My friends over at CareerHackers.com recently revamped their website and rebranded from Crash to Career Hackers.
Their new website features articles, videos, and career guides for job hunters. It also has more opportunities to sign-up for their daily newsletter called The Daily Job Hunt.
I was curious about the switch. I reached out to the founder, Isaac Morehouse to find out more. I asked about when to pivot or stay the course, his thoughts on different content management systems, and advice on getting started with your own blog or website.
Here’s the Interview
Career Hackers/Crash recently went through a metamorphosis, going from Crash, to Career Hackers, what was the reason for the change?
The content we created at Crash really resonated with job seekers, well beyond the potential users of the platform. We realized that our newsletter (200k+ subscribers), guides, and articles were part of a much broader category than the video pitch tool we began with.
Career Hackers seemed like an ideal rebrand and home for our content to reach as many people as possible.
How do you decide when you need to keep going or pivot?
Tough question. I’m stubborn and competitive, so it’s not always easy to pivot. Someone once told me, “When you wake up in the morning and you’re out of new ideas and things to try, time to move on.” I think that’s good advice.
I’d add, when you imagine stopping or changing course and it immediately feels like you set down a massive burden, it’s probably the right thing to do.
Were you worried that you would lose subscribers to your newsletter, the Daily Job Hunt?
Not much. Our subs tend to come from other channels than just the Crash site, so we were pretty confident we could pull it off. Definitely some loss in traffic and SEO when we make a move like this, but we thought the increased brand visibility made it worthwhile.
Crash was built on WordPress, but the new site is built on Ghost, why did you decide to switch?
I’m a huge fan of whatever is easiest with the fewest barriers to getting stuff shipped. I’ve liked WordPress and used it for years, but when I started playing with Ghost, I felt like for a pure media site like Career Hackers, it’s ideal. It’s just so simple and clean and optimized for content.
I also like the built-in sending and paid member features, which we may use later.
What were some of the struggles that came with moving to the new site and the rebrand?
Mostly just all the great content and stuff we have with references and links to the old. Some of that will never get re-captured, but we made an effort to rebrand and update as much as possible. Our very popular career guides required the most work.
There are so many different ways to build a website today. There’s Ghost, WordPress, WIX, Sqaurespace, Weebly, or even using Facebook, or Twitter as a type of blog. What are some considerations people should take into account when starting a personal website or blog?
Regardless of what social platforms you use, I’m a huge fan of having your own site that you control. Platforms come and go, and content there is ephemeral. Your site is a more permanent archive that you control.
I love simple, easy, and well-supported. It’s hard to beat WordPress IMO. If you are doing lots of content and newsletter, substack and Ghost are good too.
You’ve got your personal site on a self-hosted WordPress platform. If you were building a personal website today from scratch, what platform would you go with? How important is this aspect?
It’s not that important. Don’t overthink it. I’d use WordPress, or Substack, or Ghost – all with your own domain – because they make publishing easy.
In your articles you talk a lot about the power of a 30-day blogging challenge, and learning out loud, why do you think this is so important?
The biggest hurdle to any accomplishment is not lack of skill or money or time. It’s a lack of just effing shipping stuff!
Force yourself to publish a blog post every day for a month and you start to build that muscle.
A lot of people say they don’t want to blog because they worry about what other people will think of their writing. Do you have any advice about overcoming this fear?
First, no one’s gonna read your blog. Especially at first. So relax. 😉
Second, the only way to get better is to begin. You don’t hide in a cave for years then emerge with a masterpiece. You just keep writing and not looking back.
What advice do you have for people who haven’t started a personal website or blog yet, but are thinking about doing it?
Just do it!
Don’t overthink or sweat the tech, the theme, the design, the name, etc. Get yourname.com or something close, spin it up on a CMS that makes publishing easy, and go live with it.
You can refine over time, but at least get something up.
Is there any other advice related to building a blog or website that I didn’t ask about that you’d like to add?
Enjoy it! It’s a great place to tell your story in your own way.
3 thoughts on “Isaac Morehouse on Blogging, Building Websites, and When to Pivot”
I’m curious about how statement that no one is going to read your blog. 😁 I feel that is true, but obviously he’s found a way to make money, so what’s the secret?
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Isaac doesn’t make money directly from his blog. He uses it as a way to display a body of work and a digital footprint to launch companies.
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I guess you could say the secret is great content and finding a niche. Yes, I just answered my own question . 🤣
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