One of the winners from David Airey’s anniversary giveaway bonanza was a chap called Bruce who won a blog review from yours truly. I’ve not been the quickest in honouring my commitment (sorry, Bruce) but I am a man of my word so if you would like to hear my views on the blog of a man striving for independence and freedom from the oppression of 9 till 5 tedium, read on.
Bruce is a 40-something ‘retail recovery auditor’, which I’m told involves staring at a computer screen filled with numbers all day. By his own admission, Bruce hates his job.
Day Job Nuker, is a collection of articles, resources and tips for making money online and generating other passive income streams. It is also a record of Bruce’s own story, as he attempts to ‘nuke his job’ within his target of three years time.
Now, I must admit I’m not entirely sympathetic towards the cause. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for enterprising individuals, but the theme of making money is a common one in the blogosphere – it’s become something of a blogging cliche.
Borne from the John Chow mold, the blogsphere is awash with disillusioned individuals attempting to find that magic formula to get rich quick. Maybe I’m just a sceptical old grump, but I can’t help thinking that for every Chow-like success story, there must be thousands of imitators really looking forward to spending all six dollars they made from AdSense last month.
However, it’s unfair of me rant and judge Day Job Nuker before I’ve even looked at the site. So what’s it all about?
An ordinary, everyday guy
As I mentioned earlier, Day Job Nuker is Bruce’s personal story. He’s set himself a three year target to create enough income streams to be able to ditch his job. Three years is actually quite a realistic time period and that’s what strikes me most about Bruce’s site: he’s not promising unrealistic get-rich-quick schemes and scams, but instead he offers very original ideas, that combined with a lot of hard graft, might make a bit of cash.
Bruce’s ideas are wide and varied, ranging from raiding golf courses in the middle of night to dredge the ponds and waterways for lost (and resalable) golf balls, through to taking advantage of the Ebay Affiliate Programme by matching products with ‘wanted’ items on Craigslist.
You can tell Bruce is the kind of guy who would be at your local car boot sale at 6am on a Sunday morning waiting to snap up all the bargains before the poor seller has even switched their engine off (you know the type ). But this is what appeals to me most about Bruce. He hasn’t got the swagger and arrogance of Chow, he’s just an ordinary everyday guy who you cant help but like.
And it seems lots of other people are liking Bruce too. His reader stats are showing close to 200, which is some rise from when I first looked at his site three weeks ago.
As a designer, it is only right that I reserve a few words for Day Job Nuker’s layout. I’ve seen worse… but it could certainly be improved.
Ultimately I don’t expect the glitziest of websites, much like when you walk into a Wilkinson store you know you’re not going to get Prada-like minimalist store design. The use of the xMark theme is functional and for the most part fit for purpose. My main concern is with the over-zealous use of various widgets, affiliate buttons, ads and other random gizmos in the two-column sidebar.
My advice to Bruce would be to spend some time tidying this up. The site isn’t as easy to navigate as it should be, and simply by removing a few superfluous widgets and prioritising some of the site navigation furniture higher than some of the adverts, it would go a long way to making the site more of a pleasure to browse.
I would also spend a little time thinking about the top navigation bar and how this is arranged. There is quite a random mix of pages, some of which are more useful than others. Should pages like the BAN Stats and Stock Picks (which are currently fairly empty) occupy such prime web real estate?
I went to Day Job Nuker with a very sceptical eye, but Bruce has won me over. The design isn’t the greatest, and to a certain extent this works with the site’s overall ‘feel’ and personality, but Bruce should think about how users navigate through the site.
Whilst you wont catch me down my local golf course making mid-night golf ball raids this weekend, you will catch me checking up on Day Job Nuker from time to time to see how Bruce is getting on. There is something very ‘Del Boy Trotter’ about Bruce’s money making ideas, and Del Boy made a million in the end. I’ve got my fingers crossed for Bruce too.
If you want to hear a little more about Bruce’s story, checkout his interview on the jobacle.com podcast.