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Alex

How I've been unfair to the MD community and what is changing

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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

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- Alex
Check out the MD blog and follow me on Twitter.

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That was a lot of honesty and transparency Mr. Mangini.

On behalf of myself and the business I've run (largely on MD) — thank you.

Oh, and I think you just wrote  your mission statement my friend.

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I consult, create products and brainstorm all day

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Thanks for the honesty Alex!

I think focussing on one thing is the best thing you could do. 

Does this mean the MD content builder will be released somewhere in the near future? #cantwait

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Thank you, Alex, for interessting and honest post btw! 

I knew you are gonna make it!! And stuff like Stagnation, pause or not so many updates are ook! LOOK...  You imidietly got to the point where you go for an interface...And that is all that matters for those who are not devs ( me for example and several millions of people!! ) :)  So u just made many people happy! 

I mean,  In my eyes - best move what you can go for .. You can make just a few demos for the start ... ( You can INSPIRE FROM GENERATE PRESS - SITE LIBRARY, OR ASTRA THEME ) .. 2 best demo-install-interfaces out there ...You already did so many websites in those years ..  You can enjoy copy many of those, I mean creating similar ones in terms of all kind of features you ever used and - easy!  BECAUSE that is the only way how to,,TEACH OTHERS,, how You did it .. see my point? Just dont feel guilty!! You did the great work but spent a lot of time in the world of code and yes now is right because you know about it so you can be aware of stuff and overcome this challenge with an interface and easy LOOK at this:

You mentioned freelancers. You named it up there well. If you spend time in for creating something special,... with special feature I will name 1: Filter for blog posts like for categories .. if some demo will contain such a thing .. you can charge and make it paid demo .. charge 100-200 if you want to have such a feature like freelancer .. I would buy all of those paid demos if useful like i am mentioning :D Why not? It can be very beneficial for ebverobyd you can have more fun. You can escape from that world of code - warcraft haha :)) and just be proud of yourself that you 1. got it. 2. made it. 3 people are happy,  better business .. All good! don't feel guilty people in your age not running one man show businesses but sucking Lolipop :DD

You can do it! We all know if u just create something similar to GeneratePress system I am sure you will manage! Gp is an amazing theme too btw. It's like 2. best after MD ANYWAY. 

Dont forget! MD ;) Blog theme - Blog layouts .. 

And if you check Astra a GP if you already don't know them I mean if you haven't seen them yet. They have also something called premium modules and if you activate it you have advanced option straight in the customizer ( both of these themes having stuff as header option like MD but many features and they are actually super cool, sticky stuff, nice animations, width transparent. They have options like use the main menu as a header before it's under and logo in the middle .. ) Lots of interesting things they have AND? Guess what .. none of these not even scratching the surface on MD in terms of overall designs.

I am sure you can make huge success and create massive engagement around MD. 100 percent, because I am sure u can come up with more and more designs which are cmon let's be honest absolutely unique. If you had also more advanced options so your theme would be even more flexible. It can be done in the next years and I think is best what you can do if you wanna stay in the business. You deserve success and YES, Your MD horde :D Deserves to know. But don't stress cmon anything out there is perfect so what? :))
 

(Wave)

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On 9/25/2019 at 1:08 AM, Alex said:

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.

Hello Alex, i am excited from the early morning. Is it coming tonight or not yet? Just asking. Dont worry about my questioN! I am just one of those who gets overexcited when it comes to MD :))) 

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Sounds good, Alex! Nobody is perfect, so why should you be? You're amazing in your own extra ordinary and creative way. Remember that. I'm greatful I've found MD and you. It works for me. Keep up the good spirit.

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I was blessed to have stood on the frontlines with you these past 6 months and I can testify to everyone here that this is incredible news!

I can see why some folks here are sensing a bit of guilt and unfair pressure you are putting on yourself... but, I can can also testify that when reading between the lines, you are just revealing your dedication and passion for MD and how much greater an impact it could have with this major shift in focus beginning Oct 15th.

As individual creators and collective members of the MD community, it is important that we hold ourselves accountable to dive in deeper and become our own master of MD/Wordpress. And ALSO that we help keep Alex accountable to show us the way, as he has expressed his passion for!

You don't have to start your own freelance business... but, WHY NOT?!

I personally am inspired to do just that. As an example, I have built a music business founded on the context of personal development. My highest ticket item in my sales funnel is actually physically BUILDING out my client/fans passion on the internet using a self-hosted wordpress and the MD theme. How much could that be worth to you, to them?

They sky is the limit and I have the utmost confidence knowing that Alex is in my corner if need him, but ultimately that he is leading the charge!

Thank you for your transparency and all that you do Alex... looking forward to diving in deeper with MD!

With Luv and Gratitude,

~/\/\~

 

 

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Thanks for being Honest Alex. I've also been somewhat dissapointed by MD lately. I feel it has so much more potential, but it has been stagnating for a while now. 

Seeing you make the decision to stop taking on freelance work and focus on MD really really makes my day!

I'd also love to see you complete a serie on how to use the full potential of MD. You started a few YouTube series, but never completed it. Same goes for some articles. I think a good combination of articles and video's would give current users a boost to start working on their MD site again. While at the same time, it gives potential customers the push to purchase MD because of all the great features.

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Thank you everybody for your amazing responses, I knew sharing this with you all would be the right move and your support means the world as I move to making the words in my original post a reality. The only thing I regret is the date I set, it took me up until this day to get my personal life back in order and the MD Labs situated yet again, but I am here, full present, and EXCITED!

On 9/28/2019 at 2:11 PM, Ray said:

Oh, and I think you just wrote  your mission statement my friend.

Keen - this may have to make the actual MD site.

On 9/30/2019 at 9:53 AM, maikman said:

Does this mean the MD content builder will be released somewhere in the near future? #cantwait

It one form or another - the Gutenberg editor in WordPress leaves me slightly hesitant although my ideas for page building in MD are different and truly rely on the frontend.

The term content builder is an important one, though, and differs from how I define page builders. The content building tools I envision for MD are ones similar to the Stream and Bookshelf, where MD will provide a simple admin interface that makes creating different kinds of content pages easy—more than just longform writing and inherently more useful than page builders who only provide the shells for your content. These content building tools also give you strategy.

On 10/5/2019 at 7:10 PM, michkocis said:

I am sure you can make huge success and create massive engagement around MD. 100 percent, because I am sure u can come up with more and more designs which are cmon let's be honest absolutely unique. If you had also more advanced options so your theme would be even more flexible. It can be done in the next years and I think is best what you can do if you wanna stay in the business. You deserve success and YES, Your MD horde :D Deserves to know. But don't stress cmon anything out there is perfect so what? :))

I love reading your posts because they are always so full of enthusiasm and of course great ideas! A modular system where you can import/export different settings and layouts is definitely a high priority because they unlock the things you are asking for like demos, alternative blog layouts, and just better usability when cloning sites and will be very easy to implement with MD's solid data structure.

To your point about teaching: that is exactly what needs to be done in addition to development as there is so much more to MD than meets the eye! I won't make any promises on that, I will just do it and make the MD blog one of the best around. ;)

On 10/24/2019 at 11:25 AM, BLUVNBU said:

I was blessed to have stood on the frontlines with you these past 6 months and I can testify to everyone here that this is incredible news!

Much of what is coming next was born from the work we've done the past 6 months and I can't thank you enough brother! I hope we are able to bring some of the people here to the Sacred Garden in the near future for a similar rebirth. :D

1 hour ago, Anwar said:

Thanks for being Honest Alex. I've also been somewhat dissapointed by MD lately. I feel it has so much more potential, but it has been stagnating for a while now. 

Seeing you make the decision to stop taking on freelance work and focus on MD really really makes my day!

I'd also love to see you complete a serie on how to use the full potential of MD. You started a few YouTube series, but never completed it. Same goes for some articles. I think a good combination of articles and video's would give current users a boost to start working on their MD site again. While at the same time, it gives potential customers the push to purchase MD because of all the great features.

I agree with every word here and it has frustrated me too. It took a lot to see I didn't get in this to run around for a few clients, but the writer of a great product that can be used by thousands of people. That was harder to admit under the cloud of the money that is out there, but none of that would compare if I had just stayed focused on the mission here. I don't have anything against freelancing as it is possible to make quite a good living from it, I just want to step away to enable that possibility for you all through MD as well.

YouTube and writing will be a huge part here and finishing stuff especially! Would you be interested in freelancing with MD as this material becomes more available?

-----

Thank you again everyone, see you around the forums!


- Alex
Check out the MD blog and follow me on Twitter.

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YouTube and writing will be a huge part here and finishing stuff especially! Would you be interested in freelancing with MD as this material becomes more available?

I've changed from being a fulltime freelance webdesigner (only doing a few websites a year) to being a website owner a motocamel.nl Having my own popular websites makes it that I am pushing the line of what is possible with MD using the documentation you provide. I've changed from building a website and handing it over, to using the website every day myself, coming across more ideas and bugs.

I know how to code and how to design, but my preferences lies more with a solution like MD which provide me with all the tools to create unique designs. So if you provide more video material, showing us how to push the boundaries with MD, not only will most of us be building better websites, but visitors (or clients) want all the goodness they're experiencing on our websites.
 

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First, thanks @Alex for the blunt honesty. Very few people are capable of doing so and it requires not only humbleness but also a certain form of maturity, not to say wisdom.

I am that type of very detailed-oriented person (combined with a perfectionist personality - shame on me), and it was a nightmare for me to choose the right Wordpress theme. I went for MD after MUCH hesitation. MD seemed so much developer-oriented to me. As you understand, I am not a technical guy. 

I can say MD has given headaches, regrets and even anxiety on multiple occasions.

On other occasions, I could see "the light".

I can only see today the extreme power of MD. MD is NOT perfect. It is NOT complete. There are other very competitive themes out there. 

But knowing @Alex's new decision to focus exclusively on MD, I can only see an extremely BRIGHT future.

The days I discovered The STREAM, I immediately thought it was just USELESS. Who wants that, knowing that we're all running after time and already have too many distractions? After much thought, I think there is such GREAT potential in that unique feature. I have shared many ideas in my posts about it in this forum. I think you all know about Telegram or What's App. The Stream could be juste another way of doing the same if enhanced: Sharing audio with an integrated audio (or even video) live recorder, triggering discussions, managing multiple threads, etc. But I'm going down the road of details and specifics here. 

This is just my way of sharing my appraisal for @Alex and excitement for MD.

I am a MARKETER. I am a copywriter.
I just think MD could be a killer tool if it integrated ALL the ideas I shared about The Stream, about Time-delayed Content, etc. YES, I'm being selfish here. LOL. Seriously, selfish is not my style. It has never been. I am just so dead convinced that MD could be put on hot rods (is that even English? ) if it integrated some unique marketing features.  MD could be so much business oriented, not in the usual way, but in offering some features not found everywhere else. Hard to explain. May be just a big feeling on my side. 

All I know is that @Alex has the capacity to listen to his users and this is certainly his best asset. Having a horde with him!

Let's make MD rule and reinvent marketing and blogging!

 

 

 

 

 

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