Let me tell you a bit about myself.
I’ve been working in tech for over 20 years.
I live between Miami, Florida and Bogota, Colombia (my home town).
I am a (rookie) writer, consultant, speaker and serial entrepreneur.
I have built tech based companies for 14 years now.
Some of them have reached 6 figures revenue in less than a year.
Some of them have failed miserably.
I know what to do to succeed. But most of all, I know what not to do and avoid failure.
I have been creating software my whole life.
And by software I mean anything and everything: Websites, apps, mobile games, SaaS tools, eCommerce stores, you name it.
I don’t want this to sound like I’m bragging, but after working with over 50 entrepreneurs and brands on over 100 software projects of all kinds, I know a thing or two when it comes to building an online business.
For some context, I started out as a frontend developer for several digital agencies, and then, 14 years ago, I started my own development company that after a lot of ups and downs, change of business partners and change of names, it’s still going strong, although I don’t have an active role in the day to day operations.
The thing was that we were able to execute any kind of project, from $1.000 websites to multimillion dollar apps.
But something was missing…
Some years ago, a client asked me that he needed not only his product developed but a strategy to acquire clients and leads.
That meant traffic to his website.
I didn’t know how to do that.
Because of my technical background, my company always focused on creating the website, the app, the e-commerce store, but we never considered how to attract clients or revenue for those products we were building.
In case you were wondering, I lost the client.
That’s when I decided to learn how to grow an online business. Not just build it.
And three letters became my obsession since then: SEO.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the set of practices and techniques you use to grow an audience and is how you drive traffic to your website.
So after almost 3 years of learning, but especially implementing SEO strategies for some of my clients, I can confidently say that not only I know how to build websites and apps for our clients; I also know how to make those websites hugely profitable.
That led me to put to good use a domain under my name that I had bought over 10 years ago: ivansosa.com
I created this website with 3 goals:
- To act as a playground and experimentation lab for SEO.
- To reach out to anyone that needs help creating a website or an app.
- To share what I have learned after 20 years of watching the web grow and mature.
I want this website to rank high.
I want you to start your online business today.
I want you to learn how to build a website.
That’s who I am and that’s what I do.
I really hope that you can take something out of what has been almost 20 years of experience building and growing online businesses.
Here’s a brief recap of the moments, good and bad, that had led me to where I am today.
(I expect to go into detail of this activities later on):
The owner of the company and me clicked instantly so he gave me a lot of responsibilities in the company: I was not only a junior developer; at some moment I was running projects with several developers and designers reporting to me.
PS: If you are too young to know what Flash was, you can read it here.
HI Media was a software development company. We made over $200.000 in year one.
I was supposed to be the CTO of the company, but when you start, you do a little bit of everything.
We opened a single blog for each brand: Nokia, Blackberry, iPhone and Windows Phone (I know, they don’t exist anymore but they were big names at the time). We thought that by creating big audiences around those brands we could capitalize on their traffic and convert leads into paying clients for HI Media. Sounds familiar right? Well, it was a big flop. We never invested in SEO. We closed down the websites after a year. We did the exact opposite than Benji Hyam did with ThinkApps.
This left a lot of lessons I’ll share with you in the coming days.
We failed and we had to close it down.
The biggest lesson here?
Be very very strict when picking a business partner. We made a bad choice and it doomed the initiative.
We lost almost all our clients and had to let go of all our team, return the office space and practically start over. The only thing we had going for us? A lot of experience, a lot of connections and a strong portfolio.
One of these connections was an entrepreneur running a successful mobile games development company.We decided to partner up under a new name (Bakata Group). We would leverage both portfolios to create a stronger, bigger company. And that’s what we did.
We reached over $600.000 in revenue in our 2nd year.
After 60 days, we had over 20 people on bikes and we had to deliver orders ourselves because of the amount of people using the app.
Once again, failures on execution killed the project. We lost over $40.000.
I moved permanently to the US to lead the sales team of the company. We had our best year ever.
Sadly, after 7 years of ups and downs, cracks started to show between the founders.
Those cracks became an issue so 2 out of the 3 founders decided to step down and leave the company. Me among those 2. The 3rd partner stayed at the company as CEO.
Yes. A 9-to-5, behind a desk, Monday to Friday job. I gladly accepted.
To be brutally honest, I had a great experience there. The team is amazing and it's a great company. But after 3 years there (I was expecting not to be there more than 18 months) my boss as well as me felt we were not meeting expectations.
So I was laid off exactly one year ago (I’m writing this on March, 2020).
I was also offered to be the Managing Director of a medium sized Content Marketing Agency. I accepted.
Those 2 are my current occupations.