This is going to be a brutally honest article of self-reflection and a glimpse into the state of MD and where we are going as a product and community.
I'll start by getting the hard part out of the way: I have been extremely unfair to the MD community.
Marketers Delight as a software product is incredibly stable and robust after years of development and being battle-tested on thousands of sites since 2015.
For years I have been a one-man shown, balancing the product development, community engagement, and a booming freelance business (all MD sites), and throughout that time I have had ups and downs in regards to my work balance and goals for MD.
My metric for success and contentment about the product, whether I wanted to admit it or not has been revenue, which has been going up every year and will only continue to do so. But one metric that was not growing relative to the potential of MD and my high ambitions for the product is how much easier it has become for you to do the same advanced things I can do with MD, and implementing more of your requests that fall in line with the goals of the product.
While MD has become increasingly capable over the years and many people are creating excellent websites, the development cycle and community have been growing at inconsistent rates—and it all starts from the top.
For example, why aren't more of you building successful freelance businesses with MD as I have been? Why aren't more of you creating Dropins and extending your site's capabilities with MD's wonderful APIs? Why aren't more of you motivated to use MD's excellent content features to create the new standard of blogging and audience interaction?
The answer to all of those questions is simple: I have not been showing you the way!
Sure, I have been throwing out new features in each release and giving you an idea of what they are and how to use them, but more real world examples and more engaging tutorials have been missing. There are many deep concepts built into MD that by simply explaining them further to you can unlock the know-how you need to make better sites and even start a web design business of your own, but the truth of the matter is I have been hoarding that knowledge and money.
Instead of writing more tutorials and articles, I have been struggling to find my voice and afraid of the blank screen. Instead of passing on 4 and 5 figure jobs to the most competent of you, I have created a waiting list and over extending myself to write code that is locked away one site at a time rather than releasing those features in a way that can scale to every one of your site's—a feat MD is damn good at!
I have made many personal strides over this life-changing summer and broke out of the gray that has kept me rooted in a battle against myself, and my proof is that I am able to deliver these words to you now in a manner as prolific as the way I used to write years ago when I began my first blog (those of you who have followed my work since age 15 should hopefully hear a familiar voice speaking to them right now).
Of course words are not enough to prove what I am saying here is different than the similar claims I have made in the past, that is why I am taking an action that I never had the courage to take on before and will be the difference between MD's success and a boost to your own success:
I am no longer for hire as a freelance web developer.
Many times I have told myself this but have been allured by not only cool jobs, but jobs with high price tags. To make the deal even better, every job I have taken since 2015 has been built on Marketers Delight and what an amazing privilege it has been. Many of those jobs have improved my skills and understanding of websites and have directly benefited MD through bug and security fixes, but after so many projects and becoming a master of WordPress (I am not afraid to say this) these jobs no longer provide the same level of benefits to MD that my time spent directly developing MD would.
Even worse, my indifference and mixed feelings have taken a toll on some of the clients I have been unbelievably fortunate to work with, and much of that grief I've created in myself has trickled down here into how well I help you in the MD forums.
That is why once I finish my current obligations and do a great job for who I am working with, I will no longer be accepting any web development work and will instead be channeling that immense effort and energy into developing the MD product, growing our community, and training those of you who wish to fill the void I am leaving and take on some great projects that can give you some life-changing income.
The future of Marketers Delight is highly modular—importing and exporting templates of all kinds with an easy interface and with all the right optimizations.
The future of Marketers Delight is engagement—I will show you what I have learned about creating engaging websites not only in the past but how we can BLAZE a new path for what the future of websites should be in a world that is built for social media.
The future of Marketers Delight is present—you will hear from me regularly and together we will build websites that add a fulfilling aspect to our lives and even money in our banks.
The next evolution of Marketers Delight starts October 15th, and if you've read this far I just want to thank you for using my product as your means for creating your online business and for accepting me as an imperfect person trying to do right by my business.
Thank you for your time,
- Alex Mangini