About Nate Hoffelder, founder of Valiant Chicken
I am a shy and geeky stay-at-home web developer and founder of The Digital Reader, an independent digital publishing news blog for authors and readers.
In 2010, I launched (and continue to run it to this day) The Digital Reader as a blog and built it into a publication that regularly breaks industry news, while at the same time I taught myself all the tech skills required to maintain, protect, and update the blog.
With dozens of successful projects under my belt, as well as legions of happy customers, I have successfully stewarded The Digital Reader and other sites through make or break events like website crashes and hacks to site migrations.
What I care about
The first thing you should know about me is that I have Asperger’s. This is why I miss a lot of social queues that most understand intuitively, but it also means that I tend to be obsessively interested in certain topics. I started this blog because I have a special interest in helping people find useful information, and I continue to write things like how-to articles because I want to help solve problems – all kinds of problems …
How I got where I am
College is a time for discovery, a time when kids find out who they will become as adults, and that is certainly true for me. When I was in my senior year, about to earn a degree in Computer Science, I discovered that I had no interest in becoming a software engineer.
I had been working toward this degree for years, but right when I was about to pass the goal post, I discovered that I was happier investigating the latest tech industry rumors than I was doing my class projects.
So rather than join the rat race, I struck out on my own. In 2010 I launched a blog, The Digital Reader, and never looked back. I built that site into the best independent digital publishing blog around, and along the way I taught myself all the tech skills required to run a blog.
Any time something broke, I either learned how to fix it on my own, or by looking over the shoulder of someone I hired. And when I wasn’t learning new tech skills, I was teaching myself how to explain complex technical topics to readers.
It was a great time, but times change.
In 2016 I took stock of my industry: falling ad revenues, competitors shutting down, and a general sense that my niche had gone stale.
I concluded that I could only continue to run the blog by stuffing it with more ad units, accepting sponsored stories, and generally making my blog an unpleasant place to visit. I didn’t like that idea, so instead I decided to take the tech skills I had mastered during my years running The Digital Reader and pivot from reporting the news to providing technical services to blogs, news sites, and other online publications, and launched Valiant Chicken.
Valiant Chicken is a niche agency specializing in supporting small web publishers like you. I’ve been where you are, and I know the problems you face.
What do you get when you work with me?
You’ll get someone who has encountered the same web problems you have, and who has helped lots of people find solutions to their tech headaches. And more importantly, you’ll get the level of tech support you want and need. Do you just want to point me at a problem, and tell me to deal with it? I can do that. Or do you want to pick my brain so you can solve the problem yourself? That works for me too.
In terms of communication tools, I prefer email over phone or Slack and other social media (I don’t think Slack is a viable replacement for business email, no).
And while I have used a number of project management and CRM tools, when collaborating on a to-do list with a customer, I like to use Google Docs . It’s an easy to use tool we can both access.
If you would like us to work together, please feel free to reach out.
Now, I’m here to help you with my tech skills and experiences: …What Are My Tech Skills?
My skills are varied, and I tend to pick up new ones all the time as I new projects.
- Websites: I build websites in WordPress, and know a lot about fixing them after they break.
- Web Analytics: I have used Google Analytics and Statcounter to track web traffic on multiple sites.
- Writing: I am a self-taught tech blogger who knows how to explain complex subjects in clear simple language.
- Graphic Design: I’m not up to the skill-level of a designer who has degrees and certifications, but I do make my own graphics with online design tools like Canva.com.
- Newsletters: I have used iContact, MailChimp and Mailmunch.
If I can do something to help you, feel free to email me …