Starting Ongoing Remote

A few weeks back I was looking for better places to put job postings for remote developers than LinkedIn (it’s horrible for this), and I came across JS Remotely. The first thing I thought was, “Wow, this site is so simple, and there are at least five posts each day. If those are real they are 500 USD of income basically for free every day. That’s a great business model!”

So I set about making a similar site and got something up and running in a few days. It’s called Ongoing Remote. There is a homepage with a list of posts, and a form to submit new posts. I wasn’t able to get payment up and running yet because I don’t have a registered business.

Also cool is that I used NextJs to build it and tried to optimize for speed. It should load extremely quickly as it has dynamic content that is statically rendered using Incremental Static Regeneration.

I also set up Google Search Console to see how many impressions and hits I get, since this business will be primarily SEO-driven. Several weeks in and I still have zero impressions and zero clicks.

Finally I paid a designer to create a logo for the site. This is the working version I have for now, which is why it has a watermark:

This is supposed to evoke images of working from the beach while sipping on your coconut drink. The color scheme feels like the sunset at the beach. This is exactly the kind of atmosphere I would love to work from! I definitely recommend sarah_tyler as a logo designer!

Initially my spin on the idea was that I would have a site generator. Basically, it would be a posting site template that would be infinitely scalable to different domains focused on different types of jobs. Since JS Remotely focuses only on JavaScript jobs, maybe I could one for each programming language or each major library.

Although the infrastructure is still in there to do that, I haven’t expanded to more sites yet and may not do that.

So since the site is up and I have absolutely zero search engine traffic on it, my primary concern is getting eyeballs via SEO. Hence me writing this post.

Other things running through my mind at the moment are:

  • Maybe I really should focus on one particular type of job, since there are lots of generic job posting sites, and probably less SEO competition for highly specific jobs.
  • I have a lot of experience as a web developer, but it was my first time using NextJs, and I learned a lot. But this site is super simple and doesn’t really leverage my strengths – I’m good at building web applications and services, not at SEO. Maybe I should try another business idea.
  • While researching competitors I came across RemoteOK and the creator, who has some great advice for people starting online businesses by themselves. He gave himself a challenge once to do 12 startups in 12 months, and that also sounds like a great way to learn a lot and spread some seed around to see what grows.
  • If I want to charge money for anything, I need to register a business, and luckily just a few weeks ago Dubai changed their business ownership laws to allow 100% foreign ownership. Since this is where I live, it makes for a great option. I’ve still got to investigate what actually needs to be done, and it’s on my to-do list.

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