I'm Madison James, founder of Web Writer Associates.
My expertise in IT started when I began creating database management routines for several companies I was involved with, in 1987, using an old flat file program called Nutshell.
This included inventory management and manufacturing specifications used for tracking and product management.
In 1993 I began looking for a more robust platform and opted for working with Microsoft, first with Access on a desktop client based platform before becoming proficient with SQL Server during an Internet web site project for Fleischmann's Yeast in 1998, and an Intranet project for Anheuser Busch in 2000.
In 1994 while building up my consulting business I took a one-year contract to teach at a computer Learning Center, mostly specializing in Microsoft products.
It was during this time that I also got involved in network engineering, but because Microsoft was really in its infancy when it came to networking I first got certified as a Novell administrator.
Late in 1995 as Microsoft began to gain traction in the networking arena I began getting certified in various Windows programs and became a Microsoft Solution Provider later in 1996, and opened a small computer store to work out of. My first online business was as an Internet hosting company for small businesses which I ran out of the store along with my consulting company.
In the late 1990s, and as Microsoft SQL Server began to gain market share, as well as recognition as a viable platform in the SQL database space, I began to get interested in e-commerce.
In 1998 along with the Fleischmann's project I mentioned earlier I also created a small e-commerce site for a small retail computer company in the St. Louis Missouri area.
And along with a couple of front end web site developers collaborated on the projects mentioned earlier as well as event management intranet sites for Ralston Purina and Texas Instruments.
By 1999 one of my clients who I did a lot of database work for offered me a four-year contract to manage his IT department and get him on the Internet as he put it, but it ended up turning into 11 years of steady work from 1999 through 2009 and then all of 2011 after he asked me to come back and bail him out after my first replacement didn't pan out.
During this period of time, with the help of Julie, one of his employees who helped me with a lot of the graphics work we finally got his company selling online, in early 2003.
And as I improved my content writing skills for product and marketing information his traffic continued to grow, to the point where, when I left in 2010, he was making a very sizable return on the advertising alone.
I had semi retired in 2010 to pursue my freelance writing and content marketing until he pulled me back in 2011. But the benefit of those years working with one client allowed me to gain incredible insight into the marketing needs of a medium-sized company and to hone my skills in SEO and content marketing.
It was during those years that I realized the importance of using content based marketing to educate and help the consumer make an informed judgment by talking to them and marketing to their needs rather than talking at them trying to hard-sell them on something they may or may not need.
Those insights are the foundation for our customer satisfaction and content marketing strategies that we employ in the solutions we provide at Web Writer Associates.
In 2012, Microsoft having, a few years earlier, begun to embrace open source development, opened the doors for small companies like myself and my associates to offer enterprise class e-commerce and CMS, Content Management Solutions to small and medium-size businesses for a fraction of the cost previously available just a few years before.
I built my first nopCommerce open source shopping cart solution, based on Microsoft's MVC technology, using a SQL Server database, in 2012, for a small retail shop in central Missouri. And while the e-commerce site improved his business it couldn't offset the lack of physical traffic to his store.
Even though his business didn't survive, and we can't count it as one of our major success stories, it is still important because it reinforced the need for us as a company to make sure our clients understand the need for physical traffic if they are running a retail shop. It also gave us an insight as to the dedication put forth by the people developing the nopCommerce software.
By 2014 I had built several more e-commerce sites for startup companies where I worked for a future percentage of the profits, but none of the three ever became viable companies.
But again, the experience working with nopCommerce along with continued content writing was a great plus.
Also in 2014 I had begun looking into another open source company called Umbraco for the CMS type sites that we were beginning to offer.
It was also during this period of time that I got more serious about writing content for articles and email to help drive traffic. You can read one of the content marketing articles here.
This site is written on the Umbraco platform.
Umbraco really expanded what we were able to offer to our clients, and in 2015 we began looking at ways that we could combine Umbraco and nopCommerce to offer clients a broader solution that would fill their needs for both e-commerce and content marketing.
Since 2016 I've been primarily working on product content, SEO, social media management, and marketing, for a small Texas-based manufacturing company. This includes a nopCommerce e-commerce store as well as an Umbraco marketing front end.