Well, at this point, I build websites and apps. My real strength was building web scrapers and web automation tools for awhile. But with GDPR in Europe and the Facebook scandals about collecting people's data without them knowing, I have really shied away from that. Even then, I didn't get much interest in those. The few people that reached out to me seemed to think they were a great idea, but ultimately didn't really care to implement them. I should also say that I used to build scrapers primarily for lead gen purposes for marketing folks. I would love to build data aggregation tools and web scrapers, but if I cannot even drive people to want me to build a simple website for them, how could I possibly get folks interesting in more specialized things?
So, I guess the general purpose of driving traffic to a website or social media pages would be huge. Then, more specifically, how would you get people to take an interest in a web automation/data aggregation/data manipulation service? Imposter syndrome is HUGE with me so I've never really built an actual PRODUCT I can sell. Although I am currently building an open source web filter countermeasure framework to help your bots not get blocked, its nowhere near finished yet, but thats the closest I've come.
You have data skills. I'm blind as a bat here. So I don't know where to look or point in that area.
But there maybe a different approach...
The most treasured thing lies in a cave that we are afraid to go into.
Tell me, do you have an ambitious project in your head that you are afraid to tackle?
By the way, programming for me was in general very intimidating.
yes, I do. Very ambitious but very afraid to tackle at this point. Programming isn't intimidating at all to me really. I'm not really questioning my ability to learn. I've always been pretty confident in that area.
I think where this comes from for me is two things. The first thing is that I've been in business for myself for about three years now. At first, I did break/fix work on computers, leveraging a background in IT Support. That led to Network Administration, which I also had a background in. But I've always been a code monkey and have been writing software of one kind or another since I was a kid. I've taught people to program, and have done a lot of back-end work in my career doing other things, as well as building bots on sites like Freelancer etc.
Herein lies my problem though: Throughout my self-employed career, I've always struggled to find people who give a crap. I find that whether its been building gaming PCs, complex networks, or bots and complex data analysis software for folks, any website I've built for my personal business gets between 5-12 visits/month with very few leads. The leads I do get wonder how they ever lived without me and come back to me exclusively for years. I have the knowledge and skillset of a mid-level developer at the very least and have proven experience performing those kinds of tasks. But, I can't really prove any of it except by the tutorials and such I post here.
So, in my brain, I start to think "Your self-taught with no portfolio and all you have is your word to back you up. Are you really even as good as you think you are? Nobody else seems to think anything you create is all that impressive. So why are you so sure it is?" As you can imagine, that takes the wind out of my sails big time and prevents me from having the confidence to really push something I've made or a skillset I can provide. So, I suppose it comes down to confidence and thinking that I've tried things from SEO Courses to Google Ads and Facebook Ads, even hiring Google Partnered Adwords folks and spent ridiculous amounts of money to get not much return. At this point, it's just tough to come to any other conclusion other than that I just don't really build anything people care about.
But then I see people making money on a color theme for VSCode or browser extension that doesn't even work correctly and it just ticks me off. At least the things I build work as intended, but still, nobody seems to notice or care. Which prompted this post. I am really just curious about what the heck it is that makes people pay money for something either A) Useless or B) Totally does not work at all, but I cannot seem to give my stuff away.
So far though, I've really enjoyed the diverse responses as it gives me a lot to think about. Plus, I am positive I'm not the only developer that faces serious imposter syndrome and has a hard time being a salesman when they are an introverted engineer both by trade and at heart!
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