“Orange you happy to see the new Nethervoice?”
I certainly am! It took me long enough to get here. It almost felt like a pregnancy. And now that the child has been delivered, I’m proud to present it to the world!
A week or two ago, I assembled an informal beta-testing team to find out what they had to say about the new website, and most of them told me:
“Are you sure this is what you want? It doesn’t look like the site of a voice talent, but more like the site of a blogger.”
That was exactly what I’d been hoping to hear. Why? Well, let’s be honest. You’re not visiting nethervoice.com to listen to my demos. You’re here to read my reviews, interviews, and stories. Am I right?
My blog has always been the main driver of traffic to my website, and according to Joe Davis of voiceactorwebsites.com, I have:
“one of the most powerful, individual voice over sites on the internet.”
I just took a look at my archives, and the oldest blog post that’s still accessible dates back to July of 2009 (BTW blue text in bold is always a hyperlink). Prior to that I had been blogging for a couple of years on my very first website. All in all I think I’ve been writing about voice overs for almost fifteen years. I can’t believe it.
My blog is living proof of the power of Content Marketing. That’s “a way of generating interest in a business and its products/services by creating value for customers through engaging and informative content.”
Remember those three words: value, engagement, and information. That’s what I strive for as a blogger. Numbers don’t tell the whole story, but if my readers didn’t find my contributions valuable, I wouldn’t have over 40 thousand subscribers.
Speaking of subscriptions, my old site didn’t make it obvious or easy for you to subscribe. We have fixed that with a simple subscription box on the top right-hand side of the blog.
I want to reassure you that when you subscribe, you’ll only get a weekly update once a new story has been posted. That’s it. I’m not going to bother you with newsletters about my latest bookings. You will never receive unsolicited emails from me, and I’m not going to sell your data to ugly Ukrainian internet trolls. Cute ones, maybe…
Joking aside, if you thought you were already subscribed but you haven’t received any updates for a while, please take a moment and subscribe again. I can think of no stronger sign of support and appreciation.
This new website does mark an important shift in my career. I will still be recording voice overs, but I am increasing my focus on producing shareable, “sticky” content I think you’ll be interested in.
If you’ve been reading my contributions for a while, you know that -even though I often seem to write about voice overs- it’s rarely only about VO.
Most of the time, I use the example of voice overs to write about things most freelancers need help with: finding work, marketing your business, dealing with difficult clients, balancing your private and professional life and much more.
That’s one of the reasons why only half of my readers are actually voice overs. The rest consists of other gig workers like copywriters, translators, designers, photographers, and videographers. In short: other creative freelancers. How do I know? Because of the many responses I receive every week.
Since what I do is called Content Marketing, shouldn’t I be writing pieces for people who are looking to hire voice overs? If fifty percent of my readership is made up of colleagues, am I not barking up the wrong tree?
What if I told you that on any given week almost half of the jobs I do are the result of referrals from colleagues who know me because of my blog? Another twenty-five percent comes from those creative freelancers I mentioned earlier.
The rest of my business usually doesn’t come from me approaching clients, but from clients approaching me. Thanks to this blog, clients know how and where to find me. It’s like a magnet.
By the way, this is not some kind of secret formula I’m promoting. I have been writing and talking about my approach for years. If you’re interested, delve deeper into my blog, or read my book Making Money In Your PJ’s.
WHY I WRITE
The fact that blogging boosts business is not the only reason I keep on writing. To tell you the truth, it was a pleasant but unintended side-effect. I started blogging because I couldn’t keep my big mouth shut.
I want to move minds. I want to make people think, if only for a fleeting moment.
You see, in this mad, fast-paced world we live in, I don’t think we take enough time for reflection. We just go with the flow, doing what we’ve always done, praying for a different result.
It’s not my intention to convince you of anything. I don’t have that power. I just want you to look at certain issues through a different lens, and gain a fresh perspective. What you do with that, is up to you.
I want to contribute to my community; to give back to people who have given me so much.
IT’S ABOUT SHARING
Knowledge and experience is only worth something if and when it is shared. I started my career in radio when I was seventeen years old. I’ve lived and worked in at least four different countries, and have traveled to many others. I’ve been a freelancer for all of my working life.
You either learn a few things and stay in business, or you give up and try something else. Well, I’m still here, trying every day to pass on what I have learned, and your response has been incredibly encouraging!
I want to say out loud what other people are thinking, regardless of the consequences.
I’m not here to please anyone, or to burn any bridges. I want to call it as I see it, unapologetically using my Dutch directness to make points I believe are worthwhile making.
In all the years that I’ve been blogging, I know I have rubbed some people the wrong way. They often think that I’m some self-absorbed European who thinks he knows it all. But when they meet me in person, they notice I don’t look like the caricature they had made of me in their minds.
Since my stroke in 2018, I’ve had some time to think about my life’s purpose. There must be a reason why I am still around. I think it’s in part because I still have things to say that might be useful to others.
Part of my purpose is to offer content that could help you grow your business, and to inspire you with stories that motivate you to be better and do better. And if one of us does better, it creates a ripple effect, and all of us benefit.
In fact, if I had to give my blog a name, I would call it THE RIPPLE. It’s like that pebble in the pond, creating bigger and bigger circles as the energy moves outward.
THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE IT HAPPEN
I can’t create ripples by myself. That’s where you come in. And people like Karin Barth of voiceactorwebsites. What you see today, is the result of our cooperation. I came up with the concept, and Karin translated it into this new site. She’s amazing!
If you’re ready to refresh your old website, or if you want to build it from the ground up, talk to the people who speak your language and who know your business. Get it done right. Skip the Wixes and the Weeblys. Just as you think businesses should hire voice over pros for their promotional outreach, you really need a professional web designer to set yourself apart and attract clients. It’s an investment in your future that will pay for itself.
If you need someone to host your site, think of Brad Newman of UpperLevel hosting. Like Karin, he knows the demands of the business you and I are in (he’s a VO himself). For eleven dollars a month, you get concierge-style service no GoDaddy will ever offer you, and a protected website that loads faster than a gun slinging cowboy.
STAY IN TOUCH
I bet my new site will take a little bit of getting used to, but I hope you’ll learn to love it as much as I do.
It’s designed with you in mind.
If you feel that you have benefitted from my blog in any way, shape, or form, do me a favor and recommend it to a friend. Share a story that has helped you. Be that ripple in the orange pond.
Talk to you next week!