, Todd Clippinger’s American Craftsman Workshop, and Neil Lamen’s Furnitology. All of these are great sources of information and I rely on them often for inspiration and education.

If you’re looking for woodworking communities to virtually hang out with your woodworking buddies, share knowledge, bounce ideas back-and-forth, and show off your projects there are many great woodworking forums on the net, my favorites are Wood Talk Online and Lumberjocks. Both are full of great people who are very welcoming and willing to share their knowledge and passion for woodworking.

There are many more sources popping up daily, and today I want to quickly highlight one of my favorites.

Woodworking for Mere Mortals was created to showcase woodworking videos, projects, tips and entertainment for people who want to have fun building stuff in their garages and shops. The WW4MM blog was really started to support the popular WW4MM YouTube channel. Each video is short, entertaining, and informative. I haven’t found a video that is longer than 8 minutes so it’s very easy to consume. I’ve been woodworking for years and consider myself experienced, and I am still learning things from WW4MM. Most recently I watched a video where Steve, the creator and host of WW4MM, uses ammonia to patina brass after protecting parts of the brass with stick on letters. The result is shiny brass letters in a field of brass patina. Very cool, and I love the mix of materials.

The projects Steve highlights on his site will only take a few hours to complete, which is perfect for weekend projects or for woodworkers who are new to the craft and are intimidated by larger projects. They also won’t require a dedicated shop full of expensive tools. Steve has a garage shop, not a professional woodworking shop, but he still delivers great results. The message to beginning woodworkers is clear: you don’t need to build a dedicated shop and fill it with expensive iron to enjoy this great woodworking hobby. Steve has over 4,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel, and I’m amazed to think about how many new woodworkers Steve has brought into the hobby. Anyone who watches these videos walks away thinking “Hey, I can do that!” in fact as I watch many of the WW4MM videos I realize that these are perfect weekend projects to do with my nephews to introduce them to woodworking.

Steve puts a lot into his blog and videos, so not only should you subscribe to the WW4MM YouTube channel and WW4MM blog, but head over to the WW4MM shop and get some schwag, or make a small donation on his homepage.

Thanks Steve – and keep the videos coming!