Deploy Jekyll sites with Amazon S3

Jekyll is great as a static CMS. Amazon S3 is cheap to host static files. I use both to host few blogs.

S3 Website is the Plugin I use to deploy to S3. It’s a nifty plugin which does the job but with a catch. It depends on specific version of Java.

I bought a used ThinkPad (I love the old ThinkPads) and was trying to set up the machine to deploy the blogs. I installed Java and tried to run the usual s3_website push command but it needs a rather old version.

So if you are using S3_website plugin, you need the LTS openjdk-8. You can install it in Ubuntu with following command.
sudo apt install openjdk-8-jdk

Once installed, run java -version to make sure you have openjdk version 1.8.

That’s all! Happy hacking!

Emerging Skills for 2020 (India)

LinkedIn released its 2020 Emerging Jobs Report for India few days ago. As a consistent learner, I always want to learn new skills. So, I wanted to list the skills mentioned in the report with emerging Jobs.

However, skills listed here sometimes don’t suffice for the job or just not required. For instance, you don’t have to learn both Node.js and Django to be a back-end developer.

The visualization for the results:

created at TagCrowd.com

Short Analysis based on word cloud:

  1. Marketing and JavaScript seems to be most popular and both of them are good marketable skill for inspiring freelancer.
  2. LinkedIn tends to favor AngularJS more than ReactJS, exactly the opposite of global trend. I think it’s because Enterprises tend to use AngularJS more often than React.
  3. Javascript is the language of choice if you are thinking about becoming a Web developer.
  4. Automation seems to be the trend of the year. There are many vendor specific skills such as UiPath and Automation Anywhere where certification from vendor should help to break into the Automation field.

Emerging Jobs and Skills Data

1. Blockchain Developer

Required Skills

  • Hyperledger
  • Solidiity
  • Node.js
  • Smart Contract

2. Artificial Intelligence Specialist

Required Skills

  • Machine Learning
  • Deep Learning
  • Tensor Flow
  • Python
  • NLP (Natural Language Processing)

3. Javascript Developer

Required Skills

  • AngularJS
  • Node.js
  • React.js
  • React Native
  • MongoDB

4. Robotic Process Automation Consultant

Required Skills

  • UiPath
  • Automation Anywhere
  • Blue Prism
  • Process Automation
  • SQL

5. Back-end Developer

Required Skills

  • Node.js
  • MongoDB
  • Javascript
  • Django
  • MySQL

6. Growth Manager

Required Skills

  • Business Development
  • Team Management
  • Growth Strategies
  • Market Research
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Digital Marketing

7. Site Reliability Engineer

Required Skills

  • AWS (Amazon Web Services)
  • Ansible
  • Docker
  • Kubernetes
  • Jenkins

8. Customer Success Specialist

Required Skills

  • CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
  • Team Management
  • Customer Retention
  • Saas (Software as a Service)
  • Account Management

9. Full Stack Engineer

Required Skills

  • AngularJS
  • Node.js
  • Javascript
  • React.js
  • MongoDB

10. Robotics Engineer (Software)

Required Skills

  • RPA (Robotics Process Automation)
  • UiPath
  • Blue Prism
  • Automation Anywhere
  • Robotics
  • SQL

11. Cybersecurity Specialist

Required Skills

  • Vulnerability assessment
  • SIEM (Security Information and Event Management)
  • Penetration Testing
  • Information Security
  • Network Security

12. Python Developer

Required Skills

  • Django
  • Flask
  • MySQL
  • Javascript
  • HTML

13. Digital Marketing Specialist

Required Skills

  • MySQL
  • HTML
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  • Google Ads
  • SMO (Social Media Optimization)
  • SEM (Search Engine Marketing)
  • Google Analytics

14. Front-end Engineer

Required Skills

  • CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)
  • Bootstrap
  • Javascript
  • HTML5
  • AngularJS

15. Lead Generation Specialist

Required Skills

  • Market Research
  • Email Marketing
  • CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
  • Business Development
  • Digital Marketing

So, a lot to learn in 2020. What are you going to learn this year? I would love your opinion.

Learning to Code!

I have been trying for ages to get into programming. Hours have been spent on Moocs, Books and many tutorials. Many new year resolutions went unfulfilled. The result so far has been, well, not satisfying.

I guess the reason why I’ve been able to call myself a Programmer because I’ve been not able to focus and finish. Not able to focus on a language (Tried Ruby, Python, PHP and JS so far) or a framework (RoR, Sinatra, Django, Flask, Express).

All the articles are saying one should focus on JavaScript if he wants to be a Web/App Developer. I prefer backend programming more than frontend and NodeJS should be enough to start with.

I bought The Complete Node.js Developer Course and loving it so far. It’s good for beginners and anyone with basic understanding of JS/Programming can take it.

So, I will be focusing mostly on JS for 2018 and will be posting updates.

Hoping for the best!

 

 

The essential Analytics setup for WooCommerce

I deal with many WooCommerce powered stores. Data collection, reporting and getting useful information always remains a challenge for many store owners.

These are the must have plugins and services I use for an ideal analytics setup.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics needs no introductions. I make sure that Ecommerce tracking, Events and Enhanced Ecommerce are setup accurately.

WooCommerce plugins for Google Analytics

  1. WooCommerce Google Analytics Integration (Free, comes with Ecommerce tracking, standard add to cart events and enhanced ecommerce).
  2. Actionable Google Analytics for Woo (Paid, Very useful for tracking Users, enhanced ecommerce, internal promotions etc).

Segment

Segment (Inexpensive) is very cool. It lets you collect all kind of data and then send it to your favorite services. In order to track Order and Customer details etc from WooCommerce, you’ll need a plugin to connect it with Segment.

These are two popular ones:

Second Analytics Service

Google analytics is awesome but sometimes you need more power. Behavioural analysis, Retention Analysis, Funnel visualization, Heatmaps etc are much more fun in the services listed below. You can install them directly or use Segment to send data to them.

  • HotJar (Free to start with, Heatmaps, Funnels, Polls etc)
  • HeapAnalytics (Free to start with, Very easy to use, I love the Event tracking, Charts, retention and segments)
  • Mixpanel (Freemium, HeapAnalytics alternative)

Please let me know if the post was useful. I also help with Analytics consulting. Contact me if you need help with Analytics, Growth or Conversion.

 

How to market a new online store?

If I were to start an online store, this is how I would promote it. Most of the medium mentioned here are free or doesn’t break your bank balance. But before doing promotion, I’ll make sure to

  1. Work on the ‘differentiator’ or the ‘selling point’ of the store. The store should be doing something better than competitors.
  2. Make the store easier to use and order. Basic conversion optimization will be done.
  3. Install Google Analytics on the store and it will be configured to track every useful (Ecommerce tracking, events, search tracking etc) data.

Market a New store
The article omits the basics sometimes.

1 . Influencer Marketing

I’ll first email or tweet to bloggers, youtubers, instagrammers covering Startups, ecommerce, news or industry where which my store targets.

The message will be short, passionate and will ask them to have a quick look. Just something to start the conversation. It should be personal, shouldn’t look like a copied template and shouldn’t be spammy.

Once someone shows interest, I would ask them to feature the store. I would be also open to offer demo products, paid incentives or special promotions for their audience.

The process looks simple but requires a good amount of hustling. These are some good resources on this form of marketing:

2. Content Marketing

The store will have a blog. It will be self-hosted and will use WordPress (one can also use Blogspot, tumblr or Medium. I prefer WordPress because of simplicity and more control).

As I am not really good with content creation part, I will hire someone to take care of that. The blog will publish useful, interesting targeted information on a regular basis.

Blogging is the only thing I recommend for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) along with basic on-site optimization and faster site load.

I’ll also allocate some resources on the Guest Posting on other blogs. Guest blogging is very effective to build initial visitor base at zero cost.

Some resources on content marketing:

3. Social media

I would set up a profile on major platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest etc. The purpose of social media presence will not be just about selling but building an engaging community. It will be used for sharing useful (and interesting) contents from our blog or other places.

Social sites also act as a wonderful support and review platform. Many businesses also use social media to run a contest to gather some buzz. There has been some updates on social commerce too (Facebook Shop with Shopify).

In short, I’ll make sure that the store has a very active social media presence and it is well monetized.

Resources:

4. Email List Building

I am a big of good old emails. Email marketing still offers the best return on your investment and it’s not going to change very soon.

The list building be done by the usual practices like offering signup incentives, blog subscription, abandonment emails and customers list. The purpose of email campaigns will be similar to social media and will send existing and potential customers information about the new product, offers or any useful content.

I’ll use proper segmentation of list though. I’ll make sure that there is an autoresponder setup to onboard new subscriber. The process will be automated and Drip and other services are very good at doing that.

Resources:

5. Affiliate Marketing

I’ll setup an affiliate campaign with ShareASale. Affiliate marketing or referral marketing is basically a subset of influencer marketing discussed at the beginning of this article. You pay publishers, influencers and coupon aggregators etc a commission on orders.

Affiliate marketing is easy to setup and its performance (you only pay after the sale) based nature makes it cost effective.  I’ll make sure to onboard new affiliates and provide them with useful resources. Drip will be again used here to guide affiliates.

Resources:

6. Paid Advertising

Finally we have the paid medium. I am pretty sure that I will be bootstrapping with tight marketing budget. Therefore, the paid advertising gets the lowest ranking. However paid advertising is still the fastest way to get qualified traffic without any doubts.

Paid advertising has two major purpose- Find new audience and re-marketing. I’ll be focused more on the re-marketing (also known as retargeting).

Did you ever notice some of the sites you visited recently in your Facebook feed? That’s because of a remarketing campaign. You target people who already visited your site via ad platforms such as Google, Facebook, Youtube, twitter etc.

A Remarketing campaign has usually higher conversion rate and it’s cheaper than standard paid marketing.

I’ll be also doing some Product Listing ads. They are very targeted and usually offer better ROI as well.

Resources:

That’s it folks! Let me know if I am missing something or made a mistake. Thanks for reading!

Ankit