Kim Joy Fox: Web Developer and Blogger

Every once in a while you meet someone and know instantly that it’s a start of a new friendship. That’s how I felt when I met Kim Joy Fox at Yellow Conference in LA, in August of 2015. Instant friendship! And then I learned that she was a talented web developer – like really talented! Since then we’ve exchanged many emails and driven across Southern California to have coffee together.

Today, I am so happy to share Kim and her web knowledge with you via blog!

Give us a little introduction about your web development business and how you got started

My initial fascination for websites started towards the end of high school. The idea that you could type something in and have the computer display a website was so amazingly cool to me. High school was also when I got my first paid job: $300 for a website for my basketball coach. But for the next 8 years, it was just a hobby. I made websites for people I knew, for myself, for miscellaneous clients. Two years out of college, I decided to change my line of work to Web Developer and subsequently got a job at a small business building and managing their website and print design. A couple of years later, I decided to open my own business and pursue full-time self-employment!

I can’t tell you enough how much I love your blog. What inspired you to start it, and how does it tie into your business?

I had very little knowledge of running a business when I started, but I did know one thing – running a blog can help your website move up in Google. I didn’t really have a firm grasp on why or what I should be writing about, so I just jumped in and started writing what I knew about – three times a week for a year. Design on Mondays, coding on Wednesdays, and business on Fridays. It was a lot of writing. Of course I wanted to get clients through it, but for the first two years, it served more to help me document coding issues I had solved, improve my business, and hone my design “eye.” Now I blog with more of a focus towards potential clients, but I still use it to share great books I’m reading, miscellaneous life lessons, and reminders (for me!) of how to code things.

What is the first question you ask a client when developing their site?

The very first thing I ask is what the point of their website is. What do they hope to get out of it? This is so important to consider, but it’s often completely skipped over in the eagerness to settle on a theme. But if you don’t know what your goals are, you don’t know what designs will help you get there! Without asking what you want people to do on your site, you can’t tell if your website was worth the time and money it takes to make it.

Business Owners are constantly told how important Call To Actions are. Can you share some of your favorite ways to include them on a website?

Call to actions are the most important part of your website. And I’m a big fan of giving people lots of CTAs. If there’s something to read on the site, I include something for users to do after. Most are smaller – like read more testimonials or find out more about a service I provide. If there’s nothing else for them to read or do, that’s when you add in your CTAs – whether it’s the primary purpose of your website (like contact me) or secondary (like sign up for the email list). But my favorite place to add them is right before the end of the page.

What is the coolest thing you’ve ever coded?

I recently coded a site for a TV show that included a shopping cart. Usually shopping carts, while extensive, are not too difficult anymore. But this one needed something that just isn’t done with small businesses: multiple vendors in one shopping cart; one checkout; but each item split commission for the site – think Amazon. But there are no pre-made solutions for small business, so I coded the integration with the merchant gateway and Woocommerce, including commissions and receipt emails, shipping, taxes, etc. in about 40 hours. It was hard, but so incredibly rewarding!

I can’t interview a web developer and not ask about SEO! Can you share a few of your must-do’s to get sites to perform on search engines?

Search Engine Optimization is a crazy big deal! It’s the first thing that new clients ask me about or tell me they’ve worked on. The biggest issue I see is that people aren’t starting with a good foundation. If your on-site SEO in the coding isn’t good, off-site SEO can only go so far. Since on-site is what I do most of, here are a few of my must-do’s:

  • Using Headings correctly – this includes within your blog posts.
  • Watching your website speed. It should be getting at least high 70s in Google’s speed test.
  • Verify your business in Google places.
  • Start writing a blog. Include high-quality information geared toward questions your clients ask.

But there’s so much more on-site SEO to do! I routinely write SEO tips on my blog for clients because it is so important.

I know you’re an avid reader, so I have to ask: can you name the top three business books that you’ve gained valuable insights from?

I can always talk about books! I love reading, so I’m not sure I can just pick three, but I’ll try!

Pitch like a Girl by Ronna Lichtenberg is a phenomenal book everyone should read – not just women. She explains the different pitching styles of different people and how to pitch effectively regardless of your style or the person to whom you’re pitching.

The 10 Natural Laws of Successful Life and Time Management by Hyrum Smith is one of my all-time favorite books. This book has legitimately changed how I approach work and life in general. He gives a lot of good advice and insights, but the most important to me was how to get that “accomplished” feeling every day and stop feeling like you’re not moving forward in life.

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, while not technically being a business book, has been instrumental in improving my work. Since 70-80% of what you do every day is habit, changing those habits can actually change your life.

I also keep a running list of the books I’ve read on my site if you’re looking for a good one to read, as well as doing book reviews periodically for business/life books. If you have a good one to read, let me know!

You can read Kim’s blog at KimJoyFox.com. And contact her through her website or directly at Kim@KimJoyFox.com

I’d love to share your story and expertise! Click here to let me know you’re interested and I’ll be in touch.

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