Like many self-employed people in the workforce these days, Jenna Robbins has made a career out of being a renaissance woman. As a freelance writer, she’s covered everything from politics to religion, co-authored a book about mindfulness with a Buddhist monk, wrote a memoir about being a groupie for Depeche Mode, and penned two New York Times best sellers as a ghost writer. That’s where her professional writing site, jennarobbins.com, comes in.
Then there’s her other business on web consulting, Siteseeing Media. “I do project management and web development,” Robbins explains. “That’s where the process of hosting comes in. I work with a lot of authors to help with their author platform — I get their sites up, help them sell books online, and assist with their social media. Being a writer, it’s obviously easy for me to help other writers do the same thing.” She works with other types of businesses as well, such as travel and hospitality.
For both of her businesses, web hosting is a key component. “A lot of people have found me and hired me through one of those two websites,” Robbins says. “I’ve written for a variety of different outlets as a freelance writer, including newspapers, magazines, and websites, so I use my site as a portfolio. A lot of times when I pitch a story to someone, they ask for writing samples and I’ll just send them a link.”
She also uses her blog to showcase her writing, which is another way she lands gigs. “Clients usually come to me for one thing and realize I can do two things and that puts me ahead of all the other candidates,” says Robbins. “My most recent client, who is in environmental consulting, said, ‘You’re not just an editor, you also understand what I’m doing with newsletters and websites.’”
Robbins first ventured into the tech side when she was an editor at AOL’s CityGuide, where she covered cities all over the United States. “I’ve always been a nerd and learned coding on my computer,” she says. “I took one HTML class and realized how easy it was. When WordPress came out, it changed the whole industry.” Once she developed that skill and could create content as well as websites, she became the go-to person on staff to liaise with the tech team.
When Robbins takes on a new client, she always strongly encourages them to use Bluehost for their site. “Having all of my clients on the same platform makes it easier for me to manage them,” she explains.
“Sometimes I have people with all these different web hosts, and figuring out the back end and dashboards can be cumbersome. I’m familiar with the back end of Bluehost, and Bluehost can handle anything I’ve brought to them. I’ve had several clients insist they stay with who they’re with, and when I’m working on their site I’ll say ‘I know we can do this on Bluehost, but I don’t know about yours.’ Typically in six months they’ll switch.”
Otherwise, it can take her hours to do the research on other hosting sites, so switching to Bluehost saves her clients time and money.
The flexibility is also a perk. “A lot of the stuff that a mom-and-pop shop needs is going to be on Bluehost,” she says. “They won’t even know there is stuff they can use, and the pricing adjusts accordingly. We like it because it is easy to deal with and affordable.” Since Bluehost has such a wide range of products and abilities, it’s scalable for businesses large and small.
Another reason Robbins is a loyal Bluehost customer is because she is currently based in Berlin, Germany, and has clients across the globe. Having 24-hour customer support is necessary for her growing business.
“For the past three years, I’ve been traveling the world as I manage client websites,” she says. Robbins is originally from New York but moved to California 20 years ago. She still spends a lot of time and works in the Golden State for up to six weeks every year.
“When I left a full time position I wanted to travel, so I decided to get away from the distraction of Los Angeles. No matter where I am in the world, time zone-wise, my hours vary quite a bit, and I don’t have to worry about customer service being open from just 8am to 5pm. You never know when a client is going to have a problem.”
Bluehost’s around-the-clock accessibility has made it possible for Robbins to work from a ship, travel around Central South America, and make Europe her temporary home base. How’s that for customer service?