I had the pleasure to interview David Attard with CollectiveRay. He has been working in and around the web design niche for more than 16 years. He is very passionate about all things tech, enthusiastic about marketing, SEO, and ways of increasing website traffic. Let’s get to know David a little more in depth and find out what CollectiveRay is and what they provide.
Tell me a little about yourself? ( Name, where you are from, some hobbies)
It’s David Attard here, I live in sunny Malta and have been involved in tech since when I was about 10 years old when my dad bought our first 386 and I started tinkering with QBasic. That’s coming close to 30 years now!
I love traveling with my wife, experiencing different events and cultures. I also enjoy working out, cycling and the outdoors in general (that’s probably from spending too much time on a keyboard 😉 )
Can you explain what CollectiveRay does or what they provide?
CollectiveRay started off as a web design and development company. As part of our client acquisition strategy we used to write content about the technologies we were using such as WordPress and Joomla. As time went bye, we noticed that the publishing part of our work was actually something we enjoyed, so we shifted a significant part of our focus on creating content.
The difference with CollectiveRay is that we try to write fully detailed articles which can help those who are not as “techie” as we were. So we try and remove the “complexity” from tech. Today, doing business, digital and e-commerce are pretty much one and the same thing, so anybody who wants their business to succeed needs to use websites.
But for these people, tech might not be their everyday job. Their primary job is focusing on their business. We bridge the gap in that knowledge, where we simplify the stuff which has taken us years to become experts in, such that these website users and business owners can focus on doing what they do best.
How long have you worked with CollectiveRay?
16 years and counting. Though there have been some changes in names, you might have heard of us under our previous brand, DART Creations.
What made you want to start your career in web design, or all things tech?
When I was growing up, the Internet was just starting to gain ground, this was the 90’s and it was obviously the next big thing. However, there was very little supply, and having loved the concept, particularly of doing business online, I opted for going down that line of business.
Programming and tinkering with hardware and software had always been my thing, so going down that career made a lot of sense.
What do you love most about your job?
Publishing and affiliate marketing, in particular, is sweet for two reasons. First, it gives me full flexibility of work. All I need is a laptop and an internet connection. Whether I feel like working at home, an office, a cafe, or wherever, as long as there is a good internet connection I’m sorted.
The 2nd is the passive income aspect. When you’re “freelancing” or working at a 9 to 5, you’re selling your hours for cash. By definition that’s a finite resource and can only scale up so much, particularly if you’re not looking for aggressive growth. But with passive income, you put in the effort at your leisure, then reap the rewards over time.
That means if you need time off, whether that’s a few hours or a few months, you still have an income stream.
What does an average work day look like for you?
Most of the time these days is spent on keeping things running smoothly. At this point, I’m mostly guiding the ship along, rather than doing all of the nitty-gritty. My primary focus is optimizing content, the site in general and networking to grow different aspects of the site / business and managing a number of partners I do business with.
I still enjoy the data-intensive aspects of the site, the problem-solving, and of course the networking. Nothing beats interacting with people directly. In the publishing industry, even if you have thousands of readers a day, you don’t have that one-to-one interaction with them, so interacting with people, even if “online” rather than face-to-face is one of the parts I enjoy the most.
What lessons have you learned in your career?
Don’t sell services, or products. Sell solutions to problems. A product is a hard-sell unless you’re focusing on how you’re making somebody’s life better, in whatever aspect that may be.
Where possible collaborate rather than compete.
Keep learning, keep yourself on the cutting-edge. Although experience is always important, always be on the cutting edge of technology, otherwise you’ll risk becoming obsolete.
Have a good work/life balance. You’ve got a limited time on this earth, spending most of it slaving away is simply not rewarding (at least for me!)
Being published in a number of major publications in the industry. The publications I used to read and look up to are now publishing my own articles, so I feel that my own work and experience is now an inspiration to others.
Pick up a niche which you like and can be successful in and become an expert in that one niche. Become the absolute ruler of that niche such that you become the reference point.
And invest in yourself, always invest in yourself. Don’t try to learn on the go, pay good money to learn from the experts, to shortcut your own route to success.
Always persist and persevere, the difference between those who make it and those who don’t is those of us who made it, did not give up when we hit major setbacks, but persevered or changed tact.
David has been around this business for a long time and he is very passionate about his work. Thank you David for letting us get to know you and your business. If you have any questions for him go ahead and message him, he is a very nice and smart guy!
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